No to an LCMS Central Government

No to an LCMS Central Government

Last Friday (Texas) District President (DP) Ken Hennings sent an unprecedented, public letter to the rostered members of his district. The letter explains the drastic change that the United List majority of the Synod Board of Directors adopted in May regarding ecclesiastical supervision.

But Hennings did more. The letter explains why District Presidents in Synod are no longer the final ecclesiastical supervisors of churches, pastors, teachers, DCEs and other church workers.  Our new, changed reality?

Synod President Harrison has taken that job for himself.

Read the complete article on Congregations Matter.

Ecclesiastical supervision.

Two words no member of an LCMS church should ever spend time worrying over.

I have tremendous respect and adoration for LCMS President Matthew Harrison. He is a stalwart Lutheran and expounds his love for the church in everything that he does.

But the Synod President should not be the judge and jury when doctrine and practice charges are leveled against pastors or congregations or DCEs or church workers. Districts should be the place where these accusations are heard and decided. District Presidents are empowered to do this work.

Will there be times when some in the Synod disagree with a decision of a District President? Of course.

On this side of eternity, none of us are going to agree on everything. As a church body, I believe we should be more worried about those within our society who need the light of Jesus in their lives.

Should we be a church body where people are motivated to go to church on Sunday to play an ugly game of theological ‘gotcha’ on congregations whose communion statements are either too short or don’t use all the right buzz words? Or what if a church uses a song during worship that hasn’t gone through theological vetting in St. Louis at LCMS HQ, should the Gotcha Police level charges that bypass the local District President and land on President Harrison’s desk?

As we come up on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, maybe our Synod needs a reformation that refocuses our St. Louis’ HQ bureaucracy on the Great Commission rather than on the mission to rid the Synod of people they don’t like. The people sitting in our pews who fund this Synod deserve it.

Six Attitudes That Kill Evangelism in the Church: Thom Rainer

Six Attitudes That Kill Evangelism in the Church: Thom Rainer

The decline in evangelism in our churches comes down to just a few key issues. Too many believers see evangelism as the responsibility of someone else. Closely related to that issue is the matter of blame. It’s the pastor’s fault. It’s the church members’ fault. It’s the denomination’s fault.

I have seen churches make dramatic turnarounds when just one person decided to be radically obedient to the Great Commission.

Thom Rainer, June 5th – thomrainer.com

Read the entire article on Thom Rainer’s website here.

 

 

Christian Standard Bible, Apple Watch Activity Rings, and Anthrax: Morning Coffee

Christian Standard Bible, Apple Watch Activity Rings, and Anthrax: Morning Coffee

As I was pedaling away on the stationary bike this morning, my mind was racing, thoughts cascading into one another pushing my brain to act like I needed medication to calm the firing synapses down.

  1. Some people I know have birthdays this week. In fact, a lot of them. I sent doughnuts to one person, even though doughnuts aren’t his thing, but his wife and sons love them. To another I sent a toaster; this story is long and requires me to write without breaking out into a fit of laughter, of which I cannot right at this moment. Others, I sent cards, and to a few, I’ll give them a call. Then last night, I found out someone else I know also has a birthday this week, in fact, it was yesterday. Happy birthday to everyone!
  2. If I finally give up the DirecTV ghost and cut the cord, I’m going to lose a lot of New York sports channels, that is until the owners of MSG Network get off their collective duffs and offer them via Playstation Vue or DirecTV Now or Hulu Live or some other internet-based TV offering. But if I end my reliance for TV entertainment on DTV, I will save about fifty to sixty dollars a month. Six hundred bucks a year in savings sounds pretty good.
  3. My schedule today is not very crazy, but I will end up making it crazy because, well, that is what I do. I have a visit to Woodcliff Lake this morning and a meeting at church this afternoon. Sometime this evening, I have a counseling meeting with someone via Skype. I would rather the counseling session via Facetime, but the person hates Apple and loves their Google phone. I have a feeling that I will mess up my day and make it crazy. It is guaranteed just like Pekka Rinne making incredible saves for the Nashville Predators in net.
  4. This weekend’s Choral Eucharist Sunday worship service is ready. It should be a good one. I was thinking of playing contemporary Christian music before church while announcements are scrolling on the screen.
  5. But it is my sermon for this weekend that is concerning me. The Choral Eucharist is a unique service, this year looking at two musical legends in the church. I need to preach on something that ties into this theme. Maybe I could start my sermon out with bits of songs that I have loved in the past from artists and bands like Anthrax, U2, Carrie Underwood, and AC/DC? Just imagine for a moment – “Highway to Hell” being played during a sermon in an LCMS church … I don’t know what I am going to do yet. It’s too early in the week.
  6. I am getting to like the Christian Standard Bible translation. Overall, it is an easy-to-read Bible translation that is fairly literal to the original texts. There are times that the English Standard Version gets a little clunky when reading in church. When I’m doing the reading, I sometimes fix the clunkiness as I read. The CSB is a good translation, but like other translations, they have some hang ups (in Greek, the word for brothers means BROTHERS, not “brothers and sisters” as they render it). I find the CSB more readable than the ESV.
  7. It’s still raining (at around 6:40 am when I thought about it).
  8. I have to fill my rings on my Apple Watch today. Nothing is going to stop me. I need to fill my rings on my Apple Watch today. Nothing is going to stop me. I need to fill in my rings on my Apple Watch today …

 

  1. Apple Rings

 

What Happens When We Don’t Raise Kids to Become Adults

What Happens When We Don’t Raise Kids to Become Adults

Let’s be clear that there were many wonderful human beings and delightful students at Midland, but many of the teens I met upon arriving on campus also had an outsized sense of entitlement without any corresponding notion of accountability.

For example, a student staged a sit-in in my office one day, announcing that he would not leave until I resolved a scheduling problem for him. He was upset that the registrar wouldn’t be offering a particular course he needed the following semester.

Article from The Daily Signal: What Happens When We Don’t Raise Kids to Become Adults