BJS steering committee member Pastor Jacob Erhard of Dwight, Illinois alerted us to an article in a St. Louis online magazine with the following article. (BJS regular commenter “Carl Vehse” also noted this on one of our comment strings.)
Ultimately we lay this at the feet of the president of the synod. As you read the story, note how his Ablaze program has brought a lot of tension and stress into our beloved synod. We can now count among the president’s detractors the fans of Issues, Etc., the fans of classical music in the entire St. Louis area and the descendants of Dr. Walter A. Meier, the Lutheran Hour speaker who put KFUO on the map.
Say whatever you wish to say about President Kieschnick, positive or negative, what is without question is that controversy has been the hallmark of his presidency, including:
- the Yankee Stadium event
- the firing of Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz
- the smearing of opposing candidates at the 2007 convention
- ballot box stuffing via exceptional voter approval
- loss of missionaries in the field
- inordinately excessive fund-raising spending for Ablaze
- the Ablaze program itself which a large portion of synod has not embraced
- and now the controversial sale of KFUO to cover a failing LCMS budget due in significant part to congregations that have grown weary of this leadership and are withholding offerings from the synod
Of late, we could add to the list the Blue Ribbon proposals. Clearly the synod is not in a state of unity and peace. Propasals for structural change as bold as the ones in the Blue Ribbon proposals should only be considered by a synod at peace. It is only adding to the unrest in the LCMS to make these proposals now. As Matt Harrison says, it’s time for us to sit down and consider our differences in doctrine and practice and irnon out agreement. It is not time to radically change the structure of the synod. (Many folks are promoting Matt Harrison for the synodical presidency in 2010. To read his document “It’s Time” click here.)
By the way, LCMS Treasurer Tom Kuchta makes some strong comments in this story. From everything we have heard, Mr. Kuchta is conscientious servant and likes our “grandfather’s church,” but of course he would have to speak for himself on this matter.
Here is the article from St. Louis Today.
The Rev. Dr. Timothy A. Rossow