The second issue with conversion: so many who leave seem to be saying, “The LCMS is not Lutheran enough…so I’m becoming Orthodox (or Catholic).” The modus operandi of many of those who leave is unflagging criticism of the LCMS followed by unflagging praise for their new communion. It doesn’t make much sense.
But there is something else going on here: crisis. Something overturns the apple cart and it gets these pastors thinking. Something forces these pastors to wonder if the struggle is not lost, if the LCMS is something other than it says it is. Often the sacramental and worship life or practice in the LCMS serves as the tipping point. They realize that the LCMS does not do what it says Lutheranism says it does. This brings them to question not only what we don’t do and why, but also the claims of the Confessions themselves. When that doubt strikes, the reaction is unpredictable.
What strikes me about this is that the Contemporary Worship-pop consumerist pastors in our Synod have done the same thing, but as stated below, haven’t left. They found something lacking in the LCMS and began asking their own questions about the true nature of our Confession and ontology. But when their search led them in the opposite liturgical direction, they stay and transform their parishes, sometimes completely.