Home > Uncategorized > Maybe this is a sign…

Maybe this is a sign…

…that I’m getting older.

So, I’m in the office this morning doing a bit of reading.  I’m actually procrastinating, but I’m calling it study time.  I saw a shirt at the ballgame Friday night on a kid that said, “I put the ‘PRO’ in procrastination.”

Any way, I inherited the library of a Lutheran pastor ordained in 1952 and in it is everything from “The Troubles” in Missouri in the 60’s and 70’s.  So I’m reading an old pre-convention piece, of the kind that are still sent out these days to delegates and the first thing I read is that the tone is almost identical.  But what struck me most is the issues are almost entirely the same, liturgy, mission, doctrine, polity.  It is as if Missouri has made almost no progress at all since 1965.  This was a pre-convention report for the 1965 Detroit convention.

Part of me says, “This is as it should be.  These are perennial issues.”  But the other part of me makes me wonder how futile all of it really is, even the parts we think are “crucial” or “critical” or “make or break”.  Like rearranging the deck chairs on HMS Titanic.


There is still no coherent position in Missouri on “mission”; it changes with every synodical president.  People are still fussing about Herman Otten and Christian News.  There is even less an idea today about what constitutes a Lutheran Confessional identity.  There is even less unity in American Lutheranism today.  In my mind there is much that is incompatible between “American” and “Lutheran” and I hope to never be a part of a church that is more American than it is Lutheran.  There has been almost no progress toward understanding the diaconate nor toward bishops in Missouri.  Whatever form our polity is, it isn’t Biblical and it isn’t traditional; it’s a mutt.  Even the confusions between church and state are still quite vivid.  Overture 9-20 was written against the idolatrous forms of nationalism of the “My country, may it always be right. But my country right or wrong” variety.  The question was whether the convention would affirm the Christian belief that “God is the Sovereign Judge of all nations, ideologies and political systems, and to him alone ultimate loyalty should be given.”  I wonder if it passed.  I’m not sure it made any difference.

1965 to 2012.

I guess we should take comfort in the fact that the church is still full of sinners.

Come, Lord Jesus.  Come quickly.

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