Skip to comments.Dissident Lutherans: bullying over gays
Posted on 12/19/2009 9:30:46 AM PST by Not gonna take it anymore
A decision to ordain actively gay clergy has caused deep fissures in the nation's largest Lutheran church group, with some traditional Lutherans saying they have been subjected to threats and retaliation as they consider breaking away.
Several disaffected members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) say the decision made at the church's national convention in Minneapolis in August could prompt a major exodus from one of America's biggest Protestant denominations.
"I wouldn't even begin to tell you how many thousands [of calls] I've gotten," said Paull Spring, chairman of Lutheran Coalition for Renewal, or CORE, a national coalition based on traditional values. His group said last month that it cannot remain inside the 4.7-million-member ELCA and will form a new synod.
He is not alone.
"I am receiving every single week dozens of phone calls, e-mails, from pastors of the largest Lutheran churches in ELCA," said the Rev. Walter Kallestad, senior pastor of Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Ariz., who left the synod after having been "rostered" as a minister with the ELCA for 31 years. "I've answered hundreds ... from congregations looking to transition out of the ELCA."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
But the splits within the ELCA, which is more than twice the Episcopal Church's size, are getting ugly in their own way. Pastors taking their churches out of the ELCA are making charges of "unethical, immoral and in some cases, illegal" acts by bishops and other officials, Mr. Kallestad said.The ELCA has its own Gaystapo?
"I'm talking to some pastors and leaders from many states around the nation, whose [ELCA] bishops are becoming very hostile," Mr. Kallestad said.
Without the pope and the bishops in union with him teaching under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as a final authority, Christianity becomes a matter of voting on what the Bible really means. The continuing disintegration of the Protestant denominations is proof.
As a Lutheran, I don’t need a man in a funny hat to tell me what Jesus wants in my heart. OR the POPE.
(HAA HAAA!.... Texas joke!.... That’s a , I say that’s A joke, son!
The change in policy has caused anguish among probably hundreds of thousands of Lutherans. His response has been “We understand you pain, but don't leave the Church now, we need to have a dialog about this.” Just turning up the water on the boiling frog.
His biggest concern lately is the falloff of dominations to the ECLA, as many churches have withheld their regular support. All he does is whine about how these churches are hurting the poor by not supporting his organization. It doesn't seem to occur to him that these churches can perform plenty of good works on their own, without getting his sleazy hands on their money.
As a Lutheran, a pope is precisely what you need... or else you're going to see your denomination continue to fragment, each splinter's leadership convinced that it and its alone really knows what Jesus wants.
PS - Luther wore a beret.
PPS - I'm a former Lutheran.
The Rev. Mark Gehrke, of Faith Lutheran Church in Moline, Ill., said that "if you do not agree with the direction of the ELCA, you are ... bullied or ostracized or threatened. The threat has been to even remove me and suspend me from ministry," he said.
In early September, he said, he was leading meetings and seeking ways to leave the ELCA. His bishop heard of this and sent a three-man team to address the problem. "They spent their first 10 to 12 minutes bashing me and the leadership," Mr. Gehrke said. "Quoting things out of context, just totally humiliating me in front of the entire congregation."
Mr. Gehrke said other pastors have been bullied into silence. "In Illinois, I'm one of the only few pastors that have taken a stand," he said, noting there are others who are too frightened to openly criticize the denomination's position on homosexuality.
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Marantha--Come, Lord Jesus!
The ELCA has its own Gaystapo?
Aye, I've had that charge of being "immoral" leveled at me in abstentia by retired clergy.
Thankfully, the revisionista Dean gave him the smackdown for his own violation of Matthew 18.
I can only take the ALPB in very small doses.
I am a Lutheran, trying to be a Christian. You might try being a Roman Catholic trying to be a Christian.
I am speaking as one who married a Roman Catholic, only to have the marriage broken apart with the "Good Catholic Mother-in-Law" used religious guilt to force her daughter to start abusing our son.
Save your pontificating about your new-found "religion"!
Liberal tolerance never was about tolerating; it's invariably about obeisantly affirming the liberal deviance du jour.
The Church to which my family belongs is having their second vote early next year, to leave the ELCA and join the LCMC. The first vote was overwhelming in favor of both portions of the move.
Anyone have a photo of a Lutheran bishop? I've never seen one.
This has been the most difficult thing I have done in my life. I am still attending my ELCA Church until we vote in March, but i feel fairly sure that we will not get the 2/3 majority required by our constitution. I will have to leave the Church I grew up in. Please stick to your guns. We do not even have a Senior pastor right now. The situation is not good. We a a rudderless ship. Our associate pastor does not agree with the vote, but does not want to alienate any members by stating her views. She is a caregiver,not a leader. We desperately need a leader.Sorry to vent to you but I just felt out of place at Church today, and it hurt. thanks for reading.
We reject the false teaching that would define the holy Ministry as a "helping profession," and so turn bishops and pastors into psychological counselors or social activists. We reject the false teaching that would fragment the one divinely instituted Ministry into so-called specialized ministries, as if the circumstances of ministry determine its content and practice. We reject the false teaching that ordained ministers are not subject to an exemplary standard in their conduct and relationships, or that they may excuse immoral behavior by an appeal to privacy or gospel freedom.
The Word of God is silenced among us and driven out of the Church whenever the holy Ministry becomes a loosely defined service to people rather than the specific divine call to serve the Word of God, and whenever bishops and pastors are not encouraged to adorn the holy Ministry with holy lives.
Another problem with ELCA(and other church bodies, I assume) pastors see what they do as a job, not a calling.
A pastor afraid to stand on the Word should be horsewhipped...that is nothing, compared to what they face later.