Bible or Bylaws? (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

In reading the answers of the candidates for synod president, a number of people have noted how the leading candidate, Rev. Matt Harrison, makes frequent and able use of the Bible, while Rev. Jerry Kieschnick does not. This is not to say that Rev. Kieschnick does not believe the Bible is the Word of God; I’m sure he does. But, based on nine years of observation, I don’t think he is as capable of using the Scriptures–putting them into use, freely, fittingly, and on his feet–as is Rev. Harrison.

Instead, for these past nine years under President Kieschnick’s leadership, we have been bogged down in bylaws. Commission rulings, novel interpretations of Handbook subsections and clauses–these have been the Kieschnick administration’s stock-in-trade. And this tendency shows no signs of letting up. Indeed, the Task Force and now Floor Committee on Structure and Governance–groups that President Kieschnick himself selected and appointed–these have presented us with a Blue Ribbon Boondoggle that has been a colossal waste of time and money, that would move power away from congregations and circuits and up the ladder to presidents’ offices, and that would engulf us into even more years of bylaw haggling and massive reorganization. How tedious and tiresome!

By way of contrast, if Pastor Harrison is elected, how refreshing it will be to have a synod president who is thoroughly conversant with the Holy Scriptures and knows how to use them! A time of refreshment and forward movement in the Word of God! That’s what we need! And, under God’s blessing, Pastor Harrison is the man to lead us in that. He is excellent at bringing the Word of God to people in a lively and winsome way, both in his writings and in his public speaking. “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” And Harrison readily speaks the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Savior, applying it to the life of the church, from a heart and mind saturated with Scripture.

Bogged down in bylaws or bubbling with the Bible? Bible or Bylaws? As a convention delegate, I know which way I will choose!

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