Trying not to be that Fish

                While saltwater fishing, If you see a feeding frenzy, you can be sure there are probably sizeable speck, reds, or other larger gamefish there. Underneath them, will be smaller fish feeding on the remains of the bait fish that the larger fish have torn to bits. I’ve seen small groups who have left bigger synods exhibit this same sort of behavior. Well, I don’t want to be that fish. Having left the LCMS, I don’t want to turn and feed on it’s detritus. And hear comes the but-

               But I ran across this quote in a 1966 Concordia Publishing House book entitled: Fundamentalism and the Missouri Synod. It’s by Milton L. Rudnick and it’s obvious even at this late date in the Synods descent into liberalism, there were still godly, faithful theologians willing to speak the truth. He quotes a 1924 Lutheran Witness article castigating other denomination’s church conventions for letting the truth be overrun and trampled all because “’the leading men of these church-bodies, pledged as they are to defend and uphold the standards of their faith, with the spine of a jellyfish stand idly by, seeing the ravages wrought by the enemy, but failing to act, being infatuated by the false unionistic ideal. There must be no division in the Church, no weakening of material forces and membership, even though doctrines are surrendered. Let quality go if but quantity remains’” (86).

               At the 2019 LCMS Synodical Convention, a resolution addressing Concordia University Portland’s embracing of LGBTQ-ism was not allowed to reach the floor. Surely, this was to spare the dissension that would have come about as the Concordia ‘C’ festooned with the calling-card colors of the Gay Pride movement colored the day. And why go through that for an institution that was closing anyways?

               Also, there was much discussion which resulted in the LCMS affirming some sort of a 6-day creation. The decision was that you could call it a natural day but you didn’t want to go crazy and call it what it was a 24-hour day. A confessional pastor there told me at the end of the discussion President Harrison stated that he hadn’t heard anything in the discussion that conflicts with our theology. This pastor told me that he sure had, but the jellyfish were in control, as they always are, of the convention.

               After the convention, another Confessional pastor emailed me this: “I am curious if you saw the Resolution 11-03A (attached) adopted by the Synod by a very wide margin. I think it is an outrage, but no other pastors I show it to seem concerned at all. Near as I can tell, we have given thanks for same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria so long as it is celibate or beat back, while at the same time condemning acts of abuse against sodomites or transgenders. All of this, because we are experiencing pressure as a result of cultural changes, and the Christian Church has failed to minister compassionately to them or address the sins of the heterosexual members of our congregations.” All the world will tolerate the church that grovels over their own sins, so that’s what jellyfish do.

               I’m not trying to feed off the dregs of the rapidly shredding LCMS. Indeed, I have no place to invite you to. I’m pointing out that the LCMS is doing what the denominations did who all caved to liberalism in the 20s and 30s. The book Fundamentalism and the Missouri Synod does a good job of showing that Missouri wasn’t Fundamentalist and what was wrong with that movement. But the book’s greatest scorn was for “Fundamentalist, who out of concern for denominational tranquility refused to take proper action against liberals” (85-6). By the way, all those kind of fish, i.e. jellyfish, end up devoured. That’s the real fish not to be.

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.
This entry was posted in LCMS 2007 Convention, Missouri Megatrends. Bookmark the permalink.