That headline is just an excuse for a “dumb” Iowa boy like me to use the word “burgeoning.” Actually I am opening up a very serious thread of conversation with this post and I hope you will chime in with your comments.
To “burgeon” is to grow and expand rapidly. We have done that here at the Brothers of John the Steadfast. We just went on line last June 25th on the Commemoration of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession and already we have over 200 members, 11 chapters in the US and Canada and have started or catalogued over 30 Confessions reading groups around the world. Our most successful venture has been this website to which over 30,000 different people have logged on. We are averaging over 1,100 unique visitors a day and probably have from 4,000 – 7,000 people who check in at least once a month. Thank you to every one of you for helping us “burgeon.”
“Burgeon” comes from the Anglo-French word for “bud” or “bloom” and from the Late Latin word “burra” which means “fluff.” So, are we the rapidly growing go-to place for serious Lutheran news and commentary or are we a fluff site of sarcasm and fun? The answer is “yes.” We are both. We offer serious news and commentary but we also do not take ourselves too seriously. Attempting to do both means that we will sometimes disappoint on either end of the spectrum. It also means that we have to be careful on the fluff side that we do not cross the line of sarcasm into bitterness and personal attacks, thus compromising our character
Our writers are careful to stay in those bounds but sometimes our commenters cross the line. We have a liberal policy about posting comments on this site. (We hope it is the only liberal thing about us.) We encourage our commenters to refrain from personal attacks. We rarely delete comments but will seek to be more conscientious as we continue to grow.
Another issue that has come up is the matter of endorsing a candidate for the LCMS presidency. I mentioned in a post earlier this week that we have not endorsed anyone. I got a helpful comment on that post. The commenter stated that it would be unclear who the endorsement is coming from if indeed we did endorse someone. Would it be from the editor, an editorial staff, the steering committee, the board of directors, the dues paying members, etc.? These are very good questions. For that and other reasons we may never endorse a candidate. What we will keep doing is talk about the pros and cons of those being bandied about as candidates for the LCMS presidency. We will do so based on the principles and goals of the Brothers of John the Steadfast (promoting the Lutheran Confessions, promoting Confessional Lutheran new media, upholding the historic liturgy, promoting the office of the ministry, promoting men as heads of the household and leaders in the parish, etc.). If we ever do endorse a candidate we will make it clear from whom the endorsement is coming.
As always let us know what your thoughts are on all these things. Overall, we have been very impressed with the support we have received from you and the high level of theological and personal integrity of our members and all who read this site. Thanks to those of you who took the time in the last few days to call to our attention to the responsibility we have as the “go to place for Lutheran news and commentary.” I cannot wait to see what burgeons next out of this wonderful branch of Christ’s body called the Brothers of John the Steadfast.