21 March 2008


I've had numerous folks contact me, asking me to call them in regards to Issues, Etc. I am not trying to be rude, folks, but I will NOT be picking this matter up again until AFTER Easter. Pr. Wilken has told us what to do: go to church, receive Jesus' body and blood, celebrate the most important days in the history of the human race. What to do about Issues, Etc. can wait till Monday. A blessed Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Pascha to you all!


Anonymous said...

May I add to this, dear Brother?

I too, am being beseiged with calls. I need to ask that folks allow me to do what is most important to me right now and that is to be the Wilken family's pastor. My first and foremost duty is to them during this time. I need to let the rest of you be the activists for the time being. Thank you for your support of the Wilken and Schwarz families and as Pr. Wilken has admonished us...go to church...receive Jesus and celebrate the gifts God has given us.
Pr. Michael Kumm, Trinity, Millstadt

Virgil Hoffman said...

I would think there is no quicker way to lose momentum on something than to tell people, "I appreciate your concern but not now!" I think "Past Elder's" post on another thread was spot on. If the Confessional/Traditionalist crowd want to carry any weight on opposing this move by KFUO/Synod the last thing you can do right now is say, "It's Holy Week! We have more important things to worry about!" That is playing into their hands. I am sure the timing plays into why it was cancelled now and not, say, the 3rd Sunday after Trinity. If you allow the "timing" of this event to dictate your response, or lack thereof, you lose; they win!

Just my two cents!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hoffman,

I don't believe that is what Pr. Weedon and I are saying. He and I cannot be the activists at this time due to our pastoral duties of serving our congregation and being pastor to the Wilken and Schwarz families. I apologize, William, for attempting to speak for you, but I believe we both are as emphatic as anyone about acting to protest and make public this absolutely evil deed that has been done. But, in the process of all of this activity, each of us must not neglect the celebrations of this season and this most Holy week. Continue to march! Continue to worship! Continue to pray!
Pr. Kumm

Scott said...

Prs. Weedon and Kumm,

I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying. I respect Rev. Wilken even more for his attitude. People need to be directed to the cross at this time and receive the forgiveness of their sins and see that we are all guilty of putting him there.

I don't know what the overall approach to this situation is, but we must all remember that God might just have better plans for the both of them and allowed this mission to end when it did even though it appears to be the work of Satan.

Right now we are in a dark valley and we will miss our program, but we should also be prepared to see that God will do wonderful things through these men in due time.

Pray for them and their families during this Holy Week and the weeks beyond as well. The fight can resume next week, but for now see Jesus as he dies for you on the cross for your sins.

In Him,
Scott Strohkirch

Anonymous said...

Don't worry - there are enough of us united now.

This won't be dropped.

We need the grace we are going to receive over the next few days for the fight and activity that is still to come.

Pray for strength. Hear the Word.
Eat His Body and Blood.

This is the food we need for the journey ahead.

Rob Olson said...

It's hard to describe how much this has affected me. Issues, Etc. was much more than a radio program to me and my family. They helped us overcome serious spiritual abuse at the hands of Evangelicals. They were my seminary education for a guy whose current vocations keep me from Ft. Wayne. I am depressed not only about this, but because of the great evil that has been done to two fine men and to the cause of Christ's Gospel.

This afternoon, after our Good Friday service, I received my last Reformation Club book in the mail, so I just made Margaritas for my wife and me -- on Good Friday! I can't think much of anything else, so I have been praying for Jeff and Pr. Todd. I won't forget it, for I know what it is like to be in their shoes. Ten years ago something like it happened to me, as well. That is what led my wife to say yesterday that she hates churches. She has seen such hard-hearted maneuverers of spiritual idealogues in the past. I have, too. But by God's grace and due in large part to folks like Jeff and Pr. Todd, we can still say that we believe in the holy catholic church.

I would come down to St. Louis for a protest, but I'm a nobody. What about all of the men who were regular guests on Issues? Can't they join together and in unison declare that this deed was a great evil? Some, like the pastors of Jeff and Pr. Todd, have spoken, and I understand and respect their faithfulness to their flock during this Holy Week. But why shouldn't, for example, the next Life of the World be in honor of Issues, Etc., reviewing the program's history and honoring Jeff and Todd? Why shouldn't this be shouted from the roof tops?

I will at the very least double our Reformation Club giving and send it down to Hamel for my brothers and their families. But rather than doing things in the heat of emotion, I hope that all of those learned regular guests, you know, like the ones who sung the praise of Issues, Etc. at their ten year anniversary banquet, would together begin, like a freight train, to voice public protest and rebuke of the now apparent and geniune evil at the highest levels of synodical leadership. May they be like their hero Martin Luther. But I am not sure that is going to happen. (Sorry.)

Rob Olson
Beggars All: http://wittenbergtrail.ning.com/group/beggarsall
Hillsdale, MI
Zion Lutheran Church - Marshall, MI

WM Cwirla said...

A few thoughts from this confessional-traditionalist after our Tre Ore:

1. The doctrine of vocation ensures that as we worship or play there will be those who work.

2. No greater work can be done in these times than to preach the Word and hear it. Luther could rest and drink Wittenberg beer knowing the preached Word would triumph.

3. None of us is necessary or indispensable. The Church is a body of many diverse parts, each doing what he or she is given to do.

4. Urgency is the way of unbelief. Only the devil is in a hurry, for he knows his time is short.

5. There is divine wisdom in silence. From one of our readings this afternoon:

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him. The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him." (Lamentations 3:24-25)

The reading of the Lamentations was particularly insightful this year.

Past Elder said...

For clarity's sake --

in no way should my comments be construed as meaning anyone, clergy or lay, should in any way neglect or curtail what we would otherwise be doing this week.

That was not the point at all.

I'd say more, but it's time to head for Tenebrae.

WM Cwirla said...

Whew! Thank goodness.
Thought I was going to miss my poker game.

Anonymous said...

Mark of Brighton

God works through means. Through the waters of baptism, he brings a child to faith. I have often thought, though seldom heard it talked about, that when something bad happens, God works through the means of grace to salve a suffering soul.

At this time, for those who are hurting, there is no better place than Church where God can work through the means to grace to minister to His people.

Past Elder said...

Well, Tenebrae is long since over, so here's the more:

Nietzsche, the only philosopher worth reading, once said that all philosophy is autobiography. Then again, he also wrote that the philosopher is just the precondition, often the fertiliser and dung, for his thought. So here's the autobiography, fertiliser or, if it strikes you so, dung, attending the thoughts I express on the Issues Etc controversy in particular, and pretty much everything in general.

LCMS is the third church body I have been in or around which came to a war between those who held to its classic faith and those who thought that, in corporate terms, the product needed a make-over to sell.

In the first one, in which I grew up, the latter camp won, which due to its polity was largely within hierarchical circles with little real lay involvement. I left. The classic faith was banished, and some decades later allowed on a limited basis but only if one acknowleges the validity of the new product.

In the second one, which I was around for a time but did not join for other reasons, the same thing happened, in a different polity with no professional clergy, and the New Product side won. That church body now has another name altogether pushing its new product, and those who stood for what the former name represented left, among whose number I would be had I been able to accept its doctrine in the first place -- the former body destroyed.

And observing what is happening in all other denominations with any kind of history, the exact same battle lines seem to be drawn too, with the same result: the church body continues, but with a new product, those faithful to the old product either making the best of their increasing marginalisation or leaving.

With one exception, LCMS.

Watched carefully by those where I was in my first church body fashioning its new product, hoping the old repressive, patriarchal, mediaeval crowd would be overcome and LCMS get with it and get out of the Dark Ages, then so sad when Seminex ended as it did, LCMS being the only major denomination not to follow their lead into the abyss they thought was light.

For which LCMS remained the one hope that there might be something to Christianity after all. If I were ever to be Christian again, I'd be Missouri Synod Lutheran, as they seem to be the last ones left, I said.

And in time, by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit, it happened!

I'd post this under the testimonials to Issues, Etc., except it doesn't belong there. I've never heard so much as a single show. But I do know the way it which it has been the catalyst for a similar experience to so many other brothers and sisters in my faith. And that's what it's about. Not just Issues, Etc but the faith it so clearly presented and promoted so well. The faith for which it was canned. The faith that is not the new product, but the faith of Christ.

Silence implies consent. The only thing necessary for evil men to triumph is for good men to remain silent. Extra Biblical maxims, OK. But Paul was nothing less than clear about those who seek to deliver a faith other than the one delivered and other references most reading this blog well know. That's the best and only contruction there is, unless one wants the faith for which Issues, Etc and the Synod which backed it once stood to be found well out of sight in marginalised parishes or 800 am services if at all.

So yes, continue to worship, continue to pray -- and stick some extra clips in your gear because there's a war on and you don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

WM Cwirla said...

Locked and loaded.

Anonymous said...

Virgil Hoffman is no friend of the confessional movement in The LCMS. Just check out his posts over at the ALPB. He attacked confessional positions whenever he could, and his blog, which he took down, was one snarky attack after another.

Don't know who this "Virgil Hoffmann" guy is, no such listing in the town he claims to hail from, but he is not an ally, that's for sure.

Virgil Hoffman said...

Why would I have to be a friend of anyone or anything in order to make a general observation on tactics and principles?

Your friend,

dm42 said...


Pastors have an important task to do at this time. By all means, go to church and pray. The battle, after all, belongs to the Lord.

If your vocation calls you to be doing something specific, that is where you MUST spend your time. But if you find vocations have given you some spare time and there are no church services to attend, we all agree there is work to be done on this issue.

Pray for God's will to be done, then, consider how best we can use the resources God has given to us to make effective and lasting change in the current situation.

Anonymous said...


You are a perfidious little creep, there's the problem. You Ablazed! on to the Lutheran blogging scene, using a fake name, blasting with both guns Ablazing!, the nearly as quickly shut down your blog. You also popped on to the ALPB site, and attacked confessional pastors, like Pastor Paul McCain, took your shots, then slithered away. Now here you show up again sounding all interested and concerned.

It's not working "Virgil."


Virgil Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virgil Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Virgil Hoffman said...

I would simply like to note that while I did appear on the scene and then quickly leave at the ALPB site, it was for no other reason than I was not enjoying the interaction that was taking place. I expressed these sentiments privately to a certain poster who I disagreed with and to the moderators of the site (you can ask them if you don't believe me). That is why I stopped my involvement.

My blog? I deleted that because I was being harassed by a certain poster. I decided if that was what having a blog was about (being harassed by an anonymous poster) then I didn't need a blog.