The acute controversy in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is here confronted with admirable candor by the president of the communion. The text is taken from the report of the president to the forty-ninth convention of the Synod, held this past summer in Milwaukee.

God’s Word says: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:12, 13).

As Paul points out, the message of the cross must be preached in all its purity, for the church’s message is not the message of man or the wisdom of man, but the wisdom and the oracles of God. Therefore we can never become indifferent to the doctrine which is taught in our schools and proclaimed from our pulpits. We cannot act as if truth and falsehood are the same, or as if truth is only relative and can never be stated correctly and categorically. We simply must be and remain concerned about pure doctrine.

It is no secret that in our time we have certain doctrinal problems within our church. A person would have to be blind to deny it. On the one hand it can be pointed out that doctrinal controversy is the sign of a living and concerned church. It can also be said that no church is ever totally free of doctrinal controversy. Yet as Paul says, “Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1). As church leaders, we are all stewards of this Word and must constantly strive for faithfulness to it.

As we consider this matter which has received so much attention in the overtures ...

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