Letter to LCMS Board of Directors By Rev. David Dissen

By: Rev. Jack Cascione

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 were?

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 "ex cathedra?"

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 LHM.

Since when are we not allowed to defend ourselves publicly against public charges?

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 a Nazi!!

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

October 15, 2002