We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Doctrinal Review

Classic films speak to the past, but they also inform the present with an unfamiliar chronological context. In short: films speak to the past and the present. For example, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” has a classic line: “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges?” (that’s a good paraphrase actually). At the LCC convention last weekend a pastor stood up and basically said the same thing.

In LCMS and LCC, all synod documents, everything produced by auxillaries (LHM, LWML) and RSO (registered service organizations) MUST go through doctrinal review. Video, audio, books, magazines, articles – there’s a very well established and organized process to review public materials to make sure they are consistent with scripture and the confessions as the standard exposition of it. Lutherans are used to standards (that’s the whole point of the confessions – to all be on the same page). One more difference between LCC and LCMS: LCMS has never openly discussed eliminating doctrinal review. So good for you, LCC convention, for breaking new ground toward a more heterodox tomorrow.

At convention last weekend, one pastor made a motion to remove LCC’s requirement for doctrinal review. Now, it was never going to pass. But, it was brought up, and the motion DID get seconded. Every second that our Synod convention delegates talked about removing our need for doctrinal standards was one second more than CEF/DIL was talked about.

For context: In LCC, we can talk about removing the requirement for doctrinal review and theological consistency (which is alarming), but not talk about thousands of our own members who the church harmed through CEF and DIL.

Not so awesome.


After four days of convention and another full day of meetings, I’m just finally getting around to looking at my notes. . I don’t like what I see. Mostly it’s doodles. As much as Synod thinks it accomplished this week, my first impression is that it was quite probably the opposite: convention was counter-productive.

It’s going to take a few days to compile all the notes, conversations, and email exchanges during the event. It’s going to take a few more days to think about what convention really means. I mean, I know what it means. I’m wrestling with describing and explaining why this convention was most likely among the most counter-productive in .

If your’e a regular reader, I beg your patience. First, I’m offline for a few days of down time and rest. Of course, while I’m resting I’ll be working, so really, I’m just working offline.

In the meantime, call your local convention delegate and ask them why they didn’t take the opportunity to clear the air about CEF. That’s the elephant in the room that was conveniently avoided last week. It’s a sound that has hobbled LCC, and it won’t recover until it’s resolved. If you get an answer get back to me. Because if you hear something that resembles, “it wasn’t the time and place,” you should ask a follow-up question: “So when did delegates decide IS the time and place?”

The lack of an answer will tell you what you need to know about the essential nature of Lutheran Church Canada.

More in a couple of days.

A Conventional Convention

If you were hoping for a sea change in Lutheran Church Canada’s evasive behavior over the years since the CEF scandal broke, you’d be disappointed at the 2017 edition of the LCC convention.

Of course, by “disappointed” I mean “shattered any illusion of being a functional and responsible institution.”

Convention and/or Bust

I’m in Mississauga enjoying the hospitality of my in-laws before making the short trek from here to Kitchener. Kitchener is hosting the umpteenth LCC Synodical convention. I say “umpteenth” because it doesn’t really matter what number we’re on.