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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

18 March 2008

Who Has Issues with Issues?

Todd WilkenThis 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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Anonymous Aiko said...

At one of the Goggled sites


It was posted "St. Paul made it clear that the cross is a scandal to the Jews," synodical officials said in a written statement. "And yet (host) Todd Wilken and (producer) Jeff Schwarz have insisted on making their program 'Christ-centered and cross-focused.'

"In a metropolitan area like St. Louis, with a large Jewish population, we have decided it's best to pull the show off the air. Even though we are a largely Gentile synod, it would be folly for us to allow such insensitivity to continue."

Read anything akin to this?

20 March, 2008 07:49  
Blogger Frank said...

Aiko, David at Horn+Swoggled is attempting to find some humor in a humorless situation.

20 March, 2008 09:11  
Anonymous Aiko said...


Was about to say: That was the most imaginative excuse the officials could come up with?


20 March, 2008 16:22  

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