Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 817666 times)

ptmccain

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4245 on: November 18, 2010, 07:03:08 PM »
If I understand what Brian has posted recently, John, he told us that God answered their prayers differently in 2009 than he did in 2006.

Apparently the answer in 2006 and since the beginning of time, was "No, I won't grant your petition that your homosexual pastors should be able to engage in homosexual behaviors."

In 2009 God:

(1) Changed his mind.
(2) Realized the ELCA is advanced enough now to be able to handle homosexuality.

Or some combination of/or all the above.


Scott6

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4246 on: November 18, 2010, 08:16:51 PM »
You can't have a second vote fail and then go back to just a second vote.

Why?  I read the model ELCA constitution, and I don't see how it prohibits that procedure.  If it's a matter of advisability, that I can understand.  But how is it a matter of "can't"?

ddrebes

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4247 on: November 18, 2010, 08:19:11 PM »

As a follow up to our vote last Sunday, there has been local radio , TV , and newspaper coverage. AP is going national with a story in the next day . I guess they think it is newsworthy since we are the largest Lutheran church in the state.

Jeff Ruby

Do you have any links? How do you feel about the coverage? (accuracy, tone, etc.)

James_Gale

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4248 on: November 18, 2010, 08:45:41 PM »
You can't have a second vote fail and then go back to just a second vote.

Why?  I read the model ELCA constitution, and I don't see how it prohibits that procedure.  If it's a matter of advisability, that I can understand.  But how is it a matter of "can't"?

Scott --

I think that the argument for "can't" is relatively strong.  Here's what I argued upstream a bit:


I agree with you that the constitution does not state expressly that a failed second vote ends the process, thereby sending a congregation back to the beginning.  But let me give you a simplified version of what seems to me to be the strongest argument from the synod's perspective that Zion's second "second vote" was not effective.

Under the process for leaving the ELCA, a congregation must vote to leave once and then be open to consultation with the synod bishop for a period of at least 90 days.  After that, if a congregation "still desires to terminate its relationship," it may do so through a successful second vote.  The word "still" from subsection (d) is critically important.  The process requires two votes because in order to leave, the congregation must "still" want to leave (as evidenced by a 2/3 vote) upon the conclusion of the consultation period.  A failed second vote shows that the congregation does not "still" wish to leave.  Thus, the process for leaving has failed.  It is done and over.  A later 2/3 vote to leave is not evidence that a congregation "still" wants to leave.  Instead, it is evidence of a renewed desire to leave.  For this reason, it cannot constitute a successful second vote.  It could, however, constitute a successful first vote.  And if after 90 days of consultation the congregation then holds a successful vote to leave, it will have shown that it "still" has the desire to leave and the process will be complete.

One could argue that any other construction would be absurd.  If Zion were right, a congregation could take second votes indefinitely until one succeeded.  It would never need to take another first vote or engage in further consultation.  That makes no sense.  

There are passable counter-arguments to all of this.  I offer this post simply to illustrate that there is strength to the ELCA position on this question.  And it is for this reason that congregations should proceed prudently when evaluating the risks associated with relying on a second "second vote."

Jim

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4249 on: November 18, 2010, 11:41:14 PM »
If I understand what Brian has posted recently, John, he told us that God answered their prayers differently in 2009 than he did in 2006.

Apparently the answer in 2006 and since the beginning of time, was "No, I won't grant your petition that your homosexual pastors should be able to engage in homosexual behaviors."

In 2009 God:

(1) Changed his mind.
(2) Realized the ELCA is advanced enough now to be able to handle homosexuality.

Or some combination of/or all the above.

If I had to speculate on how God thinks -- which we are unable to fathom -- I would think (3) God realized that many homosexuals have reached a maturity level so that they are willing and able to enter into a life-long, monogamous, loving relationship. Not too different from state legislatures deciding the same thing and that these relationship should be legal -- whether as registered domestic partners or marriage -- and share the same benefits of heterosexual married couples. It's not that God changed, but that we humans finally got it. For some people, the not goodness of being alone is solved by a person of the same gender. (It isn't solved by people of any sexual orientation by one night stands. Sexual behavior is not the same thing as companionship.)

We can argue similarly that in 1970, we finally "got it" that God can and does use females as ordained ministers just as effectively as males.

Do use a biblical example, Joseph believed that the right thing to do was to quietly divorce marry since she had become pregnant - and he wasn't the father. What he believed was right, wasn't what God wanted him to do; so God acted to change his mind. Similar Peter's belief about unclean foods and the illegality of a Jew entering the home of a Gentile was changed by God through a series of events. I don't believe that Cornelius and his household were converted as much as Peter and the Jews who were with him in that story.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 11:50:16 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

jrubyaz

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4250 on: November 19, 2010, 12:07:31 AM »
www.azcentral.com  Use the search function, type in  La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church, three articles. The radio interview on KTAR FM was this am, not sure about a link , and Associated Press interviewed me this morning, story yet to run. Local TV covered our vote, cameras not allowed inside of sanctuary, but they interviewed some members.

Overall, pleased. Most got the difference between standards for clergy leadership and yet welcoming all people to worship. The biggest issue was major errors in terminology.....for example, using the word 'leaving the Lutheran church" instead of ELCA denomination, or the most glaring, "our second vote was taken because our first vote failed" . Don't know about that one, or where he got that, both our votes passed by wide margins. It was corrected online, but not in priint.

Some of that is expected in a non-churched culture, but it is sad when there is no fact checking and there are blatant errors.

Jeff


As a follow up to our vote last Sunday, there has been local radio , TV , and newspaper coverage. AP is going national with a story in the next day . I guess they think it is newsworthy since we are the largest Lutheran church in the state.

Jeff Ruby

Do you have any links? How do you feel about the coverage? (accuracy, tone, etc.)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 12:11:50 AM by jrubyaz »

James_Gale

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4251 on: November 19, 2010, 12:21:59 AM »
If I had to speculate on how God thinks -- which we are unable to fathom -- I would think (3) God realized that many homosexuals have reached a maturity level so that they are willing and able to enter into a life-long, monogamous, loving relationship. Not too different from state legislatures deciding the same thing and that these relationship should be legal -- whether as registered domestic partners or marriage -- and share the same benefits of heterosexual married couples.

So your argument is that "homosexuals have reached a maturity level" just now that they hadn't reached before.  I don't think I heard anyone make that argument to the CWA.  And I very much doubt that the gay-rights lobby would think much of your "speculation" regarding "how God thinks" about them.

Can you imagine someone making the following speech to the CWA?

"So, uh, here's the thing.  I'm gay.  Gay people always were immature before.  You know.  Kinda like 16-year-old straight people.  We never got past that till now.  You straight people turned into adults.  We never did.  But at long last, after several thousand years, things have changed.  We grow up too, now.  So, God, that great state legislature in the sky, wants you to change the rules.  Doggone it's good to be all growed up just like you straight people."

Hmmmm.

cssml

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4252 on: November 19, 2010, 12:22:19 AM »
If I understand what Brian has posted recently, John, he told us that God answered their prayers differently in 2009 than he did in 2006.

Apparently the answer in 2006 and since the beginning of time, was "No, I won't grant your petition that your homosexual pastors should be able to engage in homosexual behaviors."

In 2009 God:

(1) Changed his mind.
(2) Realized the ELCA is advanced enough now to be able to handle homosexuality.

Or some combination of/or all the above.

If I had to speculate on how God thinks -- which we are unable to fathom -- I would think (3) God realized that many homosexuals have reached a maturity level so that they are willing and able to enter into a life-long, monogamous, loving relationship. Not too different from state legislatures deciding the same thing and that these relationship should be legal -- whether as registered domestic partners or marriage -- and share the same benefits of heterosexual married couples. It's not that God changed, but that we humans finally got it. For some people, the not goodness of being alone is solved by a person of the same gender. (It isn't solved by people of any sexual orientation by one night stands. Sexual behavior is not the same thing as companionship.)

We can argue similarly that in 1970, we finally "got it" that God can and does use females as ordained ministers just as effectively as males.

Do use a biblical example, Joseph believed that the right thing to do was to quietly divorce marry [?? Mary ?] since she had become pregnant - and he wasn't the father. What he believed was right, wasn't what God wanted him to do; so God acted to change his mind. Similar Peter's belief about unclean foods and the illegality of a Jew entering the home of a Gentile was changed by God through a series of events. I don't believe that Cornelius and his household were converted as much as Peter and the Jews who were with him in that story.

Are you arguing that it is a good thing when Christians "mature" (your term) to the same degree as their surrounding political institutions of this world?  Are we as Christians not called to be different, in some sense apart from the world, and to stand up and proclaim the truth at all cost (Viva Cristo Rey! http://www.executedtoday.com/2008/11/23/1927-father-miguel-pro-viva-cristo-rey/) when the world inevitably gets it wrong?  Many 'mature' and worldly institutions have decided at times through history that they have 'matured' beyond silly Christianity.  Just to name a few; the French Civil Constitution for the Clergy, the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, Persecution under Diocletian and others in Rome, The British Act of Supremacy, The Spanish Civil War.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Supremacy#1534
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristero_War
http://www.executedtoday.com/2008/11/23/1927-father-miguel-pro-viva-cristo-rey/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War#Constitution_of_1931_and_anti-clericalism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism#Persecution_under_Nero.2C_64-68_A.D.

We are called to be faithful, and at times, this is guaranteed to put us at odds with the 'mature' political context we may find ourselves within.  God grant us courage and perseverance if/when that time comes for us.

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4253 on: November 19, 2010, 06:05:39 AM »
"Maturity," as we normally use that word, is not the proper concept in this dynamic. We are talking about "change," and perhaps the ability to comprehend the need to change.
It could be said that at one time the "need" for marriage was to 1) protect the family property, 2) make a political alliance, 3) provide for one's old age by making sure that someone would take care of you, 4) "alllow" two people to legally or morally have sexual intercourse, or 5) populate the planet.
We rarely saw any other reason for marriage. Companionship? Fellow soldiers. Sex? Prostitutes, concubines or mistresses. Love? Didn't figure in the equation. A "vocation"? Perhaps. A "godly" thing? In theory, not, predominantly, in practice.
This idea that the kind of "marriage" defended here by those who call themselves traditionalists is The One Way to look at marriage just doesn't wash. And the Church "signed off" on morganatic marriages, even ordered that the take place.
But we digress.
As for the topic here: I believe it is relatively simple. There is a process by which ELCA congregations can sever their ties with the ELCA. It should be followed - to the letter. It would appear that Pastor Ruby's congregation did this with some care. I disagree with his reasons for leaving, but it seems they acted properly.

Scott6

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4254 on: November 19, 2010, 07:47:59 AM »
You can't have a second vote fail and then go back to just a second vote.

Why?  I read the model ELCA constitution, and I don't see how it prohibits that procedure.  If it's a matter of advisability, that I can understand.  But how is it a matter of "can't"?

Scott --

I think that the argument for "can't" is relatively strong.  Here's what I argued upstream a bit:


I agree with you that the constitution does not state expressly that a failed second vote ends the process, thereby sending a congregation back to the beginning.  But let me give you a simplified version of what seems to me to be the strongest argument from the synod's perspective that Zion's second "second vote" was not effective.

Under the process for leaving the ELCA, a congregation must vote to leave once and then be open to consultation with the synod bishop for a period of at least 90 days.  After that, if a congregation "still desires to terminate its relationship," it may do so through a successful second vote.  The word "still" from subsection (d) is critically important.  The process requires two votes because in order to leave, the congregation must "still" want to leave (as evidenced by a 2/3 vote) upon the conclusion of the consultation period.  A failed second vote shows that the congregation does not "still" wish to leave.  Thus, the process for leaving has failed.  It is done and over.  A later 2/3 vote to leave is not evidence that a congregation "still" wants to leave.  Instead, it is evidence of a renewed desire to leave.  For this reason, it cannot constitute a successful second vote.  It could, however, constitute a successful first vote.  And if after 90 days of consultation the congregation then holds a successful vote to leave, it will have shown that it "still" has the desire to leave and the process will be complete.

One could argue that any other construction would be absurd.  If Zion were right, a congregation could take second votes indefinitely until one succeeded.  It would never need to take another first vote or engage in further consultation.  That makes no sense.  

There are passable counter-arguments to all of this.  I offer this post simply to illustrate that there is strength to the ELCA position on this question.  And it is for this reason that congregations should proceed prudently when evaluating the risks associated with relying on a second "second vote."

Jim

Thanks for this, Jim.

As you mention, there are counter-arguments, perhaps the easiest being that a successful, though repeated, "second" vote indicates that the congregation "still" desires to leave.  Unless there is an explicit statement saying that the two successful votes have to be contiguous, what you have is at least an equally strong if not stronger argument saying that it is nowhere required, and that the "still" argument, while quite clever, is a stretch as other interpretations are equally (and less complexly) available..
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 07:56:38 AM by Scott Yakimow »

James_Gale

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4255 on: November 19, 2010, 08:02:46 AM »
You can't have a second vote fail and then go back to just a second vote.

Why?  I read the model ELCA constitution, and I don't see how it prohibits that procedure.  If it's a matter of advisability, that I can understand.  But how is it a matter of "can't"?

Scott --

I think that the argument for "can't" is relatively strong.  Here's what I argued upstream a bit:


I agree with you that the constitution does not state expressly that a failed second vote ends the process, thereby sending a congregation back to the beginning.  But let me give you a simplified version of what seems to me to be the strongest argument from the synod's perspective that Zion's second "second vote" was not effective.

Under the process for leaving the ELCA, a congregation must vote to leave once and then be open to consultation with the synod bishop for a period of at least 90 days.  After that, if a congregation "still desires to terminate its relationship," it may do so through a successful second vote.  The word "still" from subsection (d) is critically important.  The process requires two votes because in order to leave, the congregation must "still" want to leave (as evidenced by a 2/3 vote) upon the conclusion of the consultation period.  A failed second vote shows that the congregation does not "still" wish to leave.  Thus, the process for leaving has failed.  It is done and over.  A later 2/3 vote to leave is not evidence that a congregation "still" wants to leave.  Instead, it is evidence of a renewed desire to leave.  For this reason, it cannot constitute a successful second vote.  It could, however, constitute a successful first vote.  And if after 90 days of consultation the congregation then holds a successful vote to leave, it will have shown that it "still" has the desire to leave and the process will be complete.

One could argue that any other construction would be absurd.  If Zion were right, a congregation could take second votes indefinitely until one succeeded.  It would never need to take another first vote or engage in further consultation.  That makes no sense.  

There are passable counter-arguments to all of this.  I offer this post simply to illustrate that there is strength to the ELCA position on this question.  And it is for this reason that congregations should proceed prudently when evaluating the risks associated with relying on a second "second vote."

Jim

Thanks for this, Jim.

As you mention, there are counter-arguments, perhaps the easiest being that a successful, though repeated, "second" vote indicates that the congregation "still" desires to leave.  Unless there is an explicit statement saying that the two successful votes have to be contiguous, what you have is an equally strong argument saying that it is nowhere required, and that the "still" argument, while quite clever, is a stretch as other interpretations are equally (and less complexly) available..

Frankly, having lived through many conflicts regarding contract interpretation, I think that my "still" argument would prevail in court.  I think that this is so based on the text alone.  Your proposed interpretation of "still" would fail, I think, because it renders the term a nullity.  In other words, if "still" means what you suggest, the constitutional text would mean precisely the same thing with the term "still" included as with it deleted.  Courts don't like such interpretations.  They will prefer interpretations that give meaning to all terms. 

But it's far from a slam dunk, that's for sure.  And we'll probably never get a judicial resolution to prove me right or wrong.

Scott6

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4256 on: November 19, 2010, 08:26:16 AM »
You can't have a second vote fail and then go back to just a second vote.

Why?  I read the model ELCA constitution, and I don't see how it prohibits that procedure.  If it's a matter of advisability, that I can understand.  But how is it a matter of "can't"?

Scott --

I think that the argument for "can't" is relatively strong.  Here's what I argued upstream a bit:


I agree with you that the constitution does not state expressly that a failed second vote ends the process, thereby sending a congregation back to the beginning.  But let me give you a simplified version of what seems to me to be the strongest argument from the synod's perspective that Zion's second "second vote" was not effective.

Under the process for leaving the ELCA, a congregation must vote to leave once and then be open to consultation with the synod bishop for a period of at least 90 days.  After that, if a congregation "still desires to terminate its relationship," it may do so through a successful second vote.  The word "still" from subsection (d) is critically important.  The process requires two votes because in order to leave, the congregation must "still" want to leave (as evidenced by a 2/3 vote) upon the conclusion of the consultation period.  A failed second vote shows that the congregation does not "still" wish to leave.  Thus, the process for leaving has failed.  It is done and over.  A later 2/3 vote to leave is not evidence that a congregation "still" wants to leave.  Instead, it is evidence of a renewed desire to leave.  For this reason, it cannot constitute a successful second vote.  It could, however, constitute a successful first vote.  And if after 90 days of consultation the congregation then holds a successful vote to leave, it will have shown that it "still" has the desire to leave and the process will be complete.

One could argue that any other construction would be absurd.  If Zion were right, a congregation could take second votes indefinitely until one succeeded.  It would never need to take another first vote or engage in further consultation.  That makes no sense.  

There are passable counter-arguments to all of this.  I offer this post simply to illustrate that there is strength to the ELCA position on this question.  And it is for this reason that congregations should proceed prudently when evaluating the risks associated with relying on a second "second vote."

Jim

Thanks for this, Jim.

As you mention, there are counter-arguments, perhaps the easiest being that a successful, though repeated, "second" vote indicates that the congregation "still" desires to leave.  Unless there is an explicit statement saying that the two successful votes have to be contiguous, what you have is an equally strong argument saying that it is nowhere required, and that the "still" argument, while quite clever, is a stretch as other interpretations are equally (and less complexly) available..

Frankly, having lived through many conflicts regarding contract interpretation, I think that my "still" argument would prevail in court.  I think that this is so based on the text alone.  Your proposed interpretation of "still" would fail, I think, because it renders the term a nullity.  In other words, if "still" means what you suggest, the constitutional text would mean precisely the same thing with the term "still" included as with it deleted.  Courts don't like such interpretations.  They will prefer interpretations that give meaning to all terms. 

But it's far from a slam dunk, that's for sure.  And we'll probably never get a judicial resolution to prove me right or wrong.

The nullity point is interesting -- thanks for that.  In any case, however, you could still ( ;) ) read it like I did above where what the "still" refers to is a continuing expressed desire by congregation members to leave after meeting with the bishop and waiting at least 90 days.  The "still" still has meaning in this context and is not a nullity, because it is entirely possible that after meeting with the bishop and after a 90 day period folks have changed their mind such that the desire to leave is no longer being expressed -- the congregation does not "still" want to leave.  This interpretation is buttressed by the sentence itself which reads: "If this congregation, after consultation, still desires to terminate its relationship..." where the "still" is explicitly related to the bishop's consultation.

Point being, this isn't a "can't" rubric; it is well within the realm of interpretation to say that, by way of positive argument, the constitution nowhere explicitly requires 2 contiguous votes (which is true), and, by way of response to the "still" argument, the "still" refers to an ongoing expressed desire by members of the congregation to leave after 90 days and a consultation with the bishop such that folks haven't been persuaded to remain in the ELCA (the "still" has meaning in this case and is not a nullity).

ddrebes

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4257 on: November 19, 2010, 08:31:00 AM »
www.azcentral.com  Use the search function, type in  La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church, three articles. The radio interview on KTAR FM was this am, not sure about a link , and Associated Press interviewed me this morning, story yet to run. Local TV covered our vote, cameras not allowed inside of sanctuary, but they interviewed some members.

Overall, pleased. Most got the difference between standards for clergy leadership and yet welcoming all people to worship. The biggest issue was major errors in terminology.....for example, using the word 'leaving the Lutheran church" instead of ELCA denomination, or the most glaring, "our second vote was taken because our first vote failed" . Don't know about that one, or where he got that, both our votes passed by wide margins. It was corrected online, but not in priint.

Some of that is expected in a non-churched culture, but it is sad when there is no fact checking and there are blatant errors.

Jeff


As a follow up to our vote last Sunday, there has been local radio , TV , and newspaper coverage. AP is going national with a story in the next day . I guess they think it is newsworthy since we are the largest Lutheran church in the state.

Jeff Ruby

Do you have any links? How do you feel about the coverage? (accuracy, tone, etc.)

Good articles--but I made the mistake of reading some of the comments!

James Gustafson

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4258 on: November 19, 2010, 09:28:19 AM »
Are you arguing that it is a good thing when Christians "mature" (your term) to the same degree as their surrounding political institutions of this world?  Are we as Christians not called to be different, in some sense apart from the world, and to stand up and proclaim the truth at all cost (Viva Cristo Rey! http://www.executedtoday.com/2008/11/23/1927-father-miguel-pro-viva-cristo-rey/) when the world inevitably gets it wrong?  Many 'mature' and worldly institutions have decided at times through history that they have 'matured' beyond silly Christianity.  Just to name a few; the French Civil Constitution for the Clergy, the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917, Persecution under Diocletian and others in Rome, The British Act of Supremacy, The Spanish Civil War.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Supremacy#1534
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristero_War
http://www.executedtoday.com/2008/11/23/1927-father-miguel-pro-viva-cristo-rey/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War#Constitution_of_1931_and_anti-clericalism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Catholicism#Persecution_under_Nero.2C_64-68_A.D.

We are called to be faithful, and at times, this is guaranteed to put us at odds with the 'mature' political context we may find ourselves within.  God grant us courage and perseverance if/when that time comes for us.

An ancient Editorial from the Mt. Carmel Times circa 9th Century B.C., might say something like this:

One of those “Traditionalists” has been upsetting the common people with talk of a jealous God who will not tolerate an Israel that does not worship in only the traditional methods of our forefathers and the ancients who didn’t understand the world as well as we moderns do.  He does not understand that what may have been bad for them is no longer dangerous for us.  No, the simple truth is that God realized that many Baal/Dagon followers have reached a maturity level so that they are willing and able to enter into a life-long, perpetual worshipping relationship withBaal/ Dagon practices. Not too different from the way the Egyptians and Mesopotamians are acceptable to God too because they’ve been around for thousands of years and God hasn’t stopped them.  Clearly Jehovah, God the Father, has allowed the same things about those gods to be brought here, and that these religious customs should be validated and acceptable to God the Father -- each as variations of worshiping Himself and His existence -- allowing the Philistine, Egyptian and Mesopotamian to share the same benefits of redemption as the Hebrew has with the creator God.  It's not that God changed, but that we humans finally got it.   For some people, the not goodness of being incorrect about the identity of the actual creator God is solved by worshiping a god of a different description than the old fashioned description of Jehovah.   We moderns understand that everyone is loved by God so how we worship in the pattern of other god/gods is not important, so long as we worship at all.  We look forward to the competition that will be held tomorrow morning, where the traditionalist spokesperson, the so-called prophet Elijah, has agreed to settle this matter once and for all with 450 of our most learned experts on such matters.  We look forward to seeing the end of this old fashioned and restrictive traditionalism, all of Israel has been moving toward this more acceptable and loving direction for decades now, generations of progress has moved us away from that old fashioned traditionalism that doesn’t need to be brought back into our societies now, as if that were possible anyway, have you seen the attitudes of the young recently?  They are even more open-minded than we are, clearly the end of slavery to the traditionalist understanding is close at hand…


 ;)

cssml

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4259 on: November 19, 2010, 09:35:01 AM »
"Maturity," as we normally use that word, is not the proper concept in this dynamic. We are talking about "change," and perhaps the ability to comprehend the need to change.
It could be said that at one time the "need" for marriage was to 1) protect the family property, 2) make a political alliance, 3) provide for one's old age by making sure that someone would take care of you, 4) "alllow" two people to legally or morally have sexual intercourse, or 5) populate the planet.
We rarely saw any other reason for marriage. Companionship? Fellow soldiers. Sex? Prostitutes, concubines or mistresses. Love? Didn't figure in the equation. A "vocation"? Perhaps. A "godly" thing? In theory, not, predominantly, in practice.
This idea that the kind of "marriage" defended here by those who call themselves traditionalists is The One Way to look at marriage just doesn't wash. And the Church "signed off" on morganatic marriages, even ordered that the take place.
But we digress.
As for the topic here: I believe it is relatively simple. There is a process by which ELCA congregations can sever their ties with the ELCA. It should be followed - to the letter. It would appear that Pastor Ruby's congregation did this with some care. I disagree with his reasons for leaving, but it seems they acted properly.


Marriage was not created 'by man' out of any particular 'need', and is more than simply functional tool.  It is a blessing, a gift, created and ordered by God because He desired it.  For most Christians in the world, it is still understood to be 'sacramental', "a visible sign of an inward grace, one of the solemn Christian rites considered to have been instituted by Jesus Christ to confer grace".  It is not only good for our own self interest, satisfaction, and protection, but rather for God's plan for the world and one of the means through which we experience His grace which he so longs to give us.  The US Catholic Bishops express this in the opening of their 2009 document on Marriage: "Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine plan"  http://www.usccb.org/laity/loveandlife/MarriageFINAL.pdf.

"Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race. His hand has inscribed the vocation to marriage in the very nature of man and woman

"While marriage is a special blessing for Christians because of the grace of Christ, marriage is also a natural blessing and gift for everyone in all times and cultures. It is a source of blessing to the couple, to their families, and to society and includes the wondrous gift of co-creating human life. Indeed, as Pope John Paul II never tired of reminding us, the future of humanity depends on marriage and the family."


As far and "change" goes, one type of change is to "de-form", or even destroy, as Pope John Paul said about marriage and family:

"At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it or in some way to deform it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family, the church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family, ensuring their full vitality and human and Christian development, and thus contributing to the renewal of society and of the people of God."

I hope it is at least possible in your mind that the 'changes' of recent history are really nothing more than garden variety deformations of man attempting to improve upon, recreate, mold to his own image, that what God has created and given, and that these attempts at deformation are not pleasing our Heavenly Father, and not improving upon His work.