Being steadfast in part means being vigilant, i.e. keeping watch. For the next three days it is crucial for steadfast laymen (and pastors) to keep watch on what is going on in St. Louis at the synod’s third theological convocation being held August 18-20 at the Airport Marriot. This year’s theme is the relationship between theology and church structure.
Over the course of the convocation, this website will be providing information and commentary along with links to other sites. Today’s link comes from from the vigilant folks over at Consensuslutheran.org. More on that below.
These convocations in the past have been attempts to bring together various viewpoints, even factions within the synod. In my estimation they have not accomplished much toward that end mostly because they have been based on the interesting but ultimately innefective dynamic of “discussion.” The point has been to bring people together in the synod to talk about things in hope that such talking would unite us. I have seen no significant improvement in unity in the synod since these convocations began.
This year’s convocation goes beyond that by being the vehicle by which the synod committee on Structure and Governance will present its preliminary proposals for change in the synod’s structure. (If you have note read it yet, click here for the synod’s description of the convocation.) Because these proposals may change the balance of power in the synod, granting more power to the office of synodical president and may grant more power to larger congregations over smaller congregations, and since such changes could further the church growth movement within the LCMS (a movement that states that the Word of God needs to be supplemented by sociological and psychological tactics in order to be more effective), it is crucial that we be vigilant and steadfast in being aware of what is going on at this convocation.
For many of you, this may be your first introduction to synodcal politics. You may be hesitant to dive into this pool but it is a necessary part of being steadfast. We will not make synod politics the main emphasis of this blog but for the next few days it will be necessary. There are things being presented in St. Louis that may have a large impact on how things get done in the synod. Congregations may bury their heads in the sand and try to ignore synod politics but each congregation is a member of synod and it would just not be right to ignore what is happening concerning the structure and organization of the synod.
We recomend you start by reading this post at Concensuslutheran.org. (Consensus is a group that has been vigilant about synodical politics for years and includes on its board our own blogger Pastor Klemet Preus.) This post will help you to learn about what principles the synod was founded upon and what sorts of changes are needed to help keep the synod a scriptural and confessional denomination.
We have a few more posts on the convocation waiting in the wings. We will be getting them out as the convocation unfolds over the course of the next three crucial days in LCMS history. For now, read the above linked post and remain steadfast, which means remaining vigilant!
The Reverend Dr. Timothy Rossow
Editor of the BJS Website
Administrative Pastor, Bethany Lutheran Church, Naperville, Il