Conversation and information about music and liturgy from a confessional Lutheran perspective.

Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Time to 'Fess Up

OK - I was never a great blogger - but in the beginning Fine Tuning did offer about a post a week, sometimes more. And Liturgy Solutions was posting lots of new content regularly. I think it is fair for all of you to know the answer to "Phillip, what are you doin'?" (insert Chicago accent into the question)

For the past few months, I have been spending much of my free time working with a great group of friends over at Cross-Focused Leadership for Missouri. We are promoting a return to the churchly style of leadership that characterized the LCMS during her great days of unity and growth. In a nutshell, this means leading the church as a spiritual family, not a business. We believe that it is time for us to come together around Scripture and the Confessions, putting them first over policies and programs. Accordingly, we are supporting Rev. Matthew Harrison for synodical president, and rejoice that he received over 1300 nominations from LCMS congregations to serve in this capacity (almost 600 more than the incumbent, Rev. Gerald Kieschnick, received).

This Saturday, those of you in the New England and New York areas have an excellent opportunity to meet Rev. Harrison. He will be teaching and preaching at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Norwalk, CT. The Saturday AM session will be on his latest work: "A Little Book on Joy: Living the Good News Life in a Bad News World". After lunch, he will talk about genuine and exciting opportunities for mission that the Lord has set before us. Plenty of time is provided also for Q&A afterward. Stephen and I strongly encourage everyone in the to come out and be encouraged in the Gospel. You can get all the details here.

I guess it makes sense that musicians like me and Stephen would be excited about Harrison. After all, a return to theologically-based leadership would mean that our synod would once again uphold Lutheran liturgical piety and practice as the model for our parishes. And, for those of us who love singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Canticles), that would be a good thing.


Michael Paul 白霈德牧師 said...

Thank you for your service with "Cross-Focused." Such service is a worthy "excuse" for less blogging here.

Cheryl said...

So with a Chicago accent, I think "What are you doin'?" becomes something like
"Waaddyah duehnnn?", right?

IggyAntiochus said...

I, to, rejoice in the prospects of returning to historic worship. I rejoice in the prospects of having a pastor for synodical president and not an administrator.

My concern is that church discipline will still not be practiced. It is very difficult to get this done even with obvious cases (say, a pastor knowingly communes an atheist or something).

Phillip Magness said...

Yes, that is an ongoing concern, Iggy. Church discipline is difficult to carry out in an evangelical synod with congregational polity. Primarily, it is up to pastors and elders in the congregations. Certainly, though, when that fails, circuit counselors, district presidents, and, ultimately, synodical presidents need to do their part.

Regarding worship, we must always remember that legalism in support of the Gospel is still......legalism. While church discipline is certainly appropriate for pastors who teach falsely and will not recant, the sad state of worship in the LCMS is really not going to be solved through church discipline. That just isn't our polity.

What we CAN expect, though, is that our synod might uphold high standards once again, and that our leaders may again inspire pastors and musicians to excellence, humility, and unity, for the sake of the Gospel. Rather than the post-modern equivications that uphold mediocrity and affirm everyone doing what is right in their own eyes.

In other words, "It's Time" we have pastoral leadership again.

IggyAntiochus said...

Hey, Phil, congregational polity has been one of my sticking points for some years now!

I didn't mean to smell of legalism. I look at content of a worship service over and against the form. When you do that, the liturgy wins hands down!

We are treading down a path where I am not comfortable discussing things in an open forum. Please drop me a line at your convenience if you want to continue the discussion.

I'm good for discussion, but I just don't need the world to know EVERYTHING I am thinking! ;)

iggyantiochus aught gmail daht com.