Up from the Nether Regions of the Stage Arises the Bully Pulpit…by Pr. Rossow

The bully pulpit is slowly rising out of the nether regions of the LCMS political stage and standing behind it is none other than President Gerald Kieschnick. After years of silence, President Kieschnick has decided to go on a publishing rampage, making as much use of the bully pulpit as possible. In my humble opinion this unusual onslaught of printed and electronic materials just months before the next election is a sign of panic.

Never before have the conservative, confessional, traditional and mercy-minded folks in the LCMS rallied in unison around a candidate for the presidency like they have rallied around Matt Harrison and it appears to have President Kieschnick and his supporters worried. This coalition of traditional types includes the silent majority that has been x-ed out for the last decade. The machinations have included President Kiecschnick’s stuffing the delegate list with exceptional circuits in regions that favor him and members of Jesus First smearing those who do not support President Kieschnick.

This recent onslaught of material and appearances from President Kieschnick includes his face time at the Blue Ribbon regional gatherings which, by many reports, are not being received well. The Blue Ribbon Task Force has responded by going into full blown down-size mode on their proposals, cutting out those ideas which are going over like lead balloons. Other efforts include his recent book “The Sleeping Giant…,” a new weekly letter available by e-mail, and a book on the doctrine of the LCMS. Looking over this mad rush of media, I have noticed that there is a lot about President Kieschnick personally and his daily struggles. This is not the sort of thing one finds in C. F. W. Walther or Luther. They spoke about their person on occasion, but it was usually to confess the weakness of their sinful flesh and other foibles. Likewise, Rev. Matt Harrison does not spend much ink talking about himself. Instead, he trumpets the work and the needs of others.

The growing popularity of  Rev.  Harrison is certainly not his  doing. This is a grassroots effort. I for one, who have made no secret  of my thoughts about Matt Harrison’s God-given gifts to serve as president,  have only seen or talked to the man twice and each time for only a few minutes. I and others are basing our support on the wonderful reputation that he has among his peers, the volumes of theology he has published over the years  and his fine and loving work as the head of LCMS World Relief and Human Care.

Why is there a sudden rush to communicate by President Kieschnick? This synod has had plenty of problems for the last decade (missionaries called back from the field, a financial problem, loss of membership) and yet President Kieschnick was not so vocal then as he has been now. The grassroots, tea-party like support for Rev. Harrison is evidently a bigger problem and must be addressed by the media blitz.

The bully pulpit will most likely be rolled out again and again by President Kieschnick over the next few months. We encourage you to look carefully at what is spoken from that podium.  I have found it to be as much, and even more about the man than about Christ and his pure Gospel.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

Up from the Nether Regions of the Stage Arises the Bully Pulpit…by Pr. Rossow — 41 Comments

  1. The way the Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick has presented himself as LCMS president (as I understand it) is as follows.

    1. He is not a theologian.
    2. He does not recognize the synod he presides over as part of or a continuation of his grandfather’s church.
    3. He says he is confessional, but does not like incessant doctrinal purification within the LCMS.
    4. During his tenure he has been aware of many controversies in the synod before they became full blown, but has not made any decisions to cause them.
    5. He likes to run the synod like a business with lots of consultants, lawyers, and centralized power.

    Has this type of leadership caused the numbers losses and financial problems? Not necessarily, but it doesn’t appear to have helped much either.

    How does Rev. Matt Harrison present himself? As a humble pastor, theologian, and servant of his neighbor in Christ.

    Does the LCMS need a polished businessman in her corporate offices or a pastor living under the cross?

  2. Some of the more common criticisms I have heard for “liturgical” congregations are that they are “inward-focused”, have no impact on their community and lack any serious outreach. In Matt Harrison I see a candidate that is not only an excellent theologian and leader but also someone who excels in showing mercy and reaching out to others. He does so from a solid Lutheran position without needing to rely on techniques from other theologies or the business world. This sort of guidance can help Lutheran congregations that are negligent in showing mercy to those around them while still maintaining solid Lutheran doctrine. It is actually the focus on pure doctrine that would help churches to realize that showing mercy to the poor and needy is something we should be doing, but not as a matter of law, rather as a response to the incredible mercy we as horrible sinners have been shown, see Matthew 28:23ff.

    Kieschnick is no dummy but it seems to me that his talents are perhaps better suited to leading a secular corporation. I am sure he would excel in such a role. One of the greatest challenges facing our synod is our disunity, in many things we do not walk together. Under Kieschnick for the last 8+ years it has not become any better. His promotion of ever varied worship practices, although well intentioned, has only exacerbated the situation.

    Matt Harrison’s suggestions in “It’s Time” will, by his own admission, take a long time to mend our synod. I think that is true no matter who is elected in July. An important question though is who will be more likely implement such a process, someone who has already laid out suggestion on how to accomplish it or someone who has been in office nearly a decade and has presided over increasing division.

    The choice seems simple to me if for no other reason then that Matt Harrison is greatly respected by the “confessionals” and in his actions has addressed many concerns of “conservatives”. No candidate will be exactly like what everyone wants, but Harrison seems to fit the bill better than most and in a deeply divided synod I think the least polarizing candidate will be the most helpful. Even if Kieschnick’s actions had no bearing on how polarizing he is, the fact remains that he is polarizing and his administration has lost the trust of many people in synod. Re-electing a candidate with such characteristics will not help our divisions.

    I do wonder though if anyone knows of reasons given by others for not voting for Harrison, other than the fact that he is not Kieschnick.

  3. One candidate takes the complex and makes it simple; the other takes the complex and complicates it further all in the name of “our beloved Synod” — a phrase that falls freely from his lips. One candidate puts his trust in the means of grace and the works of mercy that flow from hearts thus transformed; the other in rewriting the constitution and by-laws as if such revisions will have any effect on the life of the church. The people have already voted by directing their contributions (60 million or so) to things like seminaries, missionaries, world relief and human care, etc. leaving only 19 million or so for headquarters to work with — thus the perceived crisis. That amount will continue to shrink until God hears our prayers for new leadership. The old approach will not be supported much longer and so one will see anxiety, panic, and drastic measures to try and persuade the delegates to save the ship by adopting the BRTFSSG measures. How many delegates have been catechized to the extent necessary to immunize them from this virus remains to be seen.

  4. Alex, you mention outreach to the poor and needy, and that makes me think of the following. Are we as Christians to simply help the poor? Is this showing mercy? Did Jesus or the disciples ever help the poor – just to help the poor? I expect that those on this site understand that helping the poor doesn’t mean helping those that simply don’t have material things. Does it? I believe it means helping the poor souls that do not have Christ, find Christ.

    I am getting concerned that so much outreach happens without the context of Christ. As a poor miserable sinner, I for one am thankful that my parents reached out to me and had the gift of water and word poured out for me that day when I was baptized. Helping those that are poor find food, shelter, and water should be a way to show them the love of Christ and give them respite from the world so that they have an opportunity to hear the Word in truth and purity spoken – so that the Holy Spirit will work through the means that Christ has given.

  5. rontheranchhand,

    You are very correct, if outreach is only material and not spiritual, that is not mercy, that is just being a nice person in the eyes of the world. A nice person who is spiritually selfish in keeping amazing life-saving news to himself. Jesus didn’t just bless us with everything we have, he forgave my every sin. Life is easier for many who are helped materially, but spiritual help gives life eternal with true hope and comfort.

    Johannes,

    You may be right, but I suspect there are a fair number of people who read this site but do not post that would like to see GK elected again. For them, I hope they see Harrison not as someone just held up by those who don’t agree with GK but as someone that can be respected by all sides with the prospect of working towards healing divisions.

  6. According to the LCMS Board of Directors, “Over the last four years our Synod’s membership has decreased by 125,000, which, using averages, results in a loss of $92 million per year in contributions.” And yet, the Synodical President wants us to believe that he is overseeing the “rebirth” of our church (according to his new book). It seems that the Synodical President will say, print, do anything just to get elected. This has to stop! So sing choir! Ask God for mercy! Ask God to lead hearts to bring someone like Matt Harrison to leadership of our church! Perhaps if the singing is loud enough, a ground-swell of support will build right up to the convention this summer.

  7. @geo #7

    Ablaze, like the stimulus package, is just beginning to work. It’s just been a bit of a slow start.

    I still say we’re preaching to the choir. Anyone who has visited BJS can’t miss our opinion on SP, and a whole host of other things, like CG, TCN, and CW, for openers.

    j

  8. Keep preaching and encourage delegates to read, read, read. I am VERY new to all this. I started reading after our congregation’s TCN consultation and the outrageous things said therein. My opinion has been formed by what I’ve read about and what both men have written and endorsed. To me it seems obvious — “It’s Time.”

    I don’t know if this article on CrossFocusedLeadership.org has been referenced yet, but it is excellent. http://crossfocusedleadership.org/2009/12/synodical-presidents-job/

  9. @Convention Delegate #9

    Perhaps I did not make my point very thoroughly. I am not saying that BJS, and others, should stop with their support of Rev. Harrison, or their critique of the present administration of Synod, Inc. The question is, what are we-all going to do to get our message to all the delegates, and alternate delegates? Politics First is going to spend a lot of time and money maximizing the incumbency. What are we going to do?

    In all fairness, we should that Matthew Harrison (whom I enthusiastically support) has not been silent when it comes to publications. That is not to say that PK hasn’t got many more resources at his command from his bully pulpit. But we ought to at least be honest with ourselves.

    Finally, I must be a sleeping non-giant. PK has written a book on LCMS doctrine? What is it’s title? Amazing!

    j

  10. Ah for the simple days when the liberals just walked out enmass. Rooting out cryptic evangelicalism will be far more painful as they are convinced that only they serve the Lord.

  11. Do we have access to the delegate lists? If they are public information then maybe BJS could do some e-mails and even some “snail” mail. I think that we could muster the funds to accomplish it.

  12. Johannes,

    Read my post carefully. The issue with JK is the recent onslaught. Harrison has been publishing for years. Also, please note how I made a distinction between the content of the two sets of stuff – JK is about himself; MH is about others.

    TR

  13. Anyone that thinks Harrison isn’t carefully executing a strategy toward the election doesn’t know him. While it appears to be a grass-roots led campaign, so too did Obama’s. Look at the men behind the man. They’re the ones doing the organizing on his behalf. It lets him stay “above it all.”

    On another issue, I always crack up when I see GK blamed for a decline in membership. Does no one leave room for the possibility that this happens at a local level? I’ve seen far too many examples of the hyper-confessional pastors that drive people out (not necessarily because of doctrine but because of an unwillingness to listen to their parishioners and a pursuit of a decidedly anti-Lutheran, pro-Catholic hierarchal nature of leadership) of their congregations and then blame St. Louis for the decline in members. Is there any chance the responsibility for this decline can be traced to local pastoral leadership? Would welcome and appreciate any thoughts. Thanks

  14. Mr. Gallagher
    Actually it is the DPs that are driving out the confessional Pastors. Many of those confessional Pastors are taking members with them. The POTS is guilty of allowing this to happen. Notice none of the CG/CW Pastors are being driven out. That is totally the fault of the POTS.

  15. @Jim Gallagher #14

    Jim,

    Neither GK nor hyper-confessional (whatever that is) pastors should be blamed for a decline in membership. God requires faithfulness, not results. Jesus has been faithful on our account, so now that we have been brought into the faith we can confess him.

    The question is, what are the pastors of the LCMS confessing? Are they proclaiming themselves and men or are they confessing the Christ of Scripture as clearly outlined in the Lutheran Confessions. We are all poor miserable sinners and fall way short of the confession our Lord gave us. That is why we need to constantly be called to repentance. If a pastor or leader will not repent and return to the confession of Christ he needs to be replaced by one who will.

  16. Jim #14,

    He is in charge, it is his problem, right? Is anyone blaming him for each member that left the synod? No. Does he own the problem globally? Yes.

    If that is the problem, what has President Kieschnick done about it?

    Actually, some of his supporters (and him by association) are trying to do something about it. They are trying creating a grass roots effort to close down the seminaries and totall re-engineer pastoral training. Thankfully, that effort was a miserable failure, so much so that PK and the sem presidents had to distance themselves from the idea.

    TR

  17. Jim,

    You wrote, “I’ve seen far too many examples of the hyper-confessional pastors that drive people out…”

    Have you also seen any examples of sub-confessional pastors who tell faithful Lutheran members to hit the road unless they are willing to embrace the pastor’s agenda/vision for change? Or, have you seen sub-confessional congregations who end up being feeder congregations for the bigger and and more entertaining local evangelical big-box church?

    Why are the confessional pastor and laypeople always blamed? Do you really believe that the LCMS’s problem is that too many pastors and laypeople are faithful to the confessions?

    Two synods… no doubt about it.

    TW

  18. @Pastor Tim Rossow #19

    I’ll take “pretty much OK.”

    Re: the flight from synod (and most mainline churches), could it be the ecclesiastical equivalent of Gresham’s Law? It’s from Economics 101–Bad money drives out good money.
    So it is with doctrine, I submit. At least that’s my hypothesis, as yet untested.

    I’m also pretty convinced that much of our predicament derives from inadequate preaching.
    After reading “Why Johnny Can’t Preach,” by T. David Gordon, I found myself in agreement with much of his diagnosis. I suggest it for all to read, lay and clergy alike. I hasten to add that it’s not “style” that he addresses, but “substance.”

    Pastor Gordon would be a great interview on IssuesEtc., Rev. Wilken.

    Johannes

  19. Right on Todd!
    Jim, I have yet to see a, how did you phrase it, “hyper confessional” pastor. I haven’t seen a “hyper liberal” Pastor either. Neither are in the definition of what a Pastor is, or at least should be. Hyper & humble don’t really mix well. To truly understand the “Postmodern Movement” you need to understand what it is “post” from. The “Modernist” movement. It is a cultural/era issue, not a “Church” issue.
    The Culture or Era, do not dictate to the Church, the Church dictates to it. This is a Quia-because vs. quatenus-in so far as, issue, look up Confessional Lutheran on Wikipedia. Why would anyone NOT want, let alone admit to not being, to be a Confessional Lutheran? The term “Confessional” in this sense, is used to insult & belittle,

    I find it rather a compliment.

    I have, however, seen Pastors, who ran their churches as a businesses, ran them as a MultiPlex entertainment center, or as General Franco ran Spain.

    The one thing I can say is, if we don’t stand on the Confessions & Doctrines & their WRITTEN, WORD FOR WORD MEANINGS, as Luther wrote them (we aren’t the Waltherian Church Missouri Synod) we cease to be, Lutheran.

    I don’t believe in a Post-Church age. If the gates of hell, cannot prevail against it, how can there be a post-church…anything? Post-Belief/Faith age, Post-Belief/Faith church, yes.

    Post church, nope.

  20. The two “Worship Leaders” at the LCMS convention this year are both proponents of contemporary worship!

    The “Opening Convention Worship Service” is lead by Rev. Noack from Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring, Texas (http://trinityklein.org). If you visit their website, you will see they have a “contemporary service” in which they sing “contemporary Christian music”.

    The “Morning Prayer Service” is led by Rev. Waiser from Peace Lutheran Church in Hurst, Texas (http://www.peacechurch.org/). If you visit their site, you will see they offer both “contemporary worship” and “blended worship”.

  21. Johannes @ 21

    Todd and Jeff are way ahead of you. T. David Gordon was interviewed by Todd on May 5th, 2009 on the topic: “The Media and Modern Preaching.” Just as a teaser, Dr. Gordon suggests that on average the grade for preaching in America today is “a gentleman’s D+”

    If I did it right, here’s a link: http://www.issuesetc.org/podcast/222050509H2S1_2.mp3

  22. I don’t think people have issues with the confessions as is asserted by some of these posts. I think their issues are with how some pastors have used the confessions as their excuse to move congregations toward a direction they’re not on board with (more explanation below). I’ve never heard people in LCMS congregations arguing against the confessions or the inerrancy of the Bible. But so too, I have never, ever heard of someone leaving his/her congregation because of the Synodical president. I would wager that 98% of the people in the pews couldn’t even tell you what his name is.

    Let me clarify the “hyper confessional” phrase. As LCMS Lutherans we are consistent in what we confess and what we believe. But we also recognize that, no matter our intentions or dedication, we all fall short of what the Lord has asked of us. All sinners. But those that I refer to as “hyper confessionals” take things to the extreme. From my experience, their interpretation is that they are the watchdogs of purity. In my experience, they are committed far more to saying “this is wrong” or “you’re in violation” as opposed to professing what we believe and bringing that message to their respective communities. They see themselves as whistleblowers. I know that some will say that they are called to be this – and I understand and agree with it. But the hyper-confessionals stop there. Pastors are called to be much more than whistle blowers and I don’t see that coming from this group. They also seem to lead the movement toward disassociation with the rest of the world unless they meet with our confessional standards. Please don’t misinterpret – I don’t agree with the ELCA vote this past summer or other somewhat loose theological practices of other protestant denotations but we are still in this world. I see the hyper-confessionals positioning the church and their members to be “out of options” for living in communities of varying opinions, faiths, etc.

    I admit, I am not a theologian but rather a regular churchgoing laymen trying to understand the issues of the church. I have seen it from the inside – congregation, district, synod, RSO, etc. so I think I’ve got some perspective. My overriding observation however is this – no one man in the Lutheran church can be responsible for a particular direction. Its not structured to give him that kind of authority. If you think the LCMS is mired in trouble, your list of suspects should fill a ream of paper and not just one line.

  23. @John #23

    Wow! Thanks, John. Yes, as usual, Todd and Jeff are ahead of me. Excellent listening.

    As one who received a “gentleman’s D+” in my senior year at college, I know how bad that grade is. As he put it, “You’re getting the lowest D I have ever given.” That does not say much for his opinion of preaching today, especially as it was the class average.

    Thanks, again.

    j

  24. Jim,

    I don’t think anyone on this site has been holding President Kieschnick soley responsible for the deteriorating state of affairs in the LCMS –deepening distrust, declining membership, a growing deficit and debt, a theological divide between those who hold a quia and a quatenus subscription to the Confessions, controversy after controversy involving the leadership of synod.

    Yet as president for the last 8 years, surely he bears some responsibility for things getting measurably worse during his tenure.

    Or, is President Kieschnick a hapless victim of circumstance? Is all of this the fault of the “hyper-confessionals”?

    TW

  25. @Todd Wilken #26

    No, it’s because of all that incessant internal purification at the expense of the lost in the world.

    Pitting one Scripture truth against another. What is the word for that?

  26. @Todd Wilken #26

    If nothing else, the divide PK once denied, but now acknowledges, has gotten wider and deeper. It was there during the Barry years and before. New players, different ideological turf, but a serious divide nontheless. And, when you think about it, perhaps the authority of scripture is still at its root–the question is still being asked today, “Did God really say….?” For much of synod, we have, as Harold Senkbeil says, forgotten who we are.

    j

  27. Todd – If the criteria for “failure” is less money and fewer members, then do those pastors that had larger churches when they were called compared to 8 years later bear the responsibility? If yes, then I guess he does have some responsibility. However, I’ve never heard a pastor claim that responsibility.

  28. @Jim Gallagher #24
    Jim – Just as we are taught in catechism God’s Word followed by “what does this mean?” we should never allow a Pastor (“hyper confessional”) to assert our views or beliefs are “wrong” without proper correction and instruction.

    Do Not allow any Christian to rebuke if they are not prepared to correct and instruct. The rebuke should be properly substantiated by Scripture and/or the confessions and the instruction should be sufficient to justify the rebuke. Although I am not clear on what your “hyper” confessional believes, teaches and confesses, I am quite confident a confessional Lutheran will always gladly instruct and guide another brother in Christ.

  29. > The bully pulpit is slowly rising out of the nether regions of the LCMS political stage and standing behind it is none other than

    What fine and horrible imagery!

    Worthy of Twain, no, Luther.

  30. Jim,
    I, like you, am no theologian. But, I do understand the great chasm between quia and quatenus. What is your understanding between these two, in this theme and discussion?

  31. When it comes to declining “membership” if we want to call it that, all of us are guilty and in need of repentance. Pastor Harrison has made it very clear that this is where LCMS needs to start.

    Structural changes, by-law changes, constitution changes, are clearly not the answer, so when it comes to supporting the appropriate candidate for this office, we need to look at what they confess. One confesses flashy programs and structural change, the other confesses Christ and the need for repentance. The former advocates secular-type changes, the latter advocates Scripture, the Confessions and, repentance.

    Kiley

  32. Mr. Gallagher

    Is hyper-confessional the opposite of hyper-evangelical? I suggest they both want to run things their way.

    You are correct about most folks not arguing about the confessions or the inerrency of the Bible. Most do not know what the Book of Concord is and even the Methobapticostals claim inerrency of the Bible.

    As for folks not leaving because of the synod president, I think you need to look around at the congregations that have left Missouri Synod in the last eight years. I know of several that left since the 2004 convention. They left because they tried to correct what the president was doing. When the convention did not correct the direction the president was taking the synod, they left. We are talking about whole congregations leaving as well as Pastors.

  33. I don’t really agree, this isn’t about the Confessions. I believe it is about those very things. “Because” the Solas say so, vs., what “some” believe is now “in so far as”,
    “is now relevant for today” in our current understanding of…the Solas & Confessions. Within our Confessions, are contained the Sola’s, Liturgy, and our basic Constitution & Bylaws, our very beliefs. The basis of what makes us, who we are & have been for hundreds of years. Tested by the fires of those who died for them, for those who left homes & countries for them.

    How can we, be willing to say, what held true, through the fires, the tests & time, are no longer relevant, & this present culture needs more? That “more”, that has not withstood the tests & tumult of time & firey testing of our Lord? Do we think those present & here now, would be willing to go to those same fires, over what is peddled now? I think not. But, then, with what is being held up & defended here, many were willing and did that very thing. People don’t willingly give their lives for a theory, money or numbers, do they?

    Now typically, this is when the Pharisee card is played. If you know your Biblical History, pertaining to Alexander the Great, that is a mute & poor card to play. Why? Because sometimes, the one who speaks does know their history.

    I value who came before me, I cling to what they believed & lived by. It was good for how many for how long?

    So, I should forgo & forget & depart from that & those why? For what exactly?
    For my part, I am most content & happy to submit & obey, “because I said so” rather than…
    “this is what we think is meant by”.

  34. @Jim Gallagher #14

    Jim,
    I, with others, have been told to hit the road by a preacher who wanted to be open about open communion. I wouldn’t call him “hyper confessional”! (For one thing, he’d be insulted.)

    For another he might not know what you mean, (but then, I don’t either).

  35. I groaned at the expense that must have went into SP’s pamplet that came in the mail. But reading through it I said, this is good stuff. (even has the Brief Statement, although in the appendix) Not as good or as complete or even close to the thousands of pages that CHI compiled, but good. The legalist in me swooned over the resolution on cohabitation. It’s the strongest, most concise statement I’ve seen against it, perfect ammunion.

    How catholic of me! Every time a protestant makes a doctrinal statment in the news, the libs find some heretical professor to say just the opposite. How different when the Catholic church says, “This is what the CHURCH says.” You can’t refute what the “Church” says it believes. The protestant church really has an achilles heal when it comes to not being able to speak as one.

    The LCMS constitution maintains all matters are to be settled by scripture. Yet when Schulz ruled against Benke purely on scripture, he was overruled on appeal that did not even refer to scripture.

    Mangle doctrine, confuse Law and Gospel, teach evolution… etc, but don’t you dare violate the synodical handbook or you’ll be out on your ear!

    The legalist in me finds it convenient to pump convention resolutions rather than go to scripture. Pumping convention resolutions doesn’t take a bright bulb, and canon law is easier to quote than wrestling with the Word.

    Then I got to thinking about the temptation of presenting a handout of that synodical resolution on cohabitation. I thought of what Jesus said. “They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them hear them… if they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convined if someone should rise from the dead. Lk 17:29-31

    If they honor not scripture, but a man-made resolution, do they really believe anything at all? If they are convinced to do the right thing by the law… is it faith?

    If our authority as pastors is limited to “incessant” convention positions and resolutions and decisions made in “community”, have we not surrendered to Rome and Talmud?

    michael

  36. Kiley (34), you wrote:
    so when it comes to supporting the appropriate candidate for this office, we need
    to look at what they confess. One confesses flashy programs and structural change,
    the other confesses Christ and the need for repentance. The former advocates secular-type
    And MH confesses Christ crucified both in His theological labors and in his direction in many, many acts of mercy. “It’s Time” is not just a plank in a platform. It’s the embodiment of the manner in which MH conducts himself and his aspirations even now.

    He doesn’t have to raise up a bully pulpit to be the true servant of the Word (pquia) that he is. He sees clearly the direction of our synod as repentance and the forgiveness of sins because his outlook doesn’t and hasn’t changed from that which he has held since being first ordained. On the other hand, we have watched JK administrate the deepening divide between Synod A and Synod B and not give a hoot. To him, it’s all wonderful and a synodical makeover.
    There’s no doubt where I think we need to be placing our support, with MH and those with him who remain at home in the house of our fathers in the faith for which we contend.

  37. Todd

    At our congregation we had – he left- a Pastor who told many members that if they did not like his CG, narcisistic approach that “there are plenty of other churches down our street, go to one of those.” A sister congregation has a pastor who when I questioned his use of “annointing” with oil and “emergent” church told me “I feel sorry for you, you will never be happy anywhere.” As a dyed in the wool confessional Lutheran and “lay” theologian who understands very well not only our confessions but those of the Reformed and Roman tradition, I gave him a piece of my mind with in your face language I could not believe was leaving my mouth, expecially when addressing a “pastor”.

    These kinds of dismissive remarks are neither intelligent or Christ like. I have seen many more of these examples in Michigan. Our own dealings with our now former Pastor opened my eyes to the sick empidemic of synergistic theology, CG, pastor as CEO and in a few cases the magnet this type of approach is to seriously ill narcissistic types who occupy the office of The Holy Ministry.

    Almost everything is questioned that is confessional including closed cmmunion, Wathers “view” of the church and historical liturgy. THese pastors are entrenched and thier approaches are widely used. Not all fall into the narcissitic camp but the CEO approach does in fact attract them.. Imagine our Lord talking to anyone except the hard core heretic in such a manner? It has been heart wrenching to see pastors act in such a dissmisive manner to both new and old members who prefer a more traditional approach. They would be happier if the members would leave so they could build a CG church all thier own.

    Any time I or others have questioned these pastors regarding thier methods your recieve either a direct confrontation designed to intimidate most laymen or a condescending labrador retriever type head cock as though they can’t believe your confusion! 🙂

    At one time in my life I was a sceptic regarding the faith and Christ. I questioned the snot out of my Pastor , Pastor Kurt Marquart, Scare, Paul Meier, a wonderful phone conversation with John Warwick Montgomery who didn’t know me from Adam’s off ox and may others whom I had the privilege and blessing to know. They did not condescend, they did not attempt to intimidate. They pointed me to the Word, provided interactive apologetics, guided me with extreme patience and love through my annoying questions, introduced me to our confessions and generally loved me into the Lord’s Kingdom. How far we have come from these men and the Christ like manner in which they grew the church.

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