CCM Verax Letter to ELCA Presiding Bishop
Mark S. Hanson
26th March 2003
Dear Bishop Hanson,
Re: Public Debate on "Called to Common
Mission" at the 10th LWF Assembly
In recent ELCA News Service releases (11 and
18 March 2003) you are reported as criticizing US President
Bush for not meeting with US religious leaders regarding
a war in Iraq. You further accuse the president of severing
"himself from moral leaders in the society," of
which you consider yourself to be one.
Over 18 months ago I wrote you with detailed
information regarding the ecumenical "grand deception"
in "Called to Common Mission" (CCM), the "full
communion" agreement between the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church, USA.
Despite your being aware of this "grand deception,"
confirmed to me by third party copy correspondence, you
refuse to answer or to address this very serious matter.
Unfortunately, you appear to have one set of morals for
President Bush and another set of morals for your leadership
of the ELCA (Matthew 7:3-5).
It is time for you to demonstrate whether
you follow the one who is "the way and the truth and
the life" (John 14:6) or whether you serve another
master (John 8:44; Matthew 6:24).
I would be most grateful if you, as a vice
president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), would
arrange a public debate between you and me regarding the
ecumenical "grand deception" in CCM. This debate
should take place before the full LWF assembly to be held
in July 2003 in Winnipeg, Canada. This debate should last
no less than two hours and no more than four hours. Subsequently,
video cassette or DVD copies of the debate should be sent
to all congregations in the ELCA.
As a "moral leader" in the church,
your first priority and allegiance should be to the truth
of Jesus Christ. According to Martin Luther, there is no
room for even one lie in the church. Your lack of action
regarding the "grand deception" in CCM undermines
your claim not only to be a "moral leader" in
society but also a Lutheran.
Lutherans tell the truth, the whole truth.
If your moral capacity should not include a simple desire
for the truth, then your position in the ELCA as presiding
bishop and as a rostered leader would become untenable.
I look forward to your affirmative response.
Mark D. Menacher, PhD
Pastor and CCM Verax Administrator