Issues with Issues, Etc.

I  write supportive of Issues, Etc.  I will support my congregation funding Issues, Etc.  “resurrection” in Pirate Christian Radio as much as the crew of the Black Pearl supported rescuing Captain Jack Sparrow from the nether world.   What provokes me to write is Rev. Todd Wilken’s bold assertion on the web page announcing the new endeavor that they are picking up where they left off “and truly independent, free to speak, no holds barred.”

   Two things:  1)  This means they weren’t truly independent, free to speak, with no holds barred last time.  Ergo, they spoke as much of “the whole counsel of God” as much as “all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” as they could.  No, pastor could take a Call to a congregation if it placed such restrictions on his speaking.  2)  Every Call, every “ministry,” every venue for speaking does have such implicit restrictions even this new “Lutheran Public Radio.”  3)  If we weren’t getting “no holds barred” Lutheran radio last time, why should we think we’ll get it this time?

   Again, I write supportively.  I will support this new endeavor, yet we who claim to see so clearly the sins of the Bronze Age are apparently blind to the fact that we are under full sail to the same netherworld we have not been able to rescue them from.

  To the Bronze Age LCMS the marks of the church are Lutheran Layman’s League, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, and Aid Association for Lutherans.  Where those are, there you find church.  Whatever else you might find going on – open Communion, contemporary worship, Baptist evangelism – doesn’t matter as long as you have those three marks.

  With us post-Bronze Agers – that would make us Iron Agers – the marks of the church are Higher Things, Issues, Etc. and LCMS World Relief.  Whatever else might be going on – limiting the order of creation so as not to offend modern women, interpreting the Bible so as not to offend postmodern sensibilities (whatever those might be), or barring some holds so as not to offend the LCMS powers that be – doesn’t matter as long as you have those three marks.

  Ever age has her movements, her moments, and her monuments.  These will be good, bad, and ugly all at the same time.  However, since they are of this age, even though they serve the next, they need, they must pass away.  When they don’t, their main mission becomes to perpetuate self, and so they end up serving those who run them but are kept afloat by the rest of us who have been taught that if these organizations sink we all drown.  And that right there is the dead giveaway.  The real Church, the true Church, the Body of Christ, keeps us afloat not we Her.

  So as faithful members of the Black Pearl let’s resurrect Captain Jack Sparrow At World’s End, but let us not believe it is the end of the world, let alone the Church, if we fail.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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One Response to Issues with Issues, Etc.

  1. Weslie Odom says:

    This is a great insight about the “marks of the church”.

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