|If I knew Romans 4 was being used to promote world absolution in my synod,|
I will jump for the nearest exit.
The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The new issue of Christian News states that Pastor Herman Otten is moving ahead with a lawsuit against the LCMS, for denying him certification.
He was ordained by Louis Bright (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis) and others, but never certified.
He graduated from St. Louis in 1957 and will turn 80 in 2013.
Christian News began in 1962. Otten is a Bronze Age Missourian, one who believes that everyone should regard Walther as The Greatest Theologian Ever rather than as the Great Kidnapper, Thief, and Sex Cult Enforcer.
That is one of the problems today - getting beyond the mythology. No matter how dedicated the LCMS leadership is to mainline modernism, they are still heavily invested in teaching the divine nature of Walther.
I cannot pin down Otten's central beliefs. How does one boast about 50 years of publishing "Lutheran Orthodoxy" (really Midwestern Pietism) while selling and promoting a hate-filled, lying book against Luther - for Reformation? The Facts About Luther, by a Roman Catholic monseigneur, is not factual at all, not scholarly by any standard, and is just laughably bad. Yet Otten defended his utter lack of scruples by saying, "I sell to both sides of the issue." He did not answer my email to him, which is his complaint about LCMS officials. They do not condescend to answer his questions.
When Otten published his dubious list of Soldiers of Christ, he included at least two Roman Catholics. Why not the pope? Why not Thomas Merton and Cardinal Law? Archbishop Weakland belonged on that list, because he gave a highly promoted public lecture at Wisconsin Lutheran College (WELS, more or less).
World Salvation Without Faith
Universal Objective Justification (world salvation without faith) makes strange bed-fellows. Otten, Cascione, Jay Webber, Rolf Preus, Dan Preus, and Paul McCain are true Soldiers of UOJ. Nevertheless, they want to claim justification by faith as a feeble postscript to their precious dogma. But UOJ unites them with ELCA and all the left-wing mainline groups of the National Council of Churches - Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, and United Church of Christ.
UOJ is the great enabling dogma for Church Growth, cultured and spread from Fuller Seminary. Now the big names in Church Growth are going lavender too - big shock - Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, LCMS and WELS. For those who live in Fox Valley - lavender means taking a position opposite of the Word on homosexuality.
Christian News Is Not an Open Forum
Otten has two contradictory messages. One is - "Put all your information in my newspaper - don't start another Lutheran periodical."
If Lutherans object about being on his ever-expanding ban list, he responds, "Start your own newspaper."
Ironically, Christian News continues to spike (refuse to run) stories that might offend his primary markets (LCMS, WELS, ELS). If the story is too big, he buries in the back. When I was there, he was often on the phone with various synodical officials. He pulled a fax off the machine from John Johnson, plagiarist and Concordia St. Louis president. The LCMS rewards plagiarism!
So Otten has always kissed up to the Synodical Conference, and they are glad to use him for spin, but they are not going to give him what he really wants - approval.
Blogging might have been a way around this. I am glad for the timid, half-hearted efforts by Steadfast and Intrepid Lutherans. (They know how to use hyperbole!) But they have continued the Otten tradition of managed news.
If you want to play PR director to the synod president, at least get a salary for it.