Significant developments are piling up in the ongoing dispute over doctrine and policy in the 2.8-million-member Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). Among them:

• A new group, Lutheran Church in Mission, has been formed by dissident “moderates” to provide a temporary transitional structure for churches that leave the Synod or are tossed out.

• The LCMS ended up with a $350,000 deficit last year, and its budget for 1975 projects a worse deficit that will require cutbacks in personnel and programs, including cooperative work with other Lutheran bodies.

• Seminex (Seminary in Exile), the 400-student protest school founded by Concordia Seminary (St. Louis) dissidents, celebrated its first anniversary last month in surprisingly good fiscal health, received accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools, and named ousted Concordia head John Tietjen—a central figure in the dispute—as president.

• Various reconciliation efforts either have not gotten off the ground of have reached an impasse, each side holding out for conditions unacceptable to the other.

• Faculty-administrative relationships took a sudden turn for the worst at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois, an important Missouri Synod school. Moreover, things are simmering at Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois, long considered the Synod’s conservative bastion, and at other Synod schools.

• Ecclesiastical charges have been lodged against several LCMS district presidents, conservative laymen are organizing Doctrinal Concerns Committees to keep an eye out for erring pastors, and some congregations are being torn apart in the turmoil (at least one notable split took place recently).

The new Lutheran Church in Mission (LCIM) organization was founded ...

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