WHY I LEFT THE ORGANIZED CHURCH?
The letter dated January 13, 2005 addressed to Mr. Gene Blum, the chairman of Messiah Lutheran Church, gives my reasons for resigning my membership in Messiah Lutheran Church, a member congregation in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. My reasons for doing so are described in the written material which accompanied this letter:
1. Important Biblical Doctrinal Issues
2. Summary of the 2004 LCMS Convention
If I, as a member of Messiah Lutheran Church, had attempted to raise the theological issues described, sooner rather than later, I would have been branded a heretic and expelled from membership. The honorable thing to do was to resign.
Not a small part of my reasoning to not stay in the LCMS and attempt to engage its leadership in a discussion of the theological issues I discussed in my statement is a hard earned lesson that lay people in the LCMS, at the District and Synodical level, are treated by the organized clergy as second class members of the Kingdom of God directly contrary to what Jesus said in Matthew 20:25-26. This point is more elaborately related in my analysis of the LCMS Synodical Convention in 2004.
Christian education in the elementary, secondary and college years is one of the most important things a Christian parent can do for his child or children. I will continue to support these activities with the financial resources the Lord has placed in my hands to manage.
Christianity is a personal relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ, who is God. Christians throughout the Christian era have built churches as a means of worship and Christian education. We Christians can seek God anywhere we find ourselves, inside or outside of a building. Mark in Acts 7:48-49 and 17:24 makes very clear that God is not present in buildings.
Acts 7:48 However, the Most High does not dwell in
temples made with hands
as the Prophet says:
Heaven is My Throne
And earth is My Footstool
What house will you build for Me,
says the Lord
Or what is the place of My rest?
Has My hand not made all these things?
Acts 17:24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Does this mean that churches are superfluous? Not in the least. Only that we need to recognize that any person, Christian or otherwise, can reach God at any time or place with prayer and patience to listen for His voice as he directs our lives.
William E. Dannemeyer