Telling reaction

One of my friends is a lay delegate to the convention. He and I don’t always agree on church-related matters. He is a supporter of President Gerald Kieschnick, having voted for him at a prior convention.

Just this week he said that he’d planned to vote for President Kieschnick but also felt comfortable with a victory for the Rev. Matthew Harrison. When the smear letter came out yesterday, he read it and wondered if it was true. After he saw the response from the board of World Relief and Human Care, he said:

“I have to be honest. I’m extremely disappointed in JesusFirst right now.”

Well, they still have a chance to make things right with the delegates and I hope they do.

They might want to do it for simple strategy. I just asked him if he still plans to vote for Kieschnick and he said that he talked it over with his wife last night and this morning they decided he should pull the lever for the Rev. Matt Harrison.


Comments

Telling reaction — 44 Comments

  1. This is not the first time Coyne has pulled this stunt.

    He did it to Robert Kuhn several years ago: slanders, lies, fabrications, then he was called on the carpet and offered a bit of an apology.

    He did it at the last convention to Raymond Hartwig, again more lies, fabrications, distortions, falsehoods and errors. He got called on the carpet again, apologies, etc. etc. That time it really blew up in JesusFirst’s face, which was trying to unseat Hartwig. Their guy, Esala, lost and lost big. Remember how bad they wanted Esala in as Secretary? Even had T-shirts made?

    So, what does Coyne do this time around? Same stunt. Hopefully, same results.

    : )

    I tell you, you’ve just got to wonder about the company Kieschnick keeps, don’t you?

  2. I would have to agree with that delegate…. Talked about it for about an hour with my wife on the drive home from downtown Chicago (thanks to the work on the Eisenhower) still not sure who I am going to vote for for president but they did no favors for President Kieschnick

  3. Whoops, he did it again : This is not the first time Coyne has pulled this stunt.

    Coyne is like a bad penny that keeps turning up.

    Hey, Coyne did a hatchet job on me a few weeks back in their Jesus First Delegate Letter #1, falsely accusing me of breaking the 4th and 8th commandments.

    The gutter politics practiced by Jesus First the last couple of months is truly disgusting–and a sign of desperation. I’m thinking it will backfire on them.

  4. And this Coyne guy is a Pastor? Might want to switch his profession to a politician.

  5. Just read (although quickly) letters 8, 9 and 10 on the Jesus First website. They and you share next door neighbor status on my favorites listing. (kind of ironical in the words of GW Bush)

    Generally, I am a church growth, Great Commission guy that cares very little for traditional liturgy. My family and I like the open shirts, drums and hip worship leaders. I am also a life long Lutheran.

    It is one thing to make a case for your guy but quite another to stoop to the level of partisan politics and defame your opponent. It is even worse to imply that a lack of stewardship may have existed.

    Jesus First owes Rev. Harrison and all delegates an apology.

    Tim

  6. @Tim Schneider #8

    Tim, I am interested why “church growth” and “great commission” is pitted against “traditional liturgy” in your comment. Have I mistaken your words?

    The “traditional liturgy” guys don’t reject Christ adding to the church daily through preaching of the Word and administration of the sacraments. In fact, Matthew 28:19 commands us to teach and baptize. The Holy Spirit does the rest.

    I do appreciate your pointing out that JF owes Pr. Harrison an apology. They also owe his supporters and apology.

  7. Hi Jim.

    Not pitting liturgy against Great Commission. Just creating a laundry list of identifiers to assist in referencing my perspective. I fully believe that traditional liturgy folks are as in tune with the Great Commission as any other sub population of Christians with only disagreement on methods and approach.

    I do disagree with the assumption that there are supporters of either or any candidate. Delegates have the duty of prayerfully doing the will of God and what is best for our synod. This is not the Republican convention.

  8. Just back in from a mission trip to Guatemala. It’s interesting to me that you would find Newsletter #9 disappointing — after all, in a response from WR/HC, John Edson states that while he doesn’t agree with our interpretation of the numbers, “We give them the benefit of the doubt that their raw numbers are correct.” There doesn’t have be be any “benefit of the doubt.” The numbers are the numbers.

    And there is no doubt that over 8 years WR/HC has expended $108M over 8 years. Didn’t we all pitch in for Katrina, Rita, Kenya, Haiti and other disasters? Did the money go where it was supposed to? Absolutely! Is Matt Harrison a compassionate, caring leader? You bet. Jon Coyne says so. I would be happy — pleased, in fact — if Matt Harrison would remain in the WR/HC world at the IC. I think he is an engaging author, a good speaker, a fine translator, a caring man of mercy. He represents WR/HC well. But his administrative ability does not qualify him to be Synodical President. That’s one of the reasons I believe President Kieschnick is the best candidate from among the five.

    That job requires better administrative skills and inter-departmental cooperation to go along with the fine theological skills Matt Harrison has (just like President Kieschnick, who was elected by his peers to serve for years as the chair of the CTCR). I am the pastor of a congregation with a school. Over $5M annually (not including capital fund drives) is given to the work of the Lord through our congregation each year. Yet in these difficult economic times, we’ve had to cut staff, cut operating expenses, take no raises for three years, do more with less — and still increase our Word and Sacrament ministry to our community and our world. We’ve had to do more with less.

    At the same time the rest of the IC has been cutting programs and personnel, personnel costs have more than doubled at WR/HC (remember Eden said the numbers were right?) and “Grants plus Missions” has declined to far less than half of the total expenditures — with a further decline forecasted for next year. In Matt Harrison’s presidential Q&A he suggested “It’s time to change how we do business.” While he applies this to the BoD and World Missions, I think he ought to look to his “own house” first.

    Like this. As a delegate, I just received an invitation to a reception on Tuesday night from “The Reverend Matt Harrison and the staff of LCMS World Relief and Human Care.” I’ve served on the Board for District and Congregational Services and the Board for Communication Services. Do they have receptions for delegates? How about the Board of Directors? World Missions? CTCR? KFUO? Pastoral Education? Black Ministry? Why the reception?

    Like this. Did any other ministry of the LCMS send out a four color, 38 page glossy report to delegates with a DVD two weeks before the convention with the “regrets only” RSVP reception invitation … or did they simply put their reports into the workbook where they appropriately belong? Why does WR/HC need a separate, additional report?

    And to set the record straight, President Kieschnick knew nothing of Newsletter #9 or any other Jesus First publication prior to its publication. He receives it in the mail (or email) just as you do.

    Sorry for the length — just a lot to respond to.

    Peace. Chuck

  9. @Tim Schneider #10

    Thank you for that, Tim. I agree, this isn’t the Republican convention. It would have benefited the writer of the JF article lambasting the “supporters” of Pr. Harrison to have recognized that, too.

  10. Chuck #11,

    What were you smoking down there in Guatamala 🙂 that moved you to assert that Harrison does not have the administrative skill and that President Kieschnick does? That is just goofy. Here is an accurate scenario:

    Kieschnick is the president of a large district of the synod before becoming president of the synod. That is some good training but the Texas District budget is micro compared to the budget Harrison has been over-seeing at WR-HC which has prepared him for the leadership needed for the LCMS presidency.

    Kieschnick in his nine years as president leads the LCMS into serious financial trouble. Harrison on the other hand, leads WR-HC to more and more success even to the point that Kieschnick has to borrow funds from Harrison to keep the synod afloat.

    Kieschnick has little or no international experience before he becomes president. Harrison has international and inter-church experience in spades.

    Kieschnick has led the staff of the International Center to a point of despair with his proposed structure cuts. Harrision has one of the happiest staffs I have ever seen.

    All of this administrative stuff does not even begin to scratch the surface of other important qualifications: theological experience – no contest; publishing – not even close; banjo skills – don’t even try to go there :).

    You and Rev. Coyne’s analysis of staffing and expenses at WR-HC from a distance (California, Roselle and even Guatamala) is amusing.

    You want to talk about cost of receptions and the sort? That doesn’t seem to be a good move given the millions of dollars President Kieschnick spent on consultants (whose opinions he disregarded) and pep rallies for the structure proposals. President Kieschnick loses the match if you want to make it about use of funds.

    If you wish to keep making this a campaign about personal and professional attacks on Harrison then have at it. It is turning lots of delegates off.

    TR

  11. @Chuck Mueller #11

    Chuck, are you disputing the clarifying report given by Vice Chair John Edson? If so, the question in begged, who is lying; JF or Edson?

    Kiley Campbell
    Voting Lay Delegate

  12. @Chuck Mueller #11

    > I would be happy — pleased, in fact — if Matt Harrison would remain in the WR/HC world at the IC

    Hmm. Where will that be, after ya’ll get rid of it? What a load.

    > I think he is an engaging author, a good speaker, a fine translator, a caring man of mercy.

    Damning with faint praise, I see.

    > He represents WR/HC well. But his administrative ability does not qualify him to be Synodical President.

    The President of the Synod needs to be a theologian. And at this point, there’s that negative track record to overcome …

  13. @Chuck Mueller #11

    > And to set the record straight, President Kieschnick knew nothing of Newsletter #9 or any other Jesus First publication prior to its publication.

    Wow, this is starting to sound really familiar. There are so many things he just doesn’t know about!

    I hate to whip out the old Nixonian phrase here, but it’s time again: plausible deniability!

  14. Pastor Mueller,

    Nice try.

    You wrote, “I would be happy — pleased, in fact — if Matt Harrison would remain in the WR/HC world at the IC.”

    I’m sure you would. Although there you seem to disagree with the delegate letter itself which repeatedly question’s Pastor Harrison’s stewardship of his department.

    So, what is Jesus First’s position? Has Pastor Harrison been a good steward of LCMS WR-HC, or not?

    TW

  15. Speaking of receptions. I am not sure who plans these things, but I remember hearing about congregations in Pastor Chuck Mueller’s district being forced to contribute a portion of their offerings to help pay for a delegate reception with the district and synodical president at their district convention. I trust Pastor Mueller also brought this to everyone’s attention and held the district accountable for not being the best stewards of God’s gifts they could be. Let’s have higher standards of stewardship for everyone including the current Synod and District Presidents.

  16. Rev. Mueller,

    You criticize World Relief and Human Care for mailings, etc. Perhaps you did not notice the lavish, full-color newsletter–an obvious campaign piece–from Pres. Kieschnick inserted into the last Reporter? Or the five professionally produced campaign videos Pres. Kieschnick has posted on the official convention web site? All of this blatant campaign material was paid for with Synodical funds–and no doubt cost much more than anything from World Relief and Human Care.

    So, will you criticize Pres. Kieschnick similarly? Oh, but of course, if it comes from him it is NOT political. No, no, that is just him doing his job! But, any information for the delegates that comes the largest unit of Synod–larger in fact than what the President currently controls–well, that isn’t just them doing their job, keeping the delegates informed about this vital work, no, that MUST be political.

    You hypocrisy is breathtaking.

  17. Hmmm, I got an invitation to a reception hosted by the two Seminary presidents for Thursday night.

    The Board of Directors, of which President Kieschnick is a voting member, is responsible for the allocation of funds and the budget for those who work at the International Center. If the WR-HC budget is so out of whack, don’t we need to be questioning those who are responsible for its oversight?

    The allegations of poor stewardship are serious concerns, especially to me, a donor to WR-HC. But a delegate letter two weeks before the convention is not the place to air such concerns. Have the concerns been expressed to Pastor Harrison first? The Board for Human Care? The Board of Directors? The Synod President? It seems to me we are “telling it to the church” first, rather than addressing it the way Matthew 18 suggests.

  18. Man, you guys are up late. I guess, though, I get up early. I’ll try to catch all the questions in a fairly simple post. Again, brothers, I don’t speak for Jesus First — just for me. As a grass-roots group, we aren’t organized to have any one person speak for “us.” All of us represent a vision of a church that has Gospel-centered, mission-focused and future-oriented leadership, and we coordinate our individual efforts to that end.

    To answer Todd and others, I personally believe Matt Harrison has been good for WR/HC in his own way. He’s put a “face” on a department of Synod that was missing and has raised the awareness of the layfolk of our Church for something that we as the LCMS have been doing well for a long time. I think that he has learned valuable lessons at the level he serves and, since we will continue to need an executive at some level in this area, I believe Harrison would serve well with a more streamlined administration at the IC if he is able to serve with others. From my experience on LCMS boards and from being around the IC, I personally believe WR/HC is running a “silo.” As I suggested in another post, “a silo ain’t no farm.” Our denomination can no longer afford split efforts and programs that set up their own infrastructures apart from the rest of the Synod. That goes for all of the boards. When I served on DCS, Jeff Schubert made great strides in affecting the “anti-silo” mentality of the IC. I’ve experienced the same “silo” issues in my service on BCS. Because of our structure at the IC, demanded by our Bylaws — not determined by Preus, Bohlmann, Barry, Kuhn or Kieschnick — the IC can become separate departments not necessarily cooperating well together.

    I’ve been a Senior Pastor with many incredibly valuable assistant pastors for the past 20 years. They are brothers in Christ and a gift of God to the Church. Most of them would agree that they are not gifted to be Senior Pastors of a large church, staff and school. They are gifted for their service to Christ’s Bride in the way He made them to be (isn’t that what Ephesians 4 is all about?). Some have come and gone as the Lord of the Church used their service to Trinity, Roselle, to benefit this congregation and mature them as men of God. But just because they’ve served well on a staff of a large church in a program area doesn’t mean they are ready to be Senior Pastor.

    I could be wrong, but I personally believe that’s the case with Matt Harrison: good in a program area for some things — not gifted for ready for service as Synodical President at this time. Maybe later. Maybe never. He has not shown me his ability to lead the LCMS — especially evident in his administrative ability. I agree with Jon Coyne’s article. That’s my opinion. I do not believe that service at the IC as a department head like Jeff Schubert, David Strand, or Tom Zehnder (Matt Harrison’s peers) in and of itself prepares one for service as Synodical President (while I think Tom would make a great one). I personally believe that if Matt Harrison spent more time working “for” the unity of Synod and and less time on the road working “for” his “silo” and his candidacy for Synodical President, the LCMS would be better served. My opinion only.

    If Harrison is elected by the majority of delegates, I will do my best to support him and help him to train to be the best President he can be. I didn’t agree much with the performance or the positions of Dr. Barry (which was the genesis of the Jesus First movement), but I supported him as I could and didn’t encourage our congregation to change one bit in our financial support of the LCMS — only to increase it. We did. I would hope that you all would do the same if President Kieschnick is elected.

    As far as who is “telling the truth” about the last 8 years of WR/HC, let the numbers speak for themselves. Edson said our numbers were correct. Please note that Edson’s numbers represent a summary of expenditures and are not a year-by-year evaluation of WR/HC’s work. When I look at them (and I have lots of experience with multi-million dollar university budgets and synodical departments) I see a trend of growing personnel, stable operating expenses, and declining grants to people in need. Were it not for the wonderful response of the LCMS layfolk to the Haiti disaster this year, I personally believe that this would have been another “in the red” year like 07/08 and 08/09 — according to the WR/HC numbers. From my experience on Synodical boards, I know how very little effect they have on operations. We only meet 3-4 times a year for two days or so and basically hear reports and respond to them. Most of the work goes on “around” the board, and while the board has some ability to give broad-stroke direction, most of the day-to-day operations are the responsibility of the department head. This is Matt Harrison’s track record as an administrator. I don’t think it speaks well of his skills (though I’m sure y’all disagree). I’ve never heard Matt on the banjo — I’ll have to trust your evaluation, Tim 😉

    I won’t go tit-for-tat with you, Tim, on your comparison of Kieschnick and Harrison other than to say I have another opinion and experience of Harrison’s work at the IC and internationally. I will say that Kieschnick has been elected by the his peers on the COP for his leadership skills to be its head, elected by his peers on the CTCR for his theological acumen to be its chair, and elected by the convention three times to be our president despite the constant sniping, lawsuits, and failed support from a vocal minority of our church. He inherited an organization built on support from the Schwan Foundation (a Barry legacy) and has nimbly responded to the changes necessary when that support was withdrawn. He has made hard choices and has successfully led the LCMS to expansion in the mission field (42 full-time missionaries in the past three years!) after the Schwan money disappeared. I think he has fairly dealt with supporters and opponents, lived within the stricture of our Bylaws (as the President is supposed to do), and has by his track record earned the admiration and trust of the vast majority of the LCMS. I hope he will be elected again for President — and I hope that if he is, you will be supportive of him as our leader — even if it is as the “loyal opposition.”

    Peace! Chuck

  19. Chuck,

    So, Pastor Harrison is an assistant pastor. Wow.

    Everyone, prepare for it. President Kieschnick is going to ask for one more, final term AND suggest that the delegates elect Pastor Harrison as his 1st Vice President.

    Prepare for it.

    TW

  20. Todd Wilken :Chuck,
    So, Pastor Harrison is an assistant pastor. Wow.
    Everyone, prepare for it. President Kieschnick is going to ask for one more, final term AND suggest that the delegates elect Pastor Harrison as his 1st Vice President.
    Prepare for it.
    TW

    Kyrie Eleison! Lord, have mercy upon us.

  21. Todd Wilken :
    Chuck,
    So, Pastor Harrison is an assistant pastor. Wow.
    Everyone, prepare for it. President Kieschnick is going to ask for one more, final term AND suggest that the delegates elect Pastor Harrison as his 1st Vice President.
    Prepare for it.
    TW

    If they sweeten the pot by also ditching 100% of BRTFBS, I’d be tempted. Good thing I’m not a delegate…

  22. Pastor Mueller,
    As I read through your long answer I could not help but go back to the days of the walkout. I heard much of the same kind of speech coming from those who insisted that the historical critical method of interpretation was the best way to grasp Scripture. They insisted that those who argued against them just did not have the theological qualifications to make any kind of argument. I don’t know Pastor Harrison that well. I have seen him around from place to place. But I am submitting that he is much more qualified than you give him credit for.

    Your words paint a picture of good in the continued hands of the current president but I have not seen any good–at least not much–in the last nine years. Everytime I have been where President K. is, his speech always begins with a listing of his accomplishments. Just think what the people in the pews of your church would say if every Sunday you spoke of your accomplishments before you went on with the sermon. My father years ago told me that if a person has to keep reminding you of his accomplishments then he has not really accomplished much!

    As for your associates you state: “Most of them would agree that they are not gifted to be Senior Pastors of a large church, staff and school.” While you may think that is really true, just maybe God would have a different thought were He to call them to such.

    I am really concerned about the continued way that Jesus First twists facts. I do give you credit that since you are the pastor of a large church you feel that you have more qualifications than an accountant to explain “the numbers.” Course, as the pastor of a rural congregation I guess I could say that I understand farming more than the men who have been doing it for their whole life. At least that is the way that I see you stating that the accountant is wrong and you are right. Yes, one can get numbers to say anything you want, but to sugggest that Mr Edson [right name I hope] is on purpose misstating the HC numbers is to simply say that he is lying. I pray that you are not saying that he is lying, for then why would not the general people who read this site state that you must also be lying??

  23. I would say these news letter are campaign material. Did our current President not say in his own words that he was no theologian. You said Rev Harrison was a theologian and that we need a theologian to let the synod.

  24. Pastor Harrison been a good steward of LCMS WR-HC. God can take a shepherd boy and turn him into a King David. Pastor Harrison has been faithful with what was entrusted to him. God is certainly able to grant him additional responsibilities such as what is peculiar to an LCMS SP. Our synod needs leadership, and it needs a theologian–not a lawyer or politician. Must we simply settle on three more years (after the nine we have endured), or can we be optimistic for what God may still do through the people and congregations of the LCMS (centered in God’s Word, and expounded upon in CONCORDIA: The Lutheran Confessions [normed by Scripture, of course])?

    May God lead our synod in the faithful direction He would have us go. May He open our eyes to what possibilities exist in the near future, and remind us that in our changing world “we wrestle not against flesh and blood…” May God continue to raise new leaders in his church, and open doors for them to use their gifts in service to His bride, the church in due season.

    May the word “unity” be a word that means “unity in doctrine” among us, and not theological compromise for the sake of achieving impressive numbers. God is not impressed, and neither should we, if our membership should gain the whole world yet lose our souls by watering down the truth, dumbing down His teachings, and believing, teaching, and confessing inclusivity and faux unity über alles. From this preserve us, Heavenly Father. Instead, may we remember that “God’s Word is our great heritage…to spread its light from age to age shall be our chief endeavor. Through life it guides our way, in death it is our stay. Lord, grant, while worlds endure, we keep its teachings pure throughout all generations.” This grant us, dear Father in heaven.

  25. Chuck, you have not given a clear answer to who is fudging the numbers, Jesus First or the clarification report put out by the Vice Chairman? There are obvious discrepancies between the two which means one of them is lying. Who is lying?

  26. Pastor Mueller,
    I will not make a feeble attempt at discussing anything else, but your “silo” comment. Silo’s are a farmer’s best friend in lean years, Pastor. A full silo, ensures back up store, for catasrophic loss or bad crop/feed year. Ironically enough, I seem to remember when a Patriarch of the Old Testament, suggested to a Pharaoh, do provide such a thing as a silo. Which saved his country & the lives of his family. That would be Joseph, or Zaphnath-paaneah, if you will. It can be found here:

    Genesis 41:33-36

    The lack of Faith & Trust in Him who tends His Church & instructs us all, let alone reflection & repentance, is astounding to me.
    I also, find (at least) one thing rather curious: Pastor Harrison’s use of Scripture and the absence of such in yours. We were taught to trust & prepare, in all things, through Faith, in Him, to provide. Abundant harvest or lean, comings & goings, to give account & call to account, and to submit in humble obedience in all things, to Him that bought us.
    Experience in the left hand, means little to the One who holds & owns the Right.
    Funds, support & direction come from Christ alone.
    As a Pastor, a holder of the Divine Office, for as long as you so willing stated, this should have been the first words, not the honorable if absent mention.

    If the Sola’s are not upheld in inerrency & belief, for us & those who are lost, nothing else matters. Should that be found, to be the case, then that foundation is made of sand.
    Pastor Harrison’s ACTIONS speak & his words begin with Sola Scriptura.

    What is it you have to offer me, a humble pew sitter in return?

    a plain jane 41 year old Confessional Lutheran?

  27. From: “Kuchta, Tom”
    Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 09:27:05 -0500
    To: Bernhard Seter
    Subject: RE: Letter and LCMSWRHC

    Dear Rev. Seter,

    As you requested, I have reviewed the financial information included in the LCMS World
    Relief and Human Care (WRHC) response to Jesus First Delegate Letter No. 9. At my
    request, the financial data was reviewed by the LCMS Accounting Department. We have
    concluded that the data included in the response is consistent with LCMS accounting
    records.

    Regarding the conclusions reached in Letter No. 9, there are two items that should be
    considered that could affect the Jesus First conclusions.

    The first item deals with grants made by ELCA and LCMS to Lutheran World Relief
    (LWR). LWR does not incur fund raising expenses in connection with these grants. On
    the other hand, all contributions received by WRHC result from incurring fund raising
    costs. A valid comparative analysis between LWR and WRHC should exclude the grants
    received by LCMS and ELCA. It doesn’t appear this was considered in Letter No. 9.

    The second item relates to personnel costs. Not all personnel costs are administrative
    expenses. Some of the costs are incurred in the performance of a particular program
    (mission and ministry) of WRHC. Therefore, Letter No. 9 should treat some of the
    personnel costs as core mission.

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me. You also have my
    permission to share this email with others.

    Tom Kuchta
    Vice President Finance/Treasurer
    Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
    1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.
    Saint Louis, MO 63122

  28. @Kiley Campbell #34
    Mollie has a reply from the Synodical Treasurer and yet another accountant that the WR-HC gave out the correct numbers correctly. It is elsewhere on this site. We should be very aware of the fact that the JF side seems to be real good at slinging the mud and silent when it comes to admitting wrong!! And I will admit right now that I am wrong if they have indeed not slung mud!!!

  29. @Chuck Mueller #26

    “If Harrison is elected by the majority of delegates, I will do my best to support him and help him to train to be the best President he can be.”

    No commentary required.

  30. @Chuck Mueller #26

    “If Harrison is elected by the majority of delegates, I will do my best to support him and help him to train to be the best President he can be.”

    @wrl #38

    “No commentary required.”

    Not required,wrl, but too troubling to let lie. The last phrase, “help him to train to be the best President he can be” implies a great deal. This really isn’t about putting Jesus first. It’s about power, control, influence and status – but mostly control. It implies that the poor Rev. Harrison is going to need folks in Jesus First to show him how it should be done, as if no one else in the world can get it right. It’s arrogance.

    Rev. Mueller, would you accept Rev. Harrison’s help to train to be the best Lutheran theologian you can be? Would President Kieschnick accept if Rev. Harrison’s support and help if Rev. Harrison is elected as a vice president, since Dr. Kieschnick has admitted publicly that he is not a theologian?

    Again, what is coming through loud and clear here, and over on ALPB, is that this is not about Jesus, or the Great Commission, or the Gospel, or missions. It is about power, control, influence and status. I have yet to read anyone say “God’s will be done in this election” other than imply that God’s will should be my/your/our will.

    To put it another way, if the current Synodical president and St. Paul were on the same ballot, I get the feeling that delegate letters would be touting President Kieschnick’s qualifications while elevating the fact that Paul had changed his name, stoned a follower of Jesus, spent time in jail and wasn’t always a Christian. Why? Because some folks can’t stomach the thought of losing power, control, influence over the affairs of Christ’s church. His WORD just isn’t enough to satisfy an empty stomach.

    The saddest thing is that while each of us can set at our keyboards, assigning motives and passing judgement on each other, Jesus sees into each of our hearts. He knows our sins, and knows the true motives behind every key we press. No amount of rationalization, self-justification or self-righteous indignation can cover over the fact that HE KNOWS the truth.

    May GOD’s will be done at this Convention, and in this election.

  31. Hmmm…Rev. Mueller… are you the same guy who e-mailed me a “delegates guide”- especially to help us firt timers – and a survey, without first stating who you represent and affiliate with? (although you did clear that up in the follow up e-mail, but too little, too late for my taste) You and your consorts seem to favor a bit of deception and not quite all the truths. I have to call ’em as I see ’em, and this is what I see, and I do not appreciate it.

  32. @Mr. Conv Delegate #41
    [re Charlie Mueller JR] You and your consorts seem to favor a bit of deception and not quite all the truths.

    That is about as polite an assessment as anybody could hope to produce!
    Our central Texas Pastor’s is shorter, though.

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