One of our readers sent us a link to Rev. Randy Golter’s presidential address to the Rocky Mountain District.
I come from a district where theology is not at the heart of the convention procedings so it is refreshing to see this presidential address is based on the most crucial doctrine we face today, the doctrine of the church. The address rightly calls the synod to be united in confession and to be rooted in God’s word. We at BJS encourage President Golter and all district presidents to put that call into action by moving to rid thier districts of churches that practice emergent and church growth principles that root the local congregation in psychological and sociological principles and the “contemporary” worship that flows from such rather than being gorunded in God’s holy word.
Take some time and read the address and share your comments below. You can read the address here.
To whet your interest in what Rev. Golter has to say, we’ve included a few paragraphs from it below; first identifying a problem in the church today, then perhaps what has to happen:
Over time–and I have never seen this written anywhere–it is my conjecture that the longer a church body remains in existence, the more the church acts, speaks, and conducts business as an institutional but not as a confessional church. No longer are circuit meetings and conventions dominated by the Word as applied to each other and beyond. Pure teaching is no longer loved and desired and considered as essential for life in the Church and her mission. Church officials are tempted to persuade apart from or without the Word. Churches see the bigger church not through what we gladly and boldly confess together but by the common products offered and received.
Churches then act with a silo mentality, operating as retail outlets with a loose and lifeless connection to a corporation. Competition is bred between the franchises for the greatest production. Corporate headquarters lauds those who are successful according to certain standards of production. Each church looks out for its own needs which take precedence over those of the church down the street. Success is viewed as moving up the corporate ladder. The enemy is the other, and it’s all about me, myself, and I. And, the lost fall off the radar screen. Now, this is an extreme portrayal, but doesn’t it havesome truth in it?
Brothers and sisters, this is the Word of God. The written and spoken Word draws its energy, power, and clarity from its author, God Himself. God does not speak with confusion. Therefore, we must get back to the Word. It is the Word that will cause us to repent of our sins and to cling to Him for all help, strength, forgiveness, life, and salvation. It is the Word that exposes sloppy theology and practice as well as stubborn and pride-filled hearts. It is the Word that demands–and causes–a whole new reality!
The Lord Jesus may need to send a torrential flood of troubles upon The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod to drive her back to her first love. He may need to cause or allow a big stink over finances and structure. He may need to cause or allow backbiting and the pointing of fingers, and cause or allow all kinds of evil in order to work His good. He may need to expose the church’s wayward ways of trusting in the right man or the right collection of people on a board to bring life to the church. He may need to send all kinds of trouble in order for each pastor and church to place the other’s needs ahead of its own. He may need to cause or allow The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod to fail, fail completely. A broken church is God’s best instrument for His work. For you must understand, God works through opposites. He kills in order to make alive. He does so in order that the Church must never compromise with Babylon. She must remain a confessional church if she is to be and remain God’s salt for His mission.
He may need to send a Noah-like flood upon this church body so that, like Noah alone in the boat with only seven others, our church clings only to the Word of promise even as she fears the wrath of God caving in the ship’s walls.
Luther writes of Noah’s struggle: “It is no idle chatter when the Holy Spirit says that God remembered Noah. It indicates that from the day when Noah entered the ark nothing was said to him, nothing was revealed to him, and he saw no ray of grace shining; but he clung only to the promise he had received, although meanwhile the waters and the waves were raging as though God had surely forgotten him. Even though the holy seed overcame these perils, through a rich measure of the Spirit, it did not overcome them without great affliction of the flesh, without tears and great fear” (LW 2:103-4).