News Releases and Information Bulletins
  1. CCM Verax Launch on Wednesday, 07 November 2001
  2. CCM Verax Publicizes ELCA Ecumenical Grand Deception
  3. ELCA Parishes Informed of Ecumenical Grand Deception
  4. CCM Verax "Epiphany Email Extravaganza"
  5. CCM Becomes More Controversial
  6. CCM Verax Appeals to Lutheran World Leaders for Support
  7. Shock as ELCA Proposes to Drop Reformation Day
  8. Disbelief as Lutherans Abandon Reformation Day
  9. Further Objections to ELCA Cancelling Reformation Day
  10. International Lutheran Community Responding to US Lutheran Ecumneical "Grand Deception"
  11. CCM Verax International Newsletter - Lent 2003 Edition (published)
  12. Proosed Public Debate at 10th Assembly of LWF
  13. LWF General Secretary Noko involved in ELCA Ecumenical Scandal
  14. ELCA Moral Leader in "Mitergate" Ecumenical Scandal
  15. ELCA Mitergate Scandal - Justification by Historic Episcopacy
  16. ELCA Moral Leader Runs from Mitergate Scandal Debate
  17. ELCA Mitergate Debate - Call to Lutherans Worldwide For Help
  18. Call for Suspension of ELCA Membership in Lutheran World Federation
  19. Sydney Diocese Anglicans vs. ELCA Mitergate Lutherans
  20. The ELCA and its new "Hypocrite Episcopate"
  21. ELCA Makes Historic Ecumenical U-Turn
  22. ELCA / LWF Perpetuate Fallacies about “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification” (JDDJ)
  23. CCM Verax Communiqué to LWF Member Churches

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Mark D. Menacher, PhD
St. Paul Lutheran Church
1264 South Tonkey Road
Au Gres, MI 48703
Tel. +1-989-876-7415

Date: 14 October 2002

For Immediate Release


By Mark D. Menacher

(Au Gres, Michigan, USA) "You have got to be joking," exclaimed Mrs. Ethel Woldt of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Au Gres, Michigan, "They must be nuts. I cannot believe that. As a Lutheran I have always celebrated Reformation Day. We are going to celebrate Reformation Day, aren't we?" Also of St. Paul, Mr. Louis Zanner concludes, "Well, I guess that we will have to transfer to a Lutheran church that celebrates Reformation Day."
These comments typify the reactions of many members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to the news that the denomination no longer wants its parishes to observe Reformation Day.

The day in question is October 31, otherwise known as All Saints' Eve or Halloween. On that day in 1517, an Augustinian Friar and Professor of Biblical Theology at Wittenberg University, Martin Luther, issued his famous 95 Theses against indulgences. To his mind, indulgences not only lacked Biblical warrant but also led souls astray from their true "justification by grace through faith alone."The medieval Roman Church's response to Luther's protestations was first to ignore him. When this failed, the pope then sought to excommunicate Luther while arranging for the Emperor to sentence him to death. For centuries thereafter, Lutherans have celebrated "Reformation Day" to remind themselves of Luther's bold steadfastness in speaking the truth and setting the faithful back on the right path.Now, after 500 years of Lutheranism, the ELCA's head office is seeking to put an end to Reformation Day.

According to the September-October edition of the ELCA publication, Seeds for the Parish (p. 2), denominational officials recommend, "In light of our church's commitment to ecumenical relations, it may be a good idea to shift away from a focus on the 16th century Lutheran Reformation and its readings ('the truth shall set you free') and move toward an ecumenical celebration of reconciliation and the on-going reformation of the church."
The advisory continues, "On that day, you might keep the liturgical color red and still sing 'A Mighty Fortress' to remember our common history, but consider using the readings appointed for the day. Perhaps a pastor from a full communion congregation could be invited to preach or preside on that day with laypersons invited to read Scripture and pray."Kris Baudler, Pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Bay Shore, New York asks, "Why in these days of hyper-ecumenism are we Lutherans the only ones giving up everything - our heritage, our confessions, our faith? The Lutheran house is being looted from the inside out of the riches of nearly 500 years of Reformation witness."
Mr. Stan Anderson of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Bragg, California retorts, "Almost as insulting as changing the focus away from the Reformation is the last paragraph which suggests 'inviting laypersons to read Scriptures and pray.'. Let's throw a bone to the laity! Whatever happened to the priesthood of all believers?"In a recent lecture at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, Professor James M. Kittelson from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, likened today's ecumenically zealous churches to "corporations" where "the ecumenical dream is to create from them all one multinational conglomerate or a confederation of corporations." Professor Kittelson described the ecumenical goal of "visible unity" as "building a new ecclesiastical Tower of Babel" that will come "crashing down [as soon as] the workers discover that they are not even speaking the same language."

Again, Pastor Baudler, "They keep telling us that all this ecumenism changes nothing. The Episcopalians obliged us take episcopalian style bishops in Called to Common Mission. The Roman Catholics managed to get Lutherans to agree to their interpretation of 'justification by faith' in the common statement on the Joint Declaration on Justification. What did Lutherans get in return? Full communion? A rescinding of the excommunication of Martin Luther? Hardly."

Denominational plans to drop Reformation Day are leaving many ELCA members feeling shocked and betrayed. For them, being Lutheran is not a matter of denominational identity but rather an issue of truth in the gospel of Jesus Christ. During the course of the Reformation, many Lutherans lost their lives fighting for this truth. Now, faithful Lutherans find themselves pitted against their own denominational leaders in order to retain these same truths.

Mr. Larry Larsen of Calvary Lutheran Church in Morro Bay, California, assessed the situation this way, "They [ELCA officials] keep chipping away at the Lutheran concept - chipping away, chipping away, and then it will fall apart."

Similarly, Mr. Dick Zimmerman of Calvary Lutheran Church in Modesto, California reports reactions to the news from his church council as saying, "If Reformation Day is no longer relevant to Lutherans, then I guess that means that the Reformation itself is no longer significant to anyone."
While on trial for his attempts to reform the church, Martin Luther is reported to have declared, "My conscience is held captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything because to go against one's conscience is neither safe nor right. I can do no other. Here I stand. So help me God." These sentiments continue to live in many ELCA parishes regardless of attempts by denominational leaders to forsake Protestant truths for the enchantments of recent superficial ecumenism.

In response to the ELCA's official departure from its own heritage, Lutheran congregations and groups from around the USA are encouraging ELCA parishes to disregard the ELCA's advisory and to celebrate Reformation Day with renewed vigor.



1. Use of all or of any part of this article is granted by the author. For further information regarding the above quotations, contact Dr. Mark D. Menacher as per the details given above.

2. The source for the quoted sections of the ELCA advisory is "Seeds for the Parish" (page 2) which is available on the Internet at:

3. All other quotations appearing in the news release/article have been collated and verified with permission for use by Pastor Mark Menacher, PhD, who can be contacted as per the details given above.


Editor:  Pastor Mark D. Menacher, PhD, CCM Verax, 13823 Olive Grove Place , Poway, CA 92064 (USA)
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