At its regularly scheduled meeting on September 14, 2003, the Voters Assembly of Christ Lutheran Church voted (with no dissenting votes cast) to memorialize the Synod in Convention to reverse CCM Opinions 02-2296, 02-2320 and 02-2309.

To Reverse CCM Opinions 02-2296, 02-2320 and 02-2309

WHEREAS, The Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) in response to the question, "May a District President who has acted in a matter after having received the advice and authorization of the Synodical President be charged under bylaw 2.27[1] for such act …?" issued its opinions 02-2296, 02-2320 and 02-2309[2]; and

WHEREAS, The Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod, and particularly Articles XI[3] and XII[4], and Bylaws 3.101[5], 4.71[6], 4.73[7], nowhere state that the synodical or district president may grant a synodical member immunity from Article XIII[8] and those bylaws pertaining to ecclesiastical supervision because a member took action "… with the full knowledge and approval of the appropriate ecclesiastical supervisor …"[9]; and

WHEREAS, CCM opinion 02-2309 moves beyond the questions asked by stating that the Synod may not take action "... to terminate the membership of its member who, when performing his/her official duties, follows the advice and counsel of the ecclesiastical supervisor designated by the Synod"[10]; and

WHEREAS, CCM opinion 02-2309 states that even if "... an act is in fact contrary to Article XIII of the Constitution, the member who has acted cannot be charged since he/she acted according to the advice of his or her ecclesiastical supervisor"[11]; and

WHEREAS, In stating these opinions, the CCM has amended Article XIII of the Constitution, since Article XIII makes no such provision for permitting any member to "...act contrary to the confession laid down in Article II and to the conditions of membership laid down in Article VI …"[12] if they have received counsel from their ecclesiastical supervisor permitting them to do so; therefore be it

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church memorializes Synod to declare the opinions of the CCM (02-2292, 02-2320 and 02-2309) in answer to these questions to be invalid and to have no standing in the Synod; and be it further

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church memorializes Synod to declare that the provisions for removal of a member from the Synod which are set down in Article XIII of the Constitution are to be followed when a member has acted contrary to the Confession laid down in Article II and/or the conditions of membership laid down in Article VI, notwithstanding the counsel or advice received from an ecclesiastical supervisor; and be it finally

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church memorializes Synod to overturn the opinions of the CCM in this matter, and affirm the Constitution and Bylaws noted and the Word of God upon which the Constitution and Bylaws are based.

Adopted, with no dissenting votes cast, by the Voters Assembly on September 14, 2003.

[1] 2001 Handbook, pp. 26-27

[2] Minutes, Commission on Constitutional Matters, January 20-21, 2003, numbers 114 and 115, pages 81-85

[3] 2001 Handbook, pp. 10-11

[4] ibid, pp. 11-13

[5] ibid, pp. 46-48

[6] ibid, pp. 87-89

[7] ibid, p. 89

[8] ibid, p. 13

[9] Minutes, p. 81, number 114, last paragraph

[10] ibid, p. 82, second last paragraph, last sentence

[11] ibid, last paragraph, second sentence

[12] 2001 Handbook, Article XIII, Section 1, p. 13 (see also Article II, p. 6, and Article VI, p. 8)

At its regularly scheduled meeting on September 14, 2003, the Voters Assembly of Christ Lutheran Church voted (with no dissenting votes cast) to send the following letter as a response to the Dispute Resolution Panel's decision to overturn Dr. David Benke's suspension.

The Rev. Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President
The Rev. Daniel Preus, First Vice President
The Rev. Dr. Wallace Schulz, Second Vice President
The Rev. Dr. Robert H. King, Third Vice President
The Rev. Dr. Paul L. Maier, Fourth Vice President
The Rev. Dr. William C. Weinrich, Fifth Vice-President
The Rev. Dr. Raymond L. Hartwig, Secretary
The Council of Presidents
Chairman and members of the CCM
The Rev. Dr. Samuel Nafzger, CTCR
Members of the Dispute Resolution Panel in the Benke matter

Dear brothers in Christ,

Our congregation, one of the original complainants in the Benke matter, declares a public protest against, and rejection of the basis upon which the Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) reached its ruling in the aforementioned case. We are in concurrence with the Rev. Dr. Wallace Schulz and the Scriptural and Confessional judgment derived from the voluminous evidence he provided. We find no error or falsehood in the evidence he presented, and we thus believe his judgment in the matter is correct.

Furthermore, we believe that an injustice has been done to Christ and His Church because the basis for the DRP ruling, a misuse and misinterpretation of Resolution 3–07A from the 2001 synodical convention, violates the Scriptural and Confessional principles to which we are pledged as a member of the Synod. We believe that this ruling must be reviewed and vacated based upon the clear evidence provided by Dr. Schulz from God's Word and the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

We are, therefore, compelled to repudiate the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) ruling on which the DRP based its decision, and we intend by memorials, that will be submitted to the 2004 convention of the Synod, to ask that it be overruled. We must do so precisely because it violates these Scriptural and Confessional truths.

The anti-Scriptural and non-Confessional basis upon which the Dispute Resolution Panel has reached its decision sets the Synod on a new theological and confessional course. We are, therefore, compelled by truth to reject the basis for the DRP ruling.

Submitted in fear of the true and living God and with reverence for His perfect Word.

 

Christ Lutheran Church

 

Adopted, with no dissenting votes cast, by the Voters Assembly on September 14, 2003.

The Voters Assembly at its December 8, 2002, meeting adopted a resolution on the International Lutheran Laymen's League (ILLL):

To Condemn the International Lutheran Laymen's League (ILLL)
for their Disrespectful and Unethical Treatment
of Both Ordained Ministers and the LCMS Praesidium,
and To Ask the Synod to Revoke 
the ILLL's Auxiliary Organization Status

Whereas, The executive leadership of the International Lutheran Laymen's League (ILLL) has recently fired one of the members of its staff, who also holds the office of Vice-President of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, on the grounds that the exercise of the duties of the office of Vice-President of the Synod conflicts with the interests of the ILLL and their stipulations for his continued employment by the ILLL, which conflict with his ordination vows; and the manner in which they did not confer with the duly appointed LCMS liaison officer to the ILLL; and

Whereas, The duties in question were legitimate duties under the Constitution and Bylaws of the Synod and were not undertaken at the officer's own initiative but at direct request of the Praesidium of the Synod; and the LCMS liaison officer was appointed by the President of the LCMS, and said liaison also holds the office of Vice-President of the LCMS; and

Whereas, As a condition of its status, an auxiliary organization of the LCMS, according to Bylaw 13.01 a 3, has "as its primary function aiding the Synod, specifically in programs that extend the ministry and mission of the Synod"; and

Whereas, Agencies seeking the status of synodical auxiliaries and the benefits of such status are required to apply to the convention for recognition through the Synod's Board of Directors (Bylaw 13.01 a), which presents the application of said agency to the convention together with an assessment of its qualifications under the criteria established by the Synod in its Bylaws; and

Whereas, Bylaw 13.01 b mandates as follows: "The auxiliaries shall continue to meet the above requirements for continued recognition"; therefore be it

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church expresses profound concern that the leadership of the ILLL believes that the exercise of the legitimate duties of synodical vice-presidents conflict with the goals and interests of the ILLL; and be it further

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church is deeply troubled by the possibility that the existence of such a conflict, as publicly articulated by the leadership of the ILLL, strongly implies that the mission and ministry goals of the ILLL are in conflict with those of the Synod; and be it further

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church condemns the ILLL for the firing of Dr. Wallace Schulz for the performance of his duties and for their stipulations for his continued employment, which conflict with his ordination vows; and be it further

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church hereby requests that the Synod in convention revoke the ILLL's auxiliary status; and be it finally

Resolved, That Christ Lutheran Church recognizes and praises the good work and faithful service of the members of the ILLL in our Synod and commends them for their continuing commitment to the mission and ministry of the LCMS in its proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole of His teaching to the nations.

Adopted: 08 December 2002


A hymn festival celebrating God working through His angels was held on September 29, 2002, at 4:00 pm at Christ Lutheran Church.

The hymn festival folder (> 400 KB, pdf).