Aug 19

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The dishonesty of Dr. Keith W. Schweitzer, Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church 505 NE Dodge Street, Greenfield, Iowa 50849, is the subject in this sixth article addressing some of the charges made in his thirty pages. Here is the quote which will serve as the main subject of this article: “The writings, sermons, and lectures of such men as Foy Wallace, Austin McGary, Thomas Warren, Guy Woods, and Grover Cleveland Brewer are also highly regarded within the Church of Christ and were all significant contributors to the “oral tradition” of doctrinal formulation which was handed down throughout the 20th century.” His subject is that of formulating doctrines which he likes to call “catechisms, creeds, or other ‘man-made’ writings to formulate doctrines.”
It is highly possible that many young, and some older, members of the churches of Christ have never heard of some these men, and those who have, may not have read any of their books, which our good “Pastor” names above! Each of them are all dead; Austin McGary, June 15, 1928; Grover Cleveland (better known as G.C.) Brewer: June 9, 1956; Foy E. Wallace, Jr.: December 18, 1979; Guy N, Woods: December 8, 1993; and the last of which he writes was Thomas B. Warren: August 8, 2000. Let it here be said that no knowledgeable person, preacher or elder, in the churches of Christ would ever cite the writings of these men as authority for the churches of Christ! This is not to say, that some unknowing member, or even a preacher, has not, used some writing in such a manner, but if so, he was wrong! The churches of Christ have but one book of authority and this one book is the Bible, the inspired word of God! The churches of Christ serve under one head, which is Christ (Eph. 1:22-23) and operate under the authority of Christ (Matt. 28:18). Each local church is autonomous and is served by her self-appointed overseers (Acts 20:28)! She answers to no one else, nor to any other congregation! Yes, she may be questioned for her actions and the teaching she does, as are within “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9). Dr. Schweitzer knows full well that no person, who ever came forward during an invitation in an assembly of a local church of Christ, has ever been asked does he/she believe the teaching in any of the books written by any of these men! There are many church of Christ buildings in which not one these books written by these men are to be found! Of course, this is not the case with the Lutheran Church and their “catechisms!”
For the sake of honesty, a search was made to the following question: “What is a Lutheran?” Here are the results: “While there are a variety of ways one could answer this question, one very important answer is simply this, ‘A Lutheran is a person who believes, teaches and confesses the truths of God’s Word as they are summarized and confessed in the Book of Concord.’ The Book of Concord contains the Lutheran confessions of faith. Perhaps you have attended a ordination of a pastor and heard him promise that he will perform the duties of his office in accord with the Lutheran Confessions. When people are received into membership into the Lutheran congregation through confirmation they are asked if they confess the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as they have learned to know it from the Small Catechism, to be faithful and true. These solemn promises indicate to us just how important the Lutheran Confessions are for our church. Let’s take a look at the various items contained in the Book of Concord and then we will talk about why the Lutheran Confessions are so important for being a Lutheran.” Of course, we will not look into the Book of Concord, as we are only making the point, that Dr. Schweitzer, who charges the churches of Christ as being a cult; in his own words: “The position of this writer is one that claims the Campbellite Church of Christ to be a cult” Why does he do so? Let him answer: “It has throughout its history lied and distorted the facts concerning its origins and many of its aberrant doctrines” The churches of Christ make no claims to believe any teaching that is not found in the Bible! No man, or group of men, has ever written a Catechism or Confession of Faith, to which anyone has ever been required, or even asked, “that he will perform the duties, nor are asked “if they confess the doctrine” of any book!
It appears to THIS WRITER that Dr. Schweitzer has just indicted the Lutheran Church as a cult! The Lutheran Church freely confesses to having and requiring a person, before becoming a member; and here we quote: “When people are received into membership into the Lutheran congregation through confirmation they are asked if they confess the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as they have learned to know it from the Small Catechism, to be faithful and true.” Not one word about believing the Bible!
Thus, the readers of this article can make their own conclusion as which church is a cult; the churches of Christ who confess to taking what they believe from the Bible, or the Lutheran Church who confesses to requiring confession to “the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church” written by uninspired men!

Frank R. Williams

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