A Gutsy Confessional Move by a District President, by Pr. Rossow

Rocky Mountain District (RMD) President Randy Golter organized his own Task Force to review the work of the synod’s Blue Ribbon Task Force so that the delegates to the RMD convention would be better prepared to respond to the survey put out by the task force. (Click here  to see one of our many posts on this subject. If you use the search feature on the Home Page you can find numerous other posts about the proposals.) You can see the report of the RMD task force by clicking here.

Will President Benke from the Atlantic District call for the banning of this effort from the RMD  as he did the work of the Interested Laymen? Will the Council of Presidents issue statements asking the delegates of the RMD convention to ignore the work of President Golter’s task force?

The review and critique of the RMD committee is not as extensive nor as incisive as the work of the Interested Laymen  but it is nice to see an official entity of the LCMS (the RMD) actually raise questions about another official entity’s work (the BRTFSSG). The RMD study raises important questions about many of the proposals. They question why the synod president should have the ability to appoint one third of the synod board of directors, how much brand identity would   be lost with a synod name change, and other important questions.

We applaud President Golter for establishing this his own district task force and encourage other district presidents to have the same courage to actually raise questions about the proposals from President Kieschnick’s task force.

Up to this point the BRTFSSG has refused to publish any comments that call into question any or all of their proposals. Is there something to hide? Since when has our synod leadership done something as important as suggesting changes to the synod’s structure without transparently involving the members of synod and its member congregations? Sure, the task force is conducting surveys at each district convention but they are not publishing the results of those surveys. Again, is there something to hide? Sure, they have a vehicle for recieving comments but they do not make those commnets public. Again, is there something to hide?

The work of President Golter’s task force is far from scandalous, nor is the work of the Interested Laymen but that’s the impression one gets from President Benke and the Blue Ribbon task force. The survey they have put out at district conventions is nothing more than a push poll. Because the Task Force  only gives its own  rationale for making the changes without any consideration of the down side of each proposal, the survey is heavily slanted in favor of the proposals. It is much like a political party phoning you up to ask questions of you that are worded in such a way that favors the answers they want to hear. Then they announce to the world that a majority of people support their candidate or their positions. The church is a family and not a business. It is unacceptable family behavior to have one family member conduct a push poll on the rest of the family. We need to talk directly and in a straight forward manner to one another as the RMD task force does. The Blue Ribbon task force needs to follow the lead of the Interested Laymen and the Rocky Mountain District and add opposing opinions to their survey. Otherwise the results they announce this fall are  biased, skewed and tainted.

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.


A Gutsy Confessional Move by a District President, by Pr. Rossow — 12 Comments

  1. One District President dares to put his head up!?

    He’ll be cold shouldered at the COP parties. If he’s invited.

  2. Up to this point the BRTFSSG has refused to publish any comments that call into question any or all of their proposals.


    Right….but they have taken the feedback that they have received from the various presentations and already made changes to their proposal…

    Which is why people are encouraged to submit their feedback to the Committee–so that they can make changes. So that differences are not simply expressed but incorporated.

    For what it is worth, I don’t care if others solicit feedback (although the website in question was confusing even after I had been through the presentation); but this is like me soliciting feedback about the Dallas Cowboys draft selections.

    I’m not the one to talk to about this.

    So, I encourage feedback. It is what the committee has asked for and it is what we ought to give. They’ve demonstrated that they take the feedback seriously. Why not give it to them?

  3. I the RMD task force will give them lots of feedback Pr. Louderback.

    Also, you mention the changes made to the proposal, but how do you know they were the result of feedback? We don’t know what the feedback was or the processes by which changes were made.

    The biggest problem with Pres. Kieschnick’s administration has been the total lack of transparency. Even if you are completely on board with the direction he wants to take the LCMS, it should be apparent that the way he has carried on his administration has unnecessarily created suspicion and distrust. Where there is disagreement it should be acknowledged and addressed. Decisions should be explained and the process opened for review. Instead, we have lawyers, secret meetings, half-truths, and accusations that critics are failing to put the best construction on everything. It is indefensible.

  4. “Herb” Mueller, of course, not “Herd.” I just restructured his name, in haste, which shows you what hasty restructuring will do.

    Carpenter’s rule: Measure twice, cut one.

  5. While one can applaud President Golter for his efforts, as a former resident of that District–I would like to wait a while to see what really happens. There are many who can write a good conservative point and yet are not that way in reality. Again, I would rather wait and hear from some of the other men in the District who have fought long and hard on the side of true Lutheran theology.

  6. Pr Henrickson – Was the “scone” we may cast be the biscuit bread type of scone or the rock of Scottish kings up to 1651?

  7. Rev. Serle,

    You make a good point. As I mention in the post, the critique is not all that firm but the very fact that Golter called for a task force for the district is quite gutsy. It shows how our synod is not unified. A district has to provide a semi-critical guide to a work put out by the synod.


  8. Charlie,

    Can you get me a copy of “Herd’s” (couldn’t resist) critique? I would love to publish it for the Brothers.


  9. Not following the “Herd” mentality, Herb Mueller posted his critique at the link I gave above. Of course, since it was written in November, it was based on the first version of the proposals, and now we’re up to Ribbons 4.0.

  10. Perhaps my guess is wrong, but my guess is simply that the changing of the survey for District convention to District convention is not so much influenced by the feedback per se, but rather using the feedback in order to find out how to best “market” this BRTFSSG “product” in the sense of the way they present and word each of the proposals in the BRTFSSG. I hardly believe the feedback they are receiving is making them change the substantive goals they seek to reach through each and every one of their proposals. I do believe they are simply trying to figure out the best way of doing false advertising, of selling this bag-o-beans to unwitting lay delegates. (i.e., finding the best, most deceptive terms for describing what amounts to nothing but a manure sandwhich.) Others of course will charge me with breaking the 8th commandment by not putting the best construction on everything…But like I said, that’s hard to do when it in reality is nothing but a manure sandwhich.


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.