Tuesday, October 24, 2006

When Will We Look Like Them?

I do not talk “Synodical Politics” too much in this congregation. The most I’ve done so far was after I came back from serving as a delegate to the 2004 Synodical Convention. We had a good sized group gathered to hear my report, and when I was finished, they were done. Who likes to hear discomforting news? I could have pressed it more than I have. But I didn’t want to rock the boat too much, and I don’t believe they wanted it rocked.

Fellow pastors I see often have expressed similar feelings. “I am the Pastor of x Lutheran Church, and I will be faithful to them and make sure they are faithful to God,” more than one has said. “I’ve been called to serve these people in y.” There is a lot to be said for this approach. I’ve taken it myself in many respects.

But there is real danger there, and we can see the consequences of such a parochial attitude all around us: congregations who are faithful to Scripture, who believe and practice according to the Lutheran Confessions, with faithful Lutheran pastors whose denominational leaders deny the Resurrection and are working for ordination of active homosexuals–the ELCA. When congregations remain ignorant of the leadership, the leadership can change right under their noses.

There have been rumors and murmurings in the Synod of changing the representation at Synodical Conventions from one pastor and layman per circuit to one pastor and layman from each congregation. The most common (only?) objection has been, “Our convention would be too big then.” How big would it be? About 12000-13000 delegates (from some 6000 congregations). Is that too big? It would certainly be a large group. I couldn’t say if it would be too big though.

What would that accomplish? They would see what is happening. It would keep our Synod from becoming the ELCA or the SBC. The majority of our congregations would not allow it. Perhaps.

Are there other solutions? Absolutely! But what are they?