Just days before the convention, Texas District President Michael Newman released an evaluative report of his Ecclesiastical Investigation of the current Concordia University, Texas (CTX) controversy. Workng together with Texas First Vice President John Davis, Newman spoke with Synod and CTX leaders, gathered documentation, and evaluated the successes and failures of the past three years. His “Observations and Recommendations” report, which can be downloaded here, tells quite a different story from the Synod President’s Reports (Workbook, Pages 173-179 and Today’s Business 1, Page 25), the official report in the June 2023 Reporter article, and Floor Committee 7’s Resolution 7-03 “To Call Concordia University Texas Leadership to Repentance” (Today’s Business 1, Pages 139-141).
Newman’s Ecclesiastical Investigative report describes an acrimonious relationship between CTX and Synod leadership laced with suspicion — from both sides. In Newman’s even-handed evaluation, this breakdown of talking, listening, and hearing one another caused both CTX leadership (President Christian, the Board of Regents, and other administrators) and Synod leaders (President Harrison, the Synod Board of Directors, and the Concordia University System leadership, Secretary Sias and others) to mistrust and misread what the others “side” was saying and what they intended to do.
In other words, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
The Problem Is Both Sides, Not Just CTX
Delegates will certainly want to download and read this report of DP Newman’s Ecclesiastical Investigation.
And with this new information in hand, instead of condemning CTX leadership in Resolution 7-03, perhaps Convention delegates will ask all parties to return to the table, admit their part in the breakdown of the relationship, repent of their actions, and see if there isn’t a way for Synod and CTX leaders to return to a partnership in the Gospel they once shared and a governance relationship within the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod that will settle this issue.
We can only hope that truth and light will bring unity to our fellowship.
Will We Talk or Fight?
Repentance. Restoration. Renewal. It’s in everyone’s best interest to see this happen. And it will truly be our witness to the world that we “Preach Christ Crucified for All People” and live as if it’s true.
For more information about this controversy, read the Our Congregations — Our Synod article “Talk or Fight — Which Will Win At Convention?” In this article, we share Pacific-Southwest District President Mike Gibson’s evaluation of the situation and what he shared with his delegates.
Note: Because this is breaking news and an ongoing situation, this article may be updated from time to time in the next week.