Let the Games Begin

2013 Conventon WorkbookPardon my less-than-pious title. As Pastor Henrickson pointed out, the Convention Workbook for the upcoming July LCMS Regular Convention is now available online here (and will eventually be available in paper form from CPH). For you delegates out there, time to study up and get ready for that swollen inbox/mailbox. If you’re an outsider and happen across a copy of this thing, you’ll be totally discombobulated. I’ll let a few antipodean overtures illustrate my point. Though we all claim to share the same confession, with such divergent goals, we can’t all share the same theology, can we?

Overture 3-31 [p. 157]
To Affirm Work of Transforming Churches Network

Overture 3-32 [p. 157]
To Revoke RSO Status of Transforming Churches Network

Overture 3-37  [p. 160]
To Encourage Harmony in Worship

“Resolved, That the Minnesota North District in convention hereby solemnly encourage public worship services exclusively according to the rites and services of the Synod’s three hymnbooks/agenda.”

Overture 3-41  [p. 161]
To Encourage More Diversity in Worship Forms and Hymnals

“Resolved, That the pastors, church musicians, and congregations of the Synod encourage diversity in worship forms and hymnals which can assist in reaching lost people by developing an appreciation of a variety of responsible practices and customs which are in harmony with our common profession of faith.”

Overture 4-32  [p. 178]
To Rescind 1989 Res. 3-05B in Light of Augsburg Confession Art. XIV

Overture 4-36 [p. 180]
To Affirm 1989 Res. 3-05B and Ministry of Licensed Deacons

Overture 4-49  [p. 185]
To Recognize It Contrary to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions to Join in Public Prayer with Those Who Deny Jesus Christ as the Only Way to the True God

“Resolved, That no resolution, guideline, or program, whether it be resolved, accepted, or promoted by the LCMS or any of its districts, is understood by the 2013 LCMS convention to command, allow, or encourage a member of the LCMS or delegate thereof to be a representative in a worship service, prayer service, or vigil with those with whom the LCMS is not in altar and pulpit fellowship; and be it further
“Resolved, That no resolution, guideline, or program, whether it be resolved, accepted, or promoted by the LCMS or any of its districts, is understood by the 2013 LCMS convention to command, allow, or encourage a member of the LCMS or delegate thereof to be a representative in any public prayer situation with those who deny Jesus Christ as the only Way to the true God.”

Overture 4-54  [p. 188]
To Affirm Commitment to Witness in Public Square

“Resolved, That the LCMS reaffirm its commitment to bold public witness of the Gospel; and be it further
“Resolved, That the LCMS encourage all members who wrongfully claim offense at such public witness to study the CTCR’s opinions and to repent of their actions that could lead to the damnation of people.”

Overture 5-29  [p. 227]
To Discontinue Specific Ministry Pastor Program

Overture 5-31  [p. 227]
To Commend and Enhance Specific Ministry Pastor Program

About Scott Diekmann

Scott is a lifelong LCMS layman. Some of his vocations include husband, dad, jet driver, runner, and collector of more books than he can read. Oh, and also chocolate lover. He’s been involved in apologetics for over a decade, is on the Board of Regents at Concordia Portland, and is a column writer for the sometimes operational Around the Word Journal. He’s also written for Higher Things Magazine, The Lutheran Clarion, and has been a guest on Issues Etc. as well as the KFUO program Concord Matters.

Comments

Let the Games Begin — 23 Comments

  1. Scott Diekmann: “I’ll let a few antipodean overtures illustrate my point.”

    Thanks, Scott. It’s Koinonia-rrific!

  2. I’ll let a few antipodean overtures illustrate my point.

    And this is why, Scott, I don’t get too worked up about the Workbook. The overtures still have to go through the floor-committee blender, and then they come out as a mushy mix in Today’s Business. Usually. We’ll see if anything controversial ends up as a proposed resolution that actually takes a stand and does something.

    Then there are the overtures that go something like this: “To Commend Mom and Encourage Apple Pie.” Those sail through untouched and pass by 99% and we all stand and sing the Doxology.

  3. As to the antipodal overtures on the left, it is often instructive to “consider the source” whence they came:

    Overture 3-31 [p. 157]
    To Affirm Work of Transforming Churches Network

    CNH District

    Overture 3-41 [p. 161]
    To Encourage More Diversity in Worship Forms and Hymnals

    Trinity
    Roselle, IL

    Overture 4-36 [p. 180]
    To Affirm 1989 Res. 3-05B and Ministry of Licensed Deacons

    Northwest District

    Overture 4-54 [p. 188]
    To Affirm Commitment to Witness in Public Square

    Trinity
    Roselle, IL

    Caveat emptor.

  4. @Charles Henrickson #4

    Caveat emptor (!)

    Indeed, Pastor Henrickson!
    But have enough lay delegates (or even Pastors) been awake and aware enough to know what is meat and what is poison… and will they be able to tell the difference, when the resolutions are pushed through the meat grinder of the Floor Committees?

    If we haven’t been praying before, it’s certainly time to start… for the delegates, the floor committees, and all who are involved in shaping our version of the Lutheran Christian church!

    Kyrie Eleison!

  5. I was at the Northwest District Convention when the resolution titled “TO AFFIRM 1989 SYNOD RESOLUTION 3-05B AND THE MINISTRY OF LICENSED DEACONS” was passed. The next-to-last resolved reads “Resolved, That the Northwest District rise in gratitude and thanksgiving for the ministry of our licensed deacons who are providing vital Word-and-Sacrament ministry to such bodies of Christians who would not otherwise be fellow partakers of the Means of Grace without them….” I can testify that there was at least one delegate in the house that did not rise in gratitude and thanksgiving. In fact, this person did not rise at all, thinking instead that we ought not do what Holy Scripture prohibits.

  6. @Charles Henrickson #3
    “We’ll see if anything controversial ends up as a proposed resolution that actually takes a stand and does something.” And after all Pastor Henrickson, what controversial resolution could possibly come of one of our floor committees, when we’ve got such solid confessional guys at the helm of all of our floor committees, such as the good Bishop Benke, Chairman of Committee 2.

  7. The dear Bishop only has 10 memorials to play with. Removing RSO for LCFS of Illinois, commending LIRS (depending on your opinion of immigration reform), women in combat, a couple about abortion… Not much for Benke to get involved with you most divisive internal problems. And helen’s favortie TX DP serves as vice chair…

    VP Scott Murray chairs Committee 4, and I notice DP Cripe serves. Dcs. Kim Schave speaks highly of her (now former) DP. DP Sattgast heads Committee 5. From a recent call process I was involved in, this new SD DP I think is pretty solid. And Kevin Vogts (also from SD) is on. Reading his internet postings, I think he is good.

    Maybe with a little luck, some of the edginess can come through, so the delegates can vote on meat instead of all the fluff.

  8. Yes, I agree with your comment Jason. Overall, a good group. And the Vice Chair of Committee 4, Theology and Church Relations, is Montana District President Terry Forke, who is also a solid guy. Also solid guys on that committee whom I know personally are Pastor Kurt Onken and Dr. Matt Phillips.

  9. With all of the talk in the past about the pastor shortage and the need for “licensed lay deacons,” I just noticed that the number of pastors serving in a parish in 2013 is 5,734 which is actually an increase from 2012 when there were only 5,550.

  10. In scanning through the document, here are a couple of my favorites:

    Re the Koinonia project (page 6), Wyoming District: “This district didn’t see the need for this specific project within their district.” !!! How dare they?

    Then later on… “Several years ago, there was discussion regarding the desirability of bringing the Wyoming and Atlantic Districts together in a joint pastoral conference to discuss the issues of unionism and syncretism. … This possibility is being revived with the possibility of using some of the grant monies we have received for the pilot phase of the project.” That would be a fun conference to attend!

    Again, the Koinonia project, Northern Illinois District (page 6): “Twelve pastors from the NID were chosen by the district praesidium to attend an initial retreat Aug. 28–29, 2012. The major topic was the question: Is it worth it to work under the Word of God toward greater unity?”

    A two day retreat to figure out whether we want to use God’s Word to achieve greater unity!!??

    God’s blessings,
    Ginny Valleau

  11. @Ginny Valleau #12 : Again, the Koinonia project, Northern Illinois District (page 6): “Twelve pastors from the NID were chosen by the district praesidium to attend an initial retreat Aug. 28–29, 2012. The major topic was the question: Is it worth it to work under the Word of God toward greater unity?”

    Well, Ginny, it may depend on where the two-day retreat was held and what they had to eat and drink.

    But it gets better; the report (page 6) immediately continues:

    This retreat turned out to be crucial.

    • The end result of the retreat is that 11 pastors and the district president are committed to the process.

    • They have begun with the question “How do brother pastors help each other deal with couples living together who want to get married?” More recently, they have begun discussion of issues surrounding admission to the Lord’s Supper.

    • More needs to be done to follow up on what is being learned.

    Did anything “crucial” happened to the 12th pastor? Also, after six-months later, they apparently were not able to report any answer to their question about dealing with couples shacking up together. Will we be having a septcentennial Reformation celebration before they manage to deal with really tough questions in trying to achieve 85% Koinonia?

  12. It’s like shooting fish in barrel!!

    Here’s a statement from page 5:

    The COP is also engaged in koinonia-like discussions regarding “church and office,” Walther’s The Church and the Office of the Ministry, the Augsburg Confession, etc.

    The COP… Kirche und Amt… the AC, etc… Only “koinonia-like”?!?

    Good Grief!!

  13. page 7:

    Office of the President

    • The Office of the President has engaged in Koinonia Project-type discussions with representatives of the Pastoral Leadership Institute regarding issues having to do with our Synod’s theology of missions. This needs to continue, in my opinion.

    Hey! I’m not making up this crap!!

  14. Kits –

    Nominate Richard for SP.

    He knows it all. Who better? Immediate pain, no matter the gain.

    Sweet Jesus – I have to sit through this nonsense in July.

    jb

  15. On this one I’m sitting on the fence, between opposing such an assault against the confessional integrity of unsuspecting new Lutherans in China, or promoting its use as a weapon of mind-robbing enviro-wackiness against unsuspecting Chicoms. From page 80:

    Tentative arrangements have been made with LCMS missionary personnel in Hong Kong for the translation of the condensed version of Together with All Creatures into Chinese.

  16. When is the LCMS going to be honest with itself and pass an overture or bylaw which says in effect that its members can do whatever they want as long as they have the political clout to back it up?

  17. The 2013 Convention Workbook (again) has no Overture which resolves to add the missing “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope” to the listed (“to wit:”) Symbols in Article II of the LCMS Constitution. The CCM hasn’t even included that missing Symbol to the Confessional Standard section (2013 Convention Workbook, p. 326) in its Guidelines for Constitutions and Bylaws of Lutheran Congregations.

    The CCM continues to punt this issue since its opinion in their August 3, 2004, Minutes:

    288. Omission of “Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope” in Art. II of Constitution (04-2402)
    Opinion: Since Bylaw 3.905 d indicates that one of the functions of the Commission on Constitutional Matters is to: “interpret the Synod’s Constitution, Bylaws, and resolutions upon the written request of a member…of the Synod,” and since the question as posed goes beyond the scope of these responsibilities, the Commission suggests that the question would better be posed to the Commission on Theology and Church Relations.

  18. Maybe it’s time to do away with the acronyms and put the text of resolutions into simple English.

    It is 2013 … not 1600 England.

    My job as a delegate would be so much easier.

  19. The Concordia Seminary Response to the “Specific Ministry Pastor Task Force Report,” prepared in May, 2013, by faculty members of Concordia Seminary at the request of President Dale Meyer, states:

    “Again in our day the context for life as church is rapidly changing due to globalization, changing economic forces, technology, shift­ing societal values, and a younger generation that is growing up without any connection to the church. In this rapidly changing context, the Lutheran church has sought not just to maintain, but even more to strengthen and enhance the training of pastors for service in this challenging age.”

    The conclusion of the Response is (surprise, surprise):

    “The faculty of Concordia Seminary recommends that the SMP program be continued, within the parameters passed by the 2007 convention of the LCMS. We see no theological or practical rea­son to ‘limit’ or ‘curtail’ the program, and we are concerned that biblical and Lutheran under­standings of the ministry are not always clearly driving the expressed concerns in the report.”

    The SMP Task Force Report is available in the 2013 LCMS Convention Workbook (p. 403).

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