Numerous Contradictions at 2004 LCMS Convention

By: Rev. Jack Cascione

  There were a number of contradictory resolutions and statements originating from actions by the 2004 LCMS Convention.

The following are few examples:

First, the Synod, with the encouragement of the COP, adopted a new and improved Dispute Resolution Process that prevents lay people from filing charges against pastors!  The improvements take lay people out of the process.

This quote from the August 2004, LCMS "Reporter," page 4, explains some of the revisions to the Synod's Dispute Resolution Process.

"There are three 'significant' differences in the bylaw changes, according to Eastern District President John Brunner, chairman of the task force.

The Bylaws previously said 'anyone' could bring charges against a congregation or professional worker.  Now such charges, except in cases of sexual misconduct or criminal activity, must be filed by another member of the Synod, Brunner said. [A member of Synod means a pastor, commissioned minister, or a congregation, not a layperson.]

Second, the entire COP and the Synodical President claim that they hold the office of pastor.  However, in the newly revised Dispute Resolution Process, Resolution 801A, (Page 307) the COP exempts itself from the same rules that are to govern parish pastors.

Third, members of the COP told the Convention that women could now be
congregational presidents and elders as long as these offices have no church
power.  Hence, the only person left with church power is the pastor.

Adopted: Resolution 3-08A Page 243 Second Resolved, ". . . and that women may serve in humanly established offices in the church as long as the functions of these offices do not make them eligible to carry out 'official functions [that] would involve public accountability for the function of the pastoral office.'"

"An amendment was offered to strike all words in the second resolve [above] after the word 'church' (p.244, line 1) and replace them with the words 'except congregation elders, congregation presidents, and communion assistants.' The chair rules that this constituted a substitute motion, and the motion failed under the Behnken Rule [Y: 472; N: 605]."

Fourth, the Synod now claims that women can hold the same offices held by men in LCMS congregations but men should not neglect their leadership responsibilities.  What are these unique leadership responsibilities if men and women can hold the same offices?

Resolution 3-08A page 244 second to last resolve: "That the Synod encourage men not neglect their leadership responsibilities in their congregations."

The vote for women congregational presidents and elders shows that men don't have any leadership responsibilities in the congregation not possessed by women.

Fifth: The Synod claims that "Ablaze" is not a giving campaign but also states that "Ablaze" needs 100 million dollars from LCMS congregations and lay people.

We read: "5. Is Ablaze! a giving campaign?"

First, it says the Synod isn't trying to raise money for "Ablaze."

"A: The short answer is no. "Ablaze!" is a global mission movement to sow 100 million Gospel seeds in partnership with North American and global partners."

Then it says they want to raise an extra $100,000,000.

"Additionally, the 62nd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod voted in July 2004 to support a major effort to raise $100 million beyond the regular LCMS World Mission budget by 2010 for the work of LCMS World Mission through 'Ablaze!.'"



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