About the Motley Magpie

Back to the Motley Magpie Home Page

About The Motley Magpie

Everyone has a journey, and everyone’s journey is unique. Yet for the myriad paths taken by the children of God, the destination or the goal of the believer’s journey is the same: God; to be in communion with God in Christ, to remain in communion with Him. Just as every journey reveals new vistas along the way, so one of the rewards of communion with God are new epiphanies about Him and his mercy. The two disciples journeying to Emmaus learned this truth. Their hearts burned within them, as they later said, as Jesus opened the scriptures to them, and then there was that final epiphany in the breaking of bread. Indeed, the Christ had to suffer and die and then rise again! Now it all made sense, now it all came together for them.

You’ve chosen to investigate the website devoted to the reissuing of the twelve issues of The Motley Magpie. We’re gratified that you have done so, and we hope that you will profit from this work. We have been told by people whom we respect that the journal is worth something. We promised our readers twelve issues and no more. However, many urged us to continue. This is our answer to their request. Each of the issues, one by one, will be placed on this site. The letters written to the editor will be wedded to the issue to which they pertain. Some minor reediting of the articles has been done. The letters to the editor and our editorial replies will remain the same. However, we will feel free to offer additional comments and insights as we see fit.

The Magpie has been called many things. Some have called it a scholarly theological journal. That makes us smile for we know the truth of the matter. It has been called a brash, cheeky poke at much of contemporary Lutheranism, especially that brand of Lutheranism typified by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which spawned the editors, and which is viewed by some as a stalwart confessional church. Cheeky it is. The journal has been charged with being loveless and unbrotherly due to the tone of its authors. Yes, there was tone, but not without purpose. The journal has been called a breath of fresh air by those tired of the same old stuff offered up Sunday after Sunday by self-consciously low-church Lutheran parishes or the latest contemporary drivel served up by self-styled cutting edge Lutheran congregations. There may be a bit of truth in all of these assessments. However, the Motley Magpie above all tells the story of a journey. It is the journey of the three who edited this magazine. We are not alone on this journey; there are many making the same trek. It is a journey which led us from what once was our home. As one synod bureaucrat told one of us, Brother, you’ve crossed the river. Indeed, we did. Two of us are no longer rostered pastors of the Wisconsin Synod. The fate of the third remains in question, such is always the state of a confessor. One editor is currently a pastor in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the other, along with his parish, is currently independent. The two who have left are happy to be out of the WELS, with its sectarian characteristics. There are no regrets. The distance between where we once were and where we now are is great. That happens when you journey.

The Motley Magpie does occasionally engage in some WELS-bashing, the editors, however, did not exempt themselves from this flagellation. Indeed, the WELS is not alone in masquerading as a Lutheran Synod. There’s a lot of deception going on out there in Lutheranism. Perhaps that was one of the greatest epiphanies for us: The Lutheran Church is not the Lutheran Church. Our concerns about the Wisconsin Synod began some fifteen to twenty years ago. We thought that the synod was beginning to stray from its former straight path. As we journeyed we realize that the outfit had never been truly Lutheran in the first place.

We offer up our journal for your examination, study or amusement. If you wish, feel free to copy and distribute these essays and musings, we only ask that you note the source of these copyrighted articles. We will allow the Motley Magpie to tell the story of our journey. Briefly stated, the journey is about the Blessed, Holy Trinity, for all good and perfect gifts are from the Father and through the Son and in the Spirit and by the Spirit’s means. Therefore the journey is about the Holy Gospel and the Blessed sacraments, and in turn, it is also about the Holy Liturgy and about the Holy Ministry. Of these things we wrote, for these are the things we believe.

Blessed be the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit now and forever!