You know, sometimes I wonder if I wasn't so harsh, if I would actually get through to people. I can't really change what I am. I did try to become a "kinder, gentler" blogger for a spell, but I realized that it wasn't meant to be. The reason behind it is because, when it comes to the LCMS, I am very unhappy with the direction the Synod has taken. This blog started off railing against the Synod and the politics being played by a certain District President (and friend of the ELCA since he decided to go commune at their altars) and his chief supporter and Synodical President (I may have to start saying NI! after their names as well) and the frustrations I was having with my then home church. It took a life of its own as the 2004 convention neared, and while this isn't quite the main focus of this blog now, I still keep up with it and occasionally post about it.
I've given a little thought to this and asked myself what kind of agenda is driving me (we all have agendas), I would list the following concerning the LCMS.
1) A return to the Word and Sacrament ministry, a ministry that will drive the culture, not bend to its every will.
2) Liturgical renewal, in the sense that I can go to an LCMS church anywhere and know what to expect. Right now, I can't go to a LCMS church without wondering if I will be confronted with high liturgical form or low liturgy-lite or wannabe Rick Warrens. We don't need to go back to page 5 and 15 (actually, I'd prefer if page 5 was burned and eviscerated from the minds of all LCMS church members). Pages 136, 158, and 178 would be OK.
3) Parents once again understanding their roles as the teachers of Lutheranism to their children. Too many expect Sunday School, VBS, and confirmation classes to get the job done and sin against their vocation by not passing on the faith themselves or by not educating themselves enough in the faith to even pass it on. This, as much as anything, is the reason why Lutheranism is in the crisis it is in.
4) Church discipline being used once again in a Biblical manner. And no, I don't mean District and Synodical Presidents, but also individual pastors and members. We do not use church discipline as a tool anymore, and it shows.
5) No more freaking positions. We have something like 14 or 15 called positions one can train for in the LCMS. It seems like every time we create a new title, we water down the Office of the Holy Ministry more and more.
These five points are just the starting point of my frustrations with my synod and with the many people within it. More than anything, the inconsistency within the LCMS drives me insane. I think tomorrow I'll shift my guns to Ablaze(TM) and give just a few reasons why I think the program needs to be burnt.