Tuesday, April 9, 2019
More important than many care to note. . .
There are tales of doom and gloom that make the end of the world look tame. There are accusations of incompetence and incoherence that would suggest we have a habit of electing the most flawed leaders among us. There is the great temptation to make mountains out of mole hills and mole hills out of mountains. It is a messy experiment -- this democratic style institution -- and it seems to get messier with every passing triennium.
Although reading this blog you might get another idea, I am far removed from the halls of power. I have opinions and sometimes people agree with them but I have little influence and little desire to be a king maker. That said, I do have a stake in the outcomes -- as does everyone in this church body. We have a stake in what happens. That is why we owe it to ourselves to be well informed -- and not simply from the tabloids or slick marketing tools of the various camps. We need to look deeper to find out what is really at stake. This is not a referendum on praise bands or a popularity contest about who you like or who you don't. These kinds of gatherings have a great deal to do with who we are and how we present ourselves to the world around us.
So if you happen to be a delegate, take that responsibility seriously. Before you peruse the pages of a weekly newspaper or internet site to find out how you should vote, you need to know who we are as Lutherans. Try reading the Augsburg Confession. Review the Small and Large Catechisms of Luther. Read the Apology. Check out the Formula of Concord. Make sure that you can discern the funny stuff from the serious, the truth from error, and reality from the sensational.
We are voting on substantial things but we cannot vote on God's Word. Doctrine is not established by majority or plurality. We need to make sure that we are students of the Word and students of the Book of Concord before we study up on what the old voices of discontent in our church body and the new voices of change are saying. Perhaps we need an SAT or ACT exam on Lutheran teaching and practice before exercising the vote. It is, perhaps a radical idea, but it could not hurt. So if you will be headed to lovely Tampa in July of this year, do yourself and your church a favor and dig into the Word of God and our Lutheran Symbols. Make sure you can spot a red herring or a straw man or a sensationalist position. Give us all a break and take your role, responsibility, and purpose very seriously. Just a few radical thoughts. . .