Several members sent me Radio Silence by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway in the March 28 Wall Street Journal. Here is what troubles me: Why hasn’t either Schwarz or Wilken spoken out? I have looked everywhere I know of to find their story. No one reports it. I’ve heard they have agreed to say nothing in return for severance packages. I don’t know this to be true. I would like to know one way or the other. For family, financial, practical reasons they might have had little choice.
The article was right about this being part of the larger battle in the LCMS, and just like the last one – which this one is a continuation of – theological debate is not happening; political maneuvering is. This is because, in my opinion, property, money, and mammon mean more than doctrinal truth to the majority on both sides of the theology.
If you fight about doctrinal truth and error, then one side or the other must at some point walk away because “What fellowship can light have with darkness?” Neither side is willing to walk away from the name, the institution, the property, the “prestige” of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Hence, the fight is joined on the basis of politics not principles. Last time the politics was on our side. We won. The “losing” side stayed and bided their time till the politics changed. They have. The Zeitgeist of the world that produced and elected a Bill Clinton, the perfect political machine, has done so, and could not fail to do so, in a church of the world.
To which we can only say, Kyrie eleison. To which He says, “Here’s Water for your wounds; Body and Blood from My wounds; and Words of mercy that endure forever from My lips for your ears.”
Mollie Hemingway was recently interviewed on White Horse Inn:
http://www.whitehorseinn.org/newsevents.htm#issues (you can then click on FREE Audio Download near the top)
It seems, based on that interview, that they are weighing the decision. If they can figure a way not to take the severance, they won’t. This would allow them to say what they like, i.e. the truth. If they take the package, it’s silence forever. It’s especially troubling because it sounds like Mr. Schwartz’s wife has recently developed some serious medical conditions, Rev. Wilken has children, etc.
I would take Mrs. Hemingway’s words with more than a grain of salt as she used to be on the BoC herself.
Pres. Kieschnick wrote a response to the the Wall Street Journal article, printed as a Letter to the Editor. You can read it here:
He basically gives the same list of financial figures given out last week. What I don’t get is, if the decision was ultimately financial, why was the cancellation executed so suddenly? Why were the archived shows online removed? And why are Wilken and Schwartz apparently forbidden to speak on the matter?