Proposed Resolutions: Committee 8, Structure and Governance, 8-13 through 8-26 (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)
We’re nearing the end of our look at the 106 proposed resolutions from the eight floor committees, as found in “Today’s Business.” To see the previous articles in this series, go to Henrickson’s blog at steadfastlutherans.org. (Note that in my previous entry, I have just now changed my comments on 8-06.)
We continue with the 34 resolutions proposed by Floor Committee 8, Synod Structure and Governance, this time covering 8-13 through 8-26:
8-13: To Elect the First Vice-President
Should the synod president select the five nominees for first vice-president? This moves power away from the Synod in convention and into the hands of the president. NO.
8-14: To Elect Five Vice-Presidents by Geographic Region
This would unnecessarily limit the choice of the Synod in convention to choose the vice-presidents it desires. And it would increase the likelihood of putting more liberal VPs on the praesidium. NO.
8-15: To Enable Regional Elections at 2010 Convention
This is a huge rush job, to spring unknown names on this convention at the last minute. And it is tied to resolutions 8-08 and 8-16, which likewise ought to be defeated. NO.
8-16: To Ensure Regional Representation on the Board of Directors
See 8-14 and 8-15 above. Limits the convention and increases the chance of liberals on the BOD. NO.
8-17: To Elect the Synod President
Elect the president before the convention? But that’s why we have a convention–to elect officers and to act on resolutions. And according to this resolution, it would be the previous district convention delegates who would cast the votes, not the congregations. NO.
8-18: To Amend Article VIII of the Constitution
This constitutional amendment would move us from a three-year to a four-year convention cycle. The appeal will be made that this would save money. Well, maybe, maybe not. It might save some money on conventions. But it would add a whole new event in year two: district convocations. Those will cost money, and it will come out of the same people’s pockets. Also, increasing the time between conventions reduces the opportunity for accountability and action. The Synod has never gone four years between conventions before. NO.
8-19: To Amend Bylaws 4.9.1, 22.214.171.124–126.96.36.199 to Create Four-Year Convention Cycle
See above, 8-18. This would change the bylaws to reflect the constitutional amendment. NO.
8-20: To Implement Four-Year Cycle
See above, 8-18 and 8-19. This resolution hinges on two-thirds passage of 8-18 at this convention and then two-thirds congregational ratification afterward–both of which should not take place. NO.
8-21: To Establish Consistency in Terms of Office
I am not against “consistency in terms of office,” but I am against moving to a four-year cycle (see 8-18). NO.
8-22: To Amend Article VIII C of the Constitution
I don’t like demoting the opening sentence, “All matters of doctrine and conscience shall be decided only by the Word of God,” to a subordinate clause in the new section 2. And I am wary of how “disagreement,” “collective understanding,” and “certain doctrinal resolutions of special significance” could be used. At best I could give this resolution a cautious “Maybe,” but I would not be disappointed if it fails to get the two-thirds amendment vote needed. MAYBE.
8-23: To Amend 1.6.1–1.7.2, 3.1.1 re Doctrinal Resolutions and Statements
This would change the bylaws to fit the constitutional amendment above, 8-22. But it goes beyond that. Notice that the resolution title includes 1.6.1-1.7.2, but the “Resolved” only goes as far as 1.6.4 for that section. But buried in the back of the book, in Bylaw 1.7.2, there is this troubling change in regard to “binding resolutions”: The phrase “if they are in accordance with the Word of God” is changed to “on the assumption that they are in accordance with the Word of God.” From “if” to “on the assumption that”! Also, “if they appear applicable” is changed to “on the assumption that they are.” But neither of these things should be assumed! NO.
8-24: To Amend Article IX of the Synod’s Constitution
This would amend Article IX to reflect amended Article V (see 8-01), which I have previously said should be defeated. NO.
8-25: To Amend Article XII of the Constitution
Same thing as above (8-24). It depends on amending Article V (8-01), which ought to be defeated. NO.
8-26: To Determine the Number of Delegates at National Conventions
This would drastically reduce the number of delegates to national conventions. The appeal will be cost-savings. But it would diminish the grassroots voice of the congregations through their representatives. And it is tied to taking the vote away from electoral circuits and moving the power up the ladder to the districts. See 8-02 and 8-05. NO,
Next: 8-27 through 8-34, plus a Conclusion.