Rev. Lutheran – Closing Argument

Closing Argument [Release Version]

Introduction

I am tempted to call this a trial — and so it is, after a fashion — except we were given no adequate warning, no supporting documents, no rules or procedures according to which this matter was to be conducted. In fact, Rev. Lutheran was not even told by who m he was being accused. The accusers make reference to the fascistic, and yet here we stand in a secret trial, conducted in accordance with secret procedures, accused by anonymous informants, and called to answer charges based on secret documents. To call the conduct of this matter thus far "fascistic" would be to betray a glaring hole in one’s education; these are not fascistic proceedings, but Totalitarian. The Totalitarianism is made only the more clear by the charges of which Rev. Lutheran stands accused. What is the central charge against Rev. Lutheran? It is wrongthink.

Even if the most egregious accusations against Rev. Lutheran are taken in the most egregious and least charitable light — something that should surely call to mind the admonitions of the Catechisms — then we are still left with him espousing views that were standard in the West until only very recently — and that still prevail in much of the world.

Who are we to — in flagrant disregard of the Fourth Commandment — condemn and denigrate virtually all of our ancestors? Are we to summarily conclude — and on what evidence? — that we are so much more enlightened and godly than those who came before us that we are right and just where they were wrong and evil? If Rev. Lutheran stands with his ancestors — godly Christian men — and the accusers denigrate theirs, which position, I dare ask, appears more Christian, more consonant with Scripture? But there is nothing new under the sun, and those who would call themselves wise and their forebears fools speak not from wisdom but from pride — the superbia that cast Satan from Heaven and will just as surely cast men into Hell.

But let us go through the charges.

Part I: The Charges

Introduction

Rev. Lutheran stands accused of, first, ‘visceral contempt for Jews and non-Whites’, second, a murderous hatred of law-enforcement officials (and their wives), third, ‘disdain for those in ecclesiastical authority’, and, fourth, ’embracing Fascism and White Supremacy’. (There is also the matter of the fraternity, which I will treat as point b under accusation 3.) Let us take each accusation in turn.

1. Visceral Contempt for Jews and Non-Whites

To contend that Rev. Lutheran has a "visceral contempt" for non-Whites (I see no compelling reason to continue to list Jews separately), the accusers mean to say that Rev. Lutheran believes non-Whites to be ‘beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving of scorn’. Does the evidence bear out this claim?

Rev. Lutheran wishes — earnestly — for each ethnic group to have its own homeland, to live peaceably with neighbors, to enjoy prosperity, and — most importantly — to know Christ and Him crucified. Does this sound like ‘contempt’? Rev. Lutheran is accused of preferring his own to the distant stranger. Is this sinful or wrong? Faced with saving any one of you or one of my nephews, I would save my nephew — and that would be the moral choice. I should hope that any one of you would make the same choice as between me and a member of your immediate family. Are we to condemn ourselves for this preference, for this prejudice? Certainly not, but why?

We owe a greater duty to those closer to us, as the apostle testifies: Those who do not care for their own family have forsaken the Faith. We have examined the Decalogue — the duties radiate outward, each encompassing a wider set, but the earlier are the greater — the higher duties flow to those closer. Rev. Lutheran is merely acting in accordance with what God commands.

But back to the definition of contempt: beneath consideration, worthless, deserving of scorn. Rev. Lutheran has testified to the imago Dei, which he says is present in all men (we will leave aside the technical theological considerations, as they are not our proper focus here). In fact, Rev. Lutheran has confirmed that all men were originally made in the image of God; he has affirmed that all men are equal before the Throne with regard to salvation; and he has affirmed that all men are in equal need of a Savior. This is Lutheran orthodoxy — let any man who denies it be anathema.

Would anyone here contend that those who are made in the image of God are beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving of scorn? Rev. Lutheran has not done so, and yet he is falsely accused of having done so.

Further, Rev. Lutheran has affirmed that the holy, precious blood of Christ was shed for all men. Would anyone here contend that those for whom the holy, precious blood of Christ has been shed are beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving of scorn? Rev. Lutheran has not done so, and yet he is falsely accused of having done so.

The first accusation is not merely wrong, but patently false — even ridiculous. It at least verges upon the defamatory.

2. Death of Law Enforcement or Harm to Their Wives

I must confess, initially, that I am loath even to address this accusation. If I were to ask any member of the panel when he stopped beating his wife, he would rightly respond with indignation. So I must note Rev. Lutheran’s indignation at this accusation, at this bald-faced lie. I would also note my indignation on his behalf. How dare the accusers of the brethren advance this charge? What depth of depravity and callousness of soul is necessary to not merely advance, but to advance in a Church proceeding, such defamation, such calumny, such character assassination? I wonder at what point the boldness of the accusers would end, but I pray never to have an answer. Do men no longer fear to incur the displeasure of the one true Judge? Do we now find ourselves sinking so low that men advance wild charges without even a modicum of warrant? But I digress. Let us examine the supposed ‘evidence’.

We are told that Rev. Lutheran has called for the murder of law-enforcement officers and the rape of their wives. My brother-in-law is a police officer, which clearly means my sister is his wife. Do you believe for half a second that I would be standing here if Rev. Lutheran had made any such claims as those of which he now stands accused? I assure you that I would not. Upon my soul I swear I would join in condemning any man who made such a claim.

And so, you may ask: What do I do with the words of Rev. Lutheran’s friend? I recognize them for what they are: hyperbole. We all recognize what hyperbole is. The man who says he ‘could eat a cow’ does not mean he could literally eat hundreds of pounds of meat. Traffic is not interminable, lines are not endless, and few things cost arm or leg. I advance that not one man here in this room has refrained from hyperbole. This should come as no surprise, as God Himself employs hyperbole: ‘I will make your offspring as numerous as the sand of the seashore and the stars of the heavens.’ Did God fulfill this promise? Scripture teaches that He did.

How many grains of sand are there on Earth? Approximately 7.5 x 10^18 (a virtually incomprehensible number). How many stars in the heavens? One hundred to four hundred billion in our galaxy alone; somewhere between 3 and 7 x 10^22 in the Universe. Does anyone know how many humans have ever lived? At the absolute most fewer than one hundred billion (and probably far fewer than that) — a far cry from the sand and the stars. And yet the inerrant Word of God says that the Israelites were so numerous. God employs hyperbole and so do men.

We may take issue with these comments; we may find his rhetoric distasteful, but we must not lose sight of two things: 1) his comments were, indeed, rhetoric and 2) Rev. Lutheran’s friend is not Rev. Lutheran.

It is a neat trick the accusers attempt to pull: They attack something Rev. Lutheran’s friend has said and then attempt to attribute it (notably, pursuant to a patently false interpretation, pursuant to eisegesis) to Rev. Lutheran. Are we now to hold men guilty for everything said by all of their acquaintances? Who among us would be found innocent under such a standard? Every man ever to live would surely be guilty. It is not justice to convict a man upon the presentation of words he never spoke. And we must be completely clear, here: The accusers have not advanced that Rev. Lutheran ever spoke any such words as those contained in the second accusation, which is to say that, even if the interpretation of the accusers were accurate (and it has been demonstrated that it is not), then Rev. Lutheran would still be innocent as he did not speak or affirm the words.

Guilt by association is not a proper standard in any tribunal, and is exceptionally unbecoming in a Church proceeding where we must bear in mind the Eighth Commandment. Shall we condemn those who minister to tax collectors and prostitutes? Is it sin to dine with sinners?

In closing this section regarding the second accusation, I reiterate that this charge is, in virtually equal measure, loathsome, defamatory, and ridiculous. The accusers insult all present, but particularly this panel, its members, and Rev. Lutheran, by advancing such an accusation. If it is within the power of this panel, I move to censure the accusers for the clear malice that underlies this patently false and defamatory accusation.

3. Disdain for Those in Ecclesiastical Authority

Unless the mushrooms I ate last night with dinner were falsely advertised, then Rev. Lutheran is presently sitting right there. I am forced to wonder whether a man with ‘disdain for those in ecclesiastical authority’ would willingly submit himself to these proceedings. More: Rev. Lutheran has submitted himself, his family, and his congregation to measures that are at least onerous.

To our great shame, pastors are not well compensated; everyone here is undoubtedly well aware of this fact. Rev. Lutheran has been burdened with a cost of (significantly) more than ten thousand dollars in complying with the demands of this tribunal. Although we will, here, forego discussing the reasonableness of this process, it suffices to say that the burden on Rev. Lutheran has been immense. The overwhelming majority of Americans would not be able to come even close to bearing such costs. It is due only to his prudent management of the resources given him by God that Rev. Lutheran was even able to be here today, and to mount a defense.

Furthermore, I would be remiss if I did not mention the extreme burden of these proceedings on Rev. Lutheran’s family — both economically and emotionally —, his congregation, and his (former) pastor. Rev. Lutheran has a wife and two young children — God has blessed him with two sons. The money that has gone to these proceedings could have undoubtedly done much good for Rev. Lutheran’s family. Similarly, there has been a substantial burden placed upon Rev. Lutheran’s congregation and his former pastor. The accusers have brought these unfounded charges with total disregard for those who have now been harmed: a household has been depleted of savings, a wife has been deprived of her husband, children have been deprived of their father, a congregation has been deprived of its shepherd, and a retired pastor (a man suffering from a degenerative disease) has been denied his rightful and earned rest. And all this on the basis of what amounts to guilt by association; naked, unsubstantiated hearsay; and malicious rumor.

But why do I reiterate these facts? Because they highlight the ridiculousness of the third accusation. Rev. Lutheran has complied with the demands of and submitted to the authority of ecclesiastical authorities at great personal cost. His very presence here is sufficient refutation of the third accusation, but let us not settle for the merely sufficient.

Are we not Lutherans? Do we not reject blind adherence and submission to ecclesiastical powers? Surely, if I, as an LCMS Lutheran, can say such things, then they must hold here in this synod. To be clear, Rev. Lutheran neither rejects nor questions the propriety of hierarchy and ecclesiastical authority — surely no one here would do so, for we all affirm the propriety of proper order in the Church. However, to recognize rightful authority is not to blindly follow any and all pronouncements — if that were the case, we should all be papists and not Lutherans.

It is right, good, and salutary to correct brothers when they err — even those brothers who are superior to us in authority. In the left-hand kingdom, we have the doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate. In the right-hand Kingdom, we find a similar doctrine with regard to how we approach our brothers.

Rev. Lutheran’s accusers have attacked him for not addressing certain matters privately. They would have a point had they not missed a key issue: The matters Rev. Lutheran has address publicly are all public matters. Public matters are rightfully publicly addressed. If we were here with Rev. Lutheran standing accused of airing private matters publicly, then the accusers would have a point. But that is not the case. Rev. Lutheran is accused of critiquing a certain public theologian’s teaching from YouTube — the Internet can hardly be characterized as private. The same holds true of the letter to Rev. Harrison (which was actually sent as a private letter, although the matter being public the letter could also have been public); Rev. Lutheran was responding to an article Rev. Harrison published on the main LCMS website — it is a decidedly public matter. I also sent Rev. Harrison a letter, and I copied all of the Vice Presidents on that letter. Public transgressions demand public correction, public rebuke; to do anything less would be to endanger all those souls who would otherwise read and believe such error.

In the words of Luther from the Large Catechism:

"[W]here the sin is quite public, so that the judge and everybody know about it, you can without any sin shun the offender and let him go his own way, because he has brought himself into disgrace. You may also publicly testify about him. For when a matter is public in the daylight, there can be no slandering or false judging or testifying. It is like when we now rebuke the pope with his doctrine, which is publicly set forth in books and proclaimed in all the world. Where the sin is public, the rebuke also must be public, that everyone may learn to guard against it."

We are not dealing in some minor matter, here, where concerns of gentility or civility should trump — we are dealing with the salvation of souls. To be blunt: The aforementioned public theologian’s personal sentiments or feelings do not trump the vital importance of sound doctrine and right teaching. I should hope that we are all agreed that truth must be our primary, our paramount, our ultimate concern. To paraphrase and reapply an axiom to which I trust we all hold: Praevaleat veritas ruat caelum — let the truth prevail though the heavens fall.

3b. The Fraternity

At my previous church in California, I taught a Sunday school class — to ensure I am clear: It was a class for adults. Before COVID, et cetera, turned matters into a circus that continues to add rings, we were going through Genesis. I had not only the permission, but the blessing, of one of my pastors to teach the class. Unless he did so secretly at some point, he did not obtain permission from the regional VP or from Rev. Harrison for me to teach that class. Why would he? We in the LCMS are, as you in this synod are, congregationalist in our polity. The local congregation possesses a degree of autonomy. Although even in the most bureaucratic church polities, I doubt high-level approval is necessary for the teaching of a Sunday school class. And yet Rev. Lutheran stands accused of starting a para-church organization without approval. Would Rev. Lutheran be required to notify his superiors if he wished to start a bowling league?

For the life of me, I cannot get past one of the lines in this section of the charging document: "manipulate the local congregation through good works." Allow me to read that again: "manipulate the local congregation through good works." The accusers condemn Rev. Lutheran for encouraging young men to become active members of their congregations and serve their fellow man. When I first read the charging document, I thought that surely the second charge was the most ridiculous — I was wrong. I had — theretofore — never heard a Christian condemn a fellow Christian for encouraging or for performing good works, and yet here we are. Rev. Lutheran calls upon young men to perform good works — exhortation, a sure task of the pastor — and the accusers condemn him for this. I am surprised they have not also condemned him for doing good works on the Sabbath.

Additionally, they accuse Rev. Lutheran of forming a fraternity with "no oversight or accountability to local pastors". Let us review what this fraternity is and is not. The fraternity is organized — insofar as it is organized at all — at the congregation level. Rev. Lutheran is said to be the leader of the fraternity, and let us presume that he is, but what authority does he actually have? Does he know the names of those who have joined the organization? Is there a membership list? Are there dues? Does Rev. Lutheran have any disciplinary powers? I could continue but the answer to these and all similar questions is: No.

Who does have authority over these young men? The very same locally called pastors that the accusers say Rev. Lutheran is attempting to usurp. If Rev. Lutheran were attempting to subvert or usurp, telling young men to become active, loyal, and steadfast members of their local congregations is a very odd way to do so. Rather than rejecting oversight and accountability to locally called pastors as the accusers advance, Rev. Lutheran is encouraging submission to proper authorities.

If, in the alternative, the adversaries were to accuse Rev. Lutheran of encouraging the laity to stand as a bulwark against heterodoxy, then — to that specific charge — he would gladly plead guilty. We are not Rome, we do not encourage illiteracy or ignorance amongst our laity. Under the tyranny of the papacy, my library could have seen me hanged or burned. Thanks be to God for the sainted Dr. Luther and the Reformation for restoring to me, as a layman, the Christian freedom — and, yes, duty — to be theologically literate and doctrinally learned. I am absolutely unashamed to say that part of my duty as a layman in the Church is to preserve, to jealously guard, the orthodoxy that has been won and preserved at great cost to so many.

Rev. Lutheran seeks only to preserve the great Lutheran tradition of learned and engaged laity. I advance that he is to be commended for this, not condemned for it. I thank the adversaries for highlighting Rev. Lutheran’s faithful execution of his duties and dedication to the Church.

And so we come to the final accusation.

4. Embracing Fascism and White Supremacy

I do not know if I should conclude that this is a Kafka novel come to life or a Juvenal satire. Perhaps I should go with Juvenal, given that I will start this section with some Latin: Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit non ei qui negat. Although German would be more succinct: Beweislast. The burden of proof rests with the proponent, the prosecutor, the accuser.

Neither "Fascism" nor "White Supremacy" has been defined, and the prosecution’s case is closed. Rev. Lutheran cannot be found guilty of the fourth accusation as the accusers have utterly failed to carry even their most basic burden — stating precisely what it is of which they are accusing him. I cannot refute a point that has not even been made, and neither do I have any burden or duty to do so.

Nevertheless, I will make two brief points here before closing this first part of my closing argument.

i) First, the accusers make much of Rev. Lutheran referring to Hitler as "Uncle Adolf" — the opponents apparently failed to note the date: April 1st. Citing to an April Fool’s article must surely be a point for Juvenal. ii) Second, not content with failing to grasp — painfully obvious — humor once, they cite a comedic bit during the opening of a podcast episode. Poor Kafka, I am afraid this is another point for Juvenal. One would think the delivery, if nothing else, would have made the comedy obvious.

(I could also comment on the accusation citing to a random Internet blog — hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay — but there comes a point where the coffin has no remaining room for nails.)

Part I: Conclusion

Having now refuted the accusers’ claims, I would like to move on to the second part of my closing: An apology of Rev. Lutheran’s work. To be clear: I mean απολογια, not ‘I’m sorry.’

Part II: Apology

Permit me to begin with a simple question: Why am I here? Indeed: Why are any of us here? I hope — and pray — that the answer is zealous concern for Christ and His bride. I fear that other forces are at play. I will not speak for others, but I can speak for myself and for Rev. Lutheran.

I am here because I believe in what Rev. Lutheran is doing, because I support what he is doing. We spend tens of millions — perhaps even hundreds of millions — on foreign missions — to Africa, Asia, South America, et cetera.

How many missionaries does this synod have to Germany? My Synod — Die Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Synode von Missouri, Ohio, und andern Staaten — hat nur zwei; last I checked, we have one mission in Germany and only two missionaries.

I turn the attention of all present to the religious map of Germany. I ask if this is a map of a country that does not need to hear the Gospel. Those are my — our — brothers and sisters living lives of meaninglessness and despair; those are fellow sons and daughters of Japheth that we have doomed, that we, by our acedia and our indifference, have consigned to the devil’s kingdom. We will one day answer for our actions, and for our inaction.

A little over a week ago, the daily lectionary included the Parable of the Minas. Which servant are we? But maybe we should, instead, turn to the Parable of the Talents. Given much, how are we using our gifts?

And so, again: How many missionaries do we have to England? We commemorate Robert Barnes in a little more than two months. I cannot help but think he would prefer we reach his posterity with the very Gospel for which he died. How many missionaries do we have to Scotland? Combien en France? Hoeveel naar Nederland? Shol’ko v Rossiyu? Ποσα στην Ελλαδα?

As if it were not enough that we have abandoned our brothers and sisters in Europe, we are now doing the same here. Undoubtedly, all here have seen the numbers. Even among those who claim to be Evangelical Christians (which, notably, includes us Confessional Lutherans), a small — tiny, even — minority espouse orthodox doctrine. Many of our supposed fellows no longer even profess that Jesus Christ is God. Arianism has returned on our watch. Christianity makes exclusive truth claims — most Americans reject even the position that such a thing as objective truth exists. Our fellows now echo Pilate: Quid est veritas?

And so I turn to Rev. Lutheran. The accusations against Rev. Lutheran have already been refuted, but let us return to them for a moment to examine their common core. At base, Rev. Lutheran is accused of becoming all things to all people, or, more specifically, one certain thing to reach one certain people. No one here contends that we should not reach the men (and women) that Rev. Lutheran is not merely attempting to reach, but is demonstrably succeeding in reaching — at least no one is explicitly contending that. However, the accusers are implicitly contending that these men are unworthy of redemption, unworthy of the Gospel. The wicked servant, having been forgiven much, refuses to forgive his fellow servants their relatively minor debts.

In the interests of charity, let us presume, arguendo, that the adversaries object to Rev. Lutheran’s methods, not his goals. Does Rev. Lutheran stand accused of breaking any law? No. Does he stand accused of advocating that others break the law? No. Does he stand accused of preaching false doctrine? No. If we are to stand in judgement of methods that are producing good fruit for the Kingdom, then what would we be forced to say of many of the OT prophets? Are not those who are not against Christ for Him?

I ask that the panel permit me to be blunt. I am a White male, as you may have observed. More: I am a White, heterosexual, ‘cisgendered’ (to use the terms of our present evil age), Christian male. But let us pause for a moment and focus on these terms.

"And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good." God created male and female. God created male and female to be sexually compatible, to fulfill the command to ‘go forth and multiply’. Homosexuality is an abhorrent, aberrant practice — an explicit rejection and condemnation of God’s good ordering of creation. The same holds for transsexuality. That such terms as "heterosexual" and "cisgender" are part of our common speech is a testament to the evil of our society and our culture. That what amounts to normal, proper, and good is not only denigrated but actively attacked by our society is quite telling. And let us not forget that God has also created the nations, and that they are preserved in Paradise, as Revelation teaches us.

In our society, being, as previously stated, a White, heterosexual, ‘cisgendered’ male has not been an asset to me. There are numerous scholarships, grants, and other programs for which I have been ineligible on account of, primarily, my race and my gender. Not to put too fine of a point on the matter, but my school debt originally stood at roughly $262,000. Discrimination against me is enshrined in our laws — as so-called "Affirmative Action". In fact, my acceptance letter from the University of Michigan was delayed because the school was being sued for anti-White, race-based discrimination. I have personally experienced this invidious discrimination. All major employers (including, notably, the State) proudly announce on their websites that they openly and deliberately discriminate against me and people who look like me. I could continue for hours, but I believe the point has been made.

Now, I, personally have been lucky — my parents are still married and they have both been Christians my entire life. My father’s Bible is more worn than most men’s favorite T-shirt. My siblings are both Christians, as are their spouses. My nephews are being brought up in the faith. I attended an LCMS school for a decade — preschool through eighth grade — and my mother worked at the same school. I can honestly say that I have never truly doubted my God or my faith. I have been lucky, blessed. Many — most — have not been so lucky.

In a world that is openly hostile to their very existence — a hostility repeated from tens of thousands of pulpits each week — our brothers are being swallowed by hopelessness and destroyed by despair. Rev. Lutheran is reaching out to these forgotten and despised men. To condemn Rev. Lutheran and his ministry is to condemn these men to their fates. And what would that fate be? White men commit suicide at a rate far higher than any other group. Many who do not select the bullet, the rope, the cliff, the razor, or the enclosed garage often choose the slower route of sinking into despair with a bottle in their hands — whether alcohol or pills matters little.

‘For behold children are a heritage from the Lord; the fruit of the womb a blessing.’ Our demographics have collapsed. Instead of children, women are ‘adopting’ and ‘rescuing’ cats — some go so far as to call them ‘fur babies’. A nation without children is a nation without a future — and the same holds for the Church. How many of our churches are full of the laughter (and the crying and the screaming) of children? Is it God Who is faithless or are we? Surely Paul has answered this question.

But it is worse than this, is it not? We have reviewed — an incredibly tiny fraction of — the headlines. We have watched some video. In fact, let’s review one particular video: {{}}. Permit me to repeat her words, because they were spoken somewhat quietly. That is a child, of, perhaps, eight, saying:

And I hate — hate — being White. I do; I really hate it, because I’m told on a daily basis that I’m racist, because I’m White. … You can go to Twitter and there are so many people saying that they want to rape, torture, kill, wipe out Whites because they are White.

That is a child who has been told so many times that she is evil on account of her race, that she should be raped, tortured, and murdered on account of her race that she hates herself on account of her race. The Lord God Almighty made the White race — the sons and daughters of Japheth — and God’s creation is very good.

What have the accusers done to reach that little girl, that beloved child of God? What have they done to reach millions of little girls like her? What have they done to reach all the little White boys who hear the same things day in and day out? What have they done to prevent those little White boys from becoming White male suicide statistics? They have, by their own admission, done nothing.

This evil that is consuming our society, our culture, and our nation is permitted free rein — almost no one in the Church is explicitly refuting it, let alone combating it. And certainly few are trying to reach those harmed by it. And the accusers dare to attack Rev. Lutheran?

Rev. Lutheran encourages men to return to (or to join for the first time) the faith, to reform themselves, and to seek marriage and children. To condemn any of this is to condemn God’s good ordering of creation. I struggle to find any godly warrant for opposing Rev. Lutheran’s ministry other than misunderstanding, and surely, now, any such has been addressed and dissolved.

I do not wish for Rev. Lutheran to restrict or to discontinue his ministry — I wish, rather, for a thousand more such as he. He will have many jewels in his crown if only he is not further silenced. It is bad enough that our culture has so turned from Christ. Must we now also face opposition from within the Church herself? As I testified, I have personally chatted with those who are exploring or returning to the faith in no small part due to Rev. Lutheran’s ministry. I answer questions, certainly, but I also push for these men to join local churches and speak with their pastors, and I know Rev. Lutheran does the same. I cannot stress this enough: God is using this podcast to win souls. I, for one, will not stand in the way of any work God Himself is prospering.

And so I close with that final point: God is prospering Rev. Lutheran’s ministry. As good Lutherans, we know the Means by which God creates faith in the hearts of men. As Rev. Lutheran’s ministry is online, we know that he is not administering the Sacraments; so that leaves us with the Word. Men are coming to faith because the Word is being preached to them. It is not a requirement that all men approve of the civility, the gentility, or the tactfulness of the approach. The men who would condemn frank or indelicate language today are the same kind of men who would have condemned Luther for calling the pope ‘ein Furz aus dem Arsch des Teufels’ — ‘a fart from the devil’s own ass’. If calling a spade a spade or the pope a fart brings more men to faith, then so be it.

May God continue to fill His Kingdom by whatever means and methods He deems fit, and may those who object to form or other adiaphora learn to hold their tongues. Amen.