LCMS Church Trial: "Did God Die in Christ?" Werning vs. Cascione

Rev. Jack Cascione

Was He or was He not God on the cross on Good Friday 2000 years ago?  The definition of the Trinity and whether or not God died in Christ is a continuing controversy in the LCMS.

For more than 2 years of charges and counter charges, Doctor Waldo Werning continues to press charges against Rev. Jack Cascione.  They met again with a Missouri Synod Reconciler in Chicago, on Friday, February 27, 2004 from 9:15 AM to 3:15 PM in the Arlington Heights Embassy Suites Hotel.  After the first two hours, Werning and Cascione agreed that the issues were theological and not personal.

Doctor Raymond Hartwig, Secretary of the Synod, informed Cascione that Werning will continue to press charges in front of a 3-member panel as the case moves through the LCMS Church Courts.

During the Chicago meeting, an LCMS Reconciler, also a member of an LCMS congregation, with no theological training, who holds a doctors degree, works in administration in a university, and is a professional mediator, attempted to find a point of mediation on whether each person of the Trinity is the entire, whole, complete God and that God also died in Christ on the cross.

The LCMS Reconciler announced that as a layperson, she knew little theology and wanted to know what was the "nuance" of whether or not God died in Christ on Good Friday.  She couldn't imagine why two LCMS pastors would get so agitated over this particular issue.  By-Law 8.13a says the Reconciler . . . "'should be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom' (Acts 6:3)," but she was clueless on LCMS doctrine.  Werning and Cascione kept trying to win her over to their individual interpretations of the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions.

Cascione informed her that they were actually debating about the salvation of her soul and that if God didn't die in Christ, then no one paid for her sins.

Unless she repents, if she continues to maintain her neutrality on who it was that died on the cross, she will lose her salvation.

Werning claims that:
1. God did not die in Christ on Good Friday;
2. each Person of the Trinity is not the entire, whole, complete God;
3. Cascione incorrectly interprets the Apostles' Creed with the meaning of the Athanasian Creed;
4. and that Cascione has broken the Eighth Commandment by publishing his objections to Werning's doctrine.

On the other hand, Cascione maintains that:
1. each Person of the Trinity is the entire, whole, complete God apart from whom there is no other God, and yet there is only one God;
2. God died in Christ on Good Friday;
3. Werning is breaking the First Commandment;
4. Werning's book, "Health and Healing For the LCMS" distributed to every 2001 LCMS Convention delegate teaches heresy about the Trinity.

During the meeting Cascione quoted the following words from page 1029 of the
Concordia Triglotta: "44] Dr. Luther says also in his book Of the Councils and the Church: We Christians must know that if God is not also in the balance, and gives the weight, we sink to the bottom with our scale. By this I mean: If it were not to be said [if these things were not true], God has died for us, but only a man, we would be lost. But if 'God's death' and 'God died' lie in the scale of the balance, then He sinks down, and we rise up as a light, empty scale. But indeed He can also rise again or leap out of the scale; yet He could not sit in the scale unless He became a man like us, so that it could be said: God died,' 'God's passion,' 'God's blood,' 'God's death.' For in His nature God cannot die; but now that God and man are united in one person, it is correctly called God's death, when the man dies who is one thing or one person with God. Thus far Luther."

Werning told the LCMS Reconciler that Cascione took the above words out of context.  Cascione is a lone wolf and no one agrees with his position on the Trinity and Christ in the LCMS.

Cascione pointed out that Hymn 154 in The Lutheran Hymnal states "When God,
the mighty Maker, died . . . ." Werning told the LCMS Reconciler this hymn
contained false doctrine and would not be in the new LCMS hymnal.

Werning maintains that the LCMS Catechism teaches that Christ only died in His human nature.  Werning refused to accept the meaning of Luther's explanation of the Second Article, which states that Jesus Christ, true man and true God experienced "innocent suffering and death."

Werning would not be able to continue filing charges on these issues against Cascione if it were not for the support of LCMS South Wisconsin District President, Ron Meyer.  Meyer is Werning's Theological Supervisor, and has published his written approval of Werning's doctrine of the Trinity and written that Cascione has broken the Eighth Commandment.  Meyer could not continue his support for Werning if it were not for the approval of Meyer's Theological Supervisor, LCMS President Kieschnick.

Kieschnick is the chief doctrinal officer of the LCMS and has taken an Antichrist position on the Trinity and the Person of Christ in order to protect Meyer, Werning, and the many whose support he needs for reelection at the 2004 LCMS Convention.

Either Cascione has broken the Eighth Commandment or Meyer, the South Wisconsin District Board of Directors, and Kieschnick have broken the First Commandment.  It is impossible to tell the truth about God and be a liar. In some of the highest offices of the LCMS, the need to maintain political alliances now supercedes the need to maintain correct doctrine and the salvation of souls.

The LCMS Praesidium met to "adjudicate" Werning vs. Cascione for a year and then terminated their jurisdiction under By-Law 2.27b.  However, the LCMS Praesidium, in letters signed by Dr. Paul Maier and President Kieschnick, refused to answer any questions about the Trinity or whom it was that died on the cross.  Werning then proceeded to re-file his charges against Cascione under Dispute Resolution By-Law 8.01.  Werning and Cascione met previously in two meetings accord to By-Law 2.27a2.  According to the LCMS By-Laws, 8.01 trumps the Presidium's decision "which shall terminate the matter" in 2.27b, and the case can be reopened, (as Werning has done) and continued under 8.01.

The LCMS Reconciler asked what it would take to settle the disagreement. Cascione replied that Werning would have to retract three paragraphs from his book on pages 33-34 and agree that the entire, whole, complete God died in Christ on the cross.  Werning refused and stated that I should agree with him and the LCMS.

Cascione has learned that in the LCMS it is not proper to say "all of God" but that one must say, "the whole, entire, complete God" even though it says in Colossians 2:9 "For in him dwelleth ALL the fullness of the Godhead bodily."  In this verse, "fullness" is understood to mean all of the essence or nature of God, which cannot be divided.

Disagreement with the Doctrine of Trinity is widespread in the LCMS.  Doctor Don Matzat defends Atlantic District President David Benke's participation in a prayer service at Yankee Stadium with Moslem clergy.  Matzat falsely claims that Moslems worship God according to the First Article of the Apostles' Creed.  This is impossible, because the only way to know God as "Father" is through faith in Christ.  The Moslems worship God according to the Natural Law or what they obverse in nature, which means they practice false worship to a god of their own invention.

The 2003 LCMS Michigan District Convention voted 55% to 45% not to include the phrase, "as confessed in the Athanasian Creed" in a resolution "To Clearly Confess in the Public Realm the True God and the Atonement of Christ for the Sins of all Mankind."

Werning also has support for his false doctrine of the Trinity and Christ from the publishers of "Jesus First," other LCMS District Presidents including the Texas District President, and Dr. John Heins, past Michigan District President and past Chairman of the LCMS Council of District Presidents.

The new LCMS Dispute Resolution Process, endorsed by Dr. John Heins and the Council of District Presidents was adopted in 1992 as a way to settle differences in more "Christian manner" in place of the traditional A judication Process.  However, the Dispute Resolution Process is intentionally staffed by LCMS District Presidents with Reconcilers who know little if anything about the Lutheran Confessions.  The Dispute Resolution Process is being used to silence pastors who raise objections about false doctrine taught in the LCMS.

The result is, that Reconcilers who don't know Lutheran Doctrine are now mediating cases about the faith and salvation of the lay people.

(Personally, I don't like writing about myself in the third person, but I don't know any better way to do it.  If By-Law 2.27b is meaningless, there is also no question that I have violated By-Law 8.21e, which states "While a matter in dispute is still undecided or while an appeal is contemplated or pending, publicity shall not be given to the issues in the matter by any of the parties involved."  Werning's book is public information and I do not agree that "God's death in Christ" is an "undecided" matter in the LCMS.)

The majority of the LCMS Council of District Presidents is clearly using the Dispute Resolution Process to remove correct doctrine from the Synod and bring the LCMS into fellowship with the gay ELCA.  Whoever controls the selection of Reconcilers controls the spread of false doctrine now rampant in the Synod.

March 5, 2004

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