Skip to comments.Conservative Lutherans gather here to launch new denomination
Posted on 08/26/2010 8:03:05 AM PDT by SmithL
A new Lutheran denomination will be born over the next two days in Columbus, made up of Christians disturbed by what they consider a liberalizing of their church, particularly on issues of homosexuality.
The North American Lutheran Church, or NALC, will be mostly made up of theologically conservative congregations who have left or will leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or ELCA, the country's largest Lutheran denomination.
The ELCA angered some conservative members last summer when it voted to allow people in same-sex relationships to serve as clergy members and professional lay workers. Prior to that, gay clergy and lay workers had to be celibate.
The denomination also passed a resolution supporting congregations that recognize same-sex relationships, a move some said would lead to wider use of blessings of those relationships.
But the problem for conservatives is wider than homosexuality, said the Rev. Paull Spring of State College, Pa., who is expected to be elected bishop of the NALC at the meeting.
Also at play is a misunderstanding of what authority -- Scripture or "the mood of the times" -- should guide the church, he said.
The ELCA is following cultural norms, not the Bible, Spring said.
The NALC grew out of Lutheran CORE, a conservative group mostly within the ELCA. Upper Arlington Lutheran Church is hosting CORE as it forms the new denomination Thursday and Friday.
The ELCA was formed out of three Lutheran bodies in Columbus in 1987.
The NALC will be small and lean in terms of administration, Spring said. He expects 200 congregations to join by the end of next year.
The CORE convocation is taking place at Grove City Church of the Nazarene because it has more space. About 1,200 people are expected to attend, said the Rev. Paul Ulring of Upper Arlington Lutheran.
Ulring's church is still officially part of the ELCA but has passed a first vote to leave. A second vote is required and may take place in late October, Ulring said.
Out of 10,239 congregations, 504 have taken a first vote to leave, said John Brooks, a national spokesman for the ELCA. Of those, 348 passed.
Of the 348, 212 congregations have taken a second vote, with 199 voting to leave. They have the option of joining the NALC or another Lutheran denomination.
In the Southern Ohio Synod, which includes Columbus, two churches have left, said Bishop Callon W. Holloway Jr. Four are considering a first vote, in addition to Upper Arlington Lutheran having already taken it.
The combination of the sexuality debate and the economy has taken a toll on the synod's finances, Holloway said. The income received from congregations is down 9 percent over this time last year, he said.
The members of NALC are "still people of good will," Holloway said. "My hope is that they would remain, but I understand they feel they must leave."
Nationally, the church council is slashing the budget, Brooks said. The council cut $7.7 million and 41 full-time positions in November, and another $4.2 million was cut this month.
The national staff has been told to expect a reorganizing in October in response to declining revenue, he said.
The issue of homosexuality shouldn't tear apart a denomination, said the Rev. Chris Adams, pastor of North Community Evangelical Lutheran Church at 114 Morse Rd. His church will stay with the ELCA, he said.
"God's love and call to serve the people and spread the Gospel is stronger than one particular issue," he said.
"I love this denomination, and I hate to see a family ripped apart."
Be rooted in Christ!
I expect we could see this in other denominations too.
And when we get 50 state homosexual marriage institutionalized, strong pressures will be brought for churches to allow homosexual marriage. And more splits could happen as critical numbers of people in religious congregations don’t want to go down that road.
A conservative Lutheran friend made the very astute observation that, not just Lutheran conservatives, but conservatives of all kinds, are fed up with fully funding the “wild hairs(*)” of liberals and radicals. Liberals, he noted, never pay for anything themselves, but expect conservatives to do it for them.
(*) There is an ongoing debate about whether the expression is “wild hair” or “wild hare”.
I was hopin’s somebody would start a new denomination because, clearly, we do not have enough.
We figured out that it was a Lutheran conference and thought it was being held at a nearby Lutheran church.
May God bless them for standing on His Word.
All of this could have been readily predicted over 50 years ago when the then ALC was a member of the National Council of Churches, a forerunner flaming lib outfit.
The Lutherans for the sake of a few homosexuals have ripped their denomination apart. I don’t expect the ELCA to last very long as with an alternative body to join, I bet many conservative leaning congregations will dump the ELCA in favor of the new group.
Well, since the incidents of rabbits being found in posteriors are down dramatically, I suspect that the proper spelling is "hair"! ;-)
Starting today, the CORE Convocation that will create the new NALC will meet at Grove City Church of the Nazarene in Grove City, due to all of the participants.
And from CORE's homepage, if you want to follow the Convocation online:
Log onto http://gccn.org and click on "Media." The first tab under Media is "Live Streaming." Click on it to watch the convocation from 1:30 - 9:00 p.m. on Aug. 26 and 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Aug 27.
I wonder why they decided to start a new denomination. The Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ already exists (and I believe was also started at a Lutheran CORE convocation) which currently has 499 member congregations, including my church.You are correct. The LCMC is a collection of autonomous Lutheran Churches, accountable to each other, but without much of an hierarchy. The new NALC will be more structured, have a nationwide organization, and will use Bishops, etc.
I've been told that LCMC tends to appeal to former ALC congregations while former LCA congregations are looking to NALC. That sort of makes sense to me, but we'll have to see how this plays out over the next year or so.
In any case, any dreams of Lutheran Unity in the United States were irrevocably shattered by last year's ELCA CWA.
Lutherans from throughout North America are gathering this week in suburban Columbus, Ohio, for the Lutheran CORE Theological Conference and Convocation. The Convocation will be streamed live on the internet on August 26-27. Log onto http://gccn.org and click on "Media." The first tab under Media is "Live Streaming." Click on it to watch the convocation.
And just now I happened to read your post #10. Can’t have too many good-Lutheran convention links, I’ve always said.
Praying Jesus’ prayer today for all our gathering leaders, their congregants and all the others who will come:
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. John 17:17-19
Oswald Chambers for August 27 - to the point in explaining why we have parted ways with the elca and come to this “road less traveled”:
“Beware of not acting upon what you see in your moments on the mount with God. If you do not obey the light, it will turn into darkness. ‘If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!’ The second you waive the question of sanctification or any other thing upon which God gave you light, you begin to get dry rot in your spiritual life. Continually bring the truth out into actuality; work it out in every domain, or the very light you have will prove a curse.
“The most difficult person to deal with is the one who has the smug satisfaction of an experience to which he can refer back, but who is not working it out in practical life. If you say you are sanctified, show it. The experience must be so genuine that it is shown in the life. Beware of any belief that makes you self-indulgent; it came from the pit, no matter how beautiful it sounds.”
My 2 cents —> why don’t these “conservative” groups go the whole way and agree to the rules and teachings of the LMCA instead of forming a half-way house?
If it were me, I’d join Missouri. But they must have their reasons ...
ALl these people are doing is turning the clock back 15 years.....they will wind up in the same place in 15 years.
“ALl these people are doing is turning the clock back 15 years.....they will wind up in the same place in 15 years.”
This is the most accurate assessment so far.