Author Topic: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA  (Read 12191 times)

edoughty

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #105 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.

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #106 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.
"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]

George Erdner

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #107 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.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 12:59:54 PM by George Erdner »

iowakatie1981

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #108 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?

Charles_Austin

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #109 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.

edoughty

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #110 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.

G.Edward

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #111 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?

edoughty

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #112 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."


iowakatie1981

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #113 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. 

MaddogLutheran

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #114 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
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 01:57:58 PM by MaddogLutheran »
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #115 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.
"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]

James Gustafson

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #116 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...  

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #117 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.
"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]

edoughty

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #118 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.




G.Edward

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #119 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.