Transition Period for the LCMS – Strange Fires, By-Laws and Christ’s Mercy, by Dennis Peskey

Editor’s Introduction – I consider Dennis Peskey, Chairman of Hope Lutheran in De Witt, Michigan and a charter member of the Brothers of John the Steadfast, to be a friend and a skilled lay theologian. His other friends and I sometimes tease him about the fact that he is never at a loss for words. Here is something he said that is profound, poetic and worth sharing as a post. It is from a comment he wrote on this morning’s story about the Harrison transition. (Pastor Rossow)

I have been reflecting on the status of the families of the Bible and throughout the history of God’s people, I can not name one family united around God’s Word.  From the very beginning of Adam and Eve after the fall, discord and division is a thread woven into the family tapestry.  The solution to the problems they faced required recognition of the cause – sin, the very same problem we confront now in our family.  While the temptation looms near to attempt solutions by our own efforts, the reality is we are part of the problem.  That’s the bad news.

The good news is we have elected a man named Pastor Harrison whose steadfast approach is through Christ with mercy to all.  His ‘track record’ as head of LC-MS WR & HC bears witness to his unfailing efforts to bring healing to the wounded, comfort to the distressed and peace to God’s people with the application of the Gospel.  This is the future of our Synod; not all will agree nor wish to be in accord with this course.  After all, even Jesus very brothers did not believe until after his resurrection.  If we cling to all that Jesus taught (confessionals call this “doctrine”) and proclaim this message throughout our Synod with mercy and love for our fellow Lutherans, we will be healed.  We must approach all with the same mind and heart knowing fullwell some will not hear us nor see the joy of God’s grace offered to them.  We can only tell what God has done and is doing for us – it is the “for us” which makes us Lutheran as opposed to those who choose “by us”.  The “strange fires” among us will slowly ember; the By-Laws are just that – Laws which can not heal nor save; our unity will only be found in Christ and His mercy.  This is the very heart of our new Synodical President and our Synod’s best hope.


About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Transition Period for the LCMS – Strange Fires, By-Laws and Christ’s Mercy, by Dennis Peskey — 6 Comments

  1. Well said, brother Dennis, yet I will offer up at least one exception to your rule of not a single example of a family being united around God’s Word: the immediate family of nine that God has so graciously blessed me with. Granted, we are not mentioned in Scripture, but we are in the history of God’s people. There is no promise that we will always remain united around God’s Word, but I certainly cherish the blessing I currently enjoy, and I place my hope in Him that He will not lose any that have been given to Him. If a hausvater follows God’s Word in raising his family, especially in light of Luther’s injunctions introducing the Catechisms, there is no reason such unity should not be enjoyed, at least while the children remain under the same roof.

    In light of one of Rev. Harrison’s recent blog posts quoting Pieper, “By ‘unity in the faith,’ we understand the agreement in all articles of Christian doctrine that is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.” Such is the unity I enjoy in my family, and such is the unity I desire with all of my fellow Lutherans in my congregation and in the synod. However, since in the latter two such unity does not exist, your point is well taken. Therefore I pray, under the fatherly leadership of Rev. Harrison, may the Lord grant us such unity, if not now, we trust in Heaven under God’s headship. Amen.

  2. And I might add that all the members of the above “Biblical” family have good teeth. 🙂

    Speaking of BJS members from the very beginning – thanks Erich for all you did on the steering commitee when we were first getting started.


  3. I think the point Mr. Peskey was trying to make is that every family, yes every family, since the fall, is made up of sinners. Yes, even the Holy Family, save Jesus, was made up of sinners. Mary – sinner! Joseph – sinner! Jesus – SAINT. Therefore the same can be said about Christ’s Church. Every church is made up of sinners who have been redeemed by the blood of the Holy One of Israel. His blood covers over our families. Thanks be to God.

  4. Thank you, Dennis, for your fine, provocative writing. I pray that more will have ears to hear. The center of genuine unity of the cross of Christ Jesus via Word and Sacrament. May God remove stubborn pride, and soften hearts.

  5. Thanks, Dennis. Great thoughts. Now we need to pray for Pastor Harrison and all other leaders to be held up by God’s strength, that they may be used by Him to lead us as a synod back into the riches and anchor of God’s Word.

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