Annual Report - Immanuel, Cedar Lake
Dear Friends in Christ,
We have come to a time when much that will affect us is not in our control. We are increasingly seeing false doctrine and even occult practices coming from official synodical sources without consequence. We have seen, in recent months, tacit promotion of women’s ordination. We have seen advocacy of centering prayer other mystical practices.
What can Immanuel, Cedar Lake do to stop such things? Nothing. This is not in our power. What are we to do than? Watch and wait. Educate ourselves. Pray that positive, scriptural changes would come. And perhaps, if necessary, change affiliation. If it comes to that, Immanuel, Cedar Lake will not be making such a move alone. It will be part of a major exodus, such as is happening in the ELCA.
How did we get here? By not understanding what was happening in the 1970's “battle for the Bible.” In 1970 there were two competing theologies in the LCMS that were both, to some degree wrong. The liberals saw themselves as the corrective for the pietistic, legalistic, elements of old Missourian theology. By 1975 the old Missourians had won, in theory, but they had little to offer, other than a flat, dead, pedantic theology. Thus there was a vacuum. Something had to fill that vacuum. Some turned to historic Lutheran confessionalism. But many turned to non Lutheran models. We had a huge influx of pop evangelical thinking. In other words we had a huge influx of false teaching. The liberal professors had so gutted the seminary programs academically, especially at St. Louise which trains about two thirds of our pastors, many were not equipped to see the dangers. Many of our pastors didn’t have the knowledge or skill to see the dangers of bringing in foreign theology.
Further, an absolute desire to preserve the outward institution on the part of the bureaucracy made it impossible to actually hold any of this in check. In fact the bureaucracy often lashed out at those speaking the truth about the dangerous waters we were entering.
So now we have a mess. We must study. We must know. We must confess. That is all we can do. But this we must do. And so there is the rub. We wait to see this play out. The LCMS is not dead yet. But it is seriously ill. The question remains if we are going to apply the pure medicine of the Scriptures and the Lutheran confessions or swallow even more Fullerite/pop evangelical poison. No matter what, we, at Immanuel, must drink at the pure font of Word and Sacrament. We must confess, with our words and actions. But for the moment, we must wait.
Rev. Jody R. Walter