April 1, 2008


For those of you who haven't followed the "Issues" scandal carefully, here is a summary of the latest information and news:

President Kieschnick responded to Mollie Ziegler Hemingway's article in the Wall Street Journal. President Kieschnick states that KFUO was losing a lot of money, but goes on to say that the LCMS had "its most positive and unified convention in years." He cites as evidence of our unity Ablaze!(tm). Pastor David Petersen comments on Kieschnick's response, pointing out that Ablaze!(tm) is an excellent example of our disunity. He summarizes, "[Kieschnick's] presidency is the most divisive we've ever known."

Mollie Hemingway was interviewed by Michael Horton of the White Horse Inn regarding her article. Click here to download the audio directly (mp3).

The LCMS Foundation was keeping 40% of money raised for Issues, Etc. - much higher than the 10% industry standard. Additionally, the head of the Foundation, Tom Ries, is alleged to have been antagonistic toward the program because it was critical of Joel Osteen.

At least some members of the Board for Communications Services were not consulted, and do not approve of the decision. The BCS did not vote to cancel the program, and under church governance rules, the decision was illegal.

"Save the LCMS!" puts the supposed financial losses at KFUO and Issues into perspective. The alleged losses are approximately 0.25% of the Synodical budget.

BCS Executive Director David Strand's statement regarding the popularity of the show did not include downloads or podcasting. Adding in those numbers paints an entirely different picture. Here is a chart just of the downloads. Sources say that Strand knew that his numbers were inaccurate.

While Synodical HQ is saying that they couldn't afford the alleged $250,000 that Issues, Etc. cost, it has been learned that Kieschnick sought and was granted a $5,000,000 (five MILLION dollars) line of credit for Ablaze!(tm). This after he already is alleged to have spent $3,000,000 in donations earmarked for human care.

I have requested information several times from David Strand--beginning on Holy Tuesday--seeking verification or clarification. He has not responded to my requests.

This runs far deeper than a bureaucratic decision regarding a radio program. The "issues" revealed here go to the core of our purpose and identity as a church. Secrecy, falsified or misleading statements, a failure to keep the Gospel message the main thing, mistreatment of faithful servants - none of these things should even be named in the house of God. If you are concerned--and you should be--what can you do? Please see the conclusion to my previous post here.

And for a laugh, please see my response to President Kieschnick's latest "President's Leadership News." Thanks to everyone for making it the all-time most popular post on my blog!


Family of Michael & Jen-Yi Paul said...

Thanks much for taking the time and effort to do your "roundup" here and posting your issues info and comments in general!

orthodoxy hunter said...

Do you mind if I post this word for word, and link for link on the www.issuesetcpetition.blogspot.com blog?

Christopher Esget said...

Thanks for reading. I hope we can continue to spread this information in a courteous but unwavering manner.

Christopher Esget said...

Orthodoxy Hunter: No, I don't mind at all; please link back to this site, though.

Grasshopper said...

Excellent roundup, Pr. Chris.

I think is great that the laity have faithful confessional pastors like you and Weedon/Cwirla/Peterson/McCain/etc that are standing up for truth and informing us of if as well. Thank you!

BTW, have you finished Cornwell's, The Last Kingdom yet? I just finished it today. I love his writing and his take on historical eras of England.

Christopher Esget said...

I need to update the books section - it's quite out-of-date. I just finished the third book in the Saxon Chronicles series, "Lords of the North." I can't help rooting for the pagan Uhtred! The fourth book, "Sword Song: The Battle for London" is out - I'm currently 64th on the waiting list at our county library.

I'd like to read some other of Cornwell's books - I do enjoy his writing.