Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Asking why

I've followed with some interest the continuing complaints (I use the word advisedly) about the cancellation of the radio program Issues, Etc. on the LCMS station KFUO.

On Monday, 4/14, a vigil was held at LCMS headquarters. About 80 people were there. What was striking were the signs held. Most of them had the simple word, "Why?"

Which sounds profound. But it is not.

The classic question of a small child is "why?" "Why do I have to go to bed?" "Why do I have to eat my spinach?" Why, why, why ...

Now we are faced with the spectacle of 80 adults asking why. I appreciate what they are trying to do. I also think that few of them have realized the infantilizing aspect of their question.

The LCMS is a top-heavy, top-down organization. Pastors in the parishes are beat down by nasty and brutish men at the top. The last conventions (2004 and 2007) were a sad spectacle of political maneuvering by these unscrupulous men. While maintaining a facade of congregational control and accountability, the LCMS in reality operates in a way that makes Rome look egalitarian.

And organizations such as the LCMS always breed followers who act like abused children. Abused children are generally afraid, hating their abusers while at the same time terrified of leaving them or being left by them.

The reality is that the LCMS has given their answer to the "why" question. The 80 folks who stood outside LCMS headquarters just don't like the answer. And -- if they were to speak plainly -- they believe they are being lied to. It's not the first time. It won't be the last.

Part of the abused/abuser formula indicates that those in the LCMS will never leave. No one will. And the abusers know this, and know that this complaint, too, will pass. What's even worse is that that tiny group of individuals and congregations who have left in the past are mocked, scorned, and ridiculed. But again, this is the way abused children act.

Those who are unhappy should start standing up to their synodical abusers like adults. If the LCMS is indeed an operation of the kingdom of the left, treat it like one. Stop giving any money whatsoever to synodical operations. Then congregations should withdraw. Pastors should likewise resign from the roster.

To paraphrase, better to be independent than to wish you were. The nasty men who head the LCMS will notice nothing less than this. Asking "why?" only perpetuates the unhealthy relationship that's been going on for decades.

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