Who Has Issues with Issues?
This afternoon, I learned that the popular Lutheran theology radio and internet program Issues Etc. was summarily canceled by someone within the halls of power in The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. After checking my facts, I sat down to write this letter. I directed it to the director of the LCMS Communications department and sent a copy to Synod’s Board of Directors.
Let me add my voice to the growing chorus of dissent at the abrupt termination of Issues Etc. and the subsequent termination of Pastor Todd Wilken and Mr. Jeff Schwarz. IE was the only KFUO program to which I regularly listened, since it never talked down to its listeners nor ignored fidelity to Scripture and Confessions. For these reasons and others, I jokingly called it “Lutheran radio for the big kids.” Indeed, IE was my favorite program from any radio station in any format. IE was also the main reason why I sent an occasional gift to KFUO-AM — and you can be certain that such giving has been terminated just as abruptly.
The lack of explanation is almost as disheartening as was the sudden ending of my favorite radio program. Since it appears that IE was canceled before Wilken and Schwarz lost their jobs, I must assume that this in no way was the result of any immoral or irreligious speech or behavior on either of these gentlemen’s parts. If this is so, then why was there not a full explanation given at KFUO.org (which, by the way links to a kfuoam.org page that won't load)? I’m also very upset that I cannot directly access the print and audio archives of IE and hope that they'll not disappear as abruptly as did the program.
Obviously, whatever market research was done has failed to take into account many listeners around this nation and worldwide. In the past few hours, Google’s blog search is already returning negative commentary and most Lutheran bloggers probably haven’t even had time to learn the news, let alone make comment.
Likewise, the pan-Lutheran Wittenberg Trail site is weighing in strongly against today’s events. They begin by saying, “Today’s a black day in the LCMS.” Perhaps more embarrassing for members of the LCMS, especially any who helping in making and carrying out this decision, Wittenberg Trail now hosts a special PayPal and credit card link “to offer financial support to Pastor Wilken, Jeff Schwarz and their families.”
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