I just heard another story of a faithful shepherd who was expelled from his congregation unbiblically. I am not at liberty to say who it was or where the information came from, but I feel compelled to comment on this practice in general.
What should happen to congregations who do not want to use liturgical Lutheran worship services, do not want their children to learn the Catechism, and want people other than the pastor to be in charge of the worship services is that the District President and the Circuit Counselor should stand up for the pastor and threaten the congregation with expulsion from the Synod. What usually happens, though, is that the pastor, who refuses to give in to the whims of rebellious church members, is removed without proper cause and the congregation gets a slap on the wrist, if that. At the very least, they should be denied a pastor.
I know that this is the way of the cross, that the faithful shepherd and prophet is stoned and crucified while the people who do so get off scot-free. I know that this is the cruciform life of the pastor, for Christ Himself said to His disciples: “Blessed are you when they say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” But I am still absolutely outraged when I hear of these things.
No doubt the pastor to whom this happened is suffering quietly and is simply going to do what he is told. He has no choice. He is a shepherd of Christ and that is what undershepherds do. To this person and to all who have undergone such ignomy I say with all respect and admiration: “Blessed are you when you are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.” May God grant strength and peace to you in the days ahead. My prayers are with you.
To all those who are preparing to be pastors, be ready for anything.