Missouri’s Problem

As I sat through our District Pre-Convention Delegate meeting today, I pondered many things. One of those things was this: One of Missouri’s chief problems is that she is too big. She has grown so huge that it is no longer possible to maintain proper supervision over her doctrine and practice. With all of the programs, committees, commissions, boards, organizations, etc. etc., it is just too big. Okay, now discuss amongst yourselves, or on this blog.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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6 Responses to Missouri’s Problem

  1. Father Hollywood says:

    Paul, I think you’re right. Synod is “jack of all trades, master of none.” Synod ought to be about running seminaries and sending out missionaries – and we all know how much they are doing in those endeavors.

    Instead, it’s become a huge corporate bureaucracy. Not only is the president of synod full time, (and, if I recall correctly, so is the first vice president) – but so are most of the District Presidents.

    Too much bureaucracy, too many programs, too many alphabet soup agencies – especially given that members of synod can pretty much do anything they please anyway (as evidenced by a proposal to ordain women in the convention handbook – which instead of drawing censure and expulsion for holding unbiblical (even diabolical) doctrine, was actually published by the synod as if this were a reasonable proposal that needs to be debated).

    All that bureaucracy, and utterly no control over what goes on in LCMS churches (which, I admit, is often a blessing). Bureaucracy not only costs a lot of money, it leads to politicization, careerism, and fiefdoms. Its current financial malaise should be interpreted for what it is: a vote of no confidence.

    Synod needs to get back to its roots, figure out what its priorities are, and make serious reforms. It has become a Leviathan – albeit a rather impotent one in matters of doctrine and practice. Once again, the last time a Leviathan church-bureaucracy really had power, people were being burned at the stake – so there are mercies even in chaos.

    It’s not rocket science: when a structure becomes too large and top-heavy (not to mention laden with hubris), it will eventually topple over like the Tower of Babel.

  2. Sam says:

    Wouldn’t the statements made in your post Pastor Beisel and your comments Fr. Hollywood also be true for the local congregation??

    It seems when a congregation gets too large it can collapse under the weight or run into any number of problems.

    Just the thoughts of a humble seminarian…

  3. Anonymous says:

    “It used to be that all the pastors and members of congregations were eligible to submit memorials. That was changed when it became too expensive to print every memorial that came into St. Louis. Now only the ordained clergy and congregations are considered “members of Synod.”

    Dr. Fred P. Kramer
    CTS, 1951-1976

  4. Lawrence says:

    “She has grown so huge that it is no longer possible to maintain proper supervision over her doctrine and practice.”

    I disagree. The Synod is not too big. But the administrative bureaucracy probably is. It seems like we are becoming so tunnel visioned on building committees that we have lost sight of what those committees where supposed to do in the first place.

    This is classic “scope creep” or whatever word best suits the distractions of administration and administrative growth. Somehow I don’t believe what we have now is what Walther envisioned when he first organized the synod.

  5. Pastor Beisel says:

    The “Synod” when it was first started was a fellowship of churches and pastors who agreed to teach according to the Book of Concord. That was what made the synod what it was. What happens when unity in doctrine and uniformity in practice no longer exists? Is there really a synod any longer, apart from administrative stuff?

  6. Lawrence says:

    We sometimes forget that “the Synod” is not synonymous with “the Church”.

    We do like to cling to our Roman ways…

    I trust that things are happening for a reason. I have lots of opinions, but it’s just not clear to me yet what ‘His’ reason may be.

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