Mission Vision MNS: Supporting past and current actions of the MNS District

There is a political group in the Minnesota South District looking to continue the same policies and procedures that currently have one of their own congregations under an eviction notice.  The group is called Mission Vision MNS.

Here is their Facebook page

Here is their Webpage

If you look at the URL for the webpage you will see that it looks like it may be being hosted through CLC (Campus Lutheran Chapel)which happens to be the second campus ministry in the MNS District, also slated to be sold off like ULC.  UPDATE:  If you look at comment #1 by Rev. M. Dent, you can see that this CLC connection “may” be true, but may not be as well.

This group existed at the last convention, which by their high praise of the Board of Directors and President Sietz means that they have been approving of the behaviors of the District in relation to ULC, one of its congregations.  CLC Mankato also supported their old webpage.

Here is some information by them about them:

We are positive about the many ministries of our district, supportive of the variety of forms these ministries take, and supportive of the district leaders who are providing encouragement and direction for these ministries.  The Old and New Testaments both teach a variety of approaches to God’s work of reaching his world that allow for adjusting to contextual situations of time, place, culture, age group, and temperament.  We ourselves have a variety of approaches in our own ministries—many quite traditional—but are supportive of the innovation of others used by God to reach people different from the ones we personally are serving.

That’s three “variety’s” in one “positive” paragraph.  Reaching people who are different from the ones we personally are serving – aren’t we all seeking to serve sinners?  This is the same divisive speech that you see in political campaigns.  Also, the word “innovation” in church history does not have a very good record.

   We are convinced that our district leadership and administration are leading us in a God-pleasing and effective direction which should be continued by electing and re-electing those who will serve us in continuing to encourage God’s work in our district.

So eviction, executive sessions, and so forth are “God-pleasing”?  Why don’t they at least acknowledge some shame?  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).  Effective at what?  Disenfranchising an entire congregation and also dividing up your district even more?  Now, I have  been an ardent supporter of ULC since the start of this whole shameful mess, but even a “neutral” party can see that this brings division to the District and Synod.  That division is hardly God pleasing and effective.  Re-electing those who so callously and secretly acted to eventually evict a congregation and drive a hard wedge into a district already hurting would not be using sound judgment at all.

  We accept as fact the truth that God’s Word never changes while the strategies used by the Church to present that Word, to God’s world, are constantly evolving.  This evolution of strategies happens at varying rates in various communities and should be neither pushed nor retarded by people outside of the local church.  We are supportive of our district’s present administration and leadership in the way they understand and apply these facts.

Evolution within the church?  The Church being the body of Christ, the one who never changes.  We are children of the Reformation, which was God’s work of re-forming us back to what the Church was, not evolving the church into something new.  I wonder if the actions taken against ULC would be considered being “pushed… by people outside of the local church.”  Seems like a congregation and its faithful (and growing) ministry were run under roughshod for a new “evolution”.  Since they are supportive of the way things are being done currently in regards to ULC, they must mean something different by “this evolution of strategies…should be neither pushed nor retarded by people outside the local church” than “this evolution of strategies… should be neither pushed nor retarded by people outside the local church.”  ULC is the local church, MNS Board of Directors and the DP are “people outside the local church.”

They also have an interesting “libertine” look at Acts 15:

We accept the fact that unity and conformity are not synonymous.  To us it seems clear from Acts 15 that the traditional Hebrew based congregations of Jerusalem and the innovative Gentile based congregations of the Mediterranean mission activity were in unity with one another without conforming their practice or strategies in all matters.  We also accept the fact that Paul chastised Peter for missing this very point.

The selection of the word “conformity” is interesting.  Traditionally the Synod has talked about “uniformity” in relation to unity. Conformity has to do with the Scriptures and Confessions (which have a lot to say about worship and mission practices).  Their interpretation of Acts 15 forgets that Paul willingly submitted to the rules that they agreed to, as a Church body.  The Synod has agreed to do certain things, and not others (see our Constitution about the requirement to use hymnals, agendas, and catechisms), also the Syond-wide creation of Lutheran Service Book says something about our Synod-wide agreement to conform.  Paul did not walk into Jerusalem saying “my rights, my rights, my freedom”.  He went in and used his freedom to submit to the greater Church (the actual Christian use of freedom).  The ultimate point of Paul and Peter was not conformity and so forth, but instead the role of the old Jewish law in relation to Christianity, and especially in relation to salvation by grace through faith.  If anyone was requiring the “traditional” as necessary for salvation, confessionals would be the first ones to stand up and condemn that teaching (in fact, we have already in the Book of Concord in all those passages that libertines love to quote to bring in any “innovation” their itching ears want to hear).

One of the most amazing things in the whole ULC affair is the arrogance of never admitting wrong, never sitting down to talk about it, never trying to communicate and come to a reasonable solution (in fact, the legal documents in ULC’s case against the District note a $3.8million offer for the property which would have included space for ULC, $300,000 more than the offer the District accepted which has yellow ribbons around trees to be cut down, a beautiful building ready to be razed, and a congregation unwillingly homeless).  This whole affair, and this group’s endorsement of it are shameful.

For those who have a vote at the coming MNS District Convention, please consider the statements of this group in light of how the MNS District has acted towards one of its own congregations, University Lutheran Chapel.  If you think all of the fighting and divisions are a good thing, then vote for re-election.  If you don’t like how things have gone (even if you don’t agree with ULC), consider voting all incumbents out, and also voting against whoever this group recommends.  They have shown their approval of these actions (secrecy, eviction, no communication) and have endorsed them.  Mission Vision indeed has a different vision which should not be allowed to run the show in the MNS District anymore.

To close, only Matthew 20:25-26a will do:

  But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you.



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