Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Little Perspective: A Tale of Two Seminaries...

... or ELCA vs. LCMS

by Larry Beane

As members of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, many of us offer well-deserved critiques of our church body and its institutions.  But it is easy to lose perspective.  There is still a great deal to be grateful for within the LCMS - especially when it comes to our formation of pastors through our seminaries.

But a couple videos for prospective seminarians make the point...

ELCA Seminary:

Note: Neither Gottesdienst nor its editors are liable for head explosions or projectile vomiting that the viewer may experience

... followed by the (Deo gratias)  eye-bleach:

LCMS Seminary:

Note: this video is actually from about 1998 and reflects the thinking of that time that there was an impending clergy shortage

I understand that the Chicago seminary is resorting to humor as a recruitment tool, and I'm not arguing that there are no serious pastors or theologians there, either on the faculty or in the student body.  Nevertheless, I think the contrast speaks volumes - especially in the kind of students being sought and the way the seminaries see themselves and their place in the Church.  For all of our problems, there is a sense of pastoral formation and a joyful seriousness in our LCMS seminary experience - at least that was my own at Fort Wayne from 2000 to 2004.

There was plenty of laughter and humor, but we took our sense of vocation and the eternal ramifications of what we were being formed into seriously and with a deeply-rooted Christological foundation that I believe is necessary for preparing a man to be a parochial shepherd.

And for that I am grateful to God and to my professors.

If being a clown is your vocation, join the circus.  Or you could attend a seminary like one of the two above and serve accordingly.  Choose wisely.

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