Going into the LC-MS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) Convention this summer it looked like the Bully Pulpit and Money Train that we have seen over the last few years out of our Synod leadership was planning to steam roll the convention more than they had in the past. There were many resolutions reflecting a desire to limit the authority of individual congregations, either distrusting local pastor’s leadership or simply displaying a desire to gain more control of and money from individual congregations.
While the Synodical President (SP) was reelected, gratefully some of the most disturbing resolutions he was pushing were not approved. Still, there were several resolutions that were approved that make no sense at all. Why? Likely because the average lay voter (which makes up half of the convention, each Circuit sends one Pastor and one Lay representative) is not well informed as to the ramifications of some of the programs or policies they are voting on. Not all mind you, some lay voters are well read on the ways of Synod, but many more are not. Then there are pastors who are not so well read on the politics of Synod and tend to go the direction of the wind.
A couple of programs (costly ones) were approved that are not even completed. They are simply ideas that have not been fleshed out. The result is that blindly approving something before we can even read it means we may end up with something that we would absolutely despise, but have no recall in it, because it was pre-approved.
The SP, even before the convention was swaying voters in sending out synodically paid for mailers to each delegate with his name on them. Then, from the chair of the convention floor, he made no effort to advise voters against following a suggestion list of candidates for offices that was mass distributed by an extreme right wing group of people in our synod. They were certainly the people he would be prone to support.
Our church body as a whole is becoming more an administratively authoritative political machine looking out for itself than what we are to be about, which is sharing the Good News of Jesus with world. Praise God that they (the synod presidium) were not able to pass the resolution which would have limited a congregation’s right to support the missions and missionaries that they choose. Our District President Ken Hennings, who also chairs the Council of Presidents, was instrumental in shutting this down. So glad we live in this District.
Many resolutions were passed that consolidate more control in the office of SP. Considering the number of committees alone that the SP chose to create, this convention was a huge money pit. It was an example of ‘Big Government’ at its finest.
Praise God that Jesus, the head of the true Church, is still who we will follow at Holy Cross. We will continue to do the work we have always done, care for the people around us, witness to Arlington and to the ends of the earth, support the missions and missionaries from our church family whom we love and answer to Christ alone. We will ‘walk together’ (the meaning of the word “Synod”) with the LCMS, but follow only Jesus.