After reading (a few years back) Peter Dale Scott's Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, I was struck by his concept of "deep politics": a political structure that runs like an underground river under the above-ground political structures of voting, campaigns, and outward governance. I'm currently reading Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct and he mentions in passing where the "deep" concept comes from: Noam Chomsky).
I've been struck by the other areas of life where deep structures operate, and I've been pondering for the last year or so the deep structures in the LCMS, and how those influence and inform the church life of the LCMS.
Much of the problems of deep structures is that they are unknown to most people, and not usually talked about by those who do know. And there's a whole arena of things in the LCMS which are hidden, operating, but not discussed except under the rarest of circumstances. (Without getting into them -- each of them could probably merit a book -- examples are a doctrine of the "invisibility" of the church -- a concept found neither in the Bible nor the Lutheran confessions, but tenaciously held to in the LCMS, the ragged adherence to an emergency concept of church governance, the unspoken fear that leaving the synod equates with leaving the church, and the theory of the wrath of God, that God is hates sinners outside of Christ, when John 3 specifically teaches otherwise).
In any community where there are hidden, "deep" structures operating, the problem is that we are often operating under things we don't even know about. The inability to speak openly about the hidden structures in the LCMS has contributed to an inability to deal with the enormous problems the synod has faced for the last 60 years, and continues to face today.