We prayed for President Kieschnick in church on Sunday as we do many Sundays. We prayed that God would grant him wisdom to be a godly leader in the synod. He is the LCMS president and deserves the respect of the office. But that does not mean that we think that he ought to continue as our synod president nor that we agree with everything that he stands for. We agree with many things that he stands for but we also have concerns about where the synod has ended up under his leadership.
We decided not to nominate President Kieschnick for synod president because the synod has struggled so much during his presidency. The synod has struggled to spread the Gospel around the globe. We have called numerous missionaries home because there is no money to support them. Even though President Kieschnick subscribes to the Book of Concord – this is one of the things we agree with him on – we have not seen the theology and practice of the Lutheran Confessions to be a hallmark of his presidency. Instead, non-Lutheran ideas of worship, evangelism, and leadership have become the hallmark of his presidency. We all know how hard it is to maintain pure doctrine in the parish these days. The same is true in the synod. We have Concordia professors teaching evolution and pushing for women’s ordination. We have pastors who are participating in unionistic services. We even know of a LCMS congregation that has a gay activist as a music director. We and others have contacted the president’s office about these things and nothing has been done about them.
We would like peace and harmony in our synod and yet President Kieschnick has been at the center of controversy after controversy. In his first two tenures of office he approved an enormously high number of delegate exceptions in districts that supported him. He was also at the center of the Yankee stadium controversy and most recently the synod’s California-Nevada-Hawaii District is unadvisedly suing to gain control of the property of a congregation in the San Francisco Bay area and it is the LCMS corporate lawyers who are handling the lawsuit. We do not like the lax approach to doctrine and practice and we do not like all of the controversy that follows President Kieschnick.
We will continue to pray for President Kieschnick, that God would bless his leadership but that does not mean that we think he should be re-elected. We pray for him because we want the synod to be godly and thrive and we think that his nine years as president have been sufficient for the synod. We believe it’s time for a change and that would answer another of our prayers.