* HISTORICAL VIGNETTES
This synod anniversary year we are running monthly “Historical Markings”–quotes from essays recounting the CLC’s origins.
The good suggestion has come to ‘give it a lighter side’ too. So an invitation has gone out on the synod e-mail posts. The invitation–which is intended for layfolk as well as clergy–is to submit informal musings or reminiscences which come to mind as evidence of the Lord’s grace and blessing in the early years of the CLC.
Dear reader, does something come to your mind in this regard? If so, please pass it along. Keep it short, please, up to 400 words max.
For thought starters:
1) What event(s) or piece(s) of our synod's early history come to mind? 2) Why does it come to mind? 3) How do you see that event or piece of history as especially meaningful for this young church body? 4) What blessing(s) do you see God had (has) in store for the CLC through this event or piece of history?
We look forward to your writings, and also sharing them with our readers. See masthead for the editor’s mailing address (snail or e-).
See the first such vignette in this issue.
* ‘HATE SPEECH’?(In a recent pastoral letter CLC President Daniel Fleischer, Corpus Christi, Tex., included the following observation and words of encouragement to his fellow pastors. On the same subject, see Pastor Fossum’s article ‘True Christians Or Average Politicians?’ in this issue.)
In our newspaper last week there was an article captioned: ‘Evangelism borders hate speech.’ Possibly others of you saw the same article in your newspaper. The article says: “There is no question that the First Amendment protects the free-speech of non-Christians and others who are offended by intolerant, narrow-minded Christians who proclaim that Jesus is the only savior [sic] for all humankind.” In reference to John 3:36 it is said: “It would be hard to imagine anyone making a more inflammatory statement than the one attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John.”
Of course, this kind of opposition to the Gospel is not new, but the boldness with which it is attacked is increasingly bolder, it seems. In the face of such attitudes we understand the necessity of being faithful and forthright in our preaching. In spite of such opposition, may we all have the spirit of Christ, “Who will have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Against veiled threats in our ‘inclusive’ society (a contradiction for sure as pertains to gospel free speech), we need to guard against a bunker mentality that withdraws for fear of reprisal. We serve our Lord Jesus and not the whims of society. As we preach, the Spirit of God still sees to it that the Word bears fruit. It is one of the great joys of the ministry to see how the Word which we preach succeeds in overcoming in many hearts the intense darkness that inhabits the world.
God help us to be faithful preachers that through us many hearts are comforted with the same comfort that is ours in Jesus Christ, the only Savior of mankind.
* RE: ‘A HISTORY OF THE CLC’ — 1978
When we gave the background for various essays recording the history of the CLC (cf. January 2000 issue), we indicated an uncertainty about the origin of this work. Since Prof. C. M. Gullerud, the essayist, refers to “you teachers” in his opening comments, we contacted the secretary of the CLC Teachers’ Conference (Karla Olmanson), and asked if she might check back over the minutes to shed some light. With her help, we report the following.
The October 1975 minutes state that “C. M. Gullerud presented a comprehensive history of the CLC.” While there is no indication that the presentation was an assignment of the conference, “it was suggested that the essay be duplicated and placed in the archives of the CLC as well as in the historical collection being compiled at ILC.” It also appears as though this lengthy essay was a work in progress (at least the reading of it), for the minutes continue: “A suggestion was made that this historical study be continued at our next conference….”
In turn, the November 1976 Teachers’ Conference minutes make this comment: “Professor C. M. Gullerud continued the paper he had begun last year entitled “History of the CLC.” After outlining how Gullerud’s essay was divided into four parts, the minutes go on: “A motion was made and seconded that we ask the CLC Bookhouse Board to consider publication of Professor Gullerud’s paper. When the authorization by the president of the synod was suggested before the paper be printed and sent out, the motion was withdrawn in favor of a second motion to adopt the paper and send a copy to President Albrecht to consider publication of it. The motion passed.”
The copy of the Gullerud essay we have on file (typewritten, mimeographed, appearing to be an “original”) is subtitled: Prof. C. M. Gullerud, 1978. So what is said in the Teachers’ Conference minutes that year? No reference at all is made to the Gullerud work (in 1978 or apparently in any future minutes). The 1978 minutes refer, however, to yet another essay on the subject: “Professor Michael Buck presented an essay on the history of the CLC.” A motion carried to accept the essay with thanks.
If nothing else, evidence is ample that–at least among the synod’s parochial teaching corps–it was felt time and effort should be taken to record for posterity what was involved in the formation of this new church body. Good for the teachers, for if any current generation is to convey to the rising one more than a superficial answer to the question “what mean these stones?” (cf. Joshua 4:21), the historical facts need to be on record.
Whatever else might be noted or yet discovered about the origin and ‘official’ disposition of the Gullerud essay, it remains the most thorough rehearsal of the birth and early history of the Church of the Lutheran Confession.