Election 2019 – Harrison re-elected for fourth term as President of the Synod

The election for Synod President has concluded and we have the results.  Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison is re-elected.  He will be having his fourth term which breaks the “three terms and out” pattern that has been for a while in the LCMS.

Here is the link to the official LCMS Communications notice.

President Harrison has a bunch of work ahead of him in the coming term.  He will need much prayer and encouragement to do so.  Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (the one that published evolutionary stuff in a positive light, and then rebuked those who dared to question them) will be receiving a new President in the next triennium.  Concordia, Portland and other Concordia Universities are hot messes that will certainly need to have some attention given to them.  On top of that, the Licensed Lay Deacon victory in 2016 is fragile and certain segments of the Synod still want to go back to abolishing Augsburg XIV.  Issues of syncretism and unionism remain unresolved. Men on candidate status still want to be given the chance to serve again.  Male and female are only getting more twisted and confused in the world and in the Synod.  The progressive national pressures are affecting much within the Synod and will need to be defended against.  Revivalist worship practices still have deep poisonous roots and feed Lutheran congregations erring theology.  Closed communion is not practiced in all of our congregations.  A successor to the Koinonia Project will have to be sought to strive for theological unity once again.  The relationship of the synod to social organizations we used to be tied to and also the ELCA are still unclear (publicly declaring that we have nothing to do with LIRS would be a good start).  On top of this there are international issues within Lutheranism that will require faithful and courageous leadership.  There are no doubt many more things that will demand his attention (no doubt he is aware of them now having served for three terms).  May God grant him the will, strength, and steadfastness to faithfully lead the Synod.


I want to compliment one man who is often unseen and just working in the background faithfully – the Rev. Dr. John Sias, the Secretary of the LCMS for managing a good nomination and election process.  Everything was well-communicated (even with the changes in the election process mandated by the 2016 Convention).  My nominating and voting experience went very smoothly.  Dr. Sias deserves credit for a job well done (as is what I have come to expect from him in everything he does).



About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Election 2019 – Harrison re-elected for fourth term as President of the Synod — 22 Comments

  1. 52 to 40 isn’t the blowout I would have liked to have seen, but it is pretty clear. Now, what is it with Presidents and hair? Just a trim and some mustache wax on that soup-dripper might have been good for another 2 or 3%. ;{))

  2. I believe the previous President won his three elections by 51%, 53%, and 52%, so this margin seems quite average and actually pretty good considering the strange bedfellows of Congregations Matter and Christian News pulled out all the stops campaigning rather viciously against him.

  3. I am thankful that God has chosen to keep Rev. Harrison as the President of the LCMS. I thank God for His steadfast love and pray that He would lead us all to repentance and help us to be more faithful in standing up against the wiles of the devil, the world and our own sinful flesh.

  4. Of all of the problems with the LCMS, what small one or two confessional Lutheran victories can we realistically expect in the next three years?

  5. Good words. Thank you.

    > Male and female are only getting more twisted and confused in the world and in the Synod.

    As long as it’s asserted that female congregational suffrage is an “absolute adiaphoron” this will only get worse. How do we insist on lay person gender roles in the home, but not in the church? For how many centuries was it otherwise? 1969 was the peak of our theological practice?

    > (publicly declaring that we have nothing to do with LIRS would be a good start)

    A great start on a good start would be to stop the LIRS advertisements on the synodical radio station.

    And how about opposing the Stockholm Syndrome we’re all under with respect to pastors instructing the flock, and many really cannot add two and two, on how to vote. “Don’t vote for such and so – they advocate unlimited and tax paid abortion. If you support them, you are sinning.” It is obvious that many congregants can’t connect the dots for themselves. They’re, eh, sheep.

    President Cyrus has tried to unshackle us, but we want our hands tied.

  6. @Renegade Lutheran #4

    That’s a good question. I think the main victory will be the new president at CSL. That seminary has dropped its enrollment heavily under current leadership and there are many theological controversies that have been coming from there (not to mention the practices taught in their chapel services).

    I see that the convention is narrowing things a bit on closed communion – which is good. That might be #2.

    The biggest pits that we are going to struggle with are rogue districts and rogue Concordias. Also the continued temptation to “band together” on national issues with those we do not agree with even on basic doctrines. I am not sure that there are easy or even possibly solutions to that problem given how the administration views its task and the limitations of the bylaws, etc.

    We can hope and pray for progress towards faithfulness. Do what you can where you can to help.

    If you are a pastor – teach the whole counsel of God faithfully and apply law and gospel in your care of souls. If you are a layman – learn the faith and hold your pastor accountable. When you visit churches that are faithful praise them and thank the pastor and elders.

  7. LIRS has done incredible good in the name of Christ. It is unfortunate that compassionate service is attacked by Steadfast Lutherans. Our synod president, Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, has better things to do than pay attention to such nonsense. He is definitely not on the same page as Steadfast Lutherans and instead praises the efforts of Christians who give a cup of cold water to those in need by followers of Christ. Steadfast Lutherans thinks somehow that he is on their side. No he is on the side of Lutherans that proclaim Christ boldly. Praise God for a president that brings unity instead of division. He is a wise choice for president that knows better than to tear down the work of Christian laborers. This includes those that have labored at Concordia universities and seminaries and have done incredible good.

  8. @Michael Baun #7

    By “Christians” do you mean the head of the organization, a practicing Hindu?

    Here is the press release on her being brought on as the head:

    “The selection of Krish is an embodiment of the Lutheran commitment to be a church for the sake of the world.”

    Just look at the good they do at their twitter feed.

  9. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #8

    Hindu’s do not declare the gospel . And I do agree with you it is an unfortunate development. In the past the criticisms of Steadfast Lutherans focused on actions they disagreed with. What is also truly unfortunate is that a Hindu would be more compassionate towards immigrants than many Lutherans.

    Having volunteered in the past for Love Inc. I am well aware of the difficulties of Christian service present in the evangelical world today. That evangelism and humanitarian aid would be separated isn’t what our savior commanded. Frankly I think Lutherans need more opportunities to volunteer in our communities, as true representatives of Christ. I would welcome a discussion on this from you on how we can do this. I plan to write a letter in regard to this. Any ideas on where I can effectively send it.

    In my community there are many Hmong that are now believers whose families have largely rejected them. The faithful witness and love towards these people by Missouri Synod Lutheran members has forever impacted the lives of many in the Hmong community. Some of them are now members of the LCMS. They have turned from idols and worship the one true God.

    In this area I think we might be able to sit down and discuss this. I am beginning to understand Steadfast Christians concerns better in these matters. Let us take a leadership role and offer these possibilities for lay volunteers in our Lutheran communities. Ways we can help immigrants and those in our community while also boldly declaring the gospel as lay people.

  10. @Michael Baun #9

    Maybe your definition of “compassion” is a little off. The Lutherans I know are very compassionate, but are not willing to break commandments to be compassionate (in the case of immigration the 4th Commandment). LIRS is more of a political activist group at this point and really should not be considered Lutheran or Christian for that matter.

    I have no idea where to send such a letter. I would suggest the best place to do something is your own congregation. Far too often the dreams of “big things” puts out the simple good works that can be done locally within the callings we already possess in the three estates (preacher/hearer, household callings [work too], and as citizens of this country). I also suggest doing it “alone”, that is, without corporate or other denominations help. That way we don’t send mixed messages and lead others in false belief (remembering that those who receive our good works are bodies and souls). It does not help anyone to help them in their bodily needs if we teach them that violating the Second Commandment (false doctrine) or the Fourth Commandment (breaking the law) is ok.

  11. Much prayer and encouragement is also needed for national “issues within Lutheranism that will require faithful and courageous leadership.” The re-election of President Harrison is good news for the current intersynodical discussions between the ELS, LCMS, and WELS. Having a theologian leading the LCMS side creates a more hopeful situation that the current discussion will actually “precisely articulate and commit to writing some of the specific points of controversy between our synods” as reported on the last meeting given by WELS President Schroeder:

    Leaders of ELS, LCMS, and WELS meet — 2018/12/04 — https://wels.net/leaders-els-lcms-wels-meet/
    “… Looking ahead to the future, participants debated whether or not it is proper to begin formal doctrinal discussions with a view to restoring fellowship between ELS/WELS and the LCMS. Given the issues that separate us, it was decided that such a move would be premature at this time.
    Rather, the group decided to continue with informal discussions, with another meeting planned for December 2019. At this meeting, the group will discuss the doctrine of justification. They also will precisely articulate and commit to writing some of the specific points of controversy between our synods. …”

    The challenges facing the LCMS more likely require an evolutionary process of moving your LCMS to one which you Steadfast Lutherans seek. President Harrison has demonstrated the patience and wisdom of seeking resolution of doctrinal issues rather than merely the restoration of fellowship without resolution of these issues. Of course, President Harrison cannot do this on his own; Steadfast Lutherans will need to continue its role within the LCMS.

  12. Mr. Braun, would you see any problem with the Synod working with Hamas or Muslim Brotherhood on legal immigration? Sincerely curious.

  13. @Michael Baun #7

    It’s not worth fighting with these guys. They distort the Bible and their own sense of morals to justify hating a nation with brown people in it- nothing more.

  14. Last Sunday I watched an LCMS’s church do a presentation on their VBS. As long as this kind of drivel from Concordia Publishing House continues to infect the churches of our synod, it doesnt matter who gets elected. No wonder confessional liturgical churches are getting harder to find.

  15. Are you sure their VBS program was from CPH? A lot of LCMS congregations use VBS material from other publishers.

  16. I had not previously heard about Congregations Matter®. What a bunch of anonymous cowards, hiding behind their duplicitous double-speak. Even I — knowing little about LCMS internal divisions other than Seminex — recognize that “as they see best fit for their own circumstances” means “give us the right to ignore church teaching and doctrine.”

  17. You could be right, but I will not be going back to that church to find out. But I’m pretty sure it was because some of the songs, printed in the bulletin had attributions to CPH

  18. @Michael Baun #12

    > Legal immigration and helping legal immigrants breaks no commandment.

    Many things are statutorily legal at the moment that are not right, and are certainly not well-agreed. Mass Muslim immigration paid for by out-of-control government spending funneled to social justice “church” groups is an example.

    Thanks for nothing.

    I am coming to the sad conclusion that Lutherans (in any and all groups) are largely socialist leftists. Since I see this as exceptionally immoral, where is it driving me?

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