While we are fighting our worship war here in the LCMS, a worthy fight indeed, the Lutherans we are in fellowship with in Kenya, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya (ELCK), are fighting a more literal war.
Five busloads of people just arrived at the site of the electoral convention in a somewhat remote area of northern Kenya only to find that Presiding Bishop Obare has hired local policemen to keep them out. The policemen escorted the buses to the police station and the authorities were surprised to find out that there were three bishops from the ELCK in the buses. They were also surprised to find out they were Lutherans because Obare told the authorities that there were some non-Lutherans coming to disrupt the convention.
The last word I got a few minutes ago is that Obare would only talk to them through the gate to the complex with the bishops and the others locked out.
It is troublesome that Obare scheduled this election in a remote region and a place where he has somewhat more support. It is also disconcerting that he did not send the notice of the convention to all the churches of the ELCK and not even to all the bishops.
This is not the first time Obare has manipulated elections. It has been going on for years and he has used money from the LCMS to do it. As I reported a couple of weeks ago it is good that the LCMS has stopped sending money directly to the ELCK but LCMS districts still seem to be doing so.
I once asked why they do not start a new church. It is not that easy in the ELCK since the denomination owns all parish and school properties.
Speaking of the worship wars and the use of hymns, they were not singing a praise ditty in the buses on their way to this war. Instead, my contact said that as he talked on the phone with people on the bus, he could hear “A Mighty Fortress” being sung in the background. May the liturgy continue to serve these warriors and may God bless the ELCK with just and honest leaders.