Monday, October 19, 2009
DayStar Is Back - Did You Miss Them?
11 days later they have reappeared. The website is back up and unchanged. What is kind of interesting to me is that in that week and a half of their absence I failed to find any indication at all that anyone noticed - or seemed to care, at least not openly. And I checked the areas where much of the Lutheran chatter occurs these days.
Perhaps their disappearance and the apparent cyber-silence surrounding it sends a quiet message that their influence may be very small and on the decline in the Missouri Synod world. I can only hope.
Since I began blogging three years ago I took it upon myself to monitor the sites of those pushing for liberal change in the LCMS (specificially Jesus First, DayStar, and Voices/Vision). What is curious is the disproportionate amount of space and time confessional-conservative writers openly devote to the issues affecting us compared to those on the other side of the spectrum. I say "openly" because I suspect that there is a lot more chatter behind the scenes on private list serves which are very carefully guarded to keep conservative voices out.
Voices/Vision, the site which openly champions women's ordination in the LCMS, in fact, has not been 'updated' since 2006, making reference to upcoming overtures to the 2007 convetion without any follow up to inform how they were passed. DayStar's articles still date back to their 'Easter' issue of this year. Only Jesus First updates their site on any seemingly regular basis, and then generally becomes far more active only when we are getting close to a national convention (since they are truly only a political organization working to keep conservatives from any influence - For example, see my article "Jesus First Gearing Up Again" from March of this year.) DayStar's links are rather out of date as well. Quite telling is the one to the Charismatic group Renewal in Missouri, which links to a place since shut down. In fact, are they unaware that RIM is no longer an active organization in the LCMS, having 'published' their last newsletter in September 2005? Perhaps I should contact Rev. Wyneken and tell him that if anyone really wants information on RIM they should go to this site instead (although it appears no one really cares or he would have changed it by now.) Their link page, also, has not been updated since 2005, and shows reference to the 2004 LCMS convention as their last noted convention. Even Voices/Vision is more current.
The leadership of these organizations is obviously aging, and that in itself may indiate the lower level of activity. Rev. Delbert R. Rossin, the 'director' for RIM Leadership, currently serves as an associate pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, technically responsible, however, for their satelite church in Rome. He is a 1963 graduate of Concordia-St.Louis, so I suspect that with 46 years in the ministry he is probably now partially retired. Rev. Karl Wyneken, webmaster for DayStar, is retired, having been out of active ministry since 1998. The folks who ushered in the Charismatic Renewal Movement in the 60's and 70's, and the Seminex folks who broken rank in the early and mid-70's are a graying group. The graduates who trained under those professors who remained post-Seminex are now in their 40's and 50's and are moving into higher levels of leadership in Synod.
One wonders just how much influence these sites really have in the broader world, and whether they serve any purpose remaining on the web. Other than me does anyone bother even checking on them? Jesus First, of course, remains a force to be reckoned with, and they continue in their firm commitment to orchestrate the political structure of Synod to keep things comfortably in a moderate zone, tolerant of all things except that which seems too far to the right.
I'll keep my eye out nonetheless to see what they are up to as they publish from time to time. You never know when a pleasant surprise will occur.
For anyone interested in my past ramblings about the periodic writings or issues connected with DayStar and its writers (espeicially Dr. Matthew Becker, Rev. Robert Schmidt, and Rev. Karl Wyneken), here is a list to consult from my blog:
Seminex Grads and DayStar (August 29, 2009)
Close Communion and DayStar (May 2, 2009)
Roland Allen Republished: A Response (June 7, 2008)
Women Pastors in the LCMS? (August 14, 2007)
The Order of Creation (January 30, 2007)
Ecumania (January 3, 2007)
The New Agenda for the Synod: LWF (December 18, 2006)