Report on the Northwest District Convention, Part 2, by Scott Diekmann

June 29th, 2009 Post by

(Scott’s other posts are archived on the Regular Columns page of the website under the title “Apologetics – Apply Liberally to the Affected Area.” Part 1 of this report can be found here)

Report on the NOW District Convention, Part 2

I agree with the Synod President. One of the questions President Kieschnick was asked at the Northwest District Convention in the canned question and answer session was related to the challenges the LCMS faces, and what needs to be fixed. His answer, and he emphasized this as the most important challenge we face, was to change the spirit of distrust and mistrust in the Synod. I wholeheartedly agree with our Synod President. There is a pervasive spirit of mistrust that causes us to spend more time defending our own “turf” than going about the “business” of the Church. This attitude could certainly be seen at times during the proceedings of the convention, though it was most often hidden by a thin veneer of piety and cordiality.

As a follow-on to his answer, you might ask an even more important question, why is there a spirit of distrust and mistrust? Of course, he didn’t address that question, because the answer would have contradicted his previous opening statement, in which he claimed that the LCMS is “exceptionally united in what we believe, teach, and confess.” No Synod whose most important challenge is to deal with a spirit of distrust and mistrust can be walking in doctrinal unity.

In World War II, the Allies fought a common enemy, yet there was an underlying distrust between the American and European allies and their Russian counterparts that at times made it difficult to hold the alliance together. After the war, the smiling faces of joint summit meetings ended. The huge political differences could no longer be papered over, and nations that were once allies became enemies. As long as our Synod President continues to maintain we are “exceptionally united,” true unity will never be attained. We may lurch along the path for a time, putting on a smile for the press release, but unless true theological dialogue is begun and our differences resolved by the Word of God and our Confession, disaster will loom not far beyond the next hedge row. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

One of the softball questions that President Kieschnick answered illustrates this doctrinal division. The questioner stated that a Ft. Wayne professor commented that the Great Commission applies to the apostles only, and the questioner asked President Kieschnick what he thought of that interpretation. He replied that he’d heard that was being taught, and strongly disagreed with it, and that it was not the official position of the Synod. The question did not seem to be particularly relevant to the occasion, and the answer certainly left no room for anyone who exegetes Matthew 28 differently. The whole question and answer seemed to be more of a jab at those who don’t agree with the everyone-a-minister concept, and would never have been asked, or answered, in a Synod that was truly united in doctrine.

President Kieschnick pointed out that unless he is an idiot, he thinks he understands what’s going on in our Synod. He stated that not all of our pastors want to be pastors. I wonder how many of those pastors, as well as those who still want to be pastors, despair because of the doctrinal divide which confronts us. There are congregations and pastors that have left the LCMS solely for legitimate doctrinal reasons. As Martin Luther put it, “…My conscience is captive to the Word of God. …To go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” There are, right now, confessional LCMS pastors who are wrestling with these same issues, trying to answer these questions that should never have been needed to be asked. Perhaps now is the time to elect a Synod President that will confront our differences, rather than trivialize them, so that we no longer have to wrestle with these tough questions, and even tougher answers.






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  1. Carl Vehse
    June 29th, 2009 at 08:12 | #1

    The view that Mt. 28 was given to the apostles as representing the church rather than as representing the clergy does not mean that “everyone is a minister” in the sense that all Christians are called to public ministry.

    The Great Commission was addressed to Christ’s disciples representing the Church as a whole, neither excluding the clergy nor exclusively representing the clergy. This is the Scriptural understanding expressed in the writings of the Lutheran Confessions, Martin Luther and other Lutheran theologians, C.F.W. Walther’s _Church and Ministry_, A Brief Statement of 1932, and in other LCMS doctrinal and explanatory statements and publications. The Church carries out this Great Commission through individual Christians and through the public ministry of mediately-called servants of the Word.

    It would be a sin to refuse or ignore the Great Commission opportunities God gives all Christians in their daily lives and individual vocations, to tell others about the Good News. We all need forgiveness for such failings.

    From 1998, in an excellent discussion of the pastor and the congregation given by the Rev. James Kalthoff, then Missouri District President, in his “The Pastor: God’s Servant for God’s People”, from Church and Ministry: The Collected Papers of The 150th Anniversary Theological Convocation of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, edited by Jerald C. Joerz and Paul T. McCain, 1998, pp.123-161:

    “The Office of the Keys is entrusted to pastors for ‘public’ administration of them. But every Christian, as a priest of God, may use the Keys in private by sharing the Gospel with unbelievers and by absolving a brother or sister who confesses sin to them. This clearly is the teaching of Scripture and the Confessions In our day, we occasionally hear of controversy brought on by some pastors who are insisting that the work of the Great Commission of Matthew 28, that of ‘making disciples of all nations,’ was only given to the apostles and that therefore lay persons should not assume this responsibility belongs also to them. Or that only pastors may carry out the Great Commission.”

  2. Pastor Tim Rossow
    June 29th, 2009 at 08:33 | #2

    Nice post Scott.

    President Kieschnick is being divisive with a retort like this.

    The words of Jesus on the Mt. of Ascension are spoken to the disciples, soon to be apostles. The correct understanding that these words are given to the apostles and then pastors is not hard to figure out.

    Jesus tells them to teach and baptize. Unless President Kieschnick wants to argue that teaching and baptizing in the church are for all then he should realize this “commission” is for the apostles and pastors.

    “Carl Vehse” offers a helpful corrective but it corrects too far and beyond the simple understanding of scripture if it means that Matthew 28 is spoken to all Christians.

    It is helpful to realize that this is instruction “for the church.” No one should claim it as its own, clergy included. The best way to understand it is as spoken to the church. We then ask, “how does the church do what was commanded?” We do it through the office of the holy ministry.

    Does that exclude the laity from sharing the Gospel with others? Of course not. It simply means that we should not abuse the scriptures as the church growthers do (and now Presidet Kieschnick) and say that Matthew 28 is about personal evangelism.

    On a similar line of thought – how many of you have ever done a word search on “evangelism” in the New Testament? When you do, you realize that it is not a main theme of the scriptures and when it is used it is applied almost exclusively to the clergy.

    I will issue to all our readers the same challenge I issued to my Bible class a few weeks ago: can you find three NT passages that clearly teach personal evangelism? Two? Even one? Good luck.

    I point this out not to minimize personal evangelism but to put it into its proper place, scripturally speaking.

    I am waiting to see all those scriptural commands to do personal evangelism.

    TR

  3. PPPadre
    June 29th, 2009 at 09:05 | #3

    This is a little more passive than most would understand “personal evangelism,” but how about this one?

    1 Peter 3:15 – “…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…”

    The Padre

  4. Carl Vehse
    June 29th, 2009 at 09:21 | #4

    “I will issue to all our readers the same challenge I issued to my Bible class a few weeks ago: can you find three NT passages that clearly teach personal evangelism? Two? Even one? Good luck.”

    One most certainly does not need “luck.”

    Instead, one has only to read the answer and the various Scriptural references on the question, Is it teaching false doctrine to say that passages that discuss the ministry, such as Matt. 28:18-20, John 20:19-23, 2 Cor. 5:17-21, apply only to pastors?, where it states:

    “[T]he Synod cites John 20:22-23 and Matthew 28:18-20 as proof texts for the doctrinal position of the Synod that “Christians are the Church” and that “they alone originally possess the spiritual gifts and rights which Christ has gained for, and given to, His Church”… Thus, it would be contrary to the doctrinal position of the Synod to hold that such texts ‘apply only to pastors.’”

    A Lutheran may also refer to the referenced Brief Statement of 1932, Of the Church. Any member of the Missouri Synod who rejects, or deliberately ignores, the understanding expressed in such a statement, especially if it was already well established before he became a synodical member, should consider whether he can honestly remain a member of the Missouri Synod.

    And if the Brief Statement of 1932 is considered misguided by some within Synod congregations, then they should consider what was written in Der Lutheraner, Vol. 17(22) (June 11, 1861), pp.169-71, reprinted in The Congregation’s Right to Choose a Pastor, translated by Fred Kramer, Concordia Seminary Publications, St. Louis, 1997, where C.F.W. Walther wrote:

    “The church by no means receives God’s Word and Sacrament first through her mediately called pastors, but these [pastors] rather receive them through the church….

    “God also did not found a mute church, which is condemned to permit only persons of a certain rank to preach the Word of God, while she herself has to keep silent. No, she is not only to have the Word herself she herself is to preach it. The church or the ordinary Christians can by no means say: ‘What business is it of ours, whether the Word of God is preached or not. Let the pastors take care of that; they, not we, are responsible for that!’ No, the command of Christ ‘to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name among all nations, Luke 24:47, is by no means given only to the apostles and to their successors in public office, but to his entire church on earth.’” [Kramer, pp. 137-8]

    “Is that which is according to those Bible passages every Christian’s duty, and even more his right, by any means something different from that which a pastor or preacher or minister of the church has the duty and right to do? Must he by chance preach something different, preach, teach, and confess it admonish, comfort, rebuke with something else than common Christians? Clearly not. The difference consists only in this, that the pastor does this publicly and before the entire congregation, the common Christian however does it privately, as his calling and circumstances call for. Therefore the office itself, which the pastor and which every true Christian has, is entirely the same, only the manner of exercising and using it is different.” [Kramer, p. 140]

    “Although there is of course a great difference between a pastor and a believing Christian, and a Christian never through his faith becomes a pastor or parish minister in the real sense of the word, it nevertheless by no means follows from this difference that the Christians do not possess this office originally, and that they are not to exercise it privately each according to his rank and calling which has been committed to ministers and parish pastors according to God’s expressly made order for public administration on behalf of the congregation, as Luther generally expresses himself” [Kramer, p. 143]

  5. June 29th, 2009 at 11:36 | #5

    I find it highly unlikely that the person who posed the question to Pres. Kieschnick didn’t already know the proper answer to the question, but was rather lobbing up a slow-pitch softball insult for Pres. Kieschnick to whack with his CGM bat. The context of the question was the Northwest District Convention, in which there is a gathering of like-minded pastors and lay-people who generally view mission as “job one,” and everything else as details that can be dispensed with. Hence, as an example, we voted in favor of a resolution which continues the Leadership Advancement Process, a fancy name for a program which launches laymen into Word and Sacrament ministry, a clear violation of AC XIV.

    The point here is not about to whom the Great Commission was addressed. As I stated in Part 6 of my series on The Transforming Churches Network, which was published on BJS (http://steadfastlutherans.org/blog/?p=5095),

    “Again quoting Dr. Pieper:

    ‘It is not a human, but a divine command that Christians perform the works of their spiritual priesthood; accordingly, preach the Gospel not merely in their homes, but also in their intercourse with their brethren and with the world. Likewise it is not merely a human, but a divine regulation that Christians who live at one place fellowship with one another, form a congregation, and appoint men equipped with the necessary teaching ability to preach God’s Word in the name of the congregation both publicly (in the public assembly) and privately (to individual Christians).’ (Christian Dogmatics, Vol. III, p. 443)

    This is the way that evangelism has been done throughout the history of the Church. God’s blessings flowing from pulpit, altar, and font through the Office of the Holy Ministry, as well as laymen serving their fellow man through their various vocations. Altar, pulpit, and font are the penultimate source from which the Word and Christ’s forgiveness of sins and blessings proceed into the world. Laymen meet the needs of their neighbor, whether physical or spiritual, through the ordinary circumstances of their lives. To attempt to assign to the laymen the pastoral functions in the Church makes it appear that church work is somehow more valuable and important than other daily work we perform, which is every bit as important in God’s eyes. All our works serve Him when done in Christ – we become masks of God. The every-person-a-minister concept denigrates the priesthood of all believers and appropriates the duties of the Office of the Holy Ministry.”

    The point is that President Kieschnick was posed the question so that he could, via a back door method, further promote the every-person-a-minister concept, a concept which now seems to be the method du jour for church plants in the LCMS, at least those receiving Ablaze! funds. The question wasn’t asked so we could be treated to an exegetical study from our non-theologian Synodical President on the Great Commission. He leaves those studies to people like Luecke and Hunter. Given the context in which President Kieschnick answered the question, I think the answer was a Law-driven message that contradicts our Confession, rather than supporting it.

  6. Carl Vehse
    June 29th, 2009 at 12:26 | #6

    “One of the softball questions that President Kieschnick answered illustrates this doctrinal division. The questioner stated that a Ft. Wayne professor commented that the Great Commission applies to the apostles only, and the questioner asked President Kieschnick what he thought of that interpretation.”

    According to the paraphrased description, it is hardly a softball question! It is related to the Missouri Synod’s historical position as stated in C.F.W. Walther’s Kirche und Amt, which our Synod has recognized as the definitive statement under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions of the Synod’s understanding on the subject of church and ministry, to which all pastors, professors, teachers of the church, and congregations are to honor and uphold as the official position of our Synod on church and ministry and teach in accordance with them.

    From the 1996 “Fort Wayne visitation” summary report by then LCMS President A.L. Barry on the findings of his official visitation of Concordia Theological Seminary:

    “It became apparent to the visitation team that there are certain theological issues that have caused problems in the past. These issues continue to be a concern at the seminary among the faculty and larger seminary family….

    “1) The relationship between the church and the office of the public pastoral ministry. In such discussions it needs to be recognized that in the matter of church and ministry our Synod and seminaries still stand clearly behind Dr. C.F.W. Walther’s position as he articulated it in his book Kirche und Amt. Because of this, our Synod rejects both the errors in the positions of Loehe and Grabau positions, as well as the errors in the position of Hoefling.”

    The continuing existence of such problems in upholding the Missouri Synod’s position on this doctrine were alluded to by Prof. Kurt Marquart at the April 2005 Model Theological Conference.

    As for Kieschnick’s (paraphrased) answer and whether he misused it to promote the false “every-person-a-minister concept” (in the sense of AC.XIV), one can certainly discuss, preferably with quotes of what was said.

    BTW, who was the questioner whose motive was so discerned, and was the miscreant Fort Wayne professor specifically named by the questioner?

  7. Matt Phillips
    June 29th, 2009 at 12:37 | #7

    #4 above @Carl Vehse:

    The Kramer p. 140 quote hit the nail on the head: “The difference consists only in this, that the pastor does this publicly and before the entire congregation, the common Christian however does it privately, as his calling and circumstances call for. Therefore the office itself, which the pastor and which every true Christian has, is entirely the same, only the manner of exercising and using it is different.”

    As a baptized priest I am to act privately as my calling and circumstances call for. This would not include many evangelism techniques, such as, knocking on doors, passing out tracts, etc. (*Although one is free in the gospel to do so as long as they do not become a busybody.) However, it does include my confession of the gospel in my vocation as father and husband especially. As a history professor at a Lutheran college I also have the privilege to confess the gospel freely in my vocation. The circumstances of life may include me praying for a friend or comforting my neighbor.

    Christ gave the keys to the church. Those called to the office of the Holy Ministry exercise the authority of those keys.

  8. Rev. Scott Hojnacki
    June 29th, 2009 at 13:04 | #8

    Softball? Probably.
    Sound Bite? Maybe.
    Straw Man? Definitely.

    To whom was Jesus speaking? The apostles (“the eleven,” Mt. 28:16).
    Who were the first pastors of the Church? The apostles.
    Do pastors “make disciples” by baptizing and teaching? Yes.
    Does it follow unequivocally from these facts that the “Great Commission” was given only and exclusively to pastors in such a manner that it cannot possibly be applied to any Christian layman under any circumstance? Not likely. (And who has said such a thing?)

    It is not a question of fact but a question of interpretation, “Whom do the eleven represent?” Pastors only? Every individual Christian (if so, where are the 120 (Acts 1:15) while this is going on)? The whole Church, collectively?

    Walther, in his first thesis on the Ministry (which the LC-MS has officially recognized), writes, “The holy ministry or pastoral office is an office distinct from the priesthood of all believers” (C&M, CPH 1987, p. 161), and also, “the divine institution of the holy ministry is evident from the call of the holy apostles into the ministry of the Word by the Son of God according to Matt. 28:18-20…” (p. 177). Is Walther to be lumped in with all the evil sacerdotalists who can be publicly castigated by the SP?

    Creating and destroying the sacerdotalist strawman is no more edifying than claiming that if one believes that the “Great Commission” was given to the entire church, then it necessarily follows that he also believes that the pastoral office itself is antichristian, an invention of evil men, and a hindrance to true faith, the mission of the church, and the ministry of every individual. Naturally, we could easily deride such anticlerical nonsense.

    If there is a disagreement as to the interpretation of Matthew 28, it should be resolved by honest consideration and study of the text–particularly in light of our historic understanding of the Church collectively calling pastors (neither sacerdotalism nor anticlericalism).

    Since unity and harmony is so important, I ask: How does mocking a caricature of another brother’s opinion encourage further discussion and promote greater understanding of the issue?

  9. Carl Vehse
    June 29th, 2009 at 13:41 | #9

    When was a “sacerdotalist strawman” discussed in the Northwest District Convention’s question and answer session? Up until #8, it hadn’t been raised in this thread’s comments.

  10. helen
    June 29th, 2009 at 14:03 | #10

    The “Bastrop Methodists” have been a topic for more than one convention which has no idea where Bastrop is.
    Now, I think I’ve heard about the anonymous “Ft Wayne professor” before, too.
    It makes me wonder if the SP is answering questions from the floor, or reading a script written beforehand in St. Louis to aid his agenda.
    For his information, there are Pastors who want very badly “to be Pastors.” Unfortunately, they are also confessional Lutheran and have a snowball’s chance in a Houston June of being recommended by their DP’s.

  11. Dave
    June 29th, 2009 at 15:43 | #11

    I was at the convention and the president said that in his “exegesis” of Matthew 28, he did not see it as applying to pastors only. He stated that this professor’s teaching was not the official position of the Synod (nor did he instruct us as to what was the official position of the LCMS). He went on to comment that he believed the “Great Commission” is for all Christians.

    The Ft. Wayne professor in question was not named, nor was the he given an opportunity to clarify his teaching. The whole incident occured during a typical “pre-selected” question and answer session, in which the name of the person who alledgedly submitted the question was not given either. I took it as a below the belt shot at CTS, given among a sympathetic crowd. I say the crowd was sympathetic because one need only look at the resloutions submitted and passed with 90% support or more. It is the NWD afterall.

    My simple follow up question to the President, would that I were allowed to ask one (no one was for that matter), “Mr. President; who is it that baptizes and teaches?” I would have loved to hear the President answer that, but sadly no follow up questions (for the purpose of clarification) were allowed. No live questions were taken from our President. Take it for what it’s worth, but that’s what I heard.

  12. June 29th, 2009 at 16:04 | #12

    I see that Dave’s answer above mimics some of what I’m just now posting, so a portion of my answer is a second for what he just said.

    Sorry “Carl;” although I had my laptop out and tried to take careful notes on the proceedings at the convention, I can’t type as fast as people can speak, so I don’t have a direct quote of what was said at the time. I checked the District website, and there is no transcript or video available at this time to cross reference.

    As has been previously mentioned on BJS, the questions presented to President Kieschnick at the District Conventions have been previously written down by delegates and are pre-screened, and are questions that President Kieschnick uses to further advance his agenda. The names of the people who ask the original question are not revealed. The person who presented the questions to President Kieschnick at the NOW Convention was Rev. Paul Doellinger, the Chairman of Floor Committee 2. The name of the Ft. Wayne Professor was not revealed.

    It seems that any answer related to the historic position of the LCMS regarding the Great Commission would somehow involve vocation. The question that was asked of President Kieschnick really was an great opportunity to teach. He could have mentioned AC V and vocation and their relationship to one another, yet he mentioned neither of them. Was he just trying to save time, or could it be that neither AC V or vocation fit into his ministry paradigm? If you look at the passed resolutions from the NOW Convention, some of them don’t seem to reflect a right understanding of either article of faith. If you look at the “movements” being promoted from the top of the LCMS, some of them don’t seem to reflect a right understanding either. The Alley (http://steadfastlutherans.org/blog/?p=5480), which might be considered the darling child model of church plants in our synod, reflects much of the same paradigm.

    In light of the present trajectory of the LCMS under President Kieschnick’s guidance, I don’t think President Kieschnick’s answer to the proffered question reflects a Confessional answer at all. I also don’t think he was criticizing sacerdotalists. The interpretation that best fits the context is that he didn’t like the Ft. Wayne’s Professor’s position because it doesn’t “work” in the present context of what we’re doing, any more than AC V or vocation “work.” We must abandon our grandfather’s ways if we’re to remain relevant in a world that we’ve now declared somehow different than every other generation of sinners throughout history. So hop to it laymen, and sign up for the nearest leadership class, because that’s how it’s done.

  13. Pastor Tim Rossow
    June 29th, 2009 at 16:06 | #13

    Dave,

    Exactly right! Until someone is ready to defend the notion that Jesus intends for lay people to baptize and teach it remains sinmply true, something that even a third grader can understand from this text, that these words are about pastors.

    They are given to the church, and I agree that niether pastors nor lay people can claim to be the church – the church is both pastors and laity – nor should either claim authority over the means of grace. They are given to the church. However, these words are spoken to pastors and about pastors.

    Let’s stop the fighting over who is in charge. It is Christ’s church. He is in charge. And as Luther teaches, Christ has established preachers and hearers. This is not rocket science. Matthew 28 is talking about what pastors do in the church. Kieschnick is wrong. The alleged Ft. Wayne professor is right.

    TR

  14. Rev. Kurt Hering
    June 29th, 2009 at 17:40 | #14

    > President Kieschnick pointed out that unless he is an idiot, he thinks he understands what’s going on in our Synod. He stated that not all of our pastors want to be pastors. <

    What chutzpah! It is ABLAZE! and PLI and the Dispute Resolution Process and such that do not want pastors to be pastors.

  15. A Walther descendant
    June 29th, 2009 at 19:58 | #15

    Chutzpah’s too polite a term for it.

    “Unmitigated gall” gets closer.

    This is the fellow who trotted out the 8th Commandment when criticized fairly by “the other side.” Non-theologian, instruct thyself.

  16. Carl Vehse
    June 29th, 2009 at 20:28 | #16

    “Until someone is ready to defend the notion that Jesus intends for lay people to baptize and teach it remains sinmply true, something that even a third grader can understand from this text, that these words are about pastors.”

    Such a statement implies that one must be a second grader who would state in his sermon:

    “13. The first and highest work of love a Christian ought to do when he has become a believer, is to bring others also to believe in the way he himself came to believe. And here you notice Christ begins and institutes the office of the ministry of the external Word in every Christian; for he himself came with this office and the external Word. Let us lay hold of this, for we must admit it was spoken to us. In this way the Lord desires to say: You have now received enough from me, peace and joy, and all you should have; for your person you need nothing more. Therefore labor now and follow my example, as I have done, so do ye. My Father sent me into the world only for your sake, that I might serve you, not for my own benefit. I have finished the work, have died for you, and given you all that I am and have; remember and do ye also likewise, that henceforth ye may only serve and help everybody, otherwise ye would have nothing to do on earth. For by faith ye have enough of everything. Hence I send you into the world as my Father hath sent me; namely, that every Christian should instruct and teach his neighbor, that he may also come to Christ. By this, no power is delegated exclusively to popes and bishops, but all Christians are commanded to profess their faith publicly and also to lead others to believe.

    “14. Secondly, if you have exercised yourself in this highest work and taught others the right way of truth, then make up your mind to keep on and serve everybody. Then the example of your life and good works follows; not that you can thereby merit and acquire anything, seeing you have beforehand everything that is necessary to salvation. Furthermore Christ now gives a command, he breathes upon the disciples and says: “Receive ye the Holy Spirit: whose soever sins ye forgive, they are forgiven unto them; whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

    “15. This is a great and mighty power which no one can sufficiently extol, given to mortal men of flesh and blood over sin, death and hell, and over all things…

    “16. This same power belongs to every Christian, since Christ has made us all partakers of his power and dominion; and here his is not a civil but a spiritual rule, and his Christians also rule spiritually.” [Martin Luther, Erlangen edition, Vol. 2, p. 324; the Walch edition, Vol. 2, p. 989; and the St. Louis edition, Vol. 2, p. 724]

  17. Carl Vehse
    June 29th, 2009 at 20:37 | #17

    Piling on still more documentation of the Missouri Synod’s position on baptism by laity, in his Christian Dogmatics, (CPH, 1934, p. 499), Prof. J.T. Mueller states:

    “As all spiritual blessing which Christ has secured by His vicarious death belongs to all believers, 1 Cor. 3, 21.22, directly and immediately (this is, without the mediation of the clerical state), so also Baptism. For this reason the question as to who should administer the Sacrament of Baptism (administrants of Baptism) become very simple [Vehse notes: Dare I say even for a first grader.] In the absence of called and ordained pastors every Christian believer has not only the privilege, but also the duty to baptize (emergency baptism; lay baptism). In organized Christian congregations the called and ordained pastors administer the Sacrament by virtue of their office in the name of the believers who called them.”

    A similar position is made on the Missouri Synod website, Performing Baptisms, discussing baptisms done by clergy and by a layperson.

    But some, claiming to be Missouri Synod Lutherans, still deny what they agreed to when they became synodical members and what has been repeatedly stated and referenced as the doctrinal position of the Missouri Synod from its beginning.

  18. June 29th, 2009 at 21:13 | #18

    “Carl Vehse”,

    Can you point out to me from your quotes where laymen are “ministers”?

  19. June 29th, 2009 at 21:23 | #19

    @ 18

    “Carl”, I clicked on the submit button too soon! What I wanted to continue writing is that I understand you don’t think that we are all “ministers” in the sense of the office of the pastor. But, is there any sense of “minister” used in the quotes you provided?

  20. June 29th, 2009 at 21:36 | #20

    Ok… I am tired and somehow “tongue tied” at the keyboard! LOL

    My question for Carl is if he thinks there is any sense of the word “minister” applied to laymen in the above quotes?

    Man… let’s hope I get my question right the third time around! :)

  21. Dave
    June 29th, 2009 at 22:52 | #21

    Carl V,

    I hope I am not misunderstanding you, this medium is often a difficult way to communicate, but I am going to take another attempt. Under the priesthood of all believers any Christian may baptize, but only in emergency situations. The Office of the Holy Ministry has been given as stewards of the mysteries of God. Christ instituted the Office. Christ is the one baptizing through the Office. It is His Baptism and His Office.

    This does not mean that the priesthood of all believers may exercise the rite of baptism whenever an individual Christian deems necessary, but only in extreme emergencies and when a pastor is not available. And even if such a situation occurs, the layperson who baptized another is to immediately report the baptism to the church so that it may be made known publicly.

    This however is an unusual and infrequent case. Matthew 28 is directed to the 11 Apostles. They are the stewards. They are, like God’s holy people, are the Church. Each however, has been given various vocations and gifts. The priesthood of all believers may certainly baptize in extreme situations, but they are not to generally usurp Christ’s Office. I hope we can all agree that the laity can baptize, but the circumstances under which they may baptize are infrequent and must be dire.

    As far as teaching goes. My understanding is that again under the priesthood of all believers the laity may teach in their various vocations. They should share the Gospel with others. But this is a private ministry of the Word, not a public minstry of the Word–this has been given to Christ’s Office.

    Again, my question to the SP would have been along the lines of “who is it that has been given to baptize and teach?” My biggest concern about this situation at the NWD Convention was when this pre-selected question was read to the SP, it was a very broad question and a very broad short answer was given. This could have easily left the Convention delegates with the impression that some sort of false teaching was coming out of CTS, which would be a terrible injustice to that fine institution and its excellent professor, neither of whom had a chance to respond.

    The whole thing went down in less than 30 seconds and the SP used a theological sledge to answer the question when a scalpel would have been a better tool. It felt like a smear job to me. That’s how I saw it. Fire away. : )

  22. Dave
    June 29th, 2009 at 22:54 | #22

    Carl V,

    I hope I am not misunderstanding you, this medium is often a difficult way to communicate, but I am going to take another attempt. Under the priesthood of all believers any Christian may baptize, but only in emergency situations. The Office of the Holy Ministry has been given as stewards of the mysteries of God. Christ instituted the Office. Christ is the one baptizing through the Office. It is His Baptism and His Office.

    This does not mean that the priesthood of all believers may exercise the rite of baptism whenever an individual Christian deems necessary, but only in extreme emergencies and when a pastor is not available. And even if such a situation occurs, the layperson who baptized another is to immediately report the baptism to the church so that it may be made known publicly.

    This however is an unusual and infrequent case. Matthew 28 is directed to the 11 Apostles. They are the stewards. They are, like God’s holy people, are the Church. Each however, has been given various vocations and gifts. The priesthood of all believers may certainly baptize in extreme situations, but they are not to generally usurp Christ’s Office. I hope we can all agree that the laity can baptize, but the circumstances under which they may baptize are infrequent and must be dire.

    As far as teaching goes. My understanding is that again under the priesthood of all believers the laity may teach in their various vocations. They should share the Gospel with others. But this is a private ministry of the Word, not a public minstry of the Word–this has been given to Christ’s Office.

    Again, my question to the SP would have been along the lines of “who is it that has been given to baptize and teach?” My biggest concern about this situation at the NWD Convention was when this pre-selected question was read to the SP, it was a very broad question and a very broad short answer was given. This could have easily left the Convention delegates with the impression that some sort of false teaching was coming out of CTS, which would be a terrible injustice to that fine institution and its excellent professor, neither of whom had a chance to respond.

    The whole thing went down in less than 20 seconds and the SP used a theological sledge to answer the question when a scalpel would have been a better tool. It felt like a smear job to me. That’s how I saw it. Fire away. : )

  23. Carl Vehse
    June 30th, 2009 at 00:09 | #23

    Jim Pierce: My question for Carl is if he thinks there is any sense of the word “minister” applied to laymen in the above quotes?

    If by the word “minister” you mean “called and ordained pastor”, then of the various quotes I provided from James Kalthoff, The Brief Statement of 1932, Two LCMS FAQs, C.F.W. Walther, Alvin Barry, Martin Luther, and John T. Mueller, I think the answer is “No.”

    What these theologians (and the Missouri Synod position) have stated (repeatedly!) is that those things a layman may do privately he does because of the immediate authority from Christ he has as a layman, not because of the mediate authority as called pastor, which a layman does not have.

    As I noted in my first comment on this thread, “The view that Mt. 28 was given to the apostles as representing the church rather than as representing the clergy does not mean that “everyone is a minister” in the sense that all Christians are called to public ministry. The Great Commission was addressed to Christ’s disciples representing the Church as a whole, neither excluding the clergy nor exclusively representing the clergy.”

    Dave: Under the priesthood of all believers any Christian may baptize, but only in emergency situations.

    Actually J.T. Mueller list two types of cases in which a Christian could and should baptize. But in both types of circumstances, the Christian baptizes the person not with the borrowed authority of some absent clergy or through some doctrinal loophole, but the Christian baptizes with the direct and immediate authority from Christ (e.g., Mt. 28).

    As for all other circumstances, the Christian, as a Christian, still retains this authority, but rather than claiming that authority (held also by all other believers in the congregation) he uses the authority as a member within a congregation to have a pastor mediately called by Christ to publicly perform baptisms. For that reason he eagerly supports and encourages the pastor in carrying out his called public ministry, including conducting baptisms. That is what the second LCMS FAQ link I provided points out.

    Again, my question to the SP would have been along the lines of “who is it that has been given to baptize and teach?”

    A better question would have been “Who is it that has been called to publicly baptize and teach?” And another good question would be, “Is it teaching false doctrine to say that passages that discuss the ministry, such as Matt. 28:18-20, John 20:19-23, 2 Cor. 5:17-21, apply only to pastors?” But that question has already been answered.

  24. Carl Vehse
    June 30th, 2009 at 08:03 | #24

    Dave and Scott noted that the questions asked to Pres. Kieschnick were pre-screened and pre-selected. If that is true then it appears that the pre-screener, Rev. Doellinger, and ultimately, by his acknowledged authority, Pres. Kieschnick, bear responsibility for publicly passing on what, in itself, amounts to unsubstantiated secondhand gossip from an unidentified person about one of the Missouri Synod’s seminary professors.

    Furthermore, it was reported Kieschnick then declared (so much for the DRP!) that the Fort Wayne professor’s claim was not the official position of (my grandfather’s) Synod, but there was no indication of further concern about this declared false doctrine held by a synodical seminary professsor or that as SP he would carry out his responsibility to see that the situation was corrected.

    Keischnick’s apparent lack of concern about acknowledged doctrinal error, along with supporting blatant unionism and syncretism, a misguided evangelism drive, and a major focus on a Blue Ribbon consolidation of papist-like corporate power, are major contributors to the spirit of distrust and mistrust he bemoans.

  25. Pastor Tim Rossow
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:09 | #25

    Carl V,

    Very well put!

    TR

  26. Matt Phillips
    June 30th, 2009 at 11:19 | #26

    Luther quotes are fun:

    “For to the pastor is committed the pulpit, baptism, the sacrament [of the altar], and he is charged with the care of souls. But now these [*infiltrating and clandestine preachers*] want to dislodge the pastor secretly, together with all his authority, without revealing their secret commission. They are indeed regular thieves and murderers of souls, blasphemers, and enemies of Christ and his churches.” M. Luther, “Infiltrating and
    Clandestine Preachers”, LW 40:384. *I added this description*

    “Also we should teach and urge the people to report such intruders to their pastors, for they are duty bound to do so, if they are Christians and seek salvation. When they do not do so, they abet the emissaries of the devil and these infiltrators in secretly robbing the pastor (indeed God himself) of his ministry, baptism, sacrament of the altar, the care of the souls, and his parishioners. Thus they destroy and bring to naught the parish system (ordained of God).” Ibid., p. 385.

    “If we did not hold fast to emphasize the call and commission, there would be finally be no church. For just as the infiltrators come among us and want to split and devastate our churches, so afterwards other intruders would invade their churches and divide them….So we say, either demand proof of a call and commission to preach, or immediately enjoin silence and forbid to preach, for an office is involved–the office of the ministry. One cannot hold an office without a commission or a call.” Ibid., p. 386

    “The Keys are an office and power given by Christ to the Church for binding and loosing sins (Mt 16:19).” Smalcald Articles, III, art. vii

    It’s all about VOCATIO! We should not get sidetracked on a silly debate over Matt. 28. Christ has “all authority”. It’s not the church vs. the pastors. It’s both together working together by faith in love. However, God calls pastors (ministers, stewards) into their divinely-ordained office through the congregation to fulfill this vocation. It is not given to me in my vocation to preach, baptize, or administer the sacrament of the altar in the parish. My vocations are father, husband, history professor, citizen, and neighbor. I do not have the obligation under the “Great Commission” to share my faith through knocking on doors, handing out tracts, or have small groups in my home where I act as pastor. Can I speak a comforting word to a fellow Christian or neighbor? sure.

  27. June 30th, 2009 at 13:23 | #27

    Matt Phillips, I do not know who your pastor is, so if you could pass along my apology to him (and the rest of the parish) for my violation of the 10th Commandment against him and them in coveting you as a parishioner, I would truly appreciate it.

    EJG

  28. Matt Phillips
    June 30th, 2009 at 15:27 | #28

    Rev. Stefanski,

    Thank you for the compliment. Be careful what you wish for. My pastors probably get irritated with me sometimes. However, since they desire to be Lutherans in doctrine and practice we get along pretty well.

  29. June 30th, 2009 at 18:46 | #29

    Carl V.,

    Thank you for the response. I am glad you were able to find my question through the “gibberish” I was writing last night… I think I may have been experiencing the new pentecostal experience of “typing in tongues”. LOL!

    Just a bit of humor there. ;)

  30. Matt Phillips
    June 30th, 2009 at 20:42 | #30

    More fun with Luther on pastors and the call:

    “To be sure, the apostles did, at first, go into other men’s houses and preach there. But they had a command and were ordained and called and sent to preach the Gospel in all places; as Christ said (Mark 16:15): ‘Go into all the world and preach to all creatures.’ Since then, however, no one has had this general apostolic command; but every bishop or pastor has had his definite diocese or parish.”
    Luther on Psalm 82:5, LW 13: 64 (Written during 1530)

    *This entire section is very interesting. Notice that Luther identifies Christ’s commission as a general apostolic command. Bishops and pastors today have a defined place to which God has called them.

    “Fifth, the church is recognized externally by the fact that it consecrates or calls ministers, or has offices that it is to administer. There must be bishops, pastors, or preachers, who publicly and privately give, administer, and use the aforementioned four things or holy possessions in behalf of and in the name of the church, or rather by reason of their institution by Christ, as St. Paul states in Ephesians 4 [:8], ‘He received gifts among men …’—his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some teachers and governors, etc. The people as a whole cannot do these things, but must entrust or have them entrusted to one person. Otherwise, what would happen if everyone wanted to speak or administer, and no one wanted to give way to the other? It must be entrusted to one person, and he alone should be allowed to preach, to baptize, to absolve, and to administer the sacraments. The others should be content with this arrangement and agree to it. Wherever you see this done, be assured that God’s people, the holy Christian people, are present.
    Luther, “On the Councils and the Church,” LW 41:154 (1539)

  31. Carl Vehse
    July 1st, 2009 at 10:27 | #31

    Mt. 28 was clearly addressed to the eleven (now sainted) Apostles, but the question about Mt. 28 at the Northwest District Convention raised the issue of whom the Apostles represented, even today: Were the Apostles representing the church or the clergy?

    The official Missouri Synod Lutheran position is “both”, based on this and other Scripture noted in the various theolgical statements and links provided earlier on this thread.

    Continuing the fun with Luther quotes on pastors and the call:

    “Though we are not all called into the public ministry yet every Christian may and should teach, instruct, admonish, comfort, and reprove his neighbor from God’s Word whenever and whereever he is in need of it, just as parents must teach their children and servants or anyone his brother, neighbor, fellow citizen, and the like. For a Christian may teach and exhort from the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, etc., anyone who is ignorant, weak, and he who is so instructed should receive it of him as God’s Word and confess it publicly…. Behold, in such a way every Christian has and exercises his priestly works, But in addition to this there is the pastoral ministry that teaches and inculcates doctrine publicly, and for that we need ministers and pastors.” [Martin Luther, Second Exposition of Psalm 110, 1539, St. Louis Edition, 5:1036]

  32. Pastor Tim Rossow
    July 1st, 2009 at 11:12 | #32

    Carl V,

    For sure, I agree whole heartedly, they were representing the church. Even though there is a distinct office of the holy ministry, there is no distinct caste known as clergy. One cannot speak on behalf of the clergy. One speaks on behalf of Christ, both clergy and laity. Laity speak as priests, which is not preaching but is doing good deeds for the world to see (I Peter 2:12) while the clergy speak as preachers, speaking forth Christ’s law and gospel to those that like and like it not.

    In I Peter 2:9 the word used for proclaim is a more secular term (exxangello) whereas in I Peter 1:12 where he is referring to the preaching of the Gospel by pastors he uses the technical term (euangelion).

    TR

  33. Matt Phillips
    July 1st, 2009 at 11:34 | #33

    Carl,

    We aren’t disagreeing. It is certainly both working together by faith in love. I was pointing out that Luther speaks both ways in the proper context. However, I do not believe the Ft Wayne boogeyman professor actually exists. I could list the other Ft Wayne boogeyman rumors I’ve heard from numerous people. Luther had no patience with non-called individuals running around acting like pastors. It’s all about vocation. Yet, we have many people advocating this very thing in the name of “everyone a minister”. Ironically, that is more sacerdotalist in many ways.

  34. Robert Shipe
    July 3rd, 2009 at 11:16 | #34

    I certainly cannot add anything different or theological to the question of whether the Great Commission was GIVEN to the Apostles. It certainly was and the accounts found in the New Testament and interpreted in the above responses prove this without a shadow of doubt. The Phillips comment on June 30 at 11:19 A.M. comes the closest to how I feel about it. However, as I read the question asked to President Kieschnick it wasn’t asked whether Christ’s commission was GIVEN but whether it APPLIES to all Christians. To assume that both verbs are connected and mean the same thing is just that, an assumption and an adding on to something that shouldn’t be added to. I can see no understanding of the accounts found in scripture or in confessional writings to suggest otherwise.

    As to whether it is the official position of Synod that the Great Commission applies to all Christians I must say that from CTCR documents I have read it certainly appears to be the case. Once again, though, in a CTCR document from 1973 titled “The Ministry in Its Relation to the Christian Church” we find that Christ’s commission was GIVEN to the Apostles. This is stated in no uncertain terms and very clearly. Unfortunately this document adds much to Christ’s words and lays much of the ground work for the mess we now have in the LCMS (though the 1962 convention and resolutions passed there may have actually been the start).

  35. Matthew Mills
    July 3rd, 2009 at 13:30 | #35

    Humm,
    Although I have an opinion on this question, and I’m not generally shy about expressing my opinions, it might be more important to point out that the “Kirche und Amt” vs. the “Ft Wayne Sacerdotalist menace” fight is precisely why we are currently saddled w/ the rt. rev. G. Kieschnick as SP. If you’re happy w/ that result go right ahead and replay this fight at next year’s convention.
    There are no Confessional voices telling laymen not to “make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” regardless of where they fall on the exegesis of Matt 28. Save it for the pub, after we elect Pastor Harrison brothers.
    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  36. Robert Shipe
    July 3rd, 2009 at 15:23 | #36

    I don’t want to stray too far from the subject at hand and I especially do not mean any disrespect to Rev. Harrison (whose writings I admire and agree with), but he doesn’t stand a chance of even remotely being elected as synodical president of the LCMS. There are many reasons for this including how LCMS polity is stacked against him as well as how he will be perceived by “conservatives”/ordination is a sacrament types, but it is precisely because of the subject of the Great Commission and the exegesis of it and how the incorrect exegesis has been allowed to stand these many decades as well as all doctrine that pertains and is included in the understanding of Christ’s great Commission that gives him no chance of being elected. I believe this fight must be continued and eradicated as all false doctrine should. It wasn’t allowed to stand at the council of Nicea, nor after Luthers death. The same with the next synodical convention. Unless and until the false doctrine concerning Church and Ministry is properly dealt with and corrected I see no chance of change in the LCMS.

  37. Matthew Mills
    July 5th, 2009 at 04:03 | #37

    Since they worked out their differences, and in fact died in fellowship w/ one another, Walther and Loehe both stand against you. But enjoy your own personal Synod Robert! We’ll miss you.
    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Milla

  38. Carl Vehse
    July 6th, 2009 at 12:09 | #38

    “Since they worked out their differences, and in fact died in fellowship w/ one another, Walther and Loehe both stand against you.”

    Where is this (altar and pulpit?) “fellowship” documented, please? Although Walther and Loehe met in October, 1851, Loehe later met with Grabau and then broke with the Missouri Synod in 1853 over the doctrine of church and ministry. According to Dr. George F. Wollenburg’s, “Church and Ministry”:

    Several years later (1859) Loehe conceded that the doctrine of the Missouri Synod was the doctrine of the ministry held by Luther and the Lutheran confessions. In his “Church News From and About North America” – (Kirchliche Nachrichten ous und ueber Nord-Amerika), no. 8:1859 he writes, “The sad experiences which the former Stephanites had with their hierarch, Stephan, have made their hearts very receptive to the doctrine of the ministry held by Luther and subsequent theologians, a teaching also reflected in the Lutheran symbols, especially since this doctrine not only commends itself highly to the Christian mind, but also seems made to order for American circumstances.” Loehe makes it clear that he regards the conception of the ministry that he held and practiced to differ “from the specific-Lutheran and Lutheran-theological course” but opines that his position has a more “artless attachment to Holy Scripture and antiquity and (by) greater truth in practice.”

    Thus the Missouri position was that the doctrine presented in Walther’s theses on Church and Ministry, together with the testimony and witness of the scriptures, the confessions, and the testimony of the orthodox teachers of the Lutheran church and the ancient church, is the true and correct teaching of Holy Scripture, “das reine Lehre”. Loehe regards it as one position among several, each of equal weight in terms of being the doctrine of Holy Scripture.

    That’s hardly a fellowship agreement there.

  39. Matthew Mills
    July 7th, 2009 at 03:26 | #39

    “Carl,”
    You have me at a disadvantage. My library, and real computer are in Anchorage AK, and I am in Baghdad Iraq w/ a biggish stack of stuff to do for Caesar today. Still, it’s a historical fact that the last letters exchanged between these two great Lutherans were letters of reconciliation and fraternal respect. I’ve read them (“im ubersetsung” at least) and if you’ve got more time on your hands than I have today, I’m confident that you can find them. By and large, the same brotherly love exists between the vast majority of their spiritual sons and daughters. Although “Kirche und Ampt” may not be their favorite book, I have never met a Loehe-man who did not have the greatest love and respect for the memory and work of CFW Walther. Most of the Waltherians I’ve met are equally ready to see a brother and hero of the faith in Willhelm Loehe.
    Confessional Lutherans set on “death or victory” over the specter of Loehe in the LC-MS are a small minority. I am writing because you are the demographic that gave the LC-MS to the rt. rev. G. Kieschnick in the first place (whipped to a lather of fear by CN et al.) and I frankly don’t want to see that kind of self destructive crap again next year. Although I expect to have it bitten, I will always extend the right hand of fellowship to you folks. I suspect that we’re on our own on this particular string, but I’m writing more for the bystanders than for you when I say I am totally nonplussed when I see Confessionals willing to hand the Synod to Billy Graham wanna-bes out of the fear of Loehe’s ghost.
    Again, I’d love to have you in my Synod, but if you’d prefer your own personal one, Pax Christi+ on your journey,
    -Matt Mills

  40. Carl Vehse
    July 7th, 2009 at 16:00 | #40

    “My library, and real computer are in Anchorage AK, and I am in Baghdad Iraq w/ a biggish stack of stuff to do for Caesar today.”

    I know what you mean from my stay at Camp Slayer and jaunts into other parts of Iraq for Uncle Sam.

    “Still, it’s a historical fact that the last letters exchanged between these two great Lutherans were letters of reconciliation and fraternal respect.”

    It is not a historical fact, though it appears to be a historical old wives tale, perhaps puffed up in Loeheist revisionisms, just as Stephanite revisionsims have even today been nourished in synodical publications. After the Loehe/Missouri Synod split in 1853, there were a number of articles in Der Lutheraner against Loehe as well as disagreements with the Iowa Synod and the Ohio Synod, both associated with Loehe.

    For example, in the November 13, 1869, edition of Der Lutheraner C.F.W. Walther wrote (p.49) the following in regard to the Romish perversion of the public ministry: “From this one can see how grievously and dangerously the Buffalo Synod, Pastor Loehe, the Synod of Iowa, and all those err from the truth who together with them assert that the church or the Christians do not have the keys originally and immediately but through the pastors!…. For when Pastor Loehe had in his heart fallen away from the symbols of our church, then he also confessed honestly and publicly with mouth and pen that he could no longer subscribe to the symbolical books of our church unconditionally because he had found errors in them.”

    As a final indication that the split between Walther and Loehe had not changed, when Wilhelm Loehe died a little more than two years later, on January 2, 1872, there was only this brief, restrained notice in Der Lutheraner (Vol. 28, 15 Feb. 1872, p. 79):

    “DEATH NOTICE: From Lutherische Zeitung we learn the shocking news that Pastor Loehe of Neuendettelsau, ‘after a brief illness,’ died at five forty-five o’clock on the evening of January second.”

    “I am writing because you are the demographic that gave the LC-MS to the rt. rev. G. Kieschnick in the first place”

    You must be confusing my “demographic” with some other demographic that “gave the LC-MS to the rt. rev. G. Kieschnick in the first place.”

  41. Matthew Mills
    July 8th, 2009 at 12:43 | #41

    It’s been several years, but I’ve read the letters myself “Carl.” Could they be faked? Yeah, they could be faked I suppose, but a lot of work for not much gain.

    I was referring to the 12-20 delegates at Jerry’s first win who voted for the rev. Dan Preus as 1st VP, but for Kieschnick for SP. I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t you, but I’d be very surprised to find out those were J-Firsters looking for “balance,” (especially w/ CN labeling the front running Confessional as one of those bad Ft Wayne Sacerdotalists.)

    This discussion is important, but untimely. The Loehe-men I’ve met in the LC-MS all have solid quia subscriptions, just like the Waltherians. In a 23 year Air Force career I’ve gladly and gratefully received God’s grace in Word and Sacrament from both Loehe-men and Waltherians. Both groups have preached Law and Gospel. Not so the LC-MS Schwarmer I’ve met. Perhaps if we get our butts handed to us again next year we will need two new Confessional synods rather than one, but for now I’d like to call a knock it off and close ranks. I’d appreciate your help, but all I can do is ask for it and pray.

    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  42. Carl Vehse
    July 8th, 2009 at 18:45 | #42

    “I was referring to the 12-20 delegates at Jerry’s first win who voted for the rev. Dan Preus as 1st VP, but for Kieschnick for SP.”

    The 1VP election, of course, occurred, after the SP election. Furthermore, the 1VP election cannot be compared to the SP election because the votes were for different people.

    In the 2001 SP election, in the first ballot, 80 votes were cast for Hartwig, who was then dropped from the second ballot.

    On the second ballot, it appears that some of Preus’ votes went to Wenthe along with an estimated 58 Hartwig votes. The other 22 Hartwig votes probably went to Kieschnick.

    On the third ballot all of the remaining Preus votes went to Wenthe, and Kieschnick gained at the expense of Muchow.

    On the last ballot, Wenthe gained another 4 Hartwig votes (making a total of 79% of the original Hartwig vote), but it was not enough to counter the remaining Muchow votes that went to Kieschnick.

    Thus it was 10 votes from the Hartwig delegates who made the difference in providing Kieschnick the win.

    In the 1VP election it appears that approximately 30 votes for Robert King in the third ballot ultimately went to win Preus the 4th ballot, while approximately 40 votes went to Diekelman, the runner-up. There’s no way of telling whether all or some of the King votes had gone for Preus in the SP balloting.

    BTW, just as much if not more blame on those ten delegates in the 4th SP ballot should go to the 746 deadhead delegates at the 2001 Synodical Convention, who passed Resolution 7-04A (pp. 164-165; Caution: 4.6MB .pdf file), against 303 who wisely voted “No.” Resolution 7-04A gives the synodical president the power to exclude overtures from convention consideration by the voting delegates. Though the first part of the resolution was to exclude overtures dealing with any ongoing suspensions being appealed or containing language which legal counsel considered to be libel or slander, the resolution’s final wording to the Bylaw included the authority for the synodical president to exclude overtures based solely on his own opinion.

    By approving such a bylaw change, the delegates to the 2001 convention appear to have done even more than the 1962 convention delegates to destroy Missouri Synod polity and place the SP into a gestatorial chair. Even if all of Kieschnick’s 600 SP groupies voted for 7-04A, that still leaves 146 votes coming from somewhere else. Do any of the Loeheist or Waltherian delegates want to own up?!?

    Also, was it some of Jerry’s liberal high church groupies or the Loeheists who made up the 291 votes against Resolution 7-17A to reaffirm Walther’s Kirche und Amt as the definitive statement under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions of the Synod’s understanding of church and ministry?

    “The Loehe-men I’ve met in the LC-MS all have solid quia subscriptions, just like the Waltherians.”

    Because Loehe publicly acknowledged it was the Watherian Lutherans who had a quia confession of the Lutheran symbols whereas Loehe himself and his followers held a quatenus confession of the Lutheran symbols, your statement about Loehe-men is an oxymoron.

  43. Matthew Mills
    July 9th, 2009 at 02:55 | #43

    Pax Christi tecum+
    -Matt Mills

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