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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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LCMS 9/11 conflict continues

Lutheran Hour Ministries removed its speaker, Wallace Schulz, the second vice president for the Lutheran Church­Missouri Synod, in July because he wouldn't agree to the radio ministry's stipulations.

Wary of negative reactions from listeners, LHM had asked Schulz to recuse himself from judging charges brought against Atlantic District President David Benke for his participation in a Sept. 11-related interfaith event last year at Yankee Stadium.

Schulz didn't recuse himself and suspended Benke for "syncretism," or mixing Christian and non-Christian beliefs.

On Aug. 15, the LCMS Board of Directors released a statement, "Let All Be Done Decently And In Order," saying that LCMS President Gerald Kieschnick and the Board for Communication Services had committed "serious infractions" related to publicity in the Benke case. The board had earlier placed a gag order on all involved--even the church's press.

Kieschnick, also a board member, responded by releasing an Aug. 18 statement, asking the directors to reconsider their resolution. Kieschnick said the LCMS constitution gives him supervision over "doctrine and the administration" of all church officers. He said the board's resolution violates "the very bylaw it purports to uphold" and will "further contribute to the lack of harmony" in the LCMS.

Both statements are available at www.lcms.org.



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