Overture to Memorialize the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to Draft Doctrinal Statements

Here is a suggested overture that your district pastor’s conference can pass and submit to the CTCR well before the 2016 convention. To make it easier for you, we have included a DOC file here that you can customize for your district. You can read the bylaws listed below here: 2013 LCMS Handbook_January_12_2015_v2.

Overtures have more impact if they come in from all over the country. Please consider submitting either this or one like it from your area. Also, if you have overtures that you are working on, please submit them to us so we can publicize them. As in past years we will be providing a list of recommended overtures.


Overture to Memorialize the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to Draft Doctrinal Statements

WHEREAS there is sharp disagreement within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod over a number of doctrinal matters; and

WHEREAS the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) has the authority to submit Doctrinal Statements (as defined by LCMS Bylaw 1.6.2(b)) “to the Synod in convention for further consideration and possible adoption by majority vote” (LCMS Bylaw 1.6.2(b)(4)); and

WHEREAS an official district conference of ordained and/or commissioned ministers may submit a proposal for the development of doctrinal statements to the CTCR (LCMS Bylaw 1.6.2(b)(1)); therefore be it

Resolved that the insert district here District Pastors’ Conference memorialize the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to develop Doctrinal Statements on the following topics:

  • The Male-Only Pastorate;
  • The Six Days of Creation;
  • The Necessity of a Call and Ordination for the Exercise of the Pastoral Office;
    and be it finally

    Resolved that the insert district here District Pastors’ Conference memorialize the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to submit these doctrinal statements to the 2016 convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for further consideration and possible adoption by majority vote, pursuant to LCMS Bylaw 1.6.2(b)(4)ff.


    Download the DOC file here and customize it for your usage.

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.


Overture to Memorialize the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to Draft Doctrinal Statements — 11 Comments

  1. John Rixe :
    Hasn’t the CTCR already issued doctrinal statements on these subjects?

    They have drafted documents, but they are not doctrinal statementsas defined by LCMS Bylaw 1.6.2(b).”

    “Such adopted and ratified doctrinal statements shall be regarded as the position of the Synod and shall be ‘accepted and used as helpful explanations and expositions’ (FC SD Rules and Norm 10). They shall be honored and upheld (‘to abide by, act, and teach in accordance with’ [1971 Res 2-21]) until such time as the Synod amends or repeals them;” Bylaw 1.6.2(b)(7).

    Seeing as there are disagreements over those documents, and seeing as they extend beyond the scope of the topics at issue (particularly the CTCR document on the Divine Call), I don’t think we would want those specific documents to be submitted for consideration as doctrinal statements. They would never pass.

    This is a good overture. It is simple and concise. I would add one suggested amendment to it:

    In the first resolved, it should say, “to develop brief and concise doctrinal statements….”

  2. So then, should the CTCR do its work over again because its reports weren’t brief and concise and some folks disagreed with them?

  3. My understanding is that we have doctrinal statements already. The problem is enforcing them.

  4. @John Rixe #3
    CTCR reports are not the same thing as doctrinal statements. There is a specific procedure for submitting, adopting, and ratifying the latter in the LCMS Bylaws.

    @Dave rastl #4
    We have many doctrinal resolutions passed by simple majority vote at past conventions. We do not have any doctrinal statements that were subsequently ratified by 2/3 of congregations voting within six months.

  5. Truth is truth whatever you call it. But thanks for the clarification. My point simply is we can’t seem to enforce them.

  6. @Jon Alan Schmidt #5

    Thanks for the clarification. To make sure I understand, there are then no (nada, zero) “doctrinal statements” on any subject currently on the books? It seems unlikely then that the CTCR would want to go to all the trouble and expense to put these 3 reports into another special format called “proposed doctrinal statements”. They have already given their opinion and it seems that, in addition, prior conventions have passed other “doctrinal resolutions” dealing with these same 3 issues.

    Tail chasing? Dave Rasti makes a good point.

    Your patience is much appreciated, Jon.

  7. When parts of CTCR reports are referenced and/or copied into resolutions (maybe in the Whereas section, definitely in the Resolved sections) and those resolutions are passed, then that portion of the CTCR language becomes LCMS policy. So partially they become authoritative.

  8. You’ve got to be kidding.

    You actually trust the CTCR to do a task such as this? Have you even read any of the CTCR’s reports, some of which support the historical-critical method?


    Better a resolution DISBANDING the CTCR. Would save the Synod some $800k per year.

  9. So I took this document to my local congregation and it passed as an overture that we would be willing to support. It then went to our district president (Chris Wicher) and he rejected it. Saying it was not written correctly. Now what?

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