29 March 2008

A Catalog of Testimonies

Here's a little something compiled by Pr. David Oberdieck and gleaned from the Issues, Etc. petition. If you haven't signed it, please do so. Also, please keep in touch with Augsburg1530 for upcoming events and things you can do to get answers to the question of "Why?" Issues, Etc. came to an untimely and unwarranted end.

Right now, enjoy these comments from listeners of Issues, Etc. around the globe and across several denominational lines. Once again, I must say, "Not bad for a show that supposedly had so few listeners!" Also, it would appear that Issues, Etc. did in actuality what "Ablaze" can only dream of doing.

A Catalog of Testimonies
For Issues Etc.

By David Oberdieck, pastor

“I'm visiting my family in the US, and going back home to Japan tomorrow morning. I only began listening to the program [Issues Etc.]via internet less than a year ago, and have been devouring it. Now, I will have no Issues, Etc. programs to feed me as a confessional Lutheran isolated in the rice fields. God will use this for good, most definitely, but I am still in mourning. Last week [Holy Week]felt long, and this one will, too…”

This is just one poignant reaction when Issues Etc was abruptly canceled during Holy Week and Rev. Todd Wilken (host) and Jeff Schwarz (producer) were fired on the spot and without reason. You may sign a petition and read other comments at: http://www.petitiononline.com/Issues/petition.html.

The Synod is pushing districts and congregations to sponsor evangelistic “critical events.” This is part of the Ablaze program to share Christ with the world. Cancelling Issues Etc. was a critical event of a most negative kind. It ended an important Gospel ministry. It took away an important source of confessional Lutheranism by which so many people were edified. If Ablaze is about sharing the Gospel, cancelling the show was anti-Ablaze.

Please take time to look over this catalogue of testimonies gleaned from the thousands of people who have requested that Issues Etc be left on the air. It is so uplifting to hear the positive impact that Issues Etc. has made on so many people. Also note the very last testimony that expresses the resentment that so many people feel because of the unfortunate decision of the synodical headquarters to end the show.

Catholic Soldier in Kansas - I am in the Army and a friend gave me the web site of Issues, Etc when I was getting ready to go to be deployed to Iraq. I was fearful I would be killed in the war. I told a friend who always talked to me at the gym and he gave me the web site and told me to look up a program by Dr. Brighton and this would be a big help to me. When I listen to Dr. Brighton he told us about heaven and what Jesus did for us to get there. It was like a spring day in my life. If I ever get to St. Louis I am going to look him up. When I was growing my parents never went to church but once or twice a year. I had a lot of fear of Christ and that he was going to punished me. I looked in several Lutheran web sites to see if I could find out what happened to Issues and found one that said a church president took it off. I did not have time to read all the information that was in there. I would like to ask him if he has ever been in the Army and have a best friend die in your arms like happened to me in Iraq. Thanks Dr. Brighton. [Pr. Oberdieck’s note - While the President of Synod was aware of the situation, we do not know who was ultimately responsible for taking Issues Etc off the air. Any conjecture from the general public is only conjecture at this time.]

Convert in New Hampshire - I am a recently confirmed Lutheran. I came to the church, specifically the LCMS, because of the ministry of Pastor Todd Wilken, Jeff Schwarz and Issues, Etc.

Lutheran in Austria - My family and I are among the Confessional Lutheran diaspora living in post-Christian Europe. With no home congregation, Issues, Etc. has been our family's spiritual resource and truly a gift of the Holy Spirit, sustaining us in the one true faith. Cerebral Christians desire helpful resources too!

Supporting the Navy in Washington - Our congregation has many Navy members. Issues etc. is one way to keep our members informed and fed, especially while deployed. On Palm Sunday I confirmed two adults who expressed the great blessings received through Issues, etc. It is a valuable tool for our evangelism efforts to the IPod generations and to people in darkness throughout the world.

Lutheran in Illinois - I credit Issues, Etc., for bringing me to the Lutheran Church, I regularly listen to talk radio and this was by far the best and most interesting to listen to.

Lutheran in Florida - I am a convert to the Lutheran church from Pentecostalism - and Issues ETC was instrumental in that move.

A Christian in Alabama - What can you say of those who you think are in error? You have taken away a very important and significant means of outreach, and the spreading of the Gospel. Also, never in my life have I ever heard of such a strong emphasis of the importance of a cross centered gospel--and I have been a believer all of my life! This program has helped to introduced me to the rich and historic faith that is Christianity--and as Black American, we don't often get such occasions. You have robbed the body of one of its tools!

Almost a Lutheran in Pennsylvania - Though I'm not a Lutheran yet, I have gained so much in the past 3-4 years from Issues Etc that I can no longer return to the bondage of American Evangelicalism. Also as anon-Lutheran I cheerfully supported Issues Etc financially. I'm a forty yr old grown man who cried tears when I discovered the show was gone and could no longer download the podcasts. I most certainly want and need the show back for myself and family, but what about the rest of America who needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed so clearly? I'm grateful for the many years the show ran - there does not seem to be any other shows that are as Christ-Centered and Cross-Focused as Issues Etc. Issues Etc. also pointed me to the Concordia Publishing House to which me and my extended family have purchased dozens of books. Who will point me to those books and publications now? Please re-consider and bring back Issues Etc, Pastor Wilken and Jeff Scwharz.

Presbyterian and Military Family in Japan -This show has been a valuable resource for our family while stationed overseas. We are members of the Presbyterian Church of America currently, but have come to realize the truth of the Lutheran teachings, in large part due to this program. This is deeply concerning that the Synod doesn't seem to care about the mission outreach of this program.

7th Day Adventist in England - I was surprised and dismayed at the sudden disappearance of the Issues, Etc website and am delighted that a petition has been organized to plead for its return. As a Seventh Day Adventist, I consider Issues, Etc one of the jewels of Christian broadcasting. I’m from the UK and long for the day when we can have this type of Christian programming. We’re starved here of a courageous, lucid, intelligent defense of God’s Word, and I am thankful that Issues, Etc embodied these qualities. I’ve been encouraged by Todd Wilken, his guests and the topics dealt with; the program [has] helped me to clarify my thinking on a number of issues and I felt better equipped to respond to the intellectual challenges to and assaults on truth. Our secular culture would like nothing better than to silence a faithful Christian voice; more alarming is that this impulse should come from within the church(?)

Non-denominational in Michigan - No Christian talk show has challenged a number of my pre-conceptions about the Christian life as ISSUES, ETC has. We need thought-filled Christian radio to make us the thinkers Christ calls us to be. Please bring back Issues, Etc
Baptist Pastor in Illinois - I am a Baptist General Conference pastor who has benefited greatly from the Issues, Etc program. I am very dismayed and disappointed that you have discontinued this fine program. Does the LCMS not care about truth, the gospel, and its own confessions? I have told my wife that if I keep listening to this show I might end up becoming a Lutheran! Your decision to remove a program that so clearly promotes the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ was a careless one. Even as a non-Lutheran I was greatly impacted by this program and its confessional approach. In my opinion, you have cut one of the best things you had going. What a shame.

ELCA Pastor in Minnesota - I am a pastor in the ELCA and had looked to Issues Etc as an important means to staying grounded in the Lutheran confessions. Very disappointed.
ELCA Pastor in North Dakota - I am an ELCA pastor. We have nothing that even comes close to the confessional integrity that I found on Issues Etc. Please consider returning it.
Lutheran in California - As a young man who is making the transition from my Evangelical upbringing into Lutheranism, Issues Etc. has taught me the significance of Christ centered and cross focused preaching. Please bring Issues back.

Lutheran in Illinois - I am elderly and house bound. Issues Etc. is the best program the church had going and the only one I listened to with interest regularly. It is the best program LCMS had going to reach the unchurched with the true Messiah for us…

A U.S. Navy Chaplain - The cancellation of Issues Etc. constitutes the removal of a wonderful resource for the proclamation of the Gospel to myriad persons; specifically, the men and women of the Sea Services and the US Military in general…
Lutheran in Michigan - This program was used extensively by myself during our recent vacancy to talk with the younger (12-25 year olds) members of our congregation. I am very displeased that Issues Etc was removed from your itinerary and the removal of the program means that I will no longer financially support your radio station.
Baptist in Oklahoma - Issues Etc. defined intellectual conservative cutting edge Christian talk radio. There simply is no comparable program in America. Issues consistently presented the dialogue necessary to keep Christians aptly informed and abreast of today’s developing concerns that so vitally affect their lives and their world.

Lutheran home schoolers in Washington - My family has spent many thoughtful evenings listening to this show. We home school and were pleased to be able to have our children listen to it and learn from such fine people what it is to be Lutheran. We do not have many Lutheran churches where we live, it made us feel more more connected to the greater Lutheran church and strengthened our confession. Why would you do this in Holy week?

Lutheran in Nebraska - Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. As so many others on this petition, I too credit my pastor and Issues, Etc. for my being a member of the LCMS. I have been so proud to be a MS Lutheran. Now I am almost ashamed because of who represents us. I love the Lord, I love the Church, and I love Issues, Etc. I can't begin to imagine how many people have been affected by this decision. I will pray that the Lord would move on the hearts of our LCMS leaders and David Strand to see the errors they are making and to bless us again with reissuing Issues, Etc.

Lutheran Pastor in Canada - As a Lutheran Church Canada pastor I considered Issues Etc. to be the best outreach and resource LCMS had to offered: I am personally saddened by this unfortunate turn of events and ask that the program be brought back so that the lost can once again be reached, the erring can once again be admonished lovingly with Scripture (as is right so to do), and so the eyes of all who listen can once more be fixed on Jesus, for His sake and in His name I pray that this will be done.

Nazarene in Ohio- I was a podcast subscriber to Issues, etc. It was an invaluable resource and as a blogger, I often linked to programs where Todd Wilken had covered a topic of great importance to the faith. I didn't always agree with Todd but I always listened and it always made me think, something all too rare in modern (and post-modern) Christian programming. By the way, my disagreements with Mr. Wilken and his guests were quite rare…

Former ELCA pastor - As a former ELCA member, and just ready to join an LCMS church, I am deeply disappointed that this program and its archives are not available to me and for me to share with others to spread the true Gospel message that I have become so grateful to receive in just the last few months. Please don't eliminate this wonderful resource--truly a voice in the wilderness of American Evangelicalism!
Member of Saddle Back Church - As a Christian apologist who has spent many years defending the faith, I would ask that you please restore the Issues, Etc. program. I am not a Lutheran, nor have I always seen eye-to-eye with Todd. And yet I can only view this dismissal as a true loss for the entire Body of Christ, regardless of denomination affiliations. Todd Wilken has consistently dealt with crucial issues affecting the church in general, paying careful attention to exposing error wherever error might be found in the cults, the occult, and world religions. He has been a faithful servant and a dedicated voice of truth in the ever-growing din of false teachings throughout our culture. Please reconsider your actions.
Lutheran Pastor Washington - We have often used the discussion points and contents of Issues, Etc. as a jumping off point for our Topical Men's Bible Study. We have found this program to be of great value. Please return this program to the public.

An LC-MS Lutheran - It becomes very hard to support all of the other requests for assistance from Synod and the schools etc. when abrupt changes are made without explanation. My reaction is to withhold support until I understand what it is that I am still being asked daily to support from several of needy and worthwhile outreach and educational endeavors. Trust builds faithful stewardship when that is broken the bridge to trust and worthwhile programs have been destroyed!

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