(from Pr. Rossow) In this column we will be passing on extended quotes from various LCMS communications from around the synod. The intention is to establish that the LCMS has moved away from its historic Lutheran and Confessional character. Here is some advice sent out recently by one of the deployed staff of the LCMS, Northern Illinois District. My commentary follows.
Take-Away Tip for Leaders
Chris Widener has written an interesting booked titled, The Art of Influence: Persuading Others Begins With You. He outlines a number of rules of influencing others. Among them are the following:
Living a Life of Undivided Integrity
Followers “do expect their leaders to admit and correct their mistakes; mend the cracks in their integrity, if you will. Left unchecked, eventually a lack of integrity erodes the trust that is needed between a leader and a follower.” Jesus simply said, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’, ‘No.'” (Matthew 5:37)
Always Demonstrate a Positive Attitude
People respond to optimism. As Jim Collins says in Good to Great, “Despite whatever brutal facts we face, we have an unwavering faith that we can and will prevail in the end.”
Consider Other People’s Interests as More Important Than Your Own
“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” “The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)
Don’t Settle For Anything Less Than Excellence
Dwight L. Moody said, “We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining – they just shine.”
— Do you try to live everyday with a sense of integrity?
— Do you believe the best days in your church or organization are yet to come?
— Are you genuinely interested in other people?
— Are you settling for “good” instead of “great”?
The good news is that because of God’s grace through Jesus Christ in our lives we begin every day anew. My prayer is that you will make the most of today!
— Jack Giles, NID Mission Facilitator – Groups Ablaze!
This article was in the August, 2008 edition of the NID Parish Resource Connection (http://www.ni.lcms.org/news/prc.html).
On what is the emphasis placed in this article? It is on leadership. Do you realize that the word “leadership” is only used once in the New Testament in a prescriptive way (ESV)? That hardly supports the reams and reams of paper being used in the LCMS these days to promote and teach the concept of modern, corporate leadership. Based on a review of the material coming out of LCMS Inc. in the last few years you would think it is the most prevalent teaching of Scripture! Can you cite a single prominent work of Luther or Walther on leadership? I can’t, and I have read countless more volumes of Luther and Walther than Jack Giles has. I can name hundreds of titles on leadership by non-Lutherans and DCE Giles makes sure to quote two of them for us and for good measure he throws in one of the most prominent non-Lutheran protestant leaders of the last century, Dwight Moody. This is the Dwight Moody of the Moody Radio Network that took the Lutheran Hour off its syndicate several yeaars ago because of its preaching of the sacraments!
Did you notice that this article sounds more like Robert Schuller or Dale Carnegie more than it does like St. Paul, Martin Luther or C.F.W Walther? Did you also notice the overwhelming pietism and legalism of the article?
At least DCE Giles tries to rescue his secular and legalistic musings on leadership by sprinkling a little Jesus on it in the closing line but it really doesn’t work. This Christ-seasoning” is a typical example of how the church growth practitioner uses Christ. The forgiveness of sins is not the heart and sole of his/her work but is sprinkled on to help us reach some other legalistic goal, in this case being people of integrity (another term that is not Biblical) and good leaders.
Leadership has replaced faithfulness as the leading character trait for pastors in LCMS Inc. If we had more space here we could talk about why that is so. In short, leadership is touted because it takes courage to take a bunch of basically conservative Lutheran laymen and thier congregation and turn them both into non Lutheran, American evangelical protestants.
This is the LCMS in her own words. She is leaving her moorings and is running off to chase non-Lutheran and unscriptural theologies of glory. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident as we will demonstrate over the course of this column.