It has been pointed out to me, and admittedly I knew it already, that Rev. Matt Harrison is not the first person in the last seven and a half years to express concern that the doctrinal divisions in our church have gone on the whole ignored by leaders of stature in our church. So let me offer a word of apology if I gave that impression in my last blog. Allow me further to recount some of the heroics from men who went largely unheeded during the last seven and a half years. I will mention four.
Daniel Preus was the first Vice President during President Kieschnick’s first term. He courageously offered a pointed critique of the prayer service debacle at Yankee Stadium. For his efforts he has the dubious distinction of being the first First VP in recent memory not to have been asked to chair the synod’s convention. He was subsequently voted out of office. During his short tenure he was mostly ignored by President Kieschnick. That’s how men have fared in the past who wanted to solve the doctrinal problems before us.
John Wohlrabe garnered a lot more votes for synodical president than was expected and is the current third VP of the synod. He has been consistent in his rebuke of the false doctrine of our church particularly as we have moved, under President Kieschnick’s’ tenure to a more top down hierarchical type of synod. For his efforts he is goes basically unused and unheeded in the presidium. That’s how men have fared in the past who wanted to solve the doctrinal problems before us.
Wallace Schulz exercised his constitution responsibilities by rendering a godly decision in the Benke matter by suspending the errant district President who President Kieschnick championed. Recall that Benke prayed with Muslims and other non-Christians at the Yankee Stadium Prayer Service. His spiritual machinations caused President Kieschnick to focus mostly on defending himself during his first term rather than implementing failed programs. So I guess we can thank David Benke for his distractions. But I digress. Wallace Schulz was fired from his divine call and defeated in his bid to be vice president. That’s how men in the past have fared in the past who wanted to solve the doctrinal problems before us.
Todd Wilken host of Issues etc. was fired from his divine call earlier this year. You remember him. Is there seriously anyone in the synod today who thinks that his strong doctrinal commitment and indictment of false doctrine had nothing to do with his being fired? Is there anyone who really believes that it was a business or financial decision? That’s how men have fared in the past who wanted to solve the doctrinal problems before us.
So now Matt Harrison has said that we have to solve our doctrinal problems. I hope he realizes that the same man who ignored Daniel Preus and John Wohlrabe and the same man who during his watch saw Wallace Schulz and Todd Wilken get fired will not sit by idly now as Brother Harrison acts churchly and courageous.
I don’t know if Rev. Harrison will be ignored or fired by the current powers that be. But it will be one or the other. Of that I am certain.