Started by DCharlton, January 01, 2013, 09:22:19 PM
QuoteMy experiences with the ELCA in the last 10 years suggest that congregations and pastors are more likely to be lone wolves than pack members. For the church, this is not good. But as noted above, it is not only happening with the church. We are increasingly fragmented as a society and loyalties to social institutions are fragile and easily broken.
Quote from: FrPeters on January 02, 2013, 08:07:24 AMQuoteMy experiences with the ELCA in the last 10 years suggest that congregations and pastors are more likely to be lone wolves than pack members. For the church, this is not good. But as noted above, it is not only happening with the church. We are increasingly fragmented as a society and loyalties to social institutions are fragile and easily broken. Congregations and their clergy act like lone wolfs but they use the resources of the church like people with an emergency 911 call. In Missouri the loners are often connected in small but loosely organized packs -- perhaps more so than in the ELCA. But I do agree with you. It is not good for the church. I would go one further, it is not good for the congregation and the pastor either.
Quote from: DCharlton on January 01, 2013, 09:22:19 PM"The ELCA requires nothing of congregations." So says retired ELCA pastor and former assistant to the bishop of the Metro DC Synod, Ronald F. Christian, in the January 2013 issue of The Lutheran. I assume that since it appears in the My View column we should not attribute his views to The Lutheran.It is not surprising that someone would suggest that those pastors and churches who departed the ELCA "had no real cause." The refusal to attend to the actual reasons that the departed have given is commonplace. Neither is it surprising that someone would suggest that those who have departed did so because of "the ego needs of the leader", "closed theology", "false theology", or "the all consuming 'I'". Nor is it surprising that Pastor Christian [sic] places opposition to HSGT into the same category as opposition to civil rights, as well as Islamophobia and Homophobia. Such slurs are often very effective in silencing one's opponents.No, what is surprising is that Pastor Christian states that the "ELCA requires nothing of congregations." Perhaps the ELCA cannot force a congregation to give, but as Pastor Austin has argued convincingly, congregations have a moral obligation to support the larger ministry of "this church." Those who know they cannot make a good faith effort to support the ministries of the ELCA, cooperate with its synodical and churchwide expressions, support its educational institutions, and share in common mission ought to have the integrity to depart. And yet, a former assistant to the bishop suggests that passive aggressive isolation is the only honorable option.What gives?
Quote from: Gary Hatcher on January 02, 2013, 10:38:27 AM<snip> So with total freedom, why do congregations and pastors depart from the broad and global Lutheran family?<snip>
Quote from: Dan Fienen on January 02, 2013, 11:21:31 AMAs a church body, this seems to me to envision the ELCA as an ecclesiastical smorgasbord. Over here are pension and health insurance plans (now I guess semi-independent), over there is a church supply and publishing service (also semi-independent), on another counter is a church consultation service that you can use if you wish (helps congregations find pastors, settle issues within the congregation, and the like, usually handled on a regional synod level), there is also a bunch of resources available for use if desired. There is a basic confessional base (Augsburg Confession) but how much is that enforced. There are also opinions of current concerns that are expressed by some (a majority) of the denomination but if you don't agree, its all good.
Quote from: Dan Fienen on January 02, 2013, 12:50:41 PMQuote from: Gary Hatcher on January 02, 2013, 10:38:27 AM<snip> So with total freedom, why do congregations and pastors depart from the broad and global Lutheran family?<snip>I noticed that also. Are we to understand from this that in Pr. Christian's opinion, at least in the United States the "broad and global Lutheran family" is coterminous with the ELCA. And people accuse the LCMS of being arrogant. It just sounded like Pr. Christian wrote all Lutherans in the United States that are not part of the ELCA are not Lutheran. Hmmm. Surely he was just being a bit sloppy. Dan
Quote from: Dan Fienen on January 02, 2013, 01:40:52 PMPerhaps it needs to be again noted that Pr. Christian is not speaking for the ELCA on any official basis. Dan