09 April 2008

Supporting Life?

In a previous post I highlighted a letter that catalogs one year's worth of Issues, Etc. programming on pro-life matters. It's quite the impressive list! Issues, Etc. was indeed standing for, promoting, and carrying out the official LCMS stand on protecting and defending God's gift of life from the womb to the tomb.

However, we must ask about others still employed at KFUO, whether or not they support the official LCMS stand on God's gift of life and protecting that life from ungodly, immoral, life-destroying practices such as embryonic stem cell research (ESCR).

Check out this website, called "Hope Happens," devoted to finding cures to degenerative nerve diseases by means of ESCR (i.e. sacrificing tiny human lives in the off-chance hopes of finding a cure for something somewhere!). The mission statement on the website says that this group's mission is "To improve the lives of people with neurodegenerative disorders by funding collaborative, translational research that has the potential to fast-track new treatments and cures." (I just "love" the precision and dependability of terms such as "potential" and "fast-track" - not! And just what is "translational research"?) I certainly applaud and support those who seek to find cures for neurodegenerative disorders; just not at the cost of sacrificing tiny human lives in embryonic form!

Clearly this group supported the controversial 2006 Amendment 2 which enshrined ESCR in the Missouri Constitution. (And for the latest in efforts to reverse the unfortunate 2006 decision by hoodwinked Missouri voters, pay attention to the folks over at "Missouri Cures Without Cloning.")

Then, when one checks out the Board of Directors for "Hope Happens," one finds a very interesting - and disturbing - connection with KFUO. The website lists


as a member of its Board of Directors!

What is going on here? The LCMS actually fires two men who faithfully and regularly speak up for God's gift of life, protecting and defending it from ungodly practices such as embryonic stem cell research, but yet keeps in its employ one who oversees a group that actually supports and promotes ESCR?

We may have waded into the shallow end of pool of asking "Why?" Issues, Etc. has been canceled, but now we seem to be getting into the deep end!

29 comments:

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Ugh. Another good reason to examine the financial data on KFUO-AM vs KFUO-FM.

Anonymous said...

What ARE we to do?
It gets more disheartening by the hour, doesn't it?
Thanks for the bad news, though. We need to know.
Susan in Tupelo

wmc said...

According to this report, the BCS voted to terminate Mr. Connett in January 2007, but this decision was reversed by someone higher up.

http://adelphoitouchristou.typepad.com/savethelcms/2008/04/are-these-the-p.html

Diana said...

My first response is to gasp, but I don't know why I should be surprised. Others have written about how KFUO-FM broadcast "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" on January 11, 2008, which refers to God as a woman. At this point, I think the best thing that could happen is that the KFUO Sharathon should fail and the license be sold so that Mr. Connett and others who would like to protect the culture from the offense of the Gospel will not have a bully pulpit.

Christopher Esget said...

Thanks for making this known.

Family of Michael & Jen-Yi Paul said...

Yes...thank you for making this known. This is very distubring indeed, but does need to be made known. Thanks again for your efforts.

revgeorge said...

It sounds like the elected Board for Communication Services is trying to do its job of properly managing KFUO AM & FM, but "someone" higher up is undermining & reversing everything they do.

This is not necessarily conspiratorial thinking. Looking at the records, the BCS did fire the station managers of both the AM & FM stations, but mysteriously both men retain their jobs. Whereas Wilken is fired a month or so after he says on air that he's tried to get the station to adhere to financial transparency but has been overruled from above.

Not all of these problems with the synod's operations are hearsay; they can be documented if one knows where to look.

Anonymous said...

I emailed Kieschnik again this morning.
'His' response, via his executive assistant Ann Schmidt, was thus:
>However, since this matter falls under the purview and jurisdiction of the Board for Communication Services Office, your email is being forwarded to them for response.<
So I called the office of the BOCS, and was told there was no one to talk to there, but I could leave a message and write a letter.
I asked if the Board had made any statements about the matter, since it's under their purview and jurisdiction. The question only seemed to counfound her.
So, has the BOCS issued any statements on the matter?
Susan in Tupelo

Anonymous said...

RevGeorge said:
Not all of these problems with the synod's operations are hearsay; they can be documented if one knows where to look.

Can you please help me by telling me some of the places I can look? I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks

Matt B

Anonymous said...

Another thought...

Please understand... I am as appalled as everyone else at this turn of events... however, I also feel compelled to point out that we should not be TOO surprised...

After all... KFUO FM *IS* a more or less sectarian, classical music radio station... not dedicated to Christian programming... as the AM side...

On their web site... celebrating 60years of dedication toi Clasical music and the Ars in St. Louis...

No where.. at least on the opening page... does it even remotely indicate / intimate that they are a Christian station.... or even remotely dedicated to Christian ideals or folllowing the standards of the LCMS and its public position on life issues.

They are a secular FM radio station out to make a buck... not different from 93.7 The Bull, WIL 92.3 or any other FM station on the dial.

So why should we be surprised at this turn of events?

This person who is the Program Director there... Mr. Connett... is he Lutheran at all? Just curious : )

My two cents...

Matt B.

Randy Asburry said...

So, has the BOCS issued any statements on the matter?
Susan in Tupelo

Susan,

I really don't know the answer to that question, but it's certainly one to investigate.

Does anyone else know?

Randy Asburry said...

Can you please help me by telling me some of the places I can look? I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks

Matt B

Matt:

Many things can be found on the LCMS website, in minutes from various boards, such as Board of Directors (also their "Board Briefs"), and the Board of Communication Services. I'm sure that the Secretary of the LCMS, Rev. Ray Hartwig could direct you to specific places, specific issues, etc. (pun intended! ;-)

Randy Asburry said...

This person who is the Program Director there... Mr. Connett... is he Lutheran at all? Just curious : )

Matt B.

Matt:

As I understand, the correct answer is "No."

Also, you hit the nail on the head: KFUO-FM is essentially a *secular* radio station. And a church is operating a *secular* radio station why?

Perhaps we also need to discover figures of listeners - numbers of live radio listeners, streaming live listeners, and so forth - from the FM side.

Randy Asburry said...

Oh, I should add to that previous comment -

There's nothing necessarily wrong with operating a classical (er, "classic") music radio station, but let's also use the opportunity to proclaim the Gospel (Can you say, "Bach"?) and give glory to God (Can you say, "Not playing music that fails to give glory to God or confuses the confession of our Triune God"?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Asburry... thank you for your commments...

And ... as I asked earlier... I still cannot help but wonder... why are we shocked? Why are we in disbelief? Dismayed?

Seems to be this was to be expected : )

As others have noted repeatedly on this blog, Fr Weedon's and others... Synod has been straying afield from her confessions for decades... this isn't new!

We tend to keep our heads in the sand as it were, play helicopter... raise our heads occasionally when something distasteful happens, note it, maybe gripe, or in some cases even have vocal outbursts or protests.

Then what do we do? :) We collectively stick our heads back in the sand and things go on... basically unchanged ... and we can feel better for a time ... because we did at least note our displeasure or complain.

But historically, what have we really done?

And I am *not* pointing the finger at others.. I am as guilty as the next guy...

Some people who say "lets stick together, stay in the Synod, and fight for our beloved Synod etc"... I would ask.. how do you fight... what does that look like? How do we have an impact.

Seems to me thus far, Pres. Kieschnick, the happpy clappy crowd, the Jesus First folks and others still have the upper hand.

We have not found or do not have a way to make or effect change.

So again, why are we surprised?

What would happen if all those folks who signed the petition for Issues, Etc...and others like them...decided ... enough already... and formed their own new Synod? mmmm sure... would be difficult, has some issues etc...

But i would think that if 10,000 people left the LCMS en masse... would wake a few folks up : )

Cannot have a synod with no congregations or people IN it.

Just two cents again.

Matt B.

Randy Asburry said...

Good thoughts and good questions, Matt. I wish I had some easy answers!

Anonymous said...

Part of the problem is that 'upper hand' folks seem to have.
We're not fighting on the same plane or with the same tools or for the same goal, so that makes fighting harder for us.
If the way to gain 'the uppoer hand' is to fight fire with fire--well, we're a church of Christian soldiers and not law-enforcement; we're militant, but not a military unit.
Maybe we are winning, in that we're fighting in the ways we're given. Perhaps a 'new Synod' is not the answer. What would that do anyways? Mostly, at this point, it would relieve a lot of us of our present frustration or offer some satisfaction, but not much more. It certainly wouldn't be without its own problems and frustrations.
I don't think you can lose anything if you just remain in the Word, and find where it's preached and taught faithfully and attend to it faithfully.
What other promise do we have but that?
Susan in Tupelo

Anonymous said...

Just a hunch, and I emphasize HUNCH... the reason the BCS decision to terminate him was overturned was strictly financial - it probably would have cost more to fire him than to keep him.

Interestingly, it appears the reasoning behind Valpo's decision to hire a female pastor was also strictly financial: a three million dollar gift with the stipulation that they hire a female to be dean of the chapel.

Randy Asburry said...

Susan,

Good thoughts. We must remember that we are in the "church militant," not the "church militaristic." That is, let's not just adopt and live by the motto "fight, fight, fight, especially everyone who disagrees with us"!

Also, let's remember what "church militant" chiefly means: we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities...of Satan and his warmongering ways against our Savior. Yes, we must stand and fight against false teaching and its fruits - I don't deny that at all - but let's remember who the true enemy is, namely, Satan himself.

As for the Valpo decision to accept money with the string of false teaching and practice (women's ordination) attached, well let's remember what happens when one accepts money with strings attached! Should we make such compromises in our Lord's teaching passed down through His Church just for the sake of a mere pittance of $3 million? Absolutely not!

I'd rather be rich in the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, and rich in hearing Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant," than have a single dime of that $3 million conditional charity and risk His judgment of "get away from Me" on the Last Day!

Money may be the mother's milk of politics and ecclesial-political movements, but I'd much rather have the milk of Mother Church, because she always gives the Savior...no matter how much money we must do without.

Randy Asburry said...

I'm sorry, some of those previous comments were directed toward "Anonymous," and I forgot to indicate when I switched my attention. Please forgive, and please read accordingly. Thanks!

chelly b said...

I just thought it was interesting that one of the last shows was..."Scientific & Philosophical Arguments in Defense
of the Human Embryo"
Dr. Christopher Tollefsen University of South Carolina

Randy Asburry said...

Ah, how poetic!

I also noticed that one of the last shows, on the last day or so of February, also dealt with church leaders who thrive on image and success over faithfully proclaiming the Gospel!

Anonymous said...

Re: "Whereas Wilken is fired a month or so after he says on air that he's tried to get the station to adhere to financial transparency but has been overruled from above."

Can anyone tell me the date Pastor Wilken said this? Thank you!
Joe Warnke

Randy Asburry said...

Joe,

I'm not aware of such a statement, especially on the air. And knowing Pr. Wilken, I really can't imagine he would say anything like that on the show.

Anonymous said...

I cannot remember or yet find the exact show, but it came as a response to a caller on the comment line. Issues had just done an "expose'" about how certain prominent TV preachers such as Joel Osteen do not submit their finances to a particular evangelical watch association. The caller, in a friendly and playful way, pointed out that KFUO ALSO did not participate in this. Pastor Wilken admitted the same and asserted that he had encouraged the management to do so. I am sorry that I cannot pin down more exactly the program. But it was probably within the last two months and, as I said, it was a part of his response to the caller comment line.
Roger B. James

Diana said...

Roger,

I remember something like that, but I can't remember exactly what Pastor Wilken's comment was. I can't say that I specifically remember him saying that he'd encouraged management to be more transparent regarding finances, but I do remember that conversation about the hidden finances of the megachurches and KFUO finances did come into it somehow.

Anonymous said...

What you're looking for is at

http://wittenbergtrail.ning.com/profile/ToddWilken

Audio tracks 6 & 7

It's all there...

Randy Asburry said...

Thanks, Roger, Diana, and "Anonymous," for setting me straight! ;-) I'll take a listen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you everyone for the information. Pastor Asburry, I too was surprised at the idea that he would talk about KFUO matters on the air. That's why I wanted more information. I will listen to the files.
Lord's Blessing through the Risen Christ!
Joe Warnke