Great Post — My Last Blog Post. You Won’t Believe What I Have To Say.

Great post by Pastor Lincoln Winter over on his blog Predigtamt (Musings of a Country Pastor):



This will be my last blog post before the LCMS convention begins in Milwaukee. (What do you mean, clickbait?) One way or another, this will be known as the “Lay Ministry” convention. Either we do away with this unfaithful practice, and return to a truly Lutheran ecclesiology, or we continue further down the road of unfaithfulness, in which case it’s time to stop pretending as a church body that we are serious about our confession.

For years I have been challenging those in favor of lay-ministry to make the theological argument in favor of it. This convention has given them a chance to do just that.

The Northwest District, led by Mr. Paul Linnemann has been leading the charge. The President of the New Jersey District, Mr. Anthony Steinbronn recently entered the fray with his own opinions. (I assume they are ok with not being called Reverend, since they see no difference between clergy and laity.)

And the theological rationale is every bit as shallow as I expected. Equivocation and obfuscation are the order of the day. The faithfulness level is somewhere between “Everyone A Minister” (“0”) and Seminex (“-100”). It is plainly obvious that no one who supports LLD has ever so much as read Luther’s Infiltrating and Clandestine Preachers – the standard reference work for understanding Luther’s views of Church and Ministry. In it, he lays out the promise, necessity, and comfort of the call – not just for those who presume to preach – but for those who will hear. Compare the following two statements:

Knowing that God, through the proper call and ordination, has placed a man in your midst to be shepherd of God’s flock is a tremendous comfort. He is to stand and risk his own life to defend you against the wolf.

Knowing that an elected official, by filing the proper paperwork, has hired someone who will do the best job he can with the little training he has received to keep you safe.

Those who are in favor of continuing the Licensed Lay Deacon program are essentially recommending that we encourage the use of infiltrating and clandestine preachers. That is not the right thing to do.

I encourage the synod to vote for accountability for those who would lead congregations, for faithfulness to our confession, and more importantly for faithfulness to the word of our Lord, who gives the right of calling to his church. He does not give the right of licentiousness to the bigwigs. That’s what this program actually does. It embiggens the District Presidents with illicit powers not given by God. They decide who will serve you, and how unqualified he will be. That’s not good order. It’s not good accountability. We rage against the un-accountability in our public political arena, and then grant just that same unaccountability to our synod’s own elected leaders. Some of the District Presidents don’t want to lose their illicit powers. They like them. And they are pulling out all the stops to keep them in place.

This relates also to the sensible provision that would restore the previous accountability of District Presidents by allowing for limited review by the Presidium of certain decisions they make that impact the entire synod. Interesting that in one breath they say, “We do not need pastors.” and in the next they say, “Do not interfere with my absolute authority in my district.”

They are the modern day popes, who do not like that the seminaries and the synod have a say in who serves “their” churches. And they really do consider it “their” church, not “Christ’s Church.”

Don’t be fooled. 27 years is enough. Ending Licensed Lay Deacons is not about depriving people of the Comfort of the Gospel.It’s about restoring proper order to the church. It’s about making sure that every congregation has the proper comfort of the Gospel.

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,, 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.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


Great Post — My Last Blog Post. You Won’t Believe What I Have To Say. — 3 Comments

  1. Resolution 13-02 has the ridiculous, euphemistic title, “To Regularize Status of Licensed Lay Deacons Involved in Word and Sacrament Ministry.”

    That should be changed to an honest title, “To Correct the Missouri Synod’s Violation of AC.XIV, Which a Previous Convention Authorized Decades Ago, But Phrased in a Way to Look Like the Synod Didn’t Screw Up.”

    And delegates better get out their magnifying glasses to check those eighteen spin-doctoring Whereas sections and thirteen tap-dancing Resolved sections to see what is actually being stated and proposed.

    Better still, bring back Overture 13-48 to the floor as a resolution and pass it first before wading into this monstrosity of a resolution.

  2. Being an LLD is like watching Law and Order and thinking you are qualified for the Supreme Court. On second thought these days the Supreme Court seems to be filled with LLJs. . License Lay judges

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