I meant to share this a few weeks ago but it was an interesting e-mail from, essentially, President Kieschnick’s political action committee. The group, Jesus First, doesn’t just support Kieschnick. They support other folks not known for being confessional, too.
Anyway, although I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the current leadership of Synod, I think it’s an interesting email for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with JesusFirst’s positions:
1) It shows that some people have a complex about being called political. Politics is simply the means by which groups of people make decisions. If the synod needs to make a decision about who will serve as it’s corporate executive, there will be politics. This is not a bad thing. People need to get over it. They also shouldn’t deny that political work is political. There is nothing sinful about working to advance the decision that you support. In the email below, JesusFirst denies that its work is political. That is funny, but not true. Jesus First actually runs an incredibly effective political operation. I wish they made better choices, but politics isn’t the problem.
2) It’s also important that we put the best construction on what our neighbor is doing. Again, I disagree with the choices JesusFirst has historically made but I don’t think they’re motivated by a desire to destroy the Synod. And hopefully JesusFirst would say the same about people who don’t share their belief that, for instance, Kieschnick is managing the Synod’s money, organization or image well.
But they write that people who don’t support Kieschnick are “disparaging current leaders” and are “intent on replacing them.” Sure, again, some of us look at the finances and look at the numbers and look at the strife and look at the general mess of things and think, “We thank President Kieschnick for his leadership and we’re sure he has tried hard. But certainly we can do better than this.”
And unless we’ve changed the constitution to give the leadership of Synod lifetime appointments, I think we have the right to say that we want better and we want to work together to end the strife and division. I don’t think anybody realistically thinks that this is possible under President Kieschnick — but hopefully we can come together on a different candidate and work together (politically, even!) and walk together. Anyway, the note is below the fold:
Recently Jesus First sent out a note concerning the election of convention delegates. This e-mail was directed toward a group of pastors who support our current leadership. The intent of this e-mail was two fold. First, we wanted to share how a small, but vocal group continues to disparage our current leaders. This group is intent on replacing our leaders. Second, we wanted to encourage you to help retain the leadership and direction of the LCMS. If we caused confusion, we sincerely apologize. If you asked to be removed from this mailing list, we have already removed your name, but wanted to share this brief apology. If for some reason you would prefer to continue receiving Jesus First information, please let us know to add you back onto the mailing list.
Finally, there are some who have attacked this e-mail stating that it is “of a party spirit”. Jesus First is NOT a political party. Rather, we have clearly and consistently stated that we exist, “for Gospel-Centered, Mission-Driven, Future-Oriented Leadership in the LCMS.” We believe supporting our current leadership, particularly supporting President Kieschnick and First Vice President Diekelmann is appropriate and something all LCMS churches should embrace. Furthermore, we call on others to stop attacking God’s duly elected leaders of the LCMS.