Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why am I here and anonymous

Perhaps this quote will answer the question of the title:


You are free to disagree, everyone is free to disagree, but let me say this: You, pastors, are NOT free to publicly teach or preach that Synod is wrong on ANY given issue. I'll say it again, you are NOT free to teach in a bible class or preach from the pulpit that Synod is wrong on any issue. -- Gerald Kieschnick, President of the LCMS to the Texas District Convention (Source Reclaim News)

My reaction after stewing in this for several days is to feel that our Lutheran church which was founded on the Book of Concord which teaches all pastors as equal in authority and responsibility to the Word of God before God now has a leadership office that is attaching to itself qualities of the papacy demaning obedience and a synod which is claiming the authority of to establish doctrine much in the same way as the Catholic church claims to have an authority to interpret and establish doctrine in conjunction with Scripture.

One question will easily show the danger of such a position -- what if the Synod passed something as a teaching or practice that was clearly forbidden by the Word of God? Or what if the Synod required as a teaching or practice something that is not required by the Word of God?

In my personal opinion this growing fight for authority in our Synod to force compliance on the part of many leaders and would be leaders is completely at odds with the Lutheran and Christian way of doing things. I have watched with sadness as sister Lutheran synods move away from the authority of Scripture into pragmatic and permissive strategies designed to bring in numbers. I fear that the same temptation knocks on our door. Additionally I see a climate of fear and threat -- where people who are polarized on basic and fundamental principles -- wish to protect their personal ways of valuing and acting and are struggling for control to protect their way of believing and doing things. So what I see synod coming to mean in the Lutheran Church Missiouri Synod is not longer a walking together as envisioned by friends who flock together naturally because of a common belief, practice, and desire shaped in humility under God's Word, but rather a walking together of coercion much as when a bunch of young recruits are forced to learn to march in lock step in the military and are taught how to behave and what to think because they are being formed into a unit to obey. And those who can't shape up are sent home.

It is convention time in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. People of the Synod, pastors and laity -- what shall we stand for? What kind of Synod will we tolerate being created? Will we be involved? Will we seek to create a place where our differences are discussed and where we will come together in humility under God's Word to resolve our differences and make sure we are all in line with God's Word allowing liberty and freedom of expression where God has not commanded or will we turn our backs, be afraid, wish it would go away, convince ourselves that what the "synod" does does not impact my local parish, or think there is nothing we can do anyway -- will we encourage or even tolerate the increasing authorization of synodical leadership to tell us to march in step or get out -- without acknowledging there are significant differences of opinion on some fundamental issues --without helping us be sure we are in sinc with Scripture while assuming their own positions and the dominant position wrangled through the politics of synodical conventions (which we shall ponder on more later) is necessarily the correct one. It appears to me the current direction assumes a faulty premise -- the Synod cannot err - or if it does it will necessarily figure it out without pastors teaching and preaching from the Word about it.

1 Comments:

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Jonathan said...

So, does the position of the synod's president mean that those congregations and districts that are ignoring synod's official positions on closed communion will have to start practicing closed communion?

 

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