Author Topic: Humble and Bold  (Read 936 times)


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Humble and Bold
« on: May 06, 2008, 10:24:39 PM »
I'm only about a month late in writing this commendation for Richard Johnson's recent article in the April Forum Letter that gave his first impressions of the recent draft of the sexuality social statement.  I was especially grateful for someone else's opinion, as I had a hard time slugging through the document.  One would think a writing about sex would hold people's attention more, but I would be included with the crowd Richard referred to when he wrote: "a quick perusal elicited not much more than a yawn from most readers."

The paragraph in the article that I had to read several times was under the heading, "Missing Words."  Richard reports, "While the statement occasionally quotes Luther's catechisms, the only references to the sixth commandment - which one would think would be front and center in this discussion - are in th footnotes."  And, " seems to me that any discussion of sexuality that doesn't even mention lust or adultery is closing off an important part of traditional Christian moral instruction."  I tend not to be shocked by too much of what I read, but reading about these major omissions did jolt me a bit. 

I realize that there is a profound difference between a social statement in the ELCA and a statement made by the Commission of Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) in the LCMS.  My impression is that the latter is meant to more of a rule and the former more of a guide.  Even so, I have normally appreciated the CTCR approach of surveying the Scripture, Confessions and recent decisions and events in church history before exploring a given issue.  Granted, this would be enriched even further by also surveying the Early Church Fathers as well (some CTCR documents give one the impression that theology began at the Reformation, but that's a different issue). 

My main concern is for my friends and family who are looking to struggle with the ELCA as the church goes into its next Church Wide Assembly.  Luther's Small Catechism and the simple morals taught in Scripture are what they were brought up with and it is the language they speak.  In this regard, I'm not sure that the laity in the ELCA and the LCMS are all that different.  In many cases, I would guess that some of the foundational training is still the same.  So, how are the people supposed to grapple with the issues at hand and eventually make a decision on whether or not church policy toward people in same-sex, committed relationships should be more open, or more closed, without first standing on the foundation of their Lutheran training? 

Perhaps answers to these questions will help this reader understand better the differences in how our respective church bodies guide the pastors and laity through national studies and statements.  My prayers are with my brothers and sisters in the faith as you continue to struggle together to find the path that will bring faithfulness and unity to the praise and honor of our savior, Jesus. 
Soli Deo Gloria!