In the “Brothers of John the Steadfast” article, “Nomination Numbers: What Does This Mean” (see //steadfastlutherans.org/?p=9889 April 12, 2010), I opined that the nomination results for the President of the Synod indicated the “passing of a generation of Lutheran pastors and their allied lay leaders.” I promised in that article that, if I was right, I would stand at attention and salute them. This little article is that salute.
The younger generation of pastors and lay leaders now coming into positions of leadership, and great responsibility, need to remember that those who are finishing office, or retiring, have held the synod together during some very difficult times, especially the 1960s and 1970s. These were times as difficult as any the Missouri Synod has ever faced, and maybe the most difficult in certain ways. And the fact is THE SYNOD HAS NOT DISSOLVED INTO NUMEROUS WARRING FACTIONS, due to their careful and considered leadership in the 1970s and following years. We need to give them credit for that, now, and in the history books.
They have held the line on some very important issues that could have led to the destruction of our synod or its merger with the ELCA. They have held the line on historical criticism, woman’s ordination, LWF membership, gay marriage and gay ordination, abortion-on-demand, Darwinism, and the whole social-justice-peace-ecology movement that dominates the Liberal Protestant denominations today. The LCMS is the only old mainline denomination, outside of the Southern Baptists, that has held the line against these cultural trends. The pastors and lay leaders now retiring or finishing office are the ones who helped us hold that line.
They have also, especially in the last two years, dealt responsibly with significant financial difficulties due to the worldwide recession and its impact on not-for-profit funding. Here I want to especially salute Mr. Thomas Kuchta, retired partner of Price-Waterhouse, and now retired Treasurer of the Missouri Synod, for a brilliant performance in office and a well-deserved retirement!
May our Lord grant our new leaders His Spirit of wisdom and power, to lead as well and better, if that be His will!