The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lutheran Seminary Student Count



CLC (sic) - I think one student graduated from their alleged seminary last year.

ELS - The Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie - Grand total of six students in all three classes.

Mequon - Not too impressive. They put the grad and vicar assignments together on the same list for a total of 32 men in two classes - 16 per class. I was there with 60 per class.

LCMS - The incoming classes at St. Louis and Ft. Wayne are 40 and 30, for a total of 70. So St. Louis has fewer students entering now than were graduation from Mequon in 1987. And everyone has watered down the language requirements (but not the cost) let the boys be offended by studying.

ELCA - Everyone ELCA seminary is in trouble or already merging. Luther (a sea of red ink); Gettysburg and Philly are merging into one; Berkeley (merging with a college campus); Southern (merging with a college); Chicago (crime-ridden and short of funds);  Trinity in Columbus ((lots of new endowment and working with the Episcopalian Seminary nearby). Trinity was gayer than lavender hose in the 1990s, so one can only guess now.

Shooting the Messenger
It is about that time of the year that the new Concordia Seminary Journal from St. Louis has hit the shelves. Not the shelves of major supermarkets across our great nation, but the shelves of Lutheran Church Missouri Pastors libraries. However, this edition of Concordia Seminary Journal won’t make it to the shelf of this writer, but the shelf that holds the firewood in my fireplace. 

Why has this edition of Concordia Journal made it into my fireplace soon to be burned along with my capital campaign fund letter from the seminary in St. Louis? Because the article written by none other than Mr. Fund-Raiser himself Dale Meyer has caused great offense. When speaking of the great exodus of people leaving LCMS Churches, Dale Meyer states, People leave for many reasons, that is true, but one reason has been identified that is especially grievous, our conduct as pastors. Ask district presidents if congregations are troubled because of wrong teaching or from character flaws or personality quirks in the pastor, and they’ll tell you that very often the conduct of the pastor causes or exacerbates the church’s problems. 

So I ask this first, where are the results from this study that you quote from district presidents? I think we have a right to know which district presidents have made such allegations. Are these the same district presidents that promote the firing of pastors which your seminary trained? Are these the same district presidents who promote women readers, women elders and women helping distribute communion which your seminary trained? Are these the same district presidents that find no offense dressing up the choir to look like pastors wearing albs which your seminary trained? Are these the same district presidents that removed the altar and instead installed a stage and a drum set which your seminary trained?
Perhaps the pastors that face the most trouble in their congregations are the confessional pastors that try to right the ship when they inherit a pento-baptist-eposop-non-denominational acting Lutheran church because the previous pastor insisting on using teachings from Rick Warren and other non-Lutheran teachings which was promoted by your seminary in St. Louis. 

Secondly, the majority of the conflict that confronts pastors has been brought about from teachings from the seminary in St. Louis. This is a fact. Lay people have attended the speaker series in the fall at the seminary and listened to non-Lutherans promote their garbage which they take back to their churches. They confront their pastor and say, Well the seminary is promoting this so let’s do it here! or The seminary is promoting the new Rick Warren or Bill Hybels book, let’s have a bible study on the book Sunday mornings! Who needs the Bible! 

The confessional pastor stares with a blank face and says to himself, great, this is going to cause some conflict. Thanks Concordia Seminary. 

Thirdly, I wonder what it would be like to have a job where it is so secure that I could get away with making harsh statements against people that I see almost every day. I am talking about the statement that pastors are to blame for the conflict that is going on at the congregations. These pastors were students and many of them you have met at the seminary Dale Meyer. What an insult to know that after all that training I received at the seminary I am to blame for the conflict at the church. Just makes me want to promote the seminary on Sunday mornings during announcement time.
People leave for many reasons, that is true, but one reason has been identified that is especially grievous, our conduct as pastors. Ask district presidents if congregations are troubled because of wrong teaching or from character flaws or personality quirks in the pastor, and they’ll tell you that very often the conduct of the pastor causes or exacerbates the church’s problems, says Dale Meyer. What an idiotic statement that tears down the Office of the Holy Ministry. 

Fourthly, Dale Meyer, you need to put down the crystal filled glasses with bubbly and stop patting yourself on the back in helping to raise over 100 million dollars so that you and certain ones chosen can have lavish lifestyles. You need to take a hard look at yourself and ask, Why do you have so few students in the classroom today? Why aren’t more students enrolling in the seminary? It is because of comments that you have written and your views regarding the office of the ministry. You blame the graduates for church conflict. Shame on you. Take a glance in classrooms during the school year. Empty seats. Yes, too many empty seats. Perhaps the Board of Regents should finally recognize that it is you that is causing conflict.
JV Verne
(Christian News, March 7, 2016)

Brug, Bivens, Wendland.