At its regularly scheduled meeting on September 14, 2003, the Voters Assembly of Christ Lutheran Church voted (with no dissenting votes cast) to send the following letter as a response to the Dispute Resolution Panel's decision to overturn Dr. David Benke's suspension.
The Rev. Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President
The Rev. Daniel Preus, First Vice President
The Rev. Dr. Wallace Schulz, Second Vice President
The Rev. Dr. Robert H. King, Third Vice President
The Rev. Dr. Paul L. Maier, Fourth Vice President
The Rev. Dr. William C. Weinrich, Fifth Vice-President
The Rev. Dr. Raymond L. Hartwig, Secretary
The Council of Presidents
Chairman and members of the CCM
The Rev. Dr. Samuel Nafzger, CTCR
Members of the Dispute Resolution Panel in the Benke matter
Dear brothers in Christ,
Our congregation, one of the original complainants in the Benke matter, declares a public protest against, and rejection of the basis upon which the Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) reached its ruling in the aforementioned case. We are in concurrence with the Rev. Dr. Wallace Schulz and the Scriptural and Confessional judgment derived from the voluminous evidence he provided. We find no error or falsehood in the evidence he presented, and we thus believe his judgment in the matter is correct.
Furthermore, we believe that an injustice has been done to Christ and His Church because the basis for the DRP ruling, a misuse and misinterpretation of Resolution 3–07A from the 2001 synodical convention, violates the Scriptural and Confessional principles to which we are pledged as a member of the Synod. We believe that this ruling must be reviewed and vacated based upon the clear evidence provided by Dr. Schulz from God's Word and the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
We are, therefore, compelled to repudiate the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) ruling on which the DRP based its decision, and we intend by memorials, that will be submitted to the 2004 convention of the Synod, to ask that it be overruled. We must do so precisely because it violates these Scriptural and Confessional truths.
The anti-Scriptural and non-Confessional basis upon which the Dispute Resolution Panel has reached its decision sets the Synod on a new theological and confessional course. We are, therefore, compelled by truth to reject the basis for the DRP ruling.
Submitted in fear of the true and living God and with reverence for His perfect Word.
Christ Lutheran Church
Adopted, with no dissenting votes cast, by the Voters Assembly on September 14, 2003.