Archived Boards > ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2007

Sexuality Matters Concluded, Sort of

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There is nothing in our constitution about this particular issue. Nor is there anything in our by-laws; and the policies of this church are frequently amended and altered by Assemblies and by the Church Council because the Assembly and Church Council has the authority to do so.


--- Quote ---Well, "faithful bishops" - and until one is brought up on charges and convicted, we have to assume that all our bishops are "faithful"

--- End quote ---

Yes, that would be a correct assumption for a member of the ELCA to make if he/she chooses to define faithfulness as you have here defined it as a matter of lack of charges and conviction.

I however am referring to the matter of being faithful to God's Word and what it teaches the Church about the sin of homosexuality, which, as with all sins, is to be repented of, not tolerated. And which, among those called to ministry, is grounds for necessary discipline, not something to be "refrained from."

I, for one, do not see a way the the ELCA can continue together under the conditions now in place.  If bishops are free to exercise restraint in these matters and many of them do, then the ELCA will contiune to slide progressively towards the ordination of homosexuals in relationships/same sex blessings (or marriages).  It seems to me that it is simply a matter of time before the ELCA moves completely in this direction.

Sadly, this situation could have been avoided had bishops simply enforced the policies of the church all along.  If GLBT pastors who are living in same sex relationships had been regurlarly brought up on charges and removed and if congregations that refuse to call another pastor under these circumstances were removed from the congregational rolls--these things could have been avoided.  Alas we tried not to offend, fearing perhaps that we might lose too many congregations and now the unity of the ELCA has been jeopardized.  But as it is we allowed this to happen because we were unwilling or unable to state clearly what our expectations and standards are and follow through.

I think it may be time to seriously consider the formation of a new Lutheran body!  May the Lord have mercy on our souls!


--- Quote from: Richard Johnson on August 11, 2007, 11:42:58 AM ---What this really does is to give cover to those bishops who have been neglecting their responsibilities, and encourage bishops in the future to do so. Bottom line, the Assembly has encouraged bishops to ignore the constitution, bylaws and policies of this church.

--- End quote ---

So, in effect, what we could see running up to 2009 is this, maybe (one thought):

Many bishops and others see this as the will of the assembly NOT to discipline at all any who flaunt our current policy of standards pertaining to pastors in same-gender relationships.  In effect, the bishops who choose to follow offical conduct policy will be seen as rouge.  Pastors hiding such relationships will be encourage to come forward, as the CWA urges no discipline.  Pastors who are not may enter relationships openly (for fear of no reprisals).  So that by the 2009 CWA, the call can go out, "Look at all these pastors we will loose and the congregations that will suffer if we maintain these standards."  Thus, effectively, overturning all policies in place at this time, changing our understanding of the created order, and placing Scripture not as the source and norm of our life together, but one of the "policy manuals" we have that can be ammended at anytime.  (ok, a bit of an overstatement)

That's just one thought.  What say anyone else?

Pastor McCain writes (re my comments about assuming that our bishops are "faithful")
Yes, that would be a correct assumption for a member of the ELCA to make.

I ponder:
So you do not assume that your district presidents are faithful, that your pastors are faithful, that your rostered teachers are faithful? You have little lists of those who are not? Or you decide as an individual that District President Schmidt is fuzzy on some point of doctrine or Pastor Kleinmacher has loose communion practices, so - in the minds of you and your friends - they are "unfaithful"? Is that how it works? Heresy by gossip? Vigilante justice?


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