Another DP uses his office to campaign for the “Missional List” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

June 15th, 2013 Post by

missional-300x198In recent days we have seen reports of district presidents using the power and resources of their office to campaign for one candidate over another for synod president in the upcoming election. President Paul Linnemann wrote to the delegate-electors of his Northwest District, and President Robert Newton wrote to the delegate-electors of his California-Nevada-Hawaii District, both of them campaigning for David Maier against Synod President Matthew Harrison. Linnemann wrote on the official letterhead of the NOW District, and Newton wrote on the official letterhead of the CNH District.

missional-listNow comes a report of another district president using his office to campaign for Maier over Harrison, but this DP even takes it one step further. President Chris Wicher of the Eastern District–Wicher was a Jesus First supporter back in the day–DP Wicher has distributed an entire “Missional List” to his district’s delegates, at regional delegate orientation meetings, telling them which candidates to vote for at the convention. You can see the list here:

Missional List

One value of this “Missional List” that I see is this: It would tell me which candidates NOT to vote for at the convention.

Linnemann, Newton, Wicher. . . . There seems to be a pattern emerging. I wonder if there are other DPs also using the power and resources of their office to campaign for candidates.

Oh, one other thing: The DPs who are using their office in this way? They would make a good “Retirement List” when they come up for re-election in 2015.






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  1. Rev. James Kusko
    June 15th, 2013 at 14:34 | #1

    Not surprised at all. Rev. Linnemann was the speakerat our last Eastern District Convention. Apparently the two DPs have similar interests.

  2. Elnathan
    June 15th, 2013 at 14:41 | #2

    LOl about Linnemann’s list. It might be a good thing to do as you suggest and NOT vote for any of them. If they are on that list that doesn’t mean they are automatically bad choices – they could be fine men. And if they are they won’t mind not being elected. OTOH some on that list are suspect to me so I’d just boycott all of them, but that’s the Neanderthal in me. One other item. Is DP Linnemann recommending himself for 1st VP? LOL, such humility in the church can rarely be found.

  3. June 15th, 2013 at 15:27 | #3

    Elnathan: LOl about Linnemann’s list.

    It’s Wicher’s list. (Although, I doubt Linnemann would disagree with most of the choices on it.)

    Elnathan: It might be a good thing to do as you suggest and NOT vote for any of them. If they are on that list that doesn’t mean they are automatically bad choices – they could be fine men.

    Yes, there might be a few names on the “Missional List” worth voting for. That’s possible. That sometimes happened when Jesus First had a list–there were occasionally one or two names that also appeared on the United List recommendations. But overall, reserving the possibility of a few exceptions, this “Missional List,” like the Jesus First list before it, would be a list I would not vote for.

  4. Harry Edmon
    June 15th, 2013 at 16:31 | #4

    I don’t want to hear any complaints from the DPs when other lists are circulated around the Synodical and District Conventions in the future.

  5. GaiusKurios
    June 15th, 2013 at 16:36 | #5

    This list is helpful as in who to vote against. This need to be widely circulated to let people know who to avoid accidently voting for when a delegate does not have a clue about a particular candidate.

  6. June 15th, 2013 at 16:44 | #6

    Are they really “using the power and resources of their office to campaign for one candidate over another for synod president in the upcoming election”? Is that ethical?

    In the secular political world, if someone campaigns while working on the taxpayers’ time, the consequences are severe. For example, here is the first sentence of a recent news story: “A Milwaukee judge sentenced one of Gov. Scott Walker’s former top aides to six months in jail and three years of probation Monday for doing campaign work on the taxpayers’ time.”

    Source: http://www.wisn.com/news/south-east-wisconsin/milwaukee/Judge-sentences-former-Scott-Walker-aide/-/10148890/17470288/-/11hcs4xz/-/index.html#ixzz2WK7ETdCK

  7. Glen Piper
    June 15th, 2013 at 17:25 | #7

    Funny thing about DP Newton pushing this list, at least in terms of the CU-Irvine BOR recommendations (given that he serves on that board), is that both the board and the administration would have NO PROBLEM welcoming back all the incumbents who are up for reelection. How do I know this?

    I’m one of those very incumbents. An eevil, curmudgeonly liturgical sort, dontchaknow…

    My point is merely that he’s participating in the cutting off of his nose to spite his own face for politico-ideology’s sake, despite the fact that he knows that the CUI Board has run very well, and quite happily over the past three years. So much so, that continuity is what it needs now, to help the University keep moving forward.

    In any event, I truly hope (and want to believe) that this was on oversight on the part of my fellow board member.

  8. June 15th, 2013 at 17:41 | #8

    Glen Piper: Funny thing about DP Newton pushing this list. . . .

    It’s DP Wicher who is pushing this list. Now perhaps some other DPs are also pushing this “Missional List,” but so far I only know about Wicher.

  9. LW
    June 15th, 2013 at 18:41 | #9

    How to become a Missionalist so that you too can get on the Missional List (i.e. how to help out Jesus):
    1. Lead
    2. Accomplish
    3. Bring change
    4. Be significant
    5. Do whatever it takes to solve problems
    6. Learn that the ends justify the means
    7. Merit
    8. Do lots and lots and lots of good works
    9. Have a vision
    10. Be intentional
    11. Rationalize
    12. Empower

  10. helen
    June 15th, 2013 at 19:05 | #10

    @Charles Henrickson #8
    It’s DP Wicher who is pushing this list.

    If it’s Wicher (Eastern’s) list, why are there choices for several West/SW regional offices, and none in those categories for East/SE?

  11. Glen Piper
    June 15th, 2013 at 19:27 | #11

    @Charles Henrickson #8

    Ah, well… Upon a closer reading I see you are correct. I was mistaken. So, I retract my statement of DP Newton “pushing” the list, and apologize for making it.

    I stand, however, behind my larger point of the “side” of the “Missional List” engaging in politico-ideological nose-cutting.

  12. June 15th, 2013 at 20:33 | #12

    helen:
    If it’s Wicher (Eastern’s) list, why are there choices for several West/SW regional offices, and none in those categories for East/SE?

    Because those regional offices (VPs, BOD) will be voted on by the whole convention. And for regional BOD, there are only a couple of slots up for election this time.

  13. helen
    June 16th, 2013 at 14:29 | #13

    @Charles Henrickson #12
    Because those regional offices (VPs, BOD) will be voted on by the whole convention. And for regional BOD, there are only a couple of slots up for election this time.

    Thank you, Pr. Henrickson. As a bystander, I don’t have many of the details in mind.

  14. June 17th, 2013 at 05:33 | #14

    I wonder how these DPs would react to their own Circuit Counselors campaigning against them…

  15. Rev. Robert Mayes
    June 17th, 2013 at 06:39 | #15

    Brothers:

    I would like to humbly submit that Dr. David Held, who is on the commissioned ballot for BOR for Ft. Wayne, is a fine candidate for all. Yes, he is on this list by DP Wicher. But do not let this discourage you away.

    Dr. Held is a fine Lutheran man, an incumbent at Fort Wayne who supported Pres. Wenthe and supports Pres. Rast, and has extensive experience in the Lutheran liturgy. Dr. Held has taught several courses on hymnody and liturgy at Concordia Seward, has helped introduce LSB, has led conferences on worship, understands sacred music (and has led many choirs), and has been very good at being able to work with people from both sides of the worship spectrum.

    Recently, I had the privilege of speaking to Dr. Arthur Just at Ft. Wayne, who not only teaches, but led the presidential search committee after Pres. Wenthe retired. I asked Dr. Just what he thought about Dr. David Held as a regent, and according to Dr. Just, he said Held was a good addition and very supportive of the emphasis of the seminary.

    Thank you for reading this and considering. As was said above, there may be a few names on here that are good and solid. I submit that Dr. David Held is one.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  16. Jason
    June 17th, 2013 at 07:00 | #16

    @Rev. Robert Mayes #15

    Yes. To follow up, Dr. Held is also recommended by the United List. So they also think he is a good, solid candidate.

  17. David Hartung
    June 17th, 2013 at 10:00 | #17

    Pastor Ted Crandall :
    I wonder how these DPs would react to their own Circuit Counselors campaigning against them…

    In our polity, circuit counsellors, district presidents and Synod presidents are elected. While I find it distasteful for any of the three to actively campaign for or against another elected Synod/District official, to do so is no different than a Republican senator actively campaigning against a Democrat president.

  18. Jim Pierce
    June 17th, 2013 at 10:53 | #18

    @David Hartung #17

    Yes, and we have seen how political campaigning has devolved into its current mess (putting it mildly) in this country. Something I am hoping nobody wants to see in the synod.

  19. Bob Pase
    June 17th, 2013 at 11:18 | #19

    @Pastor Ted Crandall #14
    It may be no different than a Republican senator but I am sure that the DPs would have a cow over it and those CC’s would be called “divisive” as well as other things.

  20. helen
    June 17th, 2013 at 13:23 | #20

    @Bob Pase #19
    those CC’s would be called “divisive” as well as other things.

    Yes, like “CRM” perhaps.
    But, (per David Hartung), that would be “all their own fault and no more than they deserved”.

  21. June 17th, 2013 at 17:24 | #21

    David Hartung :

    Pastor Ted Crandall :I wonder how these DPs would react to their own Circuit Counselors campaigning against them…

    In our polity, circuit counsellors, district presidents and Synod presidents are elected. While I find it distasteful for any of the three to actively campaign for or against another elected Synod/District official, to do so is no different than a Republican senator actively campaigning against a Democrat president.

    I fear you are right in your assessment — that the synod is divided into two parties — but that’s nothing new. “Missional” and “Confessional” are becoming obsolete terms for what some are now calling “Heresy Hunters” and “Heresy-Hunter Hunters.” Walther described this same two-party system as those who were concerned about saving souls with sound doctrine and those who thought they could save souls without it: “Many say, ‘Instead of disputing over doctrine so much, we should much rather be concerned with souls and with leading them to Christ.’ But all who speak in this way do not really know what they are saying or what they are doing. As foolish as it would be to scold a farmer for being concerned about sowing good seed and to demand of him simply to be concerned about a good harvest, so foolish it is to scold those who are concerned first and foremost with the doctrine, and to demand of them that they should rather seek to rescue souls. For just as the farmer who wants a good crop must first of all be concerned about good seed, so the church must above all be concerned about right doctrine if it would save souls.” — C.F. W. Walther

  22. William M. Cwirla
    June 18th, 2013 at 00:13 | #22

    Nothing new going on here.

  23. Rev. Steven W Bohler
    June 18th, 2013 at 08:58 | #23

    @David Hartung #17

    Yes, they are all elected. However, district presidents are to assist the synod president and are under his eccelesiastical supervision. Circuit counselors, likewise, assist and are answerable to their district presidents for that office of circuit counselor. That is very much different from how a member of Congress relates to the President. The legislative branch is to be a check on the executive branch (as the other branches are to be a check upon it). A member of Congress is not there to assist the President and is not under his supervision, as such, as are district presidents in their relation to the synod president.

  24. David Hartung
    June 18th, 2013 at 09:25 | #24

    Jim Pierce :
    @David Hartung #17
    Yes, and we have seen how political campaigning has devolved into its current mess (putting it mildly) in this country. Something I am hoping nobody wants to see in the synod.

    Jim, I fully agree with you, but as we are a body made up of sinners, there will be politicking.

  25. David Hartung
    June 18th, 2013 at 09:29 | #25

    @Rev. Steven W Bohler #23

    Are you saying that a circuit counsellor or district president should not be in public disagreement with his ecclesiastical supervisor?

  26. Rev. Steven W Bohler
    June 18th, 2013 at 10:14 | #26

    @David Hartung #25

    No, I am saying that your analogy does not work as the relationship between synod president/district president (and district president/circuit counselor) is not designed to be checks upon one another as is the relationship between the branches of our civil government. The relationship of synod president/dictrict president (and district president/circuit counselor) is to be that of assistance, with that being accented by the former having supervision over the latter in each pair. The expectation among the branches of the civil government is that of tension; that is not the expectation, I submit, of the relationship between synod president/district president or district president/circuit counselor.

  27. John Rixe
    June 18th, 2013 at 10:35 | #27

    I can’t read between the lines, but these letters seem more like mild endorsements rather than open hostility and rebellion.  I don’t see anything sinful here.  

  28. Rev. Robert Mayes
    June 18th, 2013 at 10:35 | #28

    We also should consider that for the earlier part of this past decade, many of these DPs were also saying that we should support the synodical president as our ecclesiastical supervisor. Likewise, I recall there was much said by various DPs that voting lists by private groups are discouraged. And no one should dare break the 8th commandment by speaking derogatively of other pastors, especially the Synod president.

    Now they change their tune. Why? Because there is a man in the office who they disagree with. Now, it’s ok to not support the syn. pres. as the ecclesiastical supervisor. Now, it’s ok to make and use voting lists by private groups. Now, it’s ok to speak derogatively of the Synodical president, claiming that his leadership is leading us away from missions to the world.

    So when such letters are sent and encouragements made to vote their way, it is inconsistent, and it is not explaining all of Pres. Harrison’s actions in the kindest way. It is the highest evidence of pushing a certain agenda on the synod. And it is disgraceful. The pre-Reformation medieval mindset is still alive in the LCMS today, as evidenced by our new “bishops.”

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  29. Joe Strieter
    June 18th, 2013 at 13:14 | #29

    What is all the other political stuff like? When I was first a delegate (2001), I got tons of political stuff–filled a big box. The politics was very revealing–and very disheartening. My eyes were opened. It was the beginning of a long learning experience, and a great appreciation for confessional Lutheranism.

  30. Glen Piper
    June 18th, 2013 at 13:45 | #30

    @Joe Strieter #29

    There’s been nothing, really. I’m not a delegate again (after 2007 & 2010), but our CC mistakenly submitted my name and it didn’t get corrected until after delegate lists had been propagated from district to synod.

    So, I’ve been getting both the official (workbooks & Today’s Business) and the unofficial (Christian News) stuff. (I know when it’s 2013 Convention related b/c my name is spelled wrong, as opposed to stuff related to my CUI BOR status where my name is spelled correctly…)

    Outside of CN, there’s pretty much been little-to-no politico-junk mail. A stunning reversal from 2007 & 2010, I have to say.

  31. Martin R. Noland
    June 18th, 2013 at 20:23 | #31

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    First, thanks to Pastor Henrickson for posting the “Missional List.” I have appreciated all his work in keeping us in the “know” when we need to “know.”

    Regarding the title of that list, I had hoped that those guys wouldn’t be so blatant in their misuse of that term. I even gave a speech to the Lutheran Concerns group in January 2013, in the hope we would not be divided into “missionals” and “confessionals.” But the guys who made this list–whoever they are–are “bound and determined” to use those labels and divide us into factions. It is the old “divide and conquer” strategy attempted by all schismatics. Oh well, I did try my best to keep us united, folks!

    On the contents of that list, I noticed that they failed to make about 25 recommendations. That seems to indicate that their circle of acquaintances is rather limited. That confirms what I said after the 2010 convention that this cohort was aging, and many of them simply can’t serve anymore. I also noticed that the list-creators missed some pretty important recommendations–which really surprised me–I won’t say which ones. Whoever did this list was not as competent as the “Jesus First” group (ca. 1998 to 2010).

    The biggest surprise was all the guys “piled up” for First Vice-President. There are present, former, and wannabe District Presidents in there. Ten guys really, really, really wanting one position is unusual–and kind of creepy, if you ask me. A sane policy by the “Missional List” creators would have recommended only one man for that one position.

    My best guess about this is that whoever created the “Missional List” didn’t want to offend any of those ten guys, so they just included all of them in that one slot for First Vice-President. I could be wrong, of course, it is just a hunch. Maybe you bloggers have better explanations why there are so many present, former, and wannabe DPs in that one slot. I am looking for better explanations.

    The great irony is that the president-elect will choose five out of the twenty nominees that he wants anyway. If Harrison is elected, why would he would pick any of these ten that are campaigning AGAINST him on the Missional List? For that position, it would have been much better for the hopefuls to leave it blank and wait for the President-elect’s slate of five.

    This weird process for electing the First VP was one of those 2010 “innovations” coming from the Blue Ribbon Task Force that I opposed, because it limits the authority of the convention. But, oh well, the synod said “Yes,” so we have to use it.

    On a directly related subject, mentioned in Henrickson’s post, there is the mere coincidence that DP Linneman, DP Newton, and Dr. Becker all come out with broadsides blaring at President Harrison at the same time. Linneman’s and Newton’s letters are linked above in this post. Becker’s letter, in the form of a blog post is here: http://thedaystarjournal.com (see Wednesday, June 12, 2013).

    I don’t have anything personally against Dr. Becker; and I am not even sure what type of trouble he has been in. But he makes a lot of public accusations against the President of the Synod. So in typical Noland fashion, I am going to come to the defense of my ecclesiastical leader and mentor (see Small Catechism, 8th Commandment, “defend him, speak well of him, and put all that he does in the most charitable light”). The last time I did that was in 1992, on behalf of Robert Preus . . .

    Becker quotes on the Internet from private, internal correspondence between the President of the Synod and the CTCR. Actually Becker publishes the whole thing. That would be cause for firing an employee in most corporations, which goes back to whoever leaked it, I guess.

    Anyway, Becker’s big beef against the President is that he claims Harrison is misusing his authority. Too bad that Becker doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    We just need to turn to the 2010 Handbook (revision 03-2013 is here: http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=928 )

    Constitution Article XI.B.1 – the president “has the supervision regarding the doctrine and administration of a: all officers of the synod; b: all as are employed by the synod” (p. 18). That covers the CTCR board members and the CTCR employee-executives. So the president needs to watch their work and guide it. It is part of his job.

    Constitution Article XI.B.3 – the president “has and always shall have the power to advise, admonish, and reprove” (p. 18). The letter shows the president doing some advising, which is part of his job. If he did not advise them, on a critical and possibly controversial matter, I would say he was NOT doing his job.

    Bylaw 3.9.5.2 (p. 146), which was cited by the president, “the CTCR shall assist the president of the synod at his request in discharging his constitutional duties for maintaining doctrinal unity in the synod.” The CTCR has always been the LCMS president’s “right hand man for doctrine,” as long as there has been a CTCR. Nothing new there.

    In the cases that Becker refers to, they are controversial cases that affect the doctrinal unity in the synod. So, according to the Handbook, especially bylaw 3.9.5.2 this is the procedure that President Harrison should follow.

    As I said before I don’t have anything personal against Dr. Becker, and we have never clashed previously, but he just personally attacked my president–and thereby my synod.

    If anything, this blog post from Becker proves that Herman Otten was totally wrong in giving President Harrison an “F” for the triennium in the latest Christian News. As we see in Becker’s blog post, Harrison has been patiently working on two of the most difficult doctrinal cases since September 2011–and Herman Otten gives him an “F”?

    Herman Otten has done a lot of good for the LCMS, but an “F” for Harrison is wrong and unfair. Herman Otten owes Harrison an apology and a better grade.

    With regard to the Commission on Constitutional Matters, which was involved in the other case Becker mentions, I have more to say. Delegates, watch your mail for the July 2013 issue of the Lutheran Clarion, which will also be available at http://lutheranclarion.org

    This incident just proves that being a president who tries to do the right thing; being a pastor who tries to do the right thing; or just being anyone who tries to do the right thing in your vocation–is a thankless job!

    This incident also makes the delegate’s job a bit easier. If they want a president who does his job in a winsome and vigorous way, and who upholds” the will of the congregations of synod as expressed through national conventions and their resolutions, bylaws, and constitution”–then vote for Matt Harrison this weekend.

    If you want officers who work like a demagogue to charm the crowds, but do everything they can to avoid the “will of the congregations of synod as expressed through national conventions and their resolutions, bylaws, and constitution,” then vote for the guys on the Missional List.

    Seems like an easy choice, either way! :)

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  32. Nicholas
  33. Nicholas
    June 18th, 2013 at 20:39 | #33

    Becker even indoctrinates his students with pro-homosexual material. He even did this at Concordia Portland, where he made “Queer Edward II” by Derek Jarman required reading for his students: http://christiannewsmo.blogspot.com/2011/03/evolution-tolerated-in-concordia.html

    The author was an atheist homosexual activist who died of AIDS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Jarman

    Becker’s Daystar Journal has published an entire article defending homosexuality and homosexual ordination by Karl Wyneken: http://thedaystarjournal.com/Archive/2011/wyneken_the_article.html

    Wyneken, like Becker, is still on the LCMS clergy roster and listed on the LCMS website.

  34. Nicholas
    June 18th, 2013 at 20:51 | #34

    And Becker’s promotion of higher criticism in the classroom:

    http://christiannewsmo.blogspot.com/2010/09/becker-has-long-promoted-higher.html

    http://christiannewsmo.blogspot.com/2011/09/gard-rebukes-becker-for-promoting.html

    http://thedaystarjournal.com/about_daystar.html

    Like Pr. Noland, I have never met Becker, but I consider this very personal. Becker is an avowed antichrist and enemy of my God. He has poisoned the minds of our youth in our Concordia university system, and he continues to poison minds at Valpo.

  35. Martin R. Noland
    June 19th, 2013 at 15:22 | #35

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    It looks like the July 2013 issue of the Lutheran Clarion that I mentioned in comment #31 is now online. You can get it here: http://lutheranclarion.org/images/NewsletterJul2013.pdf

    Read the first article on the CCM and think about it. The editors have kindly also posted resolutions from the 1973 convention, i.e., Resolution 3-01 and 3-09, which pertain to this subject matter.

    I predict that the CCM and their “assistants” will do everything possible to prevent the passage of Resolution 4-09 and 4-07. This will be a major debate, so the delegates better be ready on this one.

    On the one side will be those who want to protect the autocratic power of the CCM at all costs, with all sorts of arguments why it is necessary, etc.

    On the other side will be those who support the Constitution of the LCMS, particularly Article VI, “Conditions of Membership” and who support “closed/close communion.”

    In other words, it will be a choice between accepting the opinion of an autocratic-CCM OR defending the LCMS-constitutional-prohibition-of-syncretism. Take your pick folks–you can’t have both, thanks to CCM ruling 11-2598 which voided Article VI.2.b.

    This is a battle that the CCM wants to fight. Which is too bad, since it presents the very odd spectacle of a Commission on Constitutional Matters trying to subvert a significant article in the LCMS constitution. I thought these guys were supposed to uphold the Constitution, not destroy it.

    I plan to write more on this subject here at BJS, since it is complex and the average delegate needs help figuring out what the “canon lawyers” are up to.

    As to how I was alerted to this–I have been watching the CCM for over 20 years, and warned the LCMS already twice (see footnote 10 in my article).

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  36. Carl Vehse
    June 19th, 2013 at 16:44 | #36

    Resolution 4-07, To Address the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Rostered Workers Communing at Heterodox Altars (2013:Today’s Business, p. 92), which resolved that “rostered LCMS church workers shall not commune at ELCA altars,” and

    Resolution 4-09, To Overrule Commission on Constitutional Matters Opinion “Interpretation of Constitution Article VI 2 b”(11-2598 CW pp. 300-303) (2013:Today’s Business, pp. 93-4).

    In Resolution 4-09. the first Resolved (“That the LCMS in convention respectfully thank the members of the CCM for their work”) should be removed as being unwarranted and hypocritical.

    After these two resolutions are overwhelmingly passed, a motion from the floor should be made, seconded and passed to have the chairman and members of the CCM submit their resignations, effective immediately.

  37. Rev. Nathan RAddatz
    June 19th, 2013 at 17:26 | #37

    Could someone post the link to the “United List” referred to above somewhere? Thank you.

  38. John Rixe
  39. Walter Troeger
    June 20th, 2013 at 06:56 | #39

    Oh, one other thing: The DPs who are using their office in this way? They would make a good “Retirement List” when they come up for re-election in 2015..

    If the Eastern DP took the time to compile such a list and submitted to various folks across his district; shame on him. He should spend more time in helping congregations especially in the western part of the eastern district that are having a difficult time in keeping more than 25 people in the pews on Sundays. Not his job? Perhaps not. However, spending time to compile such a list wasn’t why he was voted in.

  40. David Hartung
    June 20th, 2013 at 08:21 | #40

    Perhaps I am being naive, but to me it seems to be a “no brainer” that rostered LCMS church workers not commune at any alter not in fellowship with our Synod. From where I sit, resolution 4-07 is worthless. Those church workers who already commune at heterodox altars will continue to do so, while those who understand how wrong this is, will continue to refrain from communing at the altars of churches not in fellowship with us.

    Am I missing something?

  41. Jason
    June 20th, 2013 at 08:37 | #41

    @David Hartung #40

    It will help codify what should be obvious. Also gives a hopefully better ability to remove such rostered persons. I know Pres. Harrison wishes to reconcile and not do any witch-hunting, but honestly, I think that needs to happen. There are some who are not fit ot serve. Enough of the open defiance and charade.

  42. Martin R. Noland
    June 20th, 2013 at 12:24 | #42

    @David Hartung #40

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Pastor Hartung (comment #40) asks a good question. I’ll try to answer briefly.

    There are many resolutions that come before both district and synod conventions that simply restate the obvious. If you read all of those synod resolutions since 1847–I had to do that once for the doctrinal resolutions project at CHI–you will see that we have done that for most of our existence as a synod. Why restate the obvious?

    Well . . . here is an example. When my oldest daughter started “dating,” I set down the rules, including “You have to be home by 10:00 PM, it is a school night.” Every “date” thereafter, I repeated that 10:00 rule. The third time, she said, “Dad, I know.” My reply was something like, “I know you know; and you have an excellent memory. But getting home on time is not always an easy thing to do. This is a reminder of what your mom and dad expect from you.”

    When the LCMS passes a resolution affirming something we have already stated at some time or some place, it is a reminder to those who “stay out late” what synod expects from them. It is a reminder to everyone that these rules are still in force, and that violators may be disciplined. If we have no rules and no discipline, then we are not a church at all, but truly a Poebelherrschaft, to quote Wilhelm Loehe, that is, a church ruled by the ignorant mob instead of by the Word of God. But I also agree with the Roman maxim: Summum ius, summa iniuria (Cicero).

    The issue in Resolution 4-09 and 4-07 is more than simply a matter of rules. It is a matter of the first importance, according to LCMS Constitution, Objectives of the Synod, Article III.1 “Conserve and promote the unity of the true faith.” In addition to spiritual benefits to the individual, the Lord’s Supper is also the sacrament by which the visible-church expresses its unity. When an LCMS member attends another church-body’s “table” (i.e., the sacrament of a church-body not in fellowship), he confesses before the whole world that he scorns his own “table.” It is therefore a very public act of disunity, and contrary to the first objective of the synod.

    This has always been the understanding of Luther, the orthodox Lutheran church, and its theologians. That our position is in agreement with the apostolic and early church was proven by Werner Elert’s excellent book, Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries (St Louis: CPH, 1966). This was translated by our own dear Dr. Norman Nagel during his years at Cambridge, England. It is available in paperback today for about $20 here: http://www.cph.org/p-2889-eucharist-church-fellowship-in-the-first-four-centuries.aspx

    Those who wonder why the LCMS has the policy of “closed communion” and expects its rostered members to commune only at LCMS congregations (or those in fellowship with us) need to read this book.

    With four weeks to go before the synodical convention, and only ca. $20 + s/h, this book by Elert would be good reading for delegates who want to be prepared for this particular debate at the convention. They should also read through the Constitution of synod, the entire 23 pages, if they have not done so recently.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  43. Rev. Lee Wenskay
    June 25th, 2013 at 08:27 | #43

    @Pastor Ted Crandall #14
    Simple. They would no longer be circuit counselors.

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