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Maybe OK to be Unrepentantly Gay in the ELCA
Kairos news | January 13, 2005 | Christopher Hershman

Posted on 01/13/2005 7:19:18 PM PST by lightman

The ELCA's Task Force on Homosexuality has released its recommendations.

Note this VERY important comment within all the verbiage about pastoral care and living with differences and so forth. Note this recommendation:

As a pastoral response to the deep divisions in the ELCA, this church may choose to refrain from disciplining those who in good conscience, and for the sake of outreach, ministry and the commitment to continuing dialogue, call or approve partnered gay or lesbian candidates whom they believe to be otherwise in compliance with "Vision and Expectations" and to refrain from disciplining those rostered people so approved and called. Current ELCA policy expects ministers to refrain from all sexual relations outside marriage, which it defines as "a lifelong covenant of faithfulness between a man and a woman." The church has no official policy on blessing same-gender relationships.

What is happening is clear. ELCA leadership is, for the most part, in favor of embracing homosexuality as an appropriate lifestyle choice for Christians, as well as for its rostered pastors and other church workers. Throughout ELCA seminaries there is a very strong and active pro-homosexual agenda at work. However ELCA leadership recognizes that they can not push this agenda on the ELCA at this point in time without wholescale rebellion from many corners. So, what has happened is that they have stepped back just a bit from a highly aggresive effort and instead now are settling back into a slow campaign of incrementalism. We saw this a few months ago with the ELCA Council changed the rules on how matters of this importance are to be voted on at the General Assembly this summer. Rather than letting them be decided by majority vote, they have changed the rules to require a 2/3 majority.

My sources indicate that there is no question that top leadership of the ELCA wants very much to follow the example of the Episcopalian Church USA and tolerate. condone and actively encourage actively homosexual clergy in its ranks. At ELCA headquarters in Chicago there was, last time I checked, a female pastor and another rostered ELCA woman church worker in a lesbian relationship, very openly known, to the point that the "couple" sent out announcements in the building regarding "their" child's baptism, etc. When ELCA leadership was pressed to explain how this is so, in direct violation of "formal policy," the response was that this is a matter for the local ELCA Synod bishop to deal with, not the national leadership, and then nothing happened. The person who raised the concern was rebuked for being unloving and legalistic when he challenged the situation.

And so the name of the game now is "incrementalism" -- you can't get everything you want, but you make progress forward toward the goal. It is a tactic well known in church circles on a variety of issues. It bespeaks a fundamental lack of integrity on the part of those who definitely embrace teachings contrary to a church's public confession, but know they can't get away with being open and very public about it, so they cloak their real convictions and instead work to move the agenda forward in small steps, using lots of pious-sounding talk about "discerning the will of God" and talking about how differences should not divide and distract from the church's mission, etc. etc. etc. !!!

Let's be clear about something.

There is NOTHING "pastoral" about permitting heretical views of gender, marriage and human sexuality. There is nothing "pastoral" about permitting openly unrepentant homosexuals to continue in their sin, even as there is nothing "pastoral" about not dealing with anyone living in unrepentant sin and continuing in that sin! Being "pastoral" is just the oppositive of this nonsensical rhetoric. Being pastoral means clearly proclaiming God's Law and God's Gospel, not saying to unrepentant sinners, "Well, it's ok for now to you continue down the path that leads to destruction."

The train is rolling down the tracks, and hopefully enough people will see it coming and either derail the train, or find another train!

The task force report can be found at http://www.elca.org/faithfuljourney/ on the ELCA Web site. The 1993 Statement of the ELCA Conference of Bishops on blessing of homosexual relationships is at http://www.elca.org/sr/bishopsblessings.html and "Vision and Expectations -- Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America" is at http://www.elca.org/candidacy/vision_ordained.html on the Web.


TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Current Events; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Theology
KEYWORDS: chicago; ecusa; elca; homosexuality; lutheran; ordination; samesexunion
The two thirds majority vote could be a major obstacle to the revisionists. Without 2/3 plus one, the present policy (such as it is) still stands.
1 posted on 01/13/2005 7:19:19 PM PST by lightman
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To: lightman
E.L.C.A.
Tune: “Y.M.C.A.”

“Luth’ran” doesn’t mean quite the same
As what you’ve been taught to know by that name.
We’re removin’ all the scandal and shame
Of a church that stands for something.

Luth’ran, no, you’re not misinformed,
Yes, it’s true now, we commune the Reformed.
No forced union made us bow or conform,
Just a warm and fuzzy feeling.

It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
We have women in black,
Now there’s no turning back
To the hang ups of dead white guys.

It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
You can set yourself free
From dead orthodoxy,
You can do whatever you please.

Luth’ran, won’t you please come along
To the Elca, where’s there’s no right or wrong.
In the Elca, heretics can belong,
They can teach at seminary.

“Luth’ran,” but our fingers were crossed,
All our doctrine has been totally lost.
All that’s Luth’ran is what we have embossed
On our cards and stationery.

It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
We have women in black,
Now there’s no turning back
To the hang ups of dead white guys.

It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
You can set yourself free
From dead orthodoxy,
You can do whatever you please.

Elca, where it’s very uncouth
And unwelcome to say you have the truth
And where seldom is a word ever heard
To discourage sin or error.

Elca, where it’s all shades of gray,
I said, Elca, where it’s hip to be gay.
Our umbrella is as big as a tent,
There’s no need for you to repent.

It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
We have women in black,
Now there’s no turning back
To the hang ups of dead white guys.

It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
It’s fun to be in the E.L.C.A.
You can set yourself free
From dead orthodoxy,
You can do whatever you please.

Charlie Henrickson

2 posted on 01/13/2005 7:35:59 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (LCMS)
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To: Charles Henrickson

And Mark Hanson is the Indian Chief?


3 posted on 01/13/2005 7:53:53 PM PST by lightman (The Office of the Keys should be exercised as some ministry needs to be exorcised.)
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To: lightman

"Native American" Chief. :-)


4 posted on 01/13/2005 8:00:21 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (LCMS)
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To: lightman

Sorry. "Native American Facilitator."


5 posted on 01/13/2005 8:01:46 PM PST by Charles Henrickson (LCMS)
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To: Charles Henrickson; lightman

My father emigrated from Scotland. My wife's father from Germany. She, I and the children are NATIVE Americans. American Indians are people whose ancestors emigrated here before the Europeans did. But on to the topic at hand.....

After sixteen years of Roman Catholic education (plus an extended period of befuddled Atheism) I came to a place where I knew salvation, and called myself a "Generic Christian". As my children grew, I thought it would be a good idea for them to experience a more Orthodox Christianity, and began attending an ELCA Church. Our little honeymoon with that congregation ended on one Sunday when the pastor decided that the foundation text for his sermon would (rather than the Bible) be Johnathon Livingston Seagull. For some reason these morons could not understand why I felt that my family would be better served with home study of pertinent religious texts. So much for the ELCA.


6 posted on 01/13/2005 8:18:13 PM PST by shibumi (Sum Ergo Flatulo)
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To: lightman
My parents were thinking of Converting to Lutheran after the Epscopal thing.

Well, so much for that.
7 posted on 01/13/2005 9:43:08 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ("Hi, I'm Richard Gere and I'm speaking for the entire world. -Richard Gere)
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Take a look at the LCMS, WELS, or ELS. There are consavative Lutheran synods out there.
There is also a splinter group of the ELCA called the LCMC. I think this will show more congregations out.


8 posted on 01/14/2005 6:10:00 AM PST by redgolum
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