President Kieschnick has written a curious response to the LCMS convention. On the one hand, it is great that he prays God’s blessing on the new presidium. On the other hand, I am not sure about his comparison of the LCMS to the church in Corinth. He is correct that we are divided like the church in Corinth but it seems odd that he would admit that on July 21st when just a few weeks ago he was touting our unity under his leadership. It also may be uncharitable to label the convention that voted him out of office as “Corinthian immature.”
Maybe I am reading something into this note that is not there. We certainly agree with President Kieschnick when he quotes St. Paul affirming that God is the one who gives the growth in the church.
Here is the text. Let us know what you think. (This is from President Kieschnick’s weekly “Perspectives” which you can sign up for at the LCMS website.)
Volume I Number 42
“Planting, Watering, Growing”
The 64th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is now history. Resolutions were adopted, decisions were made, leaders were elected. At the convention and throughout the Synod, a wide variety of emotions and responses resulted—rejoicing, grieving, praying, and wondering. Affirming that Christ is Lord of His church, brothers and sisters in Christ responded in different ways to the election of a new Synod president. The office of president of a national church body, especially The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is a sacred trust. The president is called to lead the church to internal peace, productivity, and even prosperity, especially in a time of external uncertainty, economic recession, and international conflict. Doing so is not an easy or simple task. I pray the blessing of our gracious God will abide with the new president and vice-presidents-elect, upon whom the mantle of Synod leadership will now be placed.
In the New Testament, Paul addresses a church in conflict, experiencing divided loyalty. It was a young church, characterized by partisan, immature behavior. He writes words worthy of consideration, especially at this time in the LCMS: “… For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed … I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Co r. 3:3-11).
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!