The eighth anniversary of “A Prayer for America” and President Kieschnick’s “leadership” (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

In President Kieschnick’s recent “Leadership News,” he lists what he sees as “matters about which we in the LCMS are not in agreement.” Among these items is the question of how “to avoid unionism and syncretism.” Well, frankly, this is a matter that has not been helped by President Kieschnick’s “leadership.”

It was eight years ago today, on September 23, 2001, that LCMS District President David Benke participated in leading the interfaith prayer service, “A Prayer for America,” along with clergy of the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh religions, as well as with clergy of Roman Catholic, Reformed, Baptist, and other heterodox groups with which we are not in fellowship. And President Kieschnick was the one who approved and defended this case of unionism and syncretism!

Then, to make matters worse, President Kieschnick’s Commission on Constitutional Matters concocted the notion that if a member of Synod has the approval of his ecclesiastical supervisor, he can violate the constitution with immunity and impunity. This CCM opinion is binding unless and until it is overturned by the Synod in convention; that is the only remedy available. So for two straight conventions now, many congregations, pastors’ conferences, circuit forums, and even entire districts have submitted a multitude of overtures to do just that, i.e., to overturn the CCM opinions on ecclesiastical supervision. However, President Kieschnick’s floor committees have not let these overtures come to the convention floor for an up-or-down vote. Furthermore, under President Kieschnick’s “leadership,” we now have a Dispute Resolution Process that makes it even harder to bring doctrinal discipline to bear against a synod or district president who errs in this regard.

President Kieschnick’s “leadership” on unionism and syncretism has been inept and has caused much offense and division. Oh, we’re not stronger now than we were eight years ago!

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