Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Issues, Etc. unceremoniously canned; UPDATE: LCMS issues "non-statement"; UPDATE: Wil Weedon organizing protest

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Got the astounding news today that the radio program Issues, Etc. -- a favorite of Rich and mine -- has been suddenly canceled and its host and producer, the Rev. Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz, respectively, unceremoniously fired with no explanation.

And this is Holy Week.

Reliable sources say that the cause is neither finances nor scandal -- neither of which would have necessitated the sudden cancellation of the program anyway. Speculation abounds, but the fact that there was no warning coupled with the fact that even the show's Web site was taken down completely smacks of a punishing stance by the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod, which underwrote the program.

Here's a roundup of blog posts about the topic:

Wil Weedon:

Randy Asburry:

James White:

Kim Riddlebarger:

J.A.T. Vierkant:

It just galls me that hacks like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer are multimillionaires and poor Todd and Jeff are in the ranks of the unemployed today.

UPDATE: Looks like the LCMS has offered up a non-responsive response on the KFUO Web site:

For programmatic and business reasons, the decision was made this week to discontinue the "Issues, Etc." program on KFUO-AM. We look forward to bringing you new programming in this time slot in the near future. Also, we thank "Issues" host Rev. Todd Wilken and producer Mr. Jeff Schwarz for their years of service on behalf of the station. Those interested may still download past "Issues, Etc." programs from the "Issues" archive on this website. Thank you sincerely for your continued support of KFUO's radio ministry.

Try again, LCMS. Not. Good. Enough.

UPDATE: Pastor Wil Weedon, a frequent IE guest and -- I believe -- Jeff Schwarz's own pastor, is wanting to organize a formal public protest in St. Louis. Here's his blog post about it.

I'll be there in spirit, pastor.


Rich said...

Good collection of links, babe.

There's some fascinating speculation in the Weedon comment thread about Issues' message having gotten under the LCMS majority's skin for some time. Methinks LCMS may be in for a real schism--sounds like many conservative/Confessional Lutherans have been looking for an excuse to take their toys and go elsewhere for some time.

Tragic, but there is already hopeful talk of resurrecting IE in some online form.

rr adventurer said...

Thanks for blogging this!

We were avid listeners of Issues when we lived in STL.

It is a sad week to have the talk radio for the thinking Christians off air!

Lutheran Lucciola said...

Thanks for the graphics permission, I posted your stuff on my blog!

Darth Nemoyer said...


Here is all sorts of contact information to tell people what you think about this, let them know how important Issues, Etc. was to us, and ask why the show was cancelled:

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


Meanwhile, an online petition has been started up about Issues, Etc. being ended. I don't know how much good it will do, but it should be able to do some. it certainly can't hurt to put your name down. Here's the link:

For anyone who comes across this and has Facebook, the most discussion it seems is going on at the "Bring back Issues ETC!!!" Facebook group.


Finally, financial help for the Schwarz and Wilken families can be sent to the following address. Just put in the memo line that it’s for the “Schwartz/Wilken Fund”. The Schwarzes especially need the help and Rev. Jack Schwarz's wife Beth has been recently diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and they need to go to Mayo Clinic to try figuring out what can be done.

"Schwartz/Wilken Fund"
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 247
Hamel, IL 62046

All help and all prayers are appreciated.


I will be continuing to post information and resources relating to the cancellation of Issues, Etc. and firing of Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz. So, if you could please help me draw people to the resource of my blog, I would really appreciate it.

God bless,
--Aaron Nemoyer