Monday, April 14, 2008

Welcome to Your Nightmare

Can you keep your head down and just wait for them to come for you? That's what some who blog and post to message boards seem to say. That's what I've heard from Confessional Types for years: "As long as I can preach the Gospel in my congregation, no worries. If they come to me and a kick me out, then I will do...." What? I'm not sure.

I do appreciate this sort of quiescence. Fear-mongering, conspiracy theorizing, protesting activities seem shrill to me at times. We all have enough worries for today, much the less worrying about Synod or whomever your own personal THE MAN is.

I used to think the same way, but I've come to a different understanding in the past four years. It is later than we first believed, and there is more at stake. There is more disease than we realized. To borrow a phrase from my philosophy days, we have a meta-theological problem, or as one blogger notes, a "Deep Theology Problem." (I'll post on this later.)

But a moment of reckoning may be coming soon. Save The LCMS draws our attention to the Task Force for Funding the Mission (2006). He/They quote from the report and comment:

The Task Force recommends that the Board of Directors and the Council of District Presidents convene a summit meeting of “respected leaders” to draft a unanimous statement that harmonizes our divisions into a “symphony.” Unanimity is presupposed; there is no place for a dissenting minority.

This Task Force believes the Council of Presidents and the Board of Directors are the elected “leaders” of the Synod that should be given the responsibility to initiate a specific plan to clarify for the sake of the whole church a strategy to restore harmony in our Synod. We encourage them to consider bringing together a representative group of respected leaders throughout this church for a summit. At the end of this summit these church leaders should author a unanimously adopted “symphony” that demonstrates how this great church body can provide a God-pleasing witness of our confession and practice.

Let them deal with current topics to define how narrow or wide is the road we “walk together” (SYNOD) must be when it comes to worship practice, the role of the laity, close communion, the role of women and our interaction with fellow Christians. But let the product of their coming together be to honor the Scriptures (including the Great Commission) and Confessions and dishonor the work of Satan that diverts us from the “way of the Lord”. (p.14)

Those who do not wish to "embrace the convention mandated mission of our church" are invited to leave the synod. However, the previous paragraph deals with a unanimous statement of harmony by a summit of respected leaders. Is this the same as the convention-mandate mission of our church? The Task Force is ominously ambiguous:

The generation long divisions among us have frustrated us all. Allowing for proper dissent through by-law allowed procedures, we also recommend that those members of this Synod that cannot embrace the convention mandated mission of our church should feel free to leave this fellowship with truth-filled integrity and find another association with whom they can partner. (p. 14) (see the whole post here)

Knowing the Synod as I do, it's premature to claim that they will be rounding up soon. But the machine is being built; the process is being established. When and if the dogs will be released, we don't know.


  1. Past Elder said...

    Gee, I thought we hit this point in 1580. What are they going to do, have for example converts like myself make a new profession of faith, replacing "especially as taught in the Little Catechism" with "especially as taught in the Unanimous Statement of Harmony"?

    This is not to make light of it. Quite the opposite.

  2. Rev. Eric J Brown said...

    There are always plots and ideas of how to make the Synod perfect (generally coming from both sides) - and there always will be. Will they be executed, eh, who knows.

    I almost think a confessional purge would be fitting given how much people wanted Barry to do a liberal purge - and how much authority they voted him hoping he would use it. :sigh: never give an office authority because of the man in it - you don't know who the next one to be in that office will be.

    At any rate, at times like this I find that there's nothing like a little bit of the Clash to give me proper perspective on life (continuing my 80s music response mode).

    "When they kick at your front door
    How you gonna come?
    With your hands on your head
    Or on the trigger of your gun

    When the law break in
    How you gonna go?
    Shot down on the pavement
    Or waiting on death row

    You can crush us
    You can bruise us
    But you'll have to answer to
    Oh, the guns of Brixton"

  3. Christopher D. Hall said...


    I was thinking of this one (edited for sensitive, politically correct eyes)

    We're gonna find out
    where you fans really stand.
    Are there any qu##rs in the theatre tonight?
    Get 'em up against the wall. --
    And that one in the spotlight, he don't look right to me.
    Get him up against the wall. --
    And that one looks Jewish, and that one's a coo#.
    Who let all this riffraff into the room?
    There's one smoking a joint, and another with spots!
    If I had my way I'd have all of ya shot.

    ("In the Flesh" Pink Floyd)

  4. Rev. Eric J Brown said...

    Floyd? Wow. . . say, you don't happen to have a copy of "Dark Side of Oz" do you? I've always wanted to see that.

    Maybe we could have a showing of that or "The Wall" and then talk about Jesus at the end, count the people there for Ablaze, and fully participate in the new outreach goals of the Synod >=o)

  5. Anastasia Theodoridis said...

    ...we also recommend that those members of this Synod that cannot embrace the convention mandated mission of our church should feel free to leave this fellowship with truth-filled integrity...

    Am I reading this correctly? To me, it says, "Take your truth and integrity elsewhere; what we want is your agreement."


  6. Christopher D. Hall said...


    I'm not sure what "truth-filled integrity" means. It would have made more sense for it to read "integrity" alone.

    Perhaps the larger context of the document could shed light on it, but it does sound very strange.