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Gay Bishops, Lutheran Episcopalians, and the Demise of Religion
Aleteia ^ | 6/5/2013 | Fr Dwight Longenecker

Posted on 06/06/2013 4:43:03 AM PDT by markomalley

Last week, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted for the first time for an openly homosexual man to be made a bishop. For twenty years, R. Guy Erwin had been banned from the ordained ministry in the ELCA, then in 2009 the Lutheran church lifted the prohibition and he was ordained. Now, just four years later, Mr. Erwin is set to become the first gay Lutheran bishop.
 
With over four million members in 10,000 denominations, the ELCA is the nation’s seventh largest Protestant church, and the second after the Episcopal Church to ordain and promote “partnered homosexuals.” The fact that the Episcopal and Lutheran churches have some time ago recognized one another’s ministries and that Lutheran ministers regularly work in Episcopal churches and vice versa means that in many ways there is now one liberal Protestant denomination which might be called the Lutheran Episcopal Church of the USA.
 
It is not my point to quarrel with the Lutheran Episcopalians about their decision. We should be realistic – any idea of substantial unity between Lutheran Episcopalians and the Catholic Church withered on the branch of ecumenism long ago. For the last fifty years, the Lutheran Episcopalians have been busy not only denying the core moral teaching of the Christian church, but also denying the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. What has happened in Lutheran Episcopal relations with the Catholic Church illustrates the truth that when two roads begin to diverge, they forever become further and further apart.
 
It is not even my point to argue about the morality of the act of sodomy, or the obvious contradiction to Sacred Scripture and the blatant violation of the natural law and the law of virtually all religions from the dawn of time that homosexual actions represent. Any human being with common sense knows the facts of human sexuality and understands that sexual intercourse between two men is not what God intended.
 
Putting these debates on one side, there is a more profound and worrying difficulty with their decision to condone homosexuality. This has nothing to do with human sexuality, but with the very core principles of the Christian faith, and indeed of religion itself.
 
The Lutheran Episcopalians have not simply voted to “be nice to gay people.” By condoning homosexuality, they have acted on an understanding of the Christian religion, which is deadly to religion itself. Let me be plain. The reason the Lutheran Episcopalians felt able to vote in favor of homosexuality is because they believe their understanding and their cultural environment is more important than divine revelation. 
 
They are not uneducated; they know the Bible condemns homosexuality. They understand that virtually all religions at all times and in all places have condemned homosexuality. And yet, none of this matters; instead, they believe that Christianity can be and should be adapted to the cultural context and pastoral needs in which they find themselves. They really believe that their culture and understanding are superior to what has gone before.
 
There are two basic categories in the Christian church today: those who believe that the Christian faith is a cultural construct that should adapt and mutate according to the cultural and pastoral needs of each society, and those who believe that the Christian faith is revealed by God and that, instead of Christianity conforming to the world, the world should conform to Christianity. The Lutheran Episcopalians hold to the first idea.
 
Therefore what we are witnessing in the Lutheran Episcopalian decision is not simply the condoning of homosexuality. That is a mere symptom of the disease. The decision to ordain Mr. Erwin as a Lutheran bishop is simply the outworking of a more fundamental philosophical position – that the church should conform to the world.
 
This philosophy was written into the genetic code of the Lutheran Episcopal church from the very beginning. The Anglican church was founded on the political and sexual needs of King Henry VIII. The founding charter of Anglicanism was established by his daughter. It is called the Elizabethan Settlement —and it basically said, “You can believe what you like as long as you are loyal to the Queen.” Likewise, Luther’s revolution (from which all the other Protestant churches have sprung) was worm eaten with the political intrigues and sexual politics of Germany of his day. 
 
Beneath this revolution was the underlying belief that Christianity could and should be adapted to the cultural and pastoral needs of a particular individual, group or culture. In other words, “Tradition and Sacred Scripture and the authority of the church can be set aside; we will do as we think best.”
 
Why does it matter? Because a very fundamental choice needs to be made. Does one believe that the Christian faith is a human construct that can be adapted according to every wind of change in society? Does one believe that the church is a historical accident – a man-made institution which simply serves a necessary practical function in the world? If so, then one believes that the whole Christian religion was just made up by people. If it was made up by people to start with, then it can be altered by people whenever they wish.
 
Does no one else see that this means the very death of religion itself? For if religion is no more than a human construct, then religion really is no more than human wishful thinking. If religion is a human construct then it is no more important than any other noble institution. If religion is no more than a human construct than it is no more significant than the Boy Scouts, the Rotary Club, or the Flower Arranging Guild.
 
The alternative is to believe that the Christian faith is revealed by God himself through his incarnate son Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, founded his Church on the Apostle Peter and his successors, and that even today the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, speaks the truth to the world and administers the sacraments of salvation to reach out and redeem the whole human race. 
 
The first choice is not really religion at all. It is a human artifice. It is a religious mask that human beings wear. The second choice will remain the church of Jesus Christ. As such it will continue to be the sacrament of salvation or a stumbling block to those who simply wish to conform to the world.


TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: homosexualagenda

1 posted on 06/06/2013 4:43:03 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Organized, “mainstream” religion continues to render itself irrelevent and unnecessary to the true believers.


2 posted on 06/06/2013 4:47:08 AM PDT by Arm_Bears (Refuse; Resist; Rebel; Revolt!)
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To: markomalley
I left because of Catholicism's relentless push for socialism and all its trappings.

But then again, the majority of parishioners are leftist and it would be wise to play to your audience.

But which came first, the chicken or the egg?

3 posted on 06/06/2013 5:00:39 AM PDT by deadrock
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To: markomalley
Rom 1:25-27
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.
 
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
NIV
 

 


"...who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time;
 
...
 
 that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. "
 
"I HAVE SWORN UPON THE ALTAR OF GOD ETERNAL HOSTILITY TO EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN"
--The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom
--Thomas Jefferson, 1786
 
Religion, being a man-made concoction, is at the top of the list of "CREATED THINGS" that the prostitutes of Delphi and their heirs have bound themselves to, and within.
 

4 posted on 06/06/2013 5:40:13 AM PDT by TArcher ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men" -- Does that still work?)
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To: markomalley

Why oh why don’t people leave this apostasy?


5 posted on 06/06/2013 5:42:17 AM PDT by Gamecock ("Ultimately, Jesus died to save us from the wrath of God." ¬óR.C. Sproul)
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To: Arm_Bears
Organized, “mainstream” religion continues to render itself irrelevent and unnecessary to the true believers.
 
Yep.

6 posted on 06/06/2013 5:50:49 AM PDT by TArcher ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men" -- Does that still work?)
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To: markomalley

These churches and now the Boy Scouts have kowtowed to the gay lobby and now will reap their own destruction.


7 posted on 06/06/2013 6:29:27 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: markomalley; HoosierDammit; TYVets; red irish; fastrock; NorthernCrunchyCon; UMCRevMom@aol.com; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

8 posted on 06/06/2013 6:30:30 AM PDT by narses
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To: deadrock

This is a Lutheran bishop.


9 posted on 06/06/2013 6:40:21 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: deadrock

**I left because of Catholicism’s relentless push for socialism and all its trappings.**

Where?

Catholics are very pro-life, have always been against contraception, in-vitro, euthanasia, abortion, embryonic stem cell research.

That does not — I repeat NOT— sound like socialism to me.

BTW, you are still a Catholic since you were baptized one and all you have to do is sit down with an truth-believing priest and get your questions answered.


10 posted on 06/06/2013 7:16:58 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: deadrock
Another thing:

“Catholic social ministry begins and ends with Jesus Christ,” he said. “If it doesn’t, it isn’t Catholic.”

Archbishop Chaput


11 posted on 06/06/2013 7:20:00 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: TArcher

**They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.**

This is not true. Catholics do not woorship statues. They worship only God, the Triune God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


12 posted on 06/06/2013 7:21:52 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

And, the cancer continues its march to destroy mankind.


13 posted on 06/06/2013 7:23:06 AM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: markomalley
Membership numbers:

1987 - 5,288K

...

2009 - 4,543K -1.99%

2010 - 4,272K -5.95%

2011 - 4,059K -4.98%

Losing 5% a year and they won't even publish 2012 numbers ...

14 posted on 06/06/2013 8:47:49 AM PDT by 11th_VA (DRONES DON'T KILL, CINCs KILL ...)
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To: Gamecock
Why oh why don’t people leave this apostasy?

Because it is easier to belong to a "religion" that never says "no" to you. There is no such thing as "sin" in a "church" like this. We are now in the world of Flip Wilson's The Church of What's Happening Now.

15 posted on 06/06/2013 8:51:21 AM PDT by LibertarianLiz
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To: Salvation

“Catholics do not worship statues.”

With my own eyes I have seen them bow to statues and even kiss the statues feet. That is worship of statues at some level. Now, let’s give them benefit of the doubt and suppose that the people I saw were bowing in acknowledgement to the abstract represented by a statue. I understand that distinction, but I doubt if all Catholics do; on the surface, it still looks like direct worship of a statue, and that is going to confuse some people. It would be less confusing to discard physical manifestations and worship God in spirit, through Jesus. No other intercessor is needed.


16 posted on 06/06/2013 11:31:42 AM PDT by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: lightman

Ping! Very well stated.


17 posted on 06/06/2013 1:01:44 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("There can be no dialogue with the prince of this world." -- Francis)
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To: aberaussie; Aeronaut; aliquando; AlternateViewpoint; AnalogReigns; Archie Bunker on steroids; ...


Lutheran (EL C S*A) Ping!

* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.

Be rooted in Christ!

18 posted on 06/06/2013 1:31:25 PM PDT by lightman (Buzzed and buggered bath house Barry: the Benghazi bungler.)
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To: Salvation

You think Romans 1:25-27 isn’t the Truth?


19 posted on 06/06/2013 7:12:07 PM PDT by TArcher ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men" -- Does that still work?)
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To: TexasRepublic

They are asking the person that statue represents to pray for them, that’s it.

Even ask your wife/relatives/friends to pray for you?

I bet you have.

Well these saints are alive — remember the soul does not die — in heaven and can pray for us.


20 posted on 06/06/2013 7:17:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: TArcher

Did you ifnore the second part of my post about worshipping only God?

LOL! Gotcha!


21 posted on 06/06/2013 7:18:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Even Ever ask your wife/relatives/friends to pray for you?
22 posted on 06/06/2013 7:23:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Did you ifnore ignore the second part of my post about worshipping only God?
23 posted on 06/06/2013 7:24:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

You got squat.

Romans 1:25-27 is the Truth. Why do you think it refers to Catholics worshiping statues?


24 posted on 06/06/2013 7:35:07 PM PDT by TArcher ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men" -- Does that still work?)
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To: TArcher
Catholic do NOT worship statues. How many times have I told you now?

Please read further:

Quoting Newman on the Veneration of Images [Cath-Orth caucus]
Icons as useful aids for attaining holiness
Purification of Sacred Vessels in U.S. (and more on the Purification of our Lord)
Why We Need Sacred Art
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, Sacred Images: Statues and Other Icons

25 posted on 06/06/2013 7:43:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Nobody said they did, except you.

Why do you think Romans 1:25-27 refers to Catholics worshiping statues?


26 posted on 06/06/2013 7:46:39 PM PDT by TArcher ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men" -- Does that still work?)
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To: TArcher

You brought it up. You can answer it.


27 posted on 06/06/2013 8:53:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: TArcher
You really like to take things out of context,don't you? Reading the entire first chapter of Romans we find St. Paul talking about the Greeks and the Romans, the Gentiles and the Jews -- nowhere does it mention Catholic. Take a look for yourself. And please don't take things out of context.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God
2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,
3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh
4 and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
6 including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
7 To all God's beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers,
10 asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you,
12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.
13 I want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.
14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish:
15 so I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, "He who through faith is righteous shall live."
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse;
21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural,
27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.
29 They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 Though they know God's decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------



28 posted on 06/06/2013 9:01:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

No, you’re the one who made the connection between catholics worshiping statues and Romans 1:25-27

Not me.


29 posted on 06/07/2013 6:12:08 AM PDT by TArcher ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men" -- Does that still work?)
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To: Salvation

“Here lies in a little earth he who everyone feared, he who held peace and war in his hand. Oh, you who go in search of worthy things to praise, if you would praise the worthiest then your path stops here and you do not need to go any farther.”

What FALLIBLE and UNINSPIRED context is ~that from?


30 posted on 06/07/2013 6:27:35 AM PDT by TArcher ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men" -- Does that still work?)
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