HOUSTON — In Bible study on July 16 Dr. Paul L. Maier led delegates at the 63rd Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod to compare the church body with the people of ancient Greek city of Corinth, which St. Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians.
Although the Missouri Synod does not parallel all the Corinthians’ problems, Maier said, it does demonstrate the existence of divisions, party spirit, politicalization, and schisms. Maier, who was re-elected July 15 as second vice president of the Synod, added that “we often put the worst, rather than the best, construction” on issues and people in the Synod, including “attacks” on the Ablaze! initiative, lawsuits against the Synod, and negative blogs.
St. Paul’s remedy in Corinth, Maier said, was the same remedy the Missouri Synod should use today -– unity in Christ and following Christ’s example. Maier said his dream for the Missouri Synod is that, if Jesus were addressing this convention today, He might say something like, “I understand your concerns about communion, church, ministry, worship, the roles of women and men, and your outreach to the world, but in the name of the cosmic God who created this marvelous universe, get over your quarrels and be about your Father’s business!”
Maier is a professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
The theme of the LCMS triennial convention, meeting July 14-19 in Houston, is “One Message –- Christ! His Love is Here for You!”