Advice on Resolution 9-08

Resolutions 9-08 (Today’s Business 1, Pages 187-188). To Strengthen Nonvoting Advisory Delegate Participation at Conventions

What should concern delegates?

All of us should be in favor of greater participation of advisory While seemingly innocuous, this resolution includes a novel understanding of the Office of the Holy Ministry and the Priesthood of All Believers.

In the first Resolve (Lines 2 and 3), the floor committee states that the “historical and theological position of Synod” includes there is one who holds the “preaching office” and others who hold the “hearing office.”  At a minimum, this is a novel theological term.

In addition, the floor committee incorrectly describes the polling advice given by Nonvoting Advisory Delegates (lines 36-39) when allowed to give advice with a vote in addition to their voice.

What can be done about it? 

This resolution should be amended to refer to lay people in the Synod as just that — lay people — instead of “one who holds the hearing office” (Page 188, line 3). They are members of the Body of Christ who are not clergy.    Introducing and limiting the vocation of lay people to “holding the hearing office” instead of something like “partners in the Gospel” (Philippians 1) and members of the Priesthood of All Believers (1 Peter) introduces a term alien to the Scriptures.  It diminishes lay people to hearers.  They are much more than that.   Jesus called all of us pastors and lay people “hearers of the word” (Luke 8:21) — James did it, too (James 1:22).

The resolution should also be amended by deleting from the Rationale lines 36-40 beginning with “Recent” and ending with “single word.”  The current wording is an incorrect understanding of what happens in a convention that uses Nonvoting Advisory Delegate polling as one of the means by which they advise voting delegates.

Leave a Reply