Why is it important to talk about C.F.W. Walthers structure for the Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod in the year 2000 when it has been 153 years since he helped found
the LCMS? The reason is so many changes are taking place today in the structure of
congregations and the Synodical Union we can hardly recognize the original LCMS.
What kind of Changes are we talking about?
Primarily, we are talking about the conflict between two new competing reorganization
schemes for LCMS congregations, each vying for supremacy at the same time. One is the
Church Growth Movement with its entertainment format, which is driven by market research
and positive statistical results. It generally operates in the congregation under the
leadership of a corporate style board of directors and a pastor acting as the CEO. The
other, for want of a better term, is the Hyper-Euro-Lutheran movement that seeks a return
to pre-Waltherian, 18th century, European, Lutheran hierarchy in LCMS
congregations. Their admirable goals include a return to confessional orthodoxy, Lutheran
liturgy, Lutheran hymnbooks, and Luthers "Small Catechism." However, they
view Walthers flawed polity as a primary cause for unleashing the unscriptural,
unconfessional, innovations of the democratic mob called the Voters Assembly on the
Today, shouting "Voter Supremacy" at an LCMS Pastors Conference can
have the same effect has hollering fire in a crowded movie theater. The following methods
of getting rid of Voters Assemblies, by both factions in the Synod, remind us of
Paul Simons song "Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover" now become "Fifty
Ways To Get Rid of Your Voters."
What is the result of restructuring LCMS congregations according to the tenets of the
Church Growth Movement and leadership training? It means the loss of Lutheran hymnbooks,
Lutheran liturgy, voter supremacy, and lay people no longer able to control their
churchs doctrine and property. The authority of the congregation is generally
transferred to a board of directors or council that assumes the duties and authority of
the Voters Assembly. They end up meeting once or twice a year to hear reports and
vote on someone elses slate.
As an example of a Church Growth Constitution, the Michigan District recommended a new
constitution for St. Peters Lutheran Church in Eastpointe, Michigan that was adopted
on November 20, 1995.1 The
new constitution redefined the first purpose of the congregation as serving the community
instead of its own membership. It transferred the right of excommunication from the
Voters Assembly to the Board of Elders, and gave the Board of Directors power of
attorney over the church property and business and the authority to administrate the
congregation in place of the Voters Assembly. The Voters are only allowed to meet at
the discretion of the Board of Directors and no motions are recognized from the floor.
A sample constitution from the Michigan District for mission congregations restructures
the congregation in a similar fashion.2
However, it also includes a contemporary worship format as part of the constitution
itself, such as fusion jazz, contemporary choruses, worship drama teams, culturally
diverse music style, and biblical principles.
In the 80s and early 90s the promotion of the Church Growth Movement in the
Synod appeared to be coming from a scattered, unorganized, peripheral, lunatic Fuller
Theological Seminary fringe. Suddenly, in the mid 90s, we discovered it was
Books by Dr. David Luecke, such as "The Other Story of Lutherans at Worship:
Reclaiming Our Heritage of Diversity" published in 1995, carried the endorsement of
Dr. John Heins, Chairman of the LCMS Council of Presidents, on the back cover.3
At the South and East Pastoral Conference in 1994, Heins told this writer I was
re-imposing the Prussian Union on Michigan District mission congregations by insisting
that they use the name Lutheran and Lutheran hymnbooks.
There were reported training meetings of LCMS District executives and District
presidents by the Leadership Network from Dallas, Texas, in Irvine, California in 1995 and
St. Louis, in 1996.
The 1995 LCMS Convention adopted RESOLUTION 3-13A "To Use The Name Lutheran"
on all LCMS congregations. A third, 33% of the Convention, voted "no."
In 1997, 102 Michigan District pastors and lay leaders published that; "those who
plan worship will receive wisdom on how best to minister in a contemporary setting where
God has placed them."4
This wisdom is supposed to come directly from God.
In 1998, the LCMS Convention adopted Resolution 3-04A "To Maintain Use of General
Creeds in Public Worship." Seventeen percent of the Convention voted "no."
Political maneuvering on the floor prevented more nay votes.
The December 1997 issue of the "REPORTER" openly published the conspiracy to
promote the Church Growth Movement in the LCMS according to the model of Willow Creek,
Community of Joy, Saddleback, and Crystal Cathedral. They were ready to go mainstream. The
"Reporter" stated that Dr. Norbert Oesch had the unanimous support of the COP
for a plan to "involve LCMS pastors--300 of them initially-- in a four year process
aimed at making them more effective in their ministries by training them to be more
effective leaders."5 The
plan is called "Pastoral Leadership Institute" (PLI) under the direction of Dr.
Norbert Oesch, formerly, pastor of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Orange, California.
According to PLIs website, it is funded by the LCEF, LCMS Foundation, many LCMS
Districts, AAL, Lutheran Brotherhood, Wheatridge, and the COP. Its purpose, without the
approval of the LCMS Convention, is to supply further seminary education for LCMS pastors
to be "Church Growth Leaders". This is a violation of the LCMS Constitution,
which only gives the Seminaries the authority to train LCMS Pastors. PLI also discards the
historic structure and polity approved by resolution for LCMS Congregations based on
C.F.W. Walthers "Church and Ministry and the "Form of a Christian
By their support for PLI, the COP agrees that LCMS seminary education is not adequate
to prepare LCMS pastors for, "leadership." Rather than Law and Gospel, the COP
believes leadership is the key to growth. Peter Druckers management theories are
preferred over C. F. W. Walthers congregational polity.
In a letter to his congregation Doctor Norbert Oesch states that this conspiracy was
initiated by Concordia Seminary President, Dr. John Johnson, Dr. Bill Meyer (Executive
Director) of the Board for Higher Education, and President, Gerry Kieschnick of the Texas
District and Chairman of the Synods Commission on Theology and Church Relations.6
On their website, PLI published its course syllabus, which is nothing less than a
blueprint to restructure, transform, and change LCMS congregations into CEO run
corporations without the knowledge or permission of the laity.7 Their reading list is a "Whos Who" of
secular, pop-culture, leadership training gurus such as Covey, Glass, Drucker, Senge, and
Gardner. The list also includes Church Growth experts such as Lyle Schaller, John Maxwell,
Stephen Hower, George Barna, and David Luecke, who recommend that congregations give up
the use of Lutheran hymnbooks and liturgy.8
Despite all the claims that these changes are coming from the laity, they are actually
coming from the clergy, and the Council of District Presidents (COP).
When asked why the LCEF, with a donation of more than $340,000.00 to PLI, is using the
laymans money to promote the Church Growth Movement and the abandonment of Lutheran
worship in the Synod, Victor Bryant, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the LCEF,
wrote in a letter on10/15/97, "It is simply ridiculous to associate LCEF as being in
any way responsible for the...ever increasing power of the Church Growth
At this time, PLI continues to apply for Recognized Service Organization (RSO) status
from the Synods Board for Higher Education (BHE). Thus, the Convention is not given
any opportunity to vote on who will be retraining LCMS pastors.
There is also support for the Church Growth Movement from Dr. Donald Muchow, Chairman
of the LCMS Board of Directors. The December, 1999, Reporter published his comments to the
"1999 Fall Leadership Conference" hosted by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund
and the LCMS Foundation. "Muchow spoke on The State of the Church of
Tomorrow. Muchow warned against letting floating debris scuttle the
churchs voyage of rescue and love. Debris, he said, includes
controversies surrounding worship styles, hymnody, communion practices [and]
congregational polity, as well as increasing Biblical illiteracy, insufficient
catechesis... and troublesome fellowship relationships with other faith groups.'"9 In other words, those things
dont really matter.
The adoption of Core Values by Districts such as Michigan and Texas and other districts
shows how the values of secular corporate culture are replacing the Bible and the Lutheran
Confessions in the LCMS. At its 2000 Michigan District Convention, the Synods
largest district "committed" itself to its eight new Core Values.
Resolution 1-09Bs final Resolve reads: "RESOLVED, that the District
administration seeks to involve urban pastors and leaders in discussion and decisions that
affect urban ministry, perhaps through the CMF/Urban position - thereby showing its
commitment to Core Value 1, Core Value 2 and Core Value 3."
The first three of the eight Core Values read:10
Core Value 1: Intentional Mission DevelopmentIn the first Core Value the delegates committed themselves to the entire
Church Growth Movement including their commitment to "culturally relevant
congregations" and mission congregations. That means they reject article VI.4 of the
LCMS Handbook and endorse contemporary worship styles for the sake of cultural relevance.
"4. Encouragement of culturally relevant congregations."
Core Value 2: Accountability
In this Core Value the District committed itself to filing statistical reports without
mentioning commitment to the doctrine and practice of the LCMS.
Core Value 3: Networking CongregationsIn the third Core Value the delegates committed themselves to
"congregational interdependence," "process consulting," "healthy
congregational systems," "Church Growth Leadership Training," and
"Affinity-based learning clusters and networking events."
Walther teaches that LCMS congregations are not "interdependent"
but autonomous. They are not subject to the authority of the District or Synod.
"Process consulting" is the jargon of dialectic processing,
group dynamics, transformational processing, and synthetic consensus. Hegel would be
"Healthy Congregational Systems" is a contemporary reference to
the "mental health" of the congregation as it relates to its performance,
"Leadership development and training for clergy and lay leaders"
is a substitute for operating congregations according to Walthers "Church and
Ministry" and "The Form of a Christian Congregation."
"Affinity-based learning clusters and networking events" is
alternative terminology for "cell groups" and the "cell church"
promoted in "The Second Reformation: Reshaping the Church for the 21st
Century" by William A. Beckham, particularly chapters 21 and 22 on "Critical
In Chapter 2 of the TX Districts "Strategic Plan," we read that
"celebrate diversity" is proclaimed as a core operating value and
"specific" commitment. The Scriptures and Confessions are reduced to values as
Only a brief list of those people and groups, attempting to dismantle LCMS
congregational worship and structure, have been listed. How did so many weeds get in the
LCMS garden? After 153 years, why isnt the Missouri Synod able to perpetuate itself?
In searching for the answer, I was saddened and shocked to discover that the reason so
called conservative groups are so ineffective in preventing the spread of the Church
Growth Movement, such as "Balance" which publishes "Affirm,"
"Concord," and "Vision" (at last report printed on equipment in Dr.
Tom Bakers basement), the Association of Confessional Lutherans, and both LCMS
seminary faculties, is because they no longer endorse C. F. W. Walthers Voters
Assemblies and Voter Supremacy as the only polity of the LCMS. In other words, no matter
how much they complain about Church Growth and PLI they have no solutions on how the LCMS
is supposed to be structured.
It is not possible to have a Christian congregation without agreement in doctrine but
it is also not possible to have a Synod of congregations, a Synodical Union, without
agreement, not only in doctrine, but also in polity and practice.
While one wing of the Synod has abandoned Walther for the Church Growth Movement the
other wing of the Synod, under the banner of Confessional Lutheranism, has also abandoned
Walther in order to reestablish European Lutheran Hierarchy as the corrective.
In my files there are more than 500 pages of e-mail, letters, and articles from LCMS
pastors who, like those promoting the Church Growth Movement, are opposed to
Walthers design for Voters Assemblies and Voter Supremacy. After looking at
the data one has to marvel at how many ways the Hyper-Euro-Lutherans have to get rid of,
discredit, and eradicate Voters Assemblies and Voter Supremacy from the LCMS.
1. The most popular way of discrediting Voters Assemblies is for so-called
"Confessional Lutherans" to repeat the mantra that the Early Church didnt
vote. This is patently false.
The Bible shows us that the Early Church practiced voting.
First, the Scriptures affirm that the early church did indeed "vote." Lenski
translates 2Cor.8:19 as follows: "...,and not only (this), but who also was VOTED
as our travel companion in this grace which is being ministered by us to show (pros) the
Lords glory and our own readiness, (thereby) avoiding that anyone blame us in this
bounty which is being ministered by us."
Lenski says "Acts 20:4 names seven men, and no doubt all of them were appointed by
Lenski writes: "(The Greek word) kyrotoneo means to vote by holding up
the hand. The supposition that a number of churches could not thus vote for a man is
unwarranted. His name was proposed in church after church, and because of his splendid
reputation all voted for him to be their representative."
Citations on Voting from LCMS Theologians
Mueller responds on page 572 of "Christian Dogmatics" to those who claim that
the Paul, Barnabas, and Titus called and ordained ministers in every church congregation
in Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5. He quotes Luthers objection. "Although Paul commanded
Titus to ordain elders in every city, (Titus 1:5) it does not follow that
Titus did this in an arbitrary manner; but he, after the example of the apostles,
appointed them after their election by the people; otherwise the command of Paul would be
in conflict with the general custom of the apostles."
Pieper writes in Vol. III, page 453, "Moreover, the word used in Acts 14:23,
cheirotonesantes, clearly states that in ordaining the elders a vote or election by the
congregation took place."
"Meyer adds: The analogy of Acts 6:2-6
demands this connotation of the word chosen, a word that, taken from the
ancient method of voting by raising of hands, occurs only there and 2Cor.
." "The remark of the Smalcald Articles: Formerly the people
elected pastors and bishops" (Trigl. 525, ibid., 70), can be proved to historically
Citations on Voting from the Ante-Nicene Fathers
The early church had the same opinion as published in "The Ante-Nicene Fathers"
Vol. VII. page 381, footnote 18(3) and (4) on IICor.8:19. "...(3) The word
kyrotoneo is here used in the sense of elect or
appoint (by show of hands), and not in that of ordained (by laying
on of hands). The former is the New Testament sense (Acts xiv:23; 2Cor.viii.19), also in
Ignatius; the latter sense is found in Apostolic Canons, i. (4) The choice by
the people also indicates an early period."
Citations on Voting from Greek Lexicons
"A Greek -English Lexicon of the New Testament" by Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich
states on page 889 that the first meaning for "kyrotoneo" is "choose, elect
by raising hands..."
"A Theological Dictionary of the New Testament" by Kittel, in Vol. IX, page
437, has the first meaning for "kyrotoneo", "1. Raising the hand to express
agreement in a vote...." It also gives numerous citations from ancient Greek
"A Greek-English Lexicon Revised" by Liddell & Scott, published by Oxford
states, "kyrotoneo" means "Stretch out the hand, for the purpose of giving
ones vote in the assembly...." There also are voluminous citations from ancient
Greek literature supporting this interpretation on page 1986.
"The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated from the Papyeri and other
Non-Literary Sources" by Moullton & Milligan state "kyrotoneo" means
"Stretch out the hand," then "elect by show of hands...." It also
cites examples from the Early Church regarding election and ordination.
2. Another attack on Voters Assemblies is from those who say that the
Bible never gives them the right to speak for the congregation. This is patently false.
The Bible certainly teaches that the gathering we call a Voters Assembly may
speak for the congregation according to Walther in the following statement:
"The Congregational Meetings"
"Since, according to Gods WORD, the congregation is the highest court within
its circle (Matt.18: 17; Col. 4:17), and the preacher has church authority only in common
with the congregation (Matt. 20-25-26; 23:8; 1Peter.5:1-3; 2Cor.8:8), the preacher must be
concerned that the congregational assembly, both regular and special ones as needed at
times, be held in Christian order to consider and carry out what is necessary for its
governing (Matt. 18:17; 1Cor. 5:4; 2Cor.2:6; Acts 6:2; 15:1-4, 30; 21:17-22; 1Tim.
3. One of the most insidious and deceitful ways to get rid of Voters
Assemblies is by those who remove any reference to them from the Synods Pastoral
Theology books without informing the Convention.
From its beginning, the Synod published "Pastoral Theology" by Walther and
later Fritz, as the standard textbooks which included the proper conduct of Supreme
Voters Assemblies. Now, as of 1989, CPH, the Synodical Headquarters, and the
COP, endorse a new "Pastoral Theology" by former Fort Wayne President, Dr.
Norbert Mueller.12 The
chapter on Voters Assemblies was simply removed. Mueller writes: "The New
Testament mandates no particular structure or polity for todays congregation. Some
of its descriptions and arrangements have survived the trials of time, but they are not
binding. The only structure mandated is that the office of the holy ministry
oversees the spiritual life of the flock (cf. Acts 20: 17-17-28, 1 Peter 5:2).
Congregational polity and organizational structure, however, should be accommodated
to the cultural and social patterns of the people [but without compromising Scriptural
principles.]. Mueller never names the Scriptural principles. (page, 244)
In 1969, Norbert Mueller was part of the Floor Committee that recommended to the LCMS
Convention in Denver that women should vote. We now see that Mueller, like most of the
Synodical officials, would be just as satisfied if no one voted, and there were no
Voters Assemblies, which they consider a creature of culture.
At the same time, the Wisconsin Synod, regularly criticized by Missouri for its flawed
view of church and ministry, also published a new pastoral theology in 1989 titled,
"The Shepherd Under Christ," by Schuetze and Habeck.13 On page 323 we read, "The largest administrative
group in a congregation is the Voters Assembly. Complete and final authority is
vested in this most inclusive meeting of the congregations voters."
Each class of seminary students now using Muellers book will have no
understanding of what the Synods official polity is supposed to be.
4. A rather clever way to nullify the importance of Voters Assemblies is
to teach that the "call" they issue is not divine until a pastor accepts it.
Thus the pastor makes the "call divine.
Walther teaches that congregations issue a divine, not a human, call into the
pastoral ministry. According to Matthew 18:20, the congregation is the only divinely
called gathering of believers, not the Synod, not the District, not the Circuit, not the
Seminary, only the congregation. Otherwise, the City Council or the Plumbers Union could
call a man to be a pastor of a local congregation. Therefore, the voice of the
Voters Assembly must be synonymous with the "church" in Matthew 18:17, not
the full number of baptized members, but the full number of those who have the authority
to vote (if they all show up). (See footnote 11.)
In opposition to this view, Doctor Norman Nagel of the St. Louis Seminary, an excellent
scholar, writes his less than finest work as follows: "For Walther, the election of
the Pastor by the Voters Assembly was not de facto Divine. Thus one never declines a
call of God. Walther distinguishes between the election of the Voters Assembly and
the Divine call, although if the call is divine, then, and only then, one can say in
hindsight that the election was of God."14
For Nagel, the divinity of the Voters Assembly call is "back washed"
over the Voters after the pastor accepts it. Nagel misrepresents Walther who wrote:
"The validity of a call depends on those who extend it having the right and the
authority from God to do so."15
Nagel takes the divinity of the call away from congregation and claims it is not divine
until the pastor accepts it.
We recommend Luthers article "Reason and Cause from Scripture that the
Christian Assembly or Congregation Has the Right and the Authority to Judge All Doctrine
and to Call, Install, and Depose Teachers" (Luthers Work, Volume 39, American
Edition, pages 305-314)
5. One of the most common ways that both seminaries teach convince their
students that Walther was wrong about Voters Assemblies is to say that the Bible and
the Confessions dont teach any polity.
There is no question that the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions teach some basic
doctrines on congregational polity that inform Voter Supremacy. The following are just
a few examples of Doctor David Scaers many questions and misrepresentations that
discredit Voters Assemblies in the Holy Trinity 2000 issue of "Logia,"16 house organ for
Hype-Euro-Lutheranism. It is titled, "Rast, Vehse, and Walther." Scaer writes:
"To insist that one form of church polity is divinely bestowed is sectarian."
Here we have Scaers judgment that Walther must have been a sectarian because he only
taught one polity for all LCMS congregations. Walther never forced this polity on the
congregations and no congregation was ever forced to join the LCMS. However, if they
joined the Synod they had to agree to Voter Supremacy. They also had to agree to only call
Fort Wayne and St. Louis Seminary graduates. Yet, Scaer doesnt call this sectarian.
Scaer doesnt understand the word "Synod." In order to have a
"Synod" all of the congregations must agree not only to the same doctrine, but
to the same practice, structure, and constitution, or else it is impossible to "walk
together," which is what "Synod" means. The LCMS is not the only way to
heaven, but if we follow Scaers appeal to anarchy, he leads us to believe that LCMS
congregations are serving Christ by not agreeing with Walthers Voter Supremacy. What
is the alternative to Scaers attack on Voters Assemblies? My goodness, there
is nothing left but corporate hierarchy with CEOs or Episcopal structure. What a
The following are four points on doctrine that specifically address polity in the Bible
and the Lutheran Confessions and are fundamental to Voter Supremacy:
A. The Confessions specifically say that the congregation elects its own pastor. (Trig.
523-24 par. 62, 69, 72, "Therefore it is necessary for the Church to retain the
authority to call, elect, and ordain ministers." Also Eph. 4:8, 1Pet. 2:9)
B. The Confessions specifically say the local congregation is supreme over the pastor.
the church is above the ministers" Trig. 507, "Christ gives supreme
and final jurisdiction to the Church" Trig 511, also, Matt. 18:17, Col. 4:17, 1Peter
5:1-3, 2Cor.8:8, and Walther agrees that the clergy are not the church.
C. The Confessions specifically say that the congregation is the final judge in church
discipline. (Trig. 511, "Christ gives supreme and final jurisdiction to the
" also Matt. 18:17-18; Acts 1:15, 23-26; 15:5, 12-13, 22-23; 1Cor. 5:2,
6:2, 10:15, 12:7, 2Cor. 2:6-8, 2Thess: 3:15)
D. The Confessions say they agree with the Bible and the Bible teaches that the sheep
judge their shepherd in all doctrine. (Matt. 7:15-23, 1John 4:1, 1Cor. 10:15, Matt. 23:10,
1Thess. 5:1, Matt.10:42-44, Acts 17:11, 2Pet. 2:1, 1Cor.14:29, Rev. 2:2)
The sheep form the final tribunal in the congregation, not the clergy. When the pastor
speaks the Word of God correctly, he should expect 100% obedience, or they are not sheep.
When the congregation speaks the Word of God correctly, they should expect 100% obedience
from the pastor, or he is no pastor.
6. The effort to give the pastors authority over the congregations, something
Walther never taught, is coming from many different directions in the Synod.
Walther taught that the Voters, not the pastor, were Supreme in the congregation.
The Synods Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) gave the pastor
headship over the congregation in its 1985 document, "Women in the Church."
While defending a womans right to vote, President John Johnson of the St. Louis
Seminary, reported to be the primary author, took the headship of the congregation away
from the men and gave it to the pastor. The document states17 that the main application of 1Cor. 14:33b-35 and 1Tim.
2:11-15] "in the contemporary church" is that women are not to exercises
functions in the local congregation which would involve them in the "authority
inherent in the authoritative public teaching office (i.e., the office of the pastor)."
In other words, the CTCR says that the Synods founder, C. F. W. Walther, made a
mistake when he understood that the following Bible passages refer to the authority of the
congregation instead of pastoral authority.
Where do the following verses speak about the pastoral office or worship? However,
there is no question that God is addressing the "churches" and speaking about
the authority of men in the churches.
1Cor 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches
of the saints. :34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not
permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also
saith the law.
1Tim 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a
woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
The CTCR claims "Subordination is for the sake of orderliness and
on page 27, the CTCR states that 1Cor. 14:34 is speaking about subordination.19 The CTCRs reasoning is that if
the husband is the head of the wife the pastor has headship over the church (28, 38).
First Corinthians 14:34 was formerly considered by the Synod as a proof text for the
authority of male voters. It is now the Synods proof text for pastoral authority and
"The oversight and supervision exercised in the office of the public
ministry..." page 36
"...exercise of authority inherent in the authoritative public teaching office (i.e.
the office of pastor)." page 38
"...the pastoral office has oversight from God over the congregation, the household
of God..." page 41
"Since a headship over the congregation is exercised through these
functions unique to the office of the public ministry,..." page 4220
7. Another favorite slam against Voters Assemblies and Voter Supremacy is
that Walther copied the American form of government and brought worldly, secular,
democracy into the church. This is totally false.
It was Walthers intent to give the laity a vote on doctrine as a test of
faith. Judging doctrine by vote shows who agrees and who disagrees with the Word of
God. However, there are many professors in the Synod who claim that voting on
doctrine and majority rule have no place in the congregation. Two examples would be Dr.
David Scaer and Professor Kurt Marquart of Fort Wayne.
Scaer asks: "The LCMSs founding father, C.F.W. Walther is obviously not
responsible for American democracy, but did he conform his doctrine of the church and
ministry to it?"21
Marquart writes: "Sadly, no matter how often I say it, it never seems to sink in.
I defend our Synod's traditional polity-I simply refuse, as did Walther, to make it a
matter of dogma. Remember Churchill's quip to the effect that all forms of government are
bad, and that democracy is simply the best of a bad lot! That realistically reflects our
human situation after the Fall."22
Walther strenuously objected to the charge that he had introduced democracy into the
congregation. After quoting Lutheran theologians, Chemnitz, Leyser, and Gerhard from the
16th and 17th centuries, in support of lay people voting in their
congregations, Walther writes in "The Congregations Right to Choose Its
Pastor" November 7th, 186023
as follows: "If we had been the first to write this, our opponents would cry murder
against us. They would exclaim, There you see how the Missourians introduce their
American democratic ideas into the churchs doctrine. However, it is well known that
neither Chemnitz, nor Leyser, nor Gerhard were Americans or democrats. Nevertheless, the
church is here likened to a free republic, in which all power of state, all offices and
titles originally, so far as their root is concerned, rest in all citizens, none of whom
can, however, make himself president, or mayor or senator, but whom the citizens through
free election clothe with these powers, offices and titles which originally rest in
Lets get to the real issue here. Professors and officials in the LCMS want to
remove the control over the congregation from the lay people.
8. Marquart and Scaer, as well as most of the Fort Wayne and St. Louis
faculties, will not support Voter Supremacy in the congregation as the official polity of
There is no question that in its first 125 years the Synods theologians and
historians recognized Voter Supremacy as the official polity of the LCMS. We list nine
publications in the footnote supporting Voter Supremacy in the LCMS.24 Walthers introduction of
Voters Assemblies led Loehe and Grabau to leave and excommunicate the LCMS.
Earlier this year, written assurance was received from the Chairman of the Board of
Regents at Fort Wayne, Rev. David Anderson, that the faculty supported Voter Supremacy. We
followed his advice25 and
wrote directly to each faculty member.
We polled the entire Fort Wayne faculty in a letter and asked them if they agreed with
the following quotation. They were asked to return a post card with a simple
"yes" or "no."
"Finally, the congregation is represented as the supreme tribunal,
" Note 7 on p 29 refers to this using the term 'highest
jurisdiction' and referring in turn to the 'Power and Primacy Of the Pope,' 'highest and
final jurisdiction to the church
(Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W
Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.24)
"In public church affairs nothing should be concluded without the vote and
consent of the congregation." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther,
CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.48)
Only six of the faculty agreed to these two statements. We then polled the St. Louis
Seminary faculty, and only three agreed with these statements.
Fort Wayne considered the "poll" an attack. Writing to Christian News on May
11, 2000 Chairman David Anderson wrote, "The faculty met a couple of weeks back to
discuss whether or not to respond to his attacks, and it was decided that he would never
stop, no matter what was said. Thus they resolved to let the matter drop without further
comment. So his statement, At this time, 6 of the 33 professors at Fort Wayne have
agreed with Walther's Voter Supremacy doesn't mean too much."
If this is all the further an LCMS pastor can get when asking a Seminary faculty, at
the invitation of the Chairman of the Board of Regents, about the polity of LCMS
congregations, the laity does not have a chance. The reason is obvious: when the Voters
are not Supreme; they have no standing in the Synod.
9. The almost magical word, "adiaphora," is regularly employed by LCMS
theologians and pastors when describing Voters Assemblies. It means, things neither
required nor forbidden by Scripture, a free choice.
Voter Supremacy is not an "adiaphora" in the LCMS because Conventions have
passed resolutions adopting Voter Supremacy as the Synods congregational polity.
Obviously, at this time, it must be reaffirmed by the Convention.
Dr. Paul L. Schriebers article in the January, 2000 issue of the "Concordia
the polity of the LCMS as an "adiaphora." He has a great deal of support for his
position. The article is titled, "Power and Orders in the Church According to
the Gospel: In Search of the Lutheran Ethos."
In a second article, "Church Polity and the Assumption of Authority"
Schreiber still cant identify the existence of any particular polity for the LCMS
and again speaks about adiaphora.27
Adiaphora has become the new Law of Corban (Mark 7:11) for LCMS seminary professors.
The freedom of choice, adiaphora, and Schriebers "flexibility" have become
a church real estate shell game. When the Voters are not supreme, someone else must
be the custodian and executor of the churchs property.
Not once in the article is Schreiber able to discover the "Lutheran Ethos" on
polity in the LCMS. He cant find Voters Assemblies in the LCMS. For lack of
any particular polity, he even contradicts himself in his own article.28
Other church bodies run their denominations from the top down, why not the LCMS? For
Schreiber, the polity of any particular congregation is of no concern,29 but it is for the Courts when
Case in point: On May 9, 2000, The Court of Appeals, Fifth District of Texas at Dallas,
ruled that under current LCMS congregational polity, layman Ronald Charles Hunt was an
owner of his church property and could not be removed from his property as long as he was
a member of the congregation. Justice Whittington wrote the opinion in behalf of the
three-judge panel consisting of Justices Whittington, James, and O'Neill. In two other
cases, two LCMS Districts had argued for an Episcopal system.
10. A number of LCMS pastors have been convinced that by Professor Kurt Marquart
of Fort Wayne that the Voters are not supreme, but that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
is a divinely instituted church as the congregations are each church.
The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is not a "church" in the proper sense
but a Synodical Union according the Preamble of the LCMS Constitution.
This is the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, not the Lutheran Church of Missouri. The
Synodical President, District Presidents, and professors have no authority to consecrate
the elements or baptize or excommunicate anyone at the Convention or anywhere else by
virtue of their elected office in the Synod. The LCMS President and District Presidents
dont have "calls," but their offices are up for reelection every three
years. The Synod is a human invention. Only the congregation is divinely instituted
according The Augsburg VII & VIII.
"Now the basic theology: if Synod is simply 'a human invention how is it that
it conducts mission work? Pr. Cascione mixes apples and chestnuts when he
says: the synod is not church, it is a group of churches that agree to follow the
same doctrine, practice, polity, regulations, resolutions, constitution, worship,
discipline and clergy roster. Unity in the apostolic doctrine and church fellowship
based on that are not human inventions but God's institution. Even if there were no
Synodical constitution and bylaws, the fellowship of local churches in God-given doctrine
and sacraments confessing and evangelizing together would be "church"-as in Acts
9:31, where the best reading is singular. the church throughout Judea, Galilee and
To Marquart we reply:
The congregations conduct the mission work together as a Synod. That doesnt make the
Synod church. The LCMS Handbook states that the LCMS is a corporation. "a. The name
of the corporation shall be 'The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.'"31 It then states the objectives,
membership, meetings, officers, property, bylaws, and amendments of the corporation.
The following is the reading in the King James Version that Marquart rejects. Acts
9:31 "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and
Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the
Holy Ghost, were multiplied."
The following is the reading in the NIV that Marquart says is correct and proves his
position that Synod is Church. NIV Acts 9:31 "Then the church throughout
Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by
the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord."
There are about 35 examples of the Greek word for "churches" in the New
Testament, all of which apply to local congregations and not a "Synod" as
Marquart finds in Acts 9:31. The other 81 or more examples are the singular
"church." Of these, the majority also speaks about the local congregation. The
remainders refer to the church universal, the Body of Christ, such as Matt. 16:18 and Eph.
Marquarts appeal to Acts 9:31, as biblical support for calling the Synod a
church, stretches credulity. He has based his doctrine on one variant reading. The
"Majority Text," representing 90% of all the ancient Greek texts in existence,
doesnt even question that the preferred reading is "churches" instead of
"church." The NIV follows Nestlés Western minority reading in Acts 9:31
with "church," while the King James follows the vast majority of readings with
Marquart says that Pieper and Walther agree with him that Synod is Church. However, we
read exactly the opposite as follows:
the union of congregations into larger church bodies, such as conferences,
synods, etc., has not been ordained by God. The command Tell it unto the
church, according to the context, pertains to the local church, or congregation, and
it must be restricted to the local church." (Pieper, Vol. III, 421)
Pieper quotes Walther for further support on the same page: "An association of a
number of congregations to form a larger church body with governing officers, e.g., by
means of a synod with the authority of supervision, a so-called superior board, a
consistory, a bishop, etc., is not of divine right, but only a human
There couldnt be Voter Supremacy as Walther structured it in the LCMS if the
Synod was "church" because the "Big Church" must necessarily be the
When the Scriptures speak about the churches in Galatia, Syria, Cilicia, Macedonia, or
Judea, these are geographic arrangements, not divinely instituted synods. Even if each
congregation agrees completely with the other and works in perfect harmony with the other,
which would be a miracle, cooperation does not make a divine institution. Also, "a
churchly" function, activity, or association does not make a divine institution. Only
two or three gathered in Christs name (the means of grace) make the local
congregation the only divinely instituted church on earth.
It was Professor Marquart, himself, who taught us that no doctrine can be based on one
passage, let alone one variant reading, but must have two passages to support it from the
homologoumena, the unquestioned 20 books of the New Testament.
The Preamble of the LCMS Constitution states:32
"Reason for the Forming of a Synodical Union"
1. The example of the apostolic church. Acts 15:1-31
2. Our Lords will that the diversities of gifts should be for the common profit. 1
Rather than a variant reading in Acts 9:31, mistakenly suggested as an example of a
divinely instituted Synod by Professor Marquart, the LCMS appeals to the unity of
confession, practice, and sharing of gifts in Acts 15:1-31 and 1Cor. 12:4-31 as an example
of what the Synod of congregations is trying to achieve by working together in the LCMS.
Marquart rejects the term "Voter Supremacy." He writes:
"Voter Supremacy" is worldly, political sloganeering. Zeal for any
supremacy except Christs is alien to His church. One might as well be
shouting: All Power to the Soviets! How's that for
Marquart says the Synod didnt use the term "Voter Supremacy."
"To allow for this crucial difference I prefer to call our traditional polity-WHICH,
PLEASE NOTE, I THOROUGHLY APROVE!-congregational self-government instead of
Wait a minute! The traditional wording is all about "the voters are supreme"
as regularly repeated in LCMS textbooks (see footnote 24) and thousands of congregational
Marquart speaks about an imaginary synod where lay people control the property but not
the doctrine. He separates ownership from stewardship. I own my house and I control what
goes on in my house. What good is controlling church property if lay people dont
control the doctrine?
Marquart claims that Voters dont have a right to be wrong. He writes:35
"Pr. Casciones "freedom to do the wrong thing" belong in the
temporal, not the spiritual sphere. All of us Christians have both spirit and flesh, new
nature and old nature. Yes, we daily sin and need forgiveness-but there is not "right
to do wrong"! Because Walther understood that, he insisted that a congregational
decision, even if unanimous, was null and void if it violated the Word of God, there is
some analogy to this in the American constitutional system: if something is
unconstitutional, then any attempt to enforce it, whether by legislatures, sheriffs, or
armies, has no legal force or standing, and must be resisted. When one must resort to
pleading for a freedom to do the wrong thing in the church, one is merely
confessing the bankruptcy of the position advocated."
We reply, Yes, the congregation has a right to be wrong; otherwise their votes are
meaningless. When they are wrong, it is called "sin." Walther viewed every vote
on doctrine as a test of faith to see who is approved (1Cor. 11:19). Perhaps Marquart
would have designed the Garden of Eden with a fence around the Tree of the Knowledge of
Good and Evil. Perhaps there would have been razor wire around the palace walls so that
David could not look at Bathsheba.
The 1998 Convention voted on the confession of the Gospel in the Creeds. Hundreds
voted "no," though it passed. I think they sinned by voting "no" but
they had the right to do it! Marquart says Im confusing Law and Gospel. Why
didnt Marquart go to the microphone and say, "No one here can vote
The Methodists confess the words of institution, but the real presence is not offered
on their altars because they reject the meaning of the words. The Mormons say the words of
Baptism, but their baptisms are invalid because they reject the meaning of the words. The
Unitarians say the Gospel, but their confession is invalid because they reject the meaning
the words. The Gospel, the Tree of Life, only exists by common consent of the faithful in
the congregation. If there are not two or three gathered in His Name, there is no church,
even if the pastor has faith. The pastor cant have faith in place of the members.
The members must be given the right to exercise their faith according to the Office of the
Keys. Fears that the Voters may vote the wrong way avoid the issue of faith and who the
church is made of. The church is the believers in Christ.
11. A number of LCMS pastors undermine Voter Supremacy, Voters Assemblies,
and congregational autonomy by claiming these things are a matter of choice in the LCMS.
Once again we appeal to the four points of doctrine listed above as the doctrinal
basis for Voter Supremacy in the LCMS. Doctor John Wohlrabe sees the possibility for
other forms of church government in LCMS congregations with comments such as follows:
"It [the congregation] also has the right to choose whatever government it
"However, most Missouri Synod congregations hold to a democratic form of polity.
It is not mandated in the Synod's constitution."
"In Sweden, they had an Episcopal form of government, where the clergy represented
the congregation. There may be other forms of government as well."
"You see, I firmly believe that Walther would have been very uncomfortable with
the emphasis you are placing on the 'supremacy of a voters' assembly' over the pastoral
office. In fact, he would have disagreed with you. The concept of a voters' assembly falls
under polity or church government, which Walther viewed as an adiophoron (even though he
did view a democratic polity as the best form of church government for congregations
established independent of the state in the republic we call the United States of
We reply: It is simply amazing how a church historian like Wohlrabe cant explain
how so many congregations came together in the LCMS under the same polity of Voter
Supremacy. Loehe, who was opposed to the laity having the final authority by vote, was
very much aware of why he left the LCMS in 1852, but, yet, Wohlrabe thinks Missouri had no
mandate for Voters Assemblies.
Walther defended the congregations right to vote against Pastor Wilhelm Loehe and
Pastor Grabau in 14 articles in "Der Lutheraner" from September 18, 1860, to
August 6, 1861. They were assembled in a book titled, "The Congregations Right
to Choose Its Pastor."36
"In the past we always sincerely rejoiced that Pastor Grabau here in America still
granted congregations the right to choose pastors, while, on the other hand, Pastor Loehe
in Germany denied congregations even this right. We were happy that congregations here
were at least able to live in quiet, undisturbed possession of this most important right,
and that we were thus not compelled to begin a battle also for this treasure that was so
dearly won for us by the Reformation."37
"That Pastor Loehe really denies to congregations that right to choose their
pastors may be seen among other things from an article of his which he wrote in the
Aphorisms about the New Testament offices and their relationship to the
congregation. In it Pastor Loehe writes, e.g., the following:
In Acts 14:24 we find that Paul and Barnabas appointed elders (pastors) for the new
congregation in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch without the least participation on the part
of the congregation without an active participation being ascribed to congregations in the
choice and appointment
Again Walther writes:
"In what follows Loehe maintains it is even less proper now than at the time of the
Apostles to grant the right to choose their own pastors. No, he exclaims in
An unconditional right of choice on the part of the congregation is not only
unapostolic, but also most dangerous
Again Walther writes:
"The reason that Loehe fights so decidedly against the right of the congregations to
choose their pastors is his false doctrine of the ministry. He rejects the biblical
doctrine of the Lutheran Church that Christ gave the office to his whole church, and that
the pastors merely publicly administer this universal office as servants of the church.
Rather, Loehe believes and teaches that pastors constitute a special, privileged class of
people, a special estate in the church, a sacred aristocracy a certain
ecclesiastical class of nobles and priests. Just as only the children of nobles or such as
are created noblemen are members of the nobility, so, Loehe thinks, only a pastor can
create a pastor; and as in the Old Testament only the son of a priest could become a
priest, so only ordination by a clergyman could make a clergyman. Loehe writes, e.g.:
Everywhere in the New Testament we see that only the sacred office begets
congregations, nowhere that the office is merely a transferring of congregational rights
and plenary powers, that the congregation bestows the office. The office stands in the
midst of the congregation like a fruitful tree, which has its seed in itself; it
And Loehe writes:
"One could call the presbytery (the pastors) a holy aristocracy (the rule of the
distinguished) of the church, while something democratic (the rule by the common people)
lies in the election of the deacons."
"When Pastor Loehe wrote this eleven years ago and we read it, we were deeply
alarmed. For with this he took away from the Christian congregations the most precious and
important right, which they possess. The poor German congregations groan under the godless
rule of thousands of unbelieving preachers who are foisted upon them, who have now for
more than half a century robbed them of their orthodox agendas, catechisms, and hymnbooks.
And have forced unbelieving books on them, and preached to them the most wretched doctrine
of men instead of the Word of God. Now instead of fighting so that the poor, shamelessly
tyrannized congregations, which are cheated by their pastors out of their faith and
salvation, might be freed from these their tyrants, Loehe rather fights for this, that the
congregations only remained tamely in their chains, and praises it as the proper help for
them, if the preachers also in the future retain all the power in their hands and the
congregations remain in the old slavery."40
"For when Pastor Loehe had in his heart fallen away from the symbols of our church,
then he also confessed honestly and publicly with mouth and pen that he could no longer
subscribe to the symbolic books of our church unconditionally because he had found errors
The 2001 LCMS Convention may be the last opportunity for the congregations to preserve
Voter Supremacy in all LCMS congregations. From all observations, a majority of the LCMS
clergy, including both Seminaries, sees no reason in preserving congregational government
run by laity in the LCMS.
We must pass a resolution that reaffirms Voter Supremacy as the only agreed upon polity
of all LCMS congregations and we must demand the removal of LCMS professors who do not
publicly teach Voter Supremacy as the only congregational polity in the LCMS.
At the 1999 Symposium on the Lutheran Confessions at Concordia Theological Seminary in
Fort Wayne, Indiana, I asked President A. L. Barry if the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
had an official position on Church and Ministry. President Barry announced that the
official position of the LCMS was that of Walther and of Francis Pieper in his
Thank God for giving such spiritual insight to C. F. W. Walther, who let the laity,
taught by pastors, build the LCMS, by Gods blessing, into the greatest lay owned
church body in the world.
A note about Endnotes
The endnotes used in this work are linked from the note number in
the text to the endnote at the bottom of the page, and vice versa. In addition,
where a note uses "ibid." or "op. cit.", it is linked to the
appropriate parent endnote information.
If you use this "ibid." or "op. cit." link, you will need to use the BACK
button on your browser to return to the endnote you started with. From there, you
can click on the endnote number to go back to where you were in the text.
1. Constitution Recommended to St. Peters Evangelical
Lutheran Church Eastpointe, Michigan by the Michigan District Adopted November 20, 1995
Article II Purpose:
The purpose of this Congregation is to provide a Christian ministry in the community by
preaching the Word of God, and administration of the Sacraments, by religious education of
youth and adults, by providing worship and prayer opportunities, by proclaiming the saving
grace of Jesus Christ, and by serving the needs of all people: all this according to the
confessional standard of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. (See Article III)
Article IV - Membership Section 4 E.
Excommunication - A member who persistently acts and/or lives in an unChristain manner
shall be admonished according to Matthew 18:15. If he refuses to repent he shall be
considered to have excluded himself. This self-exclusion shall be recognized by formal
Excommunication by the Board of Elders. The Board of Directors will be informed of the
actions and the registered letter shall be sent to the person excluded.
Article V- Authority of Congregation
The Board of Directors shall be charged with the month-to-month decisions and programs of
the congregation. It shall be held accountable to the Voters Assembly for the
progress of the congregation toward its stated purposes. The establishment and conduct of
all organizations and societies within the congregation shall be subject to the approval
and suppression of the Board of Directors. As the legal representatives of the
congregation, the Board of Directors shall sign legal documents, make contracts, represent
the congregation in court and hire non-called workers.
2. "Mission Plan-New
Life Christian Fellowship LCMS, Mailing Address: 19785 W. 12 Mile Road, # 622, Southfield,
MI 48076, 248-356-1120"
"How We are Formed"
"The most practical and appropriate model for starting this fellowship in
Southfield has been the "partnering church" model...."
Financial resources have come from the Michigan District and these area LCMS
congregations: Faith Lutheran Church, Troy; Outer Drive Faith Lutheran Church, Detroit;
St. John Lutheran Church, Detroit Page5
Evangelism (page 9)
Provides leadership for the programs and events, which will make up the outreach focus of
our fellowship. Coordinates weekly home cell groups, and lead support group ministry.
Celebrate Praise and Worship (page 18)
We value the importance of gathering to worship together, to pray for one another, to
celebrate Gods goodness in our lives (Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:42-47). Our services
will be informal, the teaching Biblical and life applicable, and the order easy to follow
in a service folder. Music will be led by a worship team-praise choruses and easy to sing
hymns set to a musical style that is accepted across ethnic and racial lines...
Servanthood and the Great Commission
We will be intentional about reaching to the unchurched individual or family, and about
developing a seeker-sensitive service and message that is applicable to our lives today.
Our primary means of appealing across racial lines will be in our selection of
music style-fusion jazz, contemporary choruses and easy to sing, well known hymns led by a
worship team of musians-both black and white.
Encouragement and support through relationship (page 21)
...This is accomplished through authentic relationships, cell group home Bible
fellowships, support groups, social events and working together with a "Kingdom"
purpose and perspective!
Discovery and use of spiritual giftedness
...We encourage each person to discover, develop and use his or her God-given
gift(s) to "serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various
forms" 1Peter 4:10
Drama Ministry (page 22)
We envision the formations of a drama team in the near future to present
life-applicable, Biblically relevant dramas in our worship service each week.
...Most of our service will follow this style, which is contemporary and informal in
Worship Style (Page 26)
Introduction (10-15 minutes) welcome, fellowship, conversation,
Worship and Praise (8-10 minutes)
Welcome Visitors (2 minutes) fill out cards, introductions, give out information
Confessing What We Believe (2-3 minutes) he statement of our faith or creed will
printed out in the service folder and the fellowship will declare together our profession
of faith in the Triune God.
Special Music (3 minutes) vocalists, choirs emphasizing cultural diversity
Offering (2) minutes
Drama (8-10) minutes good drama team, emphasize life applications based on Biblical
The Response (2-3 Minutes) prayer, people announce they have converted,
Announcements and Dismissal
Article II Purpose (page 29)
The purpose of this gathering of believers is to glorify and praise God, strengthen and
support fellow members and to reach a lost world with the Good News of Jesus so that more
might be saved. Our Mission Statement is: "Reaching across cultures to share New Life
in Christ wit all people." Thus, we are compelled by the love of God toward
fulfilling our purpose as He works in us and through us through His Word and the
3. David S. Luecke, "The
Other Story of Lutherans at Worship: Reclaiming Our Heritage of Diversity,
Fellowship Ministries, (Community of Joy) Tempe, Arizona, 1995
4. "An Evangelical
Lutheran News Letter" Michigan 102, May 1997 page 5
"What is necessary for those who plan worship is time spent in the "truth",
the Word, and in prayer. In the atmosphere of Word and prayer, those who plan worship will
receive wisdom on how best to minister in the contemporary setting where God has placed
them. We live and minister in a society where change is the order of the day."
"Reporter" December 1997, page 3
"In other business, the C.O.P. heard a presentation on a plan to involve LCMS
pastors--300 of them initially-- in a four year process aimed at making them more
effective in their ministries by training them to be more effective leaders.
"Rev. Norbert Oesch of Orange, Calif., and Rev. Stephen D. Hower of Pacific,
MO., told the C.O.P. that the Pastoral Leadership Institute they helped to organize has
obtained funding and intends to begin working with 100 pastors next year. They asked the
C.O.P. to help identify pastors who would benefit from the training and to help the
organizers refine their training model.
The plan calls for participating pastors to:
attend conferences led by recognized experts in leadership training;
be assigned in groups to congregations that would serve as mentors to
participate in one or more international servant events;
experience at least one cross denominational leadership training event
during their four years
6. On February 6, 1998, Dr.
Oesch wrote: "In 1996 the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) asked four of
us to answer a question, namely, 'If the LCEF were to use some of its operating expenses
to stimulate something that would make a difference in our church body, what would that
be?' Unanimously we responded, 'Invest in pastoral leadership training'. In
consultation with Concordia Seminary President, Dr. John Johnson, with Dr. Bill Meyer
(Executive Director) of the Board for Higher Education, and with President, Gerry
Kieschnick of the Texas District, the idea of a Pastoral Leadership Institute was
shaped. Although I was part of the shaping, I was overwhelmed when I was asked to
bring it into reality."
7. "The PLI Course
SYLLABUS: CONFERENCE EVENT #1 -VISIONARY LEADERSHIP."
The Syllabus lists Dr. Andrew Bartelt and President Johnson as guest presenters.
'SYLLABUS: CONFERENCE EVENT #2
NURTURING TRANSFORMATION AND STRATEGIC PLANNING"
The following units are in the Syllabus for
UNIT ONE: "A Biblical View of Nurturing Change"
An examination of how change is both natural and Biblical
UNIT TWO: "Making the Vision Come Alive at Our Congregation" Two case studies on
change strategies in the local congregation
UNIT THREE: "Nurturing Transformation" An ongoing process activity: Learning and
preparing to use the eight-stage process of creating major change
UNIT FOUR: "Change: How to Do It and Live to Tell About It" Recognizing,
welcoming, and handling the challenges of change
UNIT FIVE: "Church on the Brink: Cultural and Theological Transformation in the 21st
Century" The impact of cultural change on the church
UNIT SIX: "Developing the Action Plan" Local lay involvement, 12-month goal
setting, developing a system of accountability, planning mentor events
The Course Syllabus says that the St. Louis Seminary will offer graduate credits to those
who participate in the conference.
8. PLI Website
9. LCMS "Reporter"
The December 1999
10. Core Value 1:
Intentional Mission Development
"4. Encouragement of culturally relevant congregations"
Core Value 2: Accountability
"Under the Gospel Imperative of the great Commission, the Michigan District deeply
values the development of new and established congregations and missionary agencies which
generate a new audience for the Gospel by bringing Jesus Christ to the unchurched and
dechurched populations within the State of Michigan."
"5. Congregation filing of accurate and timely statistical reports to the Synod and
In this Core Value the District Committed itself to filing statistical reports without
mentioning commitment to the doctrine and practice of the LCMS."
"Core Value 3: Networking Congregations
The Michigan District deeply values collaborative, interdependent and coaching
relationships between congregations. Such networking provides a positive pathway to
expansion of congregational mission and ministry. To this end, vital linkages between
congregations shall be established, providing a forum for such mutually beneficial
1. Diffusion of innovation
2. Access to Synodical and district resources
3. Process consulting for planning and decision making
4. Healthy congregational systems
5. Congregational self-study, evaluation and planning
6. Affirmation of congregational uniqueness
7. Pastoral, staff and lay leadership development
8. Effective community outreach
9. Sponsorship of large(r) events for collaboration and learning, such
b. Forums to address issues of diversity
c. Leadership development and training for
clergy and lay leaders
d. Affinity-based learning clusters and
11. C.F.W. Walther,
"Pastoral Theology," CN New Haven Mo., 5th Edition 1906 page 257
"All adult, male members of the congregation have the right to participate actively
in the discussion, votes, and decisions of the congregation since that is a RIGHT OF THE
WHOLE CONGREGATION. See Matt. 18:17-18; Acts 1:15, 23-26; 15:5; 12-13, 22-23; 1Cor.5: 2;
6:2; 10:15; 12:7; 2Cor.2: 6-8; 2Thess. 3:15. Excluded from the exercise of this right are
the youth (1Pet.5: 5) and the female members of the congregation (Cor.14: 34-35) [see also
1Tim.2: 8-15]." In 1969 the LCMS Convention Voted that women may vote in Voters
12. Norbert Mueller,
"Pastoral Theology," CPH, St. Louis, 1989, page 244.
13. Schuetze and Habeck,
"The Shepherd Under Christ" NPH Milwaukee, 1989, page 324
14. Concordia Theological
Quarterly, July 1995, Dr. Norman Nagel, see p.161ff.
"When it is completed [ordination] according to the Lords words and mandate, it
is beyond doubt divine....When all the things were done which make a pastor, no
uncertainty remained.... Hence the divine call is the call that emerges as the final
result of the election and is recognized at the ordination." Page 180
"From the point of all of them [election and ordination] having been done, the
application of divine washes back over the things which were the basis of what
followed, until they begin to blur together. The process does not work the other way
around. The call recognized at a mans ordination-and because of which the ordination
proceeds-may without doubt then be called divine." Page 181
Theology", C.F.W. Walther, CN, fifth edition, 1906, CN 1995 page 21.
16. "Logia" Holy
Trinity 2000, David Scaer, "Rast, Vehse, and Walther"
17. CTCR "Women in the
Church" CPH 1985, "5. 1Cor. 14:33b-35 and 1Tim. 2:11-15 speak of
womens roles in the public worship service. The main application of these passages
in the contemporary church is that women are not to exercise those functions in the local
congregation which would involve them in the exercise of authority inherent in the
authoritative public teaching office (i.e., the office of the pastor)." (page
18. CTCR "Women in the
Church" CPH 1985
"2. 1 Corinthians 14:34. Paul cites the Law (very likely Genesis 2 in this
particular context ) as the basis for the subordination of woman, (Page 22)"
"Subordination, when applied to the relationship of women and men in the
church, expresses a divinely established relationship in which one looks to the other, but
not in a domineering sense. Subordination is for the sake of orderliness and
unity." (Page 32)
"The three previous Scriptural principles concerning women in the church converge in
St. Pauls specific directives regarding their speaking and teaching in the congregation
at worship. (1Cor. 14:33b-35; 1Tim. 2:11-15) (Page 32)
19. CTCR "Women in the
Church" CPH 1985 "We have not properly understood the interrelated concepts of
headship (1Cor. 11:3) and subordination (1Cor. 14:34) if we take tem to be equivalent to
superiority or dominations." Page 27
20. CTCR "Women in the
Church" CPH 1985
21. "Logia" Holy
Trinity 2000, David Scaer, "Rast, Vehse, and Walther"
22. Professor Kurt Marquart,
Letter to Christian News October 18, 2000 in reply to Pastor Jack Cascione
"Again Marquart writes: "Christ rules His church by faith and love: the faith
(Word and sacraments) is fully revealed in the divine Word, and is not debatable, or
subject to majority decision. "The only purpose of voting in matters of doctrine is
to see whether all now understand the teaching of the divine Word and agree to it"
(Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, III: 430)."
23. Walther "The
Congregations Right to Choose Its Pastor" Nov.7th 1860, Development
Office, Fort Wayne, Translated by Fred Kramer, edit, Wilbert Rosin, page 41
24. "Form of the
Christian Congregation," C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.23, 24, 48, 54, 56,
"Pastoral Theology" by C.F.W. Walther," CN New Haven Mo., 5th Edition 1906
translated 1995,page 257, 264
"1847 Ebenezer 1922" by D. H. Steffens, CPH, Page 147
"Pastoral Theology" by John Fritz, CPH 1932, page 314
"Government in the Missouri Synod" by Carl Mundinger, 1947, CPH, page 196, 201
"The Abiding Word," E.J. Otto, CPH, 1947, Vol. II, Page 555
"The Abiding Word" CPH, 1947, Vol. II, page 460 "The Lutheran
Congregation" by G. Perlich
"Christian Dogmatics," J. T. Mueller. Page 561
"Teach My People The Truth" by Herman F. Zehnder, Frankenmuth Historical
Society, 1970, page 97
25. Rev. David Anderson,
Chairman of the Board of Regents, letter to Rev. Jack Cascione January 24, 2000 later
published in Christian News.
"I talked with a number of our professors at CTS this past week and found no one who
teaches or who knows anyone who teaches that the congregational voters' assembly is not
supreme. If you know someone who does, it would seem to be the Christian thing to approach
that a brother privately and talk to him about it. If he listens to you, you have won your
brother (Matt. 18:15). Having thus done all I can to run down the basis for your rumors, I
asked Dr. Weinrich to reply of your questions."
26. Concordia Journal, Dr.
Paul L. Schreiber, "Power and Orders in the Church according to the
Gospel: In Search of the Lutheran Ethos" January 2000, page 6
27. Concordia Journal, Dr.
Paul. L. Schreiber, "Church Polity and the Assumption of Authority" October,
2000, page 326.
28. Concordia Journal, Dr.
Paul L. Schreiber, "Power and Orders in the Church according to the
Gospel: In Search of the Lutheran Ethos" January 2000, page 6First he says,
"The church cannot require its ministers to enter into a contractual arrangement in
its secular scene." (page 14) This is because it is against Gods Word. Then he
says, "The Confessions never acknowledge any aspect of church organization or
structure as something mandated by God or man." (Page 21) If the Confessions never
acknowledge any aspect of church organization or structure as something mandated by God or
man, then the church is free to "require" contractual arrangements.
29. Ibid., "The
Confessions never acknowledge aspects of church organization or structure as something
mandated by God or by man." Page 21.
30. Professor Kurt Marquart,
Letter to Christian News October 18, 2000 in reply to Pastor Jack Cascione
31. "Handbook of the
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod 1998 Edition" pages 146, 147
32. "Handbook of the
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod 1998 Edition" page 8
33. Professor Kurt Marquart,
Letter to Christian News April, 22, 2000 in reply to Pastor Jack Cascione
34. Professor Kurt Marquart,
Letter to Christian News May 24, 2000 in reply to Pastor Jack Cascione
35. Professor Kurt Marquart,
Letter to Christian News October 12, 2000 in reply to Pastor Jack Cascione
36. Walther "The
Congregations Right to Choose Its Pastor" Nov.7th 1860, Development
Office, Fort Wayne, Translated by Fred Kramer, edit, Wilbert Rosin
37. Ibid., Vol. 17, No. 3
September 18, 1860, pp. 17-19
38. Ibid., Vol. 17, No. 3
September 18, 1860, pp. 17-19
39. Ibid., Vol. 17, No. 3
September 18, 1860, pp. 17-19
40. Ibid., Vol. 17, No. 3
September 18, 1860, pp. 17-19
41. Ibid., Vol. 17, No. 7.
November 13, 1860. page 49