31 March 2008

Insight from Outside the LCMS

One Albert McIlhenny posted the following in the comments section to a previous post. His words are powerful and insightful enough to warrant being posted here. Thanks, Albert!

I am not a Lutheran but the program was extremely edifying and sorely missed by the whole church. I felt obligated to send my opinion to the LCMS:

I see that you have, after nine days, revised your original statement about the cancellation of Issues, Etc. I am sure by now you realize that this belated attempt at an explanation is not convincing anyone - and, in fact, has made people more suspicious of your true motives. I would consider myself among that numher. Originally, I considered it a case of bureaucratic incompetence that would be corrected in due time. Now I see something far more disturbing that has manifested itself in what can only be described as a deceptive manipulation of the facts.

I originally discovered Issues, Etc. on a Christian radio station through its Sunday night sydicated version back when Don Matzat was the host. I thought the program became even better under Rev. Wilken's leadership and was perhaps the best Christian radio broadcast on the airwaves. I later discovered the radio archives and was able to listen to the program on a daily basis and share this resource with friends. As the quick reaction to the cancellation has demonstrated, I was not alone in this and yet you conveniently failed to mention this aspect of the ministry in your new response. Why?

Issues, Etc. provided was one of the most spiritually and intellectually edifying programs ever broadcast on Christian radio. Cancelling it only serves to confirm the suspicions that the LCMS has cast its lot with the "seeker sensitive" movement (which has been thoroughly critiqued on Issues, Etc.) just at the time when that movement is being exposed as the Emporer with his new clothes.

Furthermore, the handling of the entire fiasco underscores the hostility towards the program by those handling the cancellation. Giving no prior notice and no chance for the hosts to say farewell to their listeners and doing it during Holy Week marks the sign of the vengeance of the petty. Even worse, the bland and, frankly, cowardly statement by the LCMS president that he knew of the affair but neither approved nor disapproved sounds like something that would have come from the mouth of Pontius Pilate - not the head of a Christian church.

I would have more respect for the leadership of the LCMS and KFUO if they simply told the truth fromt the outset - namely, that they were no longer interested in the historical faith and practice of confessional Lutheranism and Issues, Etc. was a thorn in their side. At least then you would not have to keep sending out revised explanations on a weekly basis.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Well put and amen.