LCMS Commission on Theology Considers Changes in Bylaws

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS)’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) is considering revising its policy on responding to those who say they disagree with the denomination’s doctrinal resolutions or statements.

Current church 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."

Should the CTCR find no compelling reason to recommend a change after reviewing the dissent, it responds with a letter stating its conclusion not to change.

However, during a Feb. 14-16 meeting at the denominational headquarter in St. Louis, the CTCR asked its staff to prepare possible policy revisions that would include providing a “concise presentation of the Scriptural and Confessional basis” for response to statements of dissent.

According to LCMS news, the topic was raised during a discussion on one pastor’s dissent involving the 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,” LCMS stated.