Thursday, April 3, 2008

An Accounting Scandal Too

The "Issues, Etc." scandal has taken on an added dimension. Many blogs have reported on the strange financial aspects of the radio show, and how that factored in with its cancellation.

Save the LCMS--which is apparently run by someone with some serious connections--has received a leaked copy of KFUO AM and FM's financial statement. It has some seriously fishy numbers.

What does this mean? There are several options:

1. There are unseemly accounting practices at KFUO, the BCS, the Board of Directors (or somewhere) of a criminal nature.

2. The economic reason was an excuse, and in haste to back that up, mistakes were made in reports. In other words, someone lied, and in covering up the lie, a worse appearance was given.

3. Someone has been cooking the books to make "Issues, Etc." look bad for some time, and this is the evidence. No actual criminal behavior is happening.

4. These fishy numbers were done out of ignorance, mistake, or out of asinine policy. It's bad accounting, and that's all it is.

5. These reports are evidence of a larger conspiracy to cover unethical budget expenses elsewhere. In other words, this is a piece of a much larger picture of cooking books to pay for other things in the Synod's budget. There is some evidence to this. See here.

Ok. Take a deep breath. As members of the Synod, we need to ask for the truth in this matter. As laypeople, you need answers to where your money is going.

Take another deep breath before you read the next sentence.

This is no big deal, and no reason to be mad at the LCMS. IF there is intentional, knowing unethical or illegal activity happening, it is simply the result of sin. This happens all the time. Those responsible need to repent and face the consequences. It is a scandal, a black eye on the Synod, on all of us, but it is sin. We all do it; we all face the consequences. With God's help, I will forgive them and be happy that they are sinning no more.

However, let us not forget what else we have learned in all this: There is little question that the "programmatic" reasons for canceling "Issues, Etc." were primary. That the show was canceled without the Board for Communication's approval, that the show angered some in authority, that the show ran counter to the "seeker-sensitive", consumerist church model that is being promoted throughout the Synod is fact. "Issues, Etc." did not represent the "Lutheranism" that the Synod is now promoting.


  1. Rev. Eric J Brown said...

    I would say that it is foolish to be "mad" at the LCMS. Of course, I would also say that it is foolish to be mad in general - but the important thing is that there be accountability in positions of leadership - if this serves to motivate a more transparent method of decision making and reporting in the Synod, it can be a very good thing.

    It is a bit disturbing - but it's not the end of the world. Not yet, at least.

  2. Anastasia Theodoridis said...

    What I find fascinating is that this document was "leaked." LEAKED?

    It isn't available on request to each and every member of the LC-MS? If not, why not?

    Is there some rule about secrecy in accounting???