The resolution to abolish all term limits passed after much discussion. The most compelling point for me was over “spiritualizing” what is really adiaphora, and trying to find Biblical support or precedent for not having term limits because many people in the Bible held their “offices” for life. But what does prophet, priest, or king have to do with District Presidents, let alone District Treasurer or Secretary? Further, many of the debaters seemed to enjoy reveling in the “hidden God,” that is, what God has not revealed or told to us. For example, some people suggested that any term limits actually limited God and told Him what He should do. They argued that no term limits meant God could keep on doing His Work and He would not be artificially limited. But then how could a District Convention ever vote out an incumbent? Unless someone had a direct revelation from the throne of God, how would anyone know for sure what God would want done? I don’t have any idea WJWD with regard to elections where there is voting! If we wanted to follow a Biblical precedent, we would not vote at all; rather, we would simply draw straws or roll dice or some other (to our eyes) random procedure. Term limits do not limit God, they only limit office-holders. Furthermore, currently, officers can be elected again after the limit of their term, it just cannot be consecutively.
Dr. Lehenbauer gave his devotion on the word “power” from Acts 1:8, and how power in the Scriptures is never how we normally conceive of power, but much more along the lines of the Lord’s answer to St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 that His power is made perfect in weakness; that when we are weak, then we are strong. At the center of that understanding is Jesus’ weakness on the cross being the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16).
Rev. Harrison gave an excellent presentation focusing on the Church as a “mercy house,” and he traced through the Book of Acts the idea of mercy as an organic extension of the koinonia (fellowship) of the Church. Compassion always issues in action and fellowship is lived out by hands in mercy.
We also heard the presentation from the Blue Ribbon Task Force, which is much too extensive to summarize, but if you have read the proposals (as of now) and would like to take the survey, you can go here. I think that every person who has an interest in the future of the Missouri Synod should take the survey and let the Task Force know your feelings on what they have proposed.
President Kieschnick finished his address to the Convention, but, unfortunately, did not have time to answer the individual questions which delegates had submitted. (My question? Along with all the discussion of restructuring, do you think that it can be said that we are actually “synod” [walking together] anymore? Or that was the thought behind it; I had to turn in my actual question).
He did address three questions that he said he was asked at every District Convention, which were on the funding of the national Synod; same-sex “marriage”; and the Study on Sexuality in the ELCA, with whom Pres. Kieschnick has been in dialogue.
Also today, Pres. Fondow was installed, and gave a short (good) sermon on repentance.