…while this may be fairly cold comfort after yesterday’s vote, it still it has to be said – things could be worse:
I don’t know enough about the LCMS to comment on what the re-election of Gerald Kieschnick means, or should mean, or should result in. I know that lots of people who I’ve come to respect are dismayed by this turn of events, and you all in my prayers today. I know who I personally wanted to win, and was praying would win (I’ll give you a clue: his surname begins with “P”).
But equally, if Gerald Kieschnick is your idea of a “liberal” then things really could be a lot worse. Of course, it may well be that the LCMS is taking the first tentative steps on the journey of a thousand miles that ends in this sort of thing:
but you’re not there yet, and it’s not necessarily the case that the LCMS will collapse in the same way that ECUSA and other mainline denominations have in recent decades.
As I say, I don’t know enough about the LCMS to give an informed view on what lies ahead. All I can do is look at this “selfishly” from the point of view of a new member of a small synod in altar and pulpit fellowship with the LCMS. And what I ask LCMS “confessionals” is this: please don’t forget us. Please don’t forget that if you tear the LCMS apart – and I know this isn’t something you will do lightly, if you find it necessary do it at all – that may have terrible consequences for other Lutheran churches around the world: as we are forced to choose which side to take; as the supply of potential pastors dries up as the LCMS busies itself in internal conflict; and as the infection of liberalism spreads into other synods which remain in fellowship with an LCMS abandoned by confessional Lutherans.
In short, the waves created by any rocking of the good ship LCMS are likely to swamp the small boats moored alongside. I’ve already witnessed the consequences of US “ecclesiastical unilateralism” in the Anglican church, and the thought of seeing this happen again within world Lutheranism fills me with anxiety. Do what needs to be done; but please remember the consequences for those of us who wish, as Dan requests, to “stand strong” with you.