Email from Southern District DP Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz

Another DP checks in …

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM SO DIST PRES REV. KURTIS SCHULTZ TO VOTING DELEGATES FOR SYNOD PRESIDENT

Dear Voting Delegate,

Grace and peace to you in Jesus!

This next week you will casting an historic vote in the election of the President of our church body. It is historic because it is the first time the voices of each congregation have been given the opportunity to be heard in this way.

I am sure you have received many mailings trying to influence your vote. You may have already seen the materials attached to this message. I am sending them to you since I believe these materials are balanced and clear in its comparison and contrast of the Candidates.

These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS.
One direction is voiced by Rev. Harrison and Rev. Mueller, the other is voiced by Rev Maier. I urge you to lay aside all other factors and vote for the direction you believe the LCMS is to take in the future.

You are in my prayers as you make this important decision concerning our work together in the name Jesus and the mission to which he has called us.

If I can be of assistance to you do not hesitate to contact me.

God grant you the wisdom of His Holy Spirit.

Stay in peace

Kurt

Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz, President
Southern District – LCMS
100 Mission Dr.
Slidell LA 70460
Direct Phone: 985-796-7577
www.Southernlcms.org

“It’s Time” That they may know Jesus

Click here for attachment

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

Email from Southern District DP Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz — 45 Comments

  1. I wrote Schultz –

    His e-mail is either bogus, or needs the NSA for entrance . . .

    In any case . . my letter, if it ever gets through . . .

    + + +

    Pastor Schultz –

    You wrote:

    Dear Voting Delegate,

    Grace and peace to you in Jesus!

    This next week you will casting an historic vote in the election of the President of our church body. It is historic because it is the first time the voices of each congregation have been given the opportunity to be heard in this way.

    I am sure you have received many mailings trying to influence your vote. You may have already seen the materials attached to this message. I am sending them to you since I believe these materials are balanced and clear in its comparison and contrast of the Candidates.

    These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS.

    One direction is voiced by Rev. Harrison and Rev. Mueller, the other is voiced by Rev Maier. I urge you to lay aside all other factors and vote for the direction you believe the LCMS is to take in the future.

    You are in my prayers as you make this important decision concerning our work together in the name Jesus and the mission to which he has called us.

    If I can be of assistance to you do not hesitate to contact me.

    God grant you the wisdom of His Holy Spirit.

    Stay in peace

    Kurt

    + + +

    Pastor Schultz – your letter makes me wonder deeply where your theological sympathies truly are. Pardon my suspicions, every sinner forms one in such cases, which you have most certainly done as well . . .

    I am a “benefit the sinner whenever possible – unless THEY make it impossible” sorta guy. Even then . . I am willing to let matters go for Jesus’ sake.

    However . . .

    If I pulled that kind of “one-sided-ness” amidst my flock and were I in your District, I could and would rightly expect your “pastoral visit” in short order. But let me ask . . .

    Who will visit you to discipline you on the above slam against the 8th Commandment and President Harrison, which it most certainly is (despite your claims otherwise).

    You wrote this:

    “These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS.”

    Says you.

    Honestly, you offer not a scintilla of proof in either direction as to whatever it is you mean. You state it as a matter of fact, which it is not. It is simply your opinion, and you should have had the courtesy and honesty to say precisely that, rather than giving your District and delegates the false impression that is it fact that all readers must somehow believe. How is that possibly so, sir?

    I ask you directly – prove your contention. I mean you nary a bit of accusation, but I daresay, you cannot prove word one of your own words. I personally ask you to do so before you spread such stuff again.

    You owe your readers an explanation of your words. And that, is not yet forthcoming.

    The election begins on the morrow. Can you fix your error quickly, or are you content to let what you have said, sans even the least justification or proof, stand? I would pray you do not.

    In Christ Jesus –

    Pastor Jeff Baxter
    Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
    Palacios, TX

  2. Pastor Baxter:

    THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ About! Now officially complain to your DP.

  3. Dude –

    Was trying to say . . . I did.

    And I will be in St. Loo in 30 days. With a voice and a vote. Can’t say I will change the world, but hey! –

    Showing up is half the battle won, eh?

    jb

    P.S. Thanks for the kudos! pb

  4. @jb #1

    Let me see if I understand this.

    You complain when a DP advocates for a specific candidate, and you complain when he sends out balanced information.

    Do I have it right?

  5. “These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS. One direction is voiced by Rev. Harrison and Rev. Mueller, the other is voiced by Rev Maier. I urge you to lay aside all other factors and vote for the direction you believe the LCMS is to take in the future.”

    I do believe he got that much almost right.

    I urge you to vote not for what your opinion says, but for the direction the Word of God says the LCMS should take in the future.

  6. Pastor Ted Crandall :
    “These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS. One direction is voiced by Rev. Harrison and Rev. Mueller, the other is voiced by Rev Maier. I urge you to lay aside all other factors and vote for the direction you believe the LCMS is to take in the future.”
    I do believe he got that much almost right.
    I urge you to vote not for what your opinion says, but for the direction the Word of God says the LCMS should take in the future.

    What if “the direction the Word of God says” is neither of the two options, or a combination of the two options?

    Be careful of setting up a false dichotomy.

  7. David Hartung:
    Let me see if I understand this. You complain when a DP advocates for a specific candidate, and you complain when he sends out balanced information. Do I have it right?

    No, you do not. DP Schultz is not being “balanced” in this e-mail he is sending out in his official capacity as DP. With the left’s now-familiar talking point of “two directions,” it is clear which candidate Schultz is advocating.

  8. “I am sure you have received many mailings trying to influence your vote. You may have already seen the materials attached to this message. I am sending them to you since I believe these materials are balanced and clear in its comparison and contrast of the Candidates.”

    What are these materials?  Are they fair and balanced?  Isn’t it a fact that LCMS ministry is going in two directions?  It seems to me I have read about this for many months on BJS.  I agree that mischaracterization of opposing positions is common on both sides.

  9. “Balance” or not… have District Presidents ever sent out mailings to delegates suggesting that they are personally available to “be of assistance” (i.e., influence the vote) in previous conventions?

    Looks to me like… the previous administration, having rigged this preliminary voting (with the assumption that [he] would win it and then be able to pick the 1st VP) is now concerned that the incumbent will retain his seat (and be able to pick the 1st VP).

    Wouldn’t that be a shame!?

    Pray that this “campaigning” comes to naught!

  10. There doesn’t appear, to me, to much to gripe at in DP Schultz’s e-mail. He does not advocate a particular candidate. While he mentions the phrase “two directions,” he does not tell you which direction the LCMS should go. Further, it seems to me many on this blog would agree that Harrison/Mueller would lead the LCMS differently than Maier.

    By offering his counsel, if requested, he is doing what I would expect of a DP.

    And, if “two directions” is a loaded phrase, then certainly “It’s time” is just as loaded.

    While I think a briefer note (saying basically: I know you’re voting; be in prayer; Jesus will always be Lord of the Church) would be a better approach, I don’t find much fault in this message.

  11. Don’t know about Schultz, but it seems to me that a District President giving an opinion has a lot of power. The pastors in the DP’s district will want to stay on the good side of their DP. Should any DP use this power in this way?

  12. @Matthew Gunia #10

    I agree with you, Matthew. Perhaps Pres. Schultz’s only error is by asserting that there are only two directions for Synod. There are any number of directions for the Synod. Perhaps he means that, in his opinion, the only directions available are those represented by the presidential candidates.

    Again, we need to avoid a false dichotomy. If I ask you to select either an orange or a banana, but you know that I also have an apple available, then you’ve caught me in a false dichotomy.

    Further, the presidential election alone does not represent the entirety of the “direction” for Synod. Delegates may vote for, or against, resolutions that have been put forward, which would be aligned with or favorable to a presidential candidate.

    And, let’s not forget, there are three presidential candidates, not two.

  13. I wonder if the DP’s, esp Rev. Schultz, will bring the subject up at the Council of Presidents and ask for a through discussion of the two directions – regardless of who is elected? Are these directions both Scriptural and Confessional? He suggests that one is certainly less in that regard. Therefore, I wonder if the proponents of the “lesser” position (whichever one that is- UI would let Rev. Schultz enlighten us on that) really ought to remain as members of the LCMS? It seems to me that Rev. Schultz’s letter is composed mostly of vague and unsubstantiated accusations against at least one of the nominees, perhaps, two. A very sad incident.

  14. Richard Lewer :
    Don’t know about Schultz, but it seems to me that a District President giving an opinion has a lot of power. The pastors in the DP’s district will want to stay on the good side of their DP. Should any DP use this power in this way?

    Schultz is my District President, and while I may not always see exactly eye to eye with him, he has done a good job. In my experience Kurt Schultz is a fair and honorable man.

  15. @Elnathan #13

    Are these directions both Scriptural and Confessional? He suggests that one is certainly less in that regard.

    Help me out here.  Where does he suggest that? Which one?

    It seems to me that Rev. Schultz’s letter is composed mostly of vague and unsubstantiated accusations against at least one of the nominees, perhaps, two.

    Excuse me.  Where are these accusations?  Against whom?    Thanks.

  16. @ John: I think that is obvious. By positing one “vision” against the other (Rev. Maier does that – which in itself isn’t a bad thing) and by virtue of his membership in the LCMS which has a clear Scriptural and confessional position he cannot be saying that both are just fine with him (clearly he does not say that). Therefore, one has to be less preferable. That’s common sense, John. #2 “What accusations?” Given that one “vision” is less desirable you have an accusation – an attitude presented that one is inferior to the other. That too is common sense, I hope you now understand it a bit better. Now perhaps Rev Maier is correct and one is better than the other that clearly leads one to the position that the supporter(s) of that position if elected will lead the synod in the wrong direction – that is an accusation – even if it is unstated – i.e. vague. I hope that helps.

    Against whom? I think that is obvious also.

  17. David,
    I was talking about the power of the DP in general. not about any particular one.

  18. Seems to me like the question regarding “…the direction you believe the LCMS is to take in the future” is similar to the One Question Satan Wants Every Church to Ask? See June 16th article by Pastor Eric Anderson. Pastor Anderson further states:

    “Satan distracts us from God’s Word by getting us to imagine what we’d do differently if we were in charge. When a question like “What kind of church do we want to be” is asked, it is easy for a congregation to unwittingly replace God’s purposes for the church with their own agenda. We do not decide what the Church is or should be doing. The Church is the Bride of Christ, called to submit to Him in all things (Ephesians 5:24).”

    Shouldn’t a District President be able to give scripturally-based counsel regarding “…the direction…the LCMS is to take in the future…” ?

  19. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    I may have missed the obvious. I didn’t see the “materials attached to this message” that DP Schultz is talking about. It is very difficult to determine what he is saying without those materials. Before you judge what he is saying, you too should read through those materials carefully.

    Just trying to be fair here. Maybe someone has those materials and can link us to them.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  20. Does anyone know how a delegate can vote online for synodical president without revealing the trail of servers used, the identity of the voter and for which nominee they voted? Not the gory details, but a very brief explanation.

    Also what about people who don’t have smartphones, iPads, computers, or internet connections (we are talking about Lutherans here)? 😉

  21. @Martin R. Noland #20

    The materials referenced were a .pdf file attached to the email. I have sent that file to your private email.

    Everyone else, so far as I know, there is no provision to attach files to these posts. The file seems to be from a publication called Lutheran Life. To me, it seems to be balanced, giving primarily the same answers to questions that was in the mail-out from the Synod.

  22. Dear Carl,

    The process used is web-based. I don’t know if there was a provision for regular postal mail, since I believe every congregation has a computer and Internet connections. Even if the pastor or lay delegate doesn’t have an Internet connection, the congregation would.

    Voters are instructed to go to a secure website (https:), enter their election code, and voting PIN, which they received by mail from the Secretary of Synod. The website layout looks similar to electronic voting done in some US precincts. So your actual physical location doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you have your election code and voting PIN, issued by the Secretary of Synod. The secretary of the synod would have the resulting data, as he always has after synod convention elections.

    I have watched the voting process develop over forty years or so. One of my father’s good friends was, for many years, on the Floor Committee for elections. This man was a computer engineer, and so he helped throughout the process, results, and audits back in the days when the synod used IBM cards and #2 pencils.

    What the synod always had in place is what we might “data controls,” which are analogous to “financial controls.” This makes sure there is always at least two unrelated persons working on various steps of the process, and an “audit” is also performed. That way no one can monkey with the details or results.

    When the synod went to electronic key-pads at the convention, I was somewhat concerned because the process changed and the people I was talking to assumed nothing could go wrong, because “computers are more accurate in math than people.” “Math” is not the point. After some runarounds with bureaucrats, I finally determined that the process was sound, and only different in technical details from the punch card system.

    There is always the possibility of voter fraud if “data controls” are not employed, but as far as I can tell, they continue to be used. After all the LCMS Board of Directors are very concerned about “risk management,” and there are laws with criminal consequences for voting fraud in major corporations (I forgot the technical terms in law here). With all the assets owned by or connected to the LCMS, we are definitely a major corporation.

    For additional details, you would have to contact the Floor Committee on Elections or the Secretary of Synod. I hope this helps answer some of your questions.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  23. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    The attachments to DP Schultz’s letter are from the District newsletter linked in John Rixe’s comment #24, directly above. The attachment includes only pages 6-15 from that newsletter, which is the June 2013 issue.

    I agree with Mr. Rixe that I don’t see any clear advocacy in his letter or the newsletter. Sending this information to delegates is a good thing–this is the type of information they need in order to vote intelligently. Much of it seems identical to the Lutheran Witness articles on the same subject. I don’t consider this a “misuse” of district mailing lists.

    I would not put DP Schultz’s letter in the same category as the advocacy pieces written by DPs Paul Linnemann and Bob Newton, and the advocacy letter sent by John List. You have to be fair, guys!

    By the way, it was good to see my old classmate Richard Norris at the end of the newsletter. Looks like he has done good things for his congregation and community for the years he has been there. “Stability” of a pastor in one congregation does have benefits all around!

    Anyway, thanks to Mr. Rixe (comment #23) and Pr. Hartung (comment #22) for their help in identifying the attachment.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  24. I agree that what Schultz did is not nearly as bad as the egregious behavior of Linnemann, Newton, and Wicher. Still, when Schultz says, “These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS. One direction is voiced by Rev. Harrison and Rev. Mueller, the other is voiced by Rev Maier”–it’s not too hard to tell which candidate the DP is recommending. Why interject this editorializing? Why not just remind the voters of one’s district about the election, review how to do the new process, etc.? The DP should stay neutral in his official correspondence. He should not use his office to advocate–even in dog whistles–in favor of one candidate over another for SP.

  25. @Charles Henrickson #26

    Still, when Schultz says, “These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS. One direction is voiced by Rev. Harrison and Rev. Mueller, the other is voiced by Rev Maier”–it’s not too hard to tell which candidate the DP is recommending.

    It’s too hard for me.  Which one?

    Hasn’t BJS been talking about two ministry directions for years?

    Sunday Blessings.  I enjoy your sermons.

  26. @Carl Vehse #21
    Also what about people who don’t have smartphones, iPads, computers, or internet connections (we are talking about Lutherans here)?

    Despite the bad mouthing of lists and blogs, it seems Synod wants everyone to be “connected” when they want to use the “connection”.
    I wonder if Synod has established “secure” connections with all the congregations.

    [The public library should have one.] 🙂

  27. @Martin R. Noland #23,

    Thank you for the information on Missouri Synod voting by internet. I googled some of the key words and phrases you mentioned and found several companies who offer online election services for companies or organizations. Some include options of using paper ballots or telephones along with an internet method. Used as a third party, the election services company can be used as a means of assuring privacy of the voter.

  28. John List, the publisher of Lutheran Life, sent a letter to the Florida/Georgia congregations and delegates strongly suppporting Rev. Maier. Lutheran Life is the newsletter for the Florida/Georgia district.

  29. The President-elect will select five candidates from the list of twenty names receiving the most nominations. The convention will then vote on which of those names will be the First Vice-President. The top five names (not counting Matthew Harrison), include Herbert Mueller, John Wohlrabe, Daniel Preus, Scott Murray, and Jeffery Schrank. However, the President-elect would be free to select any five of the twenty names, with at least two names from the first five of twenty names.

    Assuming Matthew Harrison is the President-elect, any WAG predictions on who the five nominees will be? The five mentioned above? Or some others?

  30. Our Lay delegate asked for input from the rest of the congregation on the three candidates. Yesterday was a potluck Sunday so I printed up, and handed out copies of the information sent out by President Schultz. Of the various responses, the one I found to be most interesting was by a retired lawyer. Of the answers given by the three men to the questions, this lawyer found that only President Harrison gave what she called “responsive” answers.

  31. A wise pastor told my circuit winkle when the ? of presidential election came up. ” Jesus himself could be elected president of the synod – there still would be people that are unhappy”. That put it all in perspective for this delegate

  32. John Rixe :
    @Charles Henrickson #26
    Still, when Schultz says, “These materials also clearly delineate two ministry directions for the LCMS. One direction is voiced by Rev. Harrison and Rev. Mueller, the other is voiced by Rev Maier”–it’s not too hard to tell which candidate the DP is recommending.

    It’s too hard for me.  Which one?
    Hasn’t BJS been talking about two ministry directions for years?
    Sunday Blessings.  I enjoy your sermons.

    [crickets]

  33. @John Rixe #38
    I have to agee with you John. It’s puzzling to me then why this DP would even bother to send this out. It would be like a state gov. sending out a flyer to all voters before the Presidential election saying, “Hey, just a reminder that these candidates have different views.” Duh. 🙂

  34. @Rev. McCall #41
    Maybe if one contacts him for assistance, as he encourages the readers to do, he will make it clear what he thinks.

    Could be, Pr. McCall. And that would have saved us two posts… three, now. Did you? 🙂

  35. Thinking…thinking…thinking…OK.  What Pastor Schultz did was proper and should be repeated at the next election.

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