President Harrison, Secretary Sias and the LCMS Board of Directors (BOD) shamefully hid from Synod their true intentions regarding Selma. Newly shared documents and open records from Synod BOD minutes, convention records and the CCM opinions reveal their double-dealing. Selma never had a chance. Could this happen to a Concordia near you?
Harrison’s plan to centralize control of our local Concordias under one President and Board of Regents is a dangerous power-grab. Who gave Harrison and Sias the authority to do this?
In a move that surprised Concordia University Presidents, President Harrison and Secretary Sias will propose the elimination of all Concordia Boards of Regents at the Tampa Convention in 2019. However, President Tom Ries of Concordia, St. Paul, revealed that our Concordia University Presidents are unanimously opposed to Harrison’s plan.
Pastor Anthony Steinbronn, President of the New Jersey District, opposes the movement of our Synod toward a church Martin Luther opposed 500 years ago, where all authority is centered in one person and others are authorized to maintain control using the traditions of men rather than the Word of God…ALONE.
There is deep disappointment throughout our Synod at the closure of our only historically black college, Concordia College, Selma, AL. It is especially sad recalling that recently-elected COP Chairman, David Maier, led a team preventing the closure of Ann Arbor just nine years ago. The difference? Leadership.
In 2010, the LCMS adopted sweeping changes to the Handbook of the Synod. Here’s the strange twist: while the convention adopted the “Blue Ribbon Taskforce” changes, delegates also strangely (and certainly ironically) then elected as President a man who opposed the changes, Matthew Harrison. Delegates wanted Synod’s work to be more responsive to the congregations of the Synod. What have we gotten instead?
In his February 2018 Keynote Address delivered to the Lutheran Society for Missiology, District President Robert Newton observed the LCMS is at the most critical time in her history:
“Our church body is right at a fork in the road where she chooses to walk with the mission of God, faithfully, or she chooses not just to ignore it, but, I would say, to reject it. That’s where we sit as a church body at this time.”
The news these days from Synod headquarters is that further decline is imminent: mission properties sold to help the financial distress; Synod universities will be shed. This is a nightmare for Synod. New leadership can and will bring a renewed Bible-based, Gospel-centered future for Synod.
During his speech to the Southern District Convention on March 9, Synod’s current President rejected any and all personal responsibility for the closure of Concordia College Alabama. In 45 minutes of well-presented Q & A, (Matt IS an engaging, quick-witted speaker after all), Harrison also admitted a ballooning internal debt, pitted the needs of urban and rural congregations against those of suburban Christians, and proposed a plan of planting successful churches in zip codes “amenable to the LCMS” in order to fund struggling ministries. Not bad for a Friday morning in March. The Blame Game Continues According to Matthew C. Harrison, everyone but himself is to blame for the closure of Selma. Listen for yourself to his speech by clicking on this link: http://southernlcms.org/75th-convention-livestream-its-all-about-jesus/ Here is a Harrison quote from the 1:11:15 to 1:11:35 marks on the live stream link shown above: “I stood throughout with Selma. I fought for
Sadly, on February 21, Concordia College Alabama announced it will close its doors at the end of the spring 2018 Semester. This tragedy puts an exclamation mark on the ineffectiveness of our current Synodical leadership. Our Synod’s only historically black college is shutting down. The closing of Selma is heart-breaking to tens of thousands of faithful people in the LCMS who faithfully supported Concordia Alabama for generations. The problems that led to Selma’s closing — and Concordia Portland’s problems with student clubs and their community — can be traced back to the United Lister leadership that currently controls our Synod. Selma’s Closure Happened during this Synod Leadership’s Watch Who is responsible for the loss of one of our Concordia’s? Fingers will be pointed at many people for the closure of Selma. In the end, Selma’s closure is due to failed leadership at the top of our Synod (CLICK HERE to