On the blog of a friend and classmate the following very sad news is posted:
Preface: This may surprise some readers of Ask the Pastor: I’ve been asked to resign my pastorate here in Emma, Missouri. I’ll provide a bit of background in this preface and then let you read the following letter, one that I delivered verbally and in print to the congregation following the service on 7 June 2009.
Such is the way in today’s churches. While I know this to be the way of the churches today, still it grieves me deeply and even catches me off guard. While I often wondered how Pastor Snyder continued as a pastor in the LC-MS without suffering what other pastors often have suffered for the sake of the Gospel, nevertheless, it still is abhorrent to observe.
I often read Pastor Snyder’s posts and asked myself how he could compromise on certain points. I knew that he was being overly gentle, seeking to avoid causing offense. While he presented very scholarly answers to many questions, I often sensed that he was holding back rather than being truly straightforward and as confrontational as the Scriptures speak.
I always figured that this was how he managed to be perceived as “acceptable” to so many readers and to the members of the congregation that he served.
But now it is demonstrated that even he is not acceptable.
How a “Lutheran” congregation could find his articles to be “embarrassing” is beyond reasonable explanation. To explain such a response requires ignoring the title of Lutheran in connection with the name of the congregation.
I have very much appreciated Pastor Snyder and his articles. He is very careful in his research. He presents valuable information that requires much effort and study. His very obvious desire is to present the truth as God has recorded it for us in His Holy Scriptures. His other very obvious desire is that people should hear the truth so as to receive God’s grace, salvation, and comfort through hearing it.
I grieve for the members of the congregation who are having their hearts shredded by what is being done to their pastor against their will. From my own experiences I know that many in the congregation are shocked and deeply injured by what they helplessly observe being perpetrated not only against their beloved pastor, but also against their Lord, whom their pastor serves.
I grieve for Pastor Snyder, knowing that he intensely feels the pain of these members and would do anything in his power to prevent their anguish. I know that he wishes that he could take their pain for them. I know that he is questioning his every action, trying to find an answer to what he may have done to cause this. I know that he hurts for his family. I know that he agonizes over the congregation.
Yet this is not about anything that Pastor Snyder has done wrong, nor about his personality. This is regarding the very strong warning given in James 4:4.
Pastor Snyder, as you will surely be examining yourself with great scrutiny, do not forget who you are in Christ Jesus. Hold fast. Remember the promises of God in your baptism. Let this be a time that drives you even more deeply into the Scriptures and into the confidence proclaimed therein. Let go of all else and cling to the Word who is proclaimed in and through these Holy Scriptures. He will not fail you. He has never failed anyone. He is the one whom you have proclaimed. Hear for yourself the blessed Word who is your God and Savior.
Know this, too, that He has a few on reserve who will continue to be your friends and brothers. There is and always has been and ever shall be a remnant, who value the Word more than all else, and who stand in unity with all who truly depend upon Him.
God be with you, Pastor Snyder, and with all who hurt as you do. This is more than a kindly wish from a fellow man, this is the sure promise of Almighty God.