Author Topic: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality  (Read 2745 times)

ptmccain

  • Guest
Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« on: July 27, 2007, 06:21:42 PM »
Wasn't Bishop Hanson himself very much supportive of the gay-rights movement agenda in the ELCA when he was a Synod bishop in MN, or am I confusing him with another ELCA bishop? Trying to keep track of all your bishops is kind of a "payne" for us non-LCMS types, even as trying to keep tack of our District Presidents, must be for you folks.

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10376
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2007, 06:39:57 PM »
Wasn't Bishop Hanson himself very much supportive of the gay-rights movement agenda in the ELCA when he was a Synod bishop in MN, or am I confusing him with another ELCA bishop? Trying to keep track of all your bishops is kind of a "payne" for us non-LCMS types, even as trying to keep tack of our District Presidents, must be for you folks.

Gee, Paul, when did you become a "non-LCMS type"? Does your DP know?  ;D
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

ptmccain

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2007, 06:43:58 PM »
Richard, you "outed" me!  I've been participating here too much. I am confusing if I'm ELCA or LCMS. Funny!  ;D

ptmccain

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2007, 08:19:47 PM »
May I answered my own question. Here is what I found after a quick "google" search on Mark Hanson and homosexuality. Is this an accurate statement?

We Have a Precedent

Now back to the bishop referred to above, Mark Hanson of the St. Paul Synod. He was under much pressure from his congregations because he had expedited the irregular ordination of a lesbian. He saw that the route of "exceptions," pushed on the CWA by the conference of bishops in regard to the CCM, could also just as successfully be a model to sidetrack the uproar expected from any future attempt in his synod to endorse homosexual marriages or clergy ordinations. Just so, an "exception" could also be the savvy answer to the unhappy future prospect of running head on into a smashup with the ELCA majority, still obviously skittish about endorsing homosexual behaviors in the clergy parsonage.

By applying the "exceptions" principle, the strikingly unbiblical support the ELCA might give to its homosexu-ally active clergy might be both grudgingly condoned, and yet zealously encouraged. For by this principle, no one had to ordain homosexual activists, but would be encouraged to do so, if they were so minded. By means of the "exceptions," the modi-tied CCM presumably had taken care of the pastors whose conscience bothered them about violating their ordination vow of adherence to the Lutheran Confessions. So then, why could not this same makeshift Rube Goldberg device be extended to the question of ordaining homosexually active clergy? Exceptions had worked to disarm the the CCM's opponents. Apply it likewise to the potentially disastrous issue of ordaining the behavioral homosexuals. So Hanson reasoned in reference to his synod.

Ordination to Place

Hanson gave this strategy a very neutral sounding name: "Ordination to place." That is, the ELCA would not have to take a stand on the issue of homosexual practice, one way or the other. For the homosexually active prospective ordinand would seek out a bishop, a congregation, or a synod, sympathetic to his or her case. In that place and for that kind of ministry, the ordination would occur and everyone would be satisfied. Those indignant at what was done, would be mollified, since it was not their synod, congregation or bishop that had welcomed this clergy type. And certainly the proponents would rejoice for achieving their purpose of opening the clergy roster of the ELCA to this kind of minister and ministry. The latter could look forward to continuing to wear down the opposition like water dripping on a stone.

Hanson was subsequently elevated to the top bishop slot in the ELCA.

Source: http://www.foclnews.org/v1301.htm

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2007, 11:07:55 PM »
Fellowship of Confessing Lutherans is a highly-biased partisan group (which they are allowed to be), but I would not accept their explanation as a fair description of the stance or history of Bishop Hanson's ministry. And I ask again: Why is Pastor McCain obsessed with this?

Mike Bennett

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1031
    • View Profile
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2007, 11:12:41 PM »
Fellowship of Confessing Lutherans is a highly-biased partisan group (which they are allowed to be), but I would not accept their explanation as a fair description of the stance or history of Bishop Hanson's ministry. And I ask again: Why is Pastor McCain obsessed with this?

"Highly biased. " "Obsessed."  Who is it you say is poisoning the waters here?

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2007, 11:39:50 PM »
Well, the primary action of the Assembly two years ago was to seek to maintain our unity even though we disagree. Those who trouble the waters from outside the ELCA and those in the ELCA who distort our history violate the intent of that resolution.

ghp

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2007, 01:01:09 AM »
Well, the primary action of the Assembly two years ago was to seek to maintain our unity even though we disagree. Those who trouble the waters from outside the ELCA and those in the ELCA who distort our history violate the intent of that resolution.

Asking a question about an issue, seemingly (if not obviously) to increase clarity & understanding, hardly seems like an effort to "trouble the waters from outside..." Such an interpretation strikes me as oddly uncharitable.

-ghp

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2007, 06:25:44 AM »
Glen Piper writes:
Asking a question about an issue, seemingly (if not obviously) to increase clarity & understanding, hardly seems like an effort to "trouble the waters from outside..." Such an interpretation strikes me as oddly uncharitable.

I comment:
I don't know how long you have read this forum, but I've been here a long time. Some of those "questions" are not intended to seek "clarity or understanding," but are rhetorical devices or flat-out criticisms of the ELCA from people who do not intend to "understand," but to underline how awful they think the ELCA is. Yes, that's my judgment, but I'll state it anyway.

Mike in Pennsylvania

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 356
    • View Profile
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2007, 09:22:01 AM »
We get it.  Charles Austin doesn't like Paul McCain's point of view, and vice versa.  Could the two of you, especially Charles, stop sniping at one another?  Especially since Charles is always pontificating about the virtue of civility.

As for the substance of Pr. McCain's post, I don't know how accurate the characterization of Bishop Hanson's actions as bishop of St. Paul are.  I do know that at that time Bp. Hanson had the reputation of being an advocate for ordination of gays.  However, the irregular ordination of Anita Hill boxed him in a corner, so he had to take some sort of disciplinary action, however mild.

"Ordination to place" is a concept that has been discussed among the Conference of Bishops and in the ELCA but not adopted yet.  Its intention is to provide ordained leadership for small congregations that can not afford fully trained clergy.  In this sense, it is somewhat analagous to the procedure I understand the LCMS just adopted at its convention.  However, the possibility of using ordination to place as a way of undermining Visions & Expectations has prevented its adoption so far.  At least, that's my understanding of what's happened.
NALC Interim Pastor

MMH

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2007, 10:23:27 AM »
Help me with my faulty, sinful memory here:

I seem to recall that the whole Anita Hill thing came down to the fact that she/the congregation was guilty, BUT that punishment would have to wait until after that year's CWA.

Lo and behold, the local ordinary for that synod  was, mirabile dictu, translated to Presiding Bishop of the ELCA and things settled down, which is to say, the troublemakers  pretty much got away with what they wanted.

If I am in error (a statistically significant possibility in this matter) then I would ask for a more accurate time-line on matters Hansonian.

Matt+
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 10:27:15 AM by Matt Hummel »

Deb_H.

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2007, 10:41:42 AM »
We get it.  Charles Austin doesn't like Paul McCain's point of view, and vice versa.  Could the two of you, especially Charles, stop sniping at one another?  Especially since Charles is always pontificating about the virtue of civility.

We get it also.  Some time ago a certain person got into an email brawl with a pastor we know that ended badly and certain person declared the other to be "simply a bully."  In light of the pontificating and the tone involved in the "judgmental posts" it's quite clear to me that my mother's message to her name-calling, squabbling children has more wisdom than is commonly known. 
In short, "It takes one to know one." 
Or, in the words of one of our former pastors, "Those faults you see in others are things you don't like about yourself."

Lou


Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 42673
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2007, 11:04:46 AM »
As for the substance of Pr. McCain's post, I don't know how accurate the characterization of Bishop Hanson's actions as bishop of St. Paul are.  I do know that at that time Bp. Hanson had the reputation of being an advocate for ordination of gays.  However, the irregular ordination of Anita Hill boxed him in a corner, so he had to take some sort of disciplinary action, however mild.
Actually, Bishop Hanson imposed "sanctions" against the congregation. However, his successor, Bishop Rogness, deemed that Hanson overstepped his power and authority when he imposed "sanctions" and he removed them -- a proper interpretation of the rules as I understand them.

In a similar way, the recent Committee on Appeals said the same thing about the Discipline Hearing Committee: they overstepped their power and authority when they issued a statement and postponed the discipline against Schmeling -- also a proper interpretation of the rules as I understand them.

Thus, as a synod bishop, Hanson imposed greater discipline than he had authority to do. At the same time, he didn't pursue the steps that would have removed the congregation from the ELCA. I don't think that any congregations have been removed by disciplinary action since St. Francis and First United in the early 1990s.
"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]

ptmccain

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2007, 11:33:38 AM »
To paraphrase Freud, in light of questions about my motives for asking my question, "Sometimes a question, is just a question."

I appreciate the feedback. I think Bishop Hanson realizes he has a huge tiger by the tail, regardless of whatever his personal position might be. I think the problem finally is that appealing constantly to rules of procedure or standards in church bylaws without a definitive up/down decision on the fundamental underlying issue of whether or not it is tolerable in the church of the living God for there to be pastors who are actively homosexual will never resolve the issue.

He not only faces this in his own church, but in his role with the LWF he is facing an ever growing pressure from LWF member churches who reject homosexuality as acceptable for any Lutheran churches.

The attempt to say that churches can hold opposite positions on this issue and still together proclaim a clear identity as Lutheran Christians, is, in my view, ultimately impossible.

ghp

  • Guest
Re: Bishop Hanson and Homosexuality
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2007, 11:51:40 AM »
Glen Piper writes:
Asking a question about an issue, seemingly (if not obviously) to increase clarity & understanding, hardly seems like an effort to "trouble the waters from outside..." Such an interpretation strikes me as oddly uncharitable.

I comment:
I don't know how long you have read this forum, but I've been here a long time. Some of those "questions" are not intended to seek "clarity or understanding," but are rhetorical devices or flat-out criticisms of the ELCA from people who do not intend to "understand," but to underline how awful they think the ELCA is. Yes, that's my judgment, but I'll state it anyway.

I've read this forum long enough to have seen you comment on LCMS issues/threads (i.e., as an "outsider"), as well as on many other threads wherein you employed certain rhetorical devices & tones.

I've also been around various other sites long enough to know that Rev. McCain can be rather, shall we say, pointed in his style. IOW, I've seen him have a go with many folks (when I thought he was in the right and in the wrong, btw). This particular post by him just didn't seem to warrant such a negative reply.

He (like me, for example...) could merely be wanting to understand the history & politics of the issue in question. Which is certainly valid, even when one doesn't agree with the theology that is woven throughout the issue, no?

-ghp