Board of Directors
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Dr. Robert Kuhn, Chairman
Dear Dr. Kuhn and members of Synod's BOD,
Thank you majority board members for your bold and courageous leadership
during these days of crisis in our Synod.
"A Statement To The Church" with the cover letter of Dr. Kuhn of
August 26, 2002 was long overdue in my judgment.
I am deeply saddened by the manner in which President Kieshnick and Rev.
David Benke have conducted themselves in the case currently under way
between 21 pastors in our Synod and Rev. David Benke that is now in the
dispute resolution process.
I am deeply saddened by the manner in which the Board for Communication
Services has been used by President Kieshnick to disseminate his critical
opinion of the decision rendered by Rev. Dr. Wallace Schulz.
Furthermore, when Pres. Kieshnick told Synod and the public the first part
of July that he would be meeting very shortly with Pres. Schulz to discuss
his decision on the Benke case, why have we not heard when this meeting
took place? Why have we not heard what the results of the meeting
I was lead to believe by Pres. Kieshnick's public remarks that this
meeting with Schulz would take place momentarily. Two months have
passed! No news! What gives? If Kieshnick is so eager to get
out his critical comments on Schulz's decision on the Benke Case and go
public with them, why is there no public news on what has happened since?
Shame! Shame? Shame!
Furthermore, what ever happened about the parties in the dispute
resolution process remaining silent about the subject? Is the
President of Synod a "pope" whose word is final when he speaks
It boggles my mind and the mind of many others as to how President
Kieshnick can justify his action in which he initially released to the
news media the confidential filing of charges by some of our pastors
against Pres. Benke. Who gave Pres. Kieshnick the authority to release to
the public this very confidential and sensitive information?
It boggles my mind how Rev. Benke continues to use the news media which
enables him to tug at the hearts of people and their emotions and
unwittingly or perhaps even purposely elicit sympathy and support for his
position while this case is still in the dispute resolution process.
His comments on PBS TV could easily have done this for the uninformed on
the issue. Likewise his comments at the recent Symposium in St.
Louis could easily have done the same if people allowed their emotions
rather than their heads and sound theology to rule the day.
Why doesn't President Kieshnick exercise his responsibilities as Synodical
President and tell Rev. Benke that he should remain silent on issues
related to the Yankee Stadium event until this dispute is resolved?
In short, one side is being heard on national TV and in the printed news
while the other side is keeping silent according to the established
procedure of our Synod's Dispute Resolution Process.
I do not see any justification for either Kieshnick or Benke in doing what
they are doing in talking so publicly about this sensitive issue. I
do not see any justification for the minority BOD to support these two men
in their shameless position.
Again, your comments were right on the mark about LHM and the action they
have taken concerning Dr. Wallace Schulz.
The LHM has openly slandered Dr. Wallace Schulz at the Ottawa convention
in the opening comments of Al Waldron by accusing him of violating their
code of ethics - comments and an accusation that Dr. Schulz could not
refute because he had been denied permission to attend this event.
Thus, he could not speak there in his own defense!!! Shame on the
Since when are we not allowed to defend ourselves publicly against public
And where were Kieshnick and Benke in their defense of the 8th Commandment
at that rally of support for Benke - in New York - attended by both
Kieschnick and Benke?
A New York congressman refers to Benke as another Niemoeller and Schulz as
You Board Members know that Benke is not another Niemoeller. Neither
is Schulz a Nazi.
President Kieshnick assured us in this acceptance speech in our last
Synodical Convention that he wanted the 8th Commandment upheld!
Ask him why he has still failed to issue any public statement in defense
of Schulz being called a Nazi in his presence.
Did he fear the people at that rally more than he feared God??
It boggles my mind that I have heard no public statement by either of
these men in defense of Schulz concerning this sad and sordid episode in
this ongoing saga.
God bless you all with the wisdom of a Solomon in speaking the truth in
love as together we rally the people of our Synod and throughout the world
around the Word of God - that Word which exposes our sins, that Word which
breathes into our hearts faith in Jesus Christ and brings us full and free
forgiveness by God's grace in His Son and our Savior.
In Christ Jesus,
Rev. David V. Dissen
Rev. 2, 10b