Leading Sheep Out of Danger is Not Sheep Stealing
“The Missouri Synod Lutheran cannot understand why a rightly called but heterodox pastor, one who is thus Lutheran in name only, is allowed to lead an entire congregation, even an entire generation of the flock that has been entrusted to his care, into heterodoxy or even apostasy, while the ecclesiastical authorities stand silently by or even maintain that the congregation is after all still Lutheran because the doctrine (publica doctrina) of the Lutheran Church still has official standing in it. Who can disagree with the Missouri Lutheran on this point? Who has the right to prevent the Gospel being preached to souls deceived by others?”
— Hermann Sasse
Confession and Theology in the Missouri Synod, (Letters to Lutheran Pastors No. 20, July 1951).