That Goodsoil Eucharist

Started by Richard Johnson, August 09, 2007, 12:11:24 PM

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Gary Hatcher

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 12:19:47 PM
Quote from: Gary Hatcher on August 11, 2007, 10:57:01 AM
Where are the boundaries? ???
The boundaries are equivalent to hetersexuals -- an adult-to-adult, mutual loving, life-long committed relationship. With heterosexuals, the boundary for acceptable sexual relationships is called "marriage". With any of the others, there is the same expectations of as we have in marriage, although we frequently use the terms "committed relationship" or "union".
My question is more toward what sexual minority are we going to exercising restraint in disciplining?  A Candidate could conceivably come to our candidacy committee and say that V&E is unenforcible if bishops are to choose restraint in discipline.  Why restraint in one area and not another?  Pr. Sabin also added a Q to the GLBT, even though we are only officially debating the GL part. GoodSoil and LCNA have made it clear in their materials that justice for sexual minorities is part of their game plan, even though the definition of "sexual minority" has yet to be put forth.  I am curious as to where the sexual boundaries lie and who defines them.
Gary Hatcher STS,
Pastor St. Paul & First Lutheran Churches
Garnavillo & McGregor, IA

Paula Murray

No one has to lead a congregation out of the ELCA, Jerry, the problem will be keeping them there.  My boundaries are not in dispute; years of training have instilled in me a healthy respect for boundaries.  But you spend your time as a pastor teaching your congregation to immerse themselves in Scripture and prayer and when they do as you ask they will see the ELCA for what it is.  I have spent these past years trying to tighten our connection to the wider church, only to see the wider church cut it.  It is dismaying; it is disheartening.  It is sin.

In the past 20 years, the UCC has diminished to the point where its viability is in question.  In the last two years they have lost over 200 congregations and are in the process of losing many more.  They went from ordaining noncelibate gays to being unable to confess that Jesus is Lord, unless there was a provision that pastors and seminarians did NOT have to make that essential, foundational, confession of faith.

The congregation I serve will likely sit out the next few years, build a new church, work on building up the body of Christ, and then they will see what the ELCA has become, and whether there is a viable alternative.  They will do that whether I am pastor or another.

Paula Murray

Mel Harris

Quote from: Paula Murray on August 11, 2007, 04:52:29 PM

No one has to lead a congregation out of the ELCA, Jerry, the problem will be keeping them there.

That is true to my experience here.  For almost 3 years now, I have been regularly asked by members of this congregation why we have not already left the ELCA.  I expect, given the news coverage that we are receiving now (one of my daughters heard about this on the radio this afternoon), that more of the members here will be urging the congregation to leave the ELCA.

Mel Harris



Pastor McCain,
Thank you for helping tell "the rest of the story".
And thank you for taking a public stand which is of great inspiration.


Quote from: ptmccain on August 11, 2007, 12:49:31 PM
Let me share a personal account of how these issues play themselves out in many corners of the ELCA. I have removed all personal references. So many stories are shared by Goodsoil, so it is important to hear other voices as well and to hear them even if they are pained and rough around the edges. Here is one of them:

Pastor McCain,

I suspect you will be getting flak for being uncaring, ungracious, too harsh, etc. for your 7:24 CST post on the ALPB forum. I am in awe of Scot's acumen and patience in pursuing all the issues and arguments fielded by [name]. There comes a time when the arguments get repeated and apologetics need to move to admonition. Thank you for making that move in spite of the cries against cruelty which will come your way.

I hear the pleas of parents of homosexuals again and again. They do not realize that they are being used. I say this as the father of a son who under the influence of ELCA youth programs, an ELCA college, and the efforts of the likes of [name] decided he was homosexual. While I still love him dearly and mourned him as dead when he turned his back on me and lived homeless in the streets of [withheld] in a life style so self-destructive that I assumed every out of area phone call could be a call informing me of his death. He is no longer on the streets, but has put into practice what [name] and his cohorts promote. Through a surrogate mother and egg donor, I am a grandfather. My heart aches for this child. It aches even more when I realize that any normalcy and decency I can convey to her will evaporate like a drop on a hot stone because she will be brought up in an atmosphere which is based on lies and confusion. I have bought her a subscription to CPH's Arch Books and pray for her and for my son's repentance. My life and relationship to my son would be "easier" if I went along with [name's] agenda. It would not be an honest relationship, but rather based on my buying into the lie my son has bought into. I suppose we could live in mutually supported delusion. That would be like hoping for dementia because then I would be happily oblivious to the broken world around me.

[Name] needed your admonition not just as a sinner in need of repentance, but because he has made it his mission to lead others into his delusions. Through his machinations, the LYO in [an ELCA synod] was hijacked as a place to disseminate his ideology. My son was very much involved in the synod youth ministry. I resisted attempts to make youth gatherings indoctrination camps and my son took flak when they saw his name tag. The church which I served faithfully turned my son against me and against God. His many gifts are now put to use in pursuit of an agenda which is not God-pleasing. All those parents giving testimony about their gay children should face a difficult and painful question: Who planted the ideas about their sexuality in their heads? An even more painful question that even I do not like to consider is, What relationships of our children to trusted adults have been misused in order to create facts on the ground in the hopes of silencing or changing the convictions of parents? There are, in light of years of pastoral experience dealing with people who were sexually abused, indications seen in retrospect that my son was misused by a seminarian involved in a youth outreach project in [name]. It pains me that I didn't see it happening. Lights went on when that seminarian abandoned his wife and children in [name] while he was on CPE in [name] where he discovered that he is gay. My son almost idolized this young man. It hurts to think that I may have been oblivious to the danger in which my son found himself. Stories like this are not allowed to be told in ELCA. To even connect abuse with homosexuality is forbidden, even though statistics should raise all sorts of red flags. I come to God daily asking for forgiveness for not having protected my son. I trust God's mercy on me and entrust my son to the same mercy and pray for the day when his heart and mind will be turned. There is much more at stake than the happiness of some GLBTQ persons or other purveyors of perversion in this whole debate. The ELCA is sowing confusion among pre-adolescent and adolescent youth rather than guiding them in God's way. In the process, they create a cadre of confused young adults and their parents who join the advocacy of abandoning God's will clearly declared in His Word. The battle is not just an intellectual joust, but a struggle of good with evil. I am not up to the jousting anymore. I did all that and was commended by some of my opponents for the decent way in which I made my case. When I read [name's] posts, I also hear the taunts and insults that came my way from him and his "partner" at synod assemblies. I  relive the pain of nasty letters from pastors who compared me with Hitler---me who put pressure on a former SS Knight's Cross holder to acknowledge the victims of the Holocaust at a memorial day service in Germany (he grudgingly acknowledged them).

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