That is the title of a papal bull of 1460. Its name comes from the opening word of the Latin text declaring it “execrable” to appeal to a council concerning a papal ruling.  No confessional Lutheran is a Catholic, big “C” but we are Execrabilis. Any pastor or congregation that appeals to the Word of God above a convention, the CTCR, Commission on Constitutional Matter, or the College of Cardinals, a.k.a the Council of Presidents, is ipso facto if not a heretic at least off the reservation.

The LCMS (Lutheran Church Melanchthon Synod) has been in fellowship with a church body, the Association of American Lutheran Churches that by the biblical definition of fellowship – participating in a common confession – we can’t be in. Resolutions were submitted to rectify this unfaithfulness. What happened? Cue the crickets.

We in effect declared fellowship without confessional lutheranizing them. This was the opposite error of General Patton. On September 22, 1945 Patton told reporters “that he does not see the need for ‘this denazification thing’ and compares the controversy over Nazism to a ‘Democratic and Republican election fight’” (This Day in History, A &E Television Network calendar, 2012).

No, I am not calling the AALC Nazis. What I am saying is that continuing to be bound to an un-confessional Lutheran church without lutheranizing them is as wrong as not denazifying post-WW II Germany. President Kieschnick, by an allowed presidential fiat, declared fellowship with the AALC who had broken fellowship with the baby-killing, gay-marrying ELCA over the issue of gay clergy in particular and perhaps homosexuality in general. But closed Communion remains anathema to them. Ask one of their pastors, and step back. Prepare to be excoriated and execrated, but oddly enough, not excommunicated

If the whole denazifying thing hasn’t offended you, let me digress. During the turbulent 1968 Republican convention, Senator Barry Goldwater was asked about bringing the left-leaning Republicans in from the cold after they had trashed him when he was the Republican nominee of 1964. He said that “while he personally had no objection to a couple of whores rejoining the church, he did hate like hell to see them leading the choir the first night” (The Greatest Comeback, 47).

No, I’m not calling the AALC prostitutes. Does anyone recall the 1998 Synodical Convention – in the nascent days of the internet – when a parish pastor was called on from the convention floor to repent for comparing district presidents on the infamous CAT 44 site to Absalom sleeping with his father’s concubines on the palace roof?

You just can’t do that, and he was made to give a formal, and I believe written, apology, but you can prostitute our doctrine of fellowship and go on leading the Synod threatening anyone who dare disagree with Execrabilis. Actually, it’s worse than that. They just ignore you, and go on comforting, really searing, their consciences with such bromides as: “These things take time.” As if light can have fellowship with darkness for a time, as if Christ can with Belial [i.e. the devil, see GWN, GW, AAT] for a while.

In the words of Ronald Reagan. “There I go again.” Or for you millennials, Brittney Spears, “Oops, I did it again.”

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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