Recapping the Resolutions: One Thing to Pool Them All (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

July 15th, 2013 Post by

Over the past week, I posted seven articles with my comments on the 116 proposed resolutions coming from the seven floor committees. There was a request to put those all together into one resource for more convenient use. Here it is then, “One Thing to Pool Them All,” a fourteen-page pdf file that you can link and download:

Proposed Resolutions: Comments by Pr. Charles Henrickson

Also, remember that you should have at hand these documents, linked here, which you can also find at lcms.org/convention:

Today’s Business
Convention Workbook
2010 Handbook

Finally, here is my Top Ten list of ten of the most important resolutions to be either passed, passed with amendment, or defeated. See my comments in the file for the reasons why. (Note that Committees 4, 5, and 7 seem to be the key committees.)

PASS

4-07: To Address the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod Rostered Workers Communing at Heterodox Altars

4-09: To Overrule Commission on Constitutional Matters Opinion “Interpretation of Constitution Article VI 2 b” (11-2598 CW pp. 300-303)

5-01: To Encourage Continued Faithful Witness by the Concordia University System

5-03: To Establish an SMP Oversight Committee

5-05: To Amend Bylaws Regarding Boards of Regents and Concordia University System Board

PASS, AND POSSIBLY AMEND TO STRENGTHEN

4-06: To Address Questions re Service Apart from AC XIV

5-04: To Continue and Strengthen the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program

DEFEAT

7-07: To Respond to 2010 Res 8-05B, To Change Process for Electing Delegates to Synod Conventions

7-08: To Respond to 2010 Res 8-05B, To Establish Number of Delegates to Synod Conventions

7-10: To Adopt Four-Year Convention Cycle

At the last convention, when it was Committee 8 that was bringing forward all the bad Blue Ribbon ideas, my word of warning was this: “If it comes from Eight, you must negate.” Now, when it is Committee 7 that is bringing back some of those Blue Ribbon ideas–particularly if the Commission on Handbook has had a hand in it–my caution is this: “If it comes from Seven, beware of the leaven.”






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  1. Martin R. Noland
    July 15th, 2013 at 14:48 | #1

    Dear Pastor Henrickson,

    This is a good summary and very helpful. All delegates should download your document linked above and bring it to convention. They should also, of course, read the resolutions for themselves–nothing is a substitute for a delegate’s own work and judgment. Thanks for all your work on this project!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  2. Jason
    July 15th, 2013 at 15:00 | #2

    @Martin R. Noland #1

    Hmm, I already copied and stitched these together myself… But this is GREAT for those who haven’t yet. One file/document to quickly refer to convention business. I find Pr. Hendrickson’s help here to be most valuable. Thanks millions.

  3. Robert
    July 15th, 2013 at 15:27 | #3

    I’m hoping that delegates will consider revising current Resolution 2-07 to something like the following. Essentially, the task force would be directed to publishing materials marriage, chastity, and the family, which is a good thing.

    1 WHEREAS, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He
    2 created them” (Gen. 1:27), which is foundational for all teaching about marriage and family (Matt. 19:4–6); and
    3
    4 WHEREAS, The earthly relationship between husband and wife is to reflect Christ’s relationship to His
    5 bride, the Church (Eph. 5:21–33); and
    6
    7 WHEREAS, [delete: God’s gift of sex] sexual intercourse is to be used only within the marriage covenant between one man and one
    8 woman for the purposes of creating new human life (Gen. 1:27–28), celebrating the unconditional love and
    9 commitment between husband and wife (Song of Songs; Matt. 19:4–6), and restraining lust (1 Cor. 7:9); and
    10
    11 WHEREAS, Scripture is clear that all sexual activity outside of the marriage covenant (e.g., fornication,
    12 adultery, sexual co-habitation, polygamy, pornography, pedophilia, prostitution, same-sex intercourse, and all
    13 lust) is condemned by God (Lev. 18 & 20; Matt. 19:4–12: Rom. 1:26–32; 1 Cor. 5:1–6:20; 1Thess. 4:1–8); and
    14
    15 WHEREAS, The Holy Scriptures clearly lay out God’s plan for the use of [delete: His gifts of sex and sexuality] our procreative organs,
    16 and God requires that the Church give a faithful and loving witness in word and deed; and
    17
    18 WHEREAS, President Matthew Harrison has appointed a LCMS task force which, as of its first meeting in
    19 February of 2013, decided to call itself “God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force,” [delete: whose purpose is to educate the
    20 church and society about Scripture’s teaching regarding sexuality and marriage as well as to provide biblically
    21 sound resources for the church and society]; therefore be it
    22
    23 Resolved, That the LCMS in convention rename the task force to the Marriage, Chastity and the Family Task Force,
    24 whose purpose is to educate the church and society about Scripture’s teaching regarding [delete: sexuality and] marriage,
    25 chastity, and the family, as well as to provide biblically sound resources for the church and society; therefore be
    26 it; and be it further
    27
    27 Resolved, That the LCMS in convention encourage the task force in its work; and be it further
    24
    25 Resolved, That the LCMS encourage the production, dissemination, and use of good Bible-based materials
    26 dealing with [delete: human sexuality] marriage, chastity, and the family to empower faithful and God-pleasing lives; and be
    27 it further
    28
    29 Resolved, That LCMS leaders and congregations continue to seek avenues to proclaim God’s truth in all matters of
    30 [delete: sex and sexuality] marriage, chastity, and the family; and be it further
    31
    32 Resolved, That all Christians be encouraged to proclaim forgiveness in Christ Jesus and show mercy and
    33 compassion toward those caught up in any and all sexual sin, and to help those who struggle with these sins and
    34 their consequences in their own lives and in the lives of all victimized by these sins; and be it finally
    35
    36 Resolved, That pastors and congregations be encouraged to seek practical ways to show mercy to those who have
    37 been caught up in sexual sin, especially through confession, absolution, and restoration to the body of Christ.

  4. Robert
    July 15th, 2013 at 15:33 | #4

    Charles, when you suggest that the CURRENT Resolution 2-07 is “Much needed in our society. Will pass strongly,” do you mean to suggest that ministering to homosexuals is “much needed in our society”?

    Is that what you mean? Because that is the chief goal of the “God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force,” formerly known as the “Same-sex Task Force” in the International Center, as constituted by President Harrison.

  5. quasicelsus
    July 15th, 2013 at 16:01 | #5

    not stirring the pot here. genuine question of ignorance.

    11 WHEREAS, Scripture is clear that all sexual activity outside of the marriage covenant (e.g., fornication,
    12 adultery, sexual co-habitation, polygamy, pornography, pedophilia, prostitution, same-sex intercourse, and all
    13 lust) is condemned by God (Lev. 18 & 20; Matt. 19:4–12: Rom. 1:26–32; 1 Cor. 5:1–6:20; 1Thess. 4:1–8); and
    14

    - where is polygamy clearly condemned in scripture?
    - any good resources on why that seems to be glossed over in the OT?

  6. quasicelsus
    July 15th, 2013 at 16:04 | #6

    also, noob question. when’s the voting? and when/where do we see the results?

  7. Robert
    July 15th, 2013 at 16:08 | #7

    Q,

    “Polygamy” is in the CURRENT Resolution 2-07.

  8. quasicelsus
    July 15th, 2013 at 16:24 | #8

    @Robert #7

    R,

    thank you. but that’s not what i’m asking. nothings targeted at you or your revision.

    i’m asking

    - where is polygamy clearly condemned in scripture?
    - any good resources on why that seems to be glossed over in the OT?

    i’m not asking for an agenda or an argument. i know what matt 19:4-12 says. i’m asking for something stronger than
    http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=p&word=POLYGAMY

  9. Glen Piper
    July 15th, 2013 at 16:26 | #9

    The biggest problem with 5-05 is that the Committee mashed too many overtures together into a single resolution.

    I, along with other non-Liberal (i.e., Conservative/Confessional), Regents see a BIG problem with hamstringing the board that is in many significant ways the keeper of the fiduciary & legal “keys” by not allowing us to have say in faculty hiring/calling matters. From an industry standpoint (i.e., as one who works in higher ed) this is problematic, and a driving force behind the current disconnect between the Campus BORs & the CUS BOD.

    Re: the “court packing”, best construction I can put on wanting to push that up to 25 is that it’s a bit of a push to make Concordia BORs be more like secular BODs/BOTs, where the board members bring some big bank to the table. A board slot can be offered to a person with significant talents and assets. With the Concordias having been long ago told to make it on their own financially, revenue streams are revenue streams, especially ones that are as industry-defensible as these. (I’d prefer it to be otherwise, but it is somewhat of an intractable situation…)

    Lutheran identity management is, of course, a good thing, and, I can report, a high priority at CUI. But across the Synod, from the Intergalactic Center to the COP to the pews to the schools, no one has a grip on the issue of “Why aren’t there more Lutheran students/workers/parishoners???” Once the Concordias moved from colleges to universities, and from Lutheran teacher/preacher prep to wider laity vocational “training”, the seeds were sown for this current problem. We’re too big to keep growing (plus demographics aren’t in our favor), and our politico-financial power base & collective ego cannot countenance shrinking. So, we’re trapped in a bit of dissonance-induced paralysis.

    I, for one, hope 5-05 gets amended & pulled apart into at least two sub-resolutions…

  10. William
    July 15th, 2013 at 17:35 | #10

    @quasicelsus #8
    Is the Word of God in the Matt verses you cite not strong enough?

  11. Quasicelsus
    July 15th, 2013 at 19:46 | #11

    @William #10

    Those types of questions are, in my experience, unhelpful. for example – “William, do you still beat your wife?”

  12. July 15th, 2013 at 20:49 | #12

    @Robert #4

    Robert, I just re-read Resolution 2-07, “To Emphasize Biblical Teaching of Sexuality, Marriage and Family” in Today’s Business, pp. 64-65. I see no problem in it whatsover, as it stands. You’ll have to explain to me what’s wrong with it, because I think it looks perfectly fine. Is there something I’m not seeing there? If it’s something that’s not there in the resolution itself, but instead something that can be found elsewhere, please direct me to it.

  13. Robert
    July 15th, 2013 at 23:13 | #13

    @Charles Henrickson #12

    Charles, the impetus for this Resolution was the President’s desire to find ways to minister to homosexuals. The “God’s Gift of Human Sexuality Task Force,” once it had convened, has broadened that initial charge to include “sexuality” issues.

    We need to move the focus back to “marriage, chastity, and the family,” three traditional topics in historic Lutheranism. “Sexuality” is a psycho-social concept, not a biblical or confessional concept, and it is prone to abuse.

    Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust (ELCA 2009) comes to mind here.

    If you have suggestions for improving the revision, please let me know. I would like 2-07 to pass as amended.

  14. Walter Troeger
    July 16th, 2013 at 07:57 | #14

    “3-18: To Commend Concordia Publishing House
    We commend you!”
    Why? Have you seen the price of clericals recently? And books? Their prices are but one reason the seminary student incurs debt while attending seminary.
    I read through this document and the glaring omission is the theological background of the members of the board of directors. They should be grounded firmly in our confessions and have a thorough understanding of what we believe in even though some of the members of the BOD are laymen. If they don’t except our practices such has close communion, etc. they should never be allowed to serve or be allowed to have their names given at the convention for the delegates to vote on.

  15. Rev. McCall
    July 16th, 2013 at 08:38 | #15

    Instead of “One Thing to Pool Them All” I think Pr. Henrickson should have given a nod to good old J.R.R. Tolkien and titled this article “One Ring to Bind Them”. (Sorry I know it’s waaayyy off topic :-) )

  16. Jason
    July 16th, 2013 at 08:56 | #16

    @Rev. McCall #15

    I have been thinking the same thing since the minute I saw the headline…. :)

    Seven committees to collect the all
    In one Today’s Business to bind them
    One blog to pool them all
    And in Convention to mind them.

  17. William
    July 16th, 2013 at 09:23 | #17

    @Quasicelsus #11
    To answer your question, I have never beat my wife. In my experience, your original question is not helpful and is used most often in the search for a loophole.

  18. quasicelsus
    July 16th, 2013 at 09:59 | #18

    @William #17

    “15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
    - the focus here is on the hope in Christ. I think it applies to people with genuine questions.

    I’m glad you don’t beat your wife. I’m Sorry you don’t find my questions helpful. And I hope you don’t think i’m looking for a loophole. I don’t feel i should be browbeat for questions that others have used incorrectly. take me as i am. not stirring the pot, not asking for loopholes, not being argumentative.

    I’m asking for clarity on a subject so i can better articulate it to others than i have. I can ask more clearly if it helps.

    - I understand that God designed marriage to be male-female. Christ speaks to the 1 man, 1 woman teaching in matthew. The LCMS, I’m hearing, is voting to condemn polygamy.
    – this puts polygamy with pedophilia, homosexuality, and beastiality.

    -When Christ says the whole cleave thing, it’s not the first time these words have been uttered. There’s a large amount of history between the two, where wives and concubines are not condemned by God.

    Thus.
    I’d like to be able to give a good, honest, clear, and biblical answer -if able.
    If all i can find is “Jesus said, 1 man, one 1 woman – now shut up”, that’s not as helpful.
    If all i can find is because Jesus said so, then ok.

  19. William
    July 16th, 2013 at 11:38 | #19

    @quasicelsus #18
    I’m sorry that you feel that I was browbeating you that wasn’t my intent. The words, “Jesus said, 1 man, one 1 woman – now shut up ”, are yours not mine. I was not making an accusation but asking a question for clarity. If I did not correctly understand your original question then I’m sorry. But to explain one reason I do not think your original question is helpful are the words, “… something stronger than …” Doesn’t that phrase imply a weakness and/or raise doubt about the authority/veracity of the referenced verse? Perhaps as you indicate in your last sentence I should have understood your question to ask are there more/other verses that speak to the issue.

  20. Rev. McCall
    July 16th, 2013 at 12:39 | #20

    @quasicelsus #18
    It helps to look to the order of creation where God created one man and one woman. It also helps to look to the teachings on divorce from both Christ and Paul, where one man and one woman are joined for life and one who even re-marries after divorce is committing adultery. There is also the “two become one flesh”. Man and woman are compliments of one another and the two are a completed “one”, not a grouping of three or four or any other combinations.
    As to the Old Testament, yes there was polygamy. But this polygamy is not encouraged or given by God Himself as something God pleasing or correct. It is descriptive of what people did, but not prescriptive of how things are to be.
    Hope that helps some!

  21. quasicelsus
    July 16th, 2013 at 13:39 | #21

    @William #19

    Thank you, and we’re good. I apologize if i came of in the least bit abrasive.
    I don’t think it’s so much a matter of needing “something stronger than” as much as it is to speak to the whole counsel of God and not just single texts. Single texts have their place, and are useful. Given access to the rest of Scripture, it is useful to see what Scripture says, implies, teaches, instructs, omits, comments, etc.

    @Rev. McCall #20

    That’s closer to what i’m looking for and it does help. I understand that it’s largely descriptive of how things were. I don’t think it prescribes it.
    I can appeal to the 4th commandment in obeying a country that bans it. I can appeal to the ideal, as Christ teaches.
    And i’m sure there’s some creative exegesis of Deut 17:17. I’m sure people of all parties can make it say what they WANT it to say.
    My interest isn’t in having multiple wives. My interest isn’t a finding a loophole. My interest is in letting God condemn what he condemns. we don’t vote on what God has said.

  22. Rev. McCall
    July 16th, 2013 at 15:24 | #22

    @quasicelsus #21
    I think I’m tracking your train of thought. Please let me know if I’m not. Not everything that the church or that God condemns has a specific verse in the Bible, nor does it necessarily need one. We condemn those who withhold Baptism from infants and practice only believer Baptism and yet there is no verse in the Bible that ever says anything specifically about infant Baptism. We condemn the practice of praying to the saints even though God never specifically says anything about praying to saints in the Bible. We condemn abortion even though it is never directly mentioned in the Bible. So not every bit of wrong behavior or theology has a specific verse condemning it by name in the Bible. There is some ministerial use of reason that allows us to say (for instance), “You know what, even though the words “infant Baptism” are never used in Scripture, there is plenty of supporting evidence to say it is a good practice and that we should condemn those who withhold it from infants.” I would say the same for polygamy. Based on Jesus words in Matthew, the order of creation, the Biblical teaching on divorce and re-marriage, it’s pretty clear that God condemns marriages that are outside His design (including then polygamous ones, homosexual ‘marriage’, etc.).

  23. quasicelsus
    July 16th, 2013 at 15:56 | #23

    thank you. getting closer, and i do like the appeal to how we teach. infant baptism is a great one.

    and you’re right – i don’t think a doctrine necessarily has to have a single proof text to show it.

    Jesus is quoting genesis, speaking to the topic of divorce (which is not mentioned in that resolution). between genesis and Jesus there are no condemnations to polygamy (which seems to occur simultaneously with barren wombs.) in the LAW, there are entire lists regarding intercourse, wives, children, slaves, etc. Deut 20 doesn’t prohibit the second wife. None of the judges were called to task. Solomon contradicts deut 17, so that’s pretty clear. Nathan accused david of everything BUT polygamy.

    I’m not pushing FOR polygamy. It just seems to be very odd listed next to the other sexual sins in the resolution.

  24. John Rixe
    July 16th, 2013 at 16:26 | #24

    Polygamy might help turn around our diminishing membership data.

  25. quasicelsus
    July 16th, 2013 at 16:27 | #25

    John Rixe :
    Polygamy might help turn around our diminishing membership data.

    i was not prepared to laugh that hard. thank you for that. :)

  26. July 16th, 2013 at 20:16 | #26

    @Rev. McCall #15

    “One Thing to Pool Them All” was indeed intended as a play on “One Ring to Rule Them All.”

  27. CDJ
    July 18th, 2013 at 08:57 | #27

    The ALPB forum seems to be broken, I really hope Pr. Henrickson covers the convention here…

  28. July 18th, 2013 at 09:44 | #28

    CDJ: The ALPB forum seems to be broken. . . .

    I notice they haven’t had a post since Tuesday afternoon. What’s up with that?

    CDJ: I really hope Pr. Henrickson covers the convention here…

    I happen to know that Pr. Henrickson plans to do just that.

  29. CDJ
    July 18th, 2013 at 09:51 | #29

    @#28
    Everytime I have tried to post there is an error message saying forbidden…

  30. July 18th, 2013 at 10:03 | #30

    CDJ: Everytime I have tried to post there is an error message saying forbidden.

    Maybe the ALPB is practicing Close(d) Commentunion.

  31. CDJ
    July 18th, 2013 at 10:07 | #31

    Charles Henrickson :

    CDJ: Everytime I have tried to post there is an error message saying forbidden.

    Maybe the ALPB is practicing Close(d) Commentunion.

    Hah! LOLZ…

  32. Carl Vehse
    July 18th, 2013 at 10:35 | #32

    @Charles Henrickson #28

    “CDJ: The ALPB forum seems to be broken. . . .

    “I notice they haven’t had a post since Tuesday afternoon.”

    Thus one could conclude that what is broken with the ALPB forum has been fixed.

  33. CDJ
    July 18th, 2013 at 10:52 | #33

    Darn, I was really looking fw to Pr. Speckhard’s coverage along with yours…

  34. CDJ
    July 18th, 2013 at 21:43 | #34

    Actions

    ALPB Forum Online (paul.saltzman@gmail.com)
    Add to contacts
    9:30 PM

    Picture of ALPB Forum Online

    Message

    Yes, we know the forum is down. You don’t need to contact us. We are working at it. We hope it will be fixed by Friday evening.

    Regards,
    The ALPB Forum Online Team.

    http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php

  35. helen
    July 20th, 2013 at 08:13 | #35

    @CDJ #34

    Maybe it will stay down for the duration of the convention…

    (Central Lutheran’s steeple came to mind!)

  36. Carl Vehse
    July 20th, 2013 at 10:52 | #36

    How the 2013 synodical convention will be considered in Missouri Synod history will depend in part on whether Overture 4-06 (2013 Convention Workbook, p. 165) is successfully placed as a motion on the floor and is passed by the convention.

    Overture 4-06 would restore the synod convention as the sole authority for declaring fellowship by removing Bylaw paragraph 3.9.5.2.2 (c), which currently gives such authority to the synodical president.

    If opponents such as Floor Committee 4, or convention leadership, derail or prevent any attempt to revoke Bylaw 3.9.5.2.2 (c), or the delegates don’t care, then look for CPH to start selling these t-shirts.

  37. CDJ
    July 20th, 2013 at 17:08 | #37

    @helen #35
    It’s back up and running and Pr. Speckhard is reporting from St. Louis. Herman Otten accused Pres. Harrison of being a sacerdotalist…
    http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=5045.0

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