Overture 2-06: TO ENCOURAGE HARMONY IN THE DISTRICT’S WORSHIP
This overture resolves to encourage district congregations to offer public worship services exclusively according to the rites and services of the Synod’s three hymnbooks/agenda, and that district conferences and conventions utilize the Lutheran Service Book.
Overture 2-07: TO PROMOTE UNITY IN WORSHIP AT DISTRICT CONFERENCES AND CONVENTIONS
Resolves to utilize LSB.
Overture 2-09: TO ASK THE CTCR AND SEMINARIES TO EVALUATE TRANSFORMING CHURCHES NETWORK
Overture 2-10: TO CEASE DISTRICT PROMOTION AND INVOLVEMENT IN NATURAL CHURCH DEVELOPMENT
Unfortunately, like the scapegoat cast into the desert to die a lonely and horrible death, the District President-selected Floor Committee 2 “has concluded, for various reasons, that certain overtures should be declined,” including the above four overtures, and they have thus been banished to Omnibus C (Resolution 2-07).
The reason for declining Overture 2-07: “The overture places undue limitations upon District leaders.” Yes indeed; they would no longer be able to select their favorite praise band to lead the Divine Service. 2-10 was declined because “NCD is primarily a sociological tool & well-trained Pastors have the ability to present these materials appropriately.” Maybe in 2015 we can present an overture which prohibits the use of “primarily sociological” tools.
Overture 2-08: TO OFFICIALLY ACKNOWLEDGE “CLOSED COMMUNION” AS THE COMMUNION PRACTICE OF THE LCMS
Floor Committee 2 is eliminating this overture and three other similar overtures in their entirety by associating them with Resolution 2-02, which is discussed below under The Ugly. Fortunately, they also included Overture 2-05 in Resolution 2-02, which resolved to practice open Communion.
Overture 2-14: TO CONSIDER RECOVERING THE REFORMATION PRACTICE OF EVERY SUNDAY COMMUNION
This one is in Omnibus Resolution E, those found “good” and “acceptable,” and might actually make it to the floor.
Overture 1-10: TO SUPPORT ACADEMIC FREEDOM, HONEST DIALOGUE, AND RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY AT OUR CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY
Believe it or not, this overture resolves for Concordia University Portland “to continue to lead the way in honest dialogue and academic freedom by calling one or more faculty for the theological department who endorse the position on Creation and Evolution articulated in the Brief Statement, and pursue hiring for their departments of physical and life sciences one or more individuals who also endorse the same.” In other words, the resolution would require Concordia Portland to have somebody in the theology department who articulates what the Synod historically believed – a six-day creation and a rejection of evolution. It’s a sad day when you have to require an institution to have at least a token representative who holds to the literal words of Scripture for fear of its total abandonment. The district is avoiding this overture by lumping it into Omnibus Resolution A and sending it to the Concordia University Board of Regents, where the fox guards the hen house.
Resolution 1-04: TO AFFIRM 1989 SYNOD RESOLUTION 3-05B AND THE MINISTRY OF LICENSED DEACONS
The 1989 synod resolution referenced in the title is better known as “The 1989 Wichita Recension of the Augsburg Confession.” Augsburg Confession Article XIV reads: “Our churches teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church, or administer the Sacraments, without a rightly ordered call.” Let me offer a syllogism:
- Only a pastor may preach or administer the Sacraments in the ChurchResolution 2-02: TO ENCOURAGE ONGOING DISCUSSIONS REGARDING THE CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER
- Licensed Deacons are not pastors
- Therefore, Licensed Deacons may not preach or administer the Sacraments in
According to this resolution, “the LCMS has for several years been conducting ongoing theological conversations regarding the celebration of the Lord’s Supper among its members in order to seek common ground.” It doesn’t specify exactly what the conversation is about, so I’m going to hazard a guess and say that this regards open Communion. Three points: 1) Since when do we determine doctrine by seeking “common ground?”; 2) The ongoing discussion is much like that which ELCA Synod President Mark Hanson encourages – keep talking until a more liberal and inclusive policy is established; 3) They were plenty happy to cite “What the Synod has said in convention and affirmed repeatedly” when it came to Resolution 1-04. Why don’t they cite what the Synod has said in convention and affirmed repeatedly for this resolution as well, that the Synod's position is closed Communion?