Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pulled from the Air: Issues, Etc.

[For the sake of keeping up with my college work, I am no longer able to keep this up-to-date, but I hope m work was useful for you.]

Friends and fellow Issues, Etc. fan; dear anyone who stumbles across my humble excuse for a blog and might find this useful:

I submit my blog (and this post specifically) to you as a place to try and keep up with concerns surrounding the cancellation of Issues, Etc. Check back frequently, because I am updating this page almost hourly.

Issues, Etc. was a marvelous radio program, a leader in defending the Christian faith, and a great resource to thousands literally around the world. However, the morning of March 18, AD 2008, the show's host (Rev. Todd Wilken) and producer (Mr. Jeff Shwarz) were informed by synodical officers that they no longer had a job and were physically escorted out of the building. The LCMS Board of Communiations pulled the show from the air and pulled down the Issues, Etc. website without a word of explanation to anyone. For all appearances after that morning, Issues, Etc. might never have existed.

This is an atrocity. It makes no sense from business standpoint (Issues, Etc. was the most popular show broadcast by KFUO.) And it makes no sense either if the well being of Lutheranism and the Christian faith is what was in mind. After all, I have not heard anyone deny that Issues, Etc. helped them in there faith. To the contrary, I know many many people who say were brought to faith or became Lutherans primarily because of that radio show. It is not even just Lutherans who appreciated what the show had to offer. There are Evangelicals, Reformed, Presbyterian, Baptist, Calvary Chapel, Greek Orthodox, and more beside us in protesting what has happened.

Even this is not the extent of hurt done. Rev. Todd Wilken has a family, a wife and two children, that he need to support. The need for Mr. Jeff Schwarz is even greater. He is also married and has four children, the youngest of whom is just a baby, and his wife has medical needs. She was recently diagonesed with small fiber neuropathy and needs to go to Mayo Clinic to figure out what can be done to treat her.

Two selfless men have lost their jobs. Many Christians around the world want the radio program back. We see more than ever some problems in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
So, what can we do?

First, we can pray. Pray for Rev. Wilken, Mr. Schwarz, their families, our Synod, and Christians around the world who are feeling this as a loss. We are after all, in all things, in God's hands.

Then, we can act. And it is to help this acting that I am again posting on my blog. I want to help us organize our efforts to make things better and to again be spreading God's Word preched true. Spread the news of what has happened. Discuss with friends. Call and mail people at LC-MS headquarters. Call KFUO. Sign petitions. Contribute to help support the Help recover old webcasts of Issues, Etc. Plan how in the future we might do evangelizing on our own. Maybe plan to make Issues, Etc. separate from LCMS and more synod-proof.


[3/20 6:50am CST]
It looks like a formal protest is in the making on Pr. Weedon's blog!
Details are currentrly very vague, but everyone is in agreement that a huge (Yeah, I'm talking HUGE! here.) physical presence of protesters in St. Louis with local or even national media attention would be very effective. So: a rally in front of the "Purple Palace", a huge fundraising event, special weekend worship services, housing for out-of-towners (which it look like there would be plenty of), and more may be formally arranged ASAP! We know there's not much Kieschnick and Strand would dislike more than protesters and national media attention let's give it to him! Discuss details at Weedon's blog.

[3/20, 3:46pm CST]
Someone has gotten an online petition going at this link, and signatures are showing up on it awfully fast. As a first easy action in helping get Issues, Etc. back, I would recommend that you go sign it. At the rate it is accumulating signatures, it ought to get the attention of Missouri Synod bureaucracy. It is a good first step towards getting action. At 11:38am CST on this morning of March 20th, the online petition passed 1,000 signatures. And that number seems to still be growing exponentially. To help you keep track, the number of signatures affixed to it is now:

[3/19 11:00pm CST]
There are two ways right now you can help financially support the Wilken and Schwarz families. If you have a PayPal account, go to and find their PayPal "Donate" link. The Wittenberg Trail has set up a PayPal fund of money that will be going to these two families. If you would prefer to just send a check somewhere, then put "Schwartz/Wilken Fund" in the check's memo line and send it to:
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 247
Hamel, IL 62046

[3/20 2:00am CST]
The [mostly complete] Issues, Etc. archives have been returned to the KFUO website for now, but we still want to get them compiled somewhere else where we have the control of making sure they stay. There are several people on Facebook group called "Bring back Issues ETC!!!" who are working on this. If you have a Facebook, you can find the group at:

Also, a "carbon copy" of the no longer existant Issues, Etc. has been put up at:
And the projects for re-compiling Issues, Etc. archives is located at:

[3/21, 3:02pm CST]
For purposes of contacting people to ask why Issues, Etc. was removed from the air, letting them know how important the show was, complaining (civily), etc... Below is list of all the people and places you might try and reach.
(As with everything on this page, tell me if anything listed is wrong. And tell me if there other people I could put on the list.)

Rev. David L. Strand
Executive Director
Board for Communication
(314) 996-1200
(314) 822-0000

Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
(888) 843-5267
(314) 965-9000
FAX: (314) 996-1016

KFUO Radio Station
(314) 725-0099
(314) 725-3030
‎(314) 721-2969

Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick
Synod President
(314) 996-1402
(314) 842-7110

LC-MS Board of Directors
(314) 996-1350

[3/20, 4:38pm CST]

Finally, here is a list of blogs that have been discussing the cancellation of Issues, Etc. and the firing of Pastor Todd Wilken and Mr. Jeff Schwarz. I will be trying to keep it updated. With the way this news is spreading, though, I doubt my list will ever be a truly current list of blogs discussing the matter. Please help me to keep it as useful as possible though. Tell me if any links don't work or if blogs on the list are no longer mention the Issue. Also (especially) tell me of any other blogs you know that are posting on the issue.

There are also innumerable Lutheran, Christian, and other web forums that have taken up this matter, but trying to list those threads as well would be truly impossible.


God bless, y'all. Keep spreading the word on what's up with Issues, Etc. If it is the Lord's will, we can get the show back (whether as a synod thing or somehow separate), and hopefully we will not forget to quickly what problems this has highlighted in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Inform me if anything changes that I haven't seemed to hear about. Tell me if there is anything else I should post to this page.

pax Christi,
~Aaron Nemoyer


orthodoxy hunter said...

Thanks for sending people to the petition!

Darth Nemoyer said...

Thank you. :)

Frank said...

Thanks as well from POTF.

Mrs. T. Swede said...

Thank you for doing this. I will be checking back regularly.

In the meantime, I have posted on my blog, as well, and would appreciate you adding me to your ever-growing list of bloggers supporting Pr. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz.

Jane said...

Thanks for compiling all this information in one place. I

Pelagrin said...

I have connections to the LCMS Headquarters in Kirkwood, MO (including a friend that knows Jeff personally) and have been researching this issue. Essentially, based on what I've learned, it sounds like President Kieschnick has been trying to have Issue Etc removed from the air for a while. Several people on the board are supporters of Issues Etc and have been in a constant battle attempting to prevent Issues Etc from being removed. The primary reason that I was told is that President Kieschnick is a big supporter of the church growth movement while Rev. Todd has frequently pointed out that focusing on church growth takes the focus off of Christ.

Darth Nemoyer said...

Thanks a lot for the info, Pelagrin! I had guessed about as much, but it's good to know things for sure.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the petition very carefully since it was started and took the time to figure out the demographics of who has been signing it. So far, all but 1 state has been represented. 10 stated occupations have been listed from pastors, missionaries, chaplains, military, professors, students, and Phd's. 24 denominations have been listed including Presbyterian, Baptist, and Roman Catholic...not just Lutheran. And...21 countries have been represented. I'd say Issue's had a deep impact. All the more proof that we need to fight for it. Thanks for letting me put in my two cents.... Have a blessed Easter! - Rebecca, Michigan

Barry said...

I am sure you mean well but plastering President K's home phone number all over the net is counter-productive. We need to engage the synod leadership rather than force a fight. I had a talk with him last night and he seemed less than thrilled by the calls. Even a Synod President deserves some simple courtesy.
Best wishes,
Barry O'Connell

Darth Nemoyer said...

Heh, I wasn't aware I had his home number up. The contact info I have is a compilation of the phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses I've found posted around the blogosphere. Could you tell me which it is, so I can take it down? Thanks. And thank you a lot for bringing that to my attention.

orthodoxy hunter said...

I'm going to post what seems to be "official" news here. It will just be a repeat of most of the other links, but I thought you'd want to know. If you find anything you think I should post there, let me know.