From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
LCMS - Council of Presidents Adopts Objectives to Address
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wed, 11 Dec 2002 14:43:32 -0800
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
Board for Communication Services
LCMSNews -- No. 76 - December 11, 2002
COP adopts objectives
to address controversy
The LCMS Council of Presidents (COP) Nov. 22 adopted five objectives
intended to address the current controversy in the Missouri Synod.
COP Chairman Arleigh Lutz referred to the objectives as "a plan for
addressing the sad divisions and unbecoming conduct on the part of certain
members of the Synod. The plan is a simple outline of objectives that need
to be sought and maintained."
The outline is titled, "To Restore Harmony and Trust within The Lutheran
Church--Missouri Synod for the Sake of Christ's Mission." It says,
"Because Jesus Christ is our peace and has made us one, the Council of
Presidents renews its commitment to lead the Synod in addressing:
"1. the need to work toward agreement in doctrine and practice.
"2. the need to provide safe places for responsible theological and
doctrinal discussion on the basis of the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran
"3. the need to avoid party spirit, rancor and name calling and to treat
one another in Christian love.
"4. the need throughout the Synod for God's people to seek that humility
which leads to genuine repentance and forgiveness.
"5. the need to support the president and all other elected officers of the
Synod in every effort to focus our church on the Great Commission and to
work for harmony within the Synod."
COP members agreed to devote time at the council's next meeting, April 4 9,
to develop the outline. Members of the council are the Synod's president,
five vice presidents and 35 district presidents.
The five objectives were adopted after the council had spent much of its
three-day meeting Nov. 20-22 discussing the role of the church in the
"public square." Lutz provided a starting point to the discussion with
this question: "When must a pastor, in his role as pastor, stay away from a
civic religious event lest he compromise the Gospel, and when, if ever,
must he go and bear witness lest he be unfaithful to the Gospel?"
Much of the controversy in the Synod centers on participation last year by
Atlantic District President David Benke in a post-Sept. 11 event in New
York's Yankee Stadium titled "A Prayer for America."
The Synod's Constitution assigns to district presidents responsibility for
"supervision over the doctrine, life and administration of office of the
ordained and commissioned members of their district." Lutz said it was
with this in mind -- "as well as the provision of the first objective of
the Synod to conserve and promote the unity of the true faith'" -- that
the COP adopted its five objectives.
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