Thursday, June 19, 2008

DP Accountability is in our hands ?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Below is the question I asked on the Q&A regarding this subject. The didn't post it publically (with only vague reasoning), but I though you might find it interesting.
**********
Dear****

We have answered your question on WELS Topical Q&A but decided not to post it to the system for others to view it. This may be on account of the topic being too private and sensitive, or perhaps this questioned has already been asked. Your question and our response follows.

You asked:

Who watches over the District President? I know that the District Presidents are to uphold doctrine and practice in their District--but who is holding them in account? They are, after all--sinful men who will sin (as all humans do). Is there a check and balance system? And if there is a check and balance system--is it objective? I think it would be safe to assume that men who have known each other for years may find it hard to be objective about their friends/brothers. I searched the WELS website and could not find a procedure on what to do when a District President sins against someone and refuses to acknowledge the person he injured. Any insight on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

This is our reply:


Ultimately, the members of the district which elected the district president "watch over" the district president through their election of the president every two years. In addition, if the district president is accused of wrong-doing, the district constitution says, "The two district vice presidents with the concurrence of the district circuit pastors may suspend the district president from his office. the president shall have 60 days thereafter to appeal the suspension. If there is no appeal within 60 days, the action shall be final, and the president shall be removed from office. If the president appeals, the appeal will be heard by the District Board of Appeals."

One would pray that when it comes to correct doctrine or practice, Christian friends or brothers can overlook personal relationships and do what is necessary to uphold the truth of God's Word.

June 19, 2008 9:37 AM

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the answer is a bit of a crock.

In our district the DP's 2 best buddies are the VP's that are to hold him accountable?

I do not believe we have a system in place that realistically would allow for any lowly person of the WELS to hold the DP accountable on anything.

This is really scary.

Texas Pastor said...

I respectfully disagree with your comment. ("I think the answer is a bit of a crock.")

This answer is not a crock. It's exactly the way in which we are set up to handle these problems. It's not a BS answer. It's not lawyerly doublespeak. It's a quotation.

The VPs are also elected by the members of the district (pastors, male teachers, and congregational delegates). They are held accountable by the district as well through the Convention, through circuit pastors, and through the admonition of "lowly persons" in the district.

There are circuit, conference, and district meetings, with opportunities to explore, question, and discuss situations. We have at least one conference a year with lay delegate attendance to keep them "in the loop" so to speak on the action and ministry of our conference, district, and Synod.

The DPs I have known and worked with have been willing to explain actions and rationale.

The District VPs of my district are two men I would trust to go to my DP, in a brotherly way, if the situation arose where he needed to be confronted regarding doctrine and practice. So too are the circuit pastors we have elected.

At our district and conference meetings, while respect for the office and person of DP is high (deservedly so), it does not mean that people don't ask him questions or make him explain decisions and actions.

I think part of the scariness is the fact that a great number of WELS members (including some called workers) have no idea how we're organized, what we're doing, why we're doing it, that we elect people, who we're electing, that we operate schools and missions and how we do that, etc.

We're so afraid of becoming an openly political church body (ala the LCMS) that we have taken aloofness to a whole new level in some instances.

Shame on the called workers who fail to instruct their people on what the Synod is and why it's a blessing. Shame on the laity who fail to find out what's going on in their local congregation, their district, or their Synod.

Anonymous said...

Texas pastor,

I appreciated your comment.

We're so afraid of becoming an openly political church body (ala the LCMS) that we have taken aloofness to a whole new level in some instances.

It is so obvious that this is true synod wide. Most are aware one of the DPs in question on this blog and elsewhere did step down after brotherly concern over his leadership. However, this seldom does happen. You mention that you would have no problem going to your dp or your vps if you had a concern. Many do have a problem doing this because of the "brotherhood" pledge. Too often heads turn and simply look the other way.

curious

Anonymous said...

"The DPs I have known and worked with have been willing to explain actions and rationale."

I wonder what your last name is or the name of your wife? I am pretty sure that is why you get such a good response.

Anonymous said...

"Many do have a problem doing this because of the "brotherhood" pledge. Too often heads turn and simply look the other way."

I agree 100% with this statement.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder what your last name is or the name of your wife? I am pretty sure that is why you get such a good response."

What a load of crap-

Anonymous said...

"What a load of crap-"
I agree 101% with this statement

Anonymous said...

"What a load of crap-"

I disagree 102%. :)

Anonymous said...

What is the "brotherhood pledge"???

Anonymous said...

"I wonder what your last name is or the name of your wife? I am pretty sure that is why you get such a good response."

What a load of crap-

*******

I really wish it was a load of crap. I do, but it's not. Unfortunately the WELS has to recognize (and other denoms struggle with this as well) that we have a bit of an elitist edge-where what your name is or who your father or grandfather was affects how you are viewed to some degree (both negatively and postively).

We are all sinful. Sinful human beings are not always objective and Satan uses this very well.

Anonymous said...

I find it utterly ironic that people are so concerned about DP accountability when only one week ago, a DP stepped down because the district didn't have confidence in him. Sounds like the system worked perfectly. (By the way, the new DP in that district is extremely good and extremely confessional--the exact opposite of the out-going DP.)