Exposing and describing the bullying tactics of the synods will make the thugs think twice before trying it again. I am only too happy to publish accounts on this blog.
Laity and pastors should remember that the same tactics used against others will eventually be applied to them, unless they adopt a cringing, Gollum-like synodical servitude.
There are many clues that someone is being given the Sisera treatment. The apostates no longer use tent pegs - too messy. But the effect is the same. These are examples from my experience and from the accounts of others:
- Multi-layered pounding. The pastor allows an appeal to the CP, VP, and DP - so each one can take his turn delivering the thumps.
- Not answering requests or emails, or taking far too long. This is another way of saying, "You are becoming a non-person."
- Using so-called friends to attack. To keep a genuine solution from developing, an alleged friend is selected to attack and threaten. Relatives are even handier; "Son, Fred told me you are ruining your career by..."
- Bribes and flattery. Synod officials are especially worried when they start using flattery and bribes. "Not everyone is as well read as you, but I am concerned that you are letting your idealism divide you from your friends. I am thinking of you serving St. Peter by the Golfcourse..."
- Delayed action shunning. "You didn't get that mailing? But I thought you dropped out of that committee. We already filled your slot. Oh my, I am so sorry."
- Hurting the synod, church, parish, district. "If you keep this up, it will destroy the (fill in the blank)." Does a correct diagnosis kill the patient at a hospital? No, it is the first step toward a possible cure. Everything is top secret, too. Top secret means a cover up is that much easier.
- Eighth Commandment, Matthew 18, Procedure. Misuse of Matthew 18 and the Eighth Commandment are combined with an appeal to procedure. All these concocted barriers to the truth are far worse sins than murder, adultery, embezzlement, and false doctrine. Violating procedure absolves the crime instantly and indicts the person raising the issue, prompting a trial on the evil of violating procedure.
- Screaming, table-pounding, manipulating. One LCMS pastor opposed letting a known child-molester back into the ministry. The DP stopped by, screamed at him, and slammed his briefcase on the man's desk. On the way out, the DP said to a church member there, "Your pastor is one of the finest pastors in the district."
- Dividing family and friends, polarizing congregations. Synodical bullies love to turn family members against one another, to polarize friends and congregations. They imagine they gain from getting rid of their opponents. That is why the synods are weak, broke, and dying.
- Threatening. Pope John the Malefactor (ELS) is famous for this. "Get rid of the pastor or I will kick you out of the synod." DP John Seifert (WELS) did the same thing. A congregation that buckles under such threats is partaking in the bullying and abuse.