Back again….

That new job. I started my transition on Tuesday. Tuesday was my best single day at work in more than four years. For the record, I started my professional career in March 1997–so I haven’t been working much more than four years.
I picked up the laptop I’ll be using for my new job yesterday. It’s a Micron Transport LT, a short-lived lightweight. It was a good machine, but when Micron sold off its PC division, it got axed. Its replacement, the Micron Transport XT (a name that still makes me chuckle; old-timers will know why), is bigger and heavier. It has a bigger screen, which is worth the extra weight, but I like the small size of the LT. It’s a 700 MHz machine, so even though it’s about six months old, it’s no slouch.

I installed Windows 2000 and Debian 2.2 on it. Of course I quickly made Debian into a hybrid because I wanted to run packages like Galeon that aren’t available for 2.2. Yeah, so it hasn’t been deemed stable yet. The most bleeding-edge Linux distros I’ve ever seen are more stable than anything Microsoft’s ever slapped its name on, with the possible exception of MS-DOS 5.0. Even Debian-Unstable is more conservative than Mandrake, so having bits of Debian-Unstable on my PC doesn’t bother me in the least.

I got to dabble in my new position yesterday, even though I was officially doing my old job. There was a server to deploy, and I was reasonably idle, so naturally I worked on the server.

They should be ashamed of themselves. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the president of my church body, Dr. Jerry Kieschnick, and the president of the Atlantic district, Dr. David Benke, committed the unpardonable sin of praying with people who are members of church bodies other than the LCMS. They now face expulsion from the church body.

This account from a St. Louis television station is a fair summary of the events.

What that account doesn’t tell you is that the First Vice President of the LCMS, who would take office if the presidency were vacated, was widely considered a political enemy of Dr. Kieschnick before the two of them took office early this fall. Dr. Kieschnick is considered a progressive, while his would-be successor is a hard-line conservative. I don’t know anything about Oberdieck, but I do know that Lebanon, Mo. isn’t exactly a hotbed of progressivism.

KSDK oversimplified Oberdieck’s reasoning slightly. Oberdieck believes that Drs. Kieschnick and Benke’s actions imply that all religions are equal, and he objects to that implication. However, if you talk to Dr. Kieschnick, the last thing he’ll tell you is that all religions are equal. He’ll agree wholeheartedly with Oberdieck’s statement that there’s only one way to God–that’s Jesus Christ, in case you’re wondering what I’m talking about–and that it should be followed strictly. The motivation behind the two mens’ actions in NYC in September was to extend a hand, to tell people that the LCMS cares about what happens to them and wants to help them.

The overwhelming majority of Lutherans in this country know and understand that.

This is a political play, pure and simple. It’s just like what the Republicans tried to do to Clinton with Whitewater and what the Democrats tried to do with Gingrich after he became speaker.

And it may undermine the current president’s credibility. What it certainly will do is leave a bad taste in people’s mouth. In a month or two months or five years, people won’t remember these specifics anymore. What they will remember is having a bad taste in their mouth about the LCMS, or worse yet, about Christianity as a whole. The immortal Someone Else will have to work hard to overcome those feelings. Sometimes Someone Else will succeed. Inevitably, sometimes Someone Else will fail, and the hurt will continue. But that doesn’t matter, because it’s Someone Else’s problem, not theirs.

I hope Oberdieck and his allies are happy.

3 thoughts on “Back again….

  • November 30, 2001 at 11:15 am
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    It continues to prove that it only takes a small handful of people to create or change a reputation. While it is good that Lutherans do stay true to doctrine, there does need to be distinctions made as to a worship service and national prayer, as well as a distinction between biblical doctrine and man-made constitutional law.

    Jesus commands us to go to all nations to preach the gospel. America is the melting pot of all the world’s nations. So LCMS will stand alone and not interact?

    Before Jesus was born as man, there were no christians. He and the Apostles show us the example to follow as they went to the Jews and all other religions to tell them of the gospel. That’s what a Christian of any denomination should do.

    My feedback from many other very conservative Lutherans do support the efforts made by these accused LCMS officals and are shocked and embarassed by any charges. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard Dr. Kieschnick tell of his visit with President Bush on September 13 as he met with about 30 different "Holy men" for their advice before he delivered his best speech ever (written by himself) that night to Americans. Dr. K noted that he was the only one to even show a bible present and he read from it giving God’s advice.

    We do need more men like him.

  • December 1, 2001 at 11:49 am
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    Well, let’s do a little test. When you refer to Lutherans, do you include ELCA?

  • December 1, 2001 at 11:50 am
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    Hey Dave, congrats on the new assignment. It sounds like you are now out of help desk in and into something like a LAN Admin team?

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