OUR PROCEDURE arouses much hostile attention and is condemned by friend and foe as uncharitable, because it conflicts with pet but mistaken dogmas current in the church. Our periodical was born of controversy, and our publication of the wrongs in the church and of the sins of individuals is thought to be prompted by self-righteousness and by personal resentment, embitterment, and vindictiveness. It is sufficient to say, we class ourselves with our opponents under the common denominator of sinners.
CONTROVERSY, as a study of life and psychology, is enlightening to the outsider, too, and thus our paper challenges the attention of every keen reader to whose ken it comes. The New Testament largely was born of controversy, and the alert Christian will in our controversy also be able to recognize the fundamental factors of law and Gospel at issue and in operation.
WE HOLD that our policy of not mincing our words and speaking in unvarnished terms is in character with the Word of God. We do not make any assertions which we have not carefully verified. We do not betray confidences. Charity often prompts us to withhold information which would help to prove our case, because we know, too, that no proof of fact will convert hearts, but the Gospel alone. We have a larger purpose than the venting of personal grievances and the winning of our case.
OUR PURPOSE, as it grows from our history, is to break down the influence of the misleaders of the church and free their followers from their thraldom, to break down within our Lutheran church, and wherever else it may flourish, the spirit of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency which breeds uncharitableness and unwarranted judgment of others, and thus leads to controversy.
OUR LARGER PURPOSE is to call men from a comfortable gospel, that acts as a soporific and permits unrighteousness to run riot in the church, to the Gospel that is in truth comforting to stricken sinners, and to seek with them an evermore increasing knowledge of our Lord, that we might win Christ and be found in Him, not having our own righteousness but that which is through the faith of Christ, to apprehend that for which also we are apprehended of Christ Jesus; forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
OUR MESSAGE is that of the Gospel of Forgiveness of Sins through Our Blessed Savior, coupled with the warning of the hardening of hearts and of the judgment upon those who reject this message and its implications. That is the full message of the Word of God as it is sounded in the New Testament from the first book to the last, and no less in the Old Testament, from the first book to the last.