The two contrasting letters we posted in response to the recent LCMS convention have led to a “love fest” of sorts that provide a glimmer of hope for LCMS unity and more importantly signify the sort of thing President Elect Harrison has proposed for his year-long Koinonia project. (For more on the Koinonia Project see “It’s Time.”) Here are a few of the comments being posted there.
First consider this comment from Andrew Strickland, who according to the comment below would not consider himself a “confessional.”
(Comment #46) I must say that I find encouragement in both letters. Huh? Yes I really do. In the letters and responses I see the depth of the love we have for our synod. Was I upset that President Kieschcnick lost? You bet, but I know that the Lord is in charge and President Harrison will also be a blessing to the synod.
One of my friends stated after the election, the savior of the synod is here. My first comment which I wish I had not said was a sarcastic “Oh yeah? I thought the Savior was Jesus. I could have found a better way to respond to his comment.
Just from the past week reading this site I have learned something, and it took me off my high horse. I will not always agree with the “Confessionals” but they are important to the synod. A church that is not grounded in its past is a church that is groundless and set adrift. Many denominations have lost sight of that. I also believe that the more “liberal” movements such as Jesus First has an important role in the synod as well. I pray that working together the synod will continue to move forward.
Thank you Andrew for being so straight forward and for giving us some insight into the sort of positive things that may come out of the Koinonia Project. In addition to that, I don’t blame you for responding with “Oh yeah.” No one should speak of Harrison as the savior of the synod. The synod is much bigger than the office of the presidency, although we do look forward to Harrison’s leadership.
Pastor Pittock, who has gotten a lot of grief from our readers, half way through the string, offered this comment (Comment #53)
Also, reading thought the comments, I appreciate what Rev. Todd said and also Andrew. Nicely said brothers in Jesus!
Despite the clear differences there is some healthy and constructive dialogue going on. For this we give thanks to God.
And then there is this comment by Rev. Charles St-Onge (Comment #66):
I feel like I’m in the middle of much of this discussion, and should say something. First, I’m a regular blogger on the Houston Chronicle’s religion website, “houstonbelief.com,” and remained in regular contact with the religion web editor throughout the last convention. Second, I know Pastor Pittock from our time together in the Eastern District – both of us were involved with the District’s LWML. I’m also a big fan of BJS, and of all your regular bloggers. Third, my senior pastor and colleague is now 5th Vice-President of Synod. Last, I owe the fact that I’m now in the LCMS and not the ELCA/ELCIC in part to Pastor Harrison.
I hope, in many ways, that this thread is a symptom of a turning point in the history of our denomination. For nine years we have been told that our Synod is united – except in some small, practical details. I think we are now, for the first time, being able to admit *openly* that we have a lot to talk about. Wounds cannot heal when they are ignored and hidden. The first step to real healing is honest diagnosis of the disease. Pastor Pittock has “lanced the boil” – and I for one, like Pastor Wilken, am forever grateful. Let the conversation begin, and let it be led by Christ Jesus!
Thank you Pastor St. Onge for your hopefulness and your call to let the conversation begin. I do not agree with everything that Harrison stands for, he does not agree with everything Pittock stands for, who most likely does not agree with everything Benke stands for, who doesn’t agree with everything Wilken stands for, who doesn’t agree with everything Kieschnick stands for, who doesn’t agree with everything Helen stands for, who doesn’t agree with everything Pierce stands for who doesn’t agree with everything St. Onge stands for and so on. What we all agree on is that Scripture is the only source of truth. We also all agree that the LCMS is better off united than divided. May God bless President Elect Harrison in his efforts to bring us together.
If you want to get more of the “love fest” take a look at all of the comments on the “two letters” post or stay tuned below for more of the same I am sure.