That’s the question I keep asking myself. Shouldn’t you know better? Don’t you understand that words actually mean something and your confession or lack thereof is killing people? Growing up I was lucky. I had parents who while they made mistakes were pretty good parents. They kept me out of trouble and taught me right from wrong. If they really screwed up…like beat me, gave me alcohol or let me wonder the wild and crazy streets of Wahpeton, North Dakota as a toddler they would have gotten in trouble. The police would have questioned them and possibly taken me away from them. In many situations it’s a very good thing to have law enforcement and people watching over us. What if that wasn’t in place? What if I could let my two kids roll around in the back of our car and not buckle them into the proper car seat? What if I didn’t really want my kids to go to school? Maybe I’d just let them watch television all day while I’m at work. Besides school supplies and lunches are so expensive. Sometimes oversight is a good thing. Not all dead beat parents who beat their children are caught. Not everyone who speeds through a school zone is given a ticket. Sometimes even murderers get away with it. Crime is still crime, and sin is still sin (even if you don’t get caught).
Sometimes I feel like pastors get a pass. While respecting and honoring the office of the Holy Ministry, I feel like laymen won’t question their pastors. Why should they? Shouldn’t pastors know better? Shouldn’t they understand what it means to be a Lutheran in the LCMS? Shouldn’t they remember the oath they took at their ordination? Shouldn’t they know the people in their flock look to them for answers? Pastors are sinners. They sin. Sometimes they sin in such a way we think “Shouldn’t he know better?” At times, the world, the devil and our sinful flesh are powerful things to resist. We should all remember that when our pastors sin we must pray for them. Pray that they come to the realization of that sin and repent.
To be honest, sometimes our prayers are not enough. This is why we have oversight and “people in charge” in the LCMS. I’m a layman, and I readily admit I don’t know everything. To be honest, I’m not even really sure what the “people in charge” in the LCMS do. And what really burns my ass is that I don’t think they do much of anything. Where is the oversight? Where is the leadership? I work for Pepsi. If one day I decided to start selling Coke while on the clock for Pepsi, I would get canned. My boss is in charge of making sure I do my job properly. If my boss doesn’t do that, he gets written up by his boss. And so on and so on. This is in the world of sugar water drinks. I love my job and the company I work for, but this doesn’t even come close to the important work the church does. And yet here we are with district presidents “who should know better!” They should be faithfully watching over the pastors in their districts, making sure the Word of God is being properly preached and the Sacraments are being rightly administered. The Word of God and the Sacraments are relevant, and that’s what matters. I know there are plenty of faithful pastors included in the “people in charge” of the LCMS. To you I say – The confessional Lutherans in the LCMS, especially the young people, are not fooled and are not stupid. The confessional laymen in the LCMS are sick of having to explain why all LCMS churches do not worship the same or even confess the same beliefs. You are at risk of losing the very young people you so desire in our church body. We are not church growth, Baptist, Pentecostal, or Lutheran “In name only” – we are confessional Lutherans, and we want our leaders to be confessional. Play time is over, let’s get to work.