The following article was lifted from Lutherquest It is followed by a reply from Reclaim News.
Rev. Richard Bolland Posts to Lutherquest: http://www.lutherquest.org/discus/index.html
"As one of the attendees at Chicago I must admit that I am frustrated at the
pace of our response to the disintegration of our synod. I fear that we have
assumed far too much. Permit me to be the voice of dissent here on the
discussion board and say that I firmly believe that all such efforts are
futile. The game is over! The synod will not be redeemed.
Why do I say this? If you believe that the synod can be resurrected from the dead, then you must believe that the following things are true:
1. It will be possible to win over the liberals in our synod to a Confessional viewpoint.
2. It is possible to get Confessional resolutions to the convention floor despite the lock hold of the floor committees in 2007.
3. It is possible to elect Confessional men to most DP positions as proposed by Dr. Wohlrabe in Chicago.
4. It is possible to remain in altar and pulpit fellowship with Gerald Kieschnick, David Benke, and those many who support him without violation of conscious.
5. It is possible to pretend that our synod actually embraces close(d) communion when an estimated 40% of synodical congregations actually practice open communion.
6. It is possible to address the rank and file membership of synod without access to the official media of synod.
7. It is possible to continue to have our people attend functions by RSO's in synod when we constantly must warn them of the false doctrine they will encounter in the LLL, LWML, National Youth Gatherings, etc.
8. It is possible to continue to ignore St. Paul's clear admonition to
"...mark and avoid" those who teach false doctrine with impunity.
9. It is possible to be heard using the official avenues of dissent outlined in the Constitution of synod.
10. It is possible that funds submitted to district and synod will be used for biblical purposes and will be accounted for with any accuracy.
At the risk of being the splash of cold water in this group, I firmly believe that any thinking that our grievances will be redressed in either 2007 or 2010 is an illusion of the first magnitude. It is time to begin doing what needs to be done to separate ourselves from our now heterodox Lutheran body.
Reclaim News Replies
Dear Rev. Bolland:
Thank you for dealing with some of the real issues.
However, there are other issues that should have been considered at the Chicago October 21-23 Free Conference, but were also ignored.
Almost daily, Reclaim News receives phone calls, email, and letters from LCMS lay people across the United State complaining about outrageous conditions in their own congregations.
First, lay people are complaining about pastors influenced by the Pastoral Leadership Institute and the Church Growth Movement endorsed by "Jesus First," and President Kieschnick. Their pastors believe that their congregations will grow if they have authority over the voters' assemblies, boards, worship, and virtually, all congregational activity. Their members are not allowed to exercise
the Office of the Keys and the priesthood of all believers. The Bible and doctrine are abandoned in the name of Leadership.
Second, lay people are complaining about pastors influenced by LCMS professors promoting the Sacrament of Ordination, denouncing the authority of supreme voters' assemblies, claiming that the congregation is an extension of the pastoral office, and identifying themselves as the veil of flesh through which God moves in His congregation. Their members are not allowed to exercise the Office of
the Keys and the priesthood of all believers. The Bible and doctrine are abandoned in the name of the pastor's divine right to interpret all truth.
In the first above, members are relieved of their property rights in the name of evangelism, and in the second, the members are relieved of their property rights in the name of God.
How does a pastor prove he does not support either aberration? Teach Walther's position on Voters' Assemblies!
Walther's "Church and Ministry" was adopted by the 2001 LCMS Convention by 73% but neither Dr. Dean Wenthe nor his faculty could bring themselves to make public statements to support voter supremacy before the Convention. The October, 2004 Chicago Free Conference was incapable of dealing with this reality.
When I encouraged our congregation to vote itself out of the Synod after the 2004 LCMS election, we addressed issues beyond the comprehension of most of the pastors at the Free Conference.
First, I asked for a closed ballot! On difficult issues people must be allowed to vote their conscience, without coercion from the Bishop or Leader.
Second, when members at Redeemer asked, "Pastor, what if you are wrong in your assessment that the May 2004 CCM ruling disenfranchises all LCMS congregational constitutions?" In response, I asked that our congregation include in their letter a request for immediate readmission to the Synod if the District agrees to follow "proper channels" in LCMS Congregations. A number of the members were
so certain that the Michigan District and the Synodical President are far more honest than I was portraying them, that they actually voted to leave the Synod just to prove I was wrong. Hence the vote was 29 to 1 on a closed ballot.
It wasn't until 11/1/04 that we received a letter from the Michigan District President that completely ignored their concerns about the CCM ruling and accepted their resignation from the Synod. Any reference to the ruling would have incriminated the Synod.
Written agreement from Hoesman and Kieschnick to follow "proper channels" in LCMS congregational constitutions would have discredited my ministry at Redeemer. But, thankfully, the Synodical President who inflated the 2004 LCMS Convention delegate count by 15.4% with his written exceptions for 188 unqualified delegates, remained true to his character. Through the CCM, Kieschnick seeks control
of the Board of Directors and all congregational properties. In his mind, this is God's will.
Being a pastor doesn't mean perfecting leadership skills or appealing to the Sacrament of Ordination, but willingness to stake everything before God on objective truth. Congregations are led by faith, not coercion.
What about lay people in the LCMS? Should they leave or stay? Conditions are different in every congregation. Like all Christians, they must examine their own conscience in the light of God's Word. For Redeemer, remaining in the LCMS would have split the congregation. Others, in good conscience may choose to remain in the LCMS and make a faithful witness to the Synod, while recognizing
that the LCMS, as we knew it, no longer exists.
Actually, the doctrinal issues were a greater concern to Redeemer than the Synod following "proper channels" in congregational constitutions. However, proving that the Synod cannot be trusted to following a human thing like "proper channels" in a congregational constitution, demonstrates the futility of honest dialogue with the Synod in matters of doctrine. How can there be honest discussion
about God's word when all they really want is control of church property?
Pastor Bolland, your comments are appreciated. You see the hopelessness of the situation, which is more than most. The next step is, what to do about it.
May God bless your deliberations,