Invited Guests from Around the Synod Take the BRTFSSG Survey and Share their Responses with Commentary ““ Today’s Guest: Rev. Andrew Simcak, Jr

We have invited over thirty people from around the synod to take the BRTFSSG survey and share with us their responses and comments. (You can take the survey yourself by clicking here.) Our list of invitees includes seminary professors, congregation chairs, lay elders, men, women, and even the top positions in the synod (yes, all the way to the top). The responses are starting to come in. We do not know how many will take us up on the invitation but hope it will be a good sampling of LCMS notables and regular folks. If you are interested in sharing your responses with commentary please e-mail me. We may not be able to post all responses but we would love to hear from you.

Today’s guest is Rev. Andrew Simcak, Jr from Tomball, TX. He is the Chairman of the Texas Confessional Lutherans.

The Survey on
The Blue Ribbon Task Force’s Proposals

Andrew Simcak
Zion Lutheran Church Tomball, TX

1) Affirm in our governing documents the mission and purpose of Synod     Strongly Disagree
Preamble: While the proposed reasons are fine, I am convinced that “Gospel reductionism” is rearing its sinful head in the suggested Preamble. We already fought and by God’s grace won that battle in the 70s. Doctrinal decisions were made at the Jerusalem Council. I am in favor of retaining the present wording.
Article III Objectives: 1. Retain “Objectives”
2. Retain the present ranking of # 1 and # 2 in their present order. The Task Force is lowering “conserve and promote the unity of the true faith.” This should be # 1. See my comments about “Gospel reductionism” in the Preamble.
B.1. and B.9. what’s wrong with “pastors, teachers, and other professional church workers”? There is only one office of the Holy Ministry! Everyone is NOT a minister! It is not proper to be saying in effect that pastors are not the only ministers. This is a far departure from the Holy Scriptures and our grandfather’s church.
B. 4: explain missionaries: missionaries are ordained men who preach God’s Word and administer the Sacraments. Wives of pastors, lay well diggers, lay teachers of English etc. etc.are NOT missionaries!
Article VI Requirements of Membership: Retain in its entirety the present Article VI. The proposed article does not fully describe “unionism and syncretism.”
Article VII Relation of the Synod to Its Members: Retain the present wording of the entire article. I fail to see the justification for any changes.
Article VIII Synodical Meetings:
C. Resolutions at Synodical Meetings: Leave as is. My suggestion is to submit any and all disagreements to our two seminaries for clarification on all doctrinal matters. We don’t need the CTCR. We have the seminary professors who teach our pastors the Scriptures and Confessions.
ALL doctrinal statements should be 100% approved!
2.1) Doctrinal resolutions of special significance and doctrinal statements will require a two-thirds vote at Synod convention.     Strongly Disagree
Why have God’s Word if we have to decide what is God’s Word? If God says it, I believe it, and that settles it!
2.2) Reaffirm, clarify, amplify and strengthen constitution (Art VIII) and bylaws to enhance doctrinal unity.     Strongly Disagree
3.1) Congregations are the voting members of the Synod.     Strongly Agree
3.2) Ministers of Religion (ordained and commissioned) are members of the Synod who are eligible to serve as delegates of congregations to conventions of the Synod and in districts.     Strongly Disagree
3.3) Lay people, though not rostered members of the Synod itself, are closely linked to the Synod through their affiliation with member congregations of the Synod.     Strongly Agree
4) Consider a New Name for Our Synod     Strongly Disagree
Why change a name that is now universally known?
5) Voting delegates at conventions shall be one of the called pastors of the congregation and one lay person or minister of religion- commissioned of the congregation.     Strongly Disagree
6.1) Multiple-congregation parishes being served by one or more pastors are entitled to one pastoral vote, with each congregation in the parish having one non-ordained vote.     Strongly Disagree
Matthew 18, 20: “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”
6.2) Congregations with a pastoral vacancy are entitled to a vote by the vacancy pastor and one non-ordained vote.     Not Sure
6.3) Congregations with more than 1000 confirmed members are entitled to two additional votes, at least one being a lay person.     Strongly Disagree
7.1) Establish a fixed number of total voting delegates to the national convention at approximately 650.     Strongly Disagree
7.2) Amend the bylaws to delete the “advisory delegate” category from national conventions and reduce the number of “advisory representatives”.     Strongly Disagree
8.1) Determine each district’s number of delegates according to that district’s percentage of the total number of congregations and confirmed members in Synod.     Strongly Disagree
8.2) Allow each district to determine how delegates would be selected.     Strongly Disagree
8.3) Whichever method or system a district uses to choose its delegates, it would choose an equal number of ordained and non-ordained delegates.     Strongly Disagree
9.1) Encourage the submission of overtures from congregations to their district conventions through circuit forums.     Strongly Disagree
9.2) Encourage the submission of overtures from congregations to the national convention through their district conventions.     Strongly Disagree
9.3) While all overtures submitted would still be considered, resolutions from circuit forums and district conventions would receive priority at district and Synod conventions, respectively.     Strongly Disagree
10) Hold district and national conventions in a four year cycle.     Strongly Disagree
11) Allow Flexibility of Circuit Structure     Strongly Disagree
12) Consider future district configurations (give the job to the COP to report to the 2013 convention)     Strongly Agree
13) Establish Five Regions in Our Synod     Strongly Disagree
We most certainly do NOT need any more synodical bureaucracy!
14.1) Implement process for quadrennial Synod Priorities     Not Sure
14.2) Realign national Synod ministries into two Mission Advisory Councils     Strongly Disagree
14.21) International Missionary Advisory Council and National Mission Advisory Council.     Strongly Disagree
14.22) Council staff execs report to Synod President     Strongly Disagree
Let’s not give any more power to the President. He now already has too much power!
14.3) Provide coordination with districts for certain ministries.     Strongly Agree
14.4) Transfer some responsibilities to districts     Strongly Agree
14.5) Transfer most BUE and BPE responsibilities to regents and BOD (CUS would continue with certain responsiblities) .     Strongly Disagree
15.1) Involve the totality of congregations in selecting candidates for the Synod President and First Vice President     Strongly Disagree
How can the Synod come to a thoroughly discussed decision if we don’t have knowledge of any proposal? This proposal should be overwhelmingly be set ablaze for many reasons, one of which is that it hasn’t even been proposed!
15.2) President and First Vice President elected as a team.     Strongly Disagree
16) Election of Synod Vice-Presidents Regionally     Strongly Disagree
Let the will of the members of Synod prevail.
17.1) The Board of Directors composed of 17 voting members, as defined in the presentation.     Strongly Disagree
Let the will of the members of Synod prevail.
17.2) First Vice President, Secretary and VP-Finance/Treasure are non-voting members.     Strongly Disagree
Why should such important synodical officers be denied voting privileges? I can’t think of a solitary reason.
18.1) Elect or appoint all Synod and district officers and board members to four year terms.     Disagree
18.2) Have no term limits for district presidents     Strongly Disagree
We live in a democracy. Let the people in each district decide. That is their privilege and responsibility.
18.3) Have no term limits for any national board and commission members.     Strongly Disagree
19) Expand the certification process for pastoral candidates.     Strongly Disagree

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