ELCA Elects First (Out) Homosexual Bishop, meanings and consequences.

Started by George Erdner, May 31, 2013, 11:28:45 PM

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Team Hesse

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 11:59:01 AM
Pastor Cottingham writes:
Charles, you know as well as I do that what you said is untrue. It may have only involved a "few" actual participants, but was done so with knowledge of the synod offices, with the tacit approval of bishops, with the council of bishops also giving their approval, and so on, all the way to the top.

I comment:
No. I do not know that.
   I have no way of knowing that, and neither do you.
   I do know that some pastors and congregations were disciplined for what they did. If you think the Conference (not "council," but "Conference") of bishops gave their approval to the illicit ordinations; then you will have to show me proof of that. And if you think approval went "all the way to the top," then you have been a lot closer to the ELCA and its "top" than I have been. And I do not think that is the case.

Pastor Cottingham:
The rules were ignored ELCA wide, and when anyone attempted to call attention according to your first scenario, they were routinely dismissed, or worse, as stated upstream, instantly labeled with derogatory names.
Me:
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps in some places. Probably not in all places.

Pastor Cottingham:
And once again, I"m done on the subject, since it is as pointless as a rubber ball to continue to debate this with you.
Me:
We are not "debating," because I am not trying to change your opinion. I am only trying, for the sake of other readers here, to show where I believe you have your facts wrong.
And - as I have said before - I would think you were "done on the subject" when you left the ELCA years ago, but I guess I'm wrong about that.


.....no point to any further response......


Lou

revklak

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 10:15:25 AM
    For almost five years, back in the day, I fought my synod and the LCA over policies relating to war and peace. My views did not prevail at the time.
    I never came close to saying the damning things about the LCA that folks today are saying about the ELCA. Still, my advocacy cost me the support of my bishop and the chance to get a another call. It cast me into secular work for a couple of years, until another call emerged.

I am sorry that this happened to you, Charles.  You're right though - -It happens.

It seems even more tragic to me because the specifics, and nuances, of your position then is different than the current one.  You didn't specify which day this was back in, but for argument sake and knowing the rise of war positions, let's use the 1970ish era and Vietnam War.  For war, there is no ABSOLUTELY final stance of war -- peace yes, but there is enough legitimate disagreement on what a just war may be and what may not be.  In the 70s was still vivid in minds two radically different wars and opinions -- WWII and Vietnam.  Both views could be held as faithful positions and there is evidence in scripture for both and even dialogue within scripture for both.

However, today we're dealing with a major break with the deposit of faith and Word of God.  PRACTICING homosexual acts, relationships, etc are forbidden by God's Word, and thus one would have to make up texts and contexts of scripture to argue for the same kind of dialogue.  Thus, to declare one group has gone off the rails and heading to perdition is a BIBLICAL response to the situation.    Even if those who seek change disagree, and refuse to hear.

Both situations of pastors getting black-listed or kicked off the roster are a tragedy, but I feel worse for your situation because then there obviously WASN'T room for true diversity when there SHOULD have been, but today we have a supposed legitimate diversity that isn't.

Charles_Austin

But my main point remains: Conviction costs. Whether the conviction is for the right thing or for the wrong thing; it costs. Sometimes we suffer unjustly because of our convictions. I took some hits for helping young men who were conscientious objectors to the war in Vietnam find ways to stay true to their conscience. I took some hits for noting that the "draft" impinged unfairly on minorities. I took some hits for attempting to see that people in my town were not discriminated against when it came to rentals or purchasing homes because they were black or Hispanic.
None of these are "am I saved or am I not saved" issues. Not everything is.
But conviction costs.



John Mundinger

Quote from: ex-revklak on June 10, 2013, 12:09:59 PMYou didn't specify which day this was back in, but for argument sake and knowing the rise of war positions, let's use the 1970ish era and Vietnam War.  For war, there is no ABSOLUTELY final stance of war -- ...  Both views could be held as faithful positions and there is evidence in scripture for both and even dialogue within scripture for both.

However, today we're dealing with a major break with the deposit of faith and Word of God.  PRACTICING homosexual acts, relationships, etc are forbidden by God's Word, and thus one would have to make up texts and contexts of scripture to argue for the same kind of dialogue.

Something here doesn't compute!

Augustine's definition of "just war" is simple, straight forward and doesn't really leave a lot of room for equivocation.  It seems to me that it would be a lot easier to craft a Biblical argument that physical intimacy between two consenting same-gendered adults who are committed to a life-long relationship is acceptable (if only because Scripture is silent on the subject in that context), than to craft an argument that support for the Vietnam war was justifiable, based on Scripture. 

There was no credible threat to our legitimate national interest.  Armed conflict was not employed only as a last resort.  Our response was not proportional.  In short, the war in Vietnam failed all of the criteria for just war.  Yet, we lied our way into the fight and more than a million people died.  We lost and yet we are now doing business with our former adversaries - an outcome that we could have achieved without firing a single shot!, thus affirming what we knew beforehand that there was nothing just about that conflict.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Dan Fienen

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 10:15:25 AM

<<snip>>

    For almost five years, back in the day, I fought my synod and the LCA over policies relating to war and peace. My views did not prevail at the time.
    I never came close to saying the damning things about the LCA that folks today are saying about the ELCA. Still, my advocacy cost me the support of my bishop and the chance to get a another call. It cast me into secular work for a couple of years, until another call emerged.
   OK. That's how it works. You have convictions, you pay the price. You battle the policies and if your views do not prevail, you have decisions to make. I never considered leaving the LCA; it just seemed at the time that there would be no place there for me as a pastor.
   At the time, perhaps, there wasn't. (Incidentally, one of my mentors by mail back then was Richard John Neuhaus). Looking back now, after having had several parish calls, being on the national staff of an inter-Lutheran agency, working for the LWF in Geneva, and being on the national staff of the LCA as we put the merger into operation, along with some satisfying years in secular work; I almost see a logical progression in things. I do believe that God was at work in leading my various vocations.
   So, folks, trust your convictions. Stand for them. Take whatever it takes to act on them. Trust God. I don't think you will be abandoned.

Back in the day, did all those who spoke out against the War in Viet Nam, even all those who were LCA clergy do so in ways that were respectful to those in authority, supportive of the church and her leadership in which they were ordained or working towards ordination?  Did the epithets of "war monger," "baby killer," or "hypocrite" every cross their lips or exit their pens?  In short, did you and those with whom you agreed maintain the decorum and support for your church (promoting the church and her programs, speaking well of it, keeping your congregations informed of what the church was doing and loyal to it, keeping the monetary commitments expected of clergy and congregation) that you expect from the loyal opposition to the decisions made at the CWA '09 and implemented and affirmed since then.  Could some of your perceived ill treatment by your bishop be in part in response to those who were not perhaps as respectful toward and supportive of the leaders of the LCA at that time?

Dan 
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Charles_Austin

Pastor Fienen writes (to me):
In short, did you and those with whom you agreed maintain the decorum and support for your church (promoting the church and her programs, speaking well of it, keeping your congregations informed of what the church was doing and loyal to it, keeping the monetary commitments expected of clergy and congregation) that you expect from the loyal opposition to the decisions made at the CWA '09 and implemented and affirmed since then.
I comment:
I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that I did. I'm an institutional loyalist, remember?  ;) ;)
And Mr. Mundinger's comments resonate. As we looked at the "just war" theory proposed by Augustine and others, that war did not make it. Furthermore, I was concerned about those men whose consciences were bound to oppose that war, but were not absolute pacifists and might still be called up for the draft.
But my point was not to rehearse those days; but to say, once again: Conviction costs. And sometimes one pays an unfair cost.
Get over it.

DCharlton

Hey Charles.  A few congregations left the ELCA and a few said hurtful things in the process.  So what.  Following your convictions had a cost.  Losing a few congregations and hearing a few unkind words was worth the cost of overturning an injustice, wasn't it?  Quit whining. Get over it! 

David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Charles_Austin

Yeah, that helps, Pastor Charlton, that helps.
Have you ever heard me complain about the congregations leaving? I have said I wished they would not leave; but when they do: "Adios, adieu, sayonara, ciao, fare-thee-well, tootle-oo, à bientôt, farvel, auf wiedersehen"
And I have said here - contrary to some others - that those who favored the changes of 2009 knew they would be costly.
But you knew that.

John Mundinger

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 04:08:46 PMFurthermore, I was concerned about those men whose consciences were bound to oppose that war, but were not absolute pacifists and might still be called up for the draft.

Bingo! 

A faithful Lutheran could not register as a conscientious objector because 1) faithful Lutherans do not oppose all wars and 2) faithful Lutherans do not belong to a denomination that is opposed to all wars.  So, what were the options for faithful Lutherans when they got their draft notice?  1) respond to the call, even though there was a very real possibility of serving in an immoral war; 2) renounce their country and go to Canada or one of the Scandinavian countries; or, 3) spend 5 years in a federal penitentiary.  What a choice!
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

D. Engebretson

Quote from: John Mundinger on June 10, 2013, 05:56:53 PM
Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 04:08:46 PMFurthermore, I was concerned about those men whose consciences were bound to oppose that war, but were not absolute pacifists and might still be called up for the draft.

Bingo! 

A faithful Lutheran could not register as a conscientious objector because 1) faithful Lutherans do not oppose all wars and 2) faithful Lutherans do not belong to a denomination that is opposed to all wars.  So, what were the options for faithful Lutherans when they got their draft notice?  1) respond to the call, even though there was a very real possibility of serving in an immoral war; 2) renounce their country and go to Canada or one of the Scandinavian countries; or, 3) spend 5 years in a federal penitentiary.  What a choice!

I realize that to explore this theme further will only result in additional thread drift. I also understand that Charles included the topic merely as an illustration in another point.  However, I would be curious to know what others consider a "moral" war.  So as not to be responsible for distracting this thread any further, I'll go ahead and start a new one.  If it takes off with some interest, good.  If not it'll fade like so many others. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

cssml

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 05:19:03 PM
Yeah, that helps, Pastor Charlton, that helps.
Have you ever heard me complain about the congregations leaving? I have said I wished they would not leave; but when they do: "Adios, adieu, sayonara, ciao, fare-thee-well, tootle-oo, à bientôt, farvel, auf wiedersehen"
And I have said here - contrary to some others - that those who favored the changes of 2009 knew they would be costly.
But you knew that.

I wonder if you could describe in a sentence or two what were the "changes of 2009"?  As I understand it, the change was to officially express a lack of certainty and confidence about something which had formerly been clear (including the 1993 Bishop's statement quoted below) , but that the "changes of 2009" did not officially change anything doctrinally in the ELCA.

"We, as the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, recognize that there is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of a homosexual relationship. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church's ministry. Nevertheless, we express trust in and will continue dialogue with those pastors and congregations who are in ministry with gay and lesbian persons, and affirm their desire to explore the best ways to provide pastoral care for all to whom they minister."

Did 2009 reject this?

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Coach-Rev on June 10, 2013, 11:52:01 AM
Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 10:23:41 AM
Pastor Cottingham writes:
And has also been stated here a zillion times:  that is exactly what was going on with the "other side" routinely in the run up to 2009.   

I comment:
Well, not actually "routinely," but a few people did act contrary to our policies. They were wrong to do so. I'm assuming you don't think that because they acted improperly, it is OK for others to do so.
Charles, you know as well as I do that what you said is untrue. It may have only involved a "few" actual participants, but was done so with knowledge of the synod offices, with the tacit approval of bishops, with the council of bishops also giving their approval, and so on, all the way to the top.

The rules were ignored ELCA wide, and when anyone attempted to call attention according to your first scenario, they were routinely dismissed, or worse, as stated upstream, instantly labeled with derogatory names.

And once again, I"m done on the subject, since it is as pointless as a rubber ball to continue to debate this with you.


What rules were ignored?
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

peter_speckhard

I think a big part of one's view of Vietnam Nam is one's view of Communism. Those who do not think of it as evil tend to think the war was unjust. I tend to think of Vietnam Nam more as a battle than a war. WWIII was the war against the pure tyranny of communism, with battles in Korea, Vietnam Nam, Cuba, Germany, Hungary, China and other places. So it isn't a question so much of an immoral war as an immoral battle. It is more like debating Dresden than debating the war against the Nazis.

DCharlton

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 05:19:03 PM
Yeah, that helps, Pastor Charlton, that helps.
Have you ever heard me complain about the congregations leaving? I have said I wished they would not leave; but when they do: "Adios, adieu, sayonara, ciao, fare-thee-well, tootle-oo, à bientôt, farvel, auf wiedersehen"
And I have said here - contrary to some others - that those who favored the changes of 2009 knew they would be costly.
But you knew that.

So you think I misrepresent what you said.  That's the risk you take.
Get over it!

PS - Golly gee, Charles is right.  It easy to discount what others say with a simple "get over it."
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Coach-Rev

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 11:59:01 AM
No. I do not know that.
   I have no way of knowing that, and neither do you.
   I do know that some pastors and congregations were disciplined for what they did. If you think the Conference (not "council," but "Conference") of bishops gave their approval to the illicit ordinations; then you will have to show me proof of that. And if you think approval went "all the way to the top," then you have been a lot closer to the ELCA and its "top" than I have been. And I do not think that is the case.

Pastor Cottingham:
The rules were ignored ELCA wide, and when anyone attempted to call attention according to your first scenario, they were routinely dismissed, or worse, as stated upstream, instantly labeled with derogatory names.
Me:
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps in some places. Probably not in all places....

We are not "debating," because I am not trying to change your opinion. I am only trying, for the sake of other readers here, to show where I believe you have your facts wrong.


Charles, you continually misrepresent the facts.  For example:  You ignore the council of Bishops' declaration of ignoring 1990V&E and talking of a "local option" for synods to essentially forego the standards for rostered leaders and allow those who violated it to do so with impunity.  This was, I believe, in 2007 or 2008. 

So if you do not know it, then you are willfully ignorant or woefully ignorant.  Either way, the result is the same:  You ignore the facts of the matter.

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