Forty Days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!

Far from putting ULC in the place of Nineveh, this post is about the fact that ULC-Minneapolis has forty days left before they have to vacate their building.  I cannot believe that in our Synod I have to talk about a congregation being evicted from their normal church building by the District given to “assist congregations and their members in conserving and promoting the unity of the faith and in carrying out their [the congregation and their members] mission and ministry”  (2010 Handbook, page 29, Bylaw 1.3.3).

That means there are forty days left for many things to happen, here are some options that are out there:

ULC raises funds to have a viable option after they are evicted from their church building (by their own District).  DONATE.

MN South District looks at the situation and God gives them compassion for it, causing a change in their course of action, giving up their show of right for the greater good of souls who are ministered to at that place.

Other legal actions stall things out.

MN South District decides to let this issue be placed upon the Agenda of their convention.

There are most likely more options known better by those involved in the situation.  Please keep Pr. Kind and his congregation of ULC in your prayers.  Please also pray for those in power in MN South, knowing that at one point God took a people like the Assyrians and caused them to repent.

Strange thing, today I was reading the Large Catechism on the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer (daily bread) in which Luther states that good government is the greatest need for daily bread.  I guess that pertains to church governments as well.

Forty days, a Biblical number.

Psalm 2:10-11

UPDATE:  There is a new annotated document from ULC which gives comment to the MNS District “correcting” errors from a circuit of the MNN District (way to go Superior Circuit – you guys rock.).  See the document here.



About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Forty Days and Nineveh shall be overthrown! — 31 Comments

  1. That’s quite a document. Really, the same question comes to mind every time something new surfaces in this dreadful and completely unnecessary situation: How do the members of the MNS BOD live with themselves?

  2. MNS responds with outrageous lies.  They have no shame. 

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

    Pray for the MNS BOD.  May they repent and find forgiveness in the blood of the Lamb. 

  3. When the enemy is within the gates, what hope does the city have? They are responding to God’s Word by resisting and grieving the Holy Spirit. I would not want to be in their shoes for all of the oil in Arabia!

  4. The people needing to repent are those Law-Gospel reductionist “confessional Lutherans,” who, throughout this whole sad affair, have shown little respect for legitimate authority, i.e. duly-elected District leaders or members of District also boards, and apparently also scorn legitimate secular laws governing tenancy and real property.

    Of course, antinominans rarely repent.

  5. @Robert #4
    I believe that if you study the record you will see that ULC has consistently been mild and respectful in their expressions of concern about the MNS BOD actions, and has consistently prayed for and advocated that others pray for them, in the face of unspeakable provocation.

    The appearance of malice and of dishonesty in the BOD’s actions has created a public scandal that is harming our church body tremendously. It is important to speak this truth, and also to speak it in love. ULC has been an example to all of us in this regard.

  6. Robert :
    The people needing to repent are those Law-Gospel reductionist “confessional Lutherans,” who, throughout this whole sad affair, have shown little respect for legitimate authority, i.e. duly-elected District leaders or members of District also boards, and apparently also scorn legitimate secular laws governing tenancy and real property.
    Of course, antinominans rarely repent.


    That doesn’t even make sense

    1: Nowhere does the Bible say we are not we are not to question authority or to call those in authority to account when they violate the trust that is placed in them. Respect for authority has never meant unquestioningly agreeing with everything those in authority do.

    2: No one who has protested this sale has done or suggested doing anything illegal in this matter. All suggestions I have seen have been suggestions to look into LEGAL means to prevent this sale and, failing that, requiring, by a perfectly legal method – the district convention, that the proceeds of this sale benefit those for whom the property was originally purchased and held in trust, ULC.

    You are completely out of line.

  7. In addition to its uncritical acceptance of MNS comments without seeking ULC’s input, the MNN District appears to have its own problems, including one which Rev. Donald Kirchner has posted elsewhere about some very disturbing information regarding an alleged former pastor (his LCMS worker profile lists him as a “Commissioned-Lay Minister”) of a MNN congregation from 1998 to 2006. Rev. Kirchner is the current pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church of Lake George, MN.

  8. @Robert #4

    Would respect for authority include respecting the board and resolution that created two districts from one, that said the ULC property title would be held by the SD for the benefit of both the SD and the ND. Can we say that giving no portion or only a token of the sale proceeds to the ND shows respect for the legitimate authority of the duly elected board that adopted that resolution? Why should that board and that resolution be given less respect than the resolution of sale by the current SD board?

    To follow the principle of respect for legitimate authority, what is your specific proposal for concretely using a fair portion of the sale proceeds for the benefit of the ND?

  9. @Robert #4

    I don’t believe this is a confessional-missional issue.  A wide range of ordinary laymen are reacting to the arrogance, deception, and secrecy of the Minnesota South Board of Directors.

  10. @Carl Vehse #7
    Rick, I’ve read all that, but I don’t see what a “lay minister” [oxymoron] who misbehaved (!) after he left his congregation, by all reports I’ve seen, [wrong?] has to do with the situation at ULC, or the comments of MNNo Pastors about ULC or any other thing.

  11. Pastor Scheer,
    Calling it “Ninevah” sounds like the ULC should repent. For maintaining confessional liturgical Lutheran worship, maybe!? For sending men to seminary!?

    [I suppose an altar shoved into a back room and a guitar band in the chancel might have saved all this trouble! But that sounds more like “Ninevah” to me.]

  12. The MNS response to the Lake Superior Circuit resolution sounds like a legal opinion to me. I wonder how many mission dollars that cost? Since the “whereas” portions of the resolution seem to be disputed factually by the MNS (no surprise there) why not simply replace them with the following:

    Whereas it is the right and charitable thing to do and would go a long ways towards healing a major rift in our church:

    Be it resolved….

  13. Since the sale was not motivated by financial reasons, it appears that MNS district sold the property in order to force a deliberate change in the way the ULC conducts campus ministry.

    Evicting the ULC was the best way to ensure that the group would have to meet in a movie theater or campus lecture hall and conduct coffee house church services — just like the non-denominational seeker churches. Would a public school or university allow them to rent worship space:

    How are other non-Lutheran organizations “doing” campus ministry? How successful are they? Do they wish they had a building, or are they happy without one? Is the concept of a “brick and mortar” ministry outdated?

    Too bad the traveling ministry in the link below is not LCMS:

  14. @helen #10: I don’t see what a “lay minister” [oxymoron] who misbehaved (!) after he left his congregation, by all reports I’ve seen, [wrong?] has to do with the situation at ULC

    According to the UPDATE, the MNN District decided to exclude from its MNN Convention Workbook a memorial, which was legitimately passed by the Lake Superior Circuit Forum regarding the ULC, on the basis of uncritical acceptance of MNS comments without seeking ULC’s input (shown in the UPDATE link). The exclusion of such a legitimately passed memorial on the dubious input of a district which has been chastised here on BJS and elsewhere indicates a problem with the MNN decisionmaking process for memorials allowed in its convention workbook.

    A “lay minister” (or whatever) of one congregation who “misbehaved” (the charges against him are more serious than just “misbehaved”) has nothing specific to do with the situation at ULC. However, the additional information provided by Rev. Kirchner does relate to the question of decisionmaking at MNN District.

  15. @Wallenstein #14
    The Mormons have a nice center just down the block, as do the “Liberal Baptists.” The Romans sold their student chapel to the University, and moved their Newman Center to a neighborhood church 3-5 blocks off campus since I graduated.

    The MNS wolves won’t stop savaging our Lord’s sheep unless someone w/ the power to stop them does so. Pastor Harrison could and should remove Dr. Seitz over this demonic attack on Word and Sacrament ministry on the U of M campus. What’s the use of an undershepherd unwilling to lay down his life for his Master’s sheep?

  16. If I were in the MNN district, and a delegate to the convention, I would be looking into how to bring resolutions forward from the floor. And a simple whereas indicating that ULC provides exemplary Word and Sacrament ministry as well as campus ministry, both of which are vital, followed by a second one stating that they are being evicted from their sanctuary, would be all I would write before a resolve calling for the MNS district to grant them all or most of the proceeds from that sale. I would, with difficulty, restrain myself from the use of the adjectives that I would like to write in before the word ‘sale.’

    “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, and wept…”

  17. @Old Time St. John’s #17
    I wholeheartedly agree with you Old Time. However, the place for such a resolution to come from the floor will be the MNS-district convention. MNN should still do so as well. But such a resolution would not be binding on the MNS. It will have to come from the floor at the MNS district convention as such a motion will have no chance in the orchestrated floor committees. Those offering such resolutions should do just as Old Time suggests, otherwise the chair will rule a motion with any perceived factual inaccuracies to be out of order.

  18. @Matthew Mills #16
    3-5 blocks off campus? What would be the maximum acceptable distance from campus for a relocated ULC?

    By the way, Matt Harrison will not remove any district presidents anytime soon. I do believe he should remove at least three of them. However, he is afraid that if he were to do so, the Willow Creek Lutherans will cry: “I told you so! As soon as a Confessional gets elected, the purging of the Missionals begins. Confessionals are such pharisees!”

    Never mind the fact that the Confessionals are supposed to remain quiet while watching hundreds of LCMS congregations not merely supplement, but completely replace Lutheran worship and study materials with those recommended by Willow Creek and by Saddleback Church. Never mind that the missional leadership of MNS forced the sale of the ULC. Never mind the fact that CPH is also hurt by these actions. The quality of catechesis also suffers. When do you have time to study the Lutheran confessions when you are too busy reading Rick Warren?

    IMHO, Pastor Harrison is a lame duck. The Missionals are too great in number. To move against them would cost him the next election.

    I am waiting for LCMS pastors to become disillusioned with the Church Growth Movement and rediscover traditional Lutheran doctrine. Is there any evidence that this is happening?

  19. @Wallenstein #19
    Sort of a moot point as there isn’t a nearby LCMS congregation to which they could migrate. The RC’s had the option, but we don’t.

    What Pastor Harrison WILL do, I can’t say. I only said what he could and should do. Perhaps the reason his office was voted extra powers at the last convention was for this very reason.

  20. @Old Time St. John’s #5
    “The appearance of malice and of dishonesty in the BOD’s actions has created a public scandal that is harming our church body tremendously. It is important to speak this truth, and also to speak it in love.”

    Yes, and the BOD has had pearls thrown at its porcine feet for so long that it is time to show them the sort of love that Jesus demonstrated: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” (Matthew 23:13)

  21. I keep hoping and praying for some good news in this dreadful and unnecessary situation. May God save ULC from the evil that others intend.

  22. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #24
    @helen #23
    Sometimes the header is used to draw in readers.

    Yes, but when the header contradicts the facts in the story too often, you lose faith in the columnist.
    Here I am not talking about you; I’ve had this problem elsewhere a couple of times this week.

  23. I just visited the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis website and was struck by the contrast between their principles for strategic planning and the MNS District’s “mission statement”

    The MNS District has: “Developing missional leaders in congregation & schools”
    The Roman Catholics have: 1. Full sacramental ministry
    2. Competent pastoral leaders
    3. Special concern for the needs of the poor, marginalized, and immigrant
    4. Catholic school support and inclusion in the planning process
    5. Every parish is involved in this discussion
    6. Every parish is expected to evaluate their own resources and adjust accordingly
    7. Respect, patience and honesty in all discussions to build on strengths

    MNS could learn from all of these, especially numbers 1, 2 and 7. How ashamed our synod should be that the Roman Catholic Diocese appears so much more faithful than many of our Districts.

  24. @LaVonne #27

    Heck, I’ll just settle for #2. No more pastor as CEO (PLI); no more CoWo, Willow Creek, Saddleback, et al; would actually do #1 because they are competent. Having faithful competent pastors could go a long way to resovling many other things, and make our troubles easier to figure out.

  25. Hopefully God will use David (Fr Kind) to take on the Goliath (of MN-South District Bureaucracy) and somehow save ULC!

  26. Inaction by the synod headquarters demonstrates that the LCMS is a sick organization. How many other campus ministries across the country will be sold off and made homeless in like manner? No campus worship structure is safe from the “missional” wrecking ball.

  27. @Wallenstein #30
    We brag that our is not an “episcopal” organization (power from the top).
    It follows that pressure “from the bottom” would be required to “move” the MN So. officers.
    Apparently there is not enough of that to move them in the confessional direction.

    Although I subscribe to the theory that the highest office in the church is the parish pastor, I’m afraid we are in fact governed more on the “business model” than we want to admit.
    So things appear to be going as the SP’s predecessor would wish.
    Perhaps the “sleeping giant” of Lutheranism is in fact on his deathbed.

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