This is my comment, awaiting moderation on this blogpost.
To claim something openly, which is openly false is also deceiving. They claim to be members of a church, but in reality, they are members of another churchbody. That is deceiving, whether done openly or secretly. Why should the church of Sweden or Finland deal with them. They have no power in the church, but they still help paying the bills.
If you think, that Simojoki was right in pointing to Luthers example, you should defend that position.
The usual Scandinavian-pietistic reference to Luthers staying in the papal church is false and presupposes an organizational-bureaucratic view on the church rather than the lutheran view on the church. Luther was a member of the church of Wittenberg. To claim that he was a member of the church of Rome and had to leave this church is an expression of the papistic error in the doctrine of the church.
I don’t subscribe to Walthers private opinions. The LCMS has bound itself to his Kirche Und Amt and not to everything he might have said. When that is said, the saxon church at the time of Walther and Stephan was whole other story than LWF-churches today.
The historical background of the Mission province is the pietist-movements of Sweden. Bo Giertz belonged to these too. It is the pietist who base church-unity on something else than doctrinal agreement. The Mission province itself is not in doctrinal agreement, but united on subjective grounds.
“The greatest weakness among “confessional” Lutheran movements seems to be a need break fellowship at the slightest disagreement. A need fostered by a pietism of another sort.”
It must be pietism of a whole new sort. A sort of pietism, that was called orthodox lutheranism in the age of real pietism.
Do you thereby think, that one should not break fellowship because of doctrinal disagreement?
To find visible unity outside doctrinal unity is exactly one of the main characteristics of classical pietism. And it is one of the main differences between pietism and confessional Lutheranism. The Book of Concord clearly makes doctrinal agreement necessary as basis for churchfellowship.
The fact is, that the Mission province is formed by the pietistic revival-movements in Sweden and Norway. The new bishop in Sweden came directly from a position in one of these movements. These people are not confessional Lutherans, but pietists coming from the pietist groups in Scandinavia.
A few comments on the actual teachings of the Mission province:
The founding document of the Mission Province writes: “De av oss som kan tänka sig presbyteriala vigningar menar att man, för enhetens skull, i första hand bör använda sig av biskop och först i andra hand (då andra möjligheter saknas) av präst för att meddela ordets ämbete till nya generationer.”
This sentence implies that the Mission Province is not in agreement, whether presbyterial ordinations are valid. And those, who think, that they are, still think that a bishop should be used for the sake of unity. This is against the Formula of Concord article X.
The newly ordained and consecrated bishop of the Mission province was to my knowledge not called by a congregation but by Province-convention. The province is not the church, since it is not a gathering around word and sacrament (And if you claim that the province is church, you contradict, what they say to their churchbodies). They hereby show a false view on the church and a false view on the call in to the ministry.
On the website of the Mission province, a sister Marianne Nordström defends a joint report on the doctrine of justification between the papacy and the churches of Finland and Sweden. She warns against wars on words of the 16th century. This is a denial of the papacy as the antichrist against the Smalcald Articles, Part II, IV.10, which clearly teaches this doctrine. ( http://www.missionsprovinsen.se/signerat/160-olika-sprak)
It is also an attack on the doctrine of justification, which is being polluted by all joint declarations with the papacy.
Frederik Sidenvall in the paper summarized here (http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=9979) seems to deny, that the papacy is the very antichrist. He seems to believe in a future worldly antichrist and put liberal theologians on the same level as the papacy as expressions of the Antichrist. Frederik Sidenvall is affiliated with the Mission Province and was a member of founding group.
The Mission province also accepts the view that creation did not happen in six literal days. This view has been rejected by all orthodox Lutherans, as far as I know (see R. Preus: post-reformation lutheranis vol II). It is a de facto denial of Holy Scripture as the only source and norm of Christian doctrine.
These are just examples of teachings in the Mission Province that are against the word of God and the Lutheran confessions.
Maybe you yourself have become a pietist by reading too much Bo Giertz and therefore can’t see the pietism in the Mission province?