Libya Comes to the LCMS

If you think of what is going on in Libya and what went on in Egypt as popular uprisings against unjust governance, then you can say Libya has come to the LCMS in the form of ACELC.

I attended their convening convention in Kearney, MO, March 1-3 with an official lay delegate from my congregation.  We agreed to join along with 7 other intrepid congregations.  Let me tell you what is different about ACELC other than for once we in Missouri have a pronounceable acronym: Ace-Lick.

The men who started this ball rolling, up hill I might add, are not filled with the acrimony and vitriol that you often find in these sorts of groups and in people like me.  I didn’t hear one cheap shot or one expensive one for that matter on past or present LCMS officials.  There really was a genuine evangelical spirit about these men.

I didn’t find the spirit of bravado among them either.  There was a sense they were doing something important, but no one thought we were storming St. Louis with a hammer and 95 theses.  No one evidenced delusions of Luther, Chemnitz, Walther, or Piper.  I found this refreshing.

Though in part what got me there was a sinful, prideful, ultimately impotent feeling of “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” these men aren’t that way.  However, if you want to get that way and that way is to be preferred over, “I’m ever so the slightest bit warmer in this pan of water, but surely no one will turn up the flames of error any higher,” then read their Evidence of Errors documents found here

The ACELC is not a synod within the Synod.  It’s not an association of malcontents.  It is not, thanks be to God, a bid for political clout.  I rarely heard at this meeting that the answer was to submit good resolutions to your district convention and elect good people.  Been there; done that, and all I succeeded in doing was killing trees.

So let’s be Libyans.  Let us band together and call for ecclesiastical supervision from our ecclesiastical supervisors.  Let us band together and point out just how far we have slip-slided away as a Synod.  Let us band together that we might not go the way of Pasty Cline and fall to pieces.

While a member, and that enthusiastically, I am not an official spokesman for the ACELC, so you must do them the honor of taking this as an unofficial, opinion of one who was there when the people took to the streets.



About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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