“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
The seductive siren’s call of societal decline is a preoccupation of conservative Americans, and so it is also a preoccupation of conservative American Lutherans. While the verse from Jeremiah above has been misapplied countless times to more trivial matters—and matters having nothing to do with the verse’s context at all—it is pertinent in an article that hopes to give hope from within Babylon. American Lutheran church bodies are in decline, and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod is no stranger to this phenomenon. As of this issue’s publication, we are just a year away from the results of another election for synod president, and just over a year away from another synod convention. No matter who you may support as synod president, the question at this point should be: what will be the hope-filled vision for the future of the LCMS?