Monday, March 24, 2008

Why the Super Bowl never gets canceled

The easy answer is this: the Super Bowl is popular.

This is a no-brainer. Any network executive who tried to cancel the telecast of the Super Bowl would be out of a job faster than Eliot Spitzer.

Which leaves us wondering: why did the LCMS radio station KFUO cancel the popular (arguably the best-known and most popular program on the station, and confessionally Lutheran, to boot) program Issues, Etc.?

I don't know why this was done. There are lots of theories floating around, and there's lots of people angry about it.

It's always possible that there are completely benign reasons for this cancellation. But it's an awfully odd combination of circumstances.

Which leads me to a few questions. Questions which need to be answered before actions are taken.

The first is to ask ourselves what the LCMS is. If the LCMS is the church, then we must stick with it no matter what. If the LCMS is not the church (and almost everyone in the LCMS would argue that it's not the church) then the LCMS is nothing more than a tool.

Tools are neither good nor bad. They are just something that we use to accomplish something. A hammer is a tool. A computer is a tool. A car is a tool. And a human association -- such as the LCMS -- is a tool.

If Issues, Etc. was canceled because it was a confessionally Lutheran program, then it's certainly worth fighting for the program. But if this is true, it might also be worth pondering why an individual or pastor should remain in the LCMS.

The LCMS is a tool. It might be a tool we love. It might be a tool we have fond memories of. It might be a tool that worked well in the past. But if the LCMS has come to hinder rather than further the gospel, why would we stay within that fellowship?

A group that cancels a program because the program is confessionally Lutheran is not a confessionally Lutheran church body. I'm not saying this is why the program was canceled; I don't know. But if we find that to be true, confessionals need to realize that they are a minority within a heterodox church group.

Some argue that they will stay until they are kicked out. More power to them. But know for sure that no pastor or congregation will be kicked out. Ever. Confessionals in the LCMS are a minority. An occasionally noisy minority, but a minority nonetheless. And as such, the various factions that make up the majority of the LCMS don't care if confessionals whine sometimes. Just as long as confessionals keep putting money in the pot, the others don't give a rip what we believe.

Leaving the LCMS is not a big deal. It's not leaving the church. In the big scheme of things, it's no different than quitting the Rotary Club. Making an idol out of the LCMS is not only wrong, it's stupid, pointless, and hinders the gospel.

No comments: