12 March 2002
Dear LWF Member Church Leader:
Grand Deception - US Lutherans Seek International Support
As you may be
aware, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has
entered into a full communion agreement with the Episcopal
Church in the USA. This ecumenical agreement is entitled Called
to Common Mission (CCM). Details now emerging about the nature
of the agreement and about how it was adopted by both churches
indicate that CCM represents an act of ecumenical grand deception.
The apparent refusal of ELCA leaders to address this fact
leaves us little choice but to approach the international
Lutheran community for support.
unity" in CCM is not based upon the principle of "Christ
alone" inherent in Article VII of the Augsburg Confession
(CA). Instead, CCM prescribes ecclesial uniformity according
to the Episcopalian (Anglican) understanding of the human
tradition of bishops in tactile succession (episcopal succession
or historic episcopacy).
In order to justify
this concession to the Episcopal Church, the drafters of CCM
sought to make the Lutheran Confessions compatible with the
demands of Anglican uniformity. As a result, CCM paragraph
11 was worded to state that the Lutheran Reformers as per
Article XIV of Apology to the Augsburg Confession "deeply
desired" to have certain episcopalian structures, namely
"historic succession" in the office of bishop.
Research now coming
to light shows that the wording of CCM paragraph 11 is incorrect
and that this wording was known to be incorrect when CCM was
written. The Lutheran Reformers were not referring to "episcopal
succession" in Apology XIV. Furthermore, both Luther
and Melanchthon rejected "episcopal succession"
out of hand. So, why were members of the ELCA given information
contrary to the fact?
We would ask you
to read the enclosed article, published in the Lutheran theological
journal Logia, which details the nature of the grand
deception in CCM.
in CCM goes beyond the document itself. To cite one representative
example, in its efforts to pass CCM the ELCA leadership repeatedly
informed ELCA members that CCM did not require the ELCA to
adopt a threefold ordering of ministers (bishop, priest, and
deacon), like the Episcopal Church has. In contrast, when
voting to adopt CCM, the Episcopal Church in Resolution A041
stated the ELCA had already "agreed that the threefold
ministry of Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons in historic succession
will be the future pattern of the one ordained ministry shared
corporately within the two churches in full communion,..."
So, which church is telling its members the truth?
In addition to
the enclosed article, you may read a full discussion of the
duplicity in CCM in a document available on the Internet.
This document, entitled "Called to Common Mission: Grand
Illusion or Fabulous Fraud?", can be found in various
formats at this web address:- http://www.ccmverax.org/Resources.htm
a radical departure from the non-institutional unity envisaged
by Article VII of the Augsburg Confession. This non-institutional
unity has been realized in the Leuenberg Concordat and more
recently in the German Protestant Church's (EKD) policy document
entitled "A Protestant Understanding of Ecclesial Communion"
(Kirchengemeinschaft nach evangelischem Verständnis -
KneV). The German text of this document is available on the
Internet at:- http://www.ekd.de/EKD-Texte/2059_6419.html
An English translation thereof is also available on the Internet
US Lutherans seek
your support. Because the ELCA has few, if any, internal checks
and balances, CCM Verax on behalf of many US Lutherans is
asking the international Lutheran community for support in
1. Please, study
the enclosed essay and other related materials on the CCM
Verax web site to gain a fuller understanding of the issues.
2. Please, encourage
the ELCA leadership to suspend CCM until CCM itself and the
method used to obtain its passage can be investigated fully
by an independent arbitrator. Please address such correspondence
to: Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop, ELCA, 8765 W. Higgins
Road, Chicago, IL 60631, USA.
3. Please, be
prepared to assist US Lutherans who, being ecumenical in a
Protestant (evangelical) sense, already feel forced to form
a new Lutheran church in the USA which is true to the principle
of Christ alone as the only basis for true and truthful unity
US Lutherans in their efforts to counter the ecumenical deception
inherent in CCM.
Mark D. Menacher,
Pastor and CCM Verax Administrator
cc. Mark S. Hanson,
ELCA Presiding Bishop