As the 2017 convention amply demonstrated, LCC has some deep-rooted cultural issues with policing its ranks, particularly in cases where popular people or difficult issues are involved – in such cases it’s certainly a lot easier to close one’s eyes to what was going on, laugh at the ongoing stream of jokes, and go about your business as if nothing was amiss.
The net result of this behavior is that good people are abused while bad actors get away with behavior that’s crying out for correction. And while this is transpiring, anyone watching from the outside can readily see who can and cannot be trusted to Do The Right Thing and what we as a Synod really believe, teach, and confess vs what comes out of our collective mouths.
There’s an additional a spiritual, right-hand kingdom aspect to this, which the following text describes nicely:
Do Not Grow Weary
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
In essence, by failing to correct errant members and police its ranks with the correct application of Law from both kingdoms and the Gospel from the right-hand kingdom, Synod is treating its members like illegitimate children.
Think about that the next time you hear of churches allowed to do whatever they want in terms of doctrine or practice without repercussion. Or when you hear of a faithful pastor run out of his Call while the ecclesiastical officials ‘tut tut’ about the situation before chairing a Call meeting “So who would you like to Call as your next pastor?”
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:3-11
The loving correction of one sibling by another is a gift that God gives all His children. You don’t need to be a pastor or a parent to do it – and it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness for those who receive it. By and large people want to do the right thing and will accept loving course-correction when they need it. This is a gift that every person can give regardless of place or position – because the truth and power of God is for all times, all places, and all people.