Full Text for A Prophetic Ministry (Text)

THE SPRINGFIELDER December 1971 Volume 35, Number 3 "A Prophetic Ministry" I 1 1\ 'i 1'1-1 JbL 1:l to rcsponcl to thc iniitntio~i to corltribute 3 te\\ ILI:~,!C~\~ for .I-IIc S~lrirtgficlllcr- on thc occr~sion of the Scm- i11,1r\ '\ 1 2 5 t 11 ,111 IIL\ L r\.lr\. I'l~e bllol-t 1,crioil-;11111nst tllrec \.cars--~vc spent ill Springfield \I.'tS Il~(l\t ]>li,,!b.!l1 t . 111 I c~ 5') c c-,n3idernhIc uccle~instical nloral pressure \$.as npl3licd to l>cl->u;icl~< to lea\t' C:oltcorcli,l ill iiustin ~vhcre I had spent ti\ unt\ \c;il.>--l?l\ ~'ntirc ~~rofcssionnl life-to accept the call to !Sl>rin;~fiC1tl. Ontt:' I f~;!tl iic~~l~ted, inan)- brethren, who later proved to 1)~' II~ in tOt*i~l~il. i~~l\.isL'cI of tllc problcn~s which n-o~~ld bc mine ,I< l'rc~siclc'i?t of t?lc f;i~tnt-ic institution. I \\ '14 ilii t:! iii<'(I tll;~t tllc f;~c~~lt\. ivould gi\-c me consiclt.rahlc troul)lc,. 011 tllc. contrar!.. n1v relatio~ls ~vith the facult\- ,\.ere most l11cc1s;int. both !)~1.~011;111! ;111c1' profcisioiially. Sociallv, I f;,und faculty ~nc*inltcr> ]no51 ~r,~cious Ilosts in their homes. ;llso,'~ lookccl for\\-ard to th~ ran~i~rirtlt.ric in thc facultv lo~~ngc cach morning follo\~ing the 111 c.1-1 ic.c.5. 1 hit\ L. a ccingcni tnl tlislike for ~nectinys. In spite of the. dislilic, I forrncl th~ forn~;ll faculty meetings dcligl~tful, There wcrc frequent tlifft'l-c'nc.r.\ of c~pinion regarding scminary policv ant1 theological I~~-of~lc.n~,. Iicrt tht, tlisc~~ssions nevcr dcsccndcrl to the petty, the ~iiean. or tltc 3~1bjc.c ti\ tL. I Ilcstitiltc to n~chntion names for fear of omitting a collenguc. ULI~ the rrrrlttrrrrrl c~olloqzrirr~r~ ~t co~~xolutio frcltrli~rl fou11(1 among the Clx-ingficlcl brethren \\-ill al\\.avs rcinain a trc.asured mcmorv for me. I \\-;I< nlsu ;lc1\-isctl that thc Board of Control co~lccrhed itself \\-it11 ;rclnlinistrnti\-c details as \vrlI :is polic\. and \\-ould, thercforc. YC~\ c 11~1 "1l;li r shil-t" to 111~' in the llursuit of iilv administrati\-t- dutics. I-I<-h\i.c\cr, I ~OL~II(~ th~' lfoartl mcmhcrs mi~turc individuals 1vho fol- fo\r.t.tl thc Ic~ttl~rship off'c.rcd. -,\gnin, I ;1n1 i-cluctar~t to nanle inclividuals, but 1 car1 ~nention t\vo 111crnbcr.c of the Bonrd ~vho have joined the majority. Dr. Ben Sclckc ;~ntl >I)-. lit1 1,uhlman. Ucn Sclckc \\.as a mcmber of that generation of Lutheran prcachcl-s, ;ls \\-as m\- late father, to \\.hic.h I like to refer as thc "Great Gul~cration." Spacc does not pcrnlit a detailecl statcmcnt of contrib~~tions to the Church SJilitant made b?. that resourceful Sen- cration of c.lerg\ men. Bcn Sclclic's spcc.ch, on Springfield das Sti~jkilrd ~Ier S~rzode, clt.li\.crctl triennium after triennium before Coll~n~ittee Onc, was n classic. Ilegrc,tt;lhl!-. it n-as not taped and prcsrrved for posterity. Erl Iiulll~nan was layman who bv hare1 ~vork and remarkable use of his nativc cndo\v~ncnts had achic\-ccl notable success. He at- tcmptcrl to transfer his zeal which had been successful in the busincx world to church work, but hc \\-as constantl) ~L-LIS~~L~~CCI I)?- the lethargy and tacit sanction of mediocrity Ilc found in the Churcl! Visible. occasion all\^ a brother who hacl "zcal t~ithout Ii~lo\\-lc.(lgcC would urge my ~olleagues and mc "to takc 011 St. Louis." Thc SUE- gestion left me cold. St. I-ouis \\-as my alma mntei- tv11cl.c 1 spcn t the three happiest years of iny life; most of thc faculty ~iic~nl~ct-s \\.c'rc cithcr mv teachers or 111v long-time fricnds; finally, ~i-l~cn rcclioncd in the cduncils of eternity, the issues were not suffic.i:.ntl!- gr:i\.c. to warrant public theological controvers!.. Our joint faculty meetings and frcqucnt ccclcsiii~tical :~ntl sociirl intercourse with St. Louis facult!? members indicatctl common objcc- tives and coinmon means for the attainment of tl~c. o11icc.ti1.c~. On occasions in thc past, questions h;l\-c 1wc.n ~-;iscd regarding the reasons for my leaving Springfield. In fact, mi. fi1c.s colltain letters from brethren which not only raisc the clucititrns but also furnish the answers. Rarely does a man act as il result of a single. iiioti~.atic,n. 11~ case was no different. IIrhatevttr my motives \\-ere. I liavc co11inlittctI theill to "Him who judgeth all things rightcously." For man\. years the July i111d August issues of Ucr f-rltlz~~r~~~ler carried appeals from the Presidents of Synod's institutions ;~ski~ig the pastors and congregations of the Synod to send tlicm young ii1c.n \\-ho were frol~r~rr rmd begabt. If b!: the ,q~mcc of God thc trorld continues to stand for another centurv and a quarter, I hope that