I often wonder what would happen if famous church figures from the past were alive today. For example, how would Saint Paul do in today’s church? I was imagining a letter to Paul from the local District President about Paul’s… reputation for being confrontational. We joke a lot about “special snowflakes”. But what if a “special snowflake” and a career bureaucrat teemed up against Paul? Well, I thought it might go a little something like this…
President Herman Nuetic
Antioch District Office, LCMS
123 Main Street|
The Reverend Paul O. Tarsus
354 Via Dolorosa
If you recall our meeting last year, when you first attempted to bring charges against The Reverend Simon Peter, I advised you that not only was a face to face meeting required, but that you would not be able to discuss the details of the case.
While I appreciate the efforts you took in having a face to face meeting with Pr. Peter, I was dismayed to see you commenting publicly about that meeting. I refer specifically to your recent letter to the editor of the Galatians District newsletter, in which you publicly state that you “opposed him to his face”, and then go into specific details regarding the nature of the dispute.
While I appreciate your zeal for evangelism, I remind you of the warning I gave you when you first came to me. Regarding bylaw 126.96.36.199(g), I said “publicity shall not be given to the issues in the matter by any of the persons involved during any part of the procedures outlined in this bylaw…”
Your violation of this bylaw, specifically, your very public claim that you “opposed Peter to his face…” leaves me no alternative but to commence proceedings against you in accordance with bylaw 188.8.131.52, “Violations of the prohibition against publicity… are specifically included as violations subject to the same disciplinary measures set forth in this bylaw.”
In accordance with bylaw 2.14.5, I am referring your case to a panel of three circuit visitors. Because of the serious nature of the charges, I am placing you on restricted status effective immediately, according to bylaw 2.13.2. While on restricted status, you will be unable to accept a call to a new field of service. I know that you are not currently serving a parish, and that you were considering a call as Mission Developer for Asia Minor. However, because of your actions, and your current restricted status, I have had to inform the Board for Mission Services of your inability to consider the call.
While I am sorry that what once was a promising ministry seems to be ending so badly, I must say that there is no one to blame but yourself. Had you continued walking together in our covenant of love, my actions would have been unnecessary. Perhaps in the future, there will be a position of service for you. If you can show a desire to improve your social skills, it would go a long way toward demonstrating to me that you are ready to consider a call. (I would also recommend working on your personal grooming.)
My recommendation is that you stay in Jerusalem for the time being. If you can live peacefully there for a while, and demonstrate some humility by not stirring up trouble, perhaps in a couple of years something will open up.
I note on your SET form that you have also indicated a desire to serve in Rome. In the interest of total honesty, even if you were not on restricted status, I would oppose such a move. Good Shepherd in Rome is one of our synod’s flagship congregations. I just don’t think you have demonstrated the sort of churchmanship that we would expect to be the pastor of such a large parish.
The Reverend President Herman Nuetic, DD (Honoris Causa)