24 April 2008

Our Synodical President's Statement

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world and Lord of the universe, through whom alone we receive forgiveness of sin, life, and salvation!

A decision to discontinue “Issues, Etc.” on KFUO AM Radio was made March 18, 2008, Tuesday of Holy Week, for fiscal reasons described in statements issued after the decision became public. At the April 21, 2008, meeting of the Council of Presidents (COP) of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, financial details precipitating this decision were discussed in executive session by Mr. David Strand, Executive Director of the LCMS Board for Communication Services (BCS), with specific fiscal information provided by the Vice-President-Finance—Treasurer of the Synod, Dr. Thomas Kuchta. The decision was made solely by Mr. Strand after consultation with the chairman of the BCS, Mr. Dennis Clauss, with whom I subsequently spoke over the phone regarding this matter. KFUO Radio is a ministry under the umbrella of the Board for Communication Services.

Prior to its implementation, Mr. Strand also informed me as president of the Synod of his decision. I regret that I did not counsel Mr. Strand to postpone implementation of the decision until sometime other than Holy Week. It is obvious that the timing and process connected with the discontinuation of the program have contributed to the disappointment expressed by listeners and supporters of “Issues, Etc.” in and beyond the Synod. Human Resources policies, compliance with applicable employment regulations, the process of implementation of reduction in force, accompanying severance and outplacement considerations, etc., do not allow the sharing of details about this matter. I am deeply saddened by the anxiety, worry, and consternation experienced in the Synod by those directly and indirectly affected by the decision.

Some have interpreted the decision to discontinue “Issues, Etc.” as being theological or political in nature or purpose. Such interpretations have no basis in fact.

As president of the Synod, I respectfully request and pastorally encourage all in the Synod to be patient and charitable regarding this matter, putting the best construction on actions and decisions connected therewith. I pray for the day when the financial resources of our Synod do not necessitate the reduction in force of radio personnel, the return of missionaries from the foreign mission field, or any other such difficult and painful decisions. And I pray for peace and harmony in our beloved Synod.

Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President
The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

“Transforming lives through Christ’s love … in time … for eternity …”
John 3:16-17

[I find this incredibly disappointing too - financial resources lead to axing Issues, Etc., while funds flow to Jefferson Hill's Church with its messages from Satan on billboards? Um, that dog don't hunt! Thoughts?]

10 comments:

Jeremy Loesch said...

Rev. Weedon, I'll go first.

This statement is 'nice' in the sense that it is bland and uninformative. It attempts to address the issue by stating that they are aware of some trouble.

The remedy is to trust those over us, as we trust our parents and others who are over us. I suppose that is something good for us to do.

There are plenty of references to division and that this is a cause for sadness. I most definitely agree with that. It is sad. What is sadder is that the division is not being addressed. Apparently unity and peace trumps everything. (Unity and peace are the right and left bower in our theological game of spades.)

I am saddened with this statement because I get the impression that those who are unhappy or angry or frustrated or irritated or mad or puzzled or other such synonym are the people who are causing the division. I feel my anger returning to the '1/3 of 1 percent' comment from David Strand. And our sympathy is supposed to lie with him and not with others- Todd and Jeff.

And our problems are not financial. Money follows the Gospel. If the Word is proclaimed faithfully, if our activities and ministries are responses to the Gospel of grace and mercy, the money to support such ministries will be there.

To say something positive, patience and charity are encouraged. That is good, and I do try to act with those characteristics, but I continue to feel that those who dare to disagree are discounted, marginalized, and ignored. Jeremy

Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

"A decision to discontinue “Issues, Etc.” on KFUO AM Radio was made March 18, 2008, Tuesday of Holy Week..."

Passives make it possible to avoid responsibility. Sad.

Aaron D. Wolf said...

"The best construction" and "the Eighth Commandment" are often used in incongruous ways.

To take a wild example, I just watched a member of my church murder my wife. He then says to me, "Wait! I'm a fellow believer. You need to put the best construction on this."

In the case of the Treachery, we have some obvious problems. A layman "solely" fired a pastor. The best construction there would be that said layman, and all of those who approved his decision, including the Synodical President, are woefully ignorant of our theology. They must now repent.

A radio program that was a clear beacon of the Gospel and our rich Lutheran heritage was cancelled in a manner that is reserved, in the "secular" radio world, for deviants or those caught stealing from the kitty. Otherwise, there would be some word of warning ("If your ratings or donations don't improve, we're going to have to think about canceling this program.") And there would be a week of "thanks for the memories" broadcasts. Todd and Jeff were treated like deviants. What is the best construction of that?

William Weedon said...

I can't figure out a "kindest explanation" scenario that does justice to the facts as we know them. Every explanation seems to suggest either stupidity, evil, or a combo of both.

Chris said...

"Some have interpreted the decision to discontinue “Issues, Etc.” as being theological or political in nature or purpose. Such interpretations have no basis in fact." - ME: The numbers that were leaked sure don't indicate it was financial in nature. Also on the contrary, this decision seems to illustrate the role of a pastor without an official call...that ordination does not mean much when the Gospel is defended and proclaimed via radio. I guess it was St. Paul's 3rd Letter to Timothy that discusses the outright dismissal of a minister of God's word.

"I am deeply saddened by the anxiety, worry, and consternation experienced in the Synod by those directly and indirectly affected by the decision." - ME: Sorry, I am deeply saddened that real answers are not given...but that's not the only genuine emotion that is being felt nor the message that is given.

"I pray for the day when the financial resources of our Synod do not necessitate the reduction in force of radio personnel, the return of missionaries from the foreign mission field, or any other such difficult and painful decisions." - ME: Don't cancel the popular radio program and don't expect to lose more money over strife! Sorry, that must be toddler logic. After some of the moves that have been defended by the SP...I honestly think President Bush has the best wisdom for us - "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice,....you ain't gonna fool me again!"

Scott Larkins said...

I hate to say it again.....but here goes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRt2_OLY3Ho

Sheeezzze!

rev. allen bergstrazer said...

Pray for the day when...
Synod beaurocrats treat laymen and pastors with the same dignity and respect they demand for themselves.

The disgraceful treatment of brothers in Christ in the name of money is not tollerated by our elected officers.

When one brother can correct one another without being accused of sinning agains the 4th commandment, the 8th commandment or of being abusive.

When the sheep are led in love by Christ's undershepherds to cool water and green pastures; not driven blindly toward a vision.

When God's people are compelled to give out of love for their Lord and for the sake of the gospel, not because they were coerced by gimicks and guilt trips.

When the individual congregations are once again considered the principles in the Synod, not the servants of the Synod.

Scott Larkins said...

I'm out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI8JJCf8Tvo

Good day.

Paul Riemann said...

President Kieschnick,

In a word...BULLSHIT!

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

I would have chosen "Insufficient" for my word. ;)