Thursday Sexuality Debate: No conclusions yet

Started by Richard Johnson, August 09, 2007, 06:46:01 PM

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PrSabin

Quote from: ptmccain on August 09, 2007, 09:50:31 PM
My question is this:

Given all this talk about "faithfulness in relationships" how is it that, and here I'm using a true scenario, that a pastor could leave his wife and two daughters while serving a parish in Iowa, bring his male "partner" into the parsonage with him, then...apparently...get himself "removed" from the roster of the ELCA, but then head out to California to serve as a pastor of a congregation, with no discipline exercised against the congregation using his services?

How can such a horrendous violation of the Biblical "vision and expectation" for a pastor be so totally ignored? What of his abandonment of his spouse? Is his "coming out" justification for abandoning his wife and daughters, and shacking up with his boyfriend? Allowing a homosexual man to serve a congregation as a pastor and not doing anything about that congregation...makes no sense to me, but simply reinforces for the sad reality that the ELCA's slouching toward Gommorah is a tragic fait accompli, and so, I can't help but ask, with a different meaning perhaps, if not now, when? To me it is more a matter of formality than substance when ELCA congregations do have actively homosexual persons serving them as pastors and when the ELCA is a "full communion partner" with church bodies that open endorse actively homosexual persons servin as pastors and even bishops. Indeed, if now now, why not?

Tragic!

All I can say, as the pastor mentioned, is that this event was far more painful, far more complex, and far more disastrous than Paul can possibly imagine. God has graciously brought healing to my family and me over the past 17 years and strengthened our family relationship. I am most humbly grateful that God's mercy is boundless.

Dave_Poedel

Quote from: jebutler on August 10, 2007, 01:28:10 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on August 10, 2007, 11:56:18 AM
Quote from: jebutler on August 10, 2007, 11:17:55 AM
*Pr. Otten's case is a very unique one. If a congregation in the LCMS extended a call to a non-LCMS pastor, it would be removed (although some time might be given for the pastor to gain roster status). At any rate, I can pretty much promise that if an LCMS church called a pastor to serve it who had been removed from the roster for whatever reason, it would be removed.
There is an LCMS congregation in Palisades, CA that is being served by an ELCA pastor. (It's part of a joint LCMS/ELCA congregation.)

I believe Palisades is the last joint ELCA/LCMS congregation left. It was started when the LCMS and ALC were still in fellowship. We have been patient with these situations. But it is the exception (by far!) and not the rule. In every other joint congregation that I know of, steps have been taken to ask them to decide which Lutheran body they will be part of.

A dear friend of mine just accepted the Call of The Lutheran Church of Arcata, CA.  This is actually 2 congregations, one LCMS and one ELCA who meet together in the same place, and have been for many years.  The previous pastor was also LCMS.  I am very anxious to carve out some time this Fall and go visit him and, secondarily, to see how these congregations pull this off.

I have long argued for different congregations building sanctuaries together for joint-use.  With the increase in planned communities and scarcity of land for churches (not to mention prices), compatible (architecturally, anyway like RC, Lutheran, Episcopal) should live together and share space.

Paula Murray

Dave,

just a side note apart from the main debate.  Sharing facilities with another congregation is frequently a recipe for disaster when it comes to actually doing the Lord's work.  You can ask just about anyone who actually serves a union or confederated church just how difficult and heartbreaking it can be.  Facilities decisions made only taking economics or land use into account lead to a place and a people who have something other than the Gospel of Christ Jesus on their minds, and listening in to this debate and that at CWA it seems that there is enough of that already abroad in the Church without encouraging more!

Paula Murray

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: bmj on August 10, 2007, 02:32:40 PM
My emphasis is added in the quotes below.  Forgetting the GLBT issue, Brian, I am curious if you truly believe the statement in bold below.  I would think that this is a sin and in fact does hinder, and is in need of contrition and absolution and growth on the pastor's part.

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on August 10, 2007, 08:57:03 AM
My hunch is that most, if not all, clergy commit adultery by lusting in their hearts. That is not a sin that we believe hinders a pastor's ability to proclaim the gospel. However, if a pastor has committed adultery in deed, we usually see that a sin that requires disciplinary action.

You have a point all of us have sinned and all of us are in need of forgiveness.  I agree that "lusting in your heart" is a sin that hinders a pastor's ability to proclaim the gospel. 
Lusting in the heart is a sin that hinders a pastor's ability. Like all sins, there should be repentance and absolution. God has placed the treasure of the gospel in broken vessels, because that's the only kind there are on earth.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

John_Hannah

Quote from: Paula Murray on August 10, 2007, 03:26:19 PM
Dave,

Sharing facilities with another congregation is frequently a recipe for disaster when it comes to actually doing the Lord's work.  You can ask just about anyone who actually serves a union or confederated church just how difficult and heartbreaking it can be.

Paula Murray

Well, it can be. I served a career as a U.S. Army Chaplain (like Ken Ruppar, my friend). We shared facilities routinely, all the time. Some chaplains are pretty wierd as are some groups using Army chapels. Nonetheless, with a tiny bit of patience, it usually worked well.

JOHN HANNAH, Chaplain (Colonel), U.S. Army-Retired
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on August 10, 2007, 11:56:18 AM
There is an LCMS congregation in Palisades, CA that is being served by an ELCA pastor. (It's part of a joint LCMS/ELCA congregation.)

Palisades Lutheran Church is two congregations -- one LCMS and one ELCA (formerly ALC).  The 2 corporations jointly own the property having entered into an agreement when the ALC and LCMS were in Altar and Pulpit fellowship.  The ELCA congregation has called a pastor.  The LCMS one has not, but helps support the pastor's compensation.  When he accepts a new call or retires, that agreement will be re-evaluated.  Palisades and Arcata are unique, much as New Haven, MO, is unique.

pax, spt+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on August 14, 2007, 09:34:30 PM
Palisades Lutheran Church is two congregations -- one LCMS and one ELCA (formerly ALC).  The 2 corporations jointly own the property having entered into an agreement when the ALC and LCMS were in Altar and Pulpit fellowship.  The ELCA congregation has called a pastor.  The LCMS one has not, but helps support the pastor's compensation.  When he accepts a new call or retires, that agreement will be re-evaluated.  Palisades and Arcata are unique, much as New Haven, MO, is unique.
They are unique, and I know that the ELCA pastor at Palisades and his LCMS congregation had to argue to maintain their unique relationship.

I wonder how Arcata's LCMS church and pastor are able to offer communion to the ELCA members? (Although I know there are LCMS pastors who believe that it is within their discretion to communion non-LCMS Lutherans. There are others who only communion those who are members of congregations with which the LCMS is in altar fellowship with.)
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

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