LCMS has a long, successful history in Hong Kong

LCMS Mission History in Hong Kong

Transparency from the United-Lister Synod leadership in St. Louis is lacking.  Without consultation with our largest partner church in Hong Kong, Office of International Mission leaders in St. Louis announced for the first time publicly on Monday, February 5, that LCMS Asia mission operations are moving from Hong Kong, China, to Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China. What is causing President Harrison to sell our $35 million Hong Kong property and relocate our LCMS Asia headquarters to distant Taiwan?  Did he forget the mission work of the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod (LCHKS) he praised just four years ago during the anniversary of 100 years of ministry to China? Please watch and listen to the two minute video below.  Hear Matt Harrison honor the work of our partner church, the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod.  How Will St. Louis Use the $35 Million? Why up to now haven’t congregations in Synod been informed

St. Louis headquarters is selling LCMS Hong Kong property without consulting our partner church, the Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod.

St. Louis Secretly Selling Hong Kong Properties?

Reliable sources in the U.S. and Hong Kong tell Congregations Matter that President Harrison and his United Lister Board for International Mission (BIM) are selling a reported $35 million of LCMS Hong Kong properties to bail out Synod finances in St. Louis. Quietly, and without contacting our partner church in Hong Kong, the BIM is moving their Asia headquarters to Taiwan to ready the Hong Kong property for sale.  According to sources in Hong Kong who saw a note on the door of the headquarters building, the move out of Hong Kong and into Taiwan will be completed by March 1st. It seems that Synod’s chose Hong Kong properties for sale because of their high value — and because it is one of the few locations where expatriation of money to the states is allowed after the sale of properties. Have such plans been approved by the LCMS Board of

United List Is The Wrong Way

United Listers Lead Synod in Wrong Direction

LCMS Boards populated by members whose names were on the infamous United List were elected at a 90% rate at the 2016 Milwaukee convention.  It’s been eighteen months since their elections.  What do we know now about their decisions? We know United Listers have increased centralized control.  Contrary to our Constitution and Bylaws, they’ve handed ecclesiastical supervision to one man to enforce a dark conformity over congregations, pastors and rostered workers. In May, 2017 United Listers on the LCMS Board gave powers to the Synod President which radically changed Synod.  Membership is plummeting — 68% faster than ever before. How did this hierarchical, centralized takeover of our Lutheran church happen? A United Lister named Sias became Secretary at Milwaukee.  He disagreed with decades of precedent and wrongly advised the United Lister Board it is OK to take ecclesiastical authority away from District Presidents (DPs).  Many brave DPs sent public letters

Hackers Take Over Congregations Matter Twitter Account

Congregations Matter Twitter Account Hacked

Sadly, today hackers took over the Congregations Matter Twitter account.  They posted items that made it seem Congregations Matter took positions on current events in the LCMS not aligned with our confessional stance. Hackers continued to post new items during the day.  Surprisingly, these were responded to by others in the LCMS in an attempt to injure the reputation of Congregations Matter. No Comment We will not comment on their posts to keep from repeating their slander here.  We encourage others who have written posts in response to the hackers to do the same. In addition, hackers also posted a horrible, juvenile picture of our Synod President, Matt Harrison, with evil intent.  We apologize on their behalf to President Harrison. Our Response About 5 p.m. on January 20, 2018 the hackers closed the account for the moment.  Unfortunately, because we are no longer in control of our account, they may

Character and Ethics are a lighthouse shining in the storm

Character and Ethics Needed in Our Next President

“Faithful churches cultivate character.”  Thus writes Concordia Seminary Professor Joel Biermann in his book, A CASE FOR CHARACTER: Towards a Lutheran Virtue Ethics. 1 Rev. Dr. Biermann recounts how Lutherans are unfairly portrayed as soteriological reductionists pitting law and gospel against one another.  Some critics say Lutheran theology and ethical teaching simply don’t fit together.  Biermann admits some Lutheran preachers have indeed spent too little pulpit time on clear Scriptures regarding how we Christians ought to live. Dr. Biermann’s prescriptions for re-emphasizing our Lutheran Confessions’ solid commitment to character and virtue ethics are valuable.  His book’s message is also timely as we witness widely-known men losing leadership positions due to their wrongful actions toward women as revealed via the #metoo movement. Joel reminds fellow pastors, “Christian people need to be trained in virtue.  A noble character does not simply happen.” He also believes community can still shape and sustain a

Who Serves Who in Synod? Congregation Self-Governance Versus Hierarchialism

Congregational Self-Governance Versus Hierarchialism

 The History, Theology and Practice of Congregational Self-Governance in the LCMS In terms of governance and order, the Missouri Synod has throughout its history balanced power between the baptized and the ordained.  We have made our decisions at conventions through votes mediated by an equal representation of clergy and laity.  These votes were not to be viewed as mandates, but as carefully crafted and thoroughly dialogued advice. In a fun, tongue-in-cheek essay, the Editorial Staff of Congregations Matter has provided another brief history of the LCMS on one issue:  Congregational Self-Governance as opposed to the current Synod trend towards hierarchialism.  The essay reviews our history, theology, and the unfortunate, current tendency of our Synod to move from prizing the Priesthood of All Believers and Congregational Polity toward a foreign, non-Lutheran emphasis on maintaining and growing the structure itself and fulfilling its needs at the expense of the our “first love”:

LCMS Churches Close as Membership Plummets under Harrison's Leadership

LCMS Membership Plummets Under Harrison

At the 2017 Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Fall Leadership Conference, President Matthew C. Harrison cast a dark vision for future membership numbers in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. During a conference where attendees hope to hear positive motivation from our Synod President, instead Harrison spent his time attempting to convince attendees that numerical decline is inevitable.  His answer to LCMS decline is to focus ministry efforts on areas where Northern Europeans are in the majority in America. Harrison spoke of the prediction that our beloved LCMS will decline over the next 10-15 years by over 500,000 members!  A decline of 500,000 members would be a 25% drop in LCMS membership rolls. MEMBERS HAVE FLED IN DROVES SINCE HARRISON BECAME PRESIDENT Harrison delivered the grim prediction after admitting he has presided over the steepest five year membership decline in Synod history. LCMS membership has declined 2% per year during Harrison’s

Walther and Grabau: Hierarchy Matters or Congregations Matter?

LCMS Historical Bastion for Congregational Autonomy

Missouri Synod history is replete with instances when those who espoused hierarchical control were in conflict with “Missouri’s” understanding of Scripture on the issue of congregational autonomy.  We are sad to see the growing attack on the Scripture in our Synod on this principal upon which the Synod was founded! The following article by Pastor Mike Ramey is a comprehensive historical overview of a grave time in our Synod when first and founding President C.F.W. Walther had to fend off attempts by Grabau and Loehe to exert a hierarchical approach to governance at the expense of the local congregation in his day. History Repeats Itself We need to be aware that a full fledged attack on the rights of the local congregation is in full swing in our day.  President Walther would have been gravely saddened and moved to pick up the fight should he have lived to see the darkness that is descending upon our beloved Synod in our

Disaster recovery from Hurricane Harvey Flooding in Houston, August 2017. Disaster relief funds are staying in St. Louis. They cover cash flow problems at Synod.

Millions of Disaster Relief Dollars Still in St. Louis?

Did you send a check to LCMS Disaster Relief in St. Louis and specify you wanted your dollars to go to Hurricane Harvey victims?  Do you know what happened to your contributions? The Selfless Work By Our Texas District First, some good news. If you instead sent your contribution to the Texas District of the LCMS and specified your dollars were for Harvey victims, every single dollar you sent to our Texas District is going to Harvey relief.  Not a dime will be kept by the district office as it quickly distributes your funds to families with needs.  This is selfless of our Texas District since staff time has been heavily used for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  And, this has been a labor of love for them. But, what if you sent your Hurricane Harvey donations to LCMS Disaster Relief at Synod headquarters in St. Louis? St. Louis Disaster Relief Keeps A

“GENERATIONS” SEMINARY CAMPAIGN RAISES $195 MILLION

“This campaign could not have been successful if it were not for all the people in the pews,” said President Dale Meyer as he announced the total raised during the Generations Campaign for Concordia Seminary. Dale added, “We are thankful to volunteers from around the United States, led by our National co-Chairs, Craig and Jane Olson of California. We have had over 51,000 people who have made donations to this campaign. We cannot thank the church enough.” Congregational leaders from around the country gathered on campus in Kolb Hall for a successful campaign gala celebration on December 2nd. Concordia’s Mission Vital to the Future “The role of Concordia Seminary in forming effective faithful pastors for the church is more important now than ever,” said Craig Olson.  He added, “Concordia Seminary has the greatest chance to change the trajectory of our beloved Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod,” and, “Tonight is a celebration