Skip to comments.ELCA Head Responds to Rival Lutheran Body
Posted on 08/25/2010 12:26:33 PM PDT by SmithL
The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America responded to plans for a rival church body, urging fellow Lutherans to avoid slander.
"We are to fear and love God, so that we do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations. Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light," said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the ELCA, as he recited words from the Evangelical Lutheran Worship.
Hanson made the statement in a pastoral letter Tuesday, days before hundreds of dissenting Lutherans are scheduled to constitute a separate denomination called the North American Lutheran Church.
The NALC is intended to provide a home for Lutherans discontent with the ELCA's "ongoing movement away from the authority and teaching of the Bible."
Dozens of congregations have taken votes to sever ties with the ELCA over the past year since the ELCA's highest legislative body voted to allow gays and lesbians in "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships" to serve as clergy.
"It was not our choice to leave the ELCA, but the ELCA has chosen to reject 'the faith once delivered to the saints,' so now we are acting to maintain our position within the consensus of the Church catholic," explained Ryan Schwarz of Washington, D.C., chair of Lutheran COREs Vision and Planning Working Group.
Lutheran CORE is aiding the formation of the new Lutheran body.
In response to the NALC, Hanson alluded to a possible future relationship between the ELCA and the new body but added a cautionary note.
"[W]e must ask how this separation in the body of Christ will serve the ministry and message of reconciliation entrusted to us by God," he stated.
"The ELCA has and will continue reaching out to others for the sake of the gospel and serving our neighbor. Standing together, we are known as a church that rolls up its sleeves and solves problems, the church that is catalyst, convener and bridge builder. Our strong ecumenical relationships and global partnerships testify to that commitment.
"Yet before the ELCA can undertake any such efforts with a new Lutheran church body, I believe we must commit to obey the commandment against bearing false witness and commit to live its meaning in every setting, both private and public."
Amid the debates and disagreements, Hanson made clear to members of the ELCA that there is room for divergent views on sexuality within the denomination. While calling for dialogue, he urged restraint against judgments.
"We live in a world that is plagued by incivility, willful misunderstanding and hurtful caricatures of those with whom one disagrees. Let us declare that such behaviors will stop with us," he stated. "There is room in this church for vigorous dialogue that witnesses to faith without rushing to judgment and closing off discussion."
The NALC convocation is scheduled to begin on Friday in Grove City, Ohio, with more than 1,000 participants, including representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus two of the largest Lutheran churches in the world.
Just keep your money flowing in to the central bureaucracy and ignore the two “committed” homosexuals living in your parsonage.
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Be rooted in Christ!
I hope I'm not overloading y'all with too many pings, but there is a lot going on this week.
Now, now, that’s enoguh of that nasty criticism.
To defend the ELCA’s move away from Scripture in favor of political correctness, and their new mantra of “voting on Scripture,” the various ELCA synod bishops tell congregations about the seven verses of Scripture that deal with homosexuality being sinful. However, those seven are to be ignored in favor of being neighborly and inclusive. Incredible!
Hmmm. The NALC this week votes to organize a new Lutheran Church body. Yet Mark Hanson, head of the ELCA makes a statement imploring against “rushing to judgment and closing off discussion.”. Since the congregations involving themselves with the NALC have already voted to sever ties with the ELCA, it would seem Hanson is addressing dissenters within his own synod. Methinks there must be a great deal of dissension going on within the ELCA at this time...
More than seven verses mention homosexuality. About 20 verses mention that subject. My dad (a retired ELCA pastor who joined an LCMS church, in 2008) sent me this email:
“EVERY TIME HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOUR IS MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE, IT IS CONDEMNED! That is a very strong statement and one with meaning!
The Holy Bible always treats heterosexuality as normative:
See I Cor. 7; Eph 5 and I Peter 3.
Old Testament references to read:
Genesis 19:4-5 Their sin is homosexuality
New Testament references to read:
I Cor. 6:9-11 A very significant reference.
I Cor. 6:16-20 and
I Tim 1:9-11
I began - and now I will close - with the very powerful reminder
that EVERY TIME HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOUR IS MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE, IT IS
How many ELCA congregations lost members who joined the NALC?
rushing to judgment and closing off discussion..Like the ELCA CWA 2009 did?
I haven’t seen an accounting. I’ve been waiting until the NALC convention concludes to see what their results are. That’s only one aspect of the disarray, however. How many other congregations voted to sever ties with the ELCA and went elsewhere? How many individual members/families have walked with their feet? Those answers will have to come from the ELCA.
If one says that ELCA affirms sinful behavior as not being sin, then that is simply telling the truth, not slander.
It speaks to the sanctity of the body given to us. “1Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
Jesus speaks: “Mat 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mat 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
Mat 5:30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
Mat 5:31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
Mat 5:32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Homosexuality is a sin against the body (Christ’s body) God has given us, as is lust and adultery. Jesus Himself has spoken of its sanctity as outlined in Matthew 5. How can the Church repudiate God’s doctrine based on today’s secular notions?
Do as I say, not as I do...
Bishop Hanson said:
“Yet before the ELCA can undertake any such efforts with a new Lutheran church body, I believe we must commit to obey the commandment against bearing false witness and commit to live its meaning in every setting, both private and public.”
An ELCA presiding bishop lecturing others about keeping the Ten Commandments ... Is there anything funnier?
Dear Bishop Hanson, is there no end to your hypocrisy?
Christianity has been strenghtened and improved everytime honest folowers have called the leadership on corruption charges, even when it meant starting a new brand. What Martin Luther did five centuries earlier is just being repeated today.
I know an ELCA member who supports ordaining gays. She said, “The church should change, to conform to society.” I said, “No, society should change, to conform to the Bible.” She wasn’t able to argue that I was wrong, about that sentence. We argued for about a half-hour, and neither of us changed our mind.
Slander implies falsehood. If what is said is true, there is no slander.
“How many ELCA congregations lost members who joined the NALC?”
My pastor said it was about 450 congregations have voted to leave the ELCA, although not all to this new body. Some to the LCMC and some I suppose to the MS.
Bear in mind that there are about 20,000 ELCA congregation, so I was a little surprised at the relativly low number voting to leave.
I came up with a phrase some years ago, when all this began brewing in the ELCA, and my wife and I left for the LCMS. “Christ established his Church to change people’s minds; not change itself to suit people’s minds.”. It’s what you told the woman. You are right, she is wrong. But not all have been called, so not all will understand.
Praying for all the courageous men and women at the conference and in the world, that we may stand and stay standing in the Truth that sets us free.
19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the One who sent me . . .
26 But I will send you the Advocate[b]the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. John 15
In my former Church it is about 120 so far. More come every week when they actually see what we have.
Is the ELCA going to discontinue all ecumenical talks with the Roman Catholics? Not sure how well their teachings on homosexuality serves the ELCA’s ministry and message of reconciliation entrusted to us by God
Praying for mercy for self-satisfied and self-directed souls who have yet to know the release and joy of Jesus’ grace poured out in his precious blood for sinners such as I.
What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light
Called through the night to find my distant soul
And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me
That I might live and in His name be known
So I will go wherever He is calling me
I lose my life to find my life in Him
I give my all to gain the hope that never dies
I bow my heart, take up my cross, and follow Him . . . .
There is no NALC. After this meeting, the NALC will presumably be constituted. However, it will have no congregations in it until they start joining.
Many ELCA sources trumpet the “minuscule” numbers of congregations that have left the ELCA sine the ill-fated 2009 “churchwide assembly”, and the fact that those that have left are divided between several church bodies. These ELCA sources try to represent the NALC now being formed as very insignificant and unimportant.
If NALC is so microscopic and insignificant, why is “Bishop” Mark Hanson taking the time out of his busy, globe-trotting schedule to address the constituting meeting?
The answer is that it seems that many ELCA congregations (and their pastors) have been waiting for the formation of the NALC before leaving the ELCA. Others that have already left are planning to join the NALC or will at least consider doing so. No one (especially not this Orthodox layman) knows how many congregations will join the NALC—it may be a tiny number, or it may be the 1,000 congregations that have been mentioned by some.
Moreover, the hemorrhaging of members and of member contributions from the ELCA continues. This will happen whether the NALC attracts a large number of congregations or not.
As for Hanson, he is spouting the same old song-and-dance to the NALC constituting meeting as he has spouted before. It’s sheer gobbledy-gobble, means nothing, and will have no influence. But it might even drive away more members and congregations from the ELCA!
No there are not anywhere near 20,000 congregations. The ELCA website claims only 10,500.
I am confused as to the need for the NALC when most congregations that have already left went to the LCMC. What is the difference?
Lightman can probably give a better answer, but I would say that NALC would be more on the evangelical catholic side whereas LCMC would appeal more to the congregationalists. I think it has to do mostly with church polity and, to some extent, worship style.
NALC will also organize itself as a real church body. LCMC is a coalition of independent congregations.
LCMC welcomes evangelical catholic congregations, by the way, but real evangelical catholicism is not congregational. That is one reason why at least some congregations are waiting for NALC before they leave the ELCA.
OK, then how will the NALC differ from the LCMS?
NALC will ordain women.
If it weren’t for the insistence on women’s ordination, all the conservative/confessional Lutherans in the ELCA and LCMC would join LCMS, the Orthodox Church, or the Roman Catholic Church.
they are staying because of the ordination of women? i would think it would be the opposite.
They are willing to take a half step to get back to Biblical principles but they're not willing to go all the way.
....These people [joining NALC or LCMC to support women’s ordination] will eventually be back in the same soup they think they’re escaping now.....
You and aberaussie became LCMS, I became Orthodox, and Michael Root (the former dean of the ELCA’s Southern Seminary) has just become Roman Catholic.
So at least some ELCA Lutherans are not stopped from joining churches that do not ordain women.
By the way, with the departure of Dr. Root from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, if anyone who has any connection with the Traditional Christian faith at all is thinking of becoming an ELCA pastor—don’t do it!!!! With even Southern Seminary becoming hollowed out, ALL the ELCA seminaries will be lousy, not to mention heretical!
NALC will ordain women.ELCA, LCMC, and probably NALC, celebrate open communion. LCMS & WELS celebrate close/closed communion.
If it werent for the insistence on womens ordination, all the conservative/confessional Lutherans in the ELCA and LCMC would join LCMS, the Orthodox Church, or the Roman Catholic Church.
Like women's ordination, that's a deal-breaker for some people.