Missouri Synod Election Signals Shift Toward Denominational Distinctives

Defeat of evangelical-focused incumbent implies desire to refocus on Lutheran identity. (Corrected)

Amid ongoing debate over the vitality or usefulness of denominations today, CT has observed that many denominational meetings of late have debated the merits of reinforcing denominational distinctives vs. loosening them in favor of focusing on evangelism.

CT columnist Mollie Ziegler Hemingway sent a brief report on the latest case study, this time at the ongoing Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod convention:

The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) elected as its new president the leader of the church's World Relief and Human Care division. Matthew Harrison received 54 percent of the vote, defeating incumbent Gerald Kieschnick, who received 45 percent of the vote in his third re-election attempt.The 2.3-million member LCMS is holding its triennial convention in Houston, where over 1,200 delegates are electing new officers and debating whether to restructure the synod.While the conservative denomination does not face conflict over many hot-button cultural issues, the election of Harrison ...
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