There has been a lot of talk about the Missouri Synod’s Koinonia Project, not all of it helpful or well-informed. The head of the project, First Vice President Herb Mueller, Junior often contributes to the President’s Office blog “Witness, Mercy, Life Together.” Here is his most recent post in which he talks plainly about the Koinonia Project and where it is heading.
Currently under development through the Office of the President of the Synod, the Koinonia Project is basically intended to draw the members of our Synod closer together in our confession of God’s Word. Just that statement alone begs the question – why is the Koinonia Project needed? What are the issues? What’s the real problem?
Some would say, “If only ‘they’ would behave themselves as Christians,” (whoever “they” are!), “our problems would be solved.” Or, “the real problem is those pastors who…” and you can fill in the blank with whatever you think is the malady. Indeed, the Task Force on Synodical Harmony (whose report you can access at www.lcms.org/koinoniaproject) has identified a number of issues, both behavioral and theological. Everyone, it seems, will have their list of reasons why our Synod experiences conflict in our life together. In the Koinonia Project concept paper, also at www.lcms.org/koinoniaproject, we list a few of the obvious theological issues, not to be exhaustive but simply illustrative.
The point is, most people can identify at least some of the problem. Of course, it is also true that how each person (including myself!) evaluates the issues and conflicts will be colored by his or her political biases and expectations. No one should be surprised by this. It’s been part of our life together for a long time. In fact, this phenomenon is one of the clearest examples of the need for an effort like the Koinonia Project. It’s also the source of some misconceptions about the project.