The Mobbing of a President

The Mobbing of a President

Our Congregations – Our Synod commends President Harrison for recognizing he had gone beyond his LCMS Constitution Article XI duties and re-instating the publication and distribution of Luther’s Large Catechism with Annotations and Contemporary Applications (LLCACA).  We are thankful that he heeded the wise counsel of those calling him to uphold Bylaw (p.143 in the 2019 Handbook) and finally stood up to mobbing in our Synod.

Both President Harrison’s January 23rd Facebook announcement suspending the distribution of the Annotated Large Catechism and the announcement of the resumption of its sale on February 2nd came as a surprise to members of the LCMS.  The first was met with concern — the second, relief.

Our Leaders Must Do Better

Good leaders know that mobbing cannot sway decisions.  Most congregational leaders have had to stand up to those who use strained petitions, politicking, and shouting to control congregational decisions.

Good leaders face such opposition with the Word of God, our Confessions, calmness, and reasoned conversation.  That’s what the Church did in Acts 15 when dealing with the Circumcision Party in the early church.

And that’s what our bylaws support.  Find a problem with a document that has passed doctrinal review?  Bring it before the Church in a proper and orderly manner.  You can read Bylaw to see how it is properly done.

It worked in the past when many found problems with one section of the Readers Edition of the Book of Concord.  The introduction to Formula of Concord Article X strayed into an opinion not supported by God’s Word or our Confessions.  The opinion wasn’t evil – it just wasn’t what the LCMS has historically agreed is adiaphoron.  And the opinion wasn’t supported by the Word of God.  The appeal was upheld.  The book was changed.

How Did This Problem Explode?

It started with an extremist agenda.  Negative mobbing comments greeted the book’s sale on  Within hours of its release, negative reviews were made by people who believed (or were told) that the LLCACA supported a politically leftist “woke” and “CRT” agenda.  Twitter was ablaze with what are now thankfully seen as false, inflammatory statements.  Authors were smeared with accusations of anti-whitism, support for LGBTQ+ theology, Marxist and Communist ideology.  Editors were attacked for allowing women to write essays in the volume.

Some mobbers saw the withdrawal of the volume as the success of their mobbing tactics.  It was certainly the politically-expedient thing for President Harrison to do.

However, Harrison’s initial withdrawal only poured more fuel on the Twitter-mobbing fire.  Blog and Facebook posts and comments followed their lead.

That’s what happens when one gives in to those who use mobbing to pressure and blackmail with their words.

One Group Pressed More Than Others

This mobbing crowd was subsequently fueled by continuing articles and commentary from authors on and other extremist outlets.  An article examining their egregious comments will follow in the coming days.

For now, the reader may want to review the blog post “Explaining the Large Catechism Controversy” on and listen to the podcast “TGC 258 – Anatomy of a Confusion.”  The first part of the interview is fairly innocuous.  However, we believe most LCMS members will find the blog post’s last half offensive.

Men And Women Returned to Good Standing

Our Congregations – Our Synod is thankful that we have begun the process of making repairs to the reputation of the editors and the men and women who authored articles in the Annotated Large Catechism, as well as the members of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations and those who served as additional doctrinal reviewers.

While he first reacted to the mobbing of the book and its authors on various social media and, in the end, President Harrison responded appropriately to the unfounded criticisms of the book.

One should never give in to Twitter-mobbers.  Extremists are never satisfied.  They just entangle you in their dysfunction.

Our Congregations and Our Synod deserve leaders who won’t give in to the mob.


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