On January 11, 2009, Charity Lutheran Church came to the recognition that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) had effectively changed its doctrine and practice. Desiring to remain faithful to our Lord and to the historic doctrine and practice of confessional Lutheranism, the Voters’ Assembly elected to secede from the LCMS. Since that time, Charity Lutheran Church has become affiliated with the Evangelical Diocese of North America (ELDoNA).
Documents of Secession: The Resolution
Charity Lutheran Church (Burleson, TX)
Resolution for January 11, 2009
Whereas, all Christians are commanded to avoid those who teach or tolerate falsehood in their midst (Rom 16:17, 1 Tim 3:3ff); and
Whereas, following the 2004 Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod(LCMS) Convention, Trinity Lutheran Chruch in Herrin, IL identified six points in which the LCMS is teaching and/or tolerating falsehood, namely
1. Widespread open communion practices are not disciplined.
2. Widespread use of revivalistic “Contemporary Worship” is not disciplined.
3. The “renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description,” is no longer practiced or disciplined.
4. The unscriptural use of unordained laymen to officiate at the Lord’s Supper is not being removed, but recognized, affirmed, and encouraged.
5. The “order of creation” (1 Timothy 2:12), has been removed in order to allow a woman to serve as elder and congregational chairman.
6. Ecclesiastical Supervision and Dispute Resolution now allows human councils to overrule the Word of God; and
Whereas, on January 9, 2005, Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL) entered a State of Confession in order to bear witness to these errors and not commune with error; and
Whereas, since the 2004 LCMS Convention, Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL) followed the synodically-mandated three step Dissent Process in order to call the Synod back from six points of false teaching and undisciplined false practice; and
Whereas, when Trinity Lutheran Church (Herrin, IL) submitted overtures to the July 2007 LCMS Convention, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod did not correct her errors in even one point; therefore be it
Resolved that on January 11, 2009, in accord with the truth of God’s Word and out of Christian love, Charity Lutheran Church is severing our association with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, because she has become a heterodox union, tolerating falsehood.
Documents of Secession: Congregational Letter
Rev. Kenneth Hennings
President, Texas District LCMS
7900 E. Highway 290
Austin, Texas 78724-2499
Dear President Hennings:
In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, greetings.
On this date, the Voters of Charity Lutheran Church being duly assembled, the congregation voted to sever her relations with the Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod (LCMS). This action was taken because it is our understanding that the LCMS has departed in several critical areas of doctrine and practice from the path of faithfulness to our Lord, His Holy Scriptures, and the Lutheran Confessions. As it is our desire to remain faithful to Him, we concluded that separation from the LCMS was the appropriate course of action.
Please understand that we take this action without malice, and with sincere prayers that the LCMS, along with all other church bodies with which we are not in communion, will be used mightily by our Lord unto the salvation of many souls. We also wish to express our gratitude to you for the “above board” and Christian manner in which you have handled this situation once it came to your attention.
We believe we must part ways. Let us do so as friends and “separated brethren” in Christ, praying for the day in which a God pleasing unity in Scriptural doctrine and practice may be restored, not only between us, but among all of the various and several branches of visible Christendom.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Mr. Jim Linnell Mr. Robert Cornell Mrs. Robin Strodz
Head Elder Congregational President Secretary
Documents of Secession: Pastor’s Letter
Baptism of Our Lord
Rev. Kenneth Hennings
President, TX District, LCMS
Grace to you and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord, who in Baptism took the place of us common sinners, that we common sinners might take the place of sons in the Kingdom of the Father.
As per the accompanying documents, the congregation I serve, Charity Lutheran in Burleson, has seceded from the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Perhaps you can imagine the range of emotions I am feeling at this point, but they are hardly germane. What matters is the course of action we must both take.
I have tried, with all due diligence, to teach my congregation the Word of God in its truth and purity, and to administer the sacraments according to our Lord’s institution. They have, to my joy, been receptive to this teaching. And it is as a consequence of my teaching and their reception of it, that they have taken the actions which the appended documents explain.
I love the sheep my Lord has entrusted to my care. The call is divine; synodical affiliations are of men. I can do no other than to be supportive of these good and faithful sheep, and I can see no way of being supportive of them other than to join them in their recognition that we and the Missouri Synod must go our separate ways.
It falls to you to remove me from the clergy roster of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. I thank you for your graciousness and your kind words to me on the telephone, and I pray God grant you wisdom as you serve Him in leading the Texas District of the Missouri Synod in these difficult days.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Rev. Kent A. Heimbigner, Ph.D.
P.S. It is my understanding that there is a grace period of 15 months for switching over from Concordia Plans to some other provider of health and retirement services. It is our intention to make use of some or all of that grace period, so please do not terminate those services. Thank you.