Author Topic: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism  (Read 6515 times)

totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2010, 05:29:23 PM »

No more nor less than the "traditionalists" who characterize homosexuals and their supports as unChristian, unLutheran, and condemned to hell.


Brian, I must confress, I've never, ever heard a single "traditionalist" Lutheran say anything like that. A few crazy radicals in the paper, (not unlike extremists on any issue) but not one, nary a solo "traditionalist" LUTHERAN speak in the aforementioned manner, particularly this "condemend to hell" nonsense. And I dare question whether you have actually, with your own ears, heard a traditional LUTHERAN, say anything close to what you've written. But of course, then your inate ability and desire to argue wouldn't be served any longer would it?
[/quote]

The quotation below by Pastor McCain might be the sort of thing that Pastor Stoffregen is thinking of in terms of going to hell...

"Homosexuality is not self-destructive? Engaging in sexual activities that preclude the propagation of the species would seem to be somewhat on the self-destructive side of the equation. And, I won't even mention the essentially self-destructive nature of homosexuality itself, which, if indulged in without repentance, will result in the destruction of both soul and body for all eternity."


Regarding unLutheran and unChristian that might be the thrust of this passage by the same author...

"Couple things from Luther to counter this, "Oh, the person starting this thread just wants to talk about hymns" line of thought

First, "God has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses."

And, from the Heidelberg Disputation:

A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.

The homosexual activisits in the ELCA, of whom the person who started this thread is a key player, want nothing more than simply to be regarded as "just plain folks." I know some regard being "polite" the chief and cardinal virtue. However, truth is. A wolf in sheep's clothing should be resisted, not accomodated."



SPS

« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 05:38:15 PM by totaliter vivens »

totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2010, 05:44:37 PM »

No more nor less than the "traditionalists" who characterize homosexuals and their supports as unChristian, unLutheran, and condemned to hell.


Brian, I must confress, I've never, ever heard a single "traditionalist" Lutheran say anything like that. A few crazy radicals in the paper, (not unlike extremists on any issue) but not one, nary a solo "traditionalist" LUTHERAN speak in the aforementioned manner, particularly this "condemend to hell" nonsense. And I dare question whether you have actually, with your own ears, heard a traditional LUTHERAN, say anything close to what you've written. But of course, then your inate ability and desire to argue wouldn't be served any longer would it?

The quotation below by Pastor McCain might be the sort of thing that Pastor Stoffregen is thinking of...

"Homosexuality is not self-destructive? Engaging in sexual activities that preclude the propagation of the species would seem to be somewhat on the self-destructive side of the equation. And, I won't even mention the essentially self-destructive nature of homosexuality itself, which, if indulged in without repentance, will result in the destruction of both soul and body for all eternity."


SPS

Doesn't the indulgence of any sin without repentance result in the destruction of both soul and body for all eternity?

This is the biggest question after "Why some and not others?".  Serial killers may indeed go to heaven as Luther testifies if they are repentant.

But lacking repentance -- lacking a faith which fears God and the consequences of sin -- places one in a very dire position indeed.

Mike

I think, Mike, you are making Pastor Stoffregen's point for him. If, as traditionalists assert, homosexual behavior is a sin, then repentance is necessary. If as, Pastor Stoffregen and I assert that homosexual behavior per se is not sinful but on the same footing as heterosexual actions for heterosexuals...then traditionalists calling it sin and burdening the consciences of gay people falsely is a sin also in need of repentance lest damnation ensue. IMHO, Pastor Stoffregen correctly points out the distressingly frequent violations of the 8th Commandment on both sides of the debate.

SPS

P.S.  My assumption is that no one I speak with here is "going to hell" because I trust that everyone here trusts in Christ Jesus for their salvation and avails themselves regularly of Confession/Absolution and partakes of the Sacraments.



« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 05:53:46 PM by totaliter vivens »

DCharlton

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2010, 06:20:06 PM »

The quotation below by Pastor McCain might be the sort of thing that Pastor Stoffregen is thinking of in terms of going to hell...

"Homosexuality is not self-destructive? Engaging in sexual activities that preclude the propagation of the species would seem to be somewhat on the self-destructive side of the equation. And, I won't even mention the essentially self-destructive nature of homosexuality itself, which, if indulged in without repentance, will result in the destruction of both soul and body for all eternity."


Regarding unLutheran and unChristian that might be the thrust of this passage by the same author...

"Couple things from Luther to counter this, "Oh, the person starting this thread just wants to talk about hymns" line of thought

First, "God has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses."

And, from the Heidelberg Disputation:

A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.

The homosexual activisits in the ELCA, of whom the person who started this thread is a key player, want nothing more than simply to be regarded as "just plain folks." I know some regard being "polite" the chief and cardinal virtue. However, truth is. A wolf in sheep's clothing should be resisted, not accomodated."



SPS



The origin of Brian's statement was a question from Mike Gellhausen about how "bound consciences" were treated in the ELCA.  I assume that Pilgrim's reply was also in that context.  As a result, what Paul McCain has said does not represent the "traditionalists" in question.  No doubt there are ELCA traditionialists that use similar words, but it is much less frequent.

Last week, at a synodical leadership retreat, there was a meeting held by the bishop which was reportedly going to be an opportunity for dissenters to share their concerns with him.  In actuality, it was a meeting of people from both sides with only 1/3 being dissenters.  During that time, those opposing PALMSGR were compared with racists and sexists by many, including the bhishop himself.  We were accused of saying that GLBT people were not welcome in God's church, of denying the Gospel and of not having the love of Christ in our hearts.  The dissenters focused on things such as how "bound conscience" was going to be implemented, concerns over God language in worship, the leftward bent of ELCA statements, etc...  This is what I believe Mike Gellhausen was getting at.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 06:23:12 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

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totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2010, 06:29:40 PM »

The origin of Brian's statement was a question from Mike Gellhausen about how "bound consciences" were treated in the ELCA.  I assume that Pilgrim's reply was also in that context.  As a result, what Paul McCain has said does not represent the "traditionalists" in question.  No doubt there are ELCA traditionialists that use similar words, but it is much less frequent.

Last week, at a synodical leadership retreat, there was a meeting held by the bishop which was reportedly going to be an opportunity for dissenters to share their concerns with him.  In actuality, it was a meeting of people from both sides with only 1/3 being dissenters.  During that time, those opposing PALMSGR were compared with racists and sexists by many, including the bhishop himself.  We were accused of saying that GLBT people were not welcome in God's church, of denying the Gospel and of not having the love of Christ in our hearts.  The dissenters focused on things such as how "bound conscience" was going to be implemented, concerns over God language in worship, the leftward bent of ELCA statements, etc...  This is what I believe Mike Gellhausen was getting at.


Pastor Charlton:

I will concede your restricting comments under discussion to those made by members of the ELCA. I apologize for casting my net more widely. What you describe at your synodical leadership retreat is unconscionable and I grieve that you were so slandered.

SPS

DCharlton

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2010, 06:32:17 PM »

If, as traditionalists assert, homosexual behavior is a sin, then repentance is necessary. If as, Pastor Stoffregen and I assert that homosexual behavior per se is not sinful but on the same footing as heterosexual actions for heterosexuals...then traditionalists calling it sin and burdening the consciences of gay people falsely is a sin also in need of repentance lest damnation ensue.


This is what makes "bound conscience" such a sham.  This is not some unimportant matter that we can disagree about.  If you consider the traditionalist position a sin that is damnable without repentance, then to "tolerate" those like me who make that hold that argument and to refrain from "arguing" with us would be a form of hatred.  Only those who no longer take sin and hell seriously would think that it didn't matter.

David

P.S.  That's why I appreciate your honesty on this subject.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 06:34:32 PM by DCharlton »
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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2010, 06:34:37 PM »

The quotation below by Pastor McCain might be the sort of thing that Pastor Stoffregen is thinking of in terms of going to hell...

"Homosexuality is not self-destructive? Engaging in sexual activities that preclude the propagation of the species would seem to be somewhat on the self-destructive side of the equation. And, I won't even mention the essentially self-destructive nature of homosexuality itself, which, if indulged in without repentance, will result in the destruction of both soul and body for all eternity."


Regarding unLutheran and unChristian that might be the thrust of this passage by the same author...

"Couple things from Luther to counter this, "Oh, the person starting this thread just wants to talk about hymns" line of thought

First, "God has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses."

And, from the Heidelberg Disputation:

A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.

The homosexual activisits in the ELCA, of whom the person who started this thread is a key player, want nothing more than simply to be regarded as "just plain folks." I know some regard being "polite" the chief and cardinal virtue. However, truth is. A wolf in sheep's clothing should be resisted, not accomodated."



SPS



The origin of Brian's statement was a question from Mike Gellhausen about how "bound consciences" were treated in the ELCA.  I assume that Pilgrim's reply was also in that context.  As a result, what Paul McCain has said does not represent the "traditionalists" in question.  No doubt there are ELCA traditionialists that use similar words, but it is much less frequent.

Last week, at a synodical leadership retreat, there was a meeting held by the bishop which was reportedly going to be an opportunity for dissenters to share their concerns with him.  In actuality, it was a meeting of people from both sides with only 1/3 being dissenters.  During that time, those opposing PALMSGR were compared with racists and sexists by many, including the bhishop himself.  We were accused of saying that GLBT people were not welcome in God's church, of denying the Gospel and of not having the love of Christ in our hearts.  The dissenters focused on things such as how "bound conscience" was going to be implemented, concerns over God language in worship, the leftward bent of ELCA statements, etc...  This is what I believe Mike Gellhausen was getting at.

But should not the Iowa question be asked: Your church has stated in an official statement that our position is both faithful and intellectually credible. You can therefor not condemn it. It is an official position of your church, the ELCA how dare you pose that those holding this position must repent?

God language actually has the constitution at it's side in confessing God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so maybe all is not lost there yet. Until all the traditionalists leave at least.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2010, 06:59:32 PM »

The quotation below by Pastor McCain might be the sort of thing that Pastor Stoffregen is thinking of in terms of going to hell...

"Homosexuality is not self-destructive? Engaging in sexual activities that preclude the propagation of the species would seem to be somewhat on the self-destructive side of the equation. And, I won't even mention the essentially self-destructive nature of homosexuality itself, which, if indulged in without repentance, will result in the destruction of both soul and body for all eternity."


Regarding unLutheran and unChristian that might be the thrust of this passage by the same author...

"Couple things from Luther to counter this, "Oh, the person starting this thread just wants to talk about hymns" line of thought

First, "God has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses."

And, from the Heidelberg Disputation:

A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.

The homosexual activisits in the ELCA, of whom the person who started this thread is a key player, want nothing more than simply to be regarded as "just plain folks." I know some regard being "polite" the chief and cardinal virtue. However, truth is. A wolf in sheep's clothing should be resisted, not accomodated."



SPS



The origin of Brian's statement was a question from Mike Gellhausen about how "bound consciences" were treated in the ELCA.  I assume that Pilgrim's reply was also in that context.  As a result, what Paul McCain has said does not represent the "traditionalists" in question.  No doubt there are ELCA traditionialists that use similar words, but it is much less frequent.

Last week, at a synodical leadership retreat, there was a meeting held by the bishop which was reportedly going to be an opportunity for dissenters to share their concerns with him.  In actuality, it was a meeting of people from both sides with only 1/3 being dissenters.  During that time, those opposing PALMSGR were compared with racists and sexists by many, including the bhishop himself.  We were accused of saying that GLBT people were not welcome in God's church, of denying the Gospel and of not having the love of Christ in our hearts.  The dissenters focused on things such as how "bound conscience" was going to be implemented, concerns over God language in worship, the leftward bent of ELCA statements, etc...  This is what I believe Mike Gellhausen was getting at.

But should not the Iowa question be asked: Your church has stated in an official statement that our position is both faithful and intellectually credible. You can therefor not condemn it. It is an official position of your church, the ELCA how dare you pose that those holding this position must repent?

God language actually has the constitution at it's side in confessing God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so maybe all is not lost there yet. Until all the traditionalists leave at least.

I would point out that the ELCA holds both positions to be faithful and intellectually credible. Yet, revisionist are regularly lampooned, scorned, and vilified (especially in this forum).

While my personal opinion is that traditionalists will eventually revise their opinions, I do not require or expect repentance. This is largely for me a matter of ethics rather than essential theology. I consider the teaching on homosexuality a dubitum. Now a discussion of how Sacred Scripture does its work as rule and norm of faith is a much more serious matter.

If any traditionalist would like my assistance in fighting the wholesale trivialization of Scripture in the Church, abandonment of Orthodox Trinitarian language, or the general left-ward tilt of ELCA social statements, then I am more than willing to lend a hand.

I might also, lightly, wonder that if you are at the "HOW DARE YOU" stage when talking with me then the larger discussion in the ELCA is going to be VERY difficult (since I'm the gay who generally likes you guys). Seriously, the respect for conscience is going to have to become much more real, much more robust ON BOTH SIDES, damn fast or it will get bad very fast.

SPS

grabau14

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2010, 07:23:43 PM »
What is wrong with Pr. McCain's statement?  It sure sounds like St. Paul to me.   If the statement by Pr. McCain troubles even some of the traditionalists within the ELCA than why are you dissenting?   

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2010, 07:41:49 PM »
I would point out that the ELCA holds both positions to be faithful and intellectually credible. Yet, revisionist are regularly lampooned, scorned, and vilified (especially in this forum).

While my personal opinion is that traditionalists will eventually revise their opinions, I do not require or expect repentance. This is largely for me a matter of ethics rather than essential theology. I consider the teaching on homosexuality a dubitum. Now a discussion of how Sacred Scripture does its work as rule and norm of faith is a much more serious matter.

If any traditionalist would like my assistance in fighting the wholesale trivialization of Scripture in the Church, abandonment of Orthodox Trinitarian language, or the general left-ward tilt of ELCA social statements, then I am more than willing to lend a hand.

I might also, lightly, wonder that if you are at the "HOW DARE YOU" stage when talking with me then the larger discussion in the ELCA is going to be VERY difficult (since I'm the gay who generally likes you guys). Seriously, the respect for conscience is going to have to become much more real, much more robust ON BOTH SIDES, damn fast or it will get bad very fast.

SPS


How can/should/will the discussion continue within the ELCA.  If someone is operating within the ELCA and seeking to obey the "rules" set out by the HSGT Social Statement and other resolutions approved at CWA '09 must they begin by agreeing that all four possible positions outlined and approved as acceptable within the ELCA are "faithful and intellectually credible"?  Does that mean that they must start by agreeing that they represent acceptable interpretations of Scripture and that none of them are therefore "wrong"?  How is that going to work?  How can there even be discussion beyond, I like my interpretation better than yours?  With a required "but yours is OK also."  Since all four were declared acceptable under bound consciences, what is there left to discuss but the practicality of having a policy that allows both approval and disapproval of ordaining clergy in PALMSGR?  Your position isn't wrong but I think mine is righter than yours for these reasons?

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2010, 07:53:26 PM »
Dan:

If I knew all the ins and outs of it, I should be running for Presiding Bishop. It is a work in progress. However, we, the ELCA, have more of a history of this than do you, the LC-MS, as we do not require uniformity in all manner of Scriptural matters. In general, polls about creation vs. evolution do not often arise in the ELCA. We function well enough with a number of perspectives on the ordination of women. Difficult as it will be, I have faith that the Holy Spirit still guides the ELCA.

SPS

Cnehring

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2010, 08:25:23 PM »
  If, as traditionalists assert, homosexual behavior is a sin, then repentance is necessary. If as, Pastor Stoffregen and I assert that homosexual behavior per se is not sinful but on the same footing as heterosexual actions for heterosexuals...then traditionalists calling it sin and burdening the consciences of gay people falsely is a sin also in need of repentance lest damnation ensue. IMHO, Pastor Stoffregen correctly points out the distressingly frequent violations of the 8th Commandment on both sides of the debate.

[/quote]

Thus the heart of the matter. How does one define sin? From where does the definition come from? What does repentance really mean and look like? This is where the divide comes from on the authority of the Scriptures. Does man get to "decide" what needs to be repented of or not?

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2010, 08:32:02 PM »
Dan:

If I knew all the ins and outs of it, I should be running for Presiding Bishop. It is a work in progress. However, we, the ELCA, have more of a history of this than do you, the LC-MS, as we do not require uniformity in all manner of Scriptural matters. In general, polls about creation vs. evolution do not often arise in the ELCA. We function well enough with a number of perspectives on the ordination of women. Difficult as it will be, I have faith that the Holy Spirit still guides the ELCA.

SPS


SPS,

We SHOULD all know the ins and outs of it. The document should have been written clearly enough so that men and women of good intention and sound reason would come to the same conclusion what it means and what it implies. With HSGT and implementing resolution that is just not the case. As a result we seem to have multiple implementation strategies that are likely to change with every bishop's election. That amount of unclarity is just not helpful.
Peter Kruse

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totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2010, 08:35:36 PM »
  If, as traditionalists assert, homosexual behavior is a sin, then repentance is necessary. If as, Pastor Stoffregen and I assert that homosexual behavior per se is not sinful but on the same footing as heterosexual actions for heterosexuals...then traditionalists calling it sin and burdening the consciences of gay people falsely is a sin also in need of repentance lest damnation ensue. IMHO, Pastor Stoffregen correctly points out the distressingly frequent violations of the 8th Commandment on both sides of the debate.


Thus the heart of the matter. How does one define sin? From where does the definition come from? What does repentance really mean and look like? This is where the divide comes from on the authority of the Scriptures. Does man get to "decide" what needs to be repented of or not?
[/quote]

I agree in broad terms...but there is another factor: Do I get to pass judgement on someone else's repentance? Do I have authority to determine for someone else which "of their sins" should be especially troubling to them? If a sister says in general confession that she has sinned and throws herself upon the mercy of God...do I have grounds to say she is unrepentant because she has not castigated herself to my satisfaction concerning something that I find troubling?

SPS

totaliter vivens

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2010, 08:36:44 PM »
Dan:

If I knew all the ins and outs of it, I should be running for Presiding Bishop. It is a work in progress. However, we, the ELCA, have more of a history of this than do you, the LC-MS, as we do not require uniformity in all manner of Scriptural matters. In general, polls about creation vs. evolution do not often arise in the ELCA. We function well enough with a number of perspectives on the ordination of women. Difficult as it will be, I have faith that the Holy Spirit still guides the ELCA.

SPS



SPS,

We SHOULD all know the ins and outs of it. The document should have been written clearly enough so that men and women of good intention and sound reason would come to the same conclusion what it means and what it implies. With HSGT and implementing resolution that is just not the case. As a result we seem to have multiple implementation strategies that are likely to change with every bishop's election. That amount of unclarity is just not helpful.


100% agreement with you, Peter.

SPS


see the new thread: http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3309.msg179687#msg179687
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 08:46:53 PM by totaliter vivens »

J.L. Precup

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Re: Homosexuality Within Lutheranism
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2010, 08:41:14 PM »
Shields up.  Swords drawn.  Not helpful.

If I engage in homosexual behavior, is it sinful?  Yes!  Why?  Because I'm not gay.

If a gay person does, is it sinful?  That's the point of contention.  I've asked many times for those who hold that all homosexual behavior is sinful to show how the Scripture used for that conclusion is an accurate description of what is going on today.  The only answer I've received so far is that it is the clear Word of God.  If anyone chooses to respond, can we start with the New Testament, please, so we don't get bogged down in holiness codes?  Dueling blogs won't do it either.  Your thoughts, your interpretation of what you believe God is saying.

I seem to remember Martin Marty wrote years ago that he hoped this matter would not come to a vote.  The present fallout proving him right is obvious.  It would have been much better for individual congregations to be able to call the pastor who fits their particular circumstances.  That happens, but the way the "rules" were drawn up has caused a lot of angst and confusion.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.