The December Letter to the Editor (below) titled “Wake Up Call” was so sad to see. The confilct between the beliefs of the Masons and LCMS are clear. What is also clear is Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:15-17. Has this man been privately apporached to discuss the conflict between the Masons and LCMS? Do we know if this man is a new beliver who is unaware of this conflict? Unless Jesus’ directions had been executed, why would anyone be so eager to cast judgement? Let’s not forget that we are to reach out and that often it is simply a matter of instruction. Please make sure the Gospel is properly shared before he is “treated as a pagan”.
The Q & A selection in the October Lutheran Witness should serve as a wake-up call to our entire Synod. The letter-writer indicated that an elder in his or her congregation was a Mason, and even wore his Masonic ring as he assisted in the distribution of Holy Communion. In apparent reference to whether one may be a Mason and a member of one of our congregations, the question was offered, “Have the rules changed?”
The answer concluded with the statement, “This issue may also raise questions about the tolerance of false teaching in our midst, pastoral practice, and congregational discipline.” To say the least!
While different situations must sometimes be dealt with in different manners or at different paces, the blatancy of the episode described is obvious. While we of course must emphasize the Gospel, there is a time to apply the Law as well, and if we as Synod, pastors, and congregations cannot ever do this, what will become of the Gospel itself?
It’s about time that we as a Synod, and its members, quit making excuses for failing to assert the Law when necessary and start working together to, slowly but surely, eliminate such flagrant violations of our doctrine and practice, so that, Lord willing, those caught up might come to true repentance and restoration. In order for this to work, it will take the cooperation of every last one of our congregations and pastors, so those who wish to continue false practice (in this case, being a Mason and an LCMS congregation member at the same time) will not be able to do so simply by “running to the next town” and joining the congregation there.
While we’re at it, may I suggest ascertaining that one transferring into your congregation is not a lodge member. I ask this of those transferring to the congregation I serve.
Are we as a Synod really walking together? If not, let’s do it! If so, let’s show it!
Rev. Paul E. Gramit
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