The Pious Lie (III): The Institutional Lie

Alongside the pious and dogmatic lies, there stands an especially dangerous form of lie which can be called the institutional lie. By this we mean a lie which works itself out in the institutions of the church, in her government and her organization. It is so dangerous because it legalizes the other lies in the church and makes them impossible to remove. Such a lie exists, for instance, where the governance of the church grants to those who confess and those who deny the Trinity and the two natures of Christ the same rights in the church; where the preaching of the Gospel according to the understanding of the Reformation enjoys the same right as the proclamation of a dogma-less Enlightenment religion, so long as the latter appeals only to the Bible; where it is the rule that at a church with two pastoral positions one must be filled with a pastor of the "free" bent, so the "liberals" in the congregation do not have to go to an "orthodox" pastor.

From 'Union and Confession' (c.1936), trans. by Matthew C. Harrison, published by the Office of the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1997.

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