Author Topic: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the ELCA  (Read 29787 times)

Jim Lehmann

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Can they be faulted for not believing that some in the ELCA place matters of sexual ethics or interpretation of a few selected Bible passages above the broader issues of unity in Christ and a common mission?

If it were simply a matter of a few selected verses and a matter of interpretation, if were simply a matter of sexual ethics, it may not be church dividing. 

How about CA Art. I -- God?  When the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit becomes offensive and must be replaced with adjectives, that is a huge problem.
How about CA Art. II -- Original Sin?  When we can no longer say that people are from birth sinful, but rather must say that every person is actually good just the way they are, that is a huge problem.
How about CA Art. III -- Son of God?  When it is taught that salvation can be found in other religions and that God saves everyone universally, that is a huge problem.
How about CA Art. IV -- Justification?  When the focus has changed to being "made right" by saving the planet, being politically left, etc., that is a huge problem.

How about CA Art IX -- Baptism?  When baptism is now about my opinions are fully equal simply because I am baptized, rather than baptism because am a sinner in need or reconciliation, that is a huge problem.

No, it is not about sex.  It is about a fundamental change in Lutheran theology

Jim Lehmann

Charles_Austin

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Jim Lehmann writes:
How about CA Art. I -- God?  When the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit becomes offensive and must be replaced with adjectives, that is a huge problem.
I comment:
An overreaction. No one says that the formula "must be replaced with adjectives."

Jim Lehmann writes
How about CA Art. II -- Original Sin?  When we can no longer say that people are from birth sinful, but rather must say that every person is actually good just the way they are, that is a huge problem.
I ask:
Where does ELCA theology say that? "By nature sinful and unclean" is still a confessional used among us.

Jim Lehmann writes:
How about CA Art. II -- Son of God?  When it is taught that salvation can be found in other religions and that God saves everyone universally, that is a huge problem.
I ask:
Where does the ELCA teach that? Show us.

Jim Lehmann writes:
How about CA Art. IV -- Justification?  When the focus has changed to being "made right" by saving the planet, being politically left, etc., that is a huge problem.
I ask:
See above.

Jim Lehmann:
How about CA Art IX -- Baptism?  When baptism is now about my opinions are fully equal simply because I am baptized, rather than baptism because am a sinner in need or reconciliation, that is a huge problem.
Me:
Don't know what you are getting at here.

DCharlton

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Someone responds to Jim Lehman:
Jim Lehmann writes:
How about CA Art. I -- God?  When the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit becomes offensive and must be replaced with adjectives, that is a huge problem.
I comment:
An overreaction. No one says that the formula "must be replaced with adjectives."

Jim Lehmann writes
How about CA Art. II -- Original Sin?  When we can no longer say that people are from birth sinful, but rather must say that every person is actually good just the way they are, that is a huge problem.
I ask:
Where does ELCA theology say that? "By nature sinful and unclean" is still a confessional used among us.

Jim Lehmann writes:
How about CA Art. II -- Son of God?  When it is taught that salvation can be found in other religions and that God saves everyone universally, that is a huge problem.
I ask:
Where does the ELCA teach that? Show us.

Jim Lehmann writes:
How about CA Art. IV -- Justification?  When the focus has changed to being "made right" by saving the planet, being politically left, etc., that is a huge problem.
I ask:
See above.

Jim Lehmann:
How about CA Art IX -- Baptism?  When baptism is now about my opinions are fully equal simply because I am baptized, rather than baptism because am a sinner in need or reconciliation, that is a huge problem.
Me:
Don't know what you are getting at here.

David Charlton opines:

It seems that someone is being disingenous or willfully obtuse.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 10:44:05 AM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

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A Catholic Lutheran

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After years of discussion with some people on this board and elsewhere, I did reach a conclusion I had not reached until about three or four months ago.
That conclusion is:
It is time - for some people - to admit fully that they no longer have any hope for the ELCA, that their consciences or view of what "church" is has been so violated that they cannot be a part of it. If this means that they can no longer respect our leaders (even when they disagree), provide their fair share of support to our common mission, or otherwise take part responsibly in the ELCA, then to follow their consciences and convictions, they should leave.
There are people involved in this discussion who have strong disagreements with the ELCA, but have said they will stay in, support our common mission and work with us. Good.
But those who continually say the ELCA is dead or dying, that our leaders are politically-motivated or only after their "personal" agenda, and that our policies take us out of any definition of "orthodoxy" and do not start packing their bags are either disingenuous or cowards or both.
I am sorry that Lou Hesse is no longer a part of the ELCA, as I think he would have been a good voice to have around. But I fully understand his decision to leave and consider it a tribute to his personal integrity that he did.

Now you seem to be able to "read" the "minds" of some others...

I, for one, DO HAVE HOPE FOR THE ELCA.  Actually, it's not that I have "hope," but rather that I KNOW THE END OF THE STORY.  Christ wins.  Every time.  Christ wins.  So, please do not think for a moment that I, as one Traditionalist, have "given up hope" for the ELCA.  

If I had "given up hope," I would have long ago shut my mouth and would have chosen to live a quiet and sheltered existence, not getting upset about the ELCA because the situation is "hopeless."  It would be far, far easier to have done that.  Instead, I have remained within the ELCA, vocal and (in your words) "sharply critical" of our denomination's decisions, precisely because I have "hope," I still see what the ELCA could and will be someday.  

Somewhere else somebody asked me where all this has gotten me.  I dunno.  But I know this...  This is a fight worth having, a struggle worth enduring because Christ triumphs each and every time.  Oh, I have hope and I'm not going anywhere...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

PS.  By-the-way, my congregation actually stepped up our benevolence for our Synod for the upcoming FY.  And yes, it's unencumbered.  But we are calling upon the Synod and "this church" to start recognizing its errors.  We're in this fight together.

Erma S. Wolf

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   Mea culpa.  I got sucked in again.  Of making many arguments and explanations there is no end, and they are neither efficacious nor salvific.  Thankfully, I will be spending the rest of the day dealing with the wind and weather, and then with preparations for Evening Prayer on this Wednesday in Advent.  

   I am heartily sorry, and sincerely repent. and pray that in the boundless compassion of my peers I may be forgiven the error of my ways in contributing to meaningless argument and terminal thread drift, being a poor miserable sinner.

   Mea maxima culpa.

   Erma  

Steven Tibbetts

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Or it could be that our leaders, while recognizing our differences (because they are not stupid), had a hopeful, Spirit-based faith in our unity in Christ, and honestly (yes, our leaders are capable of acting honestly) believed that this was not a church-dividing issue.
Can they be faulted for not believing that some in the ELCA place matters of sexual ethics or interpretation of a few selected Bible passages above the broader issues of unity in Christ and a common mission?

Charles, if you want to argue that our leaders thought that this was the right thing to do, fine.

If you want to argue that they largely stepped back and let the conversation throughout the church while they moderated it and made sure that it was fair, well, that's an awfully nave stance from someone as experienced in the church as you.

But to argue that they thought this would not be church dividing is simply being willfully ignorant of their own words and actions as they prepared for the 2009 Churchwide Assembly.  Even those ELCA leaders who would not express their own strongly-held views, openly talked of significant numbers of congregations leaving and, prior to the completion of the proposed social statement's writing, urged synods to have budgetary contingency plans.

To sugggest that they thought this was going to encourage further unity in Christ and common mission, well,please stop insulting your intelligence, much less ours.  

Pax, Steven+

« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 11:01:54 AM by The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS »
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

A Catholic Lutheran

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  Mea culpa.  I got sucked in again.  Of making many arguments and explanations there is no end, and they are neither efficacious nor salvific.  Thankfully, I will be spending the rest of the day dealing with the wind and weather, and then with preparations for Evening Prayer on this Wednesday in Advent.  

   I am heartily sorry, and sincerely repent. and pray that in the boundless compassion of my peers I may be forgiven the error of my ways in contributing to meaningless argument and terminal thread drift, being a poor miserable sinner.

   Mea maxima culpa.

   Erma  

Erma, I have searched and searched and I cannot seem to find the sin of which you are confessing, but rest assured that you have not offended me...  You are among those I aspire to emmulate in your even-handed treatment of others and clear-thinking in the midst of conflict.

But perhaps this is contributing to "thread drift" which I do not think is always such a bad thing... 

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Can they be faulted for not believing that some in the ELCA place matters of sexual ethics or interpretation of a few selected Bible passages above the broader issues of unity in Christ and a common mission?

If it were simply a matter of a few selected verses and a matter of interpretation, if were simply a matter of sexual ethics, it may not be church dividing. 

How about CA Art. I -- God?  When the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit becomes offensive and must be replaced with adjectives, that is a huge problem.

It has not been replaced. "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" language is not deleted from our liturgies. In some places there is another option, but in other places there is not, e.g., for baptisms; in the Lord's Prayer, in the Creeds. A liturgy the excises all references to God as Father, is not following the ELCA liturgies.

Quote
How about CA Art. II -- Original Sin?  When we can no longer say that people are from birth sinful, but rather must say that every person is actually good just the way they are, that is a huge problem.

I have not heard anyone say that. I have read recently that Luther, rather than talk about "original sin," used the phrase "inherited sin". I, for one, continue to preach and teach that sinfulness is part of our human nature. Just last week I stated that there is no such thing as "innocent children".

Quote
How about CA Art. III -- Son of God?  When it is taught that salvation can be found in other religions and that God saves everyone universally, that is a huge problem.

Where has the ELCA ever taught that there is salvation in other religions? There probably are some ELCA folks who say this, but that doesn't make it a teaching of the ELCA. (Just as there are LCMS pastors who practice open communion, it doesn't make it the teaching of the LCMS.) Don't judge the whole denomination by the most radical members.

Quote
How about CA Art. IV -- Justification?  When the focus has changed to being "made right" by saving the planet, being politically left, etc., that is a huge problem.
And yet, scriptures talk about a new heaven and a new earth -- just as it talks about Christians being new creations. Paul writes: "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the paints of childbirth until now." (Romans 8:19-22, boldface added)

Quote
How about CA Art IX -- Baptism?  When baptism is now about my opinions are fully equal simply because I am baptized, rather than baptism because am a sinner in need or reconciliation, that is a huge problem.

Again, you are talking about an issue that I have never heard stated in the ELCA. Granted, I don't hear from every pastor; but what you are describing is not the position of the ELCA.

Quote
No, it is not about sex.  It is about a fundamental change in Lutheran theology

No, it seems that it's about folks pointing to the most extreme comments a few folks in the ELCA make, and then consider that normative for the whole denomination.
"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: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #173 on: December 01, 2010, 11:59:41 AM »

I have not heard of former ALC congregations  who have left and  are remaining unaffiliated. If you have, please let me know who has done so.

Jeff  

quote author=The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS link=topic=3490.msg191646#msg191646 date=1291156220]

We are the only congregation that has voted to leave the ELCA to date that has not voted to join another body, that I am aware of.

I think La Casa de Cristo is the only former LCA congregation that has left the ELCA and been able to keep its property without joining another Lutheran church body.

Pax, Steven+
[/quote]

Ken Kimball

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Calvary Lutheran in Golden Valley?   But maybe they haven't taken a second vote.

Ken

James_Gale

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Calvary Lutheran in Golden Valley?   But maybe they haven't taken a second vote.

Ken

They have voted and they are now an independent congregation.

I know one of the past presidents of the congregation.  He told me that his congregation had doggedly refused to include provisions in its constitution that could give the synod any control over its property.  For this reason, the congregation was able to become "independent."

He also told me that Calvary will work with ministries of the new Lutheran bodies (and the ELCA) and is open to the possibility that it might join another body at some point.

DCharlton

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[No, it seems that it's about folks pointing to the most extreme comments a few folks in the ELCA make, and then consider that normative for the whole denomination.

Brian,

I'll say to you what I said to Someone earlier.  You are either being disingenous or willfully obtuse.  These thing are not in the extreme.  And while they most likely remain minority opinions, they are by no means uncommon.  I have heard more than one of them espoused (without correction) from the podium or floor of each synod assembly I have attended for the last five years.

I'm also not sure what you mean by "normative" either.  I would assume that the Confession of Faith in the ELCA Constitution along with Canon, Creeds and Confessions remain "normative" in the sense of "official".  That's the concern that is so often expressed by critics of the ELCA.  What the Constitution of the ELCA identifies as "normative" is routinely ignored, or even contradicted, on a regular basis within the ELCA.

David Charlton
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 01:04:30 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

jramnes

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Please note, jramnes, that I do not accuse pastor Hughes of being a sleazy politician or shady merchant. I have no basis for doing that. I only note that the tactics he suggests lean that direction. I do not believe he is employing those tactics.
I can't help but stick my head out once more to ask you, Pastor, how your veiled allegations dovetail with your previous assertions that you don't take "pot shots" or engage in "snark"? Once again your "charity" is showing through. Your statement above is incoherent-on the one hand, Pastor Hughes is not employing the nasty tactics you allege, but on the other hand, he is suggesting them. So is it OK to suggest these tactics, but not to employ them? Is he being responsible or not? Or is the last sentence in your quote above just to provide you with plausible deniability-something to hide behind when called out regarding your childish behavior?

Faith is more than just an opportunity for you to demonstrate your theoretical skills as a professional journalist. I really wish you would back off with the passive-aggressive bloviating and learn something about responsible posting from those who you so often hold up as examples of integrity, such as Pastor Wolf.


Coach-Rev

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Re: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #178 on: December 01, 2010, 01:18:37 PM »

But those who continually say the ELCA is dead or dying, that our leaders are politically-motivated or only after their "personal" agenda, and that our policies take us out of any definition of "orthodoxy" and do not start packing their bags are either disingenuous or cowards or both.


No, Charles.  The bottom line is that I am critical because I fear for the immortal souls of all who are led down a path that leads to destruction.  Including yours.  It goes with the calling to be faithful to the Word of God.  To sit behind a computer screen and accuse others of cowardice, well, I'm going to recall the 8th commandment and refrain from comment.

Charles_Austin

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Someone writes:
No, Charles.  The bottom line is that I am critical because I fear for the immortal souls of all who are led down a path that leads to destruction.  Including yours.  It goes with the calling to be faithful to the Word of God.
I comment:
We've been here before. Many times. So if the ELCA is taking us "down a path that leads to destruction," you and the others who see this so clearly must then lead us out, if it is a matter of our souls and yours. If the ELCA is not "faithful to the Word of God," then you must take us someplace that is. That is why I respect many of those who have left, even as I regret the loss of their fellowship.

Someone writes:
To sit behind a computer screen and accuse others of cowardice, well, I'm going to recall the 8th commandment and refrain from comment.
I comment:
The "computer screen" is only a medium. It certainly does not "hide" this humble correspondent. Everyone here knows exactly who I am, where I come from, what I have done and where I live. And you?