Yes, it's rather a hot-bottom issue. The Synod's constitution requires now and has always required "exclusive use of doctrinally pure Agenda and Hymnbooks" in the congregations of the Synod. Nothing much has changed on the constitutional front. In the earlier iterations of my own congregation's constitution, we may read: "In all public services of this congregation, only genuine Lutheran Hymns and in all ministerial acts only genuine Lutheran forms shall be used." They are of a piece, but not quite the same. The Synod's Constitution explicitly says that NO worship material may be used save what comes from "doctrinally pure" Agenda and Hymnbooks. Hence, if you find a nifty hymn in the Methodist hymnal and it's 100% orthodox, you really may not use it if or until it is included in a Lutheran hymnbook where there are not other heterodox hymns.
Today we have Lutherans (even officials in high places) who believe that this is just WAY too restrictive. It may well be! I'm open to debate it. What I'm not open to is continuing to SAY one thing and then go right on doing something far, far different.
This is a matter of simple integrity. Either we ought to change the constitution to reflect the current reality; or we ought to change the current reality to reflect the constitution. This is a conversation we OUGHT be having; not saying "yes" and "no" at the same time and pretending that no one notices. EVERYONE NOTICES!!!!
Where to start? I'd start with a study of "why" the "exclusive use," and what it meant in the days it was originally penned. I'd certainly weigh the changes that have occurred between those days and these, but then we need to openly, honestly and fully debate among ourselves whether this was a wise and good rule that applies to all times; or whether its usefulness has come to an end; or whether it simply needs some tweaking. Whatever we do, continuing to say one thing and then do whatever the devil we want from parish to parish is NOT an option.
Recently on another forum Dr. Benke noted the great strength we have in LSB. He's right. It's been an utterly remarkable success. Can we live in it? Is it possible? Would it be desirable? How would it strengthen or weaken our Synodical fellowship? Does it open a path for the LCMS to find common ground in worship once again after all these years?
Lots of questions. The answers still are in the future - and so in the Lord's hands. May it be, dear Lord, may it be!