Author Topic: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?  (Read 74032 times)

David Charlton

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #60 on: August 11, 2007, 07:41:50 PM »
If "restraint" or "refraining" becomes the practice within the ELCA, we will now have two standards for rostered leaders.  For heterosexuals it will be marriage.  For homosexuals it will be committed relationships.

Many in 2005, myself included, saw this as a dangerous precedent.  We would then have two classes of ordained pastors and rostered leaders.

Rev. BT Ball

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #61 on: August 11, 2007, 07:51:18 PM »


Finally, understand that I have thought for a few days before saying this.  Some of you from the LCMS appear to me to be gloating over the infidelity of the ELCA.  Please understand how painfully this is received.  Many orthodox ELCA members, including myself, spent the past week working 18 hours a day at the assembly to try to keep the ELCA from stepping into the abyss.  We are exhausted.  Whether our efforts bore any fruit will be determined in the fullness of time.  We simply seek to remain faithful.  I am somewhat surprised that a word or two of encouragement is not what seems in order to the LCMS folks here.  Perhaps you are unable to offer it, and that is your choice.  But as someone who has been a member of the LCMS and greatly respects that church body, it is a disappointment.

Ryan Schwarz
Steering Committee
Lutheran CORE
Quote

Ryan-
here is a word of encouragement from one LCMS pastor at least.  Thank you for your faithfulness, and be aware that we are praying for you who are holding to the faith once delivered to the saints as you confess and struggle for the truth of the Word of God, even for the sakes of those who do not hear it.
Peace,
Pr. Ben Ball, St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Brookfield, IL

ptmccain

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #62 on: August 11, 2007, 07:53:54 PM »
Gloating?

I am:

Disheartened.
Disgusted.
Sick to my stomach.
Deeply distressed.
Profoundly sad.
Heartbroken for those who are in turmoil now over the latest events at the CWA.
Frustrated.
Angry.

But not gloating.

I am, however, not at all surprised by these events, and that is reason for all the emotions above as well.

I encourage ELCA pastors who disagree with these latest actions and the trajectory the ELCA is on to do some heartfelt soul-searching and begin to trace these events back to their origins.

I do encourage, and have encouraged, several times here on this board, and elsewhere, as well in considerable private communications with a great many ELCA pastors, all ELCA pastors striving to be faithful to the historic doctrine and practice of the Lutheran Church. You all have been deeply in my thoughts and in my prayers this past week.

There is no "gloating" here Pastor. Only sadness.

But I am also optimistic that God will use this tragedy in His own ways, at His own time, to do what is best.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 08:02:28 PM by ptmccain »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2007, 07:55:04 PM »
If "restraint" or "refraining" becomes the practice within the ELCA, we will now have two standards for rostered leaders.  For heterosexuals it will be marriage.  For homosexuals it will be committed relationships.
Or one could say that there is one standard with two names.
"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]

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2007, 08:04:57 PM »
[I believe that every police officer at times refrains from or demonstrates restraint in handing out tickets. I think the last time I was pulled over, I had spent 10 hours driving, went to the wrong hotel, was rushing to the right hotel, was clocked going about 20 miles over the limit. I was guilty. I deserved the ticket, but the officer just gave me a warning. That was an option at his discretion.

No one said anything about personal restraint in a single instance of weakness.  But rather a policy, An official policy of restraining(disregarding) policy in ongoing violation? 

Quote
Or, one could say that the CWA has given their stamp of approval on the de facto policy and practices of many of the bishops.

Sad Indeed.

Rob Moskowitz
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 08:08:35 PM by ROB_MOSKOWITZ »

scott3

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2007, 08:08:56 PM »
Quote

Finally, understand that I have thought for a few days before saying this.  Some of you from the LCMS appear to me to be gloating over the infidelity of the ELCA.  Please understand how painfully this is received.  Many orthodox ELCA members, including myself, spent the past week working 18 hours a day at the assembly to try to keep the ELCA from stepping into the abyss.  We are exhausted.  Whether our efforts bore any fruit will be determined in the fullness of time.  We simply seek to remain faithful.  I am somewhat surprised that a word or two of encouragement is not what seems in order to the LCMS folks here.  Perhaps you are unable to offer it, and that is your choice.  But as someone who has been a member of the LCMS and greatly respects that church body, it is a disappointment.

Ryan Schwarz
Steering Committee
Lutheran CORE

Blessings on your efforts, Ryan.  There is no gloating here.  I've greatly respected the efforts of groups like WA and Lutheran CORE, and I hope that your efforts continue are not in vain.  The ELCA is in my prayers as I have immediate family members in the ELCA, and they are greatly injured by these developments.  I have seen my posts as trying to help you and others in your task by engaging contrary viewpoints thereby cutting away at the ideological basis of those who advocate for the non-sinfulness of homosexual behavior.  I believe that doing so shows the basis of that view -- in the wants and desires of certain folks rather than in an interpretation of Scripture.  This seems to me to be a part of what folks like you are doing, so I'm all for it.  Do keep up the work you are doing, and you and the rest of the ELCA have been and are in my prayers.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 08:10:30 PM by Sc ott Yaki mow »

SmithL

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #66 on: August 11, 2007, 08:12:40 PM »
Will this affect the Schmeling case as was hoped by the disciplinary committee?
Kevin Jud - LCMS Pastor

It is my understanding that the Schmeling case was settled prior to the CWA.  It would take more than restraint, now, it would take an active act of un-defrocking in his case.

David Charlton

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #67 on: August 11, 2007, 08:16:58 PM »
If "restraint" or "refraining" becomes the practice within the ELCA, we will now have two standards for rostered leaders.  For heterosexuals it will be marriage.  For homosexuals it will be committed relationships.
Or one could say that there is one standard with two names.

I guess I'm old fashioned.  I think words signify something real.  There is a qualitative difference between marriage and committed relationships.  Many heterosexuals live in committed relationships as well, but they are not married.

Pr. Jerry

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #68 on: August 11, 2007, 08:17:02 PM »
Some thoughts from one who was there:

- Lutheran niceness led to a bad decision devoid of consistency or integrity.  Churches, of all organizations, should not state one thing as policy but then encourage non-enforcement of the policy.

- Practically speaking, there is no real impact from the decision.  Bishops who haven't been enforcing the policy still won't, and bishops who enforce the policy (mainly via the candidacy/ordination/call process, not the disciplinary process) still will.  And the issue of the policy still will come before the 2009 assembly.  In that sense, the big vote was the one on the policy change, because it would be much harder to reverse a policy already changed than to reaffirm it.

- That said, if the orthodox in the ELCA do not get organized and begin working NOW for the 2009 assembly, it is hard to see a good outcome on policy at that assembly.

Finally, understand that I have thought for a few days before saying this.  Some of you from the LCMS appear to me to be gloating over the infidelity of the ELCA.  Please understand how painfully this is received.  Many orthodox ELCA members, including myself, spent the past week working 18 hours a day at the assembly to try to keep the ELCA from stepping into the abyss.  We are exhausted.  Whether our efforts bore any fruit will be determined in the fullness of time.  We simply seek to remain faithful.  I am somewhat surprised that a word or two of encouragement is not what seems in order to the LCMS folks here.  Perhaps you are unable to offer it, and that is your choice.  But as someone who has been a member of the LCMS and greatly respects that church body, it is a disappointment.

Actuall, as an ELCA clergy person, what I'd like to see happen from my LC-MS brothers and sisters (and evangelical, Roman Catholic, etc...) is a level of concern that says "You are on the verge of severing ties with us..."  A warning shot would not change the ELCA leadership, but it would at least say that y'all care...  Hell, threaten us with a lawsuit to revoke the name "Lutheran," because it slanders you.  Yell from the top-most hill that the ELCA has forsaken the bonds that bind us in faith.  Sick Herman Otten on us.  The Pope ought to threaten that JDDJ has been abdicated and that we are approaching heretic status again.

Pres. Kieshnick should have gotten up, looked out, said his heart was breaking because we are on the verge of the abyss, that he was praying for our souls, and left.  

What we don't need is "support" from well-meaning, but queezy Lutherans.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

gesstree

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #69 on: August 11, 2007, 08:17:30 PM »
Some thoughts from one who was there:

- Practically speaking, there is no real impact from the decision.  Bishops who haven't been enforcing the policy still won't, and bishops who enforce the policy (mainly via the candidacy/ordination/call process, not the disciplinary process) still will.  And the issue of the policy still will come before the 2009 assembly.  In that sense, the big vote was the one on the policy change, because it would be much harder to reverse a policy already changed than to reaffirm it.

Unfortunately, I disagree. I think there are many Bishops who have been wavering and this will give them the encouragement they need to declare more ELCA congregations served by non-rostered clergy "vacant" and let congregations do what they please.


Finally, understand that I have thought for a few days before saying this.  Some of you from the LCMS appear to me to be gloating over the infidelity of the ELCA.  Please understand how painfully this is received.  Many orthodox ELCA members, including myself, spent the past week working 18 hours a day at the assembly to try to keep the ELCA from stepping into the abyss.  We are exhausted.  Whether our efforts bore any fruit will be determined in the fullness of time.  We simply seek to remain faithful.  I am somewhat surprised that a word or two of encouragement is not what seems in order to the LCMS folks here.  Perhaps you are unable to offer it, and that is your choice.  But as someone who has been a member of the LCMS and greatly respects that church body, it is a disappointment.

Ryan Schwarz
Steering Committee
Lutheran CORE

Thank you for this. I whole heartedly agree. Reading many of the LCMS posts makes it clear why I don't have a home in the current Lutheran landscape as I watch the ELCA go adrift, I know I could never be at home in the LCMS.

Bill Crabtree
ELCA Pastor

ptmccain

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #70 on: August 11, 2007, 08:29:02 PM »

Actually, as an ELCA clergy person, what I'd like to see happen from my LC-MS brothers and sisters (and evangelical, Roman Catholic, etc...) is a level of concern that says "You are on the verge of severing ties with us..."  A warning shot would not change the ELCA leadership, but it would at least say that y'all care...  Hell, threaten us with a lawsuit to revoke the name "Lutheran," because it slanders you.  Yell from the top-most hill that the ELCA has forsaken the bonds that bind us in faith.  Sick Herman Otten on us.  The Pope ought to threaten that JDDJ has been abdicated and that we are approaching heretic status again.

Pres. Kieshnick should have gotten up, looked out, said his heart was breaking because we are on the verge of the abyss, that he was praying for our souls, and left. 

What we don't need is "support" from well-meaning, but queezy Lutherans.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS



Thanks Jerry. I appreciate your comments!

Maryland Brian

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2007, 08:38:46 PM »
It is my understanding that the Schmeling case was settled prior to the CWA.  It would take more than restraint, now, it would take an active act of un-defrocking in his case.

Next comes the removal of the congregation from the ELCA if he stays. In that sense, I would think it is right on target.  This is exactly the outcome sought by Good Soil.  How can the Bishop remove the congregation given the language of what passed?  So a defrocked pastor will continue to serve a congregation outside of Atlanta.  Much like Pastor Sabin serves an ELCA congregation in San Francisco. 

As the other Brian has stated, in most ways this CWA vote doesn't really change the situation on the ground.  From my perspective it does change one thing worth noting again: perception of this church's understanding of sexual boundaries and her clergy.

MD Brian

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2007, 08:42:50 PM »
I guess I'm old fashioned.  I think words signify something real.  There is a qualitative difference between marriage and committed relationships.  Many heterosexuals live in committed relationships as well, but they are not married.
The difference between a committed relationship and marriage are essentially the benefits given to married couples by the states and federal government. There is also a third category available in some states -- that of registered domestic partners. In California that is available for same-sex couples or heterosexual couples if one is over age 65. It gives them nearly all the same state benefits that married couples receive, but none of the federal benefits.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2007, 08:45:39 PM »
No one said anything about personal restraint in a single instance of weakness.  But rather a policy, An official policy of restraining(disregarding) policy in ongoing violation?
The resolution is not a policy statement. It doesn't even mandate restraint, but "urges and encourages" it.
"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]

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: 2007 CWA & Sexuality - What do you tell your congregation?
« Reply #74 on: August 11, 2007, 09:02:42 PM »
No one said anything about personal restraint in a single instance of weakness.  But rather a policy, An official policy of restraining(disregarding) policy in ongoing violation?
The resolution is not a policy statement. It doesn't even mandate restraint, but "urges and encourages" it.

I does not need to mandate.   It is a memorial from the highest legislative body that "urges and encourages" restraint of existing policy which was not even approved by the highest legislative body.   Sounds like policy to me?

Rob Moskowitz