30 June 2008
The New Issues, Etc. - A Class Act!
On March 18, 2008, bureaucrats of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod coldly canceled Issues, Etc. and fired Rev. Todd Wilken and Mr. Jeff Schwarz.
Today, June 30, 2008, Wilken, Schwarz, their advocates and their listeners have returned. "The boys are back in town"! And what a class act the first hour has been! (I write this as hour #2 - 4:00-5:00 p.m. CDT gets underway.)
What made hour #1 a "class act"? The reflections on their unexpected yet much appreciated "spring break," thanks to the powers-that-be of the LCMS. (I'm so tempted to write "LCMess," but I will refrain. :-) Not only does the label "spring break" put a most civil light on the past three months, beginning with their unexpected firing and cancellation, but it shows what folks focusing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do: put the best construction on things, even when those things personally hurt, even when those things show the full measure of human sin.
Schwarz referred to the pastoral counsel that he had received from Genesis 50, the story of Joseph forgiving his brothers. What an excellent note to strike in this first, back from the dust, retooling - resurrected - hour of Issues, Etc. I hope that note of forgiveness will work to warm the chilly atmosphere that surrounds the LCMS bureaucracy in their lurch away from the confessing, liturgical life of the Church.
Let no one say that Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz are speaking with the flavor of sour grapes in their mouths. Let no one say that any kind of vengeance or bitterness comes through in their words. No, it's back to, well, the issues - theological, ecclesiastical, political, cultural, etc. - and the issues informed and addressed by the worldview of Jesus Christ, His Gospel, His Church, and our life in His forgiveness and salvation.
Well done, Todd and Jeff! Thanks for the lively bump music, for the notes of thanks, for reading the names from the online petition (I guess I'll have to go back and see what number I was so I know when to hear my name on the airwaves. ;-). I especially like the part about "the boys are back in town," though I will put in my plea to lose the one liner about the toilet seats being up. Not quite the picture I wanted in my mind, and the only speck of dust on the otherwise class act of hour #1. (You guys did say you're big boys! :-)
The Lord bless you and keep you.