Matt Harrison’s Emphasis on Doctrine is a Godly Change of Pace After “Glory Bound,” Task Force Proposals, and Ayers Petition News

The Brothers of John the Steadfast was established to encourage laymen to know and promote confessional Lutheranism and to support new Lutheran media such as Issues, Etc. One component of the group is this website which is used to teach confessional Lutheranism and to alert the Brothers to news on the confessional landscape.


Since our inception on June 25th of this past summer, we have had a lot of interesting stories. In the last few days it has been a joy to report on and offer stimulating opinion pieces on Matt Harrison’s paper “It’s Time.”


Why has it been such a joy? Because in addition to all of our positive reporting and teaching about confessional reading groups starting up and Pastor Preus’ articles on Closed Communion and Nestorian Christology, we have had to deal with numerous disconcerting news stories in the LCMS. Our “reporting blogger” Mollie Ziegler Hemingway has alerted us to a few stories of concern along the way such as the less than fully Lutheran line up for “Glory Bound,” the upcoming Texas Lutheran Youth Gathering, the growingly unpopular LCMS Task Force Proposals along with a scoop sent in by a concerned reader about the seven Concordia Chicago professors who signed a petition supporting the Marxist-anarchist William Ayers.


In contrast, Matt Harrison’s synod-stirring paper is the type of thing that builds up the Brothers of John the Steadfast and all our other readers. The Brothers organization is committed to teaching Lutheran doctrine to laymen and Pastor Harrison’s position on where the synod should move is based precisely on that very thing – sound doctrine.


Who is Matt Harrison? I for one do not know that much about him. I have never met him and I am not sure that a single member of the 12 person BJS steering group has ever meet him, or if they have, have spent much time with him. This much we know, Pastor Harrison is the Executive Director of the synod’s human care department. The synod’s official website has more information about Pastor Harrison and his work directing the caring touch of our synod around the world. There is even a link there to his professional blog


We here at BJS are grateful to Pastor Harrison for writing this ground-breaking article. His emphasis on repentance and pure doctrine as the only godly source of direction for our synod is spot on target with what we are trying to accomplish with our new Lutheran men’s group, the Brothers of John the Steadfast.


The Rev. Dr. Timothy A. Rossow

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Matt Harrison’s Emphasis on Doctrine is a Godly Change of Pace After “Glory Bound,” Task Force Proposals, and Ayers Petition News — 4 Comments

  1. Hi I am a missionary serving as an Independent Missionary (aka. Drect Hire Missionay) presently writing from Jos, Nigeria this fine Friday Afternoon 14th November 2008 in the Lord.

    I first started with LCMS-WM in 1997 as “Business Manager” to Nigeria (partner church the LCN). Over the next 10 years I was promoted several times – Area Business Manager (ABM) for English Speaking West & South Africa – then ABM for all of West & South Africa – then since about 2004 as Regional Business Manager (RBM) for all of Africa.

    My wife and I resigned from LCMS-WM and position of RBM with effect from end of June 2007. We returned to Nigeria/Africa August 2007 and have been here since as “continuing on Missionaries” no longer with LCMS-WM.

    As RBM for all of LCMS-WM operations in Africa (and some LCMS-WR as well). I had a front row seat to many of the problems – their cause and effect. As RBM I was the accountant ie. the “numbers guy” ..and from my small office here in Jos, Nigeria – I faithfully produced a financial report every month for 10+ years (over 120 financial reports).

    I can tell you first hand the problems in LCMS-WM are very serious – possibly beyond repair. The fact remains that with the eviction of transparency in accounting goes credibility…and with credibility goes donor support.

    Have any of you seen mission field produced financial reports? Have you even seen LCMS-WM’s budget?

    When was the last time synod updated its “Solemn Appointments” for fielded missionaries? Does the LCMS-BFMS even issue directives over LCMS-WM in recent years – to include the issance of a a “Solemn Appointment” – recognizing that it is indeed possible for a missionary to serve on a CALLING? They used to. Do they still? These are just a couple of the topics that we are LCMS members need to seek out. After all it is our church’s mission depertment

    I am convinced that things in LCMS-WM will still keep a lot worse before they get better. The restructuring of 2005 simply didnt work. You can’t have an efficient mission organization when your “admin index” is above 20%. no way no how! The results speak for themselves. Donors simply direct their funds to some other org that IS operating efficiently – and they did.

    The best word to describe what we are witnessing is to use the word “phoenix” – and from those ashes prayerfully something tremendously good will someday be born. I pray for it every day.

    In His service

    Brent L. Friedrichs
    Missionary – persistent LCMS member…..
    Former RBM LCMS-WM – Africa Region
    ..presently Executive Director – Mission Consults
    Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

  2. LCMS World Relief, Pr Harrison, is a different organization than LCMS World Missions. I appreciate Missionary Friedrichs’ comments, I’m just not sure why they are appropriate in response to this article about Matt Harrison.

  3. Does LCMS World Relief suffer the same financial transparency problems as does LCMS-WM? Where do all of those funds destined for World Relief go, after they get to St Louis? What ever happened to the funds it collected for the 2004 Tsunami relief?
    Do donations to LCMS World Relief suffer the same fate as funds did heading for Issues, Etc before the Holy Week cancellation of 2008? The administrative taxation rates have still not really been disclosed. That is unacceptable.
    Until the Purple Palace puts up some real financial transparency, it behooves us to suspect the worst for LCMS World Relief. Yes, the Ten Commandments have us imagining and hoping the best possible constructs on things, but wise stewardship debates otherwise.
    Perhaps the best thing to do is to let LCMS World Relief get starved out of St Louis and become independent or a new branch of LHF or something. That is the best thing that ever happened for Issues, Etc. It may also be the best thing to ever happen for the well-intentioned offerings of the faithful.

  4. 1138 – I know that Rev. Harrison complained loudly about the tax. It was even printed in the Reporter a few months ago which is where I read it. I do not know what became of his complaints.

    You know, World Missions got out of the tax.

    That is not my world so I am as much in the dark as you.

    Pastor Rossow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.