Pr. Ben Harju has resigned the clergy roster and will be received as a catechumen in the Orthodox Church tomorrow. Old news by internet standards–Ben announced it yesterday.
But the vitriol, angst, incredulity, accusations and so forth has already begun.
I’ve blogged about some others who have left the LCMS before. See these posts. What I’ve said before hold true here as well. God bless him for the courage to follow his convictions…and not try to make the LCMS into something it’s not.
There are a couple of issues I’d like to explore. The first is, Why East? Why are so many leaving the LCMS and entering the Orthodox Church? I can name a dozen or more who have in the last four or five years. Maybe more. Granted, in a denomination of 8000 or 9000 pastors, that number is a pittance, yet there seems a trend.
Yet, how many LCMS pastors have become Baptists (I know of one)? How many non-denominational Evangelicals? Methodist? Episcopal? (I know of one).
Few, I imagine. And here’s why. Because of our lack of oversight, integrity, honesty, support and standards, you can become almost any of those in all but name and stay within the LCMS. Some of them a pastor can “convert to” completely and be featured in the official newspaper and magazine and praised. Consider the “Emergent LCMS” churches in the St. Louis area.
Consider this and comment.