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

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

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dkeener

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 06:02:51 AM
One pastor or lay person says:
   "Bishop, I think this church has made a wrong decision, and I hope we change it. I shall pray and work to change it. Meanwhile I will seek ways to maintain my integrity and loyalty to this church even though I really think we are very wrong about this decision. I'll try to keep my congregation informed and active, even though I know some of them won't be happy either."

Another pastor or lay person says:
   "Bishop, a cabal of ideological fanatics, led by a small group of gay activists, and supported by craven bureaucrats in Chicago, have caused this church to leave Lutheranism and depart from the true faith. They have manipulated synod and national assemblies and are now, like some jack-booted oppressors, forcing their views on everyone whether we like it or not. You won't be getting my mission support; and if my congregation wants to leave, they will find a way to do so."
   Which response - both of which we have heard, even in this small forum - do you think best helps the faith and unity of the church?
   How would you expect pastoral colleagues, a synod council or a bishop to respond to either of those statements?

You have done a fair job of describing two out of four faithful responses to the ELCA's social statement on Sexuality. Also the ELCA has been telling us for years that we must find unity in diversity -  So I would expect that ELCA bishops, synod councils and all supporters of the decisions of 2009 would celebrate the diversity of response and respect the bound conscience of all.  ::)

Charles_Austin

You miss the point dkeener. It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves and how they understand their situation as pastors and members of the ELCA.
"You, sir, are leading this church/synod out of the Christian faith and into perdition!" is a different response from "I believe we have made a mistake and should change it."

Gary Hatcher

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 08:36:57 AM
You miss the point dkeener. It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves and how they understand their situation as pastors and members of the ELCA.
"You, sir, are leading this church/synod out of the Christian faith and into perdition!" is a different response from "I believe we have made a mistake and should change it."

But what if your first response is accurate?  Would it not be important to say so?  At times it is necessary to state the truth forcefully as it may be the only way it will be heard by those who choose to be blind to the truth.  If, in the judgement of some, the ELCA is leading folk out of the faith, thus into false belief that endangers salvation, are we not as pastors of the Church bound by our ordination vows to protect the flock?

I am not advocating polemics as the first action, but when an understated "I believe we have made a mistake." is ignored, and in some cases punished, then perhaps going to the next level is in order.
Gary Hatcher STS,
Pastor St. Paul & First Lutheran Churches
Garnavillo & McGregor, IA

Coach-Rev

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 08:36:57 AM
You miss the point dkeener. It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves and how they understand their situation as pastors and members of the ELCA.
"You, sir, are leading this church/synod out of the Christian faith and into perdition!" is a different response from "I believe we have made a mistake and should change it."

And given that response, you should be fully aware of what a bully (your words:  "jack booted oppressors?")  you are in this forum.  That's the puzzling part:  you yourself persist in being one of those in your second scenario.

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 06:02:51 AM
One pastor or lay person says:
   "Bishop, I think this church has made a wrong decision, and I hope we change it. I shall pray and work to change it. Meanwhile I will seek ways to maintain my integrity and loyalty to this church even though I really think we are very wrong about this decision. I'll try to keep my congregation informed and active, even though I know some of them won't be happy either."

Another pastor or lay person says:
   "Bishop, a cabal of ideological fanatics, led by a small group of gay activists, and supported by craven bureaucrats in Chicago, have caused this church to leave Lutheranism and depart from the true faith. They have manipulated synod and national assemblies and are now, like some jack-booted oppressors, forcing their views on everyone whether we like it or not. You won't be getting my mission support; and if my congregation wants to leave, they will find a way to do so."
   Which response - both of which we have heard, even in this small forum - do you think best helps the faith and unity of the church?
   How would you expect pastoral colleagues, a synod council or a bishop to respond to either of those statements?

Scotty8284

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 08:36:57 AM
...It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves ...

I guess that sums up the whole problem, doesn't it.  In the ELCA, it really doesn't matter what position anyone holds; politeness and decorum are the rules that govern "this church."  If someone is racing towards the edge of the cliff, by all means, don't yell out "STOP, you idiot, you're going to kill yourself and everyone with you!!!" 
Jim Scott
NALC Layman
Wittenberg '78

cnehring

Quote from: Scotty8284 on June 10, 2013, 09:07:09 AM
Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 08:36:57 AM
...It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves ...

I guess that sums up the whole problem, doesn't it.  In the ELCA, it really doesn't matter what position anyone holds; politeness and decorum are the rules that govern "this church."  If someone is racing towards the edge of the cliff, by all means, don't yell out "STOP, you idiot, you're going to kill yourself and everyone with you!!!"

Exactly. If you disagree with the actions, you are supposed to simply close your eyes, stop reading Scripture and place your loyalty to the institution rather than the Word. You are to "shut up, sit down, and send in your money."

People like Charles really highlight what faith and confession has been turned in to. One is to be beholden to the church body, and not to the Church catholic. Whatever is decided in convention is treated as inerrant and inspired. One's foremost "lord" is to be the denomination. Thus, any disagreement or dissension within the ranks and decision of the "authorities" (whether it's a bishop or convention or pope), is to be belittled as simply being ornry or mean-spirited or unloving or whiners, etc.

dkeener

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 08:36:57 AM
You miss the point dkeener. It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves and how they understand their situation as pastors and members of the ELCA.
"You, sir, are leading this church/synod out of the Christian faith and into perdition!" is a different response from "I believe we have made a mistake and should change it."

No Charles you missed the point (i.e. the  ::))
But I imagine you will probably also miss the irony in your making the statement "It is not what position someone takes ... It is in how they present their views"

DCharlton

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 08:36:57 AM
You miss the point dkeener. It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves and how they understand their situation as pastors and members of the ELCA.
"You, sir, are leading this church/synod out of the Christian faith and into perdition!" is a different response from "I believe we have made a mistake and should change it."

You are correct.  And I also think it is true that those most likely to give the former response have left the ELCA.  However, proponents of change who use inflammatory rhetoric have not departed.  They move with confidence throughout the ELCA.  At the most recent synod assembly, a Reconciling Works resolution was defeated.  When I and another pastor opposed it, we spoke in moderate tones, speaking about potential difficulties with the resolution.  Proponents continued to use words like homophobia, bigotry, etc...  making it clear that the defeat was the result of hate and prejudice. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

George Erdner

Quote from: George Erdner on June 08, 2013, 08:14:29 AM
I there any excuse more lame than, "There are things going on we don't know about which makes actions that seem wrong on many, man levels actually right"?

I received my answer. "It is not what position someone takes or where their conscience is bound. It is in how they present their views and themselves" is an order of magnitude worse.

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 06:02:51 AM
One pastor or lay person says:
   "Bishop, I think this church has made a wrong decision, and I hope we change it...."

Another pastor or lay person says:
   "Bishop, a cabal of ideological fanatics, led by a small group of gay activists, ...

   Which response - both of which we have heard, even in this small forum - do you think best helps the faith and unity of the church?
   How would you expect pastoral colleagues, a synod council or a bishop to respond to either of those statements?

Which of these represents me, Charles?

Or Pastor Hatcher? 

Or Pastor Kliner? 

Or Pastor Charlton?  Or Pastor Hesse?  Or Pastor Wolf?  Or Pastor Lehmann? 
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Charles_Austin

Pastor Nehring writes:
Exactly. If you disagree with the actions, you are supposed to simply close your eyes, stop reading Scripture and place your loyalty to the institution rather than the Word. You are to "shut up, sit down, and send in your money."
I comment:
No, you are to continue to act as a responsible member of the ELCA while you work to correct the errors you believe the ELCA has made.

Pastor Nehring writes:
People like Charles really highlight what faith and confession has been turned in to. One is to be beholden to the church body, and not to the Church catholic. Whatever is decided in convention is treated as inerrant and inspired. One's foremost "lord" is to be the denomination. Thus, any disagreement or dissension within the ranks and decision of the "authorities" (whether it's a bishop or convention or pope), is to be belittled as simply being ornry or mean-spirited or unloving or whiners, etc.
I comment:
No, the ELCA could be as wrong as wearing brown shoes with a tuxedo. But, as I have said a zillion times, we are not freelance pastors, ordained by a church body and then sent out to do whatever we want to do whether the polity of that church body allows it or not.
   You want to be an independent pastor or believe you are a pastor in that invisible One, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church? OK. Go be a Baptist or congregationalist. If our calls are as public ministers of the ELCA, we owe the ELCA something. If we cannot give it, we should leave.
    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.

Coach-Rev

Quote from: Charles_Austin on June 10, 2013, 10:15:25 AM
But, as I have said a zillion times, we are not freelance pastors, ordained by a church body and then sent out to do whatever we want to do whether the polity of that church body allows it or not.


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.   

Charles_Austin

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.


Coach-Rev

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.

Charles_Austin

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.

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