LCMS 2010 Convention Resolution 8-30

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Congregations Walking Together in Mission with Covenants of Love
To Amend Article VI of the Constitution

RESOLUTION 8-30 (line 33)

TF Report (CW TFR, pp. 21–22); (CW TFR A, 1.5–.6); Overtures 8-16, 8-46–48 (CW, pp. 227, 237)

WHEREAS, Its requirements for membership reflect the identity and the values of the Synod; and

WHEREAS, The ministers of religion–ordained and the ministers of religion–commissioned of the Synod have an important role and responsibility in the life of the church; and

WHEREAS, Membership in the Synod carries clear expectations; and

WHEREAS, The LCMS is made up of congregations from a great diversity of cultural contexts, calling for an appropriate measure of flexibility in communicating the saving message of the Gospel; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Synod in convention approve the changes to Article VI of the Constitution as shown (“2007 Handbook Convention Version,” TB, p. 161).

Changes to the Constitution are found lines 17-51 on page 161. I’m attempting to find a good way to copy the strikeout text here.

Article VI

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,, 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.


LCMS 2010 Convention Resolution 8-30 — 8 Comments

  1. President K in his charge to Floor Committee 8 (on page 22, line 17) writes,

    “We all share the concern about maintaining the LCMS’ core theological beliefs, which in no way are diluted by task force recommendations.”

    Okay. Resolution 8-30 (above) looks innocuous enough, but look at the changes to Article VI (page 161).

    Subsection 2 currently reads,

    ” Renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description, as . . ”

    That is stricken. The new wording suggested and will now be Subsection 3,

    “Non-participation in activities which compromise a member’s subscription to the confessional basis of the Synod, such as:

    a) Practicing altar and pulpit fellowship with congregations or clergy holding a different confession from that of the Synod (unionism and syncretism); or . . .

    Pres. K says these changes IN NO WAY dilute our core theological beliefs. Yet isn’t “renounce” a much stronger term than “non-participate?”

    This was asked at the regional gathering I attended and the response given was that “Non-participate is much stronger.” Oh really? If so, are we going to change the Bapismal promises to “Non-participate with the Devil and all his works and all his ways?” After all, its stronger. Can we propose that resolution from the floor?

  2. Excellent point!

    Renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description.


    Practicing altar and pulpit fellowship with congregations or clergy holding a different confession from that of the Synod (unionism, syncretism).


    This seems MUCH weaker to me; it shows that our comments at the regional gatherings were ignored.

  3. @Conv. Delegate #1

    This was asked at the regional gathering I attended and the response given was that “Non-participate is much stronger.” Oh really? If so, are we going to change the Bapismal promises to “Non-participate with the Devil and all his works and all his ways?” After all, its stronger. Can we propose that resolution from the floor?”

    Funny, “Conv. Delegate” I asked the same question in Dearborn and got the same answer. What the heck kind of language is “non-participate”, anyway? Corporate double-speak, that’s what. But we dare not say “renounce”. That’s too vague. Give me a break, already!

    Johannes (non-non-participatory)

  4. I hope it is asked of the FC in Houston, I may try. Not to get a different answer, but hopefully to have the other delegates hear it. Other than those at the microphones at the regional gathering, no one thinks non-participate is stronger and I’ve asked a lot of people. It is ridiculous and unfortunately hurts the credibility of the whole process and the people involved — “You want me to believe something so ridiculous? What else are you trying to sell me?”

    Its really sad. Pres. K frequently talks about the lack of trust in the Synod. He was sitting right there (as was the rest of the panel) and didn’t say anything . . . .

    Ultimately it is just another distraction when we are supposed to be about “our Father’s business.”

    It’s Time for new leadership.

  5. “Confessional basis” is what really drives me nuts here (and elsewhere).

    It could be understood to suggest that we “base” our confession upon the Bible and the Lutheran Symbols but that our confession is really something other than “Bible and Lutheran Symbols,” either Bible and Symbols plus something else (certain Synodical resolutions, etc.) or Bible and Symbols minus the bits we don’t like or Bible and Symbols interpreted in such as way as to comport with our actual confession.

    Why can’t we just say “confession” above wherever it says “confessional basis”?

    Was this language ever explained or questioned at the regional meetings?

  6. Whew! no more exclusive use of doctrinally pure agendas, hymnbooks and catechisms in schools and churches. Won’t the delegates who have already given that up be so happy and relieved? (irony intended)

  7. Dear BJS bloggers,

    This is a very significant resolution, in a negative way. The 2007 convention debated back and forth precisely over whether the President and his Blue Ribbon Task Force would be allowed to make changes to the Constitution of Synod in Articles II and VI.

    Many 2007 delegates didn’t want the restructuring committee in the first place, but then finally were persuaded that it was okay, because the resolution approving the restructuring process explicitly said that no changes would be made that would conflict with existing Articles II and VI. Check out the 2007 Proceedings.

    We members of the synod have been lied to by our leadership at this point. It is very clear that the proposals here conflict with present Article VI. It is less clear, but still obvious to me, that the proposals for Article II also conflict with present Article II.

    Somebody needs to hit the “mike” button when this resolution comes to consideration and remind the convention that the 2007 convention promised the synod that there would not be proposed changes that conflict with present Article VI. And someone needs to do that when the resolution to change present Article II comes up.

    This proposed alteration of Article II and VI was not accidental or an oversight. It proves that you cannot trust our current leadership to keep their promises or their word on significant issues.

    Articles II and VI are the most significant parts of our LCMS Constitution, because these are precisely the parts that the founders of the synod in 1847 deemed necessary to keep the LCMS “Lutheran” in a non-Lutheran North America. Those who want to change these parts either don’t care if the LCMS remains “Lutheran” or they are determined now to make it into something else. How else can you explain their brazen behavior and broken promises?

    Delegates need to know this. I would be remiss in my duty as a member of synod if I did not speak out on this issue at this time, when the resolutions have been published in their final form.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  8. Wow, I just looked at the 2007 Proceedings (Page 165) and it states the following,

    “Resolved, That no proposed changes to the structure and
    governance of the Synod will conflict with Article II and Article
    VI of the Constitution.”

    Articles II and VI are getting changed all over the place. Are we playing semantics here? They said “in conflict,” they didn’t say we couldn’t change them??

    It doesn’t sound to me like the committee (and our leaders) respect the “will of the convention.” I pray the convention makes its will loud and clear in a few weeks.

    Thank you Dr. Noland. I wish some of our leaders would be more like St. Paul regarding these changes. He had no problem calling a spade a spade. Sometimes I think we are too concerned with “churchmanship” these days.

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