Monday, 17 February 2014

Can any Good Thing come out of the Missouri Synod?

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is in my view a rather unpleasant body, but with a membership of 2.3 million there have to be good people working away quietly to ameliorate its worst sectarian excesses. Such a voice - and a scholarly one - is found in The Daystar Journal.
"Sometimes the LCMS itself has seemed a rather dark place. Too often compassion and decency have been absent in the synod, where chauvinism has frequently been confused for synodical loyalty and meanness of spirit has been mistaken for contending for the faith."
If any church body needs a prophetic voice, it is the LCMS. Many of the articles on the Daystar site won't make much sense outside the confessional Lutheran milieu, but for those in thrall to the narrowness of this body, here is a small ray of hope for the future.


  1. I was a baptized a Lutheran at the age of 6, although I spent more time attending the local community church.

    My view is that not much useful can ever come out of the Missouri Synod, but at least they are relatively (boringly) stable.

    And having a prophetic voice is so overrated.

  2. It is difficult to underestimate the power of "belonging". When people are bound together by a common belief, really strange things can happen. Even a "rather dark place" can survive nicely. Like capitalism tell us, for every product there is a customer base. I think with many churches the product is a simple sense of belonging.

    You can go to Tammy Tkach's facebook page and scan through her "friends" and you will see people from a variety of WCG offshoots. You can see people represented there with theological positions that are utterly inimical to what the GCI currently preaches. Certainly it is not theology that binds these people to Tammy. So what is the product they are after? What motivates someone who believes that the religion that the Tkach's advocate is utterly diabolical and pagan and yet wants to be a "friend of Tammy"? Clearly, the bond has a different origin than theology. Maybe sycophantism? I am not sure. Maybe Tammy is the Matriarch they all worship and this transcends theology? I don't believe she has ever sought this role. It just seems to have arisen naturally - maybe a dynamic of Armstrongism. My guess is that there are many "friends of Tammy" who are UCG ministers, for instance, who would disdain utterly the average GCI lay member as a reprobate a child of Gehenna but would do obeisance to Tammy with a great flourish.

    I think Tammy should find her facebook friends list to be really creepy because of all of the Armstrongites it contains. She should ask what kind of fractured and bizarre view of reality permits these people to be there. Maybe they have an abnormal interest in her like many at one time had an abnormal interest in GTA. I am sure the response to this kind of criticism would be "outreach" of some sort. But if you peer into the heart of darkness, you must admit that the darkness is there. Or maybe you end up being just another LCMS.

    -- Neo