To Require Submission to the Appropriate District President and to the Synodical President a Request for Approval prior to Participation in any Service having Earmarks of Unionism or Syncretism

Here are two last-minute overtures that were submitted by Pastor Martin Noland at the request of some of his friends. There isn’t much time left to get these passed by your church or circuit, but we wanted to get them out there just in case. They have been submitted in the forum where they were passed.

 

Whereas, Article VI CONDITIONS OF MEMBERSHIP in the Synod, paragraph 2. provides for:

“Renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description, such as:

a. Serving congregations of mixed confession, as such, by ministers of the church.

b. Taking part in the services and sacramental rites of heterodox congregations or of congregations of mixed confession.

c. Participating in heterodox tract and missionary activities.”

Whereas, Despite Article VI of the Constitution of the Synod and the affirmation before God of all ordained and rostered clergymen of the Synod to uphold the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod there continue to breaches of Article VI aforesaid, sometimes in highly visible settings where human emotions are high and grieving; and

Whereas, Uniting with erring Christians let alone unbelievers and worshipers of false Gods is sin pure and simple against the First Commandment and destructive of the One True Faith we in Synod openly confess in an ever increasing secular nation; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Synod insert in its bylaws a provision that before any member of the Synod (congregation, pastor or professional church worker) participate in any service having any earmark suggesting unionism or syncretism consult with and obtain the prior approval of the District President where membership is held with the District President to forthwith upon being so contacted, contact the President of the Synod and secure his approval as well so the Synod may give a clear confession of the One True Faith in the Triune God and be a Synod so united rather than divided.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

To Require Submission to the Appropriate District President and to the Synodical President a Request for Approval prior to Participation in any Service having Earmarks of Unionism or Syncretism — 11 Comments

  1. If this resolution had been passed during the 2001 convention, it wouldn’t have prevented LCMS participation in the Yankee Stadium interfaith heresy.

    All it does is to make the Synodical President responsible for prior decisions on Article VI.2-related events. Why not have the SP responsible for prior decisions on ALL Article VI-related events, and all Article VIII-related events?

    Or the synodical convention could just decide that the President is responsible, as ecclesiastical supervisor, for District Presidents being responsible for deciding when an Article VI violation has occurred.

    Oh, wait… that has already been put into the Constitution and Bylaws.

  2. And what if this resolution had been passed in 2010, and DP Yeadon had passed along Pres. Harrison’s disapproval of the Newtown interfaith heresy, but Rev. Morris had participated anyway, and DP Yeadon had issued a letter stating his support for Rev. Morris’s actions.

    The SP would be left in the same position he is now, and with the same decision on whether or not to initiate the Bylaw 2.15 procedure against DP Yeadon.

    And who decides if participation has “any earmark suggesting unionism or syncretism“? The potential participant? According to Rev. Morris’s letter, his participation in the Newtown interfaith prayer service had no earmarks of unionism or syncretism, so he would see no need to ask for any approval. Again, no change in the results.

    If a proposed resolution appears to result in no demonstrable change and does not even refer to the actions to be taken if the resolution is not followed, it is probably not worth proposing.

  3. Carl is right. We can’t legislate our way out of this problem. A better approach is to constantly educate our pastors and people that the better Christian witness is to avoid these events. BJS, President Harrison, Issues ETC and others are doing great work teaching in this moment.

  4. @Matt Jamison #3

    Kinda. We know what we should b edoing. Getting our rules in lilne with our beliefs will help an dstrecngthen our resolve. And it gives teeth and makes it easier to reprimeand and deal with errency. But you are also absolutely correct. We need better pastors trained in better ways. Otherwise we have them still agitating for vacuous CTCR, kick-the-can CCM, b***s*** DRP and ambiguous resolutions. And these bad pastors get in and can vote their bad ideas! And teach their congregations to vote the same! I see it as a both/and. With more emphasis on education part, then they will know how to act accordingly, in the public and at convention.

  5. Why aren’t these things more obviously clear to our seminary educated pastors? I’m not sure more rules and resolutions are the answer to either an ignoring or plain old crass ignorance of our own theology. That is a grave concern, especially when we talk about more short cuts to call and ordination to the one office of Word and Sacrament.

  6. The district presidents and until the last election – the synod president – have all been the most consistent targets of criticism from this blog and every other voice from conservative Lutherans. Yet this measure gives them more power and/or authority – why on earth would you want to do that?

    This motion is entirely contradictory and self defeating. You’re requesting that your most consistent opponents be given the capacity to officially endorse participation in these events! This proposed end will be far worse than the beginning!

  7. Oh. My. Gosh. This is farcical.

    I just talked to a buddy of mine in the Florida-Georgia District. Conservative LCMS Lutheran, although we may differ on our musical tastes for worship.

    Apparently, the way recent events have been handled Has. Not. Gone. Over. Well. At. All.

    Either among fellow pastors, congregational members, or among district leadership.

    Just sayin’.

    Confessionals are shooting themselves in both feet, practically ensuring a devastating loss in 2016.

  8. @Robert #7: “This is farcical…. the way recent events have been handled Has. Not. Gone. Over. Well. At. All.”

    Not to raise doubts about your LCMS buddy’s intel on pastors, congregations, or districts, nor your interesting use of periods, Robert, but could you be a little more specific about “the way recent events have been handled”?

  9. Pr. John Frahm :Why aren’t these things more obviously clear to our seminary educated pastors? I’m not sure more rules and resolutions are the answer to either an ignoring or plain old crass ignorance of our own theology. That is a grave concern, especially when we talk about more short cuts to call and ordination to the one office of Word and Sacrament.

    I do not believe the seminaries teach pastoral candidates to seek participation in interfaith worship services. That would be the COP — at least some very prominent members of the Council of Presidents.

    Closely related to unionism is open communion. In Presiden’t Harrison’s “Pastor and Congregation 101” he says both seminaries teach candidates closed Communion, then they are sent to congregations that have been practicing open communion for decades. (The full article is in the November 2012 issue of Lutheran Witness.)

    I would add to that, “Then they are sent to ecclesiastical supervisors…”

  10. @Pastor Ted Crandall #9: “I do not believe the seminaries teach pastoral candidates to seek participation in interfaith worship services…. Closely related to unionism is open communion. “

    Contributing to these problems was the ‘hot potato’ juggling that occurred between the Commission on Constitutional Matters, in its October 2 and October 21-22, 2002, Minutes (Sect. 63 and Sect. 71), and the Commission on Theology and Church Relations’s February 12, 2010, “Response to [a September 7, 2009] ‘Request for CTCR Opinion’,” not to mention the 44-page, 110-footnoted, January, 2012, document, "Historical Background and Interpretation of Article VI.2 of the Constitution of The Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod (Draft)," in which Gerhard Bode explored every dot, tittle, and fraktur in a section of the original 1847 Missouri Synod constitution.

    After passing the hot potato back and forth for years, the CCM finally doctrinally opined (February 10-12, 2012, minutes, para. 91) that a synodical member partaking in the Lord’s Supper within a church body, which the CTCR now describes as “embodying apostasy,” is not “taking part” in a sacramental rite, as that phrase is used in Article VI, paragraph 2 b of the Constitution.

    Thus, in a pending case, a LCMS pastor could not be removed from the LCMS roster just because he takes communion at a XXXA congregation where his wife is a pastrix. Is it any wonder that open communion and taking part (or is it “partaking”?) in unionistic and syncretic services are problems in the LCMS today?

    So far the CCM has not apologized for its Lufauxran opinion causing offense to Lutherans within the Missouri Synod (they haven’t apologized for their January, 1992 opinion either).

  11. Carl Vehse :
    Contributing to these problems was the ‘hot potato’ juggling…

    Yeah, the official paperwork is a mess. I’m glad these guys weren’t writing the Confessions! I mean, so much for knowing Scripture and having the courage of your convictions to same-say what God has already said…

    How I miss the weekly reminder we used to get every week in the General Prayer in TLH, where we ask that the Lord would “grant to Thy holy Church throughout the world purity of doctrine and faithful pastors, who shall preach Thy Word with power.”

    “Here I stand… or I could stand there, if it would offend you less!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.