Rev Matthew Harrison: Audio of “It’s Time” has been released


Rev. Matthew Harrison recorded IT’S TIME: LCMS UNITY AND MISSION.

It is available here for listening. It may be freely distributed .. pass it on to whomever you think needs to hear this.

 

 

[podcast]http://www.itistime.org/media/ITSTIME.mp3[/podcast]


About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Rev Matthew Harrison: Audio of “It’s Time” has been released — 49 Comments

  1. WOW, how out of touch is this man? Our parishes do not confess the age old confessions from Concord. Districts do not quickly and effectively monitor doctrinal and Pastoral abuse issues. American evangelicalism leads the day in congregation after congregation. Jesus “in us” has become the focus rather than a by product of “Jesus for us”. Praise has become primary rather than a response to Law and Gospel. Walther’s view of the church is being derailed everywhere you look. Although our “public” posisition remains the same our practice belies the closed concerns for the Lord’s Supper, cathetics have become watered down by ELCA adopted programs of instruction, Pastors preach with an emphaisis on felt needs rather than on the one thing needful…..and the list does continue. Our “leadership” espouse programs such as PLI, Ablaze and whole hog adoption of Willow Creek approaches. Sure we have much in our heritage that unites us but the heritage is becoming an apendage rather than our backbone.

    Issues of Divine service being replaced by Praise worship, errosion of doctrine and Pastoral abuse are the reason for declined dollars. These are not adiophra. We “need each other” to maintain our doctrinal purity because it requires discipline which has been lost.

    What did Harrison do to those whom he witnessed outside our docrtrine in willful ways?

    Harrison’s resistence to name names is not helpful either. “K” is a problem and to not address his evangelicalism is incompetent at best. I am afraid Harrison is not the man to boldly lead according to the confessions. If this is the best we have in leadership we are in serious trouble.

  2. Mames,

    You wrote, “Harrison’s resistence to name names is not helpful either. “K” is a problem and to not address his evangelicalism is incompetent at best.”

    On the contrary, Pastor Harrison is being a true churchman.

    Far from being out of touch, I would say that Pastor Harrison is acutely aware of the problems in the LCMS. And, what he is calling for is precisely what we should be doing to address and correct them.

    Pastor Harrison is calling for us to do exactly what the formers of the Lutheran Confessions did in their time.

    I respectfully suggest you listen the the audio again.

    TW

  3. another great moderate. Might I suggest that we are Lutherans not Melancthons for a reason. Sometimes churchmanship gets in the way of discipline and doctrine.

  4. I listened twice. I hope Harrison’s attempt is sucessful but we already have the Confesions, we simply need to apply them or not. Discipline or not. Love or turn our heads the other way, as men like “K”, even if they have the best of intentions, lead us to hell, (metaphorically of course).

  5. mames :another great moderate. Might I suggest that we are Lutherans not Melancthons for a reason. Sometimes churchmanship gets in the way of discipline and doctrine.

    Moderation can be a really good thing, in the right areas. Pastor Harrison is no moderate in terms of being a confessional theologian. This, and his strength of character, are what matter. Please don’t be immoderate about this! Also try to get to know him if you can.

  6. mames :Harrison’s resistence to name names is not helpful either. “K” is a problem and to not address his evangelicalism is incompetent at best. I am afraid Harrison is not the man to boldly lead according to the confessions. If this is the best we have in leadership we are in serious trouble.

    If you had someone else in mind, the time to work on that would have been during the congregational nominations period. But now, if you think he’s better than Rev. Kieschnick for the job of leading MO, I urge you to emphasize his best traits. And, if you have concerns, I suggest you write him.

    Blessings.

  7. I’ll keep praying for my confessional brothers in the LCMS. Trying to pull congregations off of non-Lutheran programs like “Ablaze” and getting the parishioners to understand the Biblical reasons for historical, liturgical and confessional Lutheran worship will take some time. It will be almost as difficult as trying to treat a drug addict in a rehab program.

    Pr. Harrison is a great leader. If he does get voted in, I would recommend making some changes to the LCMS doctrine of church and ministry. It appears that if a congregation embraces the false doctrine of church growth, they are allowed to continue. There needs to be a synod wide commitment to Matt. 18, in order to keep the false teaching to a minimum.

    The parishioners and council members need to be educated on what confessional Lutheranism is. This will enable the pastor to be reminded of the fact that he is to be held accountable to the Lurtheran confessions. If the pastor refuses to honor his commitment to his calling as a Lutheran pastor, the council should be able to appeal to the circuit pastor for help. After that, the DP should enact Matt 18. The good confessional folks in the LCMS hopefully, will be able to come up with some ideas that would allow this to happen.

  8. I would not condemn his motives, ever. I do however see no room for any more moderation in the LCMS, that has lead us to inordinate associations with ELCA, american evangelicalism, etc.. It is indeed sad to say that a bulldog in the LCMS has been lacking in our leadership for a long time elst I would be supporting him! 🙂

    I have met my share of moderate churchmen in our Synod and have quite frankly had a belly full of them. Moderation has slowly eaten at our soul and more of it is not the solution. The solution is faithfulness and discipline within our ranks. So many of our leaders and clergy belong in some Willow Creek type setting where they can practice Praise worship, wide open “communion”, accomodate these “miraculous” “seekers” (who seem to be seeking in spite of thier being spiritually blind, dead and enemies of God), women serve as Elders, prayer and worship can be done in unison with every neighborhood church regardless of denomination, parishoners can run for public office and support abortion on demand without threat of being excommunicated, Law and Gospel are muddled beyond distinction, etc.. NO, no more of these.

  9. Lloyd–

    I will let you know how an appeal to our Disrtict works out regarding a highly errant Pastor. So far after a year and a half and two Presidents ( the first one found it too hot and waited out his term and retirement thereby leaving it in the lap for the new President) he remains on our rosters. Believe me having a District President act decisively and quickly or the local council do the same is extemely difficult. We here are not the only parish to have experienced this lack of willingness of one Pastor to discipline one of his errant brothers. I can understand the reticence of some ignorant laymen but not our Districts. In this case if a district solution is not arrive at very soon, look in your local religion section to follow a law suit taken on by a firm, pro bono, who specializes in abusive Pastors allowed to roam free. But don’t get me started…:)

  10. mames # 10: Thanks for filling me in. I know that being in the WELS, we had one church in Arizona that was suspected of getting into CG, and one pastor told me that the pastor that was suspected of CG, was called into the DP’s office almost on a weekly basis as the DP was extremely concerned about it.

    But, this is a case where our DP of Calif.-Arizona hates CG, and he considers it a threat to our synod. All of our DP’s and our SP are pastors. So, they should know false doctrine when they see it.

    I am formerly of the LCMS, and I am now an elder at St. Thomas in Goodyear Arizona. My attitude towards my confessional LCMS brothers and sisters is one of compassion and love in the Lord. My dream and prayer is to have eight or nine strong, confessionally Lutheran synods all in fellowship, and holding each other accountable in matters of doctrine and practice. I believe that all confessional Lutherans would really celebrate this happening!

  11. Added information:

    WELS is in fellowship with ELS and 21 other Lutheran church bodies around the world (CELC).

    I would like to see eight or nine confessionally strong Lutheran synods in the United States as well.

  12. Mames,

    You are misjudging Pastor Harrison. Yes, if you are expecting him to fight your personal battles for you, you probably will be disappointed.

    However, if you want an LCMS President who knows the Confessions, and will urge the pastors and congregations of the LCMS to confess, teach and practice them (and will exercise proper church discipline), then I urge you to reconsider your hasty judgment of Pastor Harrison.

    TW

  13. Naming or not naming names is not emblematic of being a moderate. Nor is being circumspect and measured in how one communicates. I suspect that Harrison would agree with just about every concern mames has voiced. I know I do. But as is often the case, the manner in which these things are dealt with probably needs to be tempered by patience, wisdom, instruction, encouragement and care, rather than execution-style.

    There are those who possess weak-kneed theology and who waft around in the mushy middle to where one cannot pin down what they really think about anything. This is not Harrison. There are others who possess a solid, confessional theology, yet see no reason to be sensitive and tactful in how they communicate their views. This is also not Harrison. Then there are those who hold that same solid theological conviction, and yet are churchmen. I know them and I am sure your readers do too. I think this is Harrison. It is no coincidence that he has done so well as the director of “Human Care.” Ideals and principles should never be compromised, but tactics must often be flexible in order to communicate strong theological ideals and principles in ways people other than theologians can hear and digest. This is a balance that each pastor or even church worker has to cultivate in their own unique circumstances and given their own personalities, and it needs to be done without others sitting in judgment and labeling them as moderates or liberals.

    I will assume that mames is not of the sort that believes that people have no responsibility to monitor and gauge how they interface with others, no matter how correct and truthful they may be. I would disagree with that, at the risk of being called a moderate (I could be called a lot of things, but moderate and liberal would not be the accurate ones). I also think that mames is not being particularly true to Lutheran theology when he seems to voice concern that our synodical president will be far from perfect – as if the perfect synodical president will be able to perfect the synod. Is it just me or is there a bit of theology of glory in this? Perhaps mames would like to reconsider his approach and as Wilken said, not judge so hastily.

    I think Harrison has communicated very responsibly in his article. He probably was not combative or polemical enough for some of our more argumentative Lutherans. But hey, nobody’s perfect.

  14. Pastor Wilken # 13:

    You addressed some of the questions that I had on how Pr. Harrison will address the current situation in the LCMS.

    He looks like a solid theologian and a pastor that is most needed at this time. And his approach would be very good.

  15. I would trust Matthew Harrison to be president of the LCMS. He has “nailed” the problems that exist in the building very specifically. As a former employee there–I used to be amazed at watching the money go “round and round.” I also felt strongly that all of Synod should be abolished except for the executive offices and CTCR. Matt has the right tone for dealing with our people. His insight and historical knowledge help him to truly diagnose our problem areas.

    I think Matt is exactly right that LCMS World Relief should become its own entity and separate from Synod. The Mission dept. needs a complete overhaul–the money that is spent there is tragic considering what is actually being done. I believe our Mission’s operations are hadly effective at all. Look at the numbers of ” missionaries” (and how you can be called a missionary) and programs. If the department ceased to exist, I don’t think anyone would even notice. Parts of the work should be saved. But reworked and repositioned. There is barely a congregational connection at all. World Relief accomplishes much more. (And look how small their department is!)

    Communications should go over to CPH. In fact, it might make more sense that the other Boards go there too, since the majority of their work is in communicating to congregations.

    His emphasis and support of the seminaries is right on. That is where our “Synod” actually resides. That is where the work goes out. Synod spends way too much time and money spinning in circles. I would like to see some effectiveness measured sometime–if it would even be possible, truthfully. As we exist right now, we do look like the government. We need to return, like the government, to being run from the bottom up, not top-down.

  16. @Lloyd I. Cadle #11

    At one time long ago in the 1850-1860, our confessional brothers in the LCMS called the WELS in its liberal state of being to turn from its ways. The WELS did come to doctrinal and practical truth with LCMS help and guidance. No one synod can insulate itself from the sin in our world, whether it be WELS, ELS or LCMS.

    As Lloyd says, we pray for the LCMS and God’s grace being shown to the confessional brothers working in a daily struggle to move to doctrinal and practical ways again. We also should pray for each other as God guides us.

  17. Not to be “maiming mames,” but it is not always necessary to be “naming names.” There may be times for that, yes, but there are other times when it’s better to hold off.

    In reading the Formula of Concord again last year, I was struck by the formulators’ tendency to not name names. Instead, they would say, “A controversy has arisen. One said said this. The other side said this. We’ve worked it though, and here’s what we hold.” Like that. That’s the kind of approach Harrison is advocating in “It’s Time.”

  18. Listening to Pastor Harrison’s description of the trains pulling against themselves is perhaps an apt way of putting the Old Adam struggling with our New Man in Christ. I think that battle will always be there in individuals in the faith. Staying in the Word and Sacraments and understanding our confessional Lutheran doctrine and practices in light of God’s Word will help.

    When the church is under duress is when it prospers. If Pastor Harrison is elected, there will be duress for many LCMS members who hold to church growth, emergence and playing the numbers game. The LCMS may shrink in size, but they will be refined in the trials with a soundness of doctrine and practice that allows God’s grace to be bountiful to the people.

    Perhaps in one respect, WELS can be a bit of a shining beacon by God’s grace. With no doctrinal issues to speak up at last year’s biennial convention, WELS could focus on budgetary issues while maintaining good support for missions and ministerial education. As Lutherans, we are to preach and teach God’s Word into all the world. One of many prayers I pray is the LCMS is able to build up its ministerial education programs to preach and teach sound doctrine and practice and to continue in the mission field as well.

    God bless the LCMS, its confessionally sound brothers and sisters and Pastor Harrison has he prayerfully continues his current and future work for the LCMS.

  19. Perry Lund # 17:

    Very well said. Yes, a few of our pastors in the WELS have commented on how years ago, when we were in fellowship with the LCMS and we were having problems, on how the LCMS pulled us out of our confessional problems.

    We need several strong confessional synods in the U.S. Maybe one day, Pr. Harrison can lead the LCMS to break fellowship with groups like ELCA, and we may be in fellowship again.
    A strong, confessional leader like Pr. Harrison can go along way towards making that happen.

    I’m in a hurry; on my way to the Diamondbacks game. Our WELS high schoolers are singing the national anthem! Go Diamondbacks!

  20. Folks,
    We’ve seen the nominations numbers this week… not the election numbers!
    We hope they’ll be the same.

    However, this is not the time to knock Harrison for what you think he might or might not do if elected.
    “mames” should consider whether he’s so well off under the present administration that he can afford to undermine the alternate possibility!

    All together now: Matt Harrison for SP!

  21. @mames #9

    I had two conversations with Matt Harrison at the 2007 Convention. They were both rather brief, but if you had been there with us, you would not be saying the things you’ve said here. Harrison’s just the right man right now.

    Johannes

  22. @Lloyd I. Cadle #20

    Lloyd, I can only watch the WELS Choral fest streaming online. But its was nice Friday night. Watching Martin Luther College’s Chapel of the Christ dedication ceremony tonight in New Ulm, MN over streaming and then choral concert tomorrow night in Arizona. WOW. Crazy weekend.

  23. Yes, we all probably would secretly like to see a hatchet job, but is this Christian love? For example, say you are a pastor and are called to a parish that allows females to assist in lay readings and in the distribution. You could walk in there with a “kick butt and take names” attitude and say, “Okay guys, here I am. This is over. My way or the highway.”

    I would argue that the loving way to handle the problem would be to educate the parish (and especially the elders) as to why this practice is not congruent with Scripture and our confessions. If the parish continues to resist, then perhaps the “iron fist” approach would be required (and you better have your resume current, as firing pastors, or merely stopping their paychecks, is popular these days).

    If things don’t go well in July, the “other side” will likely treat us with the “iron fist.” I am as confessional, liturgical, and high-church as they come, but Christian love is in order. This is why I believe Pastor Harrison would do a fine job of leading us back to our historic roots and do so in a firm, yet loving way. After a period of intense education of the laity in a spirit of Christian love, the “other side” is then free to leave if they remain unrepentant.

    Quick, don the flak jackets.

  24. @boogie #24

    Boogie, you said a mouthful.

    Based on my experience at conventions, and first-hand reports from other venues, the present administration is well acquainted with the methods you quite properly eschew. And a PoliticsFirst leader, who is also a pastor, was responsible for the “Scarlet Letter” hung around the necks of several nominees for the synod’s BOD in 2007. Enough, already!

    You got it right.

    Johannes

  25. Mames,

    You’ve really proven your ignorance when you questioned Harrison’s leadership abilities. Learn some more about him. Go to his blog. Look at his track record at World Relief. Read his books. Harrison is a true leader. The only reason I would hesitate to elect him SP for one split-second is because it would mean he would have to step out of the leadership position he’s so effectively filled for the last so many years. But that very able and Christian leadership is exactly what the synod needs at this time.

    It’s Time.

  26. @johannes #25
    You must be bald from pulling your hair out at the conventions. I was approached about being the lay delegate for my circuit this year, but I didn’t want to get the “trouble-maker” label as a potential sem student. I know too many guys that have been “erased” from the call list because they were politically active on the cranky Lutheran side.

    Are you a delegate this year? If so, you better double up on the flak jackets. Maybe you will score some points with “Missional Maroon.”

  27. Pastor Wilkin,

    I am bouyed to hear that Harrison is in fact confessional and will exercise discipline in doctrine and practice. I don’t expect him to fight my personal battles, in fact the battle our congregation is engaged in is not my personal battle at all. In fact all I expect is faithfulness which is currently not happening. If he DOES then we will first go through a period of disunity before unity occurs. The reality is that last time we went through this the liberals walked away on thier own and saved us the process of “sorting them out”. This time around we are not weeding out liberals but american evangelicals and the exesses of CG, it will be more protracted and require all the tenacity God will give us. May He grant us such tenacity because no matter how lovingly, no matter how moderately we engage this process we will hear cries of “foul” and “how can they be so cruel”, “how can they not want to grow” etc.. We here have heard it all and have in fact gone from determined suspension of judgement to delivering the hard facts in hard terms and no one is ever happy to be correctecd. So I do pray for this kind of love and teacity. I will wait to see how he ACTS once in office.

  28. @boogie #27

    Boogie–no I’m not a delegate this year. I was honored to serve in 2001, 2004, 2007–that is enough. For all you first-time delegates, prepare for the “snow job”. There’s tons of stuff to digest. Although I had studies the issues in ’01, and thought I knew the candidates, it was tough. 2004 went a lot better, altho the results of the convention were not all that good. At the risk of beating a dead horse, the spin, antics, and shenanigans of PoliticsFirst were patently offensive. They will flood you with lots of slick, law-centered, power-driven, CG-oriented literature. Read it carefully, then come to this site for a translation. But if you want to see how to run a convention to suit your own ends our SP is a master–he will control it from beginning to end–he’ll give you a clinic.
    I’m sure you can be a delegate without being “cranky.” And you don’t have to be “political” to be a good delegate. You should only speak to the convention once, anyways, and you only two minutes at the most. If you get the chance again, you should do it.

    @mames #28

    mames–some good thinking. You are right on most counts–I would take issue with your “weeding out” characterization. And it is not just American Evangelicals and CG-ophiles that are messing things up. You’re not going to correct 50 years of poor catechesis overnight.

    Johannes

  29. You’re not going to correct 50 years of poor catechesis overnight.

    Bingo, johannes. That is why it is not realistic to think that electing Harrison president is going to “fix” the synod overnight. Nor is it realistic to think that the synod as a whole is going to correct all of its problems, by such and such a date, or that’s it. It’s not that easy.

  30. For more insight into how Pr. Harrison will proceed-check his blog entry titled”Is the LCMS a pseudo-community?” Great STUFF.

  31. As many of our ladies have said to me , “we can start with some real men of God, some strong honest and tenacious men instead of the whimps we have been living with.” 50 years of poor cathethics is a symtom, not the problem. The toleration of bad stuff is far outside our supposed confessions. We now have a “walk all over the place” rather than a “walk together”. What we need is honesty and if some among us want to walk an evangelical unadulterated CG path let them go, don’t hang on to them and spend needless time trying to convince them otherwise. Do we not have Chistian friends in other denominations that we would not allow into our Synod and yet we remain on loving terms? Our confessions are very clear, ‘not that complicated, ‘either adhere or leave. This is not a matter of polemics in fact a strident approach is not concerned with petty politics. It is a matter of strident faithfulness. I cannot tell you the number of times we have seen leadership soft peddle in the face of evangelicalism forcefulness. It is shameful and makes one squirm to see this kind of spineless support for our confessions. If one gently confronts a Pastor for allowing open communion, preaching sactification and to felt needs instead of Law and Gospel, EPIC or emergent “church”… you will see either the most strident, in your face rebuttal or a cowardly empty defense. These are not the Pastors I grew up loving and respecting for thier “stubborness” for God’s word and our confessions. I pray at the very least Harrison will be that kind of strident leader. We must get used to seeing a few feelings hurt when the truth is spoken in love because often no matter how it is delivered the truth stings. We have become analogous to the republicans, all form and little substance. Do we not want to stand for anything? Going into an LCMS church is like a box of chocolates and I kinda preferred the uniformity of my Synod to the one that is now so absent an identity.

  32. Perry Lund #23:

    We had 400 of our WELS Choral fest high schoolers singing the national anthem last night at the Diamondbacks game.

    I bring this up to encourage Pr. Harrison that the young kids love the old Lutheran Hymns. There is no need to teach the kids contemporary music garbage in a Lutheran church.

    How would I know this? I have an eight year old daughter and two 14 year old teens. Yes, they enjoy secular music outside of the church. But, when they are in the church, they love and sing the old (although they never really get old) hymns. In fact, the young kids in our church think that contemporary music in the church is “wierd and un-Biblical.”

    If Pr. Harrison gets voted in, please teach the young kids the old Lutheran hymns. They will love them, and they will be singing the sound theology into their hearts. That alone may clean up about 90% of the mess in the LCMS–over a period of time.

    KIDS LOVE THE OLD LUTHERAN HYMNS, IF THEY ARE TAUGHT THEM!!!!

  33. Folks, I really like what I have heard of Pr. Harrison on Issues, Etc. He is what is needed in the LCMS at this time. However, mames # 32 makes some great arguments that should apply to all synods, not just the LCMS.

    I agree with what mames says about wasting a lot of time on CG folks. In all synods, if the CG folks don’t want or believe in historical, confessional, liturgical Lutheranism, please leave, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!!

    It is better to have a church with 40 confessional Lutherans being taught the Law and the Gospel and the proper administration of the sacraments, then a church with 1,000 being taught the false doctrine of CG.

    We are Lutherans, not Pentacostal, Methodists, or Baptists. Enough is enough! Lutherans; stand up for the truth of God’s Word as defined in our Lutheran confessions!!

  34. Lloyd I. Cadle :
    Folks, I really like what I have heard of Pr. Harrison on Issues, Etc. He is what is needed in the LCMS at this time. However, mames # 32 makes some great arguments that should apply to all synods, not just the LCMS.
    I agree with what mames says about wasting a lot of time on CG folks. In all synods, if the CG folks don’t want or believe in historical, confessional, liturgical Lutheranism, please leave, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!!
    It is better to have a church with 40 confessional Lutherans being taught the Law and the Gospel and the proper administration of the sacraments, then a church with 1,000 being taught the false doctrine of CG.
    We are Lutherans, not Pentacostal, Methodists, or Baptists. Enough is enough! Lutherans; stand up for the truth of God’s Word as defined in our Lutheran confessions!!

    I’m afraid that “just leaving” will never be that simple. The CG’ers have been tolerated, coddled, and too often encouraged for too long. In addition, they have the advantage of “infrastructure” – buildings, clientele/congregants that have become like the frog in boiling water – they’ve gotten so used to a new style of Lutheranism that they think they ARE Lutheran, and confessionals are the ones in error.
    It will indeed be a struggle, but I hope we are up for the challenge.

  35. @mames #32

    @Lloyd I. Cadle #34

    @jim_claybourn #35

    Interesting thread. If you read “Funding the Mission” by our hand-picked group of synodocrats, you’ll see that VP David Buegler, who wrote most of it, invited anyone who didn’t like the task force’s point of view to leave the synod. No niceties, just a somewhat churchese that said (being translated) “If you don’t like what we’re doing, we’d like you to leave. Don’t let the door hit you in the backside on the way out.”

    That’s how PoliticsFirst handles things (Buegler is a member), all their “Gospel-centered, etc” talk notwithstanding.

    I’m not advocating a house-cleaning, but it IS instructive to see how PoliticsFirst (and their fellow-travelers) goes about things. And SP treated adversarial BOD members and others pretty much the same way. Ask Eddie Balfour, Todd Wilkin, and Martin Noland, among others.

    Just ruminating….

    Johannes

  36. @johannes #36

    “If you don’t like what we’re doing, we’d like you to leave. Don’t let the door hit you in the backside on the way out.” Buegler (but also anyone from PoliticsFirst)

    Members of that group have been saying “We won. Why don’t you leave?” ever since August 2001.

    They aren’t going anywhere. They didn’t leave in ’73 and they won’t now.

  37. Helen:

    You don’t have to ask the CG folks to leave. The pastors have to have the guts to implement historical, confessional, liturgical Lutheran worship, and let the chips fall where they may.

    In fact, you may even hug ’em, be sweet, sweet and hospitable to them. Many will just leave on their own. And, there may not even be too many hard feelings either.

    But, it requires the SP, DP’s and the pastors and council members to be commited to the task.

  38. Attn: Pr. Harrison:

    It may not be much; but here is an idea: If you get voted in as LCMS SP, have the confessional pastors on John the Steadfast create a four week curriculum type of course and work book for the CG churches in your synod.

    In the instruction course, use the Bible and our Lutheran confessions to teach the laity and council members on why the LCMS is going back to the Biblical teaching of God’s Word, as defined in our Lutheran confessions.

    This may be a firm but polite way of making the changes.

    That’s my two cents worth!

  39. @Lloyd I. Cadle #40
    But, it requires the SP, DP’s and the pastors and council members to be commited to the task.

    Then besides a new SP, we need more than a few new DP’s, preferably without PLI credentials. CG/CW came in from the top down, Lloyd; the pewsitters didn’t invent it!

    In Texas, I have watched a half dozen Pastors put on the street because they were confessional.
    During the same period, a “polo shirt and slacks” type preacher was asked by his Elders to use Lutheran liturgy and vest appropriately for at least one service. The DP very promptly came in, told the preacher he didn’t have to do it, and suggested that the Elders vacate their offices, and preferably, their membership. They did.
    So you see, the District (which did nothing to defend any of the men unjustly put out of their Office) could act when it chose.

    Matt Harrison needs our prayers, starting last week at least, if you didn’t a lot earlier.

    [Yohannes, is that flak jacket waterproof, too?]

  40. Helen, I’ve been given to understand that flak jackets are out and kevlar is in. I wondered why sales were so slow.

    You’ve mentioned the pastoral house-cleaning before on BJS. It’s hard to fathom. Unreal. Tragic.

    You are spot on re: prayers for Harrison.

    Johannes

  41. Every time I hear someone say what good solid confessional Pastors we are (or is that “were”) graduating, (“our hope to renew Missouri”) I reflect on the obstacle course they have to run, before and after seminary. More than 10 years ago, I was told that “Save Our Synod” boys (i.e., confessional Lutherans) were discouraged by our local Concordia from going to seminary!

    I’m given to understand the ‘removals’ happen up in Minnesota, too. I know personally of two instances in Missouri and one in Arkansas. And I only know a few pastors in this synod!

    I’d apologize for beating that drum too often, but I don’t think I can. Those ousted get replaced, too! Apparently the “replacements” never read Luther on the sin of “taking another man’s living”! That the congregations never read Luther, I can understand. They haven’t read their catechisms lately….
    END OF RANT!

  42. Consider that none of those men, removed in the last three years, are around to vote in the next convention or to influence those who do. It probably works better than “exceptions” because people don’t blame lcms inc. Instead they say, “Well, he must have done something wrong.” (That excuses them from protesting, lest they be next.)

  43. Helen:

    I’ll keep praying. There are a lot of great confessional Lutheran leaders in the LCMS, and I know that God will give them the wisdom to make the right decisions. It sure is a mess, to say the least.

  44. @Lloyd I. Cadle #20

    We need several strong confessional synods in the U.S. Maybe one day, Pr. Harrison can lead the LCMS to break fellowship with groups like ELCA, and we may be in fellowship again.
    A strong, confessional leader like Pr. Harrison can go along way towards making that happen.

    Why did this not happen under President Al Barry?

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