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Church leaves ELCA over seed genetics
Grand Forks Herald ^ | 11/12/10 | Kristen M. Daum and J. Shane Mercer

Posted on 11/12/2010 7:44:56 AM PST by SmithL

There’s a feud brewing on the prairie between faith and farming.

Another church has voted to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but this time it’s over a new stance the denomination’s leadership plans to take.

Congregation members at Anselm Trinity Lutheran Church in rural Sheldon, N.D., don’t like the ELCA’s proposed position on genetics — specifically in relation to farmers’ use of genetically modified seeds, which are common in Red River Valley agricultural production.

The congregation voted Sunday to leave the ELCA because it feels the group’s draft social statement on genetics is an attack on farmers.

The situation puts a twist on local churches’ recent rebellion against the ELCA’s official positions on social issues.

The ELCA drew fire after its assembly decided in 2009 to allow individuals in same-sex relationships to serve in the clergy.

Anselm Trinity Lutheran’s resolution to withdraw from the ELCA passed for the second and final time by a vote of 25 to 4, church council president Jill Bunn said.

Sheldon is a town of nearly 120 people located about 37 miles southwest of Fargo. On an average Sunday, about 30 people attend the church’s services.

Bunn said there was a sense the ELCA was making statements against farmers, many of whom in the Red River Valley region use genetically modified seeds.

An estimated 95 percent of sugar beets are grown using genetically modified Roundup Ready seed — which is engineered to withstand the weed killer, reducing the need for using other chemicals and limiting the need for tilling.

The ELCA’s proposal states the denomination views genetics “with hope and caution,” not necessarily because of the science or technology used, but because “the greatest danger in genetic developments lies in the sinful exercise of radically extended human power.”

The ELCA’s draft statement goes on to say genetic advancements could lead to demonstrations of other sin, such as “exalted pride” or “negligence or complacency.”

For much of this year, an ELCA task force sought input on the statement and it is expected to submit a final proposal to the church-wide assembly next year.

Per Anderson, a religion professor at Concordia College, is co-chairman of the 18-member task force that crafted the proposed statement. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Eastern North Dakota Synod Bishop Bill Rindy also was unavailable for comment.

Bunn said the Anselm congregation feels the ELCA is making too many social statements that don’t have anything to do with the church.

The Anselm Trinity Lutheran Church congregation doesn’t stand alone in questioning the denomination’s view of genetics in relation to farming.

Sarah Wilson, a fifth-generation farmer from Jamestown, N.D., spoke on the topic earlier this year in her blog, “A Farmer on a Mission.”

“The basic principle I keep coming back to is that I do not believe it is the church’s place to give recommendations on farm management practices,” Wilson wrote. “We go to church to worship and study Scripture, but from there it is up to individuals to apply the lessons we’ve learned in our lives.”

After voting to separate from the ELCA, Anselm Trinity Lutheran decided to join the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ.

“We’re very united and kind of excited to get moving forward now,” Bunn said.


TOPICS: Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Politics; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: elca; genetics; lutheran; seed

1 posted on 11/12/2010 7:45:03 AM PST by SmithL
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To: lightman; rhema

“Feed my Sheep” but just do it in a politically correct manner.


2 posted on 11/12/2010 7:47:34 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL

lies in the sinful exercise of radically extended human power.”

They also believe using an umbrella is sinful because it’s God’s will that you get wet.


3 posted on 11/12/2010 7:50:58 AM PST by DManA
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To: DManA

Where did you find the infomation that said: “They also believe using an umbrella is sinful because it’s God’s will that you get wet”.


4 posted on 11/12/2010 8:02:48 AM PST by NorwegianViking
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To: NorwegianViking

Sorry, I was being a bit sarcastic there.


5 posted on 11/12/2010 8:05:29 AM PST by DManA
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To: DManA
They also believe using an umbrella is sinful because it’s God’s will that you get wet.

Well, I thought it was hilarious ...

6 posted on 11/12/2010 8:19:44 AM PST by TexGuy (If it has the slimmest of chances of being considered sarcasm ... IT IS!)
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To: TexGuy

What do our friends in Big Media teach us?

It was so true it doesn’t matter that it was false.


7 posted on 11/12/2010 8:31:52 AM PST by DManA
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To: TexGuy
BTW that wasn't an original idea of mind. There actually were religious people who believe the umbrella was sinful:

Religious Londoners objected to the umbrella on moral grounds, after all, the purpose of heavenly rain was to make people wet. http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/history-of-umbrellas

8 posted on 11/12/2010 8:33:43 AM PST by DManA
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To: SmithL
Okaaay - They've got their knickers in a twist because beets seeds have been developed to resist Roundup, but condone/celebrate homosexuality. Sure, those are excellent priorities that are backed up with scripture. (Do I really need s/?)

Holy Disfunction, Batman.

9 posted on 11/12/2010 8:50:58 AM PST by greatplains
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To: greatplains
beets beet
10 posted on 11/12/2010 8:52:36 AM PST by greatplains
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To: SmithL
"After voting to separate from the ELCA, Anselm Trinity Lutheran decided to join the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ."

So at the end of the day they are joining one of the splinters that oppose homosexual marriage etc. Perhaps this was just a clever way to leave the synod without having to say it was over the gay issue even though it probably was.
11 posted on 11/12/2010 9:36:48 AM PST by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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To: wonkowasright

I disagree. These are farmers, and they may or may not care about the ELCA’s homosexual agenda, but these seeds are their life. I expect to see a lot more farming communities revolting against the ELCA over this issue.


12 posted on 11/12/2010 9:44:52 AM PST by SmithL
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