Lutheran Pastors and Lay
People Reply In Support of LHM Synergism
By: Rev. Jack Cascione
The following replies (I removed all names except one) were sent in support
of the Lutheran Hour Ministries website being linked to Baptist,
synergistic, decision theology. The Reclaim News Release was titled:
"Lutheran Hour Ministries Website Appeals to Decision Theology."
quotation in this release is from a pastor who received a reply from LHM as
an explanation and disclaimer for "Decision Theology" links to the
Before you read these replies, I would like to offer my own experience as a
second year student in 1978 at Fort Wayne when dabbling with decision
theology. Doctor Buls was teaching about John, chapter 3. He
said no one
could decide to believe in Christ. After class I asked him, "Then
I am a
Christian because I did not reject?" He replied, that if I believed
would see to it that I was removed from the Seminary student body.
He explained that we couldn't know why some believe, and not others.
't say, "yes" to the Gospel, but we can say "no."
We are justified by faith
given through the Gospel. We do not cause our faith in the Gospel.
human cause as to how I became a Christian is a rejection of the doctrine of
justification by faith alone.
"While I believe it [salvation] is by faith, I've always had a problem
understanding this part and never have gotten an answer I find useful... if
we have no part in our faith and it is all the holy spirit's work, then why
doesn't the holy spirit bring everyone to Christ? The implications of
being able to answer this question have always frustrated me...
predestination, we have no control over who the Holy Spirit selects,
"Sorry my friend in Christ, but you have gone off the deep end again.
can you bible-bash an attempt to win souls to Jesus, which as well all know
is our basic mission? I am now beginning to believe that the only thing you
are looking for is a fight of one kind or another. Once again I ask,
much time have you spent in the last week bringing new souls to Jesus?"
"Pastor C--------I read your page regularly and sometimes agree with
outlook on Lutheranism and theology in general, and sometimes not. But I
think you are splitting hairs here. We are indeed 'called by Christ,'
why do you deem it 'not called by Christ' if one Christian says to another:
'I have learned the way to salvation through faith in Christ, and this is
what is involved--take the initiative and pray, acknowledge your sinfulness,
repent of your sins, and accept Christ as your Savior?' Is not this a way
that Christ sends his message to us? Isn't that what missionaries worldwide
do to win souls for Christ? What's wrong with that? Christians are
commanded to go throughout the world preaching and teaching God's saving
grace through faith in our Savior, to 'bring Christ to the nations and the
nations to Christ,' and what better way to accomplish this than outlining
the steps of acknowledging our sins, repenting or our sins, declaring our
belief in Christ as our Savior and praying? Isn't this exactly what the
Apostles did following the death and resurrection of Christ?"
"'Go ye therefore and teach all nations!' Teach them what? Teach them
acknowledge their sins, repent, believe in the forgiveness of sins through
the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, accept Christ as their Savior.
If the 'saving word' is brought by an apostle of Christ, or by any other
believer, is not this divine commission being accomplished? Is this not one
of the ways in which we are 'called?'"
"As I read and contemplate your publications I note a tendency for you
sometimes dwell on and over-emphasize 'semantics,' frequently confusing the
central issue. I will, however continue to read and contemplate your
gs, even though I often disagree with your conclusions.....I believe in
looking at all sides of an issue before taking a position of my own."
"You, along with all of those who continue to spread the Gospel
the nation and the world, are always in my prayers."
"It seems as though sometimes we Lutherans get so caught up in
semantics, - we keep beating the bushes & have a hard time seeing the
I wonder if the early Apostles were so concerned about the exact words used
as long as God's plan of Salvation was preached to unbelievers & were
to God's Kingdom. When Jesus told Matthew, 'follow me' Matthew had to
a decision. Either reject His offer or follow Him as he did guided by
Holy Spirit. If an unbeliever hears God's Word & says 'no' that is his
"But if he says 'yes' to God's offer, which is only possible thru the
Spirit & is received as a Gift from God, cannot one say the Gift was
received/accepted thru the Holy Spirit. With all Glory, Honor, Praise &
Credit goes to God."
Thanks for listening, In Christian Love -
(Lutheran Hour Ministries offers the following explanation and disclaimer
for "decision theology" links to LHM website.)
This is the response I received from LHM concerning what was pointed out in
Pr. Mark Wescoatt
Dear Pastor Wescoatt,
Thank you for visiting our lhm.org Web site. I am responding to your
inquiry about the link to Gospelcom.net.
Our online audio programming is provided in two formats: Real Audio and Mp3.
Gospelcom.net servers provide streaming audio for our programming and the
technology enhances the reach of "The Lutheran Hour" to a
audience. A requirement for Gospelcom.net is to display the logo
their technology is used.
Our external Link policy is listed on our disclaimer page
Below is an excerpt from this page.
"The Site includes links to other Internet sites, both related and
to the Site, that may be of interest to users. The presence of a link to a
third party site does not constitute or imply Lutheran Hour Ministries'
endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation of the third party or of the
information or products contained on the site. Lutheran Hour Ministries does
not monitor or control any linked sites and is not responsible for their
content or availability."
Thank you for your comments.