Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Grandfather's Church

I've refrained from commenting until now on this topic, when so many better-informed commenters are writing on it, but I couldn't keep from adding my own thoughts. Those of my readers who aren't confessional Lutherans are probably (blissfully) unaware of the current sturm und drang within the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, the church I was raised in and have embraced as an adult. The current round of controversy was set off by the summary cancellation by the Synod -- during Holy Week -- of a popular and theologically-conservative radio show which had at times been critical of the sort of "seeker-sensitive", "purpose-driven", and quite frankly Oprah-fied programs and congregations that are so beloved of the Synod's aggressively modernizing current leadership. The Synodical leadership's responses to the grassroots outcry have only solidified the impression among many that there is a concerted effort among the top leadership to change the face of the LC-MS forever. Indeed, the current president is quite fond of saying, "this is not your grandfather's church."

Why are you so intent on taking my grandfather's church from me, President Kieschnick? I like my grandfather's church, for a host of reasons, but one of which is that it is my grandfather's church. If I didn't like it, after all, there are a great many churches out there that aren't my grandfather's church; namely, every other church in the country. Where will I go, when my grandfather's church has been "improved" into something he wouldn't even recognize?

1 comment:

elephantschild said...

Thank you for taking the time to follow this story.

Mom said the prison chaplaincy program at Franklin, WI has been summarily discontinued. WHY?

I guess you can't count ministry to some 25,000 prisoners a year as "church plants" and prisoners certainly don't contribute to snazzy financial campaigns.