Will Balaam’s Ass Have a Say?

Timotheos and I will be present at the national convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, even if convention leaders wouldn’t let Balaam’s Ass have its own display table. (They cited security reasons, but I bet they just didn’t want another “donkey” talking.) Excuse the tale, but I was just daydreaming what it would be like if this blog was able to report the happenings at the LCMS convention.

But Timotheos and I will be there. Anything you would like to have us watch out for? Or listen for?

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16 thoughts on “Will Balaam’s Ass Have a Say?

  1. Yay! Balaam’s Ass will bring it to us live! Maybe you can scoop the story on the LCMS presidential election! And tell us about the opening service. And take photos.

  2. I’m interested in whom Lutherans who read this blog would like to see elected president. Or, perhaps a better question is, who would do the best job of leading our Synod through the next three years, even if it’s not the person you would most like to see elected?
    By the way, the comments about the future of the LCMS by the candidates for president can be found here: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=5066 [cut and paste; make sure you get all of it]

    Tim

  3. After reading what the candidates have to say, I think Daniel Preus has the most refreshing comments. (I wonder if certain associations with the Preus name will keep him out of office?) I think Wenthe would be a good president, as well. I do not have bad things to say about Kieschnick, but I think that his association with events of the past three years have tainted him for many people. It will be a very interesting convention, indeed.

    Tim

  4. Be sure to provide some comments from Wallace Schulz, who would have been the best choice for synodical president, but who will make an excellent first vice president.

    Of course, it will be tough to top Shulz’s assessment of the Kieschnick/Benke heretical behavior:

    “When LCMS President Kieschnick agreed to permit Pastor Benke to ‘worship’ with unbelievers, by attending the Yankee Stadium ‘interfaith service’ President Kieschnick, in effect, consented to permit Benke to go to a spiritual house of ill repute, or the whorehouse of heathenism… when President Benke asked pagan clerics to ‘join hands’ with him in prayer, this was the spiritually copulative act of adultery.”

  5. I wonder if the convention will officially address the involvement of President Kieschnick in the Yankee Stadium affair. Probably not, since Kieschnick surely wants another three years.

    I am with Timotheos: Preus or Wenthe. The LCMS needs new leadership.

    We will try and provide our observations throughout the convention; apologies to those who are not interested

  6. In addition to overturning various vacuous CCM opinions (including one from Jan. 1992) that gave us a Lutheran “pope”, the convention delegates should provide new bylaws for the election of CCM members to replace all members of the current CCM with prejudice (those current members would not be allowed to hold another synodical office).

    The convention delegates should also rescind the auxiliary status of the Lutheran Laymen’s League.

  7. I doubt the convention will rescind the auxiliary status of the LLL. However, maybe they will provide that status for PLI–Pastoral Leadership Institute. If not this convention, look out for that development in the future.

  8. In the past, the Synod’s Board for Higher Education refused to give the PLI RSO status. There’s no reason for the PLI (http://www.pli-leader.org) to even be considered for auxiliary status. You can read more about the PLI at http://www.crisisinthelcms.org/pli_main.htm, such as:

    “PLI advocates entertainment-style worship and themed promotional campaigns to attract visitors. Twenty-eight of PLIs 39 ‘mentoring’ congregations offer ‘contemporary’ worship services, and most of the dozens of LCMS congregations employing Rick Warrens ’40 Days of Purpose’ program have some PLI affiliation. PLI professes no political agenda, but a significant number of PLI class participants from 1999-2003 have publicly endorsed ‘Jesus First,’ an organization of Kieschnick-supporters.”

    The pastor is viewed as a sort of CEO, with the congregation being employees who will “pray, pay, and obey” the CEO’s leadership. The Voters’ Assembly is converted into a “rubber stamp”. I’ve seen it in action; bring your hipwaders!

  9. Incidentally, we visited a church on choir tour where PLI would send people to see how a conservative church could still use TLH and be a big church and growing.

    Tim

  10. Dana, as Philip Melanchthon said: if the pope would recognize that his authority was by human right and not by divine right, and if he would allow the full Gospel to be preached, Melanchthon could recognize his _human_ authority over other bishops. So how about it (when you’re pope, that is)?

    Tim

  11. Tim, that old Lutheran saying actually comes from Melanchthon, as a deviation to his acceptance of the Smalcald Articles, in which Luther states (Part II, Article IV):

    “1] That the Pope is not, according to divine law or according to the Word of God the head of all Christendom (for this [name] belongs to One only, whose name is Jesus Christ), but is only the bishop and pastor of the Church at Rome… 5] Besides, as often remarked, it is a human figment which is not commanded, and is unnecessary and useless; for the holy Christian [or catholic] Church can exist very well without such a head, and it would certainly have remained better [purer, and its career would have been more prosperous] if such a head had not been raised up by the devil. 6] And the Papacy is also of no use in the Church, because it exercises no Christian office; and therefore it is necessary for the Church to continue and to exist without the Pope.”

    So, in fact the confessional Lutheran position is that even in the [unlikely] event the pope were to do what Melanchthon suggested, he would still not be recognized by confessional Lutherans as anything more that the pastor of the church at Rome.

  12. Duly noted and corrected. I’m sure there’s a rosary hidden somewhere in my house as well. (That’s a joke; it’s not hidden.)

    [For references, see Kolb/Wengert edition of the Book of Concord, p. 326 and p. 307:1. Notice that even Luther says the pope could be bishop over “those who willingly or through a human institution (that is, through secular authority) have joined themselves to him in order to be Christians alongside him as a brother and companion but not under him as a lord…” (307:1). So it is not prohibited that people might allow the pope to be their pastor, just not as “most gracious lord.”]

    Tim

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