05 August 2010

Theses on bashing synodical bureaucrats

Debatable. That's the point of theses.

1. A bureaucrat is a public figure to the public, but he is a private figure to his wife, children, siblings, parents, and friends. When public words get to these private people, those words often do not sound like the plain, necessary truth. They sound like the kind of words Christians are not supposed to use about each other. They do not sound like
defense and speaking well of, although everyone always claims to be trying to explain everything in the kindest way, if there were only some way all these awful things could be explained kindly.

I'm not saying this negates the "public figure" we all know and love, that unperson to whom the 8th commandment (joy of joys!) does not apply. But aren't family relationships always more complicated than we'd like?

2. Many synodical bureaucrats are probably not as dumb as we think. They know they are politicians, and they know we are too. They know they're trying to play us and we're trying to use them every time we schmooze or spar. Everyone wants everyone else in his back pocket. The bureaucrats find the system just as sleazy as we do (moreso, even, since they know it so much better), and they're just as stuck with it as we are. As a veritably politic observer of the synodical organism told me once, "We create a political system, and then are disgusted that politicians succeed in it." Downright politic, that guy. Of course, every system of church POLITY is political. It's not just an LCMS problem.

3. Few synodical bureaucrats arrived at bureaucratic positions without having spent some, often quite a lot of, time in the parish. They are still pastors and fathers in Christ.

4. Although such slick sophisticates as we know better, some bureaucrats really, truly mean it when they say they didn't seek out this position. Since (less empirical evidence to the contrary) it is impossible to distinguish the big fat liars from the charming innocents when they speak on this purely internal matter of the heart, I believe the charitable route is to recklessly take them at their word.

SURE you didn't want to wear that big hat.

Don't get me wrong, I know they're almost all jerks, just like all other categories of people. But as a pastor of my acquaintance says (and he's about as far as you can get from a hyperEuro-"confessional"-Gottesdiensting-conscience binding-Lawlusting-Fort Waynische Father): "That's Pastor Jerk to you."


Gauntlets said...

And here I am still trying to figure out how any of it matters. :P Either way, I do dearly love being reckless. ;)

And great point about "Waynische". :D

Rebekah said...

Wouldn't matter to me unless. :P

Gauntlets said...

Clarification: What you're saying here matters. It is the sveti politike that leave me scratching my head.

Rebekah said...

Hey, my head is itchy too! :D

Mark said...

Interesting two kingdoms problem. Is there anything that is "church" between the one holy catholic thing and the local congregation? Does how that intermediate thing presents itself impact how we interact with them?

Added a few thoughts here...

Rebekah said...

Well, Mark, I'm no ecclesiologian, just a grumpy person, so I'll leave the heavy lifting to you. ;)