Jesus First, “Spamming the Globe . . .” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“Jesus First” is the political action committee that wants to keep the synod moving . . . in a power-centralizing, liberal-driven, church growther-oriented direction. In the last couple of weeks, Jesus First has been “spamming the globe” with a mass e-mail, sent out by a marketing outfit, urging–with lots of bold print and exclamation marks–political action “NOW!”

Could this be a sign that they’re panicking? Do they see their grip on power slipping? The Blue Ribbon restructuring proposals definitely did not go over well at the recent district conventions. Nationally, the trend lines the last couple of elections have been going downhill for them.

The takeaway point here is this: We know that Jesus First will do what they do. But what are we doing–we who favor decidedly Lutheran doctrine and practice? I’m not suggesting spam e-mails, like Jesus First does. But as far as following the steps provided in our polity for electing circuit delegates, etc.–that process in itself is “neutral” and can be used either for good or for ill. Let’s use it for good.

Here’s where the rubber meets the road: What are you doing in your circuit to try to get good circuit delegates elected? The deadline for that is October 10, but most all circuit forums will be taking place starting later this month and through September. And there are required steps that need to place before the forums. Let me summarize them for you briefly:

1) Know what circuit your congregation is in, and find out from your pastor or your circuit counselor when the circuit forum will be held and where.

2) Your congregation needs to select a layperson to go and vote at the circuit forum. (One pastor from your congregation automatically gets to vote.)

3) Your congregation may also nominate any layperson from any congregation in your circuit to be on the ballot for circuit lay delegate. If your regular voters’ meeting is past, most congregations have a provision for calling a special meeting, and it could be a short 5-15 minute meeting for just this purpose. The name of your congregation’s lay nominee then needs to be reported to the circuit counselor in advance of the forum. Note: The layperson you nominate does not need to be from your own congregation, but if you have someone in mind, find out first if that person would be willing to serve as a lay delegate in Houston July 10-17, 2010. (Expenses will be paid for, but that person would need to have the time available to go.)

4) Your pastor and your lay representative need to show up at the circuit forum. No new nominations are allowed at the forum; only those previously nominated are eligible. (All the non-advisory parish pastors in your circuit are automatically eligible for pastoral delegate.) The balloting–and the elections must be by ballot–goes in this order: a) Pastoral delegate; b) Lay delegate; c) Pastoral alternate; d) Lay alternate. Once a delegate or alternate is chosen from one congregation, that congregation is eliminated from the other elections: Four persons, four different congregations.

These steps are outlined for you in more detail in these places:

Bylaw 3.1.2.1 in the 2007 Handbook (pp. 90-91)

Official Notice: Election of Voting Delegates

Friends, if we really care about the theological direction of our synod–which does and will affect us at the local level–then instead of just kvetching about and bemoaning the Jesus First agenda we’ve seen implemented since 2001, we need to do all that we can to “re-Lutheranize” the synod. That is not limited to, but it does include, what happens at national conventions. And national conventions are made up of voting delegates elected at the circuit forums. Do you care enough to participate?


Comments

Jesus First, “Spamming the Globe . . .” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson) — 4 Comments

  1. I tried to go to the Jesus First website (http://jesusfirst.net/) to see if the emails were available, but the domain has been disabled.

    A cached version is available from Aug 9, so I know I typed it in correctly, but it currently can’t be accessed.

    hmmmmmmmmm

  2. I, too, am getting a message that the “Jesus First” domain has been disabled, but when doing a “whois” check on the domain I can see that the domain name is registered until 2017.

    Interestingly enough, or at least to me since I didn’t know this, jesusfirst.net is owned by Rev. Charles S. Mueller, Jr. who is senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Roselle, Illinois.

    Visiting the website of Trinity Lutheran in Roselle turned up the following FAQ on “How Do I Become A Christian” which ends with the “Sinners Prayer”:

    How Do I Become a Christian?

    THE ABC’s OF THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST
    As someone considering the Christian faith, you must deal with two important questions:

    1. Do you know for certain that you have eternal life and will go to heaven if you were to die today?
    2. If you died and stood before God and He were to ask you, “Why should I let you into heaven?” what would you say?

    How you answer those two questions is not inconsequential. They show where you are spiritually within the Christian faith. Are there wrong answers? You bet! Lots of them. Two answers bring the Christian faith into focus. To the first question, Christians will answer “Yes, for sure, absolutely.” Many people will say that. But a second answer is required. Christians respond to the second question with these words: “Because Jesus died for my sins.” If those two are not your answers, perhaps you need to consider the following “ABC’s” of the Christian faith.
    Admit your failure to follow God and His will perfectly.

    * For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. – Romans 3:23
    * Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. – James 2:10
    * Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law. – Galatians 3:10
    * For the wages of sin is death. – Romans 6:23

    Believe what God has done for you in Jesus Christ.

    * For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
    * Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. – 1 Timothy 1:15
    * For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
    * Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. ` – Galatians 3:13
    * For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. – 1 Peter 3:18
    * He saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy. – Titus 3:5
    * The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23
    * Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. – Acts 16:31

    Do you believe that Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead for you?

    A prayer for this moment might be:

    “Lord Jesus Christ, I confess that I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. But You died on the cross and rose from the dead to purchase a place in heaven for me. Thank You for giving me faith by the power of Your Holy Spirit, forgiveness of all my sins, and the gift of eternal life. Help me to live for You and to confess You before others. In Your name I pray. Amen.

    Confess your faith to others in response to God’s goodness.

    * Whoever confesses me before men, I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 10:32
    * If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9

    So now you have begun. These are the ABC’s of becoming a Christian. There is much more to learn and understand about your Lord, your faith, and His Church. If you have any questions, please contact the church office and we will be happy to respond to your questions and needs. Go in peace and serve the Lord!

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