The synod has never taken a survey about pastoral trust levels of their own District Presidents. It would be an interesting survey. Even more interesting would be a survey about trust of the COP as a whole. I have a feeling it would make congressional approval ratings look very high.
Now, that’s not a very nice thing for me to say. But it’s kind of hard to trust a group that so consistently talks out of both sides of its mouth. Now, that’s not only not very nice, it’s a pretty serious charge. If I’m going to make it, I should have evidence.
Why would pastors not trust the COP and think it is two-faced and dishonest?
Well, here is what they tell pastors about their Self-Evaluation Tool (A form pastors fill out about what they believe and teach in the church.):
The key part is: “The Lutheran pastor is always ready to state forthrightly what he believes, teaches, confesses, and practices in the congregation…”
And then there is this, which is what they tell congregations:
The key part is this: SETs… are confidential… intended solely for use during the call process. Please shred/destroy…
So which is it? Are SETs a public statement of what we believe, teach, confess, and practice in the congregation? Or are they confidential? Pick one and go with it. Don’t tell us we must be open about what we do, when you are hiding under a veil of confidentiality about the very same document.
Sunlight makes an excellent disinfectant. The COP should try some.