Issues, Etc. Gone (Updated)

If you are outside the Lutheran blogosphere or other means of Missouri Synod communication, you may not have heard that the KFUO program “Issues, Etc” has been canceled, and its host, Todd Wilken, and producer, Jeff Schwarz, were fired. There is no other information given.

If you are concerned about this, call the LCMS International Center (888-THE-LCMS [843-5267]) and ask to be transferred to the Board for Communications to register your disapproval. This is a significant loss to the Missouri Synod, to all Confessional Lutherans, and to the world at large. Many people have come to better understand Lutheranism or even be converted because of this program. Perhaps the outcry will reach the ears of those in charge so that this disastrous decision can be reversed. (apparently, the website for KFUO-AM has crashed; I’m guessing it’s because of a massive attempt to download old Issues, Etc. broadcasts)

The Wittenberg Trail has set up a PayPal account for Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz, who are jobless:

A message to all members of The Wittenberg Trail

The Wittenberg Trail is organizing a drive to offer financial support to Pastor Wilken, Jeff Schwarz and their families during this difficult time.

The WT has a secure Pay Pal account set up. Please indicate “Wilken/Schwarz” in the donation comment section.

Please log into the Wittenberg Trail and click on the “Donate” button on the right side of the screen.

Visit The Wittenberg Trail at:

More from WT:

A message to all members of The Wittenberg Trail

Today’s a black day in the LCMS.

Today the Synod ordered the cancellation of the popular radio show Issues, Etc. without stating a reason why, and terminated the employment of Pastor Todd Wilken, the show’s host, and Mr. Jeff Schwarz, the show’s producer.

If you can get into the archives and save MP3 files of the show ASAP.

The person who made the decision to cancel Issues, Etc. was Mr. David Strand, Executive Director of the Board for Communication Services.

Here is Mr. Strand’s contact information:

David L. Strand
Executive Director
Board for Communication
314) 996-1200

If you care enough, you might cease support for KFUO-AM until they restore the program, its host, and its producer.

More from Necessary Roughness, Pr. Weedon, The Minnesota Lutheran, Outer Rim Territories, Lane’s Blog, Hoc Est Verum, Rapp Files, Putting Out the Fire, Northwoods Lutherans, and On the Wittenberg Trail. No doubt there are and will be more. Feel free to post more links in the comments.

*New* And, sign the petition.



16 thoughts on “Issues, Etc. Gone (Updated)

  1. Pingback: In the Wilderness of a Perishing World

  2. Pingback: Issues Etc No More? (Updated) « Heidelblog

  3. I don’t know if this will come in handy, but I’ve created a blog that can serve as a clearinghouse for information about the cancellation, and a place for fans of the show to discuss what should happen next. Even if the show never returns to KFUO, I believe something resembling Issues Etc. will sprout again — probably online — but only if Lutherans work together to make it happen.

  4. All this hand-wring is fine and good, but now is the time for action.

    For too many years confessional pastors have played this little game of, “Oh,things are so bad” and then sat back, checked out of decision making processes, isolated themselves to their little groups and blogs and mailing lists and e-mail clubs and mutually bewailed Synod’s woes.

    Now is the time for ACTION. Deeds, not merely creeds.

    Our Synod has a process by which we can, and must,remove the elected leadership that is doing us all such a tremendous disservice and instead put men into office who will support, not harm, the cause of the Gospel in our Synod.

    This incident should help underscore our vital it is to make a change in Synodical leadership.

    It is time for a change!
    Time to get busy.
    Time to get ‘er done!!

  5. Pingback: Issues, Etc. « North Prairie Pastor

  6. 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

    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) 965-9000
    (314) 996-1350
    Fax: (314) 996-1016

    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.

  7. Dear Brothers in Christ,
    I am writing this letter on the eve Resurrection Sunday. I would like to respectfully object to the unceremonious cancellation of, in my view, the most vital radio in Christian broadcasting, Issues Etc.

    In March of 1996, I listened to my first “Issues” show. The subject was “The Theology of the Cross”. In my previous church-going experience, I attended various congregations including Evangelical, and Charismatic churches In these environments there was something missing. I heard plenty of positive thinking, signs and wonders, practical application, and other subjects. Most of these painted our savior
    as a life coach, and a showman. In my personal Bible Studies, I read about a Savior that died on the Cross for my Salvation, and rose again the next day. There was nothing I could do of my own power, but by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. I rarely heard these things in those churches or from the evangelists that broadcasted there version of the Gospel on radio and television. Then on Sunday night in March 1996, I “accidentally” tuned in Issues Etc. They spoke of the Theology of the Cross. I was hooked. I later learned about the sacraments; baptism, and communion. As I continued to listen, I became more acquainted with the Confessional Lutheran message. In April 1998, I became a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville IL. Our pastors have always been faithful servants of Jesus Christ, who rightfully divide Law and Gospel in a way that did not magnify themselves as media superstars as we so often see today. Instead they did so in totally giving Glory and Honor to our resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ.

    This is why I feel that Issues Etc is so vital to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In a world of pop-culture evangelism, where the seeker is scared, Issues Etc directs people to the true “Full Gospel” of Jesus Christ. It directed me to a Confessional Lutheran Church, and has done so for countless others. To take this vital tool of the Gospel off the air without a specific reason is unconscionable, in my humble opinion.

    Yours in Christ,
    Jim Harter, Naperville IL

  8. If this is a business i.e financial decision…what is interesting is that the Tres of Synod is not mentioned anywhere in the news releases . Logically, if this is a business financial decision made without his counsel …I wonder if the decision was made in haste and subject to review/overturn . If this business/financial was made with the counsel of Tres of Synod, I will respect his judgment. I pray that the Tres of Synod, if moved, makes known how he stood, if at all, on this business/ financial decision.

  9. I am a Wels Lutheran (former Missouri Synod Synod) but I listened to Issues Etc. with regularitary.
    I appreciated the fact that they were confessional, and stood for the Bible, the Lutherine doctrine, fellow christian believers, and did not depart from Luther or Lutheran fathers until the “liberal” wing has tried to “root” out all the conservative beliefs of the Christians.
    Do not shrink from your faith. Let your pastors know how you feel and contact the Missouri Lutheran Synod know how you fell about their trying to “kick” out conservatives like Terry and Jeff.

  10. My brain nearly exploded when I realized Issues, Etc was canceled. I kept wondering why I wasn’t getting any podcast updates. This is terrible news.

    It’s one of the best apologetic shows out there (if not the best along with Stand To Reason) and believe me, I subscribe to ALL of them. I’m a mailman and walk all day long so podcasting is my life. The subjects they pick are fantastic and always relevant to what’s happening in our culture. Charge me 5 bucks a month like the conservative talk shows do, I don’t care, just bring back the show.


  11. The petition is up to 7215 now far over the amount of listeners David Strand said. As much as I like all the other programming I can only take so much of Bible lessons in one day. So I’m human. I need variety and Issues etc. talked about issues of the day. Actually it provoked critical thinking rather that allow the listener to blindly follow. KFUO is having the SHare aThon this weekend Call or send an e-mail and say you will donate When they bring Issues Etc. Back.

  12. I regret that the show has gone off the air. As a Baptist I did not always agree with Schwarz and Wilken, but I was frequently informed and edified by the program. It would be most interesting to learn the REAL reason it was cancelled.

  13. I’m still missing Issues. More than the good discussion and informative theology, the strong faith and conviction of the host Todd Wilkens, helped strengthen my faith and encouraged me.

  14. You can now hear Issues Etc from a Bott Radio Station
    Read a recent e-message from Todd Wilken:
    Dear Friend of Issues, Etc.,

    We’re excited about the return of Issues, Etc.! Since the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod canceled the show on March 18, we’ve been working on the show’s return. We’re very happy to announce that Issues, Etc. will be back on the Radio and Internet starting Monday, June 30!

    The show will broadcast LIVE from 3-5 p.m. CST weekdays at our website, Issues, Etc. will also air LIVE from 4-5 p.m. CST on KSIV, 1320 AM in St. Louis. Of course, both hours will be available for on-demand downloads.

    As always, Issues, Etc. is listener supported. Lutheran Public Radio is the producer of Issues, Etc. Please consider making a special startup gift to Lutheran Public Radio. You can make a secure online donation at our website or you can also donate by check to:

    Lutheran Public Radio
    P.O. Box 1046
    San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

    If you have any questions, email me or call me at (618) 223-8385.
    Thanks for your support!
    Wir sind alle Bettler,
    Todd Wilken, Host
    Issues, Etc.

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