Should there be politics in the church? This issue came up in a few responses to our mass e-mail. Before getting to that issue, here is a review of the e-mail.
If you haven’t seen the e-mail you can view it here. We sent out about 6,000 e-mails. We sent it to every rostered worker in the LCMS (pastors, teachers, DCE’s etc.) and to each church and school e-mail address. We only had 200 people request that they be taken off our mailing list. We also received a few comments from some of the more noteworthy liberals and church-growthers in the synod. I guess we touched a nerve with them. We got a few responses with the old worn out argument that we were being disruptive and political.
So, should there be politics in the synod? That is the wrong question. There is politics in the church, especially in a synod like ours that has chosen to have elections and votes and include the laity in those votes. Where there are two or more people living and working together you have politics. Politics is merely a description of how those people function as a group. If you are still not convinced consider this potential scenario in the LCMS.
Imagine there are two leading candidates for the presidency of the LCMS. Imagine that candidate A holds false teachings or embraces practices that are harmful for the church and that candidate B is orthodox in his doctrine and encourages practices that promote the Gospel. Now imagine that you are the only one who knows about the false teachings and practices held by candidate A. Should you alert the other members of synod about this before they vote or should you decide to not act in a “political” way and just keep silent and let the false teacher be elected. That is a no brainer.
Even if the choices are not that extreme, it still behooves us, because we have elections, to know what the candidates stand for. Even if we did not have elections, we still need to know what our leaders believe and teach and if they are found lacking, we need to work through the system (politics) to address the situation.
With a polity like we have in the LCMS, we need the pastors and the lay people to be informed so that they can practice good politics. We had numerous people send us thank-yous for our e-mail because it helped them to be more informed. We encourage you to keep checking this website each day for the new posts that will help you stay informed so that we can have a more godly synod.