Bursting the BRTFSSG Bubble, Part 2: Conscience-Bound

Scott’s posts are archived on the Regular Columns page under the title “Apologetics – Apply Lberally.” He has also posted this story on his blog “Stand Firm.”

You can’t help but notice the proposed constitutional changes in the final report of the LCMS Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synod Structure and Governance (BRTFSSG). Some of these changes contain new and novel language requiring subscription to the Constitution of the Synod and upholding the “collective will” of the Synod. For a document that repeatedly emphasizes the advisory nature of the Synod, it’s starting to sound less and less “advisory.”

The most dramatic change related to subscription is found in Article VII of the Constitution. Previously this Article contained three simple sentences delineating the relation of the Synod to its members (which are defined as congregations, pastors, and commissioned ministers such as teachers and DCEs). The recommended changes add an entire section, delineating the relation of members to the Synod (Appendix 1, p. 1.6), and reads as follows:

B. Relation of the Members to the Synod

In their relation to the Synod, all members of the Synod, by voluntarily subscribing to the Confession (Article II) and the Constitution of the Synod, make a confession of faith, a joint commitment to God’s mission, and a mutual covenant of love. In so doing, they

  1. Bind themselves to the confessional basis of the Synod (Article II);
  2. Agree to abide by, honor, and uphold the collective will of the Synod as expressed in its Constitution, Bylaws, and convention resolutions;
  3. Pledge their active involvement and support of the Synod’s efforts to carry out its mission and purpose; and
  4. Promise that, if they find themselves to be in disagreement with the Synod’s actions or positions, they will so advise the Synod in a loving and evangelical manner, and if necessary follow the Synod’s authorized procedures for expressing dissent.

This addition (as well as the addition of Constitutional subscription as one of the Requirements of Membership in proposed Article VI, p. 1.5) insists that members of the Synod subscribe to the Confession and the Constitution. But what does “subscription” mean? According to The Book of Concord, “Confessional subscription is a solemn act of confessing in which I willingly and in the fear of God confess my faith and declare to the world what is my belief, teaching and confession. This I do by pledging myself with my whole heart to certain definite, formulated confessions. I do this in complete assurance that these confessions are true and are correct expositions of Scripture. These symbolical writings become for me permanent confessions and patterns of doctrine, according to which I judge all other writings and teachers” (redacted from Dr. Robert Preus’s article “Confessional Subscription”).

From that short explanation, it’s obvious that subscription to the Constitution isn’t going to work – at least not in the same sense. No one is going risk their hide to confess the entire Constitution of the LCMS, let alone Bylaws and convention resolutions by extension. In large part they contain no doctrine, and what little doctrine is present, as we saw in Part 1 of this series, may be subject to change. Walther had this to say about Lutherans who want to play with the doctrine of the Church:

A doctrine does not become an open question when supposedly loyal Lutherans are not in agreement. And whoever permits such doctrines to be treated as open questions surrenders the fortress of the confession of our Church and is in reality no loyal Lutheran. (Matthew C. Harrison, At Home in the House of My Fathers (Fort Wayne: Lutheran Legacy Press, 2009) 130.)

Is it possible that the constitutional subscription that’s being demanded is meant in a different sense than that of the subscription to the Confession? That would make sense, but yet the word “subscribing” in the proposed new wording is used only once and attaches itself to both of the words in the sentence, “Confession” and “Constitution,” indicating it has the same meaning for both words. The wording indicates that subparagraphs 1-4 define what that subscription entails: “…In so doing, they …agree to abide by, honor, and uphold the collective will of the Synod as expressed in its Constitution, Bylaws, and convention resolutions.”

No person is going to subscribe to resolutions as though they were heaven-sent, whose birth pains occur on the floor of a convention. Resolutions are totally at the mercy of the floor committee and the prevailing political winds and ideology of whomever appointed them during that particular convention cycle. At any moment the resolution might read one way, and the very next moment have a completely different meaning attached to it in helter-skelter fashion.

Walther had something to say about resolutions as well:

According to our constitution, no synodical resolution is binding on the individual congregations. No resolution. Mark that well! What we resolve here in convention the pastors and lay delegates must report to the home congregations and say, “This is what the convention resolved.” But they cannot say, “Now you must also observe this.” No; on the contrary, the congregation can say, “As soon as it is a matter that has been left free for us as Christians, we can disregard the resolution of the convention,” and the Synod can say nothing against that (Harrison, 271).

None of this discussion, however, should be interpreted as a repudiation of the reasonable agreements that we make together as a Synod, or that we can disregard these things as being trivial and unworthy of our commitment. The present Bylaws read “Thus, while congregations of the Synod are self-governing (Art. VII), they, and also individual members, commit themselves as members of the Synod to act in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod under which they have agreed to live and work together and which the congregations alone have the authority to adopt or amend through conventions” (Bylaw 1.3.4, p. 1.14). At best, the recommended change is unnecessary, because a general commitment to the Synod’s endeavors is already in place in Bylaw 1.3.4. At worst, it’s a change that enslaves us to the caprice of synodical bureaucracy.

In large part the Constitution (and the Bylaws and resolutions) are a byproduct of the kingdom of the left, and therefore shouldn’t be subscribed to. It’s unlikely there are large numbers of members who feel a compelling need to subscribe to the Duties of the Vice-President-Finance—Treasurer (Article XI, E.). This constitutional subscription may be as much about giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s as an attempt at unity.

Perhaps Dr. Laurence White comes closest to the heart of the matter:

Institutionalism is by nature a reflection of a lack of confidence in what the founding President of our church body, C.F.W. Walther, used to talk about as the power of the Word of God in convincing. We don’t need constitutions and bylaws and more power and centralization for the officials and elected officers of a denomination to draw us together, because all of those things are inherently inimical to genuine Scriptural doctrinal unity, and when we resort to them we’re indicating a lack of confidence in the power of the Word of God and convincing.

There was a time in our own Missouri Synod where, when the Synod gathered for a national convention, the major feature of the convention was the doctrinal essay that went on and on and on throughout the convention. And that was what the delegates talked about when they went home – how we as a church body discuss the truths of God’s Word together and celebrated our unity in that truth. But the less confident we are, about the truth as it is confessed in God’s Word, and the power of that Biblical truth to unite us and bring us together, the more prominent human rules and regulations will necessarily become, and the more grasping for additional authority our leaders will become because we really don’t believe any more that God’s Word and a common confession of the truth of that Word can unite us and hold us together. (Quoted from the October 23 Issues, Etc. program.)

A centralized power structure is readily apparent when you take a look at the proposed new framework for the Synod. The President of the Synod appoints the two men who are responsible for nearly the entire day to day operations of the Synod. He hand picks the Vice-Presidents. He presides over the National Convention and appoints the floor committees. The list goes on. He is accountable to no one, unless your definition of accountability mirrors the you’ve-got-to-be-kidding definition of the Task Force: “…Should congregations become dissatisfied with the performance of the officers of the Synod with respect to follow-through on the mission and ministry emphases they have established, they would have the right and responsibility to elect new leadership at the next convention of the Synod” (p. 41). So much for checks and balances.

While we’re on the subject of the centralization of power, there is a very serious warning that needs to be made, because the threat is not readily apparent. The Task Force suggested no changes to Article XIII of the current Constitution, and hence it is not reprinted in Appendix 1 of their report. Article XIII is titled “Expulsion from the Synod,” and reads in part:

Members who act contrary to the confession laid down in Article II and to the conditions of membership laid down in Article VI or persist in an offensive conduct, shall, after previous futile admonition, be expelled from the Synod.

What’s the significance of this quote? You might very well be shown the back door and given the “left foot of fellowship” for refusing to violate your conscience in regards to the Constitution, or possibly even the Bylaws or convention resolutions, if these new measures are passed. You’d not only be answerable to the Word of God by your subscription (which you should be), but also to the left-handed rules and regulations of your Synod. Perhaps a better word to use for “subscription” in this case would be “conscription.”

The Task Force offers no rationale for their constitutional subscription endorsement. Apparently their actions are based on their belief that “the suggested word changes not only eliminate cumbersome and unnecessary wording but use language that updates constitutional language without making substantive change” (p. 20). The only justification the Task Force provides for their recommendation is this: “In the feedback received from the thousands of delegates at the 2009 district conventions, the task force was encouraged by the 83 percent of respondents either agreeing strongly or agreeing with this recommendation” [#1, p. 20]. The referenced “feedback” was the delegates’ response to this statement: “Affirm in Our Governing Documents the Mission and Purpose of Our Synod” (see Appendix 6). This statement was posed with no supporting documentation beforehand or clear indication that it was linked to constitutional amendments, let alone what those amendments might be. To use a vague statement to retroactively prop up your own agenda is disingenuous.

It is noteworthy that the initial assignment given to the Task Force by President Kieschnick specifically excluded matters related to Article VI, Requirements of Membership, yet they still added constitutional subscription to Article VI (p. 7).

There’s a way to put the cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae for all of this. There is a recent opinion from the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) which breaks the back of the Task Force’s suggested additional subscription (Opinion 06-2477). The CCM is responsible for interpreting the Synod’s Constitution, Bylaws, and resolutions, and an opinion rendered by the Commission is binding on the question decided unless and until it is overruled by a convention of the Synod. At its September 2006 meeting the CCM rendered the following opinion:

[Quoting from a 1968 CCM opinion] “The Commission on Constitutional Matters holds that Article VI, 1 ‘Conditions of Membership’ of the Synod’s Constitution requires nothing more and nothing less than the acceptance of the confessional basis of Article II,” also stating in reference to the 1966 opinion, “The Commission holds the same opinion in regard to any other doctrinal statement not listed in Article II of the Synod’s Constitution.” …[Quoting from a 2003 CCM opinion] “Members of the Synod are required to accept without reservation and subscribe to the Synod’s confessional position as set forth in Article II of its Constitution (Bylaw 1.03 [1.6.1]). Although the Synod has provided for itself the right to adopt doctrinal resolutions and statements (Bylaw 1.09 [1.6.2]), even these are not to be regarded as additions to the confessional basis for membership provided in Article II. …As noted above, other confessional statements, confessions of faith, or common confessions may in fact be correct interpretations of our Lord’s teaching and may be used for a variety of purposes, but such other confessions may not be used as a condition for acquiring and holding membership in the Synod….” (The first two sets of brackets are added.)

Thus the precedent from four different CCM opinions leaves no doubt that any further condition of subscription, including a constitutional one, is unacceptable.

Since the Task Force provides no rationale for adding their requirement for subscription to the Constitution in their report, and do not define their terms, it’s difficult to assess their intent. What is readily apparent is that this new form of subscription has no place in our Synod. Subscription to an entire Constitution, and possibly Bylaws and resolutions, is ill advised. Your conscience should be captive to the Word of God, not a changeable man-made construct. Additional subscription could very well put you at odds with you own conscience, and to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.

You can download a copy of this article here.

Download Part 1 here.

photo credit: rskura


Bursting the BRTFSSG Bubble, Part 2: Conscience-Bound — 31 Comments

  1. Scott
    When one owns the CCM, it is a simple matter to get a different opinion to the requirements for membership. Watch for one of the JF cronies to request an opinion in this matter just before the convention. So glad we are no longer memebrs of Missouri Synod.

  2. It’s the same old story: When you don’t like the way the game is going, change the rules.

    Take a long look at the whole picture and see what the macro-effect is on the following:
    1. The LCMS Hierarchy/management/leadership–whatever you wish to call it
    2. The clergy, individually, and the office collectively
    3. The laity.

    It’s not very pretty.

  3. I was explaining in Bible Class last night some of these supposed changes to the laity gathered. Most were totally shocked at what was being proposed by the Blue Ribbon Farce Committee. One of the gentelmen stated: “When they want to come here I want to be on the committe that talks with them!” His implication was obvious to everyone. These are humble and loving people living and worshipping in two parishes that have been in existence for 100 and 130 years! They are well versed in Scripture and could immediately see that what is being proposed is beyond Scripture and the Confessions! Most wanted to know what they as individuals and as congregations could do [I have a dual parish]. So what I will be doing is printing out Scott’s writings along with bunches of other things for their study. Hopefully our circuit counselor will put together three or four meetings of the circuit for discussion on this matter and others of the convention.

    As to the CCM, since their decisions can only be overturned by convention will they again make a decision/ruling that goes against a previous ruling. I think they will since our synodical president has seen fit to turn to them for the simplist of matters and they have ruled in his favor every time.

    It all at times seems so similiar to me, i.e. the “wars” on worship style. Will we not learn that part of the reason for our decline is that in many places we are no longer any different than all the other churches around. So when we do the “open Bible” church’s style of music and worship, of course our people will end up going there because they do their style with style! When you can get the very same thing anyplace you will tend to go to the place that is most convenient. And when our church is no longer different theologically and message [preaching] wise, our decline will increase even more. I think we Lutherans just don’t do evangelicalism well enough to keep the people when we become totally evangelical in theology, in preaching, in worship matters.

  4. Righty-oh.

    So now, I have to
    “I pledge allegiance, to the Synod, of the LCMS United faith/s preceeding & accepted, to which, whatever political & theological body is elected, doctrinally chosen or accepting on whim or culturally accepted, I, do hereby pledge & oath, my oath to conform or conceed, to which extent, if I should not conform or conceed, lest I perish, to the Synod to which ever body is elected, each & every 4 years, on which ever ground it may chose to stand upon,
    Sand or Rock, notforthwith. And, forthwith, I & those who choose to stand elected & who’s word is to be held Divine, as to the Divine Office, as they now become divine , and forthwith, have chosen to stand….”

    Hello Rome goodbye Germany! Auf Wiedersehen Luther & Walther… hello dude, like how be you, God is all, in all, & for all..like all is love dudes: Warren, Bell & McClaren! GOD FORBIT, OH NO NOT ME.
    Article VI…where is our outcry, our condemnation, our “Sola Scriptura or we depart”?! How can so few know so much, as to say & discern, what is going on? Are we only here to talk or ACT?! We all know what Walther & Luther would say to those in St Louis. What scares me most, as I bear a part by proxy, “WHAT WOULD CHRIST SAY TO THEM & US?” Christ did bear arms, to an extent. He USED A WHIP, A CAT & NINE TAILS, TO CHASE OUT THOSE WHO DEFILED HIS FATHER’S HOUSE. What have, we, Confessionals really done…we talk. Big deal, anyone can do that. Those with the Holy Spirit behind them, act. They ACT, with courage, bravery, and steadfastness, as those of old. We just sit & pontificate. Members appeal to those who have a voice & authority. What, exactly have those who have been blest w/it done in THIS PRESENT APOSTACY? Act…no…we chat. Big woopdie. That is cowardice & indecision. On the part of those who are expected to do much, as they have been given much! Fight is you truely think it worth it, or get out of the battle. You become a liability if you talk & not intent to save!!!!

    Actually, we knew this back in March. We saw this coming, (wow…such…a….surprise…yawn). So we departed the LCMS. Not because it was suggested we did so, but because we saw that the suggestion & recommendations that would eventually become requirement.

    How ironic. Only the “elect” are “members” of Synod. Members, as is true, have no clue what Synod does or is up to. HOW IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THAT INSTRUCTION? Not the members, those who hold the Office! But, a few of us, drone member ATM’s do, and we talk!!!!

    First rule of marketing, one bad experience tells 10 people, those 10, tell 10 and so on. The cat is out of the bag boys, and he ain’t a-going back in.
    So, LCMS Synod, expects “allegiance” to Synod, while requiring we depart Sola Scriptura, Sola Gracia, & Sola Fide? THAT WILL BE THE DAY!!!!
    Ah…..I thought my aligning & oath was to Christ Alone! How very Rick Warren & Purpose Driven of them! Will members, & congregations be now required to sign the “oath of fidelity”? Like Saddleback, Willow Creek, & Mars Hill members are required to do? oh…..THAT WILL BE THE DAY. My day came, I chose….and I left, stage right, post haste.

  5. “In their relation to the Synod, all members of the Synod, by voluntarily subscribing to the Confession (Article II) and the Constitution of the Synod…”

    At best, this sentence reveals the sloppy thinking and language of President Kieschnick’s Task Force. At worst, it demonstrates a misunderstanding (or perhaps redefinition?) of confessional subscription.

    How can anyone in good conscience be asked to subscribe to something (the LCMS Constitution) that by definition can (and will) by amended?

    It’s like signing a blank check.


  6. “Collective will of the synod”. What is that?!?!? That is ELCA speak and the mindset of social engineers!.


  7. Yes, Pastor Sterle, but if you resist this “borg” it spits you out.

    Birthrite Lutherans are expendable in the rush to look like willowcreek.

    Ordained confessional Pastors are especially expendable in the rush to create “yessir, how high, sir” servants of the bureaucracy rather than the Lord. They are being dumped, one by one, while we sit here and type.

  8. Helen, you rock! To my horror, this third generation church founder & servant, found the mission was impossible. I was, expendable & replaceable. Warm body mentality, needs only a warm body, worth is not part of their equation.
    But…praise my Heavenly Father, that I was not & am not expendable to Him! I am of great worth & was paid a high price for, BY HIS SON. I serve Him, not the LCMS Synod, such as it finds itself today.
    The LCMS may not value the things of Christ any longer, but Christ still values His own!

  9. “Promise that, if they find themselves to be in disagreement with the Synod’s actions or positions, they will so advise the Synod in a loving and evangelical manner, and if necessary follow the Synod’s authorized procedures for expressing dissent.

    What does this mean? It means that they Synod has the power to silence the laity who “[a]gree to abide by, honor, and uphold the collective will of the Synod as expressed in its Constitution, Bylaws, and convention resolutions”. Does this also mean that the Synod can now eject lay “members” from the Synod? So, in the future when they come up with another debacle like this latest proposal, those who stand against it, such as Scott, can have disciplinary action taken against them and maybe even be excommunicated from the Synod?

    It reads like that to me.

  10. Jim, Laymen are not members of the Synod, so your quote doesn’t specifically apply to lay people. Only congregations and pastors and other commissioned ministers are considered “members” of the Synod. They did add paragraph V, c., that includes the statement “The laity of the Synod’s member congregations, while not members of the Synod itself, are participants in the Synod through congregational membership….” Again, who knows what the intent of this additional statement is.

  11. Jim, it’s called the left foot of fellowship. If ya don’t leave of your own “loving” accord, you’ll be leaving with the left foot of our fellowship “loving” your posterior.

  12. What Scott say is most true. Laity, are not members of Synod, you are just an ATM, for an institution, which you have no voice or access to. Your congregation/church & Pastor are the members, not you. However….should you choose to buck the system in your congregation, you can be excommunicated. It is a threat that is often used to get us “guardians” (per Jesus First website definition) out & kept forever silent. Now, when this occurs to you, that word, “excommunication” carries a fair bit of weight, to say the least. Usually, it is implied, not spoken. Which is why, most who hear this, slink away in silence. Or you can stand & fight, call it apostasy, & be reviled for it.

    Sounds alot like a papal bull doesn’t it? Reminds me of someone….wait don’t tell me, I’ll get it….oh yeah, LUTHER.

  13. 2. Agree to abide by, honor, and uphold the collective will of the Synod as expressed in its Constitution, Bylaws, and convention resolutions;
    3. Pledge their active involvement and support of the Synod’s efforts to carry out its mission and purpose; and
    4. Promise that, if they find themselves to be in disagreement with the Synod’s actions or positions, they will so advise the Synod in a loving and evangelical manner, and if necessary follow the Synod’s authorized procedures for expressing dissent.

    Funny, I don’t see:
    “5. Agree to sell their souls to Synod, Inc.”

    What I do see is something that would probably be thrown out of an employment contract as unconscionable. I see members being bound to do what Synod, Inc. tells them to do (via the “collective will of the Synod as expressed in … convention resolutions”). I see no recourse should they wish not to other than “the Synod’s authorized procedures for expressing dissent”.

    What happens if those “authorized procedures” fail to include a means for a member to secede without Synod, Inc.’s consent? I guess they’d better hope Synod, Inc. doesn’t think they are valuable, and they do get the “left foot of fellowship”… otherwise they are stuck. (Or maybe the laity are free to leave, they just can’t take their congregational property with them… wait, why does that sound familiar?)

    Scott has the right verb. This smells like enslavement.

    Lord have mercy!

    @Dutch: Heh, I didn’t even catch it until the comments, but you are right, this smells a lot like Roman dictatorship…

  14. Big challenges, in order of priority: 1. Defeat this structure abominations
    2. Elect Harrison

    That’s just the beginning. But it ought to seem obvious that these are the correct priorities.

    Comments, anyone?

  15. Just out of curiosity, if the election/s were held today, do we confessionals, “guardians”, have enough votes, to elect Harrison? Or, are confessionals, in the minority still?

  16. Dutch,

    There is no way of knowing votes. The confessional crowd is optimistic because we have such a good candidate in Matt Harrison if indeed he gets a lot nominations – which it looks like he will.

    Harrision has two good things going for him. First, his emphasis on human care makes him appealing to a broad spectrum of Lutherans. Secondly, President Kieschnick is causing people to think long and hard about another term of rank controversey and disunity, failing membership and financials and a corporate approach to the LCMS instead of the pastoral approach that a guy like Harrison exudes.


  17. Pastor Rossow,
    The reason I ask, pertains to the suit filed for voter fraud & the rest you already know. I also speak of the LCMS being investigated for violation of not for profit law in Missouri & the suit filed against our brother, Todd.

    I don’t know Pastor Harrison, (sure I will someday in our Father’s House) but I’m starting to think too much is being placed on PH’s, shoulders alone, he’s a good man, & deserves more than he is getting…from us confessionals, sorry, “guardians”.

    I fear, too much of all hopes, are being placed upon him, & should he get in, & not be able to do, what those here, are hoping he does, he will bear blame that does not belong to him. Pastor Harrison, cannot right the wrongs of decades of others, I pray not one person here at BJS, would think he could. Not if you esteem him or know him. Only our Lord can do that. What a false position we place a brother in, lest we should think such.

    Only Christ, can defend & right the wrongs, of what was done to what belongs to Him.
    Pastor Harrison, should not & cannot be placed on a false pillar. I may not know him, but believe him to be worth more than the false hopes of others. PK did what he did at the last two conventions, he has now been backed into a corner. Knowing his past actions, he will come out fighting & spewing half truths, he has to. Lest he & his, be proved false. I don’t want to see a godly man like Pastor Harrison, used as ammo against PK & his minions & their actions over such a long period of time.

    Pastor Harrison deserves so much more from us, his brothers & sisters, we don’t set family up to fail, for sake of blame. We do things, the way they have been set before us. We let the God of Israel, fight for His own. We let the One who bought & paid a dear price for us do that. Not a man, Pastor Harrison is still, just a man. He cannot right wrongs of decades, for us who have been wronged. I won’t do that to him. He is worth more than that to me.

  18. Dutch,

    Good point. Structure will not save the synod, a new president will not save the synod. Only God by his word can do that. However, a new president who holds us accountable to the Lutheran Confessions in both doctrine and practice is a big first step toward making the word of God the main thing in this church.


  19. Pastor Rossow,
    I need to ask this, as you know many depend on what I learn & post here.
    If this is the “falling away” spoken of in Scripture, (all denom’s are fighting this EXACT thing) is it right, to encourage or allow such weight to be placed on an innocent brother?

  20. You’re making a bigger deal out of it than needs to be made Dutch. I can’t tell you how many confessional people I’ve read who say that Pr. Harrison isn’t some kind of a miracle worker who’s going to waltz right into his office and solve all LCMS problems, so apparently the expectations are not as high as you’re painting. I agree with the thought of those people, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to vote for President Kieschnick instead. I think we should encourage people to vote for Pastor Harrison, because he has many good qualities that make him well suited for the job, and I don’t think that’s putting him on a pedestal. That is being a good steward.

  21. Oh, Scott, I know, & I understand. But sometimes, grant a bit o’wiggle room here, there does tend to be an aire, of that here at BJS & other “confessional sites”. You have seen it, as have I. You read other C-LCMS sites, & when you see, someone use the term “sit at the feet of” …that is something that should make ya go… hmmmm. You & I both know, there are some, who look at PH, as I stated. I don’t, you don’t, but there are a few that do. For his sake, Pastor Harrison’s, it must be stated, here, now, that those at BJS or those who advocate BJS, do not advocate that mindset. He is the most obvious candidate, as is right given his background. But, I have not heard, what HE intends to do, SHOULD he be elected. The keep or pitch principle.

    Pastor Harrison, is too good of a man, to pin false hopes, false positions, and rectifing actions on. It is the only reason I posed this question.

  22. My hope is that we elect a President who will abide by the Confession that we all subscribe to. My hope is that we elect a President who takes theology seriously and who recognizes the influx of foreign theology that is currently inundating the ground floor of the LCMS. I think these are reasonable hopes, and not too much to ask of a candidate. I think Pastor Harrison would fit the bill nicely. I don’t think there’s anybody who thinks that if the right person walks into the LCMS Presidential office at the IC, that all of our problems in Missouri will magically evaporate. It will take decades to climb out of the hole we’ve dug. I don’t think we’ll ever recover, at least not in our present form, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and help in my own little way to press on towards the goal, the goal being a confessional Synod.

    The reason you haven’t heard more from Pastor Harrison on what HE intends to do is because candidates for office aren’t allowed to “circularize” in the LCMS. That’s one of the reasons bloggers and others tend to talk about particular candidates. It’s a way to get the message out. I think he gave a pretty good hint at what he intends to do when he wrote “It’s Time,” http://itistime.org/.

  23. Which Book & Chapter to use, from Scripture, (not verse, BOOK & CHAPTER)? How about one from Apprising Ministries? Jude 4-19. Or ya can go to 1 or 2nd Peter, or any of gambit of books & chapters in Scripture. The LCMS doesn’t use Jude much, but, in the current climate we all now find ourselves, it may be wise to aquaint ourselves with this Book in Scripture.

  24. @Dutch #9

    The only thing is, synod is going broke and wondering why!
    Birthrite Lutherans support their church much better than those who came for “the show.”

    Some years ago I was told that I “had to” pay for things I would never use, because those who used them would never pay for them. My reply was politer than “Oh, yeah?” (but not much).

    [Not long ago, someone was mewling on Lutherquest about the “unfairness” of CEF to foreclose on a congregation which had built a big church and wasn’t paying the mortgage.
    Turned out that, when the church was built (but not paid for), the entertainment clique told the older members that they weren’t wanted and could buzz off now! They did and took their checkbooks with them.
    I cry for the older members, dispossessed of the congregation they’d been born into; for the “new management”, not so much!

  25. Helen,
    SO VERY SPOT ON. I watched this, from afar, in the congregation I grew up in. I went back, after we were given the left foot. My safehouse, where I am known, & safe. Ha,
    Oh, they are back on the financial track, but departed the Scriptural one. Wept, in the Biblical sense, for the better part of an afternoon. These people, my Sunday School teachers, my Elders, my parents friends & fellow servants, SOLD OUT MY HOME, HIS CHURCH. These people paid this “holder of office”s college loans & FOR A HOT TUB & did w/a smile!
    Back in ’83, I got a B+ on the 8th grade Conformation exam, (6 pages) & I remember who I answered to. It was someone my Dad served as an usher, Elder, President, Vice President, & Stewarship committee with. I went back “home” & someone very young had passed away the day before( by their own hand). MY SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER, who’s husband told me about what happenned to this person , I asked, “how are you, in a pensive sort of way AS WAS FITTING FOR THE SITUATION. She actually said, “lovin’ the Lord & livin’ in the Light of Christ” WITH A SMILE. I was GOBSMACKED. We lost someone, we all knew, & that was the reponse?
    No wonder members get the P.T. Barnum treatment, “there’s a sucker born every minute”, if he got those, back then, to pay for what they did, if you add the moniker of “Christian” on it, what we won’t fall for!

  26. Would you rather have Harrison with the New Structure, or Kieschnick with the old structure. In the long run, the potential damage from the new structure far outweighs the damage one man can do. The very character of the LCMS would be drastically changed by this new structure, and the Pandora’s box of untold mischief would be opened. It can never be shut.

    Speaking of structure, when is someone going to propose/memorialize that the dispute resolution process be canned?

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