I don't like to ponder church politics very often. Most people who obsess about politics -- of any variety -- are fairly marginal individuals, and in the end we usually discover that very little of what good is done in life is done through politics. (Jotham's parable of the trees in Judges 9 is something we should probably read before every election day).
But church politics crops up sometimes, and now that the LCMS' every-3-years convention is coming up this summer in Houston, once again we hear confessional Lutherans in the LCMS trying to rally the troops, and turn around the LCMS. We heard similar cries in 2004, in 2001, in 1998, etc., etc. Doubtless we will hear them again in 2010.
But the reality is that nothing of the sort will happen this summer, or at any convention, except that a huge amount of time, energy, and motion will be expended on political intrigues. I was a delegate at the 2004 convention. I saw what happened on both sides of the fence. And the LCMS' overwhelming protestant majority became more entrenched. That's going to happen again this summer.
For those who have not given up on the LCMS, I think it's important to do some clear thinking about will be done. At what point will confessional Lutherans leave the LCMS? What is the point at which they will say, "This far, and no further"? Because if we have no clear line, then there's virtually no limit to what will be done, if the LCMS' current leadership thinks that confessionals will not leave.
Romans 16 is clear: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." "Staying and fighting" is not an option given by St. Paul. At what point will we realize that there are clear "divisions and offences" in the LCMS, and avoid those causing them?