When it’s all about us and our feelings, then it’s not about Christ. Even with good intentions, in our sinful natures, we are all Enthusiasts and put our felt needs and our wants first. Were the employees of the Purple Palace unaware of the feelings of many regarding the cancellation of Issues, Etc.? No, they were well aware of the 7,000+ signatures on the petition and the article and letters to the editor in the Wall Street Journal and the resolutions passed by some districts’ pastors’ conferences. Was the demonstration on Monday necessary to let whoever was responsible for the decision to cancel Issues, Etc. know about the feelings of those who disagree with the decision? No. Then for whose benefit was the demonstration staged? We posit that it was unintentionally (we’ll grant) for the sake of the feelings of those demonstrating. The rationale for the protest we had heard was that it would support Todd and Jeff. Trying to look at the situation objectively, this reason does not hold up. Did a demonstration put food on the tables of these two families or help with their bills? Did it thank God for their faithful service in a better or more meaningful way than the Vespers service the night before? No, so the most likely reason left for the demonstration has at its heart that most dangerous of reasons: “our feelings”. Feelings are fickle, feelings are not always to be trusted. Feelings are generally self-centered.
As was seen in the St. Louis Post Dispatch coverage of the event, the BCS chairman was certainly aware before the protest that his decision has not been received well in some corners of the LCMS. The problem is not that he and others didn’t know, the problem is that he and others, as evidenced by his words to the Post Dispatch reporter, don’t care. He trivialized the 7,000 signatures and basically gave a big bureaucratic middle finger to those trying to show their “feelings” on the matter. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. It fits perfectly well with how the Issues, Etc. matter has been handled up to this point. It is not a productive use of time, energy, paint, or posterboard to continue looking for the reasons behind the cancellation. Most likely, they will never be given honestly. We all have our suspicions, but without proof, it may be best to move on from the “Why?”. The question has been asked. It has not been answered. It probably will not be answered.
Unfortunately, photos were taken of the protesters by some from the International Center. By the way, when was the decision to make signs and act like it’s still 1968 made? Wasn’t this supposed to be more of a prayer vigil? Regardless, how do you think those pictures are going to be used? Do you think Pres. K. or Mr. Strand wanted them for a scrapbook? With those pictures in hand, who will look like the wild nutcases? The folks telling the synod that they had no choice but to shut down Issues, Etc. to be fiscally responsible or the ones out on the street holding signs in the air?
We are just as upset about the cancellation as many of you are. However, this demonstration was not a good idea. Don’t give fodder to those who oppose you. If the synod doesn’t care about the 1/3 of 1% who signed the petition, then those unimportant thousands can make a much more effective protest with their pocketbooks. Put Issues, Etc. either back on the radio or on the internet, and put your donations behind that and Higher Things and other worthy truly Lutheran efforts.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”