From the Worldwide Faith News archives

LCMS President Kieschnick Issues Statement

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Mon, 03 Dec 2001 13:10:06 -0800

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
Board for Communication Services

LCMSNews -- No. 93
Dec. 3, 2001

Kieschnick issues statement

An LCMSNews release of Nov. 11 reported that Lutheran Church--Missouri 
Synod President Gerald B. Kieschnick has been charged by two clergy members 
of the Synod with allegedly violating synodical fellowship principles. 
Specifically, the two cite Dr. Kieschnick's support of a fellow LCMS 
leader's participation in a Sept. 11-related event at Yankee Stadium, and 
his own participation at another New York-area event, both involving prayer 
with people not in altar and pulpit fellowship with our denomination.

Dr. Kieschnick offers the following statement as a means of clarifying the
LCMS position on these matters.

The statement was originally released by David Strand, the Synod's director 
of public affairs.  For more information about this matter, contact Strand 
via e-mail at, or phone him at (314) 996-1229.


Recent discussion on Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod practices with respect 
to worship has resulted in confusion about the official position of the 
Synod regarding the participation of Missouri Synod Lutherans in events 
involving prayer or worship that includes the participation of

Our church body's national convention last summer approved a document that 
speaks of "civic events" where "pastors . . . are often asked to 
participate . . . offering prayers, speaking, and reading Scripture. . . 
."  The
convention noted that a pastor, guided by his own discretion, may choose to 
participate in such civic events so long as he is allowed to remain true to 
his faith and, if asked to pray, to do so in Christ's name.  Such 
occasions, after all, "may provide opportunity to witness to the 
Gospel."  What happened Sept. 23 at Yankee Stadium was such an event, and 
the Missouri Synod pastor who participated in it prayed in Christ's name.

The Missouri Synod does not forbid prayer with other Christians.  We have a 
long history of praying with and for other Christians.  However, we refrain 
from engaging in common prayer with those who do not recognize or accept 
Jesus Christ as true God.  For it is only through Jesus Christ that we can 
approach the true God.  We want to do nothing that would compromise the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ, such as suggesting through our actions that there 
are other gods than the Triune God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In all we say and do, we in The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod seek to
honor Jesus Christ and take every opportunity to give public witness to Him 
and to share the good news that through faith in Him, we have the free gift 
of eternal life with God.

Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
St. Louis


LCMSNews is published by the News and Information Division, Board for 
Communication Services, of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Free 
subscriptions to this service are available by sending an electronic mail 
message to, containing only the words SUBSCRIBE 
LCMSNEWS in the body of the message. To unsubscribe, send only the message 
UNSUBSCRIBE LCMSNEWS to the same mailserv address. For more information 
regarding this news release, contact David Strand, the Synod's director of 
public affairs, via e-mail at, of phone (314) 996-1229.


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