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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 18, 2011, 01:40:28 PM

Title: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 18, 2011, 01:40:28 PM
Story of how the ELCA is responding harshly to African immigrant congregations in it midst:

http://commonconfession.blogspot.com/2011/01/elca-evicts-african-lutherans-because.html (http://commonconfession.blogspot.com/2011/01/elca-evicts-african-lutherans-because.html)

Two African immigrant congregations have been expelled from local ELCA congregations where they have worshiped at the direction of ELCA officials.

“Oromo congregations in Houston, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, were asked by their mission directors and host church to leave the church premises without delay. The reason they were given was they are not in agreement with the August 2009 Churchwide Assembly resolution,” the January newsletter of the United Oromo Evangelical Churches reported.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 18, 2011, 02:26:04 PM
Could they have been asked to leave their host congregations because they were the ones not respecting the bound consciences of those who agreed with the 2009 decisions?
Of course not.  ::) At least that scenario would never be reported in a CORE publication or given any credibility in this forum.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Pilgrim on January 18, 2011, 03:04:31 PM
Tim Christ comments: Charles, Your cynical snark and amazing ability to paint lily white the ELCA while castigating the motives of others notwithstanding, one of those congregations is local to my area and has long been paraded with pride in our local synod. Thus, an interesting development. A Chinese worshipping community in our area removed itself from the ELCA as a result of the decisions and an ELCA official asked them to repay monies (reported in Forum letter) a while back. We are in process of partnering with them as they will likely be applying to NALC or LCMC for membership. This information on the Oromo parish is prompting my further investigation and a known willingness on the part of the congregation I serve to extend an invitation to use our facilities if they would be suitable to the purposes of the Oromo congregation.

But then, you probably cheered when the Dodgers left Brooklyn, too.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: amos on January 18, 2011, 03:28:28 PM
Every single time the issue of bound conscience comes up the revisionist constantly always twist it around to imply those stupid, bigoted, uneducated orthodox slobs --- just won't honor MY bound conscience.  Never, and I mean never is there any thought that bound conscience goes both ways.   But then again it was never meant too.  The whole concept of bound conscience is a sham, a political move and an outright lie.   We saw that in our assembly where it was specifically stated on the floor they would never accept the idea that marriage being between one man and one woman is even a valid matter of bound conscience. And the assembly voted to deny that concept is even a matter of bound conscience.   Bound conscience is, and has always been, a one way street by design.  Just another example of the bovine excrement that masquerades as enlightened christian thinking in the ELCA.   "Do as we say, not as we do!"
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: racin_jason on January 18, 2011, 03:51:40 PM
The article was lean on specifics, just quote is from a newsletter. I wonder how much more to the story there is to this from an ELCA point-of-view. The pastors of the churches where the oromo worshipped didn't have a problem with this? If so, then why didn't they resist? If not, then it seems they regarded the Oromo as little more than tenants.

The Biblical basis of bound conscience has been covered, but has it ever actually been attempted in any Christian community before?   
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2011, 04:06:37 PM
The article was lean on specifics, just quote is from a newsletter. I wonder how much more to the story there is to this from an ELCA point-of-view. The pastors of the churches where the oromo worshipped didn't have a problem with this? If so, then why didn't they resist? If not, then it seems they regarded the Oromo as little more than tenants.

The Biblical basis of bound conscience has been covered, but has it ever actually been attempted in any Christian community before?  

It stems from Paul's comments about eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. However, his comments suggest to me that he is talking about two different communities of faith: one that is willing to eat such meat because there are no such things as idols; and another than refuses to eat such meat (which was probably eaten in the pagan temples). I don't think that there is an indication that both groups were part of one congregation. However, if meat-eaters are with the others, they should refuse to eat meat out of respect for the others. If meat-abstainers are with the other, the others should respect their wishes and not force him to eat meat -- and the abstainers should not condemn those who are eating it.

Similar situations have happened to us with vegetarians. When going to their house, I don't expect them to cook meat just for us. We will eat what they have prepared. When they come to our house, we usually have a meat dish for those who eat it, and other dishes for those who don't. It is unlikely that we would invite back a vegetarian who spent the whole meal badgering us who are carnivores.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on January 18, 2011, 04:11:49 PM
"Shrimp" is also covering this story.

I will tell you this...  A couple of years ago (2008 to be exact), when the Episcopal Church (TEC) was fracturing, I was in a meeting of the Lutheran Ecumenical Representative's Network (LERN) and the subject of what ELCA congregations response was to be to any inquiries from dissident Anglican congregations who had left their Episcopalian buildings and were looking to rent, borrow, or share ELCA facilities.  We were told (and I mean told...as in commanded) that under no circumstance was an ELCA congregation to extend welcome or hospitality to a dissident Anglican group.  We were reminded that our full-communion agreement was with the Episcopal Church, and that if a group was at odds with the Episcopal Church that they were considered to be at odds with us.  A reference was made that we didn't want to encourage the Episcopalian's conflict because it might come back to haunt us some day.  The general mood of the other ecumenical officers present (some of whom had spoken glowingly of joint services with non-Christians (like Muslims)) was aggressive and there was verbal assent that "those Anglicans" should be left in the cold to figure their own situation out.

This is not hearsay.  I was present in this meeting and this is what was said.  

So my question is this: given that this was the expressed stance of the ELCA (I will spare the names but this direction was given by two people who (still) work at 8675 W. Higgins Road) to dissident Episcopalians, why is it a surprise that this would be the stance towards dissident Lutherans?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on January 18, 2011, 04:19:00 PM
The article was lean on specifics, just quote is from a newsletter. I wonder how much more to the story there is to this from an ELCA point-of-view. The pastors of the churches where the oromo worshipped didn't have a problem with this? If so, then why didn't they resist? If not, then it seems they regarded the Oromo as little more than tenants.

The Biblical basis of bound conscience has been covered, but has it ever actually been attempted in any Christian community before?  

It stems from Paul's comments about eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. However, his comments suggest to me that he is talking about two different communities of faith: one that is willing to eat such meat because there are no such things as idols; and another than refuses to eat such meat (which was probably eaten in the pagan temples). I don't think that there is an indication that both groups were part of one congregation. However, if meat-eaters are with the others, they should refuse to eat meat out of respect for the others. If meat-abstainers are with the other, the others should respect their wishes and not force him to eat meat -- and the abstainers should not condemn those who are eating it.

Similar situations have happened to us with vegetarians. When going to their house, I don't expect them to cook meat just for us. We will eat what they have prepared. When they come to our house, we usually have a meat dish for those who eat it, and other dishes for those who don't. It is unlikely that we would invite back a vegetarian who spent the whole meal badgering us who are carnivores.

Except, Brian, as I have said before...  If it was truly respecting the Pauline understanding (ie. the "strong" sacrificing their "freedom" to respect the conscience of the "weak,") the concept of "Bound Conscience" would require those who are "strong" and see "freedom" to bless same-sex unions and have non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy, to sacrifice their "freedom" so as to avoid offending and scandalizing "the weak" who are offended by such a thing. 

Instead it is completely the opposite.  The ELCA calls upon the "scandalized" to respect the conscience of those who see themselves as "free."  If this was applied to Paul, he would tell those eating the food sacrificed to idols to "go ahead" and those scandalized by the practice to "respect the conscience" of those eating the meat. 

Either (a) you do not care to actually read Paul, or (b) you do not care, once having read Paul, to follow Paul's rationale.  The ELCA's concept of "respecting bound conscience" (where everyone is simply supposed to "respect" everybody else's "conscience") simply cannot be supported by Paul.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 18, 2011, 04:26:00 PM
Well said, Jerry.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Chuck Sampson on January 18, 2011, 04:41:13 PM
Tim Christ comments: Charles, Your cynical snark and amazing ability to paint lily white the ELCA while castigating the motives of others notwithstanding, one of those congregations is local to my area and has long been paraded with pride in our local synod. Thus, an interesting development. A Chinese worshipping community in our area removed itself from the ELCA as a result of the decisions and an ELCA official asked them to repay monies (reported in Forum letter) a while back. We are in process of partnering with them as they will likely be applying to NALC or LCMC for membership. This information on the Oromo parish is prompting my further investigation and a known willingness on the part of the congregation I serve to extend an invitation to use our facilities if they would be suitable to the purposes of the Oromo congregation.

But then, you probably cheered when the Dodgers left Brooklyn, too.

He would have had Walter O'Malley been an ELCA leader . . . 8)
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 18, 2011, 04:48:48 PM
Which does cause me to ask, "Is the ELCA adequately sensitive to, and inclusive of, Irish people?"

 :D
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2011, 05:16:52 PM
Quote
It stems from Paul's comments about eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. However, his comments suggest to me that he is talking about two different communities of faith: one that is willing to eat such meat because there are no such things as idols; and another than refuses to eat such meat (which was probably eaten in the pagan temples). I don't think that there is an indication that both groups were part of one congregation. However, if meat-eaters are with the others, they should refuse to eat meat out of respect for the others. If meat-abstainers are with the other, the others should respect their wishes and not force him to eat meat -- and the abstainers should not condemn those who are eating it.

Similar situations have happened to us with vegetarians. When going to their house, I don't expect them to cook meat just for us. We will eat what they have prepared. When they come to our house, we usually have a meat dish for those who eat it, and other dishes for those who don't. It is unlikely that we would invite back a vegetarian who spent the whole meal badgering us who are carnivores.

Except, Brian, as I have said before...  If it was truly respecting the Pauline understanding (ie. the "strong" sacrificing their "freedom" to respect the conscience of the "weak,") the concept of "Bound Conscience" would require those who are "strong" and see "freedom" to bless same-sex unions and have non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy, to sacrifice their "freedom" so as to avoid offending and scandalizing "the weak" who are offended by such a thing.  

Instead it is completely the opposite.  The ELCA calls upon the "scandalized" to respect the conscience of those who see themselves as "free."  If this was applied to Paul, he would tell those eating the food sacrificed to idols to "go ahead" and those scandalized by the practice to "respect the conscience" of those eating the meat.

The ELCA refrained from saying who was "strong" and who was "weak," rather they stressed mutual love and respect. It is also not meant to be a policy that is used to attack others: "You have to respect me!" but one for self-examination: "How am I showing love for my neighbors, bearing their burdens, and respecting their bound consciences?" Such self-criticism has to happen on both sides.

Quote
Either (a) you do not care to actually read Paul, or (b) you do not care, once having read Paul, to follow Paul's rationale.  The ELCA's concept of "respecting bound conscience" (where everyone is simply supposed to "respect" everybody else's "conscience") simply cannot be supported by Paul.

So, Jesus' command to love our neighbors as our self -- cannot work in church. Paul's command to bear one another's burdens cannot work in church. I don't see any "strong" and "weak" language related to these commands which are also part of the resolution that includes respecting bound consciences.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 18, 2011, 05:30:45 PM
Which does cause me to ask, "Is the ELCA adequately sensitive to, and inclusive of, Irish people?"

 :D

They don't have a specific ministry that specifically reached out to Irish people and their families, if that's what you mean. That is, unless it's homosexual Irish people.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 18, 2011, 05:33:42 PM
But is there a specific ministry to the GLBT folks who trace their ancestry back to the Emerald Isle?

If not, somebody ought to protest.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 18, 2011, 05:38:15 PM
Actually, it seems to me that all comments made so far concerning applying 1 Corinthians and Paul's discussion of meat sacrificed to idols to the issue of ordained, non-celebate clergy has not examined 1 Corinthians 8:1-6 in this context.  The first thing that Paul does is establish that eating meat offered idols is in itself harmless (he knew nothing of cholesterol).  With that established, it then becomes a matter of dealing with it in a way that respects Christian liberty without damaging weak consciences.

In the current discussion within the ELCA, consensus has not been reached that this is a matter that is truly permitted by God as HSGT itself observed.  Applying the rest of Paul's discussion here become quite problematic in light of that lack of consensus.

Dan
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 18, 2011, 05:39:10 PM
But is there a specific ministry to the GLBT folks who trace their ancestry back to the Emerald Isle?

If not, somebody ought to protest.


There was that group that sued to be included in New York's St. Patrick Days parade.

Dan
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: LutherMan on January 18, 2011, 05:42:26 PM
Bad move, allowing the Irish into the Lutheran Church. 
Now they will be insisting on corned beef with our German cabbage.
/
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Pilgrim on January 18, 2011, 05:43:49 PM
Actually, it seems to me that all comments made so far concerning applying 1 Corinthians and Paul's discussion of meat sacrificed to idols to the issue of ordained, non-celebate clergy has not examined 1 Corinthians 8:1-6 in this context.  The first thing that Paul does is establish that eating meat offered idols is in itself harmless (he knew nothing of cholesterol).  With that established, it then becomes a matter of dealing with it in a way that respects Christian liberty without damaging weak consciences.
In the current discussion within the ELCA, consensus has not been reached that this is a matter that is truly permitted by God as HSGT itself observed.  Applying the rest of Paul's discussion here become quite problematic in light of that lack of consensus.
Dan

Tim notes: Good point Dan. Succinct, clear and accurate.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 18, 2011, 05:57:23 PM
So, Jesus' command to love our neighbors as our self -- cannot work in church. Paul's command to bear one another's burdens cannot work in church. I don't see any "strong" and "weak" language related to these commands which are also part of the resolution that includes respecting bound consciences.

Spark plugs are important for a well-functioning car engine. Unfortunately, we do not usually think about how important it is to change them periodically until the engine begins to misfire, lose power and have problems on start. But you do not have to wait for the mechanic to tell you or do it for you. Follow a few steps to inject new life into your engine in a matter of minutes.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on January 18, 2011, 06:01:40 PM
Quite right, Pastor Fienen.  

This was discussed some time back in "Bound Conscience Redux - JLE".  In this thread, there is reference to an article written by John R. Stumme, the former Director for Studies of the ELCA's Church in Society program unit, in which he simply devastates the entire concept of "bound conscience" as it is used in the Sexuality Statement.  One paragraph in particular is relevant to the discussion here:

"17] In elevating its issue to one of "bound conscience" and yet downplaying it by linking it to the "less adamant" attitude, the social statement seems caught in a contradiction. It cannot have it both ways: If the question of same-gender sexual behavior is a matter of indifference, it does not bind the conscience; if it binds the conscience, it is not a matter of indifference."

As you noted, Pastor Fienen, the social statement never makes the case that same-sex sexual activity is a matter of indifference - contra the example of Paul's treatment of eating meat offered to idols!  Indeed the question of whether it is a matter of indifference is precisely the question at issue.  Stumme's article goes on to show how the entire concept as presented in the social statement is fatally flawed.  The entire article can be read at:

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Journal-of-Lutheran-Ethics/Issues/Novermber-2010/Conscience-bound-Beliefs-Rule-and-the-Conscience-bound-belief-Rule.aspx

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 18, 2011, 06:43:37 PM
This brief comment from a biased source provides just what people here like to have, a reason to complain, whine, condemn, and cry "poor us!" for the thousand and tenth time.
Common sense would suggest that there is more to the story than CORE can or would report.
My response is just as reasonable as any other speculation here.
As for giving "cover" to dissident Episcopalians, why should we do anything which suggested that we were taking side in their internal dispute?
But have at it. Complain. Whine. Condemn. Cry "poor us"! And Paul T. McCain, Lutherman, and that cohort can wring their hands and snicker at what they see happening and pump out pious ejaculations that will make them feel good, but simply add to the pain of others.
Over on that other thread, it was decided not to discuss the travails of one congregation where maybe the pastor was forced to retire by synod officials or maybe he wasn't forced to retire and maybe there were screwball things going on in his congregations or maybe not, and the fact that this pastor was a known and loud-speaking dissident about the situation in the LCMS was a factor, but - hey! - let's lay off.
Maybe that's what should happen here. But I bet it won't.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on January 18, 2011, 07:34:50 PM
Quite right, Pastor Fienen. 

This was discussed some time back in "Bound Conscience Redux - JLE".  In this thread, there is reference to an article written by John R. Stumme, the former Director for Studies of the ELCA's Church in Society program unit, in which he simply devastates the entire concept of "bound conscience" as it is used in the Sexuality Statement.  One paragraph in particular is relevant to the discussion here:

"17] In elevating its issue to one of "bound conscience" and yet downplaying it by linking it to the "less adamant" attitude, the social statement seems caught in a contradiction. It cannot have it both ways: If the question of same-gender sexual behavior is a matter of indifference, it does not bind the conscience; if it binds the conscience, it is not a matter of indifference."

As you noted, Pastor Fienen, the social statement never makes the case that same-sex sexual activity is a matter of indifference - contra the example of Paul's treatment of eating meat offered to idols!  Indeed the question of whether it is a matter of indifference is precisely the question at issue.  Stumme's article goes on to show how the entire concept as presented in the social statement is fatally flawed.  The entire article can be read at:

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Journal-of-Lutheran-Ethics/Issues/Novermber-2010/Conscience-bound-Beliefs-Rule-and-the-Conscience-bound-belief-Rule.aspx

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 18, 2011, 07:49:24 PM
I find it fascinating how often you use sexual terminology in your rants, Charles. 
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Virgil on January 18, 2011, 07:51:41 PM
I find it fascinating how often you use sexual terminology in your rants, Charles. 

yeah, i thought of that too. would said ejaculations be in the bonds of matrimony?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2011, 07:54:40 PM
In the current discussion within the ELCA, consensus has not been reached that this is a matter that is truly permitted by God as HSGT itself observed.  Applying the rest of Paul's discussion here become quite problematic in light of that lack of consensus.

The fact that we are unable to reach consensus is precisely why they adopted the love neighbor, bear burden, respect conscience position. We cannot say, "We are sure that this is the biblical teaching on this."

In contrast to Paul's position, the apostolic council in Jerusalem was clear that Gentiles were not to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols. So, we could say that the Bible presents a picture of what is true in the ELCA -- a group is convinced that a particular behavior is wrong (eating meat sacrificed to idols / homosexual relationships); and another group is convinced that there is nothing wrong with them.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Scotty8284 on January 18, 2011, 07:55:24 PM
.....
I will tell you this...  A couple of years ago (2008 to be exact), when the Episcopal Church (TEC) was fracturing, I was in a meeting of the Lutheran Ecumenical Representative's Network (LERN) and the subject of what ELCA congregations response was to be to any inquiries from dissident Anglican congregations who had left their Episcopalian buildings and were looking to rent, borrow, or share ELCA facilities.  We were told (and I mean told...as in commanded) that under no circumstance was an ELCA congregation to extend welcome or hospitality to a dissident Anglican group.  We were reminded that our full-communion agreement was with the Episcopal Church, and that if a group was at odds with the Episcopal Church that they were considered to be at odds with us....

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


In reality, this was just an instance of bullying with no real force behind the threat,  I don't believe any authority beyond the Church Council or a Congregational Meeting can dictate the usage of the buildings in that congregation, as long as it conforms to the religious corporation laws of the particular state.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 18, 2011, 08:10:32 PM
In the current discussion within the ELCA, consensus has not been reached that this is a matter that is truly permitted by God as HSGT itself observed.  Applying the rest of Paul's discussion here become quite problematic in light of that lack of consensus.

The fact that we are unable to reach consensus is precisely why they adopted the love neighbor, bear burden, respect conscience position. We cannot say, "We are sure that this is the biblical teaching on this."

In contrast to Paul's position, the apostolic council in Jerusalem was clear that Gentiles were not to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols. So, we could say that the Bible presents a picture of what is true in the ELCA -- a group is convinced that a particular behavior is wrong (eating meat sacrificed to idols / homosexual relationships); and another group is convinced that there is nothing wrong with them.
Be that as it may.  My point was limited.  One element of the situation that Paul dealt with in 1 Cor. 8 does not apply to this discussion so applying what Paul said is much more difficult.  It would also indicate who should be considered the "weaker brother."

The injunction to love one another and bear each other's burdens is independent of the 1 Cor. section.

Dan
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: LutherMan on January 18, 2011, 08:12:44 PM
I find it fascinating how often you use sexual terminology in your rants, Charles. 

yeah, i thought of that too. would said ejaculations be in the bonds of matrimony?
He wouldn't like my ejaculations.
Or, Maybe...?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 18, 2011, 09:30:15 PM
Rev-Coach writes:
I find it fascinating how often you use sexual terminology in your rants, Charles. 

I comment:
Say what? You'll have to provide some evidence as to "often," or I worry about how you are reading otherwise innocuous words. And I do not rant.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 18, 2011, 09:58:31 PM
Which does cause me to ask, "Is the ELCA adequately sensitive to, and inclusive of, Irish people?"

 :D

Considering that they are usually lumped in with "Anglos"...   ;)

Heddwch, Steffan+ ab Siarl ab Siarl
(Welsh for "Peace, Steven+ son of Charles son of Charles")
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Virgil on January 18, 2011, 10:01:39 PM
Which does cause me to ask, "Is the ELCA adequately sensitive to, and inclusive of, Irish people?"

 :D

Speaking as an Irishman meself, would I want the ELCA to be sensitive to the Irish people? I'd get more spiritual sustenance from a pint o plain.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 18, 2011, 10:02:32 PM
Now there's a good point there.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on January 19, 2011, 12:28:26 AM
This brief comment from a biased source provides just what people here like to have, a reason to complain, whine, condemn, and cry "poor us!" for the thousand and tenth time.
Common sense would suggest that there is more to the story than CORE can or would report.
My response is just as reasonable as any other speculation here.  

Actually, the only person I hear finding reason "to complain, whine, condemn, and cry 'poor us!' for the thousand and tenth time" is you, Pastor Austin.  

So you judge the Lutheran CORE blog as being biased.  Compared to what -- that bastion of neutrality, The Lutheran ?

One other question:  Do you know anything about the Oromo diaspora in this country, of their persecution and suffering that caused many of them to emigrate to the United States, and of the vibrant ministries being done by their congregations?  If (and it is a big "if") Lutheran CORE is spinning this story and is abusing the honor and integrity of the Oromo Lutherans to serve some nefarious, neurotic need to unjustly villify the ELCA, then shame on Lutheran CORE.  

But if the case is basically as it is being reported on the Lutheran CORE blog, then shame on us in the ELCA.  It destroys more than our "pretense" to be respecting those who don't hold to position 4 in the Social Statement on human sexuality.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 19, 2011, 02:44:20 AM
I guess the moderators must not have liked my listing of the definition of "ejaculation" from Webster's, since it disappeared almost immediately.  Either way, Charles, go back and reread your hundreds of posts, and you will indeed find the occasional "sexual" term used in your rants against those who hold differing views from you.  It was the one thing I noticed most when reading your replies.

And considering your use of the term AND its definition, I would definitely conclude your statement as a "rant."
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 19, 2011, 02:46:41 AM
But have at it. Complain. Whine. Condemn. Cry "poor us"! And Paul T. McCain, Lutherman, and that cohort can wring their hands and snicker at what they see happening and pump out pious ejaculations that will make them feel good, but simply add to the pain of others.

And for what its worth, I find this comment absolutely and utterly tasteless and reprehensible.  Quite frankly, you should be ashamed for it.  But I'm guessing you're not.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2011, 06:42:25 AM
Pastor Wolf writes:
So you judge the Lutheran CORE blog as being biased.  Compared to what -- that bastion of neutrality, The Lutheran ?
I comment:
The Lutheran is not neutral; it's mission is to further the mission of the ELCA.  CORE's mission is to either change, oppose or otherwise undercut the mission of the ELCA.

CoachRev writes:
Charles, go back and reread your hundreds of posts, and you will indeed find the occasional "sexual" term used in your rants against those who hold differing views from you.  It was the one thing I noticed most when reading your replies.

I comment:
First of all, we are discussing (quite often) sex.
I know what I have written; and I honestly asked you to give me examples of how I "often use sexual terminology" presumably in some dark way. You failed to do so. Vague accusations do not convince me.
And since you have only been in this forum for less than four months, I wonder if you have really read back several years through my "hundreds of posts" for this bit of cyber-psychology.  I just looked back through my postings since early December and - other than words necessary to discuss the topic - did not find any "sexual terminology". Just what are you seeing? And why?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Papster on January 19, 2011, 07:13:52 AM
Pastor Wolf writes:
So you judge the Lutheran CORE blog as being biased.  Compared to what -- that bastion of neutrality, The Lutheran ?
I comment:
The Lutheran is not neutral; it's mission is to further the mission of the ELCA.  CORE's mission is to either change, oppose or otherwise undercut the mission of the ELCA.


I'm glad that you recognize that The Lutheran magazine is not objective and unbiased. I would assume that as a journalist your prime directive in writing material for publication is to be objective and unbiased. Where for heaven's sake did you ever see a statement about CORE's mission that said that its purpose was to either change, oppose or otherwise undercut the mission of the ELCA? Read its "Common Confession" or its current informational brochure on the website.

To cut to the chase though, I was appalled to read the start of this topic last night. Like I am on this forum, as a retired ELCA pastor, since the '09 CWA I have been more of a "lurker" than a participant, other than when I was serving an interim assignment. I have been watching how things are unfolding in the ELCA. The more I see, the more I am ashamed of my home church body, that I don't want to leave. This is perhaps the most disturbing report that I have seen to date.  
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on January 19, 2011, 08:13:22 AM
Yes, Erma, I too await the dust to settle a bit and hear of this matter as clearly as possible.  My goodness, if the facts are that the Oromo churches were pushed out with such bare stupidity (doesn't the ELCA or someone even have some PR-sense that knows common sense and how things will be read?)... then it is a shameful expulsion if in nothing else-- its methodology.  If the quotation that uses the word "assume" as in assuming the congregation's position is the same as Pr. Buba's and therefore "no reason to keep you in our buidlings," who wrote such stuff?    So far the info reads wildly.   That is the way new breaks, Charles would rightly tell us.   I spent a bit of time with one of the Oromo pastors at the first Columbus gathering (I knew nothing of their history and indeed of the ELCA's mission among these people newer to our country)   and was humbled and deeply impressed with his faith and mission for Christ.    Harvey S. Mozolak

 If (and it is a big "if") Lutheran CORE is spinning this story and is abusing the honor and integrity of the Oromo Lutherans to serve some nefarious, neurotic need to unjustly villify the ELCA, then shame on Lutheran CORE.  
But if the case is basically as it is being reported on the Lutheran CORE blog, then shame on us in the ELCA.  It destroys more than our "pretense" to be respecting those who don't hold to position 4 in the Social Statement on human sexuality.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 19, 2011, 08:58:12 AM
I'm not even going to go there Charles.  But in less than 30 seconds, I recalled this one:

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3540.msg194707#msg194707

Give me a break.  They are there, whether you want to demand proof or not.  Again, I find such descriptors reprehensible and distasteful.  There is nothing charming about them, especially in your condescending "I-who-have-been-online-here-far-more-than-the-4-months-you-have" attitude.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2011, 09:07:43 AM
One reference in one context, RevCoach, is hardly "often." So your allegation remains unsupported. Many people are not outraged by a civilized reference to a male body part. Had I gone for outrage, I might have chosen a different word.
And there is nothing condescending about noting how long you have been on line here. It is simply a statement of fact. It doesn't mean your postings are of any less value than anyone else's comments.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2011, 09:16:04 AM
Pastor Orovitz writes:
I'm glad that you recognize that The Lutheran magazine is not objective and unbiased. I would assume that as a journalist your prime directive in writing material for publication is to be objective and unbiased.

I comment:
Maybe, maybe not. It depends upon the kind of writing, the publication involved and whatever knowledge or expertise I might have on the subject. I write op-ed articles that make no pretense of being "unbiased." I write some news stories that are intended to be simply factual. I write some magazine articles that are "biased" towards the editorial policies of those magazines or "biased" towards what I know about the subject.
Life is complicated. Messy sometimes.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on January 19, 2011, 10:17:02 AM
Pastor Wolf writes:
So you judge the Lutheran CORE blog as being biased.  Compared to what -- that bastion of neutrality, The Lutheran ?
I comment:
The Lutheran is not neutral; it's mission is to further the mission of the ELCA.  CORE's mission is to either change, oppose or otherwise undercut the mission of the ELCA.

Now, Eighth Commandment, please, Pastor Austin.

Of course The Lutheran isn't neutral; neither are the public relations releases by the ELCA News service.  They have their own well-defined slant, and are entitled to them so long as the facts remain accurate (which I judge that they are and have been, even if they both do occasionally bury the lead and indulge in  "glittering generalities" and Pollyanna-ish over-optomistic reading of events in ELCA-World.)

Likewise, the Lutheran CORE newsblog and newsletter is not neutral.  Like the ELCA's house organs, the CORE website's mission is to further the mission of Lutheran CORE, which is to be a pan-Lutheran movement of traditional orthodox Lutherans both within and outside of the ELCA.  And yes, Lutheran CORE is critical of the ELCA.  But the last time I checked, that had not been ruled to be against the Constitution and Bylaws, and indeed is necessary if one is to carry out two other imperatives of the ELCA, that of "speaking truth to power" and being a "Bold Woman acting Boldly" (thank you for that contribution, Women of the ELCA!).   
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Pilgrim on January 19, 2011, 10:23:24 AM
Life is complicated. Messy sometimes.

Tim notes, having read through this thread in which your presence is frequent: True statement Charles. Twere that you would grant such awareness and expertise in this analysis to others that you often claim for yourself. Gee, could that be a facet of "respecting bound consciences"?

Now ducking based on the historical evidence that defensive self-justification may be forthcoming.  ;)

And for others, any other information regarding the Oromo congregations situation? I've been seeking to initiate some contact locally.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on January 19, 2011, 10:25:46 AM
The CORE item is based upon quotations from the January newsletter of the United Oromo Evangelical Churches.  Is there any way to access this newsletter online?  I have tried the Oromo website and have not been able to find it.  According to the report, it is not CORE's "biased" language that is used to describe the expulsion of the Oromo congregations, it is quoted from the Oromo newsletter.  Since they are the direct parties involved, their description carries a good deal of weight.  Pastor Austin's complaints have more of a "kill the messenger" ring to them.

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 19, 2011, 10:29:53 AM
It appears we have many instances where "bound conscience" seems not to be respected, recognized, honored, or even tolerated.

So, in what precisely does respecting "bound conscience" consist?

As the evidence continues to mount, it appears more and more that those who are saying that the notion of "bound conscience" was simply/only a sop tossed to the uncommitted on the homosexual issues in Aug. 2009, as a way to appease, or otherwise manipulate them into voting for the changes, are correct.

I'm also hearing a rather large and ever growing consensus from ELCA folks that "bound conscience" is simply a fraud, or as Hermann Sasse once described such a thing, "the pious lie."

Here is that great editorial by Hermann Sasse:

The Lie in the Church

The Lie is the death of man, his temporal and his eternal death. The lie kills nations. Through their lies, the most powerful empires of the world were laid waste. History knows of no more unsettling spectacle than the judgment, which comes to pass when men of an advanced culture have rejected the truth and are now swallowed up in a sea of lies. As was the case with fading pagan antiquity, where this happened, religion and law, poetry and philosophy, life in marriage and family, in the state and society, in short, one sphere of life after another, fell sacrifice to the power and curse of the lie. Where man can no longer bear the truth, he cannot live without the lie. Where man, even when dying, lies to him and others, the terrible dissolution of his culture is held up as a glorious ascent, and decline is viewed as an advance, the like of which has never been experienced.

If, according to the irrefutable testimony of history, this is the judgment of God on the lie, should God then not also punish the lie in His church? Truly He who is the Judge of all the world will do this! For the power of the lie extend even into the church. Since the days of the apostles there has been lying in the church as in the rest of the world. For people in the church too are and remain poor sinners until their death.

Lies have been told in the church because of cowardice and weakness, vanity and avarice. But beyond all these there is in the church one particularly sweet piece of fruit on the broad canopy of the tree of lies. This is the pious lie. It is the hypocrisy by which a man lies to others, and the intellectual self-deception by which he lies to himself that he believes. “In our time too the proclamation of the Word in assumed orthodoxy is unfortunately not an infrequent occurrence of this lie.” Thus the greatest ethicist of our church once spoke, warning theologians of his and our time about the most grievous sin, the lie to God.

The most fearful thing about the pious lie is that it will lie not only to men, but also to God in prayer, in confession, in the Holy Supper, in the sermon, and in theology. The pious lie always has the propensity to become the edifying lie. It was once expelled from the church when it existed in the form of the legends of saints and the fraud of relics. Then in full view of pious eyes, it returned in a new form, such as in the Luther legends, or in pietistic times in the form of almanacs and tracts containing the accounts of miraculous responses to prayer and equally miraculous conversions, which either never happened, or in which the kernel of historical truth was no longer discernible. This “edifying” lie even forces it way into the sphere of the church, which teaches revealed truths of revelation. After sufficient preparation it can obtain the status of “doctrinal maturity.” Thus it becomes the dogmatic lie.

We ask our Roman Catholic fellow Christians to believe that it is very difficult for us to use the word “lie” here, and we do not do so to offend them. We know that they affirm a dogma such as the Immaculate Conception of Mary out of deep conviction of faith, and they will accept the yet-awaited extension of Marian dogma from the hand of the ecclesiastical teaching office with the same sincerity. But this changes nothing of the fact that in these dogmas false doctrines are established, and the Roman Church thus finds itself in a guilt-laden error.

This is the biblical, theological expression of the lie; though guilty of falsehood, it belies the truth and proclaims that which is not truth, hiding this guilt before God behind human bona fides. Here the theological expression of the lie is distinguished from that of philosophical ethics. Theology knows that the most dangerous lies are those, which are proclaimed with what the world calls a “good conscience.”

When we speak of the dogmatic lie, we do not, however, have in mind only the celebrated dogmas pronounced by the Catholic Church, though which theories are elevated to the level of ecclesiastical dogma, and have no basis in Holy Scripture, and are not true. We include here also precisely the dogmas with which modern Protestantism has been at pains to correct, to complete, or to replace the doctrine of the evangelical church, such as the false doctrine of Pietism concerning the church, or of rationalism concerning the person of Jesus Christ.

What a fearful thought it is indeed that things are taught in the church which are not true, under the guise of the eternal truth entrusted to her. No atheism, no Bolshevism can do as much damage and destruction as the pious lie, the lie in the church. In this lie the power of one is made evident whom Christ Himself calls a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). And indeed, this is no longer surprising. How can he who in his very essence is a liar passively look upon the fact that in this world of untruthfulness and error, upon the vacillating core of a world of relativity, there could be the “household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15). But since he cannot storm this bulwark in open battle, which God Himself has founded as the columnar et fermamentum veritatis, he slinks in under the mask of piety and occupies a position from which to make his conquest. And he attempts to topple the pillar of truth through the power of the pious lie.

But does anyone think that Christ who is the Truth personified would allow the lie to come into his church with impunity? No, the judgment which He who is Holy and True will render upon all lies of the world begins, as with every judgment, in the house of God.

Among the lies which destroy the church there is one we have not yet mentioned. Alongside the pious and dogmatic lies, there stands an especially dangerous form of lie which can be called the institutional lie. By this we mean a lie which works itself out in the institutions of the church, in her government and her organization. It is so dangerous because it legalizes the other lies in the church and makes them impossible to remove. Such a lie exists, for instance, where the governance of the church grants to those who confess and those who deny the Trinity and the two natures in Christ the same rights in the Church; where the preaching of the Gospel according to the understanding of the Reformation enjoys the same right as the proclamation of a dogma-less Enlightenment religion, so long as the latter appeals only to the Bible…

In place of the objective message of that which God has done in Christ, subjective religious feelings and convictions soon form the essential content of the sermon. Thus the church sinks to the level of an institution for the satisfaction of the manifold religious needs of men and ceases to be the church of Christ, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

It is self-evident that this falling away of the church from the Gospel can also happen where its organization still appears to be in order… But the moment the falling away of the church from the Gospel finds its expression also in church law, and thus is legitimized, the entire awfulness of what we have called the institutional lie appears. For this lie makes the return to the truth as good as impossible.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 19, 2011, 10:35:40 AM
Pastor Wolf writes:
So you judge the Lutheran CORE blog as being biased.  Compared to what -- that bastion of neutrality, The Lutheran ?
I comment:
The Lutheran is not neutral; it's mission is to further the mission of the ELCA.  CORE's mission is to either change, oppose or otherwise undercut the mission of the ELCA.

And that is about the most unbiased description of Lutheran CORE that anyone could imagine!  ::) :P
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: shrimp on January 19, 2011, 11:39:53 AM
CORE's mission is to either change, oppose or otherwise undercut the mission of the ELCA.


Shrimp here.

We should think, Pastor Austin, that Lutheran CORE has made it quite clear that their issues are not with the mission of the ELCA, but with that church's misguided leadership, who are busy going about missions other than the ones described in her constituting documents.

That said, we rather like your use of language, though the younger generations have generally been introduced to such words in the context of sexual imagery rather than the daily use of the King's English we were taught in our youths.

Shrimp out.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: pr dtp on January 19, 2011, 11:48:56 AM
It is interesting to discover how easily it is for Austin to get you guys to chase red herrings.

The attention of several on this thread is not about the issue of the Oromo, but on his rants and raves, his denial of reality, his use of sexual terminology, etc.  These people have lost the place where God put his name for them, and need a new home for the mass, and where God will gather them.  We also need to be aware that they are probably not the only ones, and that any of us could get a knock on our door, or a call on the phone. 

How can we be available for such?  What are the challenges. What does it mean to take them in.  If your LCMS - that presents one set of struggles.  If you are another ELCA church, another.  If one of the new groups... your dealing with your own grief... now you will have more...

But the major issue is hidden and shows up once every 4-5 posts, from a man who cares less about those who leave and are forced out, but loves to distract from the real issue. 

Ignore him.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Scott6 on January 19, 2011, 12:51:17 PM
Perhaps someone could forward this situation to the DP's in Texas and Colorado (maybe someone from within those districts who may [or may not] be more familiar with their workings)?  It may be possible for them to help the Oromo congregations find places to worship.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2011, 01:27:16 PM
Shrimp writes:
We should think, Pastor Austin, that Lutheran CORE has made it quite clear that their issues are not with the mission of the ELCA, but with that church's misguided leadership, who are busy going about missions other than the ones described in her constituting documents.

I comment:
But insofar as CORE encourages withholding or redirecting mission support, encourages pastors and congregations leaving the ELCA, and refuses to abide by the operating policies of the ELCA, they are going against the mission.
But we digress.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 19, 2011, 01:38:03 PM
Shrimp writes:
We should think, Pastor Austin, that Lutheran CORE has made it quite clear that their issues are not with the mission of the ELCA, but with that church's misguided leadership, who are busy going about missions other than the ones described in her constituting documents.

I comment:
But insofar as CORE encourages withholding or redirecting mission support, encourages pastors and congregations leaving the ELCA, and refuses to abide by the operating policies of the ELCA, they are going against the mission.
But we digress.

Actually, your comment is quite on-topic, and not a digression at all. It speaks to the issue of how the ELCA regards those whose bound consciences are not in perfect sync with the leadership's view.

Would you please back up your accusation that CORE, as an institution, officially engages in the activities that you accuse it of? Or, if you can't back up your claims, could you please retract them?

In other words, put up or shut up.

So to speak.  ::)
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: racin_jason on January 19, 2011, 01:42:23 PM
Having spent a little time with the Oromo congregation in our city, this story is even more jarring than meets the eye. Oromo Christians have a strong sense of The Church. The connection, the needs, the opportunities of the greater church matter deeply to them.

I can only imagine what it was like for them to be told by the higher-ups to pack their things and leave. Surely they knew of the ELCA's problems, but it must have been a difficult shift from being a treasured ethnic ministry in our diverse and inclusive church to being told to pack their bags.  

Of course we only know what's been reported. Again, perhaps there's more to the story. But I'm a little surprised no further details have been contributed to this thread.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on January 19, 2011, 01:52:38 PM
Having spent a little time with the Oromo congregation in our city, this story is even more jarring than meets the eye. Oromo Christians have a strong sense of The Church. The connection, the needs, the opportunities of the greater church matter deeply to them.

I can only imagine what it was like for them to be told by the higher-ups to pack their things and leave. Surely they knew of the ELCA's problems, but it must have been a difficult shift from being a treasured ethnic ministry in our diverse and inclusive church to being told to pack their bags.  

Of course we only know what's been reported. Again, perhaps there's more to the story. But I'm a little surprised no further details have been contributed to this thread.


I have been told that the January newsletter (the one quoted from in the Lutheran CORE blog report) will be made available through the website of the United Oromo Evangelical Church later this day.  I for one am looking forward to reading their own report on this matter.  And I agree, I too have been impressed with their emphasis on being connected to the wider church, including though not limited to their connection with the ELCA. (Their website is http://www.uoec.org/ )

My prayers are for them, the two congregations reported as being told to leave, and for our own ELCA.  And probably a bit of fasting is appropriate as well, under these troubling circumstances.

Lord, have mercy.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: hillwilliam on January 19, 2011, 02:54:42 PM
It is possible that the Oromo Churches that were kicked out of their buildings were ELCA financed. In which case, it was a money issue.

If that is the case then may I point those who are concerned, as I am, to Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries fund. Please make checks out to Lutheran CORE, put Ethnic Ministries in the note line and send it to:

Lutheran CORE
2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220
New Brighton, MN 55112

Let's do something about it rather than just talk about it.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: shrimp on January 19, 2011, 03:31:55 PM

But we digress.

Indeed, Pastor Austin, Lutheran CORE's calls for the ELCA to return to her mission of proclaiming the Gospel have been disregarded in favor of the leadership's long-term digression to "full inclusion" of "sexual minorities."

Peace, love, and Bobby Sherman (sorry, make that Elton John), Shrimp
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: amos on January 19, 2011, 03:32:47 PM
"But insofar as CORE encourages withholding or redirecting mission support, encourages pastors and congregations leaving the ELCA, and refuses to abide by the operating policies of the ELCA, they are going against the mission."

Perhaps the key here is not "withholding" but "redirecting."   Charles claims that is going against the mission.  Who's mission?  That of the ELCA or the mission of the one holy, catholic and apostolic church.   Actual missions and missionaries in the field have been drastically cut buy the ELCA --- for several years --- in favor of the political social justice agenda.  Talk to some of the Lutheran ministers actually working in the field and overseas. Listen to them as they tell you about the support and help they get from the ELCA division on missions.

Jesus spoke of feeding and clothing the poor, I do not recall reading of Jesus talking about influence political policy which includes a whole gamut of political and ideological special interest.   In many ways "redirecting mission support " may in fact be trying to get back to actually doing what Jesus commanded.  While this may not "fit" with Mr Austin's John Eck approach to defending the ELCA, the ELCA is not the "sole entity" in the one holy and apostolic church active in this country. Many pastors and congregations in the ECLA are beginning (slowly) to question if "at least some elements" of the ELCA are part of it at all.  

I for one am sick and tired of hearing all the vitriolic verbiage about one's stand on either side of the homosexual issue while at the same time ignoring a whole host of other issues that are much more important like the authority of scripture, universal salvation, salvation by grace, the theology of the cross, instead of the more common ELCA focus on "free sex, save the whales, plant a tree and send in money.  

 It is quite possible and even quite possible the Lutheran groups being discussed above were more about the first and less about the second and therefore no longer wanted.  

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2011, 04:47:55 PM
Someone writes:
Jesus spoke of feeding and clothing the poor, I do not recall reading of Jesus talking about influence political policy which includes a whole gamete of political and ideological special interest.
I comment:
Gamete? Huh? I miss the point here.

Someone writes:
In many ways "redirecting mission support " may in fact be trying to get back to actually doing what Jesus commanded.  While this may not "fit" with Mr Austin's John Eck approach to defending the ELCA, the ELCA is not the "sole entity" in the one holy and apostolic church active in this country. Many pastors and congregations in the ECLA are beginning (slowly) to question if "at least some elements" of the ELCA are part of it at all. 
I comment:
Different question. See below.

Someone writes:
I for one am sick and tired of hearing all the vitriolic verbiage about one's stand on either side of the homosexual issue while at the same time ignoring a whole host of other issues that are much more important like the authority of scripture, universal salvation, salvation by grace, the theology of the cross, instead of the more common ELCA focus on "free sex, save the whales, plant a tree and send in money. 
I comment:
Please show me where there is an ELCA focus on "free sex". Do that, please.

Someone writes:
It is quite possible and even quite possible the Lutheran groups being discussed above were more about the first and less about the second and therefore no longer wanted. 
I comment:
Been down this road before but...
It is a no-brainer. We are obligated to provide mission support to our synods and the ELCA. If we do not do that, we are not fulfilling our agreed-upon obligations.
Supposing on April 15, I were to say to the U.S. government: "Oh, I'm sending my money to projects quite consistent with the aims of our government, but not to you, dear IRS. I think the 'official' government spends too much on guns, and I think I can decide better how to fund our democracy. So I'll not be sending you my taxes this year. But don't worry, I'm supporting you anyway."
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 19, 2011, 04:54:20 PM
"But insofar as CORE encourages withholding or redirecting mission support, encourages pastors and congregations leaving the ELCA, and refuses to abide by the operating policies of the ELCA, they are going against the mission."

Perhaps the key here is not "withholding" but "redirecting."   Charles claims that is going against the mission.  Who's mission?  That of the ELCA or the mission of the one holy, catholic and apostolic church.   Actual missions and missionaries in the field have been drastically cut buy the ELCA --- for several years --- in favor of the political social justice agenda.  Talk to some of the Lutheran ministers actually working in the field and overseas. Listen to them as they tell you about the support and help they get from the ELCA division on missions.

Jesus spoke of feeding and clothing the poor, I do not recall reading of Jesus talking about influence political policy which includes a whole gamete of political and ideological special interest.   In many ways "redirecting mission support " may in fact be trying to get back to actually doing what Jesus commanded.  While this may not "fit" with Mr Austin's John Eck approach to defending the ELCA, the ELCA is not the "sole entity" in the one holy and apostolic church active in this country. Many pastors and congregations in the ECLA are beginning (slowly) to question if "at least some elements" of the ELCA are part of it at all.  

I for one am sick and tired of hearing all the vitriolic verbiage about one's stand on either side of the homosexual issue while at the same time ignoring a whole host of other issues that are much more important like the authority of scripture, universal salvation, salvation by grace, the theology of the cross, instead of the more common ELCA focus on "free sex, save the whales, plant a tree and send in money.  

 It is quite possible and even quite possible the Lutheran groups being discussed above were more about the first and less about the second and therefore no longer wanted.  



Well said, Amos. Thanks for your comments.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 19, 2011, 05:13:04 PM
Someone writes:
I for one am sick and tired of hearing all the vitriolic verbiage about one's stand on either side of the homosexual issue while at the same time ignoring a whole host of other issues that are much more important like the authority of scripture, universal salvation, salvation by grace, the theology of the cross, instead of the more common ELCA focus on "free sex, save the whales, plant a tree and send in money. 
I comment:
Please show me where there is an ELCA focus on "free sex". Do that, please.

When you show everyone where CORE did what you accuse it of doing, then you'll be in a moral position to demand proof from others.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 19, 2011, 05:27:45 PM
Now George, you know all too well that Charles is all about demanding proof from others, and even upon receipt of said proof, still in denial.  Proof from him...  Buh?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Dave Benke on January 19, 2011, 05:56:13 PM
Regarding the topic of redirecting mission support - this has been going on for decades in ways other than overt protest.  When we ask parishes why they have not increased their Atlantic District mission support (a tithe of which goes up the ladder to the national church), the response is often "Oh, we've increased our support for work outside the parish substantially - but we send X% to missionary Carl, X% to the Lutheran Bible Translators, X% to a woman who went to church here years ago and is now an au pair in Sweden, X% to Orphan Grain Train, X% to The Hour of Power, and we still send you $200 per year."  Thanks.  That's $20 for LCMS Inc.  Your mission dollars at work. 

The Big Boys, the parishes with real numbers in members and bucks, just have their own mission teams in various countries, with or often without the rest of the denomination, coordinating as best they can. 

Anyway, the personalization the intensive hits on local congregations to do their own direct support have already redirected a ton of mission dollars away from whoever's bureaucracy, no matter what pure doctrine or pure hocum they're producing.  And those bucks are not returning to the 100% level. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: hillwilliam on January 19, 2011, 06:08:38 PM

But we digress.

Indeed, Pastor Austin, Lutheran CORE's calls for the ELCA to return to her mission of proclaiming the Gospel have been disregarded in favor of the leadership's long-term digression to "full inclusion" of "sexual minorities."

Peace, love, and Bobby Sherman (sorry, make that Elton John), Shrimp

To see who Lutheran CORE recommends that we support and redirect our benevolence to go to:

http://www.lutherancore.org/menu_call_pages/missions.shtml

and

http://www.lutherancore.org/menu_call_pages/supporters.shtml

The 6,000 member World Mission Prayer League alone has more evangelizing missionaries than the 5 million member ELCA. Those actually doing the mission that Jesus gave us deserves our support.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: amos on January 19, 2011, 06:09:48 PM
You are right Charles it was a typo, however the "sex call" of the political and ideological motivation in the ELCA does somehow seem to fit.

Second, as you accurately point out "we are obligated to provide mission support to our synods and the ELCA.  

Again your post is an accurate reflection --- More and more it is clear the ELCA equates itself with the same importance and power as the government and the IRS. ---  Do what we say, don't question, jump when we tell you to and just support your synod and Higgins road,  you are obligated to send in your money. --- forget about those other things like what Jesus said.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: LutherMan on January 19, 2011, 06:54:39 PM
And Paul T. McCain, Lutherman, and that cohort can wring their hands and snicker at what they see happening and pump out pious ejaculations that will make them feel good, but simply add to the pain of others.

Love how you ejaculate and read hearts.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: mariemeyer on January 19, 2011, 07:45:22 PM
The 6,000 member World Mission Prayer League alone has more evangelizing missionaries than the 5 million member ELCA. Those actually doing the mission that Jesus gave us deserves our support.

Years ago my sainted mother-in-law introduced me to the World Mission Prayer League (WMPL). Since then Bill and I have supported their mission efforts.  I understand that their Board includes members of various Lutheran church bodies including the LCMS. The percentage of donated gifts that goes directly to evangelizing missionaries is much higher than that of any Lutheran church body.

In addition to WMPL I encourage supporting Lutheran Bible Translators and the work of translating Scripture for people groups who do not have any portion of  the Scriptures in their heart language. LBT also promotes literacy training and Scripture usage.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2011, 10:45:16 PM
"Amos" writes:
You are right Charles it was a typo, however the "sex call" of the political and ideological motivation in the ELCA does somehow seem to fit.
I respond:
What typo? I just didn't understand what you were saying about gametes and how they related to the issue at hand.

"Amos" writes:
Second, as you accurately point out "we are obligated to provide mission support to our synods and the ELCA. 
I respond:
Yes, furthering the work of the synod and the ELCA is part of our call and installation rites. We make a promise to do so.

"Amos" writes:
Again your post is an accurate reflection --- More and more it is clear the ELCA equates itself with the same importance and power as the government and the IRS.
I comment:
No. But our obligations to support our synods and the ELCA have been stated since the beginning.

"Amos" writes:
 ---  Do what we say, don't question, jump when we tell you to and just support your synod and Higgins road,  you are obligated to send in your money. --- forget about those other things like what Jesus said.
I comment:
Don't overreact and try to avoid the ridiculous hyperbole. We have lots of chances to question. And I'm still fuzzy on what you mean by "those other things like what Jesus said."
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 19, 2011, 11:07:11 PM
I find it fascinating how often you use sexual terminology in your rants, Charles. 

yeah, i thought of that too. would said ejaculations be in the bonds of matrimony?

Not matrimony, but in a publicly accountable lifelong monogamous relationship... ;)  This is the ELCA, you know.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 19, 2011, 11:14:03 PM
The Lutheran is not neutral; it's mission is to further the mission of the ELCA.  CORE's mission is to either change, oppose or otherwise undercut the mission of the ELCA.


Such actions used to be known as "reform" and those who undertook them were called "reformers" in some Lutheran circles not so long ago.  You're sounding a lot more like some guys named Leo and Charles who couldn't understand why their innovations were so far off base...wait, you might be Charles' namesake.  I think Luther had some other names for "Charles" (circumlocutions, you might say) that while wordier were certainly more entertaining, and perhaps more apt.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 19, 2011, 11:16:19 PM
Yes, Erma, I too await the dust to settle a bit and hear of this matter as clearly as possible.  My goodness, if the facts are that the Oromo churches were pushed out with such bare stupidity (doesn't the ELCA or someone even have some PR-sense that knows common sense and how things will be read?)... then it is a shameful expulsion if in nothing else-- its methodology.  If the quotation that uses the word "assume" as in assuming the congregation's position is the same as Pr. Buba's and therefore "no reason to keep you in our buidlings," who wrote such stuff?    So far the info reads wildly.   That is the way new breaks, Charles would rightly tell us.   I spent a bit of time with one of the Oromo pastors at the first Columbus gathering (I knew nothing of their history and indeed of the ELCA's mission among these people newer to our country)   and was humbled and deeply impressed with his faith and mission for Christ.    Harvey S. Mozolak

 If (and it is a big "if") Lutheran CORE is spinning this story and is abusing the honor and integrity of the Oromo Lutherans to serve some nefarious, neurotic need to unjustly villify the ELCA, then shame on Lutheran CORE.  
But if the case is basically as it is being reported on the Lutheran CORE blog, then shame on us in the ELCA.  It destroys more than our "pretense" to be respecting those who don't hold to position 4 in the Social Statement on human sexuality.

Such actions reveal who the real post-colonial colonial wanna-bes are...the very same people who cry, "diversity, diversity" and there is no diversity.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 19, 2011, 11:21:27 PM
It is possible that the Oromo Churches that were kicked out of their buildings were ELCA financed. In which case, it was a money issue.

Where is the mercy and compassion from those who spend so much time and energy lecturing the rest of us about the need for mercy and compassion?  Wouldn't mercy and compassion suggest forgiving the money and letting the congregation keep it's property for the greater witness of Christ's mission in the world?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 19, 2011, 11:37:49 PM
It is interesting to discover how easily it is for Austin to get you guys to chase red herrings.


Be careful  now. Pr. Austin is an old English major, and he's likely to instruct you that the proper usage is "how easy it is for Austin to get you guys" or "how easily Austin gets you guys" but not your formulation.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: revklak on January 19, 2011, 11:39:59 PM
As for giving "cover" to dissident Episcopalians, why should we do anything which suggested that we were taking side in their internal dispute?

Just in case this point gets missed (or maybe I missed it) -- isn't it true that once a group LEAVES to join or form another group, it is no longer an "internal dispute?"  I mean, you can bark all you want about the fact that, in this particular case, the ELCA has an agreement with the ECUSA, but helping out a disenfranchised group is part of the Christian heritage.  And taking sides is very American - like Miller Light -- TASTES GREAT ---- LESS FILLING.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 19, 2011, 11:43:04 PM
As for giving "cover" to dissident Episcopalians, why should we do anything which suggested that we were taking side in their internal dispute?

Just in case this point gets missed (or maybe I missed it) -- isn't it true that once a group LEAVES to join or form another group, it is no longer an "internal dispute?"  I mean, you can bark all you want about the fact that, in this particular case, the ELCA has an agreement with the ECUSA, but helping out a disenfranchised group is part of the Christian heritage.  And taking sides is very American - like Miller Light -- TASTES GREAT ---- LESS FILLING.



And of course to be consistent, Charles would also say that if a parish has decided to leave the Episcopal Church, and a remnant wanted to remain in the Episcopal Church, no ELCA congregation should offer them space. Wouldn't want to "take sides in an internal dispute," after all.

Oh, did I get that wrong?  ::)
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 19, 2011, 11:50:19 PM

It is a no-brainer. We are obligated to provide mission support to our synods and the ELCA. If we do not do that, we are not fulfilling our agreed-upon obligations.
Supposing on April 15, I were to say to the U.S. government: "Oh, I'm sending my money to projects quite consistent with the aims of our government, but not to you, dear IRS. I think the 'official' government spends too much on guns, and I think I can decide better how to fund our democracy. So I'll not be sending you my taxes this year. But don't worry, I'm supporting you anyway."


So are you implying that the ELCA is like unto the IRS?  While the IRS will accept free-will offerings, they do require certain minimum percentages of everyone's income.  I'm not aware of a legal obligation to give money to the ELCA.  The model constitution (2009) section C4.03.g reads:

Quote
Motivate its members to provide financial support for the congregation’s ministry and the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

"And the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America" does not indicate the method of transmitting that support.  Sending money directly to the local camp, college, or seminary fulfills its meaning.

Section C6.03.b is also applicable:

Quote
This congregation pledges its financial support and participation in the life and mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

but also can be fulfilled in a variety of ways, only one of which being sending money to the synod office.

Section C8.04.c applies this logic to individual members of the congregation:

Quote
support the work of this congregation, the synod, and the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through contributions of their time, abilities, and financial support as biblical stewards.

Although the additional qualification "as biblical stewards" places a special responsibility upon individual members that their actions ultimately aim to please their Lord and Master - Jesus Christ - not the ELCA.

Section C9.03.c.4 specifies similar expectations for pastors:

Quote
 endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the work of the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and of the   (insert name of synod)   Synod of the ELCA.

As long as the pastor "endeavors to increase the support" then the pastor has fulfilled their obligation.  Sometimes these things just don't work out the way we'd hoped.

Section C12.04.h sets a much higher standard for the congregation council:

Quote
To emphasize partnership with the synod and churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as cooperation with other congregations, both Lutheran and non-Lutheran, subject to established policies of the synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

for emphasizing partnership and cooperation.  Nothing about a required amount, unlike the IRS.

Section 12.05.e does actually mention a specific action required of the congregation council:

Quote
The Congregation Council shall ascertain that the financial affairs of this congregation are being conducted efficiently, giving particular attention to the prompt payment of all obligations and to the regular forwarding of benevolence monies to the synodical treasurer.

but no particular amount or percentage, unlike the IRS and most federal, state, and local tax codes.

As far as I'm aware the ELCA has never had the legal power to compel any congregation to do or give anything to anyone.  The IRS analogy does not hold, unless you are dreaming of another world.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 19, 2011, 11:52:43 PM

The 6,000 member World Mission Prayer League alone has more evangelizing missionaries than the 5 million member ELCA. Those actually doing the mission that Jesus gave us deserves our support.


Go WMPL!  ;D
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: hillwilliam on January 20, 2011, 12:11:13 AM
It is possible that the Oromo Churches that were kicked out of their buildings were ELCA financed. In which case, it was a money issue.

Where is the mercy and compassion from those who spend so much time and energy lecturing the rest of us about the need for mercy and compassion?  Wouldn't mercy and compassion suggest forgiving the money and letting the congregation keep it's property for the greater witness of Christ's mission in the world?

This is why it would be good if we knew the details of this event. If the ELCA was paying the mortgage, pastor, and operating expenses they may be just a casualty of the budget cuts. It isn't necessarily a lack of mercy and compassion or a punishment. It is, however, more proof that their "bound conscience" isn't bound to true ethnic/cultural diversity, just liberal chattels.

I was trying to point out that there are ways that we could pick up the slack and insure that the Oromo congregations have a worship space. If enough people made contributions to the Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries fund we could keep them afloat until they could be matched with a Lutheran CORE, NALC or LCMC congregation as mission partners. This is part of the recommendation submitted by the Mission and Benevolence Work Group to the CORE steering committee.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Robert Johnson on January 20, 2011, 01:25:23 AM
"And the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America" does not indicate the method of transmitting that support.  Sending money directly to the local camp, college, or seminary fulfills its meaning.

Plus, all of the money goes to the camp, college, or seminary.  None of it is scraped off for administrative overhead.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 20, 2011, 04:36:12 AM
Richard writes:
And of course to be consistent, Charles would also say that if a parish has decided to leave the Episcopal Church, and a remnant wanted to remain in the Episcopal Church, no ELCA congregation should offer them space. Wouldn't want to "take sides in an internal dispute," after all.
Oh, did I get that wrong?

I comment:
Perhaps. Our fellowship is with the Episcopal church and those bishops, clergy and parishes bound to it. It is not taking sides to express that.
In a real situation, even this humble correspondent might offer "shelter" to a parish group heading out of the Episcopal church, but it would have to be done in such as way as not to be seen as encouraging the schism or urging others to do the same. To do it in a way that says: "Yeah! You guys are right to leave that nasty old Episcopal Church! We'll help you and anyone else who wants to do that!" is wrong.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on January 20, 2011, 09:54:48 AM
Pardon me, but why all the anguish?  If a congregation wants to host a group of Hispanic pentecostals, they can do so.  If they want to host dissident Anglicans, they can do so.  If they want to host AA meetings, Boy Scout meetings or dissident Lutheran meetings, they can do so without the approval of anybody.  So if a congregation says a group must leave, is that not the decision of the congregation?  We could say we wouldn't do that, but it's not our decision to make.  If the congregation wants to keep doing it, why not just tell the Bishop to mind his own business?  I've certainly seen ELCA churches do that when they want to.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Pew Sitter on January 20, 2011, 12:59:46 PM
Explaining the Willingness of the ELCA’s Higgins Road Group to Jeopardize the Church:
By 2009, my wife and I had been life-long members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), which is the largest denomination of Lutheranism with about 5 million members in America.  It is also the most liberal of the major Lutheran Churches.  My wife’s family, which is one-hundred percent Norwegian, has probably been Lutheran since the Church first appeared in Norway.  This multi-generational connection to the Lutheran Church isn’t unusual; the same can probably be said for several other Christian denominations.  So, for generations average Americans have supported the ELCA and its predecessors with money, attendance at services, and through their time as teachers, board member etc.  It is fair to say the church did not belong to the clergy or its leadership, but belonged to the members, who while having other commitments such as jobs and families, spent a great deal of their time supporting the church. 

Into this setting of long-term personal commitments, progressivism reared its ugly head during 2009.  As a result, the future of the ELCA has come into question.  The unfortunate situation resulted from the liberal leadership seeing their “progressive vision” for creating a more just world as the ultimate purpose of the church rather than the church’s good works.  In that year, the liberal clergy and progressive members of the ELCA decided that their “vision” included equating homosexual marriage/relationships with heterosexual marriage.  A church-wide policy, adopted by the ELCA not many years before, allowed the ordination of a homosexual as long as the candidate committed themselves to celibacy.  The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals. 

There are, of course, arguments for and against blessing and recognizing homosexual marriages and thereby equating those relationships with heterosexual marriages.  But the controversy itself was not what I, as a traditionalist, found the most striking aspect of an unfortunate situation.  What amazed me was the willingness of the progressive clergy and leadership (The Higgins Road Group) to jeopardize, in an underhanded way, the good work of the church and its very future in exchange for realizing their progressive vision.  The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members, ii) they manipulated the process to avoid barriers put in place by the church’s constitution, and iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.  That lack of open discussion resulted in many of the ELCA clergy failing their duty to inform their members of the potential break with historic Christian beliefs.   

 To support my assertion that the ELCA progressives acted “dishonorably” in pushing their agenda within the church, I need to provide a few specifics.  First, the progressives used an undemocratic body, the Church Wide Assembly (CWA), as the authority for overturning two thousand years of Christian tradition and ignoring the direct admonition by the Scriptures to not condone homosexual activity.  While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.  The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  In other words, liberal clergy could nominate “like-minded” candidates without the other members of the church being aware of how that member might exercise the very authority supposedly bestowed by the congregations.  Second, in 2005, the leadership authorized an opinion survey of the church-wide membership concerning the controversial issue.  Despite the biased wording of the poll for acceptance, the majority of ELCA members clearly expressed their opposition to ordaining practicing gay clergy.  The dishonor comes into play because the Higgins Road Group decided that there shouldn’t be another poll of the membership even though the CWA would be acting on the controversial issue in 2009.  Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.  As an operational change, approval in the CWA would only take a majority vote.  Adherence to the Church’s Constitution would require the approval of a social statement by a two-thirds supermajority.  Even the majority of the ELCA’s Bishops strongly recommended that if such a controversial issue were to be tackled, consensus in the church should be demonstrated by approval through a super-majority.  The dishonorable act in this instance was, of course, the leadership’s manipulation of the process to avoid the requirement, to demonstrate a consensus, embodied by the super-majority provision in the ELCA’s constitution. 

So, why would educated, dedicated progressives be willing to cause a schism within a church over an issue that reasonable people can disagree?  Why risk the very future of the church, the loss of membership, and the loss of the ability to help the poor all over the world in the name of their progressive “vision”?  One obvious answer is that they saw the fulfillment of their vision as more important than the cohesion and the work of the church.  They also saw their promotion of perceived equality for the homosexual community as justifying their shameful treatment of the majority of the members of the church who disagreed with them.  The old saw fits the situation well.  In their eyes, “The end justified the means.”

However, I think there is a more comprehensive answer as to why the progressives in the ELCA seemed so dedicated to their cause.  I believe to a progressive the “life purpose” of striving for a just and equitable world supersedes all other aspects of their person including their profession and even the standards of fairness, objectivity, and civility that they profess to abide by.  So, educated clergy were willing to lead their church off a cliff in order to achieve their “vision” of how equality should be applied in our society.  One can only conclude, considering the dire repercussions of their action, the progressives within the ELCA did not believe there could possibly be legitimate reasons for opposing their position that we should equate homosexual relationships with heterosexual marriages.  As William Bennett, the former Secretary of Education, has said, progressives often act with an “insufferable sense of moral superiority.”  I’m afraid that was part of the downfall of the ELCA, an arrogance that surpasses all understanding.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 20, 2011, 01:34:44 PM
Just a few minor corrections (the italics are the pewsitter's words, the others, mine):
The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals.
But the "activity" had to be limited to a relationship that was monogamous, committed, public and lifelong.

The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members,
I have noted before. The views of others were not "ignored," it just turned out that the Assembly did not agree. There was no poll that would give a reliable view of the "majority" of members.

iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.
Not true at all. There were years of discussions. Several church-wide assemblies, hundreds of meetings in synods. The statement was widely circulated and revised after being widely circulated. Anyone who was not aware of what the ELCA was doing was just not paying attention.

That lack of open discussion resulted in many of the ELCA clergy failing their duty to inform their members of the potential break with historic Christian beliefs.   
See above. Everyone had plenty of chances to know what was going on. Clergy who did not inform their congregations were derelict in their duty. (And I contend that if more clergy had been diligent, the vote might have gone another way.)

First, the progressives used an undemocratic body, the Church Wide Assembly (CWA), as the authority for overturning two thousand years of Christian tradition and ignoring the direct admonition by the Scriptures to not condone homosexual activity.  While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.
The CWA was never intended to be a "representative democracy." Neither were the governing conventions of the previous church bodies. One cannot fault the ELCA for not being "more democratic" when it was never intended to be a representative democracy.

The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  In other words, liberal clergy could nominate “like-minded” candidates without the other members of the church being aware of how that member might exercise the very authority supposedly bestowed by the congregations. 
The voting members (not representatives) at the Assemblies are chosen in various ways, usually by synod assemblies and by votes that are not clergy alone. And the authority to act at Churchwide Assemblies belongs to the voting members, not to the congregations. No such authority is "bestowed" by the congregations to the voting members, either.

Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.
The decisions involving ordination were not a "social statement," they were implementing a social statement that had to be elected by the 2/3 super majority.

One can only conclude, considering the dire repercussions of their action, the progressives within the ELCA did not believe there could possibly be legitimate reasons for opposing their position that we should equate homosexual relationships with heterosexual marriages.
No, the very concern for those who disagree, expressed imperfectly in the "bound conscience" discussion, proves that this is not the case.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 20, 2011, 01:51:26 PM
Just a few minor corrections (the italics are the pewsitter's words, the others, mine):
The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals.
But the "activity" had to be limited to a relationship that was monogamous, committed, public and lifelong.

Which is a distinction that makes no difference.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Michael_Rothaar on January 20, 2011, 01:55:02 PM

The force of your argument would be strengthened by correcting a couple of misstatements of fact.

Quote
While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.  The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  

Voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly are elected by Synod Assemblies. All congregations have lay representation at Synod Assemblies, and all clergy are voting members of Synod Assemblies.

Quote
Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.  As an operational change, approval in the CWA would only take a majority vote.  Adherence to the Church’s Constitution would require the approval of a social statement by a two-thirds supermajority.  

The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted, by a two thirds majority vote, the social statement "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust." The subsequent decisions were based on this statement and its enabling resolutions.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on January 20, 2011, 02:14:10 PM
Just a few comments on the comments:
Just a few minor corrections (the italics are the pewsitter's words, the others, mine):
The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals.
But the "activity" had to be limited to a relationship that was monogamous, committed, public and lifelong.
Granted.  But even that change was made without providing a convincing case for doing so. 
Quote
The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members,
I have noted before. The views of others were not "ignored," it just turned out that the Assembly did not agree. There was no poll that would give a reliable view of the "majority" of members.
"Sidestepped" would probably be a better word than "ignored."  (As "disingenuous" would probably be better than "dishonorable.")  Whether the responses to the 2005 Task Force were reliable or not may be debatable, but the telling thing is that there was no serious effort undertaken to determine their reliability.  But they remain the best thing we have for determining the view of the church as a whole - along with the subsequent fallout from the CWA's decisions.  The Assembly did not agreee, to be sure.  But there is no evidence that the church as a whole disagreed with the overwhelmingly negative responses given in 2005.
Quote
iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.
Not true at all. There were years of discussions. Several church-wide assemblies, hundreds of meetings in synods. The statement was widely circulated and revised after being widely circulated. Anyone who was not aware of what the ELCA was doing was just not paying attention.
Pew Sitter's contention, here is overblown, but not without some merit.  I know of many congregations in which the pastor never once mentioned what was being considered by the ELCA.  Some were not paying attention, to be sure, but there are others who were intentionally kept in the dark.   One cannot blame "Higgins Road" for this, as Pew Sitter does, but it is not just that some were not paying attention, either.
Quote
That lack of open discussion resulted in many of the ELCA clergy failing their duty to inform their members of the potential break with historic Christian beliefs.   
See above. Everyone had plenty of chances to know what was going on. Clergy who did not inform their congregations were derelict in their duty. (And I contend that if more clergy had been diligent, the vote might have gone another way.)
See above.
Quote
First, the progressives used an undemocratic body, the Church Wide Assembly (CWA), as the authority for overturning two thousand years of Christian tradition and ignoring the direct admonition by the Scriptures to not condone homosexual activity.  While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.
The CWA was never intended to be a "representative democracy." Neither were the governing conventions of the previous church bodies. One cannot fault the ELCA for not being "more democratic" when it was never intended to be a representative democracy.
Agreed.
Quote
The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  In other words, liberal clergy could nominate “like-minded” candidates without the other members of the church being aware of how that member might exercise the very authority supposedly bestowed by the congregations. 
The voting members (not representatives) at the Assemblies are chosen in various ways, usually by synod assemblies and by votes that are not clergy alone. And the authority to act at Churchwide Assemblies belongs to the voting members, not to the congregations. No such authority is "bestowed" by the congregations to the voting members, either.
Agreed.  Pew Sitter does not accurately portray the workings and nominating process for the CWA.
Quote
Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.
The decisions involving ordination were not a "social statement," they were implementing a social statement that had to be elected by the 2/3 super majority.
Wrong.  The decisions involving ordination were not implementing resolutions of the social statement.  They were separate matters and were considered separately from the social statement.  It was partly for this reason that the Conference of Bishops recommended that they should require 2/3 for passage - just as the social statement required, and in line with similar measures considered at the 2005 CWA.
Quote
One can only conclude, considering the dire repercussions of their action, the progressives within the ELCA did not believe there could possibly be legitimate reasons for opposing their position that we should equate homosexual relationships with heterosexual marriages.
No, the very concern for those who disagree, expressed imperfectly in the "bound conscience" discussion, proves that this is not the case.
The implementation of this "bound conscience" provision gives credence to Pew Sitter's contention.

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on January 20, 2011, 03:22:16 PM

The force of your argument would be strengthened by correcting a couple of misstatements of fact.

Quote
While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.  The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  

Voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly are elected by Synod Assemblies. All congregations have lay representation at Synod Assemblies, and all clergy are voting members of Synod Assemblies.

Quote
Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.  As an operational change, approval in the CWA would only take a majority vote.  Adherence to the Church’s Constitution would require the approval of a social statement by a two-thirds supermajority.  

The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted, by a two thirds majority vote, the social statement "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust." The subsequent decisions were based on this statement and its enabling resolutions.



While Marshall Hahn has addressed much of this in his reply to Charles, I want to add two things.

First, while it is true that voting members to the churchwide assembly are elected by the synod assembly, the process by which those names are placed in nomination varies widely from synod to synod.  In my own synod the voting members are nominated and voted on at conference assemblies held in the late winter, and those names are then submitted to the synod assembly.  While the synod assembly then formally elects them, they are basically approving formally the actions previously taken by the conferences.  While there are both lay and clergy voting members at the conference assemblies, often the names are submitted by the clergy members, as they are the only ones that really understand the process.  (Clergy are there every year, while the lay members are often first time attendees.)  But in other synods there are other methods of sending names to the synod assembly ballot, sometimes (I have heard) being done mostly out of the synod office.  I have only once or twice been at a conference assembly where those being nominated to go to the churchwide assembly have been allowed to talk about themselves, and never have they been allowed to answer questions on how they view any issues in the church.

Also, in many synods all clergy are not voting members.  In my own synod, clergy on leave from call have voice but not vote.  And retired clergy choose those who will represent them, and those so chosen have both voice and vote, but the remainder of the retired clergy do not have the privilege of voting.  These are synodical decisions, and there is no consistency across the ELCA on this. 

Second, the social statement on human sexuality was a completely seperate matter from the proposed ministry recommendations.  While I have no doubt that the passage of the social statement gave a psychological boost to those advocating for the proposed recommendations, it was made clear early in the assembly by the chair that the ministry recommendations would come before the assembly and be voted on whether or not the proposed sociual statement passed.  As a Lutheran CORE member we only hoped that the social statement would not pass, so that the assembly would possibly hesitate at passing all of the recommendations without the social statement to give weight to the arguments in their favor.  
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Papster on January 20, 2011, 04:11:26 PM
Charles wrote above:

The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members,
I have noted before. The views of others were not "ignored," it just turned out that the Assembly did not agree. There was no poll that would give a reliable view of the "majority" of members.
iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.
Not true at all. There were years of discussions. Several church-wide assemblies, hundreds of meetings in synods. The statement was widely circulated and revised after being widely circulated. Anyone who was not aware of what the ELCA was doing was just not paying attention.

I retired in 2002. My wife and I moved our membership to another community, following the suggested guidelines for retired clergy although there were six congregations in the community where we lived. The congregation we joined was Epiphany Lutheran Church in Pickerington, Ohio where Professor James Childs from Trinity Seminary, and Director for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality was a member. It was there that we participated in the "Journey Together Faithfully" Study in 2003. Childs himself made presentations to the study groups and my wife expressed concerns to him about what appeared to be a study written with a "bias." It was her opinion based on how the study was written, and what was presented that this was a "Done Deal." She based that opinion with our own experience in dealing with the LCA Statement on Human Sexuality in the 1970's where we tried to memorialize the LCA to revisit the study and speak more forcefully for a pro-life viewpoint. Once the church adopts something it is a "done deal" and there is no way to change it. When my wife spoke to Childs about this concern, he had no response.

So Charles, what you say about openness is empty talk. Bishop Hanson frequently talks about "keeping the conversation going," but there is no conversation. What the good bishop seems to mean is, "let us keep talking until we can convince you this is right." It was and is a done deal. I know of far more members who responded negatively to the studies, than positively. The studies were revised, but never in a way that responded to what many were saying. As for what is said in Synod and Churchwide Assemblies is meaningless in the end. It does not affect or change what is already a "done deal" in what is presented.   
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 20, 2011, 04:22:05 PM
Pastor Hahn writes:
I know of many congregations in which the pastor never once mentioned what was being considered by the ELCA. 
I comment:
And those pastors due to their actions or non-actions, are as much responsible for the trouble we have today as is anyone who voted for the changes in 2009.

Pastor Orovitz writes (re his wife's reaction to the study in one congregation):
It was her opinion based on how the study was written, and what was presented that this was a "Done Deal." She based that opinion with our own experience in dealing with the LCA Statement on Human Sexuality in the 1970's where we tried to memorialize the LCA to revisit the study and speak more forcefully for a pro-life viewpoint.
I comment:
Agreed. It was her opinion. And the ELCA in 2009 was in many ways nothing like the LCA in the 1970s. Parallel predictions are not apt.

Pastor Orovitz:
Once the church adopts something it is a "done deal" and there is no way to change it. When my wife spoke to Childs about this concern, he had no response.
Me:
No. There are plenty of ways to change things. I assume that people are planning to try to change the sexuality statement at this year's Assembly.

Pastor Orovitz:
So Charles, what you say about openness is empty talk. Bishop Hanson frequently talks about "keeping the conversation going," but there is no conversation. What the good bishop seems to mean is, "let us keep talking until we can convince you this is right." It was and is a done deal. I know of far more members who responded negatively to the studies, than positively.
Me:
You are partially correct. The Social Statement is adopted. It is a done deal. And I know far more members who respondied positively to the studies rather than negatively. Neither who you know or who I know matters at this point.

Pastor Orovitz:
The studies were revised, but never in a way that responded to what many were saying.
Me:
Some folks I know wanted the studies changed to make them more "pro-gay," and the revisions did not satisfy them, either.

Pastor Orovitz:
As for what is said in Synod and Churchwide Assemblies is meaningless in the end. It does not affect or change what is already a "done deal" in what is presented.
Me:
If you are referring to social statements in general, you are wrong. What is presented at church wide assemblies is often revised and changed. We have all seen it happen.
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 20, 2011, 06:02:59 PM
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Dadoo on January 20, 2011, 06:22:54 PM
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Ken Kimball on January 20, 2011, 06:43:56 PM
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.
With the exception of now trying to undo the 2009 CWA.   What comes next will not be the undoing of 2009 but the narrowing of it--of legislating the reality already on the ground in a number of synods: rather than 2 or 4 positions on the homosexuality issue, there will be only one: the progressive-revisionist position by which the normalization of same-sex behaviors and relationships and the ordination/ordained ministry of those therein is the position of the ELCA and those who will not get on board better shut up or ship out.  Orthodox-traditional congregations, laity, and pastors will remain in the ELCA--they will be increasingly marginalized and isolated with pressure brought to bear to co-opt them. 
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: GalRev83 on January 20, 2011, 09:24:18 PM
The blog page from CORE which reported the original incident has been removed. Does anyone know what is up?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on January 20, 2011, 09:56:57 PM
The blog page from CORE which reported the original incident has been removed. Does anyone know what is up?

Donna, I don't have a clue.  This is getting curiouser and curiouser.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 20, 2011, 10:02:48 PM
Voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly are elected by Synod Assemblies. All congregations have lay representation at Synod Assemblies, and all clergy are voting members of Synod Assemblies.

Well, that's actually not true, either. All clergy under call are voting members of the Synod Assembly in the synod in which they are rostered. As for others (on leave from call, retired, etc.), there are some provisions that a synod may adopt to give them the right to vote, but not every synod has done so.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 10:08:37 AM
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Dadoo on January 21, 2011, 10:27:58 AM
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
 

You are talking past me here. Yes, the assembly, in an attempt by someone to reconsider a close vote wanted the assembly to revisit its decision. I think FL described the motion as a matter of: "we voted for your's (Formula of Agreement) now vote for our's" The assembly said no. Now note, the assembly said "no" twice. That should have been it, should it not. No. It was not. the matter was brought back in modified form even though there was clear and outspoken opposition to the original and the followup for the same reasons. Once the altered version, CCM, was passed suddenly we were celebrating our new found unity and told everyone that the church was moving on and that the matter was settled and that is was time to come along. So when is the matter settled in the eyes of the ones with the microphone and bully pulpit? When it is voted on? Or when it is accepted?

The fact that according to Robert's in your reading an assembly is basically disconnected from its predecessor should alert the church that perhaps Robert's is not serving her well and that continuing resolutions or the adoption of different rules might need to be considered. Since we are now in the habit of voting on matters of theology at these assemblies not assuring continuity is foolishness since the faith is presumably the faith until and only until the next assembly.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 21, 2011, 10:36:01 AM
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
What you say is certainly true.  However, such a goal could be achieved by placing such restrictions in the constitution (probably not the by-laws, since they are easier to amend.)  But much like how the filibuster in the U.S. Senate is viewed, it all depends on which party is in power.    For traditionalists before CWA09, it would have been great to prevent such revisiting; after CWA09, it would be welcomed.  I see that Pastor Kruse has addressed the substance of this in his follow-up reply.  It's really about politics and consensus, not rules.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: DeHall on January 21, 2011, 10:44:06 AM
The blog page from CORE which reported the original incident has been removed. Does anyone know what is up?


From http://commonconfession.blogspot.com :

"Earlier this week we posted a story about challenges facing certain Oromo Evangelical Lutheran congregations, based on information provided by those involved.

We continue to believe in the accuracy of what was described in the story. But, at the subsequent request of some of those involved, we have now removed the story to provide "breathing space" for private deliberations and discussions by African immigrant congregations and their leaders."
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 21, 2011, 10:59:59 AM
Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)

But therein lies the problem, inherent within the system.  In the grand picture, that completely wipes out ANY and ALL historic witness, as it has all been forgotten.  This is a huge problem not only with the voting bodies in the ELCA, but in the Protestant church in general.  We have forgotten (forsaken?) our roots.   The prevailing attitude today is that yesterday doesn't matter. 
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on January 21, 2011, 11:03:26 AM
Can anyone access the January newsletter of the Oromo churches referenced in the CORE article?  Pastor Wolf mentioned that it was to be put up on the Oromo website, but I still do not see it there.

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 21, 2011, 11:11:23 AM
Maybe, rather than having their situation used as political fodder by CORE and others, those directly involved decided to deal fraternally with each other in their dispute. Rare. But a good ideal.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Mike Bennett on January 21, 2011, 11:32:09 AM
Maybe, rather than having their situation used as political fodder by CORE and others, those directly involved decided to deal fraternally with each other in their dispute. Rare. But a good ideal.

Two African congregations are summarily thrown out of their worship space, for the stated reason that ELCA finds they disagree with a CWA-approved social statement.  We'd been ureged by ELCA to respect one anothers' bound consciences regarding the matters in that social statement.  And those who would publicly protest the unChristian act are accused of using it for political fodder.  Cute.  Not surprising, but cute. 

Your approval of what you speculate might be a silencing of this news is very comparable to Chinese radio coverage of President Hu's visit to the U.S. this week literally going silent when he was asked about human rights in China.  Chinese listeners weren't even permitted to hear the question, let alone Hu's answer.  Journalist Austin believes this sort of thing to be "a good idea."

My remaining in ELCA has been instructed by David Yeago's application of Luther's commentary on Galatians 6:1-3.  This week's vicious actions in Texas and Colorado have moved the ELCA one step further toward being a place where I can't remain. 

You can find David Yeago's comments at http://lutheranspersisting.wordpress.com/david-yeago-in-the-aftermath/

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on January 21, 2011, 11:37:03 AM
Maybe, rather than having their situation used as political fodder by CORE and others, those directly involved decided to deal fraternally with each other in their dispute. Rare. But a good ideal.
And maybe rather than an attempt to use the situation as political fodder, CORE's intention all along was to encourage an amicable solution of the situation by bringing it to the light of day.

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 12:07:05 PM
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.

Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)
 

You are talking past me here. Yes, the assembly, in an attempt by someone to reconsider a close vote wanted the assembly to revisit its decision. I think FL described the motion as a matter of: "we voted for your's (Formula of Agreement) now vote for our's" The assembly said no. Now note, the assembly said "no" twice. That should have been it, should it not. No. It was not. the matter was brought back in modified form even though there was clear and outspoken opposition to the original and the followup for the same reasons.

Not quite. After the motion to reconsider was defeated, there was a motion (I believe two related motions) to send the Concordat back to committee for revisions -- taking into account reasons for the opposition -- to be brought back to the next CWA. Thus a new proposal called Called to Common Mission was created, which had to be approved by The Episcopal Church (which had already approved the Concordat), and the ELCA. Those motions were adopted.

So, even though that CWA defeated the Concordat, it was still their desire to have a full-communion agreement with the Episcopals, but not that one.


Quote
The fact that according to Robert's in your reading an assembly is basically disconnected from its predecessor should alert the church that perhaps Robert's is not serving her well and that continuing resolutions or the adoption of different rules might need to be considered. Since we are now in the habit of voting on matters of theology at these assemblies not assuring continuity is foolishness since the faith is presumably the faith until and only until the next assembly.

Something like 1/3 of the voting members have been to a previous CWA. Most of the bishops are returnees. I have seen bishops gather the voting members of their synod together to discuss issues that will be before the assembly. (Not so that the bishop tells them how to vote, but for discussion over the issues, and prayer for the assembly and the ELCA.) So there is some continuity from one assembly to the next.

Note: the same disconnectness of assemblies also applies to synod assemblies -- and most congregational meetings (if they are less than quarterly). There is no "old" or "unfinished" business. All decisions are on new resolutions/motions.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 12:24:09 PM
Essentially, according to Robert's Rules, any decision-making body that meets less than four times a year -- like national assemblies that meet every two or three years; is mostly disconnected from previous meetings. For instance, if at one CWA a motion is tabled or postponed, if it is not taken up again by the end of that CWA, it dies. It cannot be taken off the table at the next CWA.  Such tabling or postponing is a technique that is used to kill a motion without voting on it. There is also no "old" business (or Robert's preferred term, "unfinished" business) in groups that meet less than four times a year. All business is "new".

Yes, motions can keep coming back. Even within an assembly, there can be a motion to reconsider an action that has already been voted on -- and such a motion to reconsider takes only a majority vote -- even if the original motion required 2/3 to pass. However, if the motion to reconsider a particular action is defeated, it cannot be brought up again. (However, when a motion to reconsider the Concordat, which had been defeated by six votes, was made, it was defeated. In the wisdom of that CWA, a decision had been made (narrowly) and they did not want to address it again.)

But therein lies the problem, inherent within the system.  In the grand picture, that completely wipes out ANY and ALL historic witness, as it has all been forgotten.  This is a huge problem not only with the voting bodies in the ELCA, but in the Protestant church in general.  We have forgotten (forsaken?) our roots.   The prevailing attitude today is that yesterday doesn't matter. 

No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods. As I noted in a post about the CWA that defeated the Concordat, (I was a visitor at that assembly,) it was not the wish of the voting members to refrain from any agreement with the Episcopalians, just opposed the Concordat -- but wanted something different for the next CWA.

There have also been folks who mistaken believe that CWA09 said that we now ordain homosexuals. Those who better know our history, know that we have always allowed homosexuals to be ordained, if they promised to abstain from sexual relationships. It is also historical that CWAs prior to '09 have been "gay-friendly" by approving these resolutions:

“To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (1991)

To affirm the prior action of the 1991 Churchwide Assembly, “gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America…” (1995)

To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons “in our common life and mission.” (1999)


Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 21, 2011, 12:29:11 PM
No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods.

It came from a small but well funded (Thank you, ARCOS Foundation) group of activists who knew how to organize themselves and to twist the system to their own advantage. If the initiative for the Social Statements truly was a bottom up groundswell of popular support, the result wouldn't have been to watch hundreds of congregations and hundreds of thousands of individual leave the ELCA.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: edoughty on January 21, 2011, 12:44:05 PM
No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods.

It came from a small but well funded (Thank you, ARCOS Foundation) group of activists who knew how to organize themselves and to twist the system to their own advantage. If the initiative for the Social Statements truly was a bottom up groundswell of popular support, the result wouldn't have been to watch hundreds of congregations and hundreds of thousands of individual leave the ELCA.

It takes two to tango.  There is action, and then there is reaction.  Traditionalist pastors and congregations could have chosen their reaction to be, "We disagree with part of the sexuality statement.  Therefore, we simply choose not to call pastors who are in committed same-gender relationships."  That they have chosen to react with "We absolutely cannot be within the same ELCA denomination with you!  We are leaving!" as their seemingly-preferred reaction is not something that can be laid at the feet of those who voted for the most recent sexuality statement.  "Look what you made me do!" is not a valid defense, because people, pastors, and congregations are in charge of their own decisions.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 12:45:21 PM
No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods.

It came from a small but well funded (Thank you, ARCOS Foundation) group of activists who knew how to organize themselves and to twist the system to their own advantage. If the initiative for the Social Statements truly was a bottom up groundswell of popular support, the result wouldn't have been to watch hundreds of congregations and hundreds of thousands of individual leave the ELCA.

Perhaps the fact that thousands of congregations and millions of members are not leaving suggests that maybe it did come from some of the bottom-up. Perhaps not a "groundswell," but enough support to welcome homosexuals in our congregation sin 1991, and finally to allow homosexuals in committed relationships to be on our clergy and other rosters.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 21, 2011, 12:51:15 PM
No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods.

It came from a small but well funded (Thank you, ARCOS Foundation) group of activists who knew how to organize themselves and to twist the system to their own advantage. If the initiative for the Social Statements truly was a bottom up groundswell of popular support, the result wouldn't have been to watch hundreds of congregations and hundreds of thousands of individual leave the ELCA.

It takes two to tango.  There is action, and then there is reaction.  Traditionalist pastors and congregations could have chosen their reaction to be, "We disagree with part of the sexuality statement.  Therefore, we simply choose not to call pastors who are in committed same-gender relationships."  That they have chosen to react with "We absolutely cannot be within the same ELCA denomination with you!  We are leaving!" as their seemingly-preferred reaction is not something that can be laid at the feet of those who voted for the most recent sexuality statement.  "Look what you made me do!" is not a valid defense, because people, pastors, and congregations are in charge of their own decisions.

How many times must what I am about to repeat, again, be repeated before those of you with a vested interest in seeing the homosexual agenda pushed forward will understand it?

Those of us who are traditionalists not only want our consciences respected in that we do not have to call a non-chaste homosexual pastor, we want to be able to be certain that we can call a pastor who will not preach or teach that homosexual activity can be rendered sinless based on some mythical, imaginary sort of relationship that is not found or described in scripture! We do not want our children taught by a pastor that it is OK to engage in homosexual activity, so long as the person you nd the person are doing it with have some sort of special "relationship". Until that condition is met, our "bound consciences" are not being respected.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: iowakatie1981 on January 21, 2011, 12:53:03 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, mkay?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 21, 2011, 12:57:08 PM
Mike Bennett writes:
Two African congregations are summarily thrown out of their worship space, for the stated reason that ELCA finds they disagree with a CWA-approved social statement.
I comment:
We do not know for sure that this is true.

Mike Bennett writes:
We'd been ureged by ELCA to respect one anothers' bound consciences regarding the matters in that social statement.  And those who would publicly protest the unChristian act are accused of using it for political fodder.  Cute.  Not surprising, but cute.
I respond:
We do not know what the "act" was, so we do not know whether it was "unChristian" or not.

Mike Bennett:
Your approval of what you speculate might be a silencing of this news is very comparable to Chinese radio coverage of President Hu's visit to the U.S. this week literally going silent when he was asked about human rights in China.  Chinese listeners weren't even permitted to hear the question, let alone Hu's answer.  Journalist Austin believes this sort of thing to be "a good idea."
Me:
No one is "silencing" any news. The participants themselves, according to what was posted upstream, asked that the item be withdrawn. I have no control over the media in China. If I did, things would be different.

Mike Bennett:
My remaining in ELCA has been instructed by David Yeago's application of Luther's commentary on Galatians 6:1-3.  This week's vicious actions in Texas and Colorado have moved the ELCA one step further toward being a place where I can't remain.
Me:
Again, since we know there is always "more to the story," we cannot make the final judgment on whether the actions were "viscious" or not. And those involved have asked others to back away. Good idea.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: edoughty on January 21, 2011, 01:12:58 PM
No. There is a historic witness that is part of the discussion -- sometimes even included in the resolution; but history doesn't determine the decision. "Traditionalist" seem to forget that the whole sexuality/homosexual study came from the voting members and was opposed by the presiding bishop at the time. It wasn't a top-down mandate, but came from the bottom-up -- albeit from one (or maybe a few more) synods.

It came from a small but well funded (Thank you, ARCOS Foundation) group of activists who knew how to organize themselves and to twist the system to their own advantage. If the initiative for the Social Statements truly was a bottom up groundswell of popular support, the result wouldn't have been to watch hundreds of congregations and hundreds of thousands of individual leave the ELCA.

It takes two to tango.  There is action, and then there is reaction.  Traditionalist pastors and congregations could have chosen their reaction to be, "We disagree with part of the sexuality statement.  Therefore, we simply choose not to call pastors who are in committed same-gender relationships."  That they have chosen to react with "We absolutely cannot be within the same ELCA denomination with you!  We are leaving!" as their seemingly-preferred reaction is not something that can be laid at the feet of those who voted for the most recent sexuality statement.  "Look what you made me do!" is not a valid defense, because people, pastors, and congregations are in charge of their own decisions.

How many times must what I am about to repeat, again, be repeated before those of you with a vested interest in seeing the homosexual agenda pushed forward will understand it?

Those of us who are traditionalists not only want our consciences respected in that we do not have to call a non-chaste homosexual pastor, we want to be able to be certain that we can call a pastor who will not preach or teach that homosexual activity can be rendered sinless based on some mythical, imaginary sort of relationship that is not found or described in scripture! We do not want our children taught by a pastor that it is OK to engage in homosexual activity, so long as the person you nd the person are doing it with have some sort of special "relationship". Until that condition is met, our "bound consciences" are not being respected.

George, that is simple enough.  Find an ELCA congregation (and there are -- or were) many such -- where the pastor agrees with you.  And then, when the time to call a new pastor comes around, don't call as pastor someone who disagrees with you.  Call Katie, for example.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 01:15:57 PM
It is possible that the Oromo Churches that were kicked out of their buildings were ELCA financed. In which case, it was a money issue.

Where is the mercy and compassion from those who spend so much time and energy lecturing the rest of us about the need for mercy and compassion?  Wouldn't mercy and compassion suggest forgiving the money and letting the congregation keep it's property for the greater witness of Christ's mission in the world?

This is why it would be good if we knew the details of this event. If the ELCA was paying the mortgage, pastor, and operating expenses they may be just a casualty of the budget cuts. It isn't necessarily a lack of mercy and compassion or a punishment. It is, however, more proof that their "bound conscience" isn't bound to true ethnic/cultural diversity, just liberal chattels.

I was trying to point out that there are ways that we could pick up the slack and insure that the Oromo congregations have a worship space. If enough people made contributions to the Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries fund we could keep them afloat until they could be matched with a Lutheran CORE, NALC or LCMC congregation as mission partners. This is part of the recommendation submitted by the Mission and Benevolence Work Group to the CORE steering committee.


Is there really a 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund'?  Really?  Isn't that just the kind of distinction that's got the ELCA into such a mess in the few decades of it's existence?  What are they doing trying to decide that some ministries need special funds?  Aren't we called to bring the gospel to all nations; all ethnicities?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: edoughty on January 21, 2011, 01:24:01 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, mkay?

What was unwelcoming before 1991?  Being told, "We'll baptize you and welcome you in our congregation until you realize you're gay, and then you're out of the congregation," was unwelcoming.  Being told, "We welcome your gifts of time, talent, and money as long as you don't want us to bless your lifelong, committed relationship (or, "as long as you remain closeted")" was unwelcoming.  Being told, "We agree you have a call and many gifts the Church an use.  Everyone but people-like-you can go through the candidacy process without the expectation of celibacy, but for you, if you want to be a pastor, it is required-- for the rest of your career-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: iowakatie1981 on January 21, 2011, 01:36:18 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, mkay?

What was unwelcoming before 1991?  Being told, "We'll baptize you and welcome you in our congregation until you realize you're gay, and then you're out of the congregation," was unwelcoming.  Being told, "We welcome your gifts of time, talent, and money as long as you don't want us to bless your lifelong, committed relationship (or, "as long as you remain closeted")" was unwelcoming.  Being told, "We agree you have a call and many gifts the Church an use.  Everyone but people-like-you can go through the candidacy process without the expectation of celibacy, but for you, if you want to be a pastor, it is required-- for the rest of your career-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."



Oh, I get it.  Kind of like when Bishop Hanson says, "we welcome you here, until we find out that you vote Republican and then we'll mock you and the candidates you support, by name, from the pulpit, and then be totally confused when you are upset, and we ourselves will not be at all upset when you leave."  Good, then we've had similar experiences. 
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 21, 2011, 01:38:25 PM
What was unwelcoming before 1991?  Being told, "We'll baptize you and welcome you in our congregation until you realize you're gay, and then you're out of the congregation," was unwelcoming.  
That was official policy anywhere in the ELCA?

Quote from: edoughty
Being told, "We welcome your gifts of time, talent, and money as long as you don't want us to bless your lifelong, committed relationship (or, "as long as you remain closeted")" was unwelcoming.  
There was a reason for this:   it is the teaching of the Church that sex is reserved for marriage.  Any unmarried heterosexual couple faced the same issue.  You ignore what the CWA09 social statement says about what has been traditionally held at your peril.  What you say also strikes me as ecclesial works righteousness, as in if I give/pay/do enough, than I am entitled to X, which in this case is being a pastor.  Would it be any different if a rich man in a congregation felt "entitled" to a perpetual seat on the parish council because he gives the most each year?

Quote from: edoughty
Being told, "We agree you have a call and many gifts the Church an use.  Everyone but people-like-you can go through the candidacy process without the expectation of celibacy, but for you, if you want to be a pastor, it is required-- for the rest of your career-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."
1.  Doesn't this conflict with your first above, where you indicated that homosexuals were "right out".  Perhaps you are again butting up against that "sex is reserved for marriage" teaching.  Would you not have been even more critical of the ELCA if it barred people from candidacy for ordination merely because of their sexual orientation?
2.  Again, I'll bet there have been married hetero pastors who have to deal with something similar.  Lay people too, since marriage is supposed to be life-long, but the spark may not be.  It also occurs to me that other traditions (Roman, Orthodox) have similar issues.  Being a pastor is a privilege, not a right.
  
Sorry to be so pedantic in my response, but what you describe doesn't make much sense to me.  It does, however, further clarify (as if I needed any more) what "Bound Conscience" means in the ELCA.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 01:44:17 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, may?

You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: James Gustafson on January 21, 2011, 01:44:49 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Wheres the scripture reference for that?  It might come in handy when people want to upgrade and the church made them promise lifelong monogamy and some of us agreed to that, that is before our spouses stopped being attractive...  
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 01:48:43 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: edoughty on January 21, 2011, 01:53:45 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Wheres the scripture reference for that?  It might come in handy when people want to upgrade and the church made them promise lifelong monogamy and some of us agreed to that, that is before our spouses stopped being attractive...  

Being attracted TO someone cannot be reduced to simple physical attractiveness.  Physical attractiveness (solely) is not what I am speaking about.  For example, my spouse Scott makes me laugh like no one else can; that is part of the reason I'm attracted to him.  It's not the ONLY reason, but it is a reason (one of many) that transcends physical looks.  Thanks for letting me clarify that.

As for Bible verses, there is no need to continually go 'round and 'round.  You and I both know that whatever case I make, you will dismiss.  The discussion has happened already on this board, many times, and no one changes their position.



Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 01:54:11 PM
Maybe, rather than having their situation used as political fodder by CORE and others, those directly involved decided to deal fraternally with each other in their dispute. Rare. But a good ideal.
And maybe rather than an attempt to use the situation as political fodder, CORE's intention all along was to encourage an amicable solution of the situation by bringing it to the light of day.

Marshall Hahn

But by bringing it up in 'look, the emperor has no clothes' fashion, the ruling elite have been humiliated by being shown to not follow their own vaunted 'bound conscience' principle and by being show to be intolerant.  You'd think that such champions of justice would praise CORE for supporting and encouraging a minority group.  Liberals/socialists are only interested in minorities when their 'disadvantage' and 'underprivilege' serves their liberal/socialist agenda/plan.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 21, 2011, 01:56:06 PM
You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.
Have any of the CWA09 actions changed anything for the persons in your example?  Nothing prohibits the ELCA pastor from saying the gay couple is not welcome in his church.  In fact, that pastor should have his bound conscience protected by CWA09 actions, since we are not of one mind about how Scripture should be applied, at least to make a coherent social statement.  Your example is poorly offered, at any rate, because you don't provide any context for any of us to understand whether his supposed action has justification.  But then, I've had to put up with my local NPR station's justification by anecdote this morning, so why should the Forum be any different, today or any day.   :P  

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 01:58:20 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, mkay?

I've always said, "If you need a sign (or rule, or quota, or resolution, etc.) to show you are welcoming, then you probably have much more significant issues to deal with first."  Someplace that is welcoming to all that really lives it needs no sign.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 01:59:34 PM
You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.
Have any of the CWA09 actions changed anything for the persons in your example?  Nothing prohibits the ELCA pastor from saying the gay couple is not welcome in his church.  In fact, that pastor should have his bound conscience protected by CWA09 actions, since we are not of one mind about how Scripture should be applied, at least to make a coherent social statement.  Your example is poorly offered, at any rate, because you don't provide any context for any of us to understand whether his supposed action has justification.  But then, I've had to put up with my local NPR stations justification by anecdote this morning, so why should the Forum be any different, today or any day.   :P 

No, the CWA decisions going back to 1991 are not likely to change the attitude of pastors who are opposed to homosexuals -- especially those in a relationship -- being welcomed in their congregations.

However, the question I asked, which you did not address, do congregations have subtle and overt ways of saying, "You are not welcome here"?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 02:02:13 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, may?

You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.

And you are naive enough to believe in and support the idea that some policy, some vote will change that?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 02:04:02 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

The marriage practices of Ancient Jewish Monarchs are irrelevant and you know it, as one who is irrelevant himself all the time.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 02:04:15 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, mkay?

I've always said, "If you need a sign (or rule, or quota, or resolution, etc.) to show you are welcoming, then you probably have much more significant issues to deal with first."  Someplace that is welcoming to all that really lives it needs no sign.

Nearly all of our congregations think that they are welcoming, because they don't talk to the visitors who came once and never returned. They may not even ask some of the newer members if they felt welcomed. When I brought up the unwelcoming-ness of a congregation at a council meeting, they asked a fairly new member of the congregation (less than 5 years) who was on the council. The were shocked when he said that they did not feel welcomed when they first visited the congregation. (He and his wife were stubborn enough to keep coming inspire of the lack of welcome from the congregation.)

To use phrases that are not my own; many congregations who think they are friendly, are actually a congregations of friends. They think they are friendly because every week they gather with their friends and socialize with them and ignore visitors.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 02:05:14 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

The marriage practices of Ancient Jewish Monarchs are irrelevant and you know it, as one who is irrelevant himself all the time.

Those ancient practices of Jewish monarchs are part of the biblical witness about appropriate sexual relationships -- many of which our culture has not adopted.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: iowakatie1981 on January 21, 2011, 02:06:32 PM
You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.
Have any of the CWA09 actions changed anything for the persons in your example?  Nothing prohibits the ELCA pastor from saying the gay couple is not welcome in his church.  In fact, that pastor should have his bound conscience protected by CWA09 actions, since we are not of one mind about how Scripture should be applied, at least to make a coherent social statement.  Your example is poorly offered, at any rate, because you don't provide any context for any of us to understand whether his supposed action has justification.  But then, I've had to put up with my local NPR stations justification by anecdote this morning, so why should the Forum be any different, today or any day.   :P 

No, the CWA decisions going back to 1991 are not likely to change the attitude of pastors who are opposed to homosexuals -- especially those in a relationship -- being welcomed in their congregations.

However, the question I asked, which you did not address, do congregations have subtle and overt ways of saying, "You are not welcome here"?

You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.
Have any of the CWA09 actions changed anything for the persons in your example?  Nothing prohibits the ELCA pastor from saying the gay couple is not welcome in his church.  In fact, that pastor should have his bound conscience protected by CWA09 actions, since we are not of one mind about how Scripture should be applied, at least to make a coherent social statement.  Your example is poorly offered, at any rate, because you don't provide any context for any of us to understand whether his supposed action has justification.  But then, I've had to put up with my local NPR stations justification by anecdote this morning, so why should the Forum be any different, today or any day.   :P 

No, the CWA decisions going back to 1991 are not likely to change the attitude of pastors who are opposed to homosexuals -- especially those in a relationship -- being welcomed in their congregations.

However, the question I asked, which you did not address, do congregations have subtle and overt ways of saying, "You are not welcome here"?

Sure, like when during the intercessory prayers on Pentecost, the pastor prays that "the Holy Spirit would come down to all those conservatives and show them that war is not the answer."
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 02:06:49 PM
Exactly what was it prior to 1991 that was "unwelcoming" to homosexuals?  Were there ELCA churches with big signs on their doors saying "Gay people not allowed" ??  (Because I never saw one..)

I've always been confused why it is that unless someone explicitly says, "We welcome [whoever]" that "someone" is assumed to be explicitly "not welcoming [whoever]."  

And let the record show that for a "church" that professes to "welcome all people", I feel extraordinarily and explicitly "unwelcomed" by the majority of our hierarchy.  So let's the can the conversation about who's welcome where, may?

You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.

And you are naive enough to believe in and support the idea that some policy, some vote will change that?

No! But exposing the sin may lead to repentance and new ways of thinking and acting. I have seen congregations change their behaviors when they realize how unwelcoming they've become towards visitors.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 02:08:09 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

The marriage practices of Ancient Jewish Monarchs are irrelevant and you know it, as one who is irrelevant himself all the time.

Those ancient practices of Jewish monarchs are part of the biblical witness about appropriate sexual relationships -- many of which our culture has not adopted.

I'll be looking for your resolution that the ELCA write a social statement in support of publicly-accountable, life-long, polygamous relationships.  I'm sure you are capable of drafting it and pitching it.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 02:10:37 PM
Sure, like when during the intercessory prayers on Pentecost, the pastor prays that "the Holy Spirit would come down to all those conservatives and show them that war is not the answer."

What question do conservatives think that war answers?

I don't have past Sundays and Seasons with me, but a petition for Pentecost 2011 is: "Come, Holy Spirit, into the nations of the world. Rain down your peace onto nations at war or in crisis (especially)."

Do you have objections to that? If so, what are they?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 21, 2011, 02:12:39 PM
You don't think that church have subtle and even overt ways of telling people, "You are not welcome here"? A gay couple were told by an ELCA pastor that they were not welcomed in his church. There are times when looks tell folks that they are not really welcomed at this church -- or that their attire is not appropriate or that those tattoos and/or piercing make them unwelcome.
Have any of the CWA09 actions changed anything for the persons in your example?  Nothing prohibits the ELCA pastor from saying the gay couple is not welcome in his church.  In fact, that pastor should have his bound conscience protected by CWA09 actions, since we are not of one mind about how Scripture should be applied, at least to make a coherent social statement.  Your example is poorly offered, at any rate, because you don't provide any context for any of us to understand whether his supposed action has justification.  But then, I've had to put up with my local NPR stations justification by anecdote this morning, so why should the Forum be any different, today or any day.   :P 

No, the CWA decisions going back to 1991 are not likely to change the attitude of pastors who are opposed to homosexuals -- especially those in a relationship -- being welcomed in their congregations.

However, the question I asked, which you did not address, do congregations have subtle and overt ways of saying, "You are not welcome here"?
I'm sorry, your anecdote was a distraction from your question (since it did not support it).  The answer to your question is:  yes, of course there are, both subtle and overt.  Your specific anecdote about a gay couple is not coterminous with homosexuals, but it is a nice attempt to make the traditionalist position appear mean-spirited.  But it goes to who gets to define "welcoming" (and why I commented the way I did about the Playboy philosophy.)  Some people, of which Erik Doughty is representative , would define it as the kitchen sink:  unless I get everything I want, I'm won't feel welcome.  The problem with that, as I've referred to time and again, is that there is long-standing church teaching, based in Scripture, which says that's simply not possible.  And so we go round and round.

And for the record, I think there exist better pastoral approaches than to abruptly rebuff a gay couple from fellowship in a congregation.  But like I said, without the whole story of your anecdote, I cannot comment further.  And no, I'm not asking for the whole story.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 02:14:58 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

The marriage practices of Ancient Jewish Monarchs are irrelevant and you know it, as one who is irrelevant himself all the time.

Those ancient practices of Jewish monarchs are part of the biblical witness about appropriate sexual relationships -- many of which our culture has not adopted.

I'll be looking for your resolution that the ELCA write a social statement in support of publicly-accountable, life-long, polygamous relationships.  I'm sure you are capable of drafting it and pitching it.

As I wrote earlier, societies determine what are the appropriate relationships for sexual behavior. Christians, in general, and the U.S. have decided that polygamous relationships are not appropriate, in contrast to what we read in the Old Testament. Many Christians today have decided that marriages after a divorce are appropriate, in contrast to what the early Christians believed. There are Christians today who see a couple who live together who have already committed to marry each other as appropriate, in contrast to what Christians thought 30 or 50 years ago.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: MaddogLutheran on January 21, 2011, 02:15:44 PM
And you are naive enough to believe in and support the idea that some policy, some vote will change that?
No! But exposing the sin may lead to repentance and new ways of thinking and acting. I have seen congregations change their behaviors when they realize how unwelcoming they've become towards visitors.
Maybe something similar might apply to your gay couple "rejected" by the ELCA pastor!   :o
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 02:23:56 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

The marriage practices of Ancient Jewish Monarchs are irrelevant and you know it, as one who is irrelevant himself all the time.

Those ancient practices of Jewish monarchs are part of the biblical witness about appropriate sexual relationships -- many of which our culture has not adopted.

I'll be looking for your resolution that the ELCA write a social statement in support of publicly-accountable, life-long, polygamous relationships.  I'm sure you are capable of drafting it and pitching it.

As I wrote earlier, societies determine what are the appropriate relationships for sexual behavior. Christians, in general, and the U.S. have decided that polygamous relationships are not appropriate, in contrast to what we read in the Old Testament. Many Christians today have decided that marriages after a divorce are appropriate, in contrast to what the early Christians believed. There are Christians today who see a couple who live together who have already committed to marry each other as appropriate, in contrast to what Christians thought 30 or 50 years ago.

And now some people in the ELCA and other present day gatherings of Christians (followers of Jesus Christ) are picking and choosing which pieces of that witness they wish to follow.  Jesus in the Gospels, and the rest of the New Testament, is the Christian reflection on and application of the Jewish bible, the Christian Old Testament.  Societies determine all kinds of things contrary to the consistent Biblical witness and people in those societies suffer because of those choices.  Nothing new here.  And as far as what makes a marriage, Luther wrote 500 years ago about the commitment between a man and a woman before God making a marriage.  For that very reason worship books from the early 20th century and before called the marriage service "The Solemnization of Marriage".
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: hillwilliam on January 21, 2011, 02:26:09 PM
It is possible that the Oromo Churches that were kicked out of their buildings were ELCA financed. In which case, it was a money issue.

Where is the mercy and compassion from those who spend so much time and energy lecturing the rest of us about the need for mercy and compassion?  Wouldn't mercy and compassion suggest forgiving the money and letting the congregation keep it's property for the greater witness of Christ's mission in the world?

This is why it would be good if we knew the details of this event. If the ELCA was paying the mortgage, pastor, and operating expenses they may be just a casualty of the budget cuts. It isn't necessarily a lack of mercy and compassion or a punishment. It is, however, more proof that their "bound conscience" isn't bound to true ethnic/cultural diversity, just liberal chattels.

I was trying to point out that there are ways that we could pick up the slack and insure that the Oromo congregations have a worship space. If enough people made contributions to the Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries fund we could keep them afloat until they could be matched with a Lutheran CORE, NALC or LCMC congregation as mission partners. This is part of the recommendation submitted by the Mission and Benevolence Work Group to the CORE steering committee.


Is there really a 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund'?  Really?  Isn't that just the kind of distinction that's got the ELCA into such a mess in the few decades of it's existence?  What are they doing trying to decide that some ministries need special funds?  Aren't we called to bring the gospel to all nations; all ethnicities?

Yes, there really is a 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund' and it is an attempt to help the very congregations that the ELCA have been supporting but no longer do. The Oromo Churches were an important consideration in making that recommendation. After the 09 CWA, some of the Oromo Churches lost large numbers of lay members due to the "policy" changes made there. No members means no money and no money means no building, operations funds, and pastor salary. The 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund' was a short term solution to those ethnic ministries that could not survive without help and were unwilling to be held hostage by a church body that has rejected the Christian faith as taught by the Apostles.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 02:28:53 PM
It is possible that the Oromo Churches that were kicked out of their buildings were ELCA financed. In which case, it was a money issue.

Where is the mercy and compassion from those who spend so much time and energy lecturing the rest of us about the need for mercy and compassion?  Wouldn't mercy and compassion suggest forgiving the money and letting the congregation keep it's property for the greater witness of Christ's mission in the world?

This is why it would be good if we knew the details of this event. If the ELCA was paying the mortgage, pastor, and operating expenses they may be just a casualty of the budget cuts. It isn't necessarily a lack of mercy and compassion or a punishment. It is, however, more proof that their "bound conscience" isn't bound to true ethnic/cultural diversity, just liberal chattels.

I was trying to point out that there are ways that we could pick up the slack and insure that the Oromo congregations have a worship space. If enough people made contributions to the Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries fund we could keep them afloat until they could be matched with a Lutheran CORE, NALC or LCMC congregation as mission partners. This is part of the recommendation submitted by the Mission and Benevolence Work Group to the CORE steering committee.


Is there really a 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund'?  Really?  Isn't that just the kind of distinction that's got the ELCA into such a mess in the few decades of it's existence?  What are they doing trying to decide that some ministries need special funds?  Aren't we called to bring the gospel to all nations; all ethnicities?

Yes, there really is a 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund' and it is an attempt to help the very congregations that the ELCA have been supporting but no longer do. The Oromo Churches were an important consideration in making that recommendation. After the 09 CWA, some of the Oromo Churches lost large numbers of lay members due to the "policy" changes made there. No members means no money and no money means no building, operations funds, and pastor salary. The 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund' was a short term solution to those ethnic ministries that could not survive without help and were unwilling to be held hostage by a church body that has rejected the Christian faith as taught by the Apostles.


Phew!  :)  That's something worth supporting:  targeted, transitional, reaching out to those who are suffering for their faith...sounds distinctly Christian!
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: James Gustafson on January 21, 2011, 02:54:06 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

Couldn't you find an exemplary example for us?  Because really, I think your example just proved my point, those kinds of thoughts lead to us justifying more sinful behavior.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 21, 2011, 03:00:15 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

Couldn't you find an exemplary example for us?  Because really, I think your example just proved my point, those kinds of thoughts lead to us justifying more sinful behavior.

Or a typical revisionist approach of using the exception to nullify the rule.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: James Gustafson on January 21, 2011, 03:06:15 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Wheres the scripture reference for that?  It might come in handy when people want to upgrade and the church made them promise lifelong monogamy and some of us agreed to that, that is before our spouses stopped being attractive...  

Being attracted TO someone cannot be reduced to simple physical attractiveness.  Physical attractiveness (solely) is not what I am speaking about.  For example, my spouse Scott makes me laugh like no one else can; that is part of the reason I'm attracted to him.  It's not the ONLY reason, but it is a reason (one of many) that transcends physical looks.  Thanks for letting me clarify that.

As for Bible verses, there is no need to continually go 'round and 'round.  You and I both know that whatever case I make, you will dismiss.  The discussion has happened already on this board, many times, and no one changes their position.

Exactly right, being attractive is MORE than just physical appearances, we both agree.  But attractiveness is still there, and that's what we are discussing, what do we do when all those little things like, "making us laugh" disappear, our spouses become less attractive to us.  Thus, my post was not challenged by your objection.  Attractive people can be very ugly, we both know that too, so you point doesn't counter my point.  

Where does the argument come from that we have the right or expectation that we get to be perpetually attracted to our spouses?  
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: hillwilliam on January 21, 2011, 03:07:25 PM
It is possible that the Oromo Churches that were kicked out of their buildings were ELCA financed. In which case, it was a money issue.

Where is the mercy and compassion from those who spend so much time and energy lecturing the rest of us about the need for mercy and compassion?  Wouldn't mercy and compassion suggest forgiving the money and letting the congregation keep it's property for the greater witness of Christ's mission in the world?

This is why it would be good if we knew the details of this event. If the ELCA was paying the mortgage, pastor, and operating expenses they may be just a casualty of the budget cuts. It isn't necessarily a lack of mercy and compassion or a punishment. It is, however, more proof that their "bound conscience" isn't bound to true ethnic/cultural diversity, just liberal chattels.

I was trying to point out that there are ways that we could pick up the slack and insure that the Oromo congregations have a worship space. If enough people made contributions to the Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries fund we could keep them afloat until they could be matched with a Lutheran CORE, NALC or LCMC congregation as mission partners. This is part of the recommendation submitted by the Mission and Benevolence Work Group to the CORE steering committee.


Is there really a 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund'?  Really?  Isn't that just the kind of distinction that's got the ELCA into such a mess in the few decades of it's existence?  What are they doing trying to decide that some ministries need special funds?  Aren't we called to bring the gospel to all nations; all ethnicities?

Yes, there really is a 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund' and it is an attempt to help the very congregations that the ELCA have been supporting but no longer do. The Oromo Churches were an important consideration in making that recommendation. After the 09 CWA, some of the Oromo Churches lost large numbers of lay members due to the "policy" changes made there. No members means no money and no money means no building, operations funds, and pastor salary. The 'Lutheran CORE Ethnic Ministries Fund' was a short term solution to those ethnic ministries that could not survive without help and were unwilling to be held hostage by a church body that has rejected the Christian faith as taught by the Apostles.


Phew!  :)  That's something worth supporting:  targeted, transitional, reaching out to those who are suffering for their faith...sounds distinctly Christian!

Thank you, I certainly thought it was worth supporting. I'm not the expert on this subject but I have contributed financially to it and encourage others to do the same. The larger problem is those Lutheran bodies in the south who have been receiving help from the ELCA and have refused to accept any further support because they see it as conditional on their accepting the marriage and ordination of practicing gays. They see the actions of the 09 CWA as undermining the Word of God.

See document at:
 
http://www.eecmy.org/?page=!news&article=39

http://www.elct.org/news/2010.04.004.html

These are consciences bound to the word of God, something that is very hard to make compatible with American secular thought. As can be demonstrated in Hunter's book "To Change the World".
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: James Gustafson on January 21, 2011, 03:08:04 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

Couldn't you find an exemplary example for us?  Because really, I think your example just proved my point, those kinds of thoughts lead to us justifying more sinful behavior.

Or a typical revisionist approach of using the exception to nullify the rule.

That too, but how can we go there when his example doesn't present us with an example we should want to emulate, or even allow in decent society?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: edoughty on January 21, 2011, 03:13:54 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Wheres the scripture reference for that?  It might come in handy when people want to upgrade and the church made them promise lifelong monogamy and some of us agreed to that, that is before our spouses stopped being attractive...  

Being attracted TO someone cannot be reduced to simple physical attractiveness.  Physical attractiveness (solely) is not what I am speaking about.  For example, my spouse Scott makes me laugh like no one else can; that is part of the reason I'm attracted to him.  It's not the ONLY reason, but it is a reason (one of many) that transcends physical looks.  Thanks for letting me clarify that.

As for Bible verses, there is no need to continually go 'round and 'round.  You and I both know that whatever case I make, you will dismiss.  The discussion has happened already on this board, many times, and no one changes their position.

Exactly right, being attractive is MORE than just physical appearances, we both agree.  But attractiveness is still there, and that's what we are discussing, what do we do when all those little things like, "making us laugh" disappear, our spouses become less attractive to us.  Thus, my post was not challenged by your objection.  Attractive people can be very ugly, we both know that too, so you point doesn't counter my point.  

Where does the argument come from that we have the right or expectation that we get to be perpetually attracted to our spouses?  

I have no idea.  That is not the argument I'm making, so I don't know why you're arguing against it.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: efretheim on January 21, 2011, 03:16:49 PM
Sure, like when during the intercessory prayers on Pentecost, the pastor prays that "the Holy Spirit would come down to all those conservatives and show them that war is not the answer."

What question do conservatives think that war answers?

I don't have past Sundays and Seasons with me, but a petition for Pentecost 2011 is: "Come, Holy Spirit, into the nations of the world. Rain down your peace onto nations at war or in crisis (especially)."

Do you have objections to that? If so, what are they?
I have several:  It doesn't address why there is war or crisis.  It faults the victim as much as the agressor.  It supposes that Peace is more important than truth and justice (in the real sense, not the modern ELCA liberal sense - "they cry, 'Peace! Peace!' When there is no peace!").  It cheapens the situations by converting them to a sound bite.  It presumes upon the will of God (we know from the Old Testament that sometimes God wants, directs, or uses wars for things that may be beyond our understanding).
As an old soldier, I am all for peace and not getting shot at (it isn't fun), but, I know that there are things worse than war.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 21, 2011, 03:19:40 PM
George, that is simple enough.  Find an ELCA congregation (and there are -- or were) many such -- where the pastor agrees with you.  And then, when the time to call a new pastor comes around, don't call as pastor someone who disagrees with you.  Call Katie, for example.

Given the stories recounted in here about what some bishops in some synods have done, and the way that ELCA seminaries are cranking out new pastors who are force fed the homosexual Kool-Aid, that becomes problematical. Besides, the issue isn't what hoops we traditionalists have to jump through to get around the revisionist take-over of the ELCA. If our bound consciences were truly respected, we wouldn't need to come up with strategies to get around the things I've mentioned. That's why the stuff about "you don't have to call a homosexual pastor if you don't want to" is a bogus argument.  

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: iowakatie1981 on January 21, 2011, 03:21:18 PM
George, that is simple enough.  Find an ELCA congregation (and there are -- or were) many such -- where the pastor agrees with you.  And then, when the time to call a new pastor comes around, don't call as pastor someone who disagrees with you.  Call Katie, for example.

Given the stories recounted in here about what some bishops in some synods have done, and the way that ELCA seminaries are cranking out new pastors who are force fed the homosexual Kool-Aid, that becomes problematical. Besides, the issue isn't what hoops we traditionalists have to jump through to get around the revisionist take-over of the ELCA. If our bound consciences were truly respected, we wouldn't need to come up with strategies to get around the things I've mentioned. That's why the stuff about "you don't have to call a homosexual pastor if you don't want to" is a bogus argument.  




Yeah, and I don't want to live that far south.   
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: edoughty on January 21, 2011, 03:33:31 PM
George, that is simple enough.  Find an ELCA congregation (and there are -- or were) many such -- where the pastor agrees with you.  And then, when the time to call a new pastor comes around, don't call as pastor someone who disagrees with you.  Call Katie, for example.

Given the stories recounted in here about what some bishops in some synods have done, and the way that ELCA seminaries are cranking out new pastors who are force fed the homosexual Kool-Aid, that becomes problematical. Besides, the issue isn't what hoops we traditionalists have to jump through to get around the revisionist take-over of the ELCA. If our bound consciences were truly respected, we wouldn't need to come up with strategies to get around the things I've mentioned. That's why the stuff about "you don't have to call a homosexual pastor if you don't want to" is a bogus argument.  

I don't think anyone is being "force-fed" anything.  I am pretty sure that at Luther Seminary there are professors who are more in line with Katie's thinking than with mine.  Gracia Grindal, Steven Paulson, Walter Sundberg.  And there are seminarians who remain closeted because in their own candidacy committees, it would not be welcome news.  I don't think the process has ever been easy-- either the ordination process or that of being in the church.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: iowakatie1981 on January 21, 2011, 03:44:56 PM
So you'd be totally okay with me praying for the "Holy Spirit to come down to all those liberals and show them that abortion is not the answer"?

After all, the ELCA is technically-kinda-sorta-some-days-if-you-really-push-hard-close-your-eyes-and-cross-your-fingers against abortion.  You'd feel completely welcome if you showed up  in my congregation on Sunday to hear that?

(And btw, "war" seemed to do an okay job of getting concentration camps closed..)

My point, Brian, is that if you're going to "welcome everybody", you have to actually welcome everybody.  Either "bound conscience" means that those whose conscience is bound are allowed to continue to preach "a baptism of repentance" in accordance with their conscience while still finding a way to be polite and respectful of others, particularly in mixed company, or it means nothing.  But at this moment, I do not believe that the ELCA wants me - my self, my beliefs, my conscience, my convictions, my thoughts, my actions, my words - to be associated with the ELCA.  I believe that they want me - a body, a number, a woman - because I'm another number, another woman, another benevolence dollar, another "see, people really do like us."

How is Erik being told "if you're gay you really don't belong here" any more offensive, or any less welcoming, than me being told, "if you're conservative, you really don't belong here"?

Sure, like when during the intercessory prayers on Pentecost, the pastor prays that "the Holy Spirit would come down to all those conservatives and show them that war is not the answer."

What question do conservatives think that war answers?

I don't have past Sundays and Seasons with me, but a petition for Pentecost 2011 is: "Come, Holy Spirit, into the nations of the world. Rain down your peace onto nations at war or in crisis (especially)."

Do you have objections to that? If so, what are they?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 21, 2011, 03:50:55 PM
How is Erik being told "if you're gay you really don't belong here" any more offensive, or any less welcoming, than me being told, "if you're conservative, you really don't belong here"?

Don't you understand? Engaging in homosexual behaviour is a compulsion one is born with, and is too strong of an inner urge to be expected to resist. But being a conservative means you choose to worship the devil.
 ::)
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: James Gustafson on January 21, 2011, 03:52:14 PM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Wheres the scripture reference for that?  It might come in handy when people want to upgrade and the church made them promise lifelong monogamy and some of us agreed to that, that is before our spouses stopped being attractive...  

Being attracted TO someone cannot be reduced to simple physical attractiveness.  Physical attractiveness (solely) is not what I am speaking about.  For example, my spouse Scott makes me laugh like no one else can; that is part of the reason I'm attracted to him.  It's not the ONLY reason, but it is a reason (one of many) that transcends physical looks.  Thanks for letting me clarify that.

As for Bible verses, there is no need to continually go 'round and 'round.  You and I both know that whatever case I make, you will dismiss.  The discussion has happened already on this board, many times, and no one changes their position.

Exactly right, being attractive is MORE than just physical appearances, we both agree.  But attractiveness is still there, and that's what we are discussing, what do we do when all those little things like, "making us laugh" disappear, our spouses become less attractive to us.  Thus, my post was not challenged by your objection.  Attractive people can be very ugly, we both know that too, so you point doesn't counter my point.  

Where does the argument come from that we have the right or expectation that we get to be perpetually attracted to our spouses?  

I have no idea.  That is not the argument I'm making, so I don't know why you're arguing against it.

You didn't make that argument on purpose, but it is what you said when you said: "-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."  As if, having sex with someone to whom we are attracted is some sort of fundamental expectation and right.  

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 21, 2011, 03:56:11 PM
James Gustafson writes:
As if, having sex with someone to whom we are attracted is some sort of fundamental expectation and right. 

I ask:
Well, if not a "fundamental" expectation, could it at least be a sort-of, maybe, it-would-be-nice expectation?  ;D
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: James Gustafson on January 21, 2011, 04:00:52 PM
James Gustafson writes:
As if, having sex with someone to whom we are attracted is some sort of fundamental expectation and right. 

I ask:
Well, if not a "fundamental" expectation, could it at least be a sort-of, maybe, it-would-be-nice expectation?  ;D

I don't know, what's the American divorce rate up to now?  How much longer can we play this charade, this game, before lifelong marriage in American has entirely disappeared?
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: GalRev83 on January 21, 2011, 04:01:43 PM
The blog page from CORE which reported the original incident has been removed. Does anyone know what is up?


From http://commonconfession.blogspot.com :

"Earlier this week we posted a story about challenges facing certain Oromo Evangelical Lutheran congregations, based on information provided by those involved.

We continue to believe in the accuracy of what was described in the story. But, at the subsequent request of some of those involved, we have now removed the story to provide "breathing space" for private deliberations and discussions by African immigrant congregations and their leaders."

Thank you for this!
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 21, 2011, 04:04:00 PM
I've always said, "If you need a sign (or rule, or quota, or resolution, etc.) to show you are welcoming, then you probably have much more significant issues to deal with first."  Someplace that is welcoming to all that really lives it needs no sign.

Much in the same flavor as needing a sign, resolution, or "initiative" to read the Bible.  That such things are needed in the ELCA, while commendable, also shows just how deplorable the situation really is.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Pilgrim on January 21, 2011, 04:13:47 PM
Tim just notes: Just an observation having read the last 2-3 pages of posts herein: there seem to be a total absence of the ability to distinguish between Luther's kingdom of the left and kingdom of the right being applied (and misapplied) in many of these contentions.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 21, 2011, 04:46:11 PM

Not quite. After the motion to reconsider was defeated, there was a motion (I believe two related motions) to send the Concordat back to committee for revisions -- taking into account reasons for the opposition -- to be brought back to the next CWA. Thus a new proposal called Called to Common Mission was created, which had to be approved by The Episcopal Church (which had already approved the Concordat), and the ELCA.


One of the important distinctions between the eventual adoption of full-communion with the Episcopal Church and the eventual acceptance of practicing gays in the ELCA's ministry is the role within the ELCA's decision-making of those who publicly drove the opposition to the proposals once they were defeated.

When the Concordat (which required a 2/3rds vote) was very narrowly defeated, it was the successful opposition that intiated the conversations that led to the Assembly's direction that suitable modifications, taking into account the discussion, be made to the Concordat for presentation to the next CWA.  CCM made some modifications, which were (surprisingly) accepted by the ECUSA with little debate.  Ultimately, most of ELCA's oppositition to the Concordat (including the opposition member on the 3-man group that wrote it) found CCM unacceptable, but given the very narrow margin, it ought not be terribly surprising that enough found the modifications acceptable.

When the proposal for exceptions to Vision and Expectations, which was also set to require a 2/3rds vote, was not only defeated, but failed to get a simple majority, it was the unsuccessful proponents who went back to initiate another way to implement "full inclusion" of practicing GL clergy.  Which they did, over the oppostion of the token traditionalists on the Task Force.


Another difference is how officials of the church dealt with the failure of the proposals.  After the failure of the Concordat, ECUSA Bishops did not start showing up at ELCA Bishop's installations anyway and start laying hands on our Bishops.  OTOH, after the exceptions to Vision and Expectation failed, several prominent ELCA Bishops effectively, but quietly, implemented them anyway without any consequences.  In fact, if former ELCA Bishop Chilstrom's recent testimony is true, that had been happening at his explicit direction to the Conference of Bishops for years already.


This is why, from the moment I first read it (http://pastorzip.blogspot.com/2009/04/gift-and-trust.html), I have consistently pointed to the early footnote in Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust that includes this sentence:

            Broken promises and betrayed trust through lies, exploitation, and manipulative behavior
            are exposed, not just as an individual failing, but as an attack on the foundations of our
            lives as social beings.


That describes the ELCA today.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison.  Steven+
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 21, 2011, 05:12:39 PM

However, the question I asked, which you did not address, do congregations have subtle and overt ways of saying, "You are not welcome here"?

Yes, Brian, they do.

OTOH, my experience -- both personally and as a Pastor -- is that often people find themselves in a situation and, because it is different, assume that they are not welcome (any longer) not realizing that 1) they would be very graciously received and/or 2) there are already several people in that congregation that are in a similar position (known to the pastor, or perhaps even the pastor himself) who offer great support the second they realize the situation.  Following that assumption, they exclude themselves.  And then, having rejected the congregation that they never gave a chance (one that perhaps had supported them through other things that would "normally" lead to exclusion), start telling others about how unwelcomed they were.

I can do anecdotes, too. 
Title: Because the html formatting didn't take somewhere
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 21, 2011, 05:21:27 PM
Let's try that again:


See document at http://www.eecmy.org/?page=!news&pagenr=2&article=39 (http://www.eecmy.org/?page=!news&pagenr=2&article=39) and http://www.elct.org/news/2010.04.004.html (http://www.elct.org/news/2010.04.004.html)



(The part of the first URL that is in black was a blank space in the original post.)
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: George Erdner on January 21, 2011, 05:36:29 PM
I doubt if anyone hasn't experienced the situation where if one enters into a new group of people, all of whom share a common closeness or bond, things can be a little awkward. I suspect that is a universal condition for almost all people, and in almost all groups. Whether one is the new kid who moves into a school in the middle of the year, a first-time visitor at a church, the new hire at a company, the family that just moved into a new neighborhood, or the new guy invited to a weekly poker game, being the new face in any crowd has its share of difficulties.

I also do not think it a difficult stretch of the imagination to see that anyone who has a self-perception of being "different" might not be a little defensive, and might not attribute any sort of hesitation in welcome to that difference rather than to simple awkwardness on the part of those already in the group. It should come as no surprise that people attempting to make a newcomer feel welcome can, and often do, "put their foot in it" accidentally and say something that doesn't quite come out right. Nervousness makes that happen. Combine that nervousness on the part of the people doing the greeting with defensiveness about a perceived difference on the part of the newcomer, and you have the perfect conditions for misunderstandings.

I have met more than a few people in my life who assume that anything negative that happens to them from other people is because they are ______. I'll bet most other people in here have similar experiences. Instead of automatically blaming any lack of sufficient welcome on being homosexual, maybe one should consider that it could be because one has a grating, regional accent that is almost impossible to understand. Or it could be because one forgot to eat a Tic-Tac. Or maybe the people one met are simply shy around strangers. Some people are shy. It's true. Shy people tend to not be really open to strangers. It's not because of anything specific about the strangers, it just because they're strangers.

I remember back in 1984 when my wife and I visited First Lutheran Church in Washington, PA the first time. We were Pittsburghers, and so we referred to Washington, PA as "Little Washington". When we were asked how long we had been in town, I said, "We just moved to Little Washington." Suddenly, the temperature dropped at least 30 degrees, as we were informed in tones of indignant righteousness, "Don't you mean, Washington, PA?" We didn't know that what everyone else in Southwestern Pennsylvania called Washington, PA was considered an epithet by the locals. Fortunately, we didn't let that stop us from joining and having our daughter baptised there.
Title: Re: Because the html formatting didn't take somewhere
Post by: hillwilliam on January 21, 2011, 06:18:06 PM
Let's try that again:


See document at http://www.eecmy.org/?page=!news&pagenr=2&article=39 (http://www.eecmy.org/?page=!news&pagenr=2&article=39) and http://www.elct.org/news/2010.04.004.html (http://www.elct.org/news/2010.04.004.html)



Sorry, but I just clicked on them and they worked for me.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2011, 06:26:55 PM

However, the question I asked, which you did not address, do congregations have subtle and overt ways of saying, "You are not welcome here"?

Yes, Brian, they do.

OTOH, my experience -- both personally and as a Pastor -- is that often people find themselves in a situation and, because it is different, assume that they are not welcome (any longer) not realizing that 1) they would be very graciously received and/or 2) there are already several people in that congregation that are in a similar position (known to the pastor, or perhaps even the pastor himself) who offer great support the second they realize the situation.  Following that assumption, they exclude themselves.  And then, having rejected the congregation that they never gave a chance (one that perhaps had supported them through other things that would "normally" lead to exclusion), start telling others about how unwelcomed they were.

More specific anecdote is to see who the members talk to before and after worship, and during the fellowship time. Do they gather together with other members, or reach out to the stranger in their midst? One lady told me very clearly that the fellowship time was the only time during the week that she could see her grown child and grandchildren, so they all gathered around a table every Sunday and eschewed visiting with others.

Conversely, I've also had people in congregations who looked for those who appeared to be "newbies" to the congregation and start up a conversation with them. In some congregations, the perception of "friendly" or "unfriendly" depends on whether or not the one or two "friendly" members were present that Sunday.
Title: Re: Because the html formatting didn't take somewhere
Post by: hillwilliam on January 21, 2011, 06:37:19 PM
Let's try that again:


See document at http://www.eecmy.org/?page=!news&pagenr=2&article=39 (http://www.eecmy.org/?page=!news&pagenr=2&article=39) and http://www.elct.org/news/2010.04.004.html (http://www.elct.org/news/2010.04.004.html)



Sorry, but I just clicked on them and they worked for me.

Hold on, wait a minute, I went back to my original post and, sure enough, the link didn't work. Yet mysteriously, the quote of my post that you put in your post did work. Color me incredulous.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on January 21, 2011, 07:12:12 PM

However, the question I asked, which you did not address, do congregations have subtle and overt ways of saying, "You are not welcome here"?

Yes, Brian, they do.

OTOH, my experience -- both personally and as a Pastor -- is that often people find themselves in a situation and, because it is different, assume that they are not welcome (any longer) not realizing that 1) they would be very graciously received and/or 2) there are already several people in that congregation that are in a similar position (known to the pastor, or perhaps even the pastor himself) who offer great support the second they realize the situation.  Following that assumption, they exclude themselves.  And then, having rejected the congregation that they never gave a chance (one that perhaps had supported them through other things that would "normally" lead to exclusion), start telling others about how unwelcomed they were.

More specific anecdote is to see who the members talk to before and after worship, and during the fellowship time. Do they gather together with other members, or reach out to the stranger in their midst? One lady told me very clearly that the fellowship time was the only time during the week that she could see her grown child and grandchildren, so they all gathered around a table every Sunday and eschewed visiting with others.

Conversely, I've also had people in congregations who looked for those who appeared to be "newbies" to the congregation and start up a conversation with them. In some congregations, the perception of "friendly" or "unfriendly" depends on whether or not the one or two "friendly" members were present that Sunday.

And this has what, exactly, to do with anything?

Going back to lurking.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Because the html formatting didn't take somewhere
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 21, 2011, 07:20:50 PM

Yet mysteriously, the quote of my post that you put in your post did work. Color me incredulous.

The part in black I added.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Paula Murray on January 22, 2011, 12:42:00 AM
Tim just notes: Just an observation having read the last 2-3 pages of posts herein: there seem to be a total absence of the ability to distinguish between Luther's kingdom of the left and kingdom of the right being applied (and misapplied) in many of these contentions.

Once again I note, as I have on other topic streams, that some of the revisionist "interpretation" of Scripture completely overlook the difference between descriptive and proscriptive language (as in describing what exists as opposed to describing what ought to exist) and the differences between genres (for instance, reading poetry as one might a chemistry text).  The best literalists I know are modern day revisionists.  Massively annoying.

Yours in Christ,
Paula Murray
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 22, 2011, 01:33:54 AM
-- that you never have sex with someone to whom you are attracted."

I rather suspect that there are a lot of divorcées that got that way through thinking thoughts such as that.   "I deserve the privilege of having sex with someone I find attractive, bye bye old and ugly spouse, I'm off to greener pastures!"

Y'mean like when David married Bathsheba? Granted committing adultery with her was wrong. Plotting to have her husband killed was wrong; but there was nothing wrong about marrying a second or third or whatever wife who was available for marriage.

Couldn't you find an exemplary example for us?  Because really, I think your example just proved my point, those kinds of thoughts lead to us justifying more sinful behavior.

We aren't given the stories about David's other wives or his concubines -- but there seems to have been no repercussions David marrying or for having sex with them. In that society, it was expected that wealthy men would be in sexual relationships with many wives, slaves, and concubines.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 22, 2011, 02:11:38 AM

We aren't given the stories about David's other wives or his concubines -- but there seems to have been no repercussions David marrying or for having sex with them.


You might re-read 2nd Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: amos on January 22, 2011, 02:35:11 PM

When you start with a closed mind, any thought that does not agree --- even scripture --- is wrong. 
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: 1Ptr5v67 on January 22, 2011, 06:32:43 PM
In Mike Bennett's earlier post on this thread (1/21/11 post #100),  he referred us to an article by David Yeago
http://lutheranspersisting.wordpress.com/david-yeago-in-the-aftermath/ (http://lutheranspersisting.wordpress.com/david-yeago-in-the-aftermath/)
This article was written in 2009 shortly after the CWA.

But such site also contains another article of Dave Yeago's written 2/6/10
http://lutheranspersisting.wordpress.com/david-yeago-facing-reality-in-the-elca/ (http://lutheranspersisting.wordpress.com/david-yeago-facing-reality-in-the-elca/)
from which I quote:


Quote
I hear instead a great deal of scolding about the bad manners and overheated rhetoric of traditionalists. These are certainly real enough, though not universal. I have counseled traditionalists to beware the poisonous affects of anger and resentment, and I will continue to do so. But the demand for civility is a time-honored ploy by the powerful, deliberate or not, to control or exclude the less powerful: "You don't get to speak unless you speak politely, and we decide what's polite." This is a distraction from the far more significant question: What will the powerful do with their power? The future of the ELCA will in large measure be determined by the degree to which those who support the Assembly actions are practically committed to retaining fellowship with those who reject them. Traditionalists should be ready to acknowledge and respect such commitment when it appears, and that will require spiritual discipline and self-criticism on our part. But the traditionalists do not have the power to decide whether space will be provided for them in the ELCA.

I recommend both articles as being worthy of being read in their entirety.
Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: pr dtp on January 22, 2011, 07:47:14 PM
Perhaps it was deleted in that mass delete, but it continues to be overlooked.

One does not sin only in action, but in thought and word as well.  This does deal greatly in every commandment, but it is of great significance in this discussion.  It is not just the heterosexual act outside of marriage or the homosexual act that are sinful, but so is such intercourse and intimacy in thought and word.

Title: Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
Post by: G.Edward on January 23, 2011, 05:01:26 PM

We aren't given the stories about David's other wives or his concubines -- but there seems to have been no repercussions David marrying or for having sex with them.


You might re-read 2nd Samuel, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.

There you go again...expecting someone to read the whole bible.  It's so much easier to make sense of the little bits we like.  ;)