This weekend, pastors and lay delegates throughout the synod will be casting votes for president of the synod.
The Brothers of John the Steadfast are recommending that electors vote for Matthew Harrison.
This is not a slight against any of the other candidates. They have served long in the church. We don’t question their faith or their love of God. But at this juncture, when religious liberty is under attack, we need a bold confessor at the reins. Matthew Harrison has shown that he can stand up and confess the faith in the public square fearlessly.
We have criticized President Harrison in the past. We haven’t always agreed on the best path or timeline to achieving faithful teaching and practice in our synod. But we agree on what that should ultimately be: Faithfulness to our Savior Jesus Christ and His Word.
And he has shown that he is a teacher of that faith, who can communicate the faith to others. From his 2010 sermon to seminary candidates who did not get placed, to his translations of important writings of the church (Sasse, LCMS Church Fathers), he is a relentless teacher and pastor.
His leadership-by-example in taking an assistant pastor position at Village Lutheran has already been modeled by a number of district Presidents. At no time in recent history have so many district presidents voluntarily remained in the parish. It is a trend we hope and pray will continue to grow.
He has faithfully addressed situations such as our synod’s violation of Augustana 14 (Licensed Lay Ministers). While many in our synod were arguing on the one hand for less faithfulness, or on the other for instantly cutting off those with whom they disagreed, President Harrison took the time to faithfully teach what we believe and confess. His proposal is fair to all parties. It takes into account the needs of small congregations and specialized ministries, while restoring faithfulness to the synod’s practice.
He has done more than any previous Synod President in regards to men on candidate status (formerly CRM), and though the synod has still not done enough, he has brought the issue to discussion at the national level.
He has fulfilled the convention resolution to work toward more faithful practice of closed communion. Not by tyrannically removing men from office, but by teaching and visiting every district of the synod, and patiently explaining what the church has always taught.
These are but a few examples of the loving, pastoral leadership that President Harrison has shown throughout his tenure.
For all of these reasons, the editors of the Brothers of John the Steadfast are urging all electors to Stand Steadfast with the Stache!
Rev. Joshua Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
Rev. Eric Andersen, Associate Editor
Rev. Daniel Hinton, Associate Editor of Parish Resources