March 8, 2007
An Open Letter to Bishop Ray Schultz
With great interest I read your column in the Canada Lutheran, March 2007, in which you express your concern for the unity of our Church by stating, “As you begin to receive pre-convention propaganda threatening to divide this church”.
I very much share that concern with you.
There once was a man, who after being married for twenty years, began to flirt with another woman. But his wife stood up to him and said, “If you mess around with another woman, I will ask for a divorce”. And he became very angry with her and said, “You will be responsible for splitting up our marriage!”
Who is splitting the ELCIC?
I believe what I believed twenty years ago at the time of the merger when the ELCIC was formed. I fully affirm our constitution. I am in full agreement with our Social Statement on Sex, Marriage and the Family (1970). I understand the Bible the way Martin Luther and the Reformers understood and explained it in the Book of Concord of 1580.
I confess “the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God, through which God still speaks, and as the only source of the Church’s doctrine and the authoritative standard for the faith and life of the Church”. ( ELCIC Constitution, Article II, Section 3)
We even have a Here We Stand movement of lay people in our ELC IC who stand up for what they believe and dare to say so publicly.
There are also those in our ELCIC who are very enthusiastic about an “emerging theology”. They “mess around” with a Revisionist Theology based on a “New Hermeneutics”. They get very angry with us “Traditionalists” or “Conservatives”. They want to discredit and silence the voices of those who still believe what they believed twenty years ago.
People in our church are free to change their theology and their understanding of Scriptures, but they do not have the constitutional right to silence the voices of those who believe what they believed at the time the ELCIC was formed.
Again, please, tell me who is dividing the ELCIC?
Pastor Dr. Lothar Schwabe
Sherwood Park, Alberta