CTCR considers revising policy on response to dissents

The Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) is considering revising its policy for how it responds to those who notify the commission that they dissent from a doctrinal resolution or statement of the Synod.
At its Feb. 14-16 meeting in St. Louis, the commission asked its staff to prepare possible policy revisions that would include providing a “concise presentation of the Scriptural and Confessional basis” for its response to statements of dissent.  Currently, if the commission finds no compelling reason in a dissent to recommend a change in the Synod’s position, it responds with a letter simply presenting its conclusion.
LCMS bylaws state that dissent to the Synod’s doctrinal position “is to be expressed first within the fellowship of peers, then brought to the attention of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations before finding expression as an overture to the convention calling for revision or recision.”
How the CTCR responds to statements of dissent was part of discussion surrounding one pastor’s dissent involving a 2001 Synod convention resolution that authorized districts to continue training “lay deacons.”
The CTCR in December responded briefly to the pastor’s dissent, which he then resubmitted to the commission.  The commission in February reaffirmed its December response to the pastor but agreed to consider revising how it responds in the future.
At its February meeting, the commission also received a letter of dissent from another pastor.  This one was to 2004 Res. 3-08A, which affirmed the conclusions of the CTCR’s 1994 report, “The Service of Women in Congregational and Synodical Offices.”  CTCR Executive Director Samuel H. Nafzger said the dissent will be placed on the commission’s agenda for consideration and a response.

Posted Feb. 25, 2005

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