Press Release from the United List

RELEASE DATE: May 18, 2010

The “United List” announces its recommendations for the following offices of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS):

Synodical President:

  • Rev. Matthew Harrison of Ballwin, Missouri

First Vice-President:

  • Rev. Herbert Mueller, Jr. of Waterloo, Illinois

Second through Fifth Vice-Presidents:

  • Rev. John Wohlrabe of Geneseo, Illinois
  • Rev. David Adams of Fenton, Missouri
  • Rev. Daniel Preus of Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Rev. Scott Murray of Houston, Texas
  • Rev. Wallace Schulz of Augusta, Missouri

The offices listed will be filled at the upcoming convention of the LCMS in July 2010.

Since 1998 the “United List” has served the congregations of the LCMS who seek to be faithful to the synod’s constitution and confessions. It has done this by recommending candidates who uphold the synod’s constitution and confessions, who are impeccably ethical, and who have proven themselves in every way for service to the Lutheran church.

 

 

The United List can be found at theUnitedList.org

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

Press Release from the United List — 27 Comments

  1. That’s a good list. All good men.

    By the way, I notice that for Second through Fifth Vice-Presidents, four slots, there are five names listed. This gives delegates the option of picking the four they think would be best, with a fifh name providing an “alternate,” depending on how the balloting goes. In other words, if the voting goes to multiple ballots, and one of these names has a better chance than another, they can go with the one more likely to be elected.

  2. CJ :When was the last time the “United List” slate was elected?

    In 2007, John Wohlrabe was elected Third Vice-President. In 2001 and 2004, a couple of other vice-presidents (including Daniel Preus as First Vice-President) were elected.

    But I think it’s time for the Jesus First/Kieschnick candidates to sit on the bench for a while and let some others take a turn. And these candidates recommended by the United List would do a good job.

  3. CJ :I like your optimism, Pr. Henrickson. Afraid I lost mine after ‘04.

    I would call it realism, this time, to say these candidates can win. I think we are in better shape, in terms of nominations, delegates, and candidates, than we’ve been the last couple of times. Jesus First “ran the table” last time, but with narrow margins overall. Their hegemony is a mile wide and an inch deep.

  4. “And these candidates recommended by the United List would do a good job.”
    If I could pick my ‘dream team’ for synodical officers, this would pretty much be it.
    Might even include you on there…

  5. Wouldn’t it have been better to select people with less (for lack of a better term) “electoral baggage”? (specifically in reference to Prs. Preus and Schulz)

  6. For the first time in a long time it seems to me the name “United List” may actually be true. The confessional/conservative majority of our Synod has routinely divided themselves out of office.

  7. John Klieve : The confessional/conservative majority of our Synod has routinely divided themselves out of office.

    What is your evidence for that “myth”? I contend we lost the last couple times not because we were divided but rather because (in this order of importance) a) we didn’t have enough delegates, b) we were running against an incumbent, and c) our candidate was not strong/appealing enough. This time, though, I think we are better on all three scores: a) we did a better job of getting delegates elected at the circuit forums, b) people have grown increasingly tired of this incumbent, and c) we have a strong and appealing candidate.

  8. It is a much stronger possibility that this slate will win over the “Jesus first” slate due to the reasons CH mentioned above and also because I have seen a serious concern for a return to confessionalism not seen in a while among laymen. So many do not want to see the LCMS leave them. Harrison’s approach to a rebuild using our founder’s model along with solid, cosistent discipline around concord as a legitmate way to weed out. We want unity based on our confessions not just unity around “Jesus first”. Of course our confessions are in fact Jesus First and not just in name only. UNlike K most of us see doctrine as anything but a secondary issue.

    Off the subject. I spent some time with an AOG pastor who has just finished the Book Of Concord and he is highly enthused about what he has read. He was encouraged to read it by a man from the newly Christian group from the former cult, Armstrong church of god in CA. We have such a treasure in these confessions.

  9. Charlie-
    I would disagree a bit. In ’07 we had a strong and appealing candidate; he did get elected to the Vice Presidency.

  10. @The Rev. BT Ball #11

    Ben, my comment was that our candidates were not strong/appealing **enough**. And I was speaking politically. Certainly I have the highest admiration for those men, and I thought they would have done a fine job in the office. But, for example, our candidate last time was not well-known in the synod, and there was almost no effort to get delegates, nominations, etc., for him.

    This time our candidate **is** well-known, he oozes “charisma” (again, politically), and delegates, nominations, etc., look a lot better.

  11. Charles, I forgot that I am getting old and the context for my statement goes back 25 years. A) Walter Maier II regularly took a block of votes from the conservative slate often it was just enough to keep the nominee acceptable to both the conservative/ confessional from victory. B) During the Bohlmann years there was confusion as the conservatives were seeing a (then) young new kind of LCMS Pastor, the conservatives wore suit and tie these new guys whore clerical collars and called themselves Confessional Lutherans. At the Wichita there was confusion on the floor of the convention because the ranks of the young “confessional” pastors were growing but they were unaware of the strategies of the conservatives. In those days Balance called the conservative shots. At the Wichita convention the “Confessional groups” began. They were look at with suspicion by Affirm/Balance group. C) Because of the confessional and conservative were not working together and because the conservative/confessional vote was often split three ways (Confessional Groups, Balance/Affirm, and Christian News) a unified list was proposed and established. We elected Kieschnick because in spite of a United List the conservative/confessional vote was divided between those supporting Wenthe and those supporting Daniel Preus, had the confessional/conservative block held together I believe they would have won on the first ballot. D) Since the election of Kieschnick the confessional/conservative block has been unified because of Kieschnick and the United List just announced appears to be truly a list that can win the day because the confessional/conservative ranks appear to be on the same page.

    As far as “we didn’t have enough delegated” this is an old argument it is not the lack of delegates but the lack of Lutherans that has defeated us. Besides the delegates in all the conventions tended to became more “confessional” as the convention went on.

  12. Did you see President Kieschnick’s most recent letter to LCMS pastors (May 2010). His first two points are the importance of “Doctrinal agreement” and “Unity – Concord – Harmony”

    Looks like he is stealing Matthew Harrison’s platform.

  13. Wouldn’t it have been better to select people with less (for lack of a better term) “electoral baggage”? (specifically in reference to Prs. Preus and Schulz)

    Dan (#7), there’s no need for you to lack a better term than “electoral baggage.” Try “Christian orthodoxy,” “confessional integrity,” “Lutheran commitment,” “vocational responsibility,” “being a servant of the Word,” upholding the vows made at one’s baptism, confirmation, and ordination,” “opposing the heresies of district and synodical officials,” or “exposing spiritual pimps and whoremongers within the Missouri Synod.”

    Thus it couldn’t be better than to select men who have demonstrated the courage to take such actions and positions; and, likewise, to oppose those who denigrate these men for their principles.

  14. John Klieve : We elected Kieschnick because in spite of a United List the conservative/confessional vote was divided between those supporting Wenthe and those supporting Daniel Preus, had the confessional/conservative block held together I believe they would have won on the first ballot.

    Not really. First of all, in 2001, some supporting Wenthe, some supporting Preus did not “lose it.” After Preus’s name dropped off, every single one of his votes–every one–went to Wenthe.

    It was after the first ballot, when Hartwig dropped off, and 20 of his votes migrated over to the Kieschnick-Muchow side and stayed there–that is how we eventually lost by 18 votes on the fourth and final ballot.

    Keep in mind, the Jesus First side itself was “divided” when they won in 2001. They put forward both Kieschnick and Muchow. But they kept ballot discipline, and when Muchow dropped off, all of his votes went to Kieschnick.

    These things happen when you have a ballot of five. The key is to unitedly support the guy with the best chance to win after “your guy” drops off.

    This time, though, I don’t think think there will be much if any diffusion, even on the first ballot. Everyone realizes it’s going to be either Harrison or Kieschnick, and virtually 100% of the votes on the first ballot will go to one of those two.

  15. Rev. Henrickson is correct. Confessional delegates did not switch their votes to the liberal candidate when their “favorite son” candidate was eliminated in subsequent balloting. But that is the fairy tale that has been told since then around every convention time.

    Unless the goal is to elect a pacifying, feel-good synodical president, emotionally appealing to both sides of the orthodox/hererodox fence, the convention reality is that the majority of delegates need to be confessional rather than ‘Us1sters, CGM/CW groupies, or ecumenical epicureans.

    This year will be simpler with only two main distinct nominees; the election will likely be decided on the first ballot.

  16. The question in 2001 was *why* 20 Hartwig votes went to Kieschnick instead of Wenthe. And that is a complicated question–*many* factors went into that, I’m sure. It may be the last vestiges of what was described as happening at Wichita–the “old conservatives” not quite trusting Ft. Wayne and Wenthe, and not realizing what Kieschnick would really mean for synod.

    To know for sure, We’d have to find out who those 20 were, and straight out ask them (assuming they haven’t “fallen asleep” ala 1st Cor. 15).
    Anyway, it’s an interesting question to ask, but Pastor Henrickson has summarized the important points for our situation *today* quite well.

    Most importantly, we have in this list above, *outstanding* men, theologically deep and administratively talented, who will serve well and who really have an excellent prospect of *beginning* to get us as a synod back on a unified track. Every time I have contact with Matt Harrison, I can’t help praying that our dear Lord would grant that he have the opportunity to lead our synod, precisely for the Gospel’s sake.

  17. Charlie it truly saddens me that you would pick a argument with brother Klieve when all he was doing was giving congrats for a job well done. And yes I know that the job is not finished, the 3 day commercial before the vote, truly bothers me, as those who are on the fence or blow in the wind will be swayed the wrong way. So, rather than picking an argument with someone one the right side accept the congrats and lets keep working. I too believe that there is a conservative majority, that often splinters three ways. I just wished we would stop trying to mark our territory, because that’s what continues to splinter our unity in Christ.

  18. Joseph Fisher : Charlie it truly saddens me that you would pick a argument with brother Klieve. . . .

    Joe, I was not trying to “pick an argument” with our good brother, I was merely explaining, since the subject was raised, what happened at the 2001 election, as the numbers bear out. That’s all.

    But that’s not our focus now. Like you and Brother Klieve, I am glad that we all seem to be on the same page going into this convention.

    Oh, and John Klieve, you are by no means unloved! And I heartily concur with your “bottom line”: “. . . the United List just announced appears to be truly a list that can win the day because the confessional/conservative ranks appear to be on the same page.”

  19. Regarding “electoral baggage,” perhaps you forget that Daniel Preus was elected 1st Vice-President of the LCMS, and Wallace Schulz also has served as a Synodical Vice-President. So, even from a practical standpoint they have exceptional qualifications and have shown an ability to be elected to these national offices of Synod.

    Since these experienced men were among those nominated by the congregations of Synod–a new process this year–it would surely be unwise to pass them over for these offices. For if Matthew Harrison is perhaps elected Synodical President, what a blessing it would be for him to have several previously experienced Vice-Presidents to serve with him. And likewise for the incumbent if he is re-elected.

  20. I understand why they were nominated (given the nominations numbers) and I believe Preus and Schulz are fine confessional leaders.

    My point is simply that if Matt Harrison is supposed to represent a turning of the synodical page away from the past 10 years, I am of the opinion that it would be wise to have nominated men to serve as Vice Presidents who are untouched by the politics of the past decade (especially Yankee Stadium & David Benke).

    Harrison is represented as a different kind of candidate for Synod President, not so easy to tar and feather as some kind of right wing fanatic (as my district leadership prefers to call us) and all the usual rhetoric that goes along with that (anti-mission, etc.)

    The biggest fear being promulgated by Jerry Kieschnick and his supporters in Jesus First/Daystar is that Matt Harrison is a creature of the Herman Otten wing of the LCMS…and, that if the right is given power again, they will use that power to “go after” people like Dave Benke…which is what they think was happening with Yankee Stadium. You know, the old “No Room in the Brotherhood” theme.

    Dan

  21. “The biggest fear being promulgated by Jerry Kieschnick and his supporters in Jesus First/Daystar is that Matt Harrison is a creature of the Herman Otten wing of the LCMS”

    Since the convention is in Texas let me quote an old Texas proverb: “That dog won’t hunt.”

  22. Greetings to all in our Triune God on this Pentecost!

    Although this is slightly off-topic, it certainly pertains to how we view missions in light of the leadership that our delegates will choose with God’s guidance.

    Our sermon today focused on Acts 2, of course, but brought up a point pertaining to today’s LCMS. Acts 2:41 tells us that about 3,000 received Faith through Word and Sacrament. How many people were present there? 10,000? 100,000? I have no idea of the number, but would ONLY 3,000 have been considered a success by today’s Ablaze missional standards? Were there “critical moments,” decisions made for Christ, or people running around bragging about to whom they presented the Gospel? No, those 3,000 were passively received into Christ’s Kingdom through preaching and the application of water.

    Acts 2:40 is misleading in the English renderings (with the NASB being the only exception that I am aware of), because the Greek says that our Salvation is passive. It’s not “save yourselves,” but “be saved.” This is important as we errantly attempt to blend in with American Evangelical Protestantism.

    This is especially critical in how we view missions and the leadership that will be elected in July. Do we want to be like the (Ana)Baptist/Methodist/Pentecostal/Megachurch parish down the road that focuses on what WE do; or do we want to remain true to Scripture and our historic Lutheran roots in recognizing that we “poor, miserable sinners” are saved only and entirely by God’s Mercy? Is God failing if our little Lutheran parish doesn’t grow in numbers or dollars because “itching ears” are not getting what they want? Was Pentecost a failure?

    May God’s Will be done in July.

    In Christ,

    boogie

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