On Wednesday, May 27, 2009, WELS President Mark Schroeder appeared on the popular Lutheran radio program Issues, Etc.™ to discuss the state of Lutheranism in America.
Subtopics of the conversation included:
- What does it mean to be Lutheran?
- The differences between the LCMS and the WELS,
- The church growth movement, and
- The possibility of a realignment of Lutheranism.
Click here to download the Issues, Etc. sound clip.
Here are some excerpts from the interview: “How has Pop American Christianity and Evangelicalism in general influenced the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod?” (34:00).
There is always going to be a temptation on the part of sinful human beings like us, who take seriously our desire to preach and proclaim the gospel & to share the good news of Jesus, to find ways to make that happen more effectively. [However], we have to understand that the faithful proclamation of law and gospel is quite simply never going to be popular.
When you preach God’s law in the way that God has given it to us, it’s not going to make me feel good. It’s going to slay me. And when you preach the gospel, it’s going to be nothing but foolishness to those who are perishing. [1 Corinthians 1:18].
So even though the temptation is always going to be there to try to bridge to the culture, and find ways to relate to people and make the gospel more palatable, more acceptable; you have to remember that if you do that, you will tend not to have the gospel anymore because you will have changed it.
“Is there a potential for a real realignment of Confessional Lutheranism in America?” (37:00).
Just as important as it is for us to be able to identify false doctrine and separate, it is also just as much our responsibility to find where there is agreement and celebrate that and establish that where possible.
A True Under-Shepherd
In a world where many “pastors” behave like CEOs and treat their members like employees, Pastor Schroeder is a breath of fresh air. I believe that President Schroeder has a true pastor’s heart, and that God is using him to bless the WELS.