District Presidents Who Tilt at Windmills

June 14th, 2013 Post by

Straw manIs this quote…

…As traditional Christians are driven from the [public] square, the door is also closed for the Gospel.

…synonymous with this quote?:

…The church, besieged by spiritual and temporal forces, must withdraw from the field, raise the drawbridge and fortify our church walls in order to protect what we hold dear.

The first quote was originally made by Synod President Matt Harrison in the April 2013 issue of The Lutheran Witness, and now quoted out of context by California-Nevada-Hawaii District President Robert Newton in a campaign letter sent to the convention delegates in his District. The second quote is a portion of President Newton’s summary of President Harrison’s position and theology. He was campaigning for “his guy,” District President David Maier, and his talking points sound eerily similar to the talking points used by another District President.  President Harrison’s comment reflects his determination to continue to do battle on the field: “The task before us is monumental.  …We are called to confess Christ to all.  …Let’s go!”  These are fighting words.  They aren’t the words of someone who is raising the drawbridge.

I don’t know President Maier, but judging from President Harrison’s description of him, he sounds like a great guy:

I know Herb Mueller and David Maier well. Herb is truly “an Israelite in whom there is no guile.” David loves the Scriptures and applying them to real people in real life. They, at the will of the congregations of Synod, are standing for election because they believe deeply in the Gospel, and they live to serve for the sake of Jesus and His message of salvation. They want the very best for the Synod. They are fine men who would bring many gifts to the office. They and their dear wives and families deserve our thanks.

I wonder what President Maier thinks of District Presidents who knock down self-stuffed straw men so that “their guy” will be elected?

You can read President Newton’s letter here.


photo credit:  peter pearson on flikr

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  1. June 14th, 2013 at 23:29 | #1

    Linnemann, Newton . . . I’ve got another DP who needs to be exposed for using his office to campaign for candidates. More on that to come.

  2. Scott Diekmann
    June 15th, 2013 at 01:05 | #2

    ‘Tis the season.

  3. Dennis Bestul
    June 15th, 2013 at 01:08 | #3

    Bob Newton is right about one thing. By his own admission “… President Harrison and his administration have chosen to lead Synod down a road quite different from the one CNH is traveling.” That’s why the CNH congregation I’ve served for nearly thirty years has been walking down a road quite different from the one the CNH, under the leadership of DP Newton, is traveling. But we haven’t felt alone. There are others out here with whom we have long walked together… and we thank God for them.

  4. Scott Diekmann
    June 15th, 2013 at 01:11 | #4

    Read Pastor Wilken’s thoughts on his blog The Bare Bulb here:


  5. June 15th, 2013 at 10:54 | #5

    Newton is ignoring the key piece of context, namely that Harrison made those comments in HHS debate, describing how the Barack Obama-secularist want to say any religion that has presumptions about human nature isn’t a valid argument in the public square. Doesn’t Newton notice how people in his home state are vilified by the Hollywood elite if they voted for or donated to Prop 8?

  6. Mac
    June 15th, 2013 at 13:48 | #6

    Pr. Matt Harrison is a gentleman of the highest degree, a solid leader, and a man with conviction. I admire his steadfast spirit in allowing the Holy Spirit to lead this election. These DPs should be removed from office for their self-serving underhanded remarks.

    I will continue to pray for the Synod, Districts, Circuits, and congregations that the delegates will submit to God’s Will….and not look at the personality and breeding of the candidates, but instead turn to Holy Scripture as their source of guidance to discern the fruits of these men. I pray the man that is picked will be picked for his willingness to submit to Scripture, abide by our Confessions, and remain steadfast in fostering a Christ-Centered ministry.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  7. jb
    June 15th, 2013 at 19:25 | #7

    Pax Christ – All!

    I hate to say this, wishing my Synod were “synod” and not disparate elements walking around apart, but that is the case . . .

    Matters under Bohlmann were better than the present situation. I believe Harrison will win handily, but not without exposing the wide rift in our midst that truly exists. We are watching it unfold the closer we get to Convention. I do not expect many positives coming out of Convention. I pray I am wrong . . . I really don’t look forward to Convention, either. Gotta go, though.

    Mac – I agree. Harrison is indeed a gentleman of the highest order, and an excellent theologian – precisely what we need at the helm. I have no desire to minimize those DP’s who are coming to the forefront in opposition, nor do I wish to accuse them of a thing – except – I wish they would quit accusing their own selves.

    I am not at all sure when the Gospel in Word and Sacrament became somehow insufficient as a “mission tool.” It did not and cannot, but it seems some think it has.

    The Lord will guide the Church anyway. He always has. Those opposed, subtlety or not, stand opposed.

    The foxholes inch ever closer.

  8. Joe Strieter
    June 18th, 2013 at 13:20 | #8

    What does DP Maier say about all this? How does he view the political machinations of his fellow DP’s? I would hope that he would speak out against such blatant politicking.

  9. mbw
    June 18th, 2013 at 23:18 | #9

    > I would hope that he would speak out against such blatant politicking.

    He had to agree to being on the ballot didn’t he? No way will any candidate promoted by leftists ever speak against his backers.

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