Author Topic: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA  (Read 12194 times)

hillwilliam

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2011, 12:11:13 AM »
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.

Robert Johnson

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2011, 01:25:23 AM »
"And the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America" does not indicate the method of transmitting that support.  Sending money directly to the local camp, college, or seminary fulfills its meaning.

Plus, all of the money goes to the camp, college, or seminary.  None of it is scraped off for administrative overhead.

Charles_Austin

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2011, 04:36:12 AM »
Richard writes:
And of course to be consistent, Charles would also say that if a parish has decided to leave the Episcopal Church, and a remnant wanted to remain in the Episcopal Church, no ELCA congregation should offer them space. Wouldn't want to "take sides in an internal dispute," after all.
Oh, did I get that wrong?

I comment:
Perhaps. Our fellowship is with the Episcopal church and those bishops, clergy and parishes bound to it. It is not taking sides to express that.
In a real situation, even this humble correspondent might offer "shelter" to a parish group heading out of the Episcopal church, but it would have to be done in such as way as not to be seen as encouraging the schism or urging others to do the same. To do it in a way that says: "Yeah! You guys are right to leave that nasty old Episcopal Church! We'll help you and anyone else who wants to do that!" is wrong.

Pr. Terry Culler

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2011, 09:54:48 AM »
Pardon me, but why all the anguish?  If a congregation wants to host a group of Hispanic pentecostals, they can do so.  If they want to host dissident Anglicans, they can do so.  If they want to host AA meetings, Boy Scout meetings or dissident Lutheran meetings, they can do so without the approval of anybody.  So if a congregation says a group must leave, is that not the decision of the congregation?  We could say we wouldn't do that, but it's not our decision to make.  If the congregation wants to keep doing it, why not just tell the Bishop to mind his own business?  I've certainly seen ELCA churches do that when they want to.
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Pew Sitter

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #79 on: January 20, 2011, 12:59:46 PM »
Explaining the Willingness of the ELCA’s Higgins Road Group to Jeopardize the Church:
By 2009, my wife and I had been life-long members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), which is the largest denomination of Lutheranism with about 5 million members in America.  It is also the most liberal of the major Lutheran Churches.  My wife’s family, which is one-hundred percent Norwegian, has probably been Lutheran since the Church first appeared in Norway.  This multi-generational connection to the Lutheran Church isn’t unusual; the same can probably be said for several other Christian denominations.  So, for generations average Americans have supported the ELCA and its predecessors with money, attendance at services, and through their time as teachers, board member etc.  It is fair to say the church did not belong to the clergy or its leadership, but belonged to the members, who while having other commitments such as jobs and families, spent a great deal of their time supporting the church. 

Into this setting of long-term personal commitments, progressivism reared its ugly head during 2009.  As a result, the future of the ELCA has come into question.  The unfortunate situation resulted from the liberal leadership seeing their “progressive vision” for creating a more just world as the ultimate purpose of the church rather than the church’s good works.  In that year, the liberal clergy and progressive members of the ELCA decided that their “vision” included equating homosexual marriage/relationships with heterosexual marriage.  A church-wide policy, adopted by the ELCA not many years before, allowed the ordination of a homosexual as long as the candidate committed themselves to celibacy.  The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals. 

There are, of course, arguments for and against blessing and recognizing homosexual marriages and thereby equating those relationships with heterosexual marriages.  But the controversy itself was not what I, as a traditionalist, found the most striking aspect of an unfortunate situation.  What amazed me was the willingness of the progressive clergy and leadership (The Higgins Road Group) to jeopardize, in an underhanded way, the good work of the church and its very future in exchange for realizing their progressive vision.  The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members, ii) they manipulated the process to avoid barriers put in place by the church’s constitution, and iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.  That lack of open discussion resulted in many of the ELCA clergy failing their duty to inform their members of the potential break with historic Christian beliefs.   

 To support my assertion that the ELCA progressives acted “dishonorably” in pushing their agenda within the church, I need to provide a few specifics.  First, the progressives used an undemocratic body, the Church Wide Assembly (CWA), as the authority for overturning two thousand years of Christian tradition and ignoring the direct admonition by the Scriptures to not condone homosexual activity.  While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.  The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  In other words, liberal clergy could nominate “like-minded” candidates without the other members of the church being aware of how that member might exercise the very authority supposedly bestowed by the congregations.  Second, in 2005, the leadership authorized an opinion survey of the church-wide membership concerning the controversial issue.  Despite the biased wording of the poll for acceptance, the majority of ELCA members clearly expressed their opposition to ordaining practicing gay clergy.  The dishonor comes into play because the Higgins Road Group decided that there shouldn’t be another poll of the membership even though the CWA would be acting on the controversial issue in 2009.  Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.  As an operational change, approval in the CWA would only take a majority vote.  Adherence to the Church’s Constitution would require the approval of a social statement by a two-thirds supermajority.  Even the majority of the ELCA’s Bishops strongly recommended that if such a controversial issue were to be tackled, consensus in the church should be demonstrated by approval through a super-majority.  The dishonorable act in this instance was, of course, the leadership’s manipulation of the process to avoid the requirement, to demonstrate a consensus, embodied by the super-majority provision in the ELCA’s constitution. 

So, why would educated, dedicated progressives be willing to cause a schism within a church over an issue that reasonable people can disagree?  Why risk the very future of the church, the loss of membership, and the loss of the ability to help the poor all over the world in the name of their progressive “vision”?  One obvious answer is that they saw the fulfillment of their vision as more important than the cohesion and the work of the church.  They also saw their promotion of perceived equality for the homosexual community as justifying their shameful treatment of the majority of the members of the church who disagreed with them.  The old saw fits the situation well.  In their eyes, “The end justified the means.”

However, I think there is a more comprehensive answer as to why the progressives in the ELCA seemed so dedicated to their cause.  I believe to a progressive the “life purpose” of striving for a just and equitable world supersedes all other aspects of their person including their profession and even the standards of fairness, objectivity, and civility that they profess to abide by.  So, educated clergy were willing to lead their church off a cliff in order to achieve their “vision” of how equality should be applied in our society.  One can only conclude, considering the dire repercussions of their action, the progressives within the ELCA did not believe there could possibly be legitimate reasons for opposing their position that we should equate homosexual relationships with heterosexual marriages.  As William Bennett, the former Secretary of Education, has said, progressives often act with an “insufferable sense of moral superiority.”  I’m afraid that was part of the downfall of the ELCA, an arrogance that surpasses all understanding.

Charles_Austin

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #80 on: January 20, 2011, 01:34:44 PM »
Just a few minor corrections (the italics are the pewsitter's words, the others, mine):
The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals.
But the "activity" had to be limited to a relationship that was monogamous, committed, public and lifelong.

The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members,
I have noted before. The views of others were not "ignored," it just turned out that the Assembly did not agree. There was no poll that would give a reliable view of the "majority" of members.

iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.
Not true at all. There were years of discussions. Several church-wide assemblies, hundreds of meetings in synods. The statement was widely circulated and revised after being widely circulated. Anyone who was not aware of what the ELCA was doing was just not paying attention.

That lack of open discussion resulted in many of the ELCA clergy failing their duty to inform their members of the potential break with historic Christian beliefs.   
See above. Everyone had plenty of chances to know what was going on. Clergy who did not inform their congregations were derelict in their duty. (And I contend that if more clergy had been diligent, the vote might have gone another way.)

First, the progressives used an undemocratic body, the Church Wide Assembly (CWA), as the authority for overturning two thousand years of Christian tradition and ignoring the direct admonition by the Scriptures to not condone homosexual activity.  While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.
The CWA was never intended to be a "representative democracy." Neither were the governing conventions of the previous church bodies. One cannot fault the ELCA for not being "more democratic" when it was never intended to be a representative democracy.

The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  In other words, liberal clergy could nominate “like-minded” candidates without the other members of the church being aware of how that member might exercise the very authority supposedly bestowed by the congregations. 
The voting members (not representatives) at the Assemblies are chosen in various ways, usually by synod assemblies and by votes that are not clergy alone. And the authority to act at Churchwide Assemblies belongs to the voting members, not to the congregations. No such authority is "bestowed" by the congregations to the voting members, either.

Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.
The decisions involving ordination were not a "social statement," they were implementing a social statement that had to be elected by the 2/3 super majority.

One can only conclude, considering the dire repercussions of their action, the progressives within the ELCA did not believe there could possibly be legitimate reasons for opposing their position that we should equate homosexual relationships with heterosexual marriages.
No, the very concern for those who disagree, expressed imperfectly in the "bound conscience" discussion, proves that this is not the case.

George Erdner

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #81 on: January 20, 2011, 01:51:26 PM »
Just a few minor corrections (the italics are the pewsitter's words, the others, mine):
The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals.
But the "activity" had to be limited to a relationship that was monogamous, committed, public and lifelong.

Which is a distinction that makes no difference.

Michael_Rothaar

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #82 on: January 20, 2011, 01:55:02 PM »

The force of your argument would be strengthened by correcting a couple of misstatements of fact.

Quote
While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.  The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  

Voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly are elected by Synod Assemblies. All congregations have lay representation at Synod Assemblies, and all clergy are voting members of Synod Assemblies.

Quote
Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.  As an operational change, approval in the CWA would only take a majority vote.  Adherence to the Church’s Constitution would require the approval of a social statement by a two-thirds supermajority.  

The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted, by a two thirds majority vote, the social statement "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust." The subsequent decisions were based on this statement and its enabling resolutions.

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Marshall_Hahn

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #83 on: January 20, 2011, 02:14:10 PM »
Just a few comments on the comments:
Just a few minor corrections (the italics are the pewsitter's words, the others, mine):
The specific change would be, for the first time, to allow homosexual ministers, who were engaging in homosexual activities, to be ordained with the full knowledge they were active homosexuals.
But the "activity" had to be limited to a relationship that was monogamous, committed, public and lifelong.
Granted.  But even that change was made without providing a convincing case for doing so. 
Quote
The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members,
I have noted before. The views of others were not "ignored," it just turned out that the Assembly did not agree. There was no poll that would give a reliable view of the "majority" of members.
"Sidestepped" would probably be a better word than "ignored."  (As "disingenuous" would probably be better than "dishonorable.")  Whether the responses to the 2005 Task Force were reliable or not may be debatable, but the telling thing is that there was no serious effort undertaken to determine their reliability.  But they remain the best thing we have for determining the view of the church as a whole - along with the subsequent fallout from the CWA's decisions.  The Assembly did not agreee, to be sure.  But there is no evidence that the church as a whole disagreed with the overwhelmingly negative responses given in 2005.
Quote
iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.
Not true at all. There were years of discussions. Several church-wide assemblies, hundreds of meetings in synods. The statement was widely circulated and revised after being widely circulated. Anyone who was not aware of what the ELCA was doing was just not paying attention.
Pew Sitter's contention, here is overblown, but not without some merit.  I know of many congregations in which the pastor never once mentioned what was being considered by the ELCA.  Some were not paying attention, to be sure, but there are others who were intentionally kept in the dark.   One cannot blame "Higgins Road" for this, as Pew Sitter does, but it is not just that some were not paying attention, either.
Quote
That lack of open discussion resulted in many of the ELCA clergy failing their duty to inform their members of the potential break with historic Christian beliefs.   
See above. Everyone had plenty of chances to know what was going on. Clergy who did not inform their congregations were derelict in their duty. (And I contend that if more clergy had been diligent, the vote might have gone another way.)
See above.
Quote
First, the progressives used an undemocratic body, the Church Wide Assembly (CWA), as the authority for overturning two thousand years of Christian tradition and ignoring the direct admonition by the Scriptures to not condone homosexual activity.  While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.
The CWA was never intended to be a "representative democracy." Neither were the governing conventions of the previous church bodies. One cannot fault the ELCA for not being "more democratic" when it was never intended to be a representative democracy.
Agreed.
Quote
The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  In other words, liberal clergy could nominate “like-minded” candidates without the other members of the church being aware of how that member might exercise the very authority supposedly bestowed by the congregations. 
The voting members (not representatives) at the Assemblies are chosen in various ways, usually by synod assemblies and by votes that are not clergy alone. And the authority to act at Churchwide Assemblies belongs to the voting members, not to the congregations. No such authority is "bestowed" by the congregations to the voting members, either.
Agreed.  Pew Sitter does not accurately portray the workings and nominating process for the CWA.
Quote
Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.
The decisions involving ordination were not a "social statement," they were implementing a social statement that had to be elected by the 2/3 super majority.
Wrong.  The decisions involving ordination were not implementing resolutions of the social statement.  They were separate matters and were considered separately from the social statement.  It was partly for this reason that the Conference of Bishops recommended that they should require 2/3 for passage - just as the social statement required, and in line with similar measures considered at the 2005 CWA.
Quote
One can only conclude, considering the dire repercussions of their action, the progressives within the ELCA did not believe there could possibly be legitimate reasons for opposing their position that we should equate homosexual relationships with heterosexual marriages.
No, the very concern for those who disagree, expressed imperfectly in the "bound conscience" discussion, proves that this is not the case.
The implementation of this "bound conscience" provision gives credence to Pew Sitter's contention.

Marshall Hahn

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #84 on: January 20, 2011, 03:22:16 PM »

The force of your argument would be strengthened by correcting a couple of misstatements of fact.

Quote
While the CWA is an elected body, it most assuredly is not democratic organ.  The representatives are indirectly nominated by the clergy without providing any indication to the congregations as to how they might vote on a controversial issue.  

Voting members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly are elected by Synod Assemblies. All congregations have lay representation at Synod Assemblies, and all clergy are voting members of Synod Assemblies.

Quote
Third, the Higgins Road Group side stepped the provisions of the ELCA’s constitution meant to prevent the issuance of controversial social positions, in the name of the church, without a clear consensus within the church.  This was accomplished by designating the decision to ordain practicing homosexuals as an operational change rather than a social statement of some controversy.  As an operational change, approval in the CWA would only take a majority vote.  Adherence to the Church’s Constitution would require the approval of a social statement by a two-thirds supermajority.  

The 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted, by a two thirds majority vote, the social statement "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust." The subsequent decisions were based on this statement and its enabling resolutions.



While Marshall Hahn has addressed much of this in his reply to Charles, I want to add two things.

First, while it is true that voting members to the churchwide assembly are elected by the synod assembly, the process by which those names are placed in nomination varies widely from synod to synod.  In my own synod the voting members are nominated and voted on at conference assemblies held in the late winter, and those names are then submitted to the synod assembly.  While the synod assembly then formally elects them, they are basically approving formally the actions previously taken by the conferences.  While there are both lay and clergy voting members at the conference assemblies, often the names are submitted by the clergy members, as they are the only ones that really understand the process.  (Clergy are there every year, while the lay members are often first time attendees.)  But in other synods there are other methods of sending names to the synod assembly ballot, sometimes (I have heard) being done mostly out of the synod office.  I have only once or twice been at a conference assembly where those being nominated to go to the churchwide assembly have been allowed to talk about themselves, and never have they been allowed to answer questions on how they view any issues in the church.

Also, in many synods all clergy are not voting members.  In my own synod, clergy on leave from call have voice but not vote.  And retired clergy choose those who will represent them, and those so chosen have both voice and vote, but the remainder of the retired clergy do not have the privilege of voting.  These are synodical decisions, and there is no consistency across the ELCA on this. 

Second, the social statement on human sexuality was a completely seperate matter from the proposed ministry recommendations.  While I have no doubt that the passage of the social statement gave a psychological boost to those advocating for the proposed recommendations, it was made clear early in the assembly by the chair that the ministry recommendations would come before the assembly and be voted on whether or not the proposed sociual statement passed.  As a Lutheran CORE member we only hoped that the social statement would not pass, so that the assembly would possibly hesitate at passing all of the recommendations without the social statement to give weight to the arguments in their favor.  
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 03:24:51 PM by Erma S. Wolf »

Papster

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #85 on: January 20, 2011, 04:11:26 PM »
Charles wrote above:

The process the Higgins Group used to achieve their goal was “dishonorable” in several ways:  i) they purposefully ignored the view of a majority of the members,
I have noted before. The views of others were not "ignored," it just turned out that the Assembly did not agree. There was no poll that would give a reliable view of the "majority" of members.
iii) they were not willing to openly discuss, with their congregations, their plan for ordaining practicing gays for fear that more traditional members would leave.  That lack of open discussion also set up the distasteful situation in which the majority of members were taken unaware that the church was about to take an immanent and drastic step in recognizing homosexual marriage at the 2009 CWA, a step that most members did not want to take.
Not true at all. There were years of discussions. Several church-wide assemblies, hundreds of meetings in synods. The statement was widely circulated and revised after being widely circulated. Anyone who was not aware of what the ELCA was doing was just not paying attention.

I retired in 2002. My wife and I moved our membership to another community, following the suggested guidelines for retired clergy although there were six congregations in the community where we lived. The congregation we joined was Epiphany Lutheran Church in Pickerington, Ohio where Professor James Childs from Trinity Seminary, and Director for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality was a member. It was there that we participated in the "Journey Together Faithfully" Study in 2003. Childs himself made presentations to the study groups and my wife expressed concerns to him about what appeared to be a study written with a "bias." It was her opinion based on how the study was written, and what was presented that this was a "Done Deal." She based that opinion with our own experience in dealing with the LCA Statement on Human Sexuality in the 1970's where we tried to memorialize the LCA to revisit the study and speak more forcefully for a pro-life viewpoint. Once the church adopts something it is a "done deal" and there is no way to change it. When my wife spoke to Childs about this concern, he had no response.

So Charles, what you say about openness is empty talk. Bishop Hanson frequently talks about "keeping the conversation going," but there is no conversation. What the good bishop seems to mean is, "let us keep talking until we can convince you this is right." It was and is a done deal. I know of far more members who responded negatively to the studies, than positively. The studies were revised, but never in a way that responded to what many were saying. As for what is said in Synod and Churchwide Assemblies is meaningless in the end. It does not affect or change what is already a "done deal" in what is presented.   

Charles_Austin

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #86 on: January 20, 2011, 04:22:05 PM »
Pastor Hahn writes:
I know of many congregations in which the pastor never once mentioned what was being considered by the ELCA. 
I comment:
And those pastors due to their actions or non-actions, are as much responsible for the trouble we have today as is anyone who voted for the changes in 2009.

Pastor Orovitz writes (re his wife's reaction to the study in one congregation):
It was her opinion based on how the study was written, and what was presented that this was a "Done Deal." She based that opinion with our own experience in dealing with the LCA Statement on Human Sexuality in the 1970's where we tried to memorialize the LCA to revisit the study and speak more forcefully for a pro-life viewpoint.
I comment:
Agreed. It was her opinion. And the ELCA in 2009 was in many ways nothing like the LCA in the 1970s. Parallel predictions are not apt.

Pastor Orovitz:
Once the church adopts something it is a "done deal" and there is no way to change it. When my wife spoke to Childs about this concern, he had no response.
Me:
No. There are plenty of ways to change things. I assume that people are planning to try to change the sexuality statement at this year's Assembly.

Pastor Orovitz:
So Charles, what you say about openness is empty talk. Bishop Hanson frequently talks about "keeping the conversation going," but there is no conversation. What the good bishop seems to mean is, "let us keep talking until we can convince you this is right." It was and is a done deal. I know of far more members who responded negatively to the studies, than positively.
Me:
You are partially correct. The Social Statement is adopted. It is a done deal. And I know far more members who respondied positively to the studies rather than negatively. Neither who you know or who I know matters at this point.

Pastor Orovitz:
The studies were revised, but never in a way that responded to what many were saying.
Me:
Some folks I know wanted the studies changed to make them more "pro-gay," and the revisions did not satisfy them, either.

Pastor Orovitz:
As for what is said in Synod and Churchwide Assemblies is meaningless in the end. It does not affect or change what is already a "done deal" in what is presented.
Me:
If you are referring to social statements in general, you are wrong. What is presented at church wide assemblies is often revised and changed. We have all seen it happen.
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #87 on: January 20, 2011, 06:02:59 PM »
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.
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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #88 on: January 20, 2011, 06:22:54 PM »
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.
Peter Kruse

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

Ken Kimball

  • Guest
Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #89 on: January 20, 2011, 06:43:56 PM »
Nothing reaches a churchwide assembly as a "done deal." Despite what you and others say.

Consider the Concordat, failed to achieve 2/3 majority by six votes, if I remember right. After, what, 30 years of discussing and planning with the Episcopal Church, it was not a "done deal" when it reached the voting members.

The problem with that is that the assembly that turned it down never saw each other again in toto. They dispersed and no memory, other than the minutes from 4 or 6 years earlier remained. The debate on the floor was forgotten and as the matter again hit the floor, it was debated as if it was a completely new thing. That is  the problem of the polity we have created. One can make the claim, and I have heard it made in clergy meetings I have attended, that this fosters the attitude to vote on matters like this until one gets what one wants. Yes, the agreement was revised but essentially it was the very thing that its opponents opposed in the first edition. The result was Word Alone's decision to give birth to the LCMC, now 600 congregations strong and growing from ELCA departures. What do we say? Well done?

The point I would make is that once a matter is turned down, it should go away. The obverse is attested to. Once a decision is made, everyone is asked with various tact and kindness or lack thereof to get with the decision because the matter has been settled by assembly vote. Only, it hasn't. When the assembly says "no" the matter seems to just come back.
With the exception of now trying to undo the 2009 CWA.   What comes next will not be the undoing of 2009 but the narrowing of it--of legislating the reality already on the ground in a number of synods: rather than 2 or 4 positions on the homosexuality issue, there will be only one: the progressive-revisionist position by which the normalization of same-sex behaviors and relationships and the ordination/ordained ministry of those therein is the position of the ELCA and those who will not get on board better shut up or ship out.  Orthodox-traditional congregations, laity, and pastors will remain in the ELCA--they will be increasingly marginalized and isolated with pressure brought to bear to co-opt them.