2010 LCMS Convention Resolution 7-02

This is another in our series of resolutions to the 2010 Synod Convention, posted here to allow for discussion. If you have a comment on a specific resolution, see our Resolutions page. If the one you want to discuss is not yet posted, please contact us and we will add the resolution to start discussion.

To Affirm Ecclesiastical Supervision
RESOLUTION 7-02 (starting at line 28)

Overtures 7-12–16 (CW, pp. 214–217)
Report to the Convention—Floor Committee 7
(as required by Bylaw [c])

The following documents will be referenced in the following report, which satisfies the requirement of Bylaw (c) regarding overtures considered by the floor committee that “seek to overrule” opinions of the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM):

CCM Opinions 02-2296; 02-2309; 02-2320; 03-2338; 03-2338A; 03-2338C
Board of Directors Response to CCM Opinions
2004 Res. 7-02A
2007 Res. 8-10
CCM Opinion 09-2570
Commission on Theology and Church Relations Response to 2007 Res. 8-10
2010 Report of the President, Part II


Overtures 7-12 through 7-16 request that the convention overrule CCM Opinion 02-2309 and other related opinions dealing with ecclesiastical supervision and expulsion of a member who, when performing his or her official duties, follows the advice and counsel of the ecclesiastical supervisor designated by the Synod. Pursuant to Bylaw (c), the floor committee has considered these overtures and provides this report with recommendations for appropriate action.

((( There is a lot of history that I have not duplicated here; read it in Today’s Business )))


Resolution 7-02

WHEREAS, The convention has received the report of Floor Committee 7 (Bylaw [c]) related to challenges to CCM Opinion 02-2309 and related opinions; and

WHEREAS, CCM Opinion 02-2309 and other related opinions, as well as the report of the CTCR (2007 Res. 8-10), explain the covenants of membership and the process of ecclesiastical supervision in the Synod’s Constitution and Bylaws; and

WHEREAS, The convention honors the genuine concern expressed by individuals, congregations, circuits and districts of the Synod regarding the CCM opinions in question and desires to resolve this matter in a responsible and God-pleasing fashion; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Synod affirm its commitment to provide to each of its members at all times appropriate ecclesiastical supervision and counsel in accordance with Holy Scripture and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod; and be it further

Resolved, That the Synod affirm its responsibility to supervise and hold accountable the ecclesiastical supervisors which it puts in place by exercising ecclesiastical discipline where necessary, for the protection of the members of the Synod and also for the protection of the Synod itself; and be it finally

Resolved, That the Synod affirm that CCM Opinion 02-2309 and related opinions should not have been and shall never be misunderstood to grant immunity to any member of the Synod, or to allow such member to act with impunity, or to give permission to act contrary to the Holy Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, the Constitution, or the Bylaws of our beloved Synod.

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.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


2010 LCMS Convention Resolution 7-02 — 7 Comments

  1. This was one of my favorites. I read that last resolved as, “Therefore be it resolved that CCM Opinion 02-2309 should not interpreted to say what the text says it says, but we’re going to affirm this opinion rather than overturn it.” Utterly laughable if it weren’t so sad.

  2. Resolution 7-02 (TB, p. 118ff) is another resolution that needs to be defeated.

    This resolution seeks to approve previous CCM 2001-2003 opinions on ecclesiastical supervision which were declared null and void by the BOD in November, 2003, which, in turn, was overruled by the 2004 convention [Yes: 654; No: 541, with those opposing the resolution entering their votes in the record]. (It would be worthwhile to get the names of those opposed and identify the remaining delegates who did not record their negative vote.)

    A 2007 convention vote referred the issue to the CTCR for consideration. In Feb, 2010, the CTCR stated there was no theological objections to the past CCM opinions on ecclesiastical supervision.

    The controversial CCM opinions claim that a synodical member who commits acts of unionism, syncretism, and other heretical activities has immunity if the synodical member first got approval from the appropriate ecclesiastical supervisor (e.g., DP, SP).

    One would think such aberrant opinions would have been discredited after the failed coverup and resulting catastrophe, caused when Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, and other Lutheran theologians gave their “ecclesiastical supervisional” approval in 1839 to the bigamous marriage of Philip of Hesse. The CCM should also recall that such “Nuremberg Defense” excuses didn’t fly very far in 1945-46.

    Furthermore, the way the CCM ‘plan’ works, if made aware that his advise was wrong, the ecclesiastical supervisor (ES) is to correct the wrong. However, in its Opinion 04-2379, the CCM admitted that it is the Synod in convention who need to make sure the ES provides the correction, but as to how the synod delegates in convention would find out whether or not any correction has occurred, the CCM stated: “There is no provision in the Constitution, Bylaws, and resolutions of the Synod that addresses this issue.”

    And the CTCR now states they can’t find any theological objections about all of this?!

    Resolution 7-02 should be defeated and the CCM opinions rejected.

  3. If an act is in fact contrary to Article XIII of the Constitution, the member who acted cannot be charged 10 since he or she acted according to the advice of his or her ecclesiastical supervisor. It should be noted, 11 however, that when an ecclesiastical supervisor discovers error in his counsel, it is incumbent upon that 12 supervisor to correct or amend it. The member should then be held to consider the corrected counsel. 13 Failure to consider such amended admonition could form the basis for disciplinary action as provided in 14 Article XIII. [Opinion 02-2309 (CW, p. 250)]

    This extract from the CCM opinion is a glaring example of the consequences of RES 8-01A of the 2004 convention ” Dispute Resolution and Ecclesiastical Supervision”.

    ” If an act is in fact contrary to Article XIII of the Constitution,”, how can a Lutheran not know he/she is acting contrary to this Article of the Constitution?

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

    As this first paragraph of Article 13 states any Lutheran should know how she/he is violating his/her confession of doctrine and practice, as a living faith in Christ, guided by the Word of God and the Confessions would and should keep a member from gross violations of same.

    And how can an Ordained Ecclesiastical Supervisor, such as a District President, who has been Ordained and in the Ministry, how long?, before becoming District President not know what is a violation of the Article and Article 2 as well.

    “11 however, that when an ecclesiastical supervisor discovers error in his counsel, it is incumbent upon that 12 supervisor to correct or amend it.”

    You mean when Pres. kieschnick realized that his advice to District President Behnke to participate, and even first encouraged him to do so, in the 911 Worship Service at Yankee Stadium, in a blasphemous attempt to declare that the Trinity is the same God all heathens worship as well as Moslems. You mean that mistake was realized and repented of?

    It is a carte blanche get out of jail provision for all District Presidents not to be held accountable to Scripture and our Confessions.

    We must repeal Res 80-1A of the 2004 Convention from which these CCM Opinions arose, and continue to circumvent our whole Faith and Confesson.

  4. This thread proves the adage that “The Law is not your friend.” It is pointing an accusing finger at those who have ignored its strictures for the past several years.

    Carl’s suggestion that this Res. be defeated AND the offending CCM opinion rejected is sound advice. Would that the delegates have the intestinal fortitude and intellectual acumen to do just that.

    I still say this has all the earmarks of a potential first-class donneybrook. It is a watershed convention, and the stakes could not be higher. Pray for everyone who attends, especially our leaders and our delegates.


  5. Just thinking what Martin Luther did to his ecclesiastical supervisor, and what in turn his ecclesiastical supervisor attempted to do to him. If not for the princes….

  6. Martin Luther’s ecclesiastical supervisor (father-confessor) was Dr. Johann von Staupitz, Vicar-General of the Augustinian Order in Germany. Staupitz sympathized with Luther’s complaints of Roman abuses, urged Luther to pursue advanced academic studies, and eventually released Luther from the Augustinian Order, though Staupitz himself remained with the Roman Church.

    Later the pope demanded Staupitz revoke the heresies of Luther, which he refused to do, claiming he had never asserted the heresies of Luther. Before his death in 1524 Staupitz wrote to Luther on his bitterness about the direction of the Reformation.

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