Elections: Which list to listen to, the United List or the “Our Future” list? (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

July 18th, 2013 Post by

Two kinds of business: elections and resolutions. That’s what conventions do. That’s what the LCMS National Convention will do this next week. We’ve already talked about the proposed resolutions (“Recapping the Resolutions: One Thing to Pool Them All“). Now it’s time to talk about the elections. In some ways, elections are just as important as resolutions, if not more so. The persons we place in office are responsible for implementing the will and work of the synod, and they can try to “steer the ship” either with or against the navigation course that has been set out. And there are some critical elections coming up at this convention, e.g., the VPs, the LCMS BOD, the BORs of the universities and seminaries. The nominees are listed in Biographical Synopses & Statements of Nominees.

Two kinds of voting lists: conservative/confessional and liberal/church growth. That’s what we have at every convention, including this one. The conservative/confessional list is the United List (UL), which has done a very good job over the years in recommending good candidates. The liberal/church growth voting list this time is being called the “Our Future” list (OFL). (The “Jesus First” label is in mothballs, since it became a losing brand in 2010.) Basically, I would suggest that delegates listen to the United List, and not the “Our Future” list. Reality tells us that almost always the person who ends up getting elected will be a candidate from one of the two lists, and I live in Realville.

Now a word of caution. If you compare the United List and the “Our Future” list, you will find that in a few cases both lists recommend the same person for the same office. This happens at every convention. So don’t be alarmed if you see a few UL recommendations appearing also on the OFL. Just go with the United List, and you won’t have a problem.

One more thing. The liberals will tell you, “Don’t vote for floor nominees! Trust the work of the nominating committee!” A few DPs have already said this to their delegates. But don’t listen to them. Floor nominations are perfectly OK, an acceptable procedure at conventions. And often, floor nominees have been elected at our conventions. I’m not saying that in every case a floor nominee ought to be elected, but just the fact that it’s a floor nomination should not automatically disqualify someone from consideration.






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  1. John
    July 18th, 2013 at 14:32 | #1

    You missed the “Missional List,” Pr. Hendrickson. There’s a lot of overlap with the “Our Future” list, but some differences as well. The “Our Future” list has a more impressive logo.

    Personally, I’m listening to all three lists. Nominees from one of the lists generally are at the top of my voting list, nominees from the others at the bottom, and those not listed fit nicely in between–where I was last time I was a nominee.

    It gets pretty hairy when a third or fourth ballot is required, so it helps to have all the nominees for every election listed in the order of your preference. There generally isn’t time to evaluate the remaining candidates once the voting has started.

  2. July 18th, 2013 at 14:55 | #2

    John: You missed the “Missional List,” Pr. Henrickson.

    Not really. I think the “Missional List” morphed into the “Our Future” list. Think of it as the “Proto-OFL.” But the OFL is what the libs settled on. For example, at first Eastern DP Chris Wicher gave his delegates the “Missional List,” but more recently he sent them the “Our Future” list. Other electioneering DPs likewise are going with the OFL, as is Charlie Mueller, Jr., of the dormant Jesus First PAC.

  3. Convention delegate
    July 18th, 2013 at 15:15 | #3

    First time poster. Long time reader.
    This seems like a forum for me to ask a since question as I fail to understand something. Some DPs had given to their districts encouragements for those on the ballot prior to election time. On this website they were greatly criticized for misusing their offices to influence a vote. Some pretty harsh things were said about them and that it clearly wasn’t their place to give input into an election.
    With that said, I as a delegate received three days ago a letter by our very own President Harrison giving suggestions of how to vote for resolutions at convention time. How is this different? Where is the outcry? Is it just sinful hypocrisy? Is this misuse of an office just like those DPs? Am I missing something? Where is the line? I would expect a similar outcry from this webiste if there is any consistency in condemning those in office who are offering a voice in how to vote. Or is it just that Pres. Harrison is writing what people here want to hear, and the DPs a few weeks ago were not? I am truly interested in knowing the rationale behind it all. Thanks for you time…

  4. Jason
    July 18th, 2013 at 15:17 | #4

    My ‘missional-type’ DP talked about some shenanigans about floor nominees last convention, and that they weren’t really the best qualified. Some of them got in and made a mess of synod. realize this is the left talking, since the United List hit like 85-90% of the time. Also Dave Benke on (crashed?) ALPB also strongly advocate NO floor nominees. The Nominations committee did their job, and let it be at that.. But do they also get it right? (Other floor committees put forward a couple of doozies for resolutions…) I think the missional side is trying to rally whatever support they have, and more sudden nominees might create a chaos that will not bode well. Who knows?

    Nominees and resolutions form the floor should be allowed. Otherwise we have a tyrannical dictatorship, censoring what the state-owned media puts outs…. (playing with and analogy)

  5. Stand up and Shout
    July 18th, 2013 at 15:49 | #5

    May God help our Synod, if the delegates go off ANY list on whom to vote for. Reminds me of the Union list from a previous life. God help us all.

  6. Robert
    July 18th, 2013 at 16:01 | #6

    The conservative/confessional liberal/church growth divide is a false dichotomy, a rhetorical device used both political parties to increase power and influence and to smash the competition.

    We need more Libertarians and Tea Partiers, and fewer CINOs (confessionals in name only), who are just as political as the liberals, if not more so.

  7. Convention delegate
    July 18th, 2013 at 16:03 | #7

    And if there is question in what is received, this seems far more direct than anything those other DPs wrote. Again, I’ll ask where is the consistency? I see two options: 1) Apologies for the DPs writing what they thought was best for those whom they serve, or 2) A similar call of repentance for President Harrison misusing his office in a similar fashion. Which is it? I am really trying to understand where the fine line is…what really is the difference between the two approaches? Pres. Harrison’s letter attached:

    Monday of Pentecost VIII, A.D. 2013
    July 15, 2013

    Dear Delegate,

    Grace and peace in Jesus. You are baptized for this moment! We are really looking forward to having you here in St. Louis beginning next weekend.

    Rather than take a lot of time in my address to the convention in the “President’s Report, Part 3” regarding specific resolutions in your Today’s Business, Proposed Resolutions, I thought I’d send this missive with a few thoughts on some important matters before you. I ask you to consider these suggestions prayerfully, and I am confident that the Lord will guide each of you according to His will. His will will, in fact, be done — for His purposes — and it will be good!

    1. Witness
    All of these resolutions are good. The Global Seminary Initiative (Res. 1-01) is crucial for the expanding international opportunities that confront us daily. We’ve been able to begin dispensing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the seminaries, but we’ve just begun. Our seminaries are among our Synod’s greatest treasures at this global moment. They are in great shape, thanks to competent leadership and the work and gifts of thousands. An infusion of cash with this initiative also benefits our students, as larger student bodies would result in a lower average cost per student.

    Resolution 1-06 to amend Bylaw 6.2.1 (d) is important because LCMS-related entities are working overseas (wonderful!), but sometimes do so without the prior knowledge of or regard for existing partner-church relationships. Sometimes our people work within the boundaries and among the people of our partner churches, but without consideration for the will and goals of the partner church. At other times an LCMS-related entity may be working with or funneling considerable sums of money to non-Lutheran congregations and churches, which causes irritation and angst among our partners (understandably so). We also have had interminable lawsuits between an auxiliary and a partner church, with no Synod Bylaw or protocol to resolve the situation. This resolution does not seek to limit the good work and freedom of auxiliaries and RSOs. It simply requires all of us to be mindful of existing relationships and to work collaboratively. The floor committee also is working on more precise language for the Bylaws in this area so that you can be assured that it is not an unhealthy intrusion into the life and work of our auxiliaries or RSOs.

    Resolution 1-11, “To Recruit and Place More Career Missionaries,” is vital. The system for supporting missionaries works very well, but it will take the involvement and concentration of all of us to double the number of career missionaries. We are asking the congregations and people of the Synod to make the support of missionaries a high priority.

    2. Mercy
    These resolutions are all very good.

    3. Life Together
    These resolutions are all very positive. The blue ribbon committee on schools is vital (Res. 3-04). Mission Awareness for Rural/Small Town, Urban/Inner City and Suburban Ministry is important (Res. 3-07). Congregational revitalization as a priority for the Office of National Mission is significant (Res. 3-08). Resolution 3-12 on worship is well balanced and helpful as we continue to work through our challenges in this area.

    4. Theology and Church Relations
    All these resolutions are solid. Resolution 4-06 asks the President to appoint a task force made up of members of the Council of Presidents, Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR), Praesidium and seminary faculties to address the issue of licensing for laymen to carry out the duties of a pastor. There is a challenging tension between the biblical requirements of our public confession — “No one should preach or teach, i.e., carry out the specific duties of a pastor, without a regular call” (Augsburg Confession XIV) — and the need to serve people in small congregations and often remote circumstances. We can resolve this issue in the manner suggested by this resolution. Let’s do it and take this matter off the list of issues that have long caused contention among us.

    We are the LCMS. The Scriptures teach that church fellowship (communing at each other’s altars and preaching in each other’s pulpits) requires unity in teaching. Our church workers are not to commune at altars of churches that reject what the Bible teaches. Resolution 4-07 states the consistent doctrine and practice of the LCMS from the beginning. Give careful attention to Resolution 4-09. In the considered opinion of the floor committee (which I share), the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) has overstepped its bounds in Opinion 11-2598 regarding Article VI of the Synod’s constitution. It ruled contrary to the constitution itself, contrary to Theses VIII of Walther’s The Church and the Office of the Ministry and contrary to the specifically directed opinion of the CTCR in this matter. I am hopeful the CCM will withdraw its opinion. If it does not, I strongly recommend it be overturned according to the applicable Bylaw provision [Bylaw 3.9.2.2 (c)]. The notion that the rescinding of this CCM opinion would preclude LCMS church workers from attending ELCA weddings and funerals, etc., is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

    5. Seminary and University Education
    These overtures are all significant and recommended. Our university system is to be praised for many good things. The schools are largely in solid financial shape. They possess diligent leadership and a deep desire to fulfill their Lutheran and Christian mission. Nevertheless, the floor committee takes the stewardship of the Synod for these institutions very seriously, as it should. Most schools in other mainline denominations have floated away from their doctrinal and church body heritage. [See Marvin Olasky, “Soaping the Slippery Slope,” World (August 25, 2012).]

    Significant voices within the Concordia University System (CUS) have asked whether our schools might become Recognized Service Organizations. I believe that this would herald the end of these institutions as LCMS schools. The proposed resolutions reinforce, but hardly in any kind of draconian way, what each university catalog and website already states: The universities of the Concordia University System are “owned and operated by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.”

    Resolution 5-05 provides for an increase of the number of regents chosen by the Synod in convention, and then also a significant increase in the number of regents chosen by the board itself. This is a very fair and measured approach to expanding the size of boards of regents, while maintaining sufficient representation by those elected at district and Synod conventions. A new Bylaw provision will assure that all candidates for boards of regents are verified in advance by the Synod’s Chief Administrative Officer and the Secretary of the Synod to ensure that they meet the Bylaw qualifications to serve. This is new and will safeguard that capable people are nominated and elected to serve in regent positions. The resolution’s provision guaranteeing that those elected by the Synod and LCMS districts will, in turn, elect additional members is exactly the bylaw provision currently in use for the seminaries [Bylaw 3.10.4.2 (4)].

    Resolution 5-03, “To Establish An SMP Oversight Committee,” will allow us to find the “sweet spot” in the guidelines for the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program. (The report of the President’s SMP Task Force, including its findings and recommendations, is found in the Convention Workbook on pages 403–52.) This overture will allow us to work toward the implementation of some of the task force’s suggestions, which are very reasonable. I request that the delegates pass Resolution 5-03 and give me the opportunity to appoint an oversight committee, as suggested. We’ll act to make sure the needed places and cases for the SMP program are served by the program (ethnic, isolated and certain mission situations, etc.), while providing some limitations (a reduction in the non-specific, staff-pastor use of the SMP), so that residential education is not jeopardized, and the bulk of our clergy retain the high standards of a full residential education.

    Resolution 5-10, “To Amend Bylaw 3.6.6.5 re Procedure to Consolidate Colleges/Universities,” should be passed. There are no plans or even speculations that I know of to close any school. This resolution will help prevent a situation like we had with Concordia University, Ann Arbor, which had a $20 million operating debt and few options to proceed. This resolution will allow for the possibility of consolidation, for instance, long before a school has become unviable.

    Resolution 5-11, on the appointment of seminary faculty, is presented to restore the historic process that was in place until the last convention eliminated the Board for Pastoral Education. The Synod has had a process for advance approval for seminary positions for as long as anyone remembers. It is a good and healthy practice. The same goes for advance approval of CUS professors of theology [Res. 5-05, re: Bylaw 3.6.6.5 (i)]. It needs to be restored.

    Resolution 5-12 on “Spanish-Speaking Students and Faculty” has obvious missiological import!

    6. Administration and Finance
    Again, these resolutions are helpful. Educational debt of church workers needs to be addressed (Res. 6-01). Support for short-term missionaries is crucial at this worldwide moment for the LCMS (Res. 6-02). The Secretary of the Synod should be restored to full voting membership on the CCM (Res. 6-04). Most of the other overtures clean up and modestly improve the Bylaws.

    7. Structure and Ecclesiastical Matters
    Resolution 7-01 on visitation is crucial for our life together as a Synod. Only a widespread restoration of visitation (where it has declined), together with a renewed focus (where it is already being done), will allow us to continue to strive together toward greater unity and mission effectiveness in all endeavors. This is not a focus “inward” but a recognition of our need to encourage one another in our focus outward with our confession of Christ. Carefully note the preamble of this resolution, prepared by the 2010 Resolution 8-07 Task Force on District Structure. Resolution 7-02 on the title “Circuit Visitor” is small but significant. “Counselors” show up when there is a problem. (Or rather, one seeks out a “counselor” when there is a problem.) “Visitors,” on the other hand, visit for mutual well-being and accountability! Please note that among the first questions any visitor might ask is: “How is it going with the mission of Christ to extend His Kingdom in this place?” And, “How are we living together under Christ? How is the preaching and teaching focused on Christ?”

    Regarding Resolution 7-07, “To Change Process for Electing Delegates to Synod Conventions, after a great deal of thought on this, I believe this resolution should be declined. It is a holdover from the 2010 convention, as is Resolution 7-08. The problem I see is with the resolved, “That voting delegates for Synod Conventions be elected by electoral caucuses at district conventions.” Even if there is the intent to elect delegates with “geographic considerations” in view, such a process can easily move us away from contiguous groups of local congregations who know each other and act together to elect their delegates (as you yourself were this year!), and open the door to potential gerrymandering of various sorts. Second, with this Bylaw in place, it will be a very short stroke of a future convention pen to end up with “That voting delegates for Synod Conventions be elected by electoral caucuses at district conventions.” Such a move has already been suggested and would mean that wholesale political slates could be elected at a district convention by the slightest majority, thus disenfranchising many local congregations. I do not support Resolution 7-07, and I also believe that Resolution 7-08 on limiting the number of delegates is unnecessary.

    Regarding the four-year convention cycle, I am ambivalent. On the one hand, there would be a cost savings and less convention work and distraction for my office and the rest of the Synod. On the other hand, decision making and the encouragement (and information!) that a convention can and does bring to the Synod would be removed from congregations by an additional year.

    Finally, I strongly suggest that those Bylaws (Res. 7-11) that deal with final hearing panels in cases of expulsion (Bylaws 2.14; 2.15) be changed to require all members of such panels to be theologically trained. This change will have to come from the floor committee or from the floor of the convention.

    These are the thoughts I wish to share with you just as you begin packing for the trek to St. Louis. Many, many thanks to the floor committees for their great work in preparing these important resolutions for your consideration.

    God bless you. It’s going to be a great week!

    Godspeed —

    Pastor Matt Harrison

  8. July 18th, 2013 at 16:09 | #8

    Convention delegate: Some DPs had given to their districts encouragements for those on the ballot prior to election time. On this website they were greatly criticized for misusing their offices to influence a vote. Some pretty harsh things were said about them and that it clearly wasn’t their place to give input into an election.With that said, I as a delegate received three days ago a letter by our very own President Harrison giving suggestions of how to vote for resolutions at convention time. How is this different? Where is the outcry? Is it just sinful hypocrisy? Is this misuse of an office just like those DPs? Am I missing something?

    Yes, “Convention delegate,” you are missing something. A couple of somethings, actually:

    1) Synod President Harrison is supposed to give his report to the convention delegates–it’s part of his job. And historically, that report is spread into several parts, at times before and at the convention. Also, the President’s Report includes his recommendations on resolutions. Previous synod presidents have done this–most recently, President Kieschnick.

    2) The DPs who are using their office to electioneer–e.g., Linnemann, Newton, Wicher–are campaigning for specific candidates. President Harrison has not done this.

    So those are a couple of big differences.

  9. Convention delegate
    July 18th, 2013 at 16:12 | #9

    I guess I don’t see how campaigning for specific candidates differs from campaigning for specific resolutions. They are both campaigning, right? And they both have a higher office, right? And they are both placed to serve a certain geography of people, right? So, by my twisted logic, a DP has every right to do that in as much as a SP does then, correct? Do the difference of specific candidates vs. specific resolutions matter?

  10. July 18th, 2013 at 16:19 | #10

    Stand up and Shout: May God help our Synod, if the delegates go off ANY list on whom to vote for.

    I don’t see what’s wrong with lists, per se. They’re just some people’s opinions about which of the candidates would do the best job. Do you know many delegates who have looked thoroughly into every one of the hundreds of candidates for the dozens of offices? So a list can be helpful in giving one a general sense of which candidates you’d be more likely to agree with. You can take it or leave it. For instance, I would vary with the United List in a couple of places. But I guarantee you, overall I would be way more in tune with the United List than with the OFL.

    Say, if you don’t like either of those lists, you could come up with your own “Stand up and Shout List” (SUASL). Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes. ;^)

  11. Keaton
    July 18th, 2013 at 16:44 | #11

    @Robert #6

    This is the sort of claim that really ought to be supported better. Or at all. Or better yet, put into perspective. We are primarily a church body, not a political body, so terms like CINO and libertarian and tea party don’t translate very well. Sorry.

    We’re a church body, not a political body. We are concerned about what we believe, teach, and confess. The regrettable schism in our synod, and subsequential formation of “parties” or “lists” … is anything BUT a manufactured rhetorical device for the retention of power. It’s about doctrine, because doctrine is more important than power.

    Seriously. What bunch of idiots would go to such an elaborate Machiavellian ruse to retain power… in the LCMS?

  12. July 18th, 2013 at 16:58 | #12

    The candidates who aren’t on anyone’s list should have as their campaign slogan: “Vote for me! Nobody wants me for this office!”

    But then someone will publish the “NFCL,” “Nobody’s First Choice List,” and then they will be on a list, and that will make them bad. ;^)

  13. Paul Faulkner
    July 18th, 2013 at 18:03 | #13

    I don’t have a problem with using lists, so long as the delegate uses good judgment in doing so. I have 3 times served as my congregation’s lay delegate to our IN district convention. The first time around I voted for a couple of people I later found out had ties to JesusFirst. They didn’t win (thankfully!), but I had I known they were contributors to that group I would never have voted for them. And in subsequent conventions we actually had a vote or two that was decided by less than 5 votes. For one vote at the district convention, we actually had to vote twice, because the particular election yielded an exact tie. I would not have wanted some seminex sympathizer or open-table advocating pastor to get elected to a position just because i briefly glanced over his bio and thought…oh, that looks good. After the first convention, I became aware of the lists, and used them, as well as what I discovered in my own research, as well as if I had personal knowledge that would lead me to vote for someone else.

    Consider this, electing people to positions of authority in the district (or Synod), is *not* the same thing as calling a pastor of a congregation. We do not place the ‘lay candidate of the central region’ into a Divine office. These are human offices created to assist the church body, but that’s the extent of it. Sometimes I think we want to treat synodical/district positions like we shouldn’t be concerned with who the candidates are, like we should just close our eyes and toss a dart, trusting God to use whatever name we might accidentally pick. And its certainly true that God works in His ways regardless of what we want or how we plan. Obviously, this comparison is not the best, but I trust God to provide protection when I get in my car and drive away, but I also don’t close my eyes and take my hand off the wheel while I’m driving. That’s not saying I don’t trust God. But i trust Him to work thru the means He has given me to accomplish the task before me… whether that task is driving down I-69 or voting for candidates for office.

  14. CDJ
    July 18th, 2013 at 18:22 | #14

    I’m just glad the relentless JesusFirst emails have stopped…

  15. Paul Faulkner
    July 18th, 2013 at 18:28 | #15

    I just saw the progressive’s recommendations. So far now we know they are 0-2, considering neither of their choices for 1st VP made it to the ballot. And I have to say I am really surprised at some of the names that made on their recommendation page.

  16. Michael Kumm
    July 18th, 2013 at 21:05 | #16

    What folks should know about floor nominations is that the only ones that are allowed are those who have been “vetted” by the Nominations committee. So the argument that the “nominations committee has done it’s job” is actually supporting the persons who are nominated from the floor.

  17. July 18th, 2013 at 21:37 | #17

    Michael Kumm: What folks should know about floor nominations is that the only ones that are allowed are those who have been “vetted” by the Nominations committee. So the argument that the “nominations committee has done its job” is actually supporting the persons who are nominated from the floor.

    This is a good point, Michael. The only persons who can be floor-nominated are people already in the “pool” that the nominating committee has.

  18. CDJ
    July 18th, 2013 at 21:42 | #18

    Email from Paul Saltzman at ALPB forum:

    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

  19. Noreen Linke
    July 19th, 2013 at 00:27 | #19

    As one who is finding herself on everyone’s list, please rest assured that I am a solid Confessional! :-)

  20. Luvable Lutheran
    July 19th, 2013 at 05:13 | #20

    Votes from each and every delegate are very important. Last convention a single vote decided the majority for one candidate.

  21. Didaskalos
    July 19th, 2013 at 06:46 | #21

    As a recent LCMS arrival (albeit one who grew up in the pre-ELCA ELC synod), I’d appreciate a little help, Charles, deconstructing the statement at the top of the OFL list. Are the United List folks not “passionate about the Gospel in reaching the lost”? And how do “leaders who are inwardly focused and who are living in the past” spend their time, anyway? According to the OFL imputations, they seem not to be “gospel motivated, people focused, and cross centered.”

    “THE LUTHERAN CHURCH MISSOURI SYNOD IS AT A DECIDING MOMENT IN HISTORY. WILL SYNOD FAITHFULLY CHOOSE LEADERS WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE GOSPEL IN REACHING THE LOST OR WILL SYNOD CHOOSE LEADERS WHO ARE INWARDLY FOCUSED AND WHO ARE LIVING IN THE PAST. BELOW IS A LIST OF THOSE WE BELIEVE WILL BRING ABOUT POSITIVE EMPHASES FOR A FUTURE THAT IS GOSPEL MOTIVATED, PEOPLE FOCUSED, AND CROSS CENTERED. “WOE TO ME IF I DO NOT PREACH THE GOSPEL.” 1 CORINTHIANS 9:16″

  22. Bob Pase
    July 19th, 2013 at 08:27 | #22

    @Didaskalos #21

    “Gospel motivated, people focused and cross centered” to me equals never speaking the Law, not speaking the truth in love. We are to accept everyone and “understand” the “issues” people have. Jesus’ words, “Go and sin no more” would not be accepted because that is not preaching the Gospel according to the OFL crowd. Speaking the Gospel = speaking Law/Gospel.

  23. Walter Troeger
    July 19th, 2013 at 08:35 | #23

    “Educational debt of church workers needs to be addressed (Res. 6-01).”
    This was discussed at the last convention and as far as I know nothing has been done about it. Ok, time to discuss it some more in light of the higher interest rates for student loans.

  24. Didaskalos
    July 19th, 2013 at 09:30 | #24

    Bob Pase :
    @Didaskalos #21
    “Gospel motivated, people focused and cross centered” to me equals never speaking the Law, not speaking the truth in love. We are to accept everyone and “understand” the “issues” people have. Jesus’ words, “Go and sin no more” would not be accepted because that is not preaching the Gospel according to the OFL crowd. Speaking the Gospel = speaking Law/Gospel.

    From what I’ve read and seen (e.g., his testimony before a House committee), it seems to me that Matthew Harrison is neither disengaged from culture or disinclined to preach both law and Gospel.

    http://witness.lcms.org/pages/wPage.asp?ContentID=1347&IssueID=77 — “Marriage and the Church” by Matthew Harrison

    “. . . The Supreme Court will likely rule on the two cases (DOMA and Proposition 8) in late June. Like Roe v. Wade, which found a (fictional) right to abortion in the U.S. Constitution, the court could rule that the traditional definition of marriage of one man and one woman is unconstitutional. No matter how the court rules, the fight has just begun. Many in our own fellowship think, What’s the big deal? Isn’t it just about widening the tent of tolerance a bit more? If that were it, it would a major relief. But its not. What’s at stake is our First Amendment right to the free exercise of our religious conviction in the way we act in society. As the same-sex marriage train gains steam, we find ourselves increasingly under attack, our social ministry agencies are forced to either capitulate to the state or lose funding and even licenses. All opposed to same-sex marriage for conscience grounds are and will increasingly be labeled bigots in line with slave-holders and those who were opposed to ending of legalized racism in this country. And know this: As traditional Christians are driven out of the public square, the door is also closed for the Gospel.

    “The task before us is monumental. We are called to repent of our lack of appreciation for marriage and family. We are called to confess Christ to all and call all to repentance. We must elevate marriage among us and educate, educate, educate. Even as we seek specific ways to care for those challenged by same-sex attraction, we must resist conforming to the culture.

    “We know whose we are. We know what is in store for us. We know we will be severely tested in these last days, but this testing will abound in faithfulness and praise (1 Peter 1).”

  25. Bob Pase
    July 19th, 2013 at 11:11 | #25

    @Didaskalos #24
    I totally agree with your assessment of President Harrison. He’s bold to speak to truth.

  26. Robert
    July 19th, 2013 at 18:59 | #26

    @Keaton #11

    While anecdotal, I’ll support my conclusion with an example from my own experience.

    When we confessionals were huddling together several conventions ago, trying to unseat Kieschnick, our political advisor, who happens to be a friend of mine, rejected the dichotomous “two groups in the Synod” mythology.

    This guy has an undergraduate degree from West Point and an MBA from another prestigious university. And several years of political experience as well.

    The LCMS is comprised of many different groups, and I won’t spend my evening listing all of them here. Even among “confessionals,” there are those who adhere to the biblical, confessional, traditional doctrine of Walther, Pieper, etc., and there are those, who adhere essentially to 20th century European Lutheranism.

    The two are doctrinally incompatible, but there you are.

    Finally, I would offer some encouragement to you as you begin to see that Synod really is political. It is all political, with some churchly window dressing. That will be on show this week. What won’t be on show is that people are hired and fired, promoted and demoted, within the Synod based on their political alliances. It happens all the time.

    Heck, even this blog is political. BJS originated as part of a broader attempt to unseat Kieschnick. As spokespersons for the current Administration, Pastors Henrickson and Noland give Jay Carney a run for his money.

  27. July 19th, 2013 at 21:44 | #27

    Robert,

    Please recant your unsupported claim that this sight was started to unseat Kieschnick. That is such an untruth.

    Our reason for being is clearly stated on the “Organization” tab above.

    We do not disparage church politics. It would be nice if there were no such thing but that is not realistic in any endeavor in life where there are two or more people involved.

    Politics however, takes a back seat and is subservient to theology on this site.

    Again, please recant your ridiculous assertion.

  28. Nicholas
    July 19th, 2013 at 21:52 | #28

    Almost every other comment Robert leaves on BJS seems designed to inflame.

  29. July 19th, 2013 at 21:58 | #29

    It sounds to me like he believes he was a victim of LCMS politics.

  30. July 20th, 2013 at 14:10 | #30

    Robert: As spokespersons for the current Administration, Pastors Henrickson and Noland give Jay Carney a run for his money.

    So now I’m being compared to Jay Carney-Barker? Lulz. Just for the record, I am not a spokesperson for the Harrison administration. I haven’t agreed with everything the Harrison adminstration has done (or not done), and I have said so, and said so here. Also, I am not a spokesperson for BJS. I don’t always agree with everything that’s posted here–heck, I don’t even read everything that’s posted here. The only person I’m a spokesperson for is . . . Charles Henrickson. Oh, and for Jesus, on Sunday mornings.

  31. Paul Faulkner
    July 21st, 2013 at 15:03 | #31

    So far the United List seems to be the list more people are following. I was most concerned with the East-Southeast VP slot. A close one, but congrats to Rev. Kuhn who will move from the BoD to sixth VP. What a difference a couple conventions makes. Hopefully the same goes for the resolutions.

  32. Carl Vehse
    July 22nd, 2013 at 08:32 | #32

    Prior to the election of the 1st VP, pastrix-sympathizer and convention delegate, Marie Meyer raised a point of order about a list of preferred candidates being available on a exhibitor’s table in the convention hall.

    It was later explained by the chairman that the exhibitor’s table was NOT in the convention hall, but rather outside of the convention hall and in the hallway, where it was permitted.

  33. Carl Vehse
    July 22nd, 2013 at 13:42 | #33

    In a comment about a First Things article on President Harrison and ecumenical dialogue, Steve Jacobsen stated, in part:

    I’m very curious what the President said about these and other things in a 3000 word E-mail sent only to delegates on [Monday] July 15. It was reported on by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but the E-mail isn’t available anywhere on the web that I’ve found. Does anyone know where the rest of us can read it? In it Harrison directly advises what resolutions delegates should vote for or against.

    The Post-Dispatch article quoted William Schumacher, a professor of historical theology at Concordia Seminary, saying that President Harrison’s letter to delegates was “unprecedented in that he offers detailed advice on a whole range of actions coming before the convention. He certainly ratcheted the whole thing up.”

    Does BJS have a copy of President Harrison’s letter?

  34. John Rixe
  35. Jason
    July 22nd, 2013 at 15:47 | #35

    SHENANAGINS!!! Finishing up floor nominations. A list of nominees was posted and then printed in a booklet pre-convention. After a couple of floor nominees, I noticed that in the current edition/addendum to Today’s Business, nominees are missing. Something like 6 or 7 names have disappeared. One person is not recommended, but all the other missing names are from the United List. People from the floor are trying to add them back in. And we are having some proceedural issues to kill floor nominations.

    Why did Floor Committee #9 remove these names? Why are they United List names?

  36. Jason
    July 22nd, 2013 at 17:49 | #36

    I recant. When preparing my master list, collating all other lists, I do not remember having to add in names. In looking through my Nominations booklet and referencing a United List card here, I see that UL indicates adding a few floor nominations. I apologize for sounding accusatory in thinking Floor Committee #9 being sloppy with their presentation. I am sorry and apologize.

  37. Carl Vehse
    July 22nd, 2013 at 19:10 | #37

    In the meantime, the attempt to get Overture/Resolution 4-06 passed was derailed.

    The “You can trust us” tapdancing, along with the “Fellowship delays would cause problems” malarkey, and the heavy breathing of Loeheist forces led to <20% vote defeat.

    No need to try jolting a majority of delegates' EEG readings above flatline; just let this delegate robot take over! :-(

  38. July 22nd, 2013 at 20:22 | #38

    Robert Kuhn 12.7% 6th
    Scott Murray 17.9% 4th
    Nabil Nour 14.6% 5th
    Daniel Preus 23% 3rd
    John Wohlrabe 31.8 2nd

    Maybe they can do something about this travesty:

    “The LC-MS Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) recently ruled that LC-MS pastors may commune at the altars of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America without engaging in unionism. The CCM “reasoned” that taking communion at a congregation isn’t “taking part” in the sacramental rites of that congregation. Read about this completely nonsensical opinion here: http://thebarebulb.com/2013/06/25/taking-part-in-utter-nonsense/.

    http://thebarebulb.com/2013/07/13/dont-worry-dr-newton/

  39. Carl Vehse
    July 22nd, 2013 at 20:47 | #39

    @Pastor Ted Crandall #38,

    It was noted in this BJS post #22 on another thread that the CCM has “suspended” that opinion, and thus Floor Committee 4 has withdrawn Resolutions 4-07 and 4-09 from consideration.

    What the CCM might “unsuspend” after the convention is anyone’s guess.

    The CCM suspension was also noted in some comments on The Bare Bulb thread, Just In Time, a Warning.

  40. Carl Vehse
    July 23rd, 2013 at 10:17 | #40

    From Peter Speckhard, reporting from the LCMS Convention:

    “Floor committee 4 handed out a sheet showing that the CCM, President Harrison, and the CTCR have reached a smoke-filled-room deal that I can’t quite follow. The gist is that CCM suspends enforcement of its ruling without invalidating it in principle while the CTCR works on it together with them in the coming triennium, but according to the agreement, nothing on the topic will be put forward to the convention by this floor committee this time around. People seem somewhat befuddles and not sure what to ask.
    “I’ll try to put up the text of the deal later today.”

    This deal to remove Resolutions 4-07 and 4-09 has the odor of an uncovered deposit in the middle of the convention litterbox.

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