2010 LCMS Convention Resolution 8-29

There has been quite a lot of controversy about this resolution — changing the “why we exist” part of the constitution. 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 Amend Article II of the Constitution

TF Report (CW TFR, p. 21); TF Report (CW TFR, p. 1.1); Overture 8-14–16 (CW, pp. 225–227)

WHEREAS, The Constitution of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod articulates why we exist, what we believe, and how we govern ourselves; and

WHEREAS, The current Constitution does not clearly state how we are saved, that it is only through faith in Jesus Christ, the second person of the Triune God, through which we receive forgiveness of our sins, eternal life, and salvation (John 3:16–18; 1 John 2:2; Acts 4:2); and

WHEREAS, We desire to be clear in our confession, using language that is consistent with our confessional documents and easily understandable to the world while not changing the substance of our current Constitution; and

WHEREAS, The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synodical Structure and Governance received feedback from the thousands of delegates at the 2009 district conventions, with 83 percent of respondents either agreeing strongly or agreeing with the recommended changes to Article II of the constitution (“Final Report of The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synod Structure and Governance,” Appendix 1.1); therefore be it

Resolved, That Article II of the Constitution of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod be amended accordingly, as shown (“2007 Handbook Convention Version,” TB, p. 158).


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 8-29 — 9 Comments

  1. I am amazed and disappointed that most of the delegates would find this an acceptable creed. IMHO, this is not a Trinitarian Creed. It does not mention the Father or the fact that he is creator of heaven and earth. It does not mention the Holy Spirit, and that He also is fully and completely God. It does not mention Jesus humanity. It does not mention Jesus death or resurrection. This might make a nice simple statement of faith to make in a grocery store check out, but it is hardly sufficient to be the statement of faith on the constituion of the LCMS.

    What this also does is to say that all that is the basis for our faith are not just documents we consult that allow us to make this confession. IT seems our leadership wants to walk away from the Ecumenical Creeds and Book of Concord as statements that we believe are true concerning God’s word. With these changes the Book of Concord and the Ecumenical Creeds are now just documents to consult, not the truth.

    If these changes are accepted, it opens the door of fellowship to any church body that agrees with our new statement of faith; a statement of faith a Mormon could probably accept.

    Besides all this, I find it highly unlikely that someone wanting to know what our church body believes consults our constitution. I cannot fathom why our leadership wants to turn away from what confessional Lutherans have always believed. My only guess is that some in our midst do not believe these things.

  2. There is a reason why the synod’s constitution has gone 150+ years without a confession of faith and it’s not because Walther and the other founders forgot to put it in. The reason is that members of synod do not confess the constitution. It points to what we believe, but it is neither the form nor content of our faith. Our confession is the Holy Scriptures and the symbolic books of the Lutheran Church as found in the Book of Concord.

    Another problem is that, although we do indeed teach and confess what is proposed in Article II.A, we also teach much more. For instance, we also teach and confess that the bread and wine of the Sacrament are Christ’s very body and blood. Is this NOT part of our confession? Will members of synod NOT be bound to this anymore? Luther held common faith with Zwingli on all the points listed above, but would not declare fellowship because they held a different belief regarding the Supper.

    In addition, with this Gospel-reductionist confession limited only to 1) the Divinity of Christ, 2) the Trinity, 3) objective justification, 4) justification by faith, unionism will be codified in our constitution.

    The proposed change to the constitution in Article VI.B.3.a states that to retain membership in the synod, members are forbidden from “Practicing altar and pulpit fellowship with congregations or clergy holding a different confession from that of the Synod (unionism, syncretism).” But remember that the proposed “Confession of the Synod” is the Gospel reduced to four points. This means that our constitution now allows Lutheran clergy to sacrifice a mass at the Roman Catholic church down the street, because they believe the confession of the synod (even though their confessional basis may be different from ours).

    Since this is a change to the constitution, it must be ratified by the congregations. If this passes the convention, congregations MUST reject these changes to the constitution.

  3. Agreed, Loren.

    There was wisdom in the orignal. Wanna know what we believe? Go look it up. Go sit in one of our pews. Go ask one of our confirmands.

    Consider this thought experiment: Let there be Synod A with the old Article II and Synod B with the new Article II. Let them begin by being in fellowship with one another. How long would that fellowship last?

    I’d love to see our international partner churches speak out on this. This has to be the most insidious of all proposals to the 2010 Convention.

    Additionally, I don’t think percentages from District feedback sessions ought to be allowed in the factual basis portion of resolutions (4th Whereas). We all know what a moving target those were. Were those surveys prepared and analyzed by competent statisticians? Were alternative perspectives allowed to be heard before the votes were taken?

    Remove the 4th Whereas (to show we won’t be manipulated), then vote “no” or “over my dead body” (if that’s an option).

  4. Agreed that the percentages quoted are totally BOGUS, fraudulent etc. If A. “Confession of Fatih” is true, then we ALREADY accept it as stated in Scripture and the Confessions, which renders it superfluous. Trying to convince us that Article II is “broke” just ain’t goin’ to fly.

  5. Yes, Resolution 8-29 needs to be trash-canned by the convention delegates.

    However, after it’s voted down, a motion should be made and seconded to add the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope to Article II.2, if only for accuracy and completeness.

  6. I think the proposals are like adding tourist brochure language to a nation’s constitution

    ===We the People of the United States–a land containing sunny beaches, mountain adventures, and the vacation spot YOU’re looking for–in Order to form a more perfect Union===

    to appeal to outsiders. Nuts to that. (Oh, and this is just the silliest aspect of it, I agree with the weightier objections given already.)

  7. In, B. Confessional Basis, no 1., we have the terms of ” Inspired and inerrant Word of God “, leaving out the word ‘written’.

    Now please excuse a Lutheran from noticing that ‘written’, describes what is the Word of God and to ‘where’ we are to go to get God’s ‘infallible and inerrant’ revelation about Himself and all things pertaining to His Plan of Salvation in Christ’s person, Nature and Work.

    Let us as Lutherans remember, lest we lose our bearings and wind-up in the bogs and marches of Reformed thought, that the Reformed do not believe and vehemently oppose the Lutheran teaching that the ‘written’ Word of God is the means, whereby God can and does give us what Christ earned on the Cross, His merits, justification, redemption, renewal and regeneration in such creaturely things as Baptism and Holy Commuinion.

    The mantra ” The Holy Spirit does not need a vehicle”, because, “The finite cannot contain the infinite”, thus we have what is called, The Extra Calvinisticum.

    This explains all Reformed Theology, as this ‘ Extra Calvinisticum ‘, this Rationalistic Hermanuetic, using reason in a ‘ Magisterial ‘ way instead of in a ‘ Ministerial ‘ way, using fallen reason as the means of grace, when you come down to it, determines Reformed teaching on the Articles of Faith.

    It is no wonder that these wanna be madmen in theology, act like physicians, who have not been trained in the school of the Holy Spirit, but they did stay at a Holiday Inn.

    Once you divorce the infallible,inerrant Word of God from the ‘written’ text, you end up with the Holy Spirit acquiescing to the subjective experience of the individual. Such a person deciding what that experience actually is, that makes them righteous and a member of Christ’s Church.

    The same is true of the second half of this statement which has ‘ Guiding Principal ‘, modifying ‘judge and rule’, leaving out the word ‘norm’, the word used in those pesky Latin terms of ‘Norma Normans and Norma Normata.

    Which translated are,’ The norm which norms’, and ‘ That which is normed’.

    Meaning, the first term is saying that the written Word of God ‘ norms ‘ or determines the content and truth of that content, by adherence to the Literal meaning of the text, barring any and all obvious symbolism, metaphor, figurative or allegorical interpretation demanded by the text.

    The second term means that our confessions or creeds, as all creeds, are normed by the first norm, the infallible and inerrant ‘ written ‘ Word of God.

    I could go on, but I am sure you get the drift of what these theological madmen/women?, are up to at the devil’s instigation and exhortation.

  8. While II A could have been worded a little better, it does accurately reflect our material principle of the faith, that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone on account of the works and merits of Christ alone. That is the central core of our belief. It’s an improvement over the original.

    I applaud the proposed changes to B 1, adding the words “inspired and inerrant”. Also B 2 which correctly adds the Treatise to the list of documents in the Book of Concord. However, I don’t like the wording “and the writings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church” added. It suggests that the creeds be held seperate from the rest of the BoC. They are all equally the Confessions of the Lutheran Church.

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