My “bad”: How a desperate Jesus First will distort and deflect (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

The political machine known as “Jesus First” is revving up into high gear and has begun sending newsletters to convention delegates. Their “Special Edition” Delegate Letter #1 (a pdf file) is a case study in how a desperate Jesus First will distort and deflect, in order to achieve their ends. (The article in question is also printed in their general April 2010 newsletter.) My purpose here in this post is to forewarn delegates of the tactics JF will employ in their campaign literature.

Rather than dealing with the issues facing the convention or with the leading candidates in the election, Jesus First decides to deflect attention away from those matters, and they have to distort the truth to do so. So instead of discussing President Kieschnick’s Blue Ribbon Task Force proposals, or instead of discussing the relative merits of Rev. Kieschnick and Rev. Harrison, Jesus First instead chooses to . . . go after me! Imagine my surprise when I see my name as the focus of their attack! Last I checked, I’m not running for anything in Houston.

Here’s how they do it, and this is where the distortion comes in. They dug up a comment I made two years ago in which I happened to use the word “bad.” And they twist my “bad” into a meaning different from what the context would indicate. They don’t even mention the context.

The comment came up in a discussion on the restructuring proposals that President Kieschnick’s Task Force had just come out with. People were commenting on how bad those proposals were and what could be done to stop them from passing. So in response to that, I wrote: “This is why it so important to ELECT CONFESSIONAL DELEGATES AT THE CIRCUIT FORUMS IN 2009. That is how we can defeat bad proposals–and defeat our bad president–in 2010.”

Clearly, the comment had to do with the “bad” proposals and the president behind them. The point was that I thought the president had been doing a bad job in pursuing this course. But to say someone has been a “bad president,” in the performance of his office, is certainly not the same thing as saying he’s a “bad person,” in the content of his character.

Jesus First, of course, twists my words to make it sound like I was saying “bad person.” They even accuse me of sinning. Did they ask me what I meant by my words? No. Did they speak to me back in 2008, when I made this comment? No. Have they spoken to me now before publishing this accusation? No. Will they apologize for what they’ve done? Don’t hold your breath.

Jesus First must really be getting desperate, if they are going to stoop this low. Delegates should learn from this example to know what to expect from them in the weeks to come.

If the discussion has to do with the restructuring proposals or with a comparison of Rev. Kieschnick and Rev. Harrison, they lose that discussion. So expect Jesus First to continue to distort and deflect.


Comments

My “bad”: How a desperate Jesus First will distort and deflect (by Pr. Charles Henrickson) — 32 Comments

  1. If PoliticsFirst makes an accusation, you want to look around at what they are doing. Time and time again what they accused others of was what they themselves were doing, meanwhile making a big noise to distract attention from the fact.

  2. When John Kerry lost the presidential race in 2004, he later lamented that his campaign had spent too much time demonizing Karl Rove and not enough comparing the senator to President Bush. It seems we have a similar distraction here.

  3. It’s very simple. Discredit you, Pastor–ergo discredit BJS. That’s putting (are you ready?) Politics First.

    j

  4. Who do these newsletter go out to. If it is their own supporters then what good does it do. They already have votes from these people.

  5. Michael :Who do these newsletter go out to.

    Somehow, Jesus First seems to have acquired e-mail addresses for all the delegates. I wonder how they did that. Obviously, they are trying to get votes from the “undecideds.”

  6. @Charles Henrickson #7

    Is delegate information public? I’ve received information through the mail and electronically from four different organizations since January, including “Jesus First”.

    I would say that “Christian News” and “Jesus First” are the worst and most annoying. Ironic?

  7. Postal addresses of all delegates are public, published in the Convention Workbook. But not e-mail addresses. I suppose some edresses could be found by tedious searching. But it appears that Jesus First somehow has a complete database.

  8. From the JF newsletter, regarding comments by Rev. Henrickson:

    “It seems to me that the witness is contrary to the 8th Commandment which reminds us to
    …speak well of him (our neighbor), defend him, and explain everything in the kindest way.”

    Here we go again. This ploy was tiresome the first time I saw it used and it continues ad nauseum from JF and their ilk. Their take on the 8th Commandment is only valid if Machiavelli were its author rather than the Most High God. I believe the purpose of the 8th Commandment is to cause liars, dissemblers, and obfuscators to stand naked in the bitter wind of Gods judgement. They believe the purpose is to suppress the truth and to attempt to force Christians to ignore objective reality. Nothing but pure spin. Not surprsing, but always a disappointment to see in print.

  9. If I were to say that Barack Obama is a bad president, wouldn’t it be painfully obvious that I’m specifically referring to the job he’s doing in office? Is it now a sin to be disappointed in the job performance of an elected leader? How could your statement have been taken in any other way?

  10. Have been receiving Christian News, but nothing from Jesus First, e-mail or snail mail. Maybe my spam filter is doing its job, too.

  11. @Charles Henrickson #7
    Charels,

    Any delegate–especialy pastors–who have an email address listed with the Synod has their address at Jesus First. I received my first “edition” at the churches email address to which the Synod sends its electronic material and to which the district sends its electronic material. I suppose that soon I will receive things at my personal address as I subscribe to several electronic materisl from the Synod.

  12. Maybe with the publicity from the JerryFirst newsletter sent to the delegates, Rev. Henrickson will get some nominating votes for the next elections. 😉

    As George M. Cohan (1878-1942) once noted: “I don’t care what you say about me, as long as you spell my name right.”

    Or perhaps, Mark Twain (1835-1910): “I don’t mind what the opposition say of me, so long as they don’t tell the truth.”

  13. Just so we are all clear. The synod makes the mailing addresses available to those who ask and are willling to pay for the list. It is not a biased thing.

    TR

  14. @Johannes #15
    It is not a matter of making them available, it is a matter of the fact that anyone can go to the Synod website and make use of email addresses available there.

  15. The complete list of delegates–names and addresses is available from the LCMS for a fee, which I understand is $250. This does not include email addresses.

    j

  16. Charles Henrickson :
    Postal addresses, yes. And those are printed in the Convention Workbook. But what about e-mail addresses?

    Making available the email addresses of those who sign up for LCMS e-news lists would be a violation of their stated privacy policy and, therefore, likely actionable. According to that Privacy Policy, only “affiliated LCMS organizations” are to receive your address or other information. Indeed, the LCMS site says that this policy is “part of our contract with you.”

    If you think that JF–or anyone else–has gotten your email address from LCMS, Inc., I suggest you contact both of them (LCMS and JF) immediately. I think that you’ll find out that they got the email some other way (possibly simply from scraping it off of the public directory at LCMS.org).

    EJG

  17. @Rev. Eric J. Stefanski #25

    > I think that you’ll find out that they got the email some other way (possibly simply from scraping it off of the public directory at LCMS.org).

    EJG,
    How would one get email addresses of all delegates from the LC–MS site?
    Are all delegates church workers that can be found in the directory?
    Just unclear on this.
    Thank you.

  18. If they would like evidence that many of us do in fact dislike K’s character there is plenty out there and well deserved. K and JF have used slimy tactics designed to make it appear that conservatives do not want to do missions. As though only expensive, empty marketing campaigns and dumbing down of Divine Service will do trick. In reality the only lasting mission work is done when we share Christ with those we know. That process seems so unsopisticated to JF, yet it its the very one Christ and the apostles used. Missions is critical but the CONTENT of what we DELIVER in our outreach is even more vital. Theatre seating, cup holders, avoidance of “turn off terms” such as sin, law; serving felt needs while the one true need is unaddressed – all of this is not Jesus First it is pandering in the worst way.

  19. BTW, everything is political but not all politics is open and forthcoming. God would have us practice politics in an open honest manner, of course one must be willing to pay the price for such openness but it is the only Godly way to practice.

  20. mames :If they would like evidence that many of us do in fact dislike K’s character there is plenty out there and well deserved.

    I’m not going to go there with you, mames. I am not making any negative comments about President Kieschnick’s character, nor was I doing so in that comment from two years ago. This election is about President Kieschnick’s performance in office, his restructuring proposals, and about who is better able to lead our synod into the future, Rev. Kieschnick or Rev. Harrison.

    Jesus First wants to avoid those important topics and deflect attention away from them. We need to recognize that those are their tactics, so as to not fall for them. That’s what this particular blog post does; it exposes and discredits Jesus First.

  21. mbw :
    EJG,
    How would one get email addresses of all delegates from the LC–MS site?
    Are all delegates church workers that can be found in the directory?

    One cannot get all delegates edresses from LCMS.org, but one can get all published pastors’ edresses. The comment I was addressing (the one, actually, that Pr. Henrickson was addressing) was from Pr. Sterle, which concerned being put on JF’s list because one was on various synodical email lists; ethically and legally, that can’t happen, and if one thinks that it has happened, he’d do well to investigate other possibilities first, and only then to take it up with the synod’s IT department privately, as these folks (many of whom, no doubt, are not Lutherans) live and die by the marketability of their integrity every bit as much as their programming or design skills, and as a violation could be actionable, so could an unfounded public accusation.

    There are also a number of other ways to get many of the rest of the delegates’ edresses, which wouldn’t take all that long if one had a large enough staff or team of volunteers.

    EJG

  22. I’m not going to go there with you, mames. I am not making any negative comments about President Kieschnick’s character, nor was I

    CH – That’s OK, I am not asking you go there with many of us. Behavior reveals character and dishonest tacticts reveal dishonesty. Openess and honesty are lacking in Pres K.,’ sorry to have to say it. Many have come to realize that he many in fact be of a different spirit.

  23. BJS once sent an email letter to all of the pastors in the LCMS (regarding the Critical News link on the right side of this page). Surely JF is capable of doing the same thing.

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