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 to rostered workers last year sounding the alarm.
How did the United Listers get elected?
Convention Voting Was Unfair
“But all things should be done decently and in good order.” 1 Corinthians 14.40
Immediately prior to the candidate elections, delegates were warned they were being monitored to ensure no voter accessed the internet and no external voting guidance was permitted. No external influence, eh?
It turns out Synod leadership was only against guidance delivered via the web — and had no problem with the paper United List determining voting. The United List was the only voter’s guide list inside the delegate voting area in Milwaukee. If a paper United List of candidate names is allowed for voting delegates, then more than one paper guide list of candidate names should be allowed for delegates.
Because voting delegates only had the United List voter’s guide list, they simply referred to the United List and voted for United Listers 90% of the time. Candidates on the United List won. Candidates not on the list lost.
Immense Damage Done
The Milwaukee convention elected a high percentage of the United List candidates (as has the last two conventions, too). Without any opposition, United List candidates now are in control of our Synod, from the Synod President and Secretary to the regional Vice Presidents, Synod Board of Directors, National and International Mission Boards and Concordia University Regents. Just think of the centralization the LCMS has experienced in the past few years. It has only accelerated with more United List candidates elected.
The damage done by United Listers just since Milwaukee has been immense. Review this short list and click on any item to see the related article explaining the damage:
- Harrison now the ecclesiastical supervisor of all congregations and rostered workers instead of locally elected District Presidents;
- broken funding promises to our Seminaries;
- United Listers allow the International Center headquarters to keep a 6% cut of Disaster Relief donations — and even consider undistributed donations as improved cash flow.
- United Listers help hide Synod’s serious financial woes behind white-out in vast Executive Session sections of Board Minutes;
- United Listers ignored Milwaukee convention overtures from four Districts, three District BOD’s, one circuit and seventeen congregations (representing more than 700 congregations in all) to stop Synod from requiring all congregational mission dollar to flow through St. Louis;
- And in all this, United Listers keep congregations in the dark using excessive executive sessions.
Conformity and control have been the focus of United Listers decisions, not congregations. Synod is now a hierarchical organization — exactly what our founder CFW Walther fought so hard against.
New Leadership Is On The Way
“… but with God all things are possible …” Matthew 19.26
Congregations Matter has travelled the country and has identified outstanding leaders. We believe, together, we will restore our Synod.
Our Synod’s future can be brighter than ever. Our congregations are strong.