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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

COP Chairman Accuses Candidate David Maier of Breaking the 8th Commandment (and other LCMS election updates)

The LCMS Presidential election is just a few weeks away. Here’s a quick update on what’s been happening in the campaign. 

Klink The Rail-Splitter

After Easter, every pastor of Synod got a letter from Rev. Tim Klinkenberg wishing us a blessed Eastertide. It was a nice letter and didn’t mention his candidacy for President at all. Klinkenberg is running in the same fashion as Abe Lincoln at the 1860 GOP convention: try to be everybody’s second favorite and hope the rest tear each other apart. That’s quite a beam to balance on. And indeed it’s been kinda sad to watch Klinkenberg suck up to Christian News. I can only imagine how his PLI/Best Practices buddies are ribbing him on that one. But I guess it worked as he has now received the not-quite-ringing endorsement of Jack Cacione.

David Maier Slaps Own Wrist

If you are on the Synod email list you got a message on May 3 stating that the COP has unanimously adopted the following statement:

“Given the past false and derogatory claims, which are violations of the Eighth Commandment, on the issues of property in Hong Kong, the Council of Presidents affirms that the LCMS Board of Directors and President Harrison have acted honorably and with integrity in the matter of the handling of properties in Hong Kong.” 

Now . . . who might have been making false, derogatory claims on the issue of property in Hong Kong?

That’s the Chairman of the COP and candidate for Synod president, David Maier in his first campaign video three weeks ago casting aspersions on the Harrison administration regarding the sale of Synod-owned property in Hong Kong. He got this talking point from his buddies at Congregations Matter. But now, he’s voted along with the rest of the COP to support Harrison and the Synod BOD in the sale and slapping the wrist of those who have cast aspersions as Eighth Commandment Breakers. Whoops. 

Harrison Plugs Along

For the most part, President Harrison has stuck to the usual incumbent campaign plan: a book (Joy:Fully Lutheran), a new mission emphasis (Making Disciples for Life), and several Facebook videos about the good work of the church. He’s definitely stayed away from anything as directly political as Maier’s videos. He must have been pretty hot under the clerical collar about the Hong Kong stuff to take this issue to the COP to demand redress. From the FAQ concerning Hong Kong sale, it looks like the BOD was also upset by the Congregations Matter/David Maier comments. That’s reactive rather than proactive, but it does show some fire in the belly and readiness to engage. 

That’s good, because as we’ve noted in these pages before, there is a lot of energy on both sides and this election may well come down to who bothers to log in and vote. President Harrison has been a friend to the traditional worship of the church, his defeat would mean that someone more aligned with American Evangelicalism will get to set the direction for the Synod (including choosing the next president of CSL).