Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pass Auf!

The Council of Presidents--an ad hoc "council" of all the District Presidents of the LCMS, which has no Constitutional basis, BTW--issued the following letter, followed by an accompanying letter from Pres. Gerald Kieschnick:

Statement from LCMS Council of Presidents—April 22, 2008:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

We, the members of the Council of Presidents of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, greet you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is the Savior of the whole world.

We are fully aware of pain in our Synod over the discontinuation of the KFUO Radio program “Issues, Etc.” When one member of the Body of Christ hurts—for whatever reason—we all hurt. We are very concerned about how this pain has affected the church as it carries Christ's gifts to the world. Only the devil would rejoice over this disruption!

We encourage the whole church prayerfully to reflect and ponder on a few matters. We realize that in our understanding and application of the 4th commandment, this matter is not the responsibility of the Council of Presidents. The Synod has given the authority for oversight and implementation of KFUO and its programming decisions to the Board for Communication Services (BCS). We must regard with Christian charity and trust the judgment of our duly elected brothers and sisters in Christ on the BCS, along with its Executive Director, Mr. David Strand.

We regret the timing of this decision, which was implemented during Holy Week, one of the most important times of the church year. In response to the concern that the manner in which this decision was implemented lacked Christian compassion, it is important to note our belief that such was not the case. These matters are also addressed in the statement on this topic by the President of our Synod, attached hereto, which we commend to you.

The manner in which the church addresses, discusses, and resolves disagreements is as important as the disagreement itself. In this regard, the 8th commandment's focus on upholding the reputation of brothers and sisters in Christ is most important. We are all the baptized of Christ, washed in His blood, and we possess His image of blamelessness. Where there have been communications that have violated the integrity of a brother or sister in Christ, Christ calls us to repentance. Here, too, the devil would delight in divisiveness resulting from matters such as this. Let us walk with integrity, honesty, and humility, giving glory to Jesus Christ, “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13).

Jesus Christ is the Lord of the church. As this church goes forward in reaching unbelievers with the precious Gospel of our Lord, let us be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).

The peace of the Lord be with you all!

Council of Presidents
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Adopted April 22, 2008, without dissenting vote

+ + +

Statement from LCMS President—April 21, 2008:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world and Lord of the universe, through whom alone we receive forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation!

A decision to discontinue “Issues, Etc.” on KFUO AM Radio was made March 18, 2008, Tuesday of Holy Week, for fiscal reasons described in statements issued after the decision became public. At the April 21, 2008, meeting of the Council of Presidents (COP) of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, financial details precipitating this decision were discussed in executive session by Mr. David Strand, Executive Director of the LCMS Board for Communication Services (BCS), with specific fiscal information provided by the Vice-President-Finance—Treasurer of the Synod, Dr. Thomas Kuchta. The decision was made solely by Mr. Strand after consultation with the chairman of the BCS, Mr. Dennis Clauss, with whom I subsequently spoke over the phone regarding this matter. KFUO Radio is a ministry under the umbrella of the Board for Communication Services.

Prior to its implementation, Mr. Strand also informed me as president of the Synod of his decision. I regret that I did not counsel Mr. Strand to postpone implementation of the decision until sometime other than Holy Week. It is obvious that the timing and process connected with the discontinuation of the program have contributed to the disappointment expressed by listeners and supporters of “Issues, Etc.” in and beyond the Synod. Human Resources policies, compliance with applicable employment regulations, the process of implementation of reduction in force, accompanying severance and outplacement considerations, etc., do not allow the sharing of details about this matter. I am deeply saddened by the anxiety, worry, and consternation experienced in the Synod by those directly and indirectly affected by the decision.

Some have interpreted the decision to discontinue “Issues, Etc.” as being theological or political in nature or purpose. Such interpretations have no basis in fact.

As president of the Synod, I respectfully request and pastorally encourage all in the Synod to be patient and charitable regarding this matter, putting the best construction on actions and decisions connected therewith. I pray for the day when the financial resources of our Synod do not necessitate the reduction in force of radio personnel, the return of missionaries from the foreign mission field, or any other such difficult and painful decisions. And I pray for peace and harmony in our beloved Synod.

Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

"Transforming lives through Christ's love ... in time ... for eternity ..."
John 3:16-17


HT: Augsburg1530


  1. generalscuttlebutt said...

    In other words, lay people and parish pastors are to be seen and not heard. Anyway, given my many years of experience in Bureaucracy, I've posted a translation of these latest missives from the Moscow on the Mississippi.