Proposed Resolutions: Committee 4, Theology and Church Relations (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)
We continue our journey through the seven floor committees. Committee chairmen would like to receive feedback by this Friday, if possible. Here again are documents that may come in handy for reference:
4. THEOLOGY AND CHURCH RELATIONS (TB, pp. 84-99)
4-01: To Endorse Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia
Fellowship with Liberia was recommended by CTCR and declared by President Harrison.
4-02: To Endorse Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with the Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Liberia, Siberia. . . . What about Iberia? Seriously, there are some good things going on in Siberia.
4-03: To Recognize Lutheran Church of Togo as an Independent, Self-Governing Partner Church
Togo is good to go. BIM and CTCR recommend recognition of ELT as a partner church of the LCMS.
4-04: To Affirm Growing Mutual Relationships among International Lutheran Church Bodies
Ethiopia, e.g. Lots of opportunities opening up.
4-05: To Encourage Further Discussion with Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Opportunities for discussion opening up with former members of the Synodical Conference.
4-06: To Address Questions re Service Apart from AC XIV
Does not end or phase out licensed lay deacon programs, as called for in many overtures (e.g., 4-29, 4-30. 4-31, 4-32, 4-33, 4-34, 4-37, 4-38, 4-41, 4-45, L4-74). President to establish task force to study issue, develop plan to resolve it, and report to 2016 convention. Of course, if delegates decide to take action now to end, phase out. or at least limit, district lay deacon programs, they may do so. At a minimum, Resolution 4-06 could be amended by adding a final “Resolved” such as this: “Resolved, That no new persons be admitted into district lay deacon programs between now and the 2016 convention.” For more on this issue, see my article in the July 2013 Lutheran Clarion, “Lay Deacons: Kicking the Can Down the Road?”
4-07: To Address the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Rostered Workers Communing at Heterodox Altars
LCMS church workers should not commune at ELCA altars. Liberals will oppose this one.
4-08: To Retain Trinitarian Formula When Baptizing
Don’t change the words.
4-09: To Overrule Commission on Constitutional Matters Opinion “Interpretation of Constitution Article VI 2 b” (11-2598 CW pp. 300-303)
The CCM was wrong on this one. Receiving the Sacrament at a heterodox altar is indeed a violation of Article VI. This opinion should be overruled. Expect the liberals to oppose this resolution. (For more on this resolution and the CCM opinion it would overturn, see Pr. Martin Noland’s BJS post–and Lutheran Clarion article–“Word of God Determines Doctrine, Not Commission on Constitutional Matters.”)
4-10: To Encourage Proper Oversight in the Administration of the Lord’s Supper by Visitation from Ecclesiastical Supervisors
Visitation should see that admission to the Lord’s Supper is being done properly.
4-11: To Request Commission on Theology and Church Relations Study of Proper Role of Men in the Church and Home
Help men fulfill their responsibilities in home, church, and society.
4-12: To Thank God for the Faithful Service of Women
Calls attention to ways in which women can serve, and have served, in the church.
4-13: To Encourage Confession and Absolution for Pastors
Help pastors find other pastors who will hear their confession and offer absolution.
4-14: To Clarify the Doctrine of the Call
Called workers and congregations need to be clear on their mutual expectations and bear with one another.
4-15: To Reaffirm Synod’s Position on Creation
Versus evolution and its detrimental effects on marriage, family, and society.
4-16: To Respectfully Decline Overtures
Declines Ov. 4-06, which would restore fellowship declarations to convention. Give more time to new way.
Next time: Committee 5, Seminary and University Education.