Joshua Green of The Atlantic Monthly quotes the omnipresent Bill Donohue in his piece regarding Michele Bachmann's church affiliation: "Obama had to answer for Wright, McCain had to answer for [Rev. John] Hagee, and this is something that Bachmann has to answer for." Indeed, Ms. Bachmann is obligated to explain her affiliation with a church so adamantly anti-Catholic. Renunciating membership from the the church is not enough. Green's piece [here] refers several times to a nine page doctrinal statement [available here online] from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod which argues for the claim that the Pope is the Antichrist. The statement refers repeatedly to 2 Thessalonians 2 and identifies the Roman Catholic Pope as the most obvious manifestation of Satan's work in drawing people toward untruth: "The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore, God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) These are tough words from Paul.
The WELS's doctrinal statements emphasize the primacy of scripture. Yet, they ignore an important passage from Matthew's gospel: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:18-19) Sola scriptura results in irresolvable paradoxes and corrosive pronunciations such as the Roman Catholic Pope is the Antichrist. Does the WELS believe that Christ inaugurated a Satanic institution? A house divided against itself shall not stand.
In any case, doctrinal disputations aside, Ms. Bachmann, please tell us more about your long association with WELS as well as your abrupt disassociation with it.