A reader requested a report on what happened to the discussion of Luther’s Large Catechism with Annotations and Contemporary Applications (LCACA) at the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s 2023 National Convention. If you, our readers, would benefit from a comprehensive telling of the entire LCACA saga, please contact us and let us know.
What happened to the discussion of Luther’s Large Catechism with Annotations and Contemporary Applications (LCACA) at the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s 2023 National Convention?
In short: Synodical apparatchiks decided not to throw their pearls before swine.
Wherein: pearls = their painstakingly varnished, hand-made-with-love, catechetical tome. And swine = the delegates that member congregations selected and sent to Milwaukee to represent you.
This despite assurances made by President Harrison on the first day of convention that the matter would be discussed:
The carrot that Harrison was dangling was Resolution 5-14A.
This resolution was cobbled together from the below overtures by way of addressing the clear will of the Synodical body politic to discuss the LCACA at convention — as evidenced by the existence of those overtures. Including one which called for its publication to cease (listen to an interview with the primary author of that overture here).
There was an additional proposed amendment included in convention materials, as well as a proposed substitute resolution, both with the same goal: to divide LCACA into two distinct volumes, separating the essays from the catechism with annotations.
Old Lutherans’s editors noted problems even with this compromise, as e.g. Steven Paulson’s works are also cited in the annotations. However, due to backroom “bipartisan” deals and wink and nudge agreements, Committee 5 withheld the red meat from the convention floor.
Despite a strained and put-on attempt to brush past the matter, including offering to have a drink with disgruntled delegates after convention hours, the mics were sufficiently swarmed such that Harrison’s hand was forced to recognize the floor. After several individuals spoke without a motion, it was one of the Synod’s most openly liberal pastors who finally managed to move to resurrect the resolution.
In the end, the motion to bring Resolution 5-14A back to the floor failed, with 416 votes for, 479 votes against, and scores of votes abstaining (or glitching, as technical issues with electronic voting plagued the proceedings). With the matter successfully shut off from further discussion at convention, discussion of the matter was successfully returned to executive sessions during bureaucratic group huddles, away from the eyes of the public and the LCMS at large.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you put a corporate boondoggle PR catastrophe to bed. We in the LCMS have the best politicians, don’t we?