(Texas Confessional Lutherans) Tucked away in small print in the October REPORTER is the following paragraph:
In addition, the Board for Mission Services has 69 missionaries serving throughout the world. There are 27 ordained clergymen serving as missionaries.
Two observations and comments:
1. All of the 69 missionaries are evidently not ordained! You can be the wife of a missionary and that makes you a missionary. You can be telling people how to dig water wells and that makes you a missionary. In my grandfather’s church a missionary was an ordained minister whose primary purpose was to preach the Word of God and administer the Sacraments. This has not been the case now for many, many years in our synod. The word “missionary” no longer means “missionary” as it once did in our father’s and grandfather’s church. While it is good to be the wife of an ordained missionary and it is good to teach people how to dig water wells, the word has undergone a complete metamorphosis. It gives a very distorted and untrue picture to the common pew sitter that we have 69 missionaries plus 27 ordained clergymen serving as missionaries: TOTAL 96 missionaries. We really have only 27 missionaries. Let’s return to using the word “missionary” as we have used it in our grandfather’s church.
2. It is deplorable and unsettling to discover that we have only 27 ordained clergymen serving as missionaries !I’ve been around for many, many moons and I can’t remember that until recently we had so few ordained clergymen serving as missionaries. I’m thankful for the so called “missionaries” who are serving as doctors and nurses, teaching people English, how to read, how to plant corn, etc. often at their own expense as volunteers. However, a missionary should be an ordained clergyman, who preaches and teaches God’s Word and administers the Sacraments.
But we all need to remember that this is no longer our grandfather’s church. It surely isn’t!
Rev. Andrew Simcak, Jr. President, Texas Confessional Lutherans
P.S. In the same REPORTER it states that of the 292 full-time employees at synod’s headquarters in St. Louis, 51 are ordained clergy! We have more ordained clergy at headquarters than we have ordained missionaries serving as missionaries in the rest of the world.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is not the way it should be in our synod. No one complains that we have ordained clergymen at headquarters. The problem is we have 51 ordained at headquarters and ONLY 27 ordained clergymen serving as missionaries outside of our country! This is sad, very sad!