I have kept promising a Kiechnick-Benke rant, so I figure now is as good a time as any, especially since I am at work where the word-processing software actually works so I don’t make a fool of myself.
This whole thing started when Atlantic District President (DP) Benke asked Synodical President (SP) Kiechnick if he could participate in “A Prayer Service for America”. Our SP agreed and the DP participated. This infuriated many Confessional Lutherans (“Confessional Lutherans” is awfully repetitive. If you are a Lutheran, you’re supposed to be confessional) who filed charges within a week of the service. The first problem was our SP being charged, which the Commission on Constitutional Matters (which is appointed by the SP) decided could not happen, and that the disciplining of a SP must occur at a Synodical Convention. Kiechnick is off the hook until 2004 and he is pushing hard to get enough of his friends in at convention so they can all vote for him. Anyway, Benke is supposed to be tried by his supervisor, which happens to be our beloved SP. The Vice Presidents of the Synod (the Praesadium), however, decided that this was a conflict of interest and that the SP cannot rule on Benke’s charges since there is a conflict of interest. Fist Vice President Preus already made his mind known in an email, so he voluntarily dismissed himself from the case, with which the Praesadium agreed. Now the responsibility fell to the Second Vice President, Dr. Wallace Schultz. He listened to the arguments, and decided that the DP commited sins against the First and Second Commandments, his ordination vows not to commit unionism and syncretism, and a couple of other violations. Of course, Daystar immediately released the findings, in violation of Synod Bylaws, but our SP has already proven that bylaws don’t seem to matter to him, and he continues to violate the bylaws on other cases. DP Benke appealed, so now we sit like flies on a garbage can, waiting for the appeal to be settled. Of course, this might drag on until 2004 and the convention, where (hopefully) our current SP will be looking for a new call. What pisses me off about this whole thing is that our SP was elected in the hope that he would be able to heal all the divisions within the synod (at least that’s what I was told by a person who I no longer trust). So what does our SP do? He takes an action not being all that long in office that immediately splits the synod and divides us. He allows a man who already had apologized for unionistic actions before to go and commit the same sin again. They both need to be removed from office until such time as repentance is uttered. Ther are other things that must be addressed. How did Kiechnick end up in office to begin with? The confessionals were too busy arguing over Wenthe and someone else I cannot remember offhand that Kiechnick was elected. Wenthe has lost four elections now. He is unelectable. He does a good job as the President of Concordia Theological Seminary Ft. Wayne. He should stay at the Fort where his influence will have an impact on the future of the LCMS. Please, Dr. Wenthe, stay out of the race for SP and let Dan Preus win. That being said, the other trouble confessionals have is we are not grass roots enough. We have to win the District Presidencies, where much of the power structure of the LCMS lies. We need to get rid of the bureaucrats that infest our district offices and replace them with good, confessional people who will actually discipline pastors and quit dumping the districts’ money into church growth programs that don’t. I heard second-hand info on how a campus ministry could not get copies of TLH. If they had asked for money to start a praise band, it would have been given. What is wrong with this picture? Why doesn’t my district understand that the future of this church is confessionalism and catechesis. We have a bureaucrat running Kansas district and trying to turn us into SEMINEX light. This isn’t going to go over with either me or many of my friends very well. President Patton, it will make many of us happy when you retire this summer. Thank God for term limits.