ELCA splits!

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, like the Episcopalians, have split over homosexuality. A new church body is now being organized, consisting of congregations that reject the ELCA’s decision to allow non-celibate homosexuals to serve as pastors:

Conservative members of America’s largest Lutheran denomination announced that they are splitting from the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, making it the second mainline Protestant church to undergo a major schism over the issue of homosexuality and related matters of biblical authority. . . .

On Wednesday, an 11-member steering committee of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal), meeting in New Brighton, Minn., said it cannot remain inside the 4.7-million-member ELCA after the denomination agreed at its August churchwide assembly in Minneapolis to ordain partnered gay clergy.

That decision, CORE said in a statement, created “a biblical and theological crisis throughout the ELCA and conflict in local congregations.”

“We are not leaving the ELCA. The ELCA has left us,” said Ryan Schwarz, a steering committee member from the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean, Va. “A lot of people who are planning to leave are telling us, ‘We need you to form a new body that is like a traditional church body.’ ”

Financing will not be a problem for the yet-to-be-named Lutheran synod, which expects to triple or quadruple its $100,000 annual budget.

“Money has been pouring in since the churchwide assembly,” Mr. Schwarz said. “We received more in contributions in the July-to-September quarter than the first six months combined. People are being incredibly generous.”

In contrast, the ELCA’s board of directors this week cut $7.7 million from its 2010 budget, eliminating 40 positions, though six of them already were vacant. Church officials said the cuts were results of the poor economy and conservative congregations that are withholding their funds out of disagreement with the denomination’s direction.

Each CORE church would have to take steps individually to leave the ELCA and join the new synod. CORE has about 86 member churches and claims more than 300 other churches and groups as affiliates.

CORE’s announcement stems from a Sept. 25-26 gathering in Fishers, Ind., that drew 1,200 like-minded Lutherans and culminated in a decision to work toward a “possible reconfiguration of North American Lutheranism.”

CORE will not join forces with the Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) or the St. Louis-based Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) partly because neither ordains women. CORE allows female clergy.

Nor will it merge with the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), another breakaway group of 249 congregations, 23 of which have joined the churchwide assembly since August.

The Rev. David Baer, a CORE spokesman, said LCMC’s structure is a bit too loose for many CORE congregations.

ELCA spokesman John Brooks said 87 out of 10,300 congregations have taken the first of a required two votes to leave the denomination, and 28 failed to muster the necessary two-thirds majority. Five have left the ELCA since August.

“This news from Lutheran CORE was expected,” he said. “We know it takes hard work to organize a new church body. … There has always been a place in the ELCA for all people despite our differences on various issues.”

The ELCA will not sue a departing congregation, he added, as long as it joins another Lutheran church body.

Mr. Schwarz will serve as chairman of a working group that will draft recommendations as to how this new synod will be structured, where its headquarters will be and whether it will be governed by bishops.

Voting on these items will take place at an Aug. 26-27 Lutheran CORE Convocation at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio.

Note carefully: The new church body will ordain women, which will mean, for other conservative Lutherans, that it will not be nearly conservative enough. (Questions for ELCA members or others who might know: Is there no opposition to the ordination of women in the ELCA? Is the issue that settled? Are there conservatives in that body that will not join the new denomination on that grounds?)

Note also that the ELCA, unlike the American Episcopal hierarchy, will NOT sue churches that decide to leave or, presumably, try to take their property. That’s to ELCA’s credit.

I know that we are supposed to lament it when denominations or congregations split. Yes, Christians should be unified. But it seems to me that there can be an INCREASE in unity when those splits happen, traumatic though they may be. Instead of being in one organization in which there is disunity–with people disagreeing and fighting with each other–there are two organizations in which people agree and live peaceably and in unity with each other. There is thus more unity than existed before.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • CRB

    It is really amazing that the members of
    CORE do not see the relationship betw.
    ordaining women and the ordaining of
    homosexual clergy. But then, when one
    denies that the Scriptures ARE the Word
    of God, rather than merely “contains the
    Word of God,” how can there be any
    certainty about anything in the
    Scriptures?!

  • CRB

    It is really amazing that the members of
    CORE do not see the relationship betw.
    ordaining women and the ordaining of
    homosexual clergy. But then, when one
    denies that the Scriptures ARE the Word
    of God, rather than merely “contains the
    Word of God,” how can there be any
    certainty about anything in the
    Scriptures?!

  • fws

    can ANYONE here list even ONE issue, besides issues directly related to the homosexual issue, that is the cause of this rupture?

  • fws

    can ANYONE here list even ONE issue, besides issues directly related to the homosexual issue, that is the cause of this rupture?

  • fws

    CRB

    the LCMS has many many homosexual clergy in it´s midst. your point here is?

  • fws

    CRB

    the LCMS has many many homosexual clergy in it´s midst. your point here is?

  • kerner

    From what I have read, the two big stumbling blocks that stand between “conservative” ELCA clergy and the LCMS are The LCMS’s position on male only clergy and closed communion. Another one that might be a problem for many LCMS clergy might be wide spread non-liturgical worship among ELCA congregations. That is, an influx of non-liturgical worshiping congregations would further marginalize those who think liturgical worship is important.

    I myself have become more devoted to liturgical worship lately, so I am conflicted. Do I want more clergy in the LCMS who do not respect divine service as much as I think it deserves? Or would I be happier with large scale defections of laypersons coming to the LCMS from ELCA churches (which friends of mine in Louisville report is happening in their area).

    As for closed communion, I have for awhile questioned the concept of strictly limiting the administration of a sacrament to people who are in absolute agreement on all doctrinal points with LCMS. I think the primary purpose of a sacrament is to convey forgiveness of sins (in the case of communion, to penitent Christians). While I believe that a secondary purpose of communion is to show Christian unity, I am not convinced that there is a lot of scriptural support for the proposition that this means absolute doctrinal unity. While I don’t believe we should give communion to just anybody, especially in this highly secular culture, I think we should reconsider our position here.

    On the subject of female clergy, I understand the basics of the LCMS position, and my understanding is that it is based on St. Paul’s statement that he does not permit women to teach men in the church. I guess I would welcome some exposition on this point from those of you who have studied the issue in more detail. I know I could research it myself, but I consider a lot of the commenters here to be pretty good sources of information.

  • kerner

    From what I have read, the two big stumbling blocks that stand between “conservative” ELCA clergy and the LCMS are The LCMS’s position on male only clergy and closed communion. Another one that might be a problem for many LCMS clergy might be wide spread non-liturgical worship among ELCA congregations. That is, an influx of non-liturgical worshiping congregations would further marginalize those who think liturgical worship is important.

    I myself have become more devoted to liturgical worship lately, so I am conflicted. Do I want more clergy in the LCMS who do not respect divine service as much as I think it deserves? Or would I be happier with large scale defections of laypersons coming to the LCMS from ELCA churches (which friends of mine in Louisville report is happening in their area).

    As for closed communion, I have for awhile questioned the concept of strictly limiting the administration of a sacrament to people who are in absolute agreement on all doctrinal points with LCMS. I think the primary purpose of a sacrament is to convey forgiveness of sins (in the case of communion, to penitent Christians). While I believe that a secondary purpose of communion is to show Christian unity, I am not convinced that there is a lot of scriptural support for the proposition that this means absolute doctrinal unity. While I don’t believe we should give communion to just anybody, especially in this highly secular culture, I think we should reconsider our position here.

    On the subject of female clergy, I understand the basics of the LCMS position, and my understanding is that it is based on St. Paul’s statement that he does not permit women to teach men in the church. I guess I would welcome some exposition on this point from those of you who have studied the issue in more detail. I know I could research it myself, but I consider a lot of the commenters here to be pretty good sources of information.

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    Questions for ELCA members or others who might know: Is there no opposition to the ordination of women in the ELCA? Is the issue that settled? Are there conservatives in that body that will not join the new denomination on that grounds?)

    Yes, I know of conservative ELCA churches who are planning to join with CORE who do not condone the ordination of women. NO, that point would not keep them from joining CORE. Just as variations in the interpretation of Christ’s clear teaching on close communion also do not deter them from joining together. Thus demonstrating to me a continued rejection of some of the doctrine of Christ and basically bringing it all back to the late 1800′s and early 1900′s in Lutheranism. Nothing has changed. It is hard for me to watch family members excited about this “BIG CHANGE”, this big act of defiance. Not.

    FWS, I agree that this seems to be solely motivated by the homosexual clergy issue. Mind-boggling that they can’t see the irony of ordaining women or communing without doctrinal agreement.

    By the way, many of the larger churches making the switch unabashedly use materials and curriculum espousing teaching contrary to what Christ taught (reformed Sunday School curriculum, Alpha, and much more). Again, they see no irony in rejection of God’s teachings in one area but adhering fully in another area.

  • http://katiesbeer.piperblogs.org/ Theresa K.

    Questions for ELCA members or others who might know: Is there no opposition to the ordination of women in the ELCA? Is the issue that settled? Are there conservatives in that body that will not join the new denomination on that grounds?)

    Yes, I know of conservative ELCA churches who are planning to join with CORE who do not condone the ordination of women. NO, that point would not keep them from joining CORE. Just as variations in the interpretation of Christ’s clear teaching on close communion also do not deter them from joining together. Thus demonstrating to me a continued rejection of some of the doctrine of Christ and basically bringing it all back to the late 1800′s and early 1900′s in Lutheranism. Nothing has changed. It is hard for me to watch family members excited about this “BIG CHANGE”, this big act of defiance. Not.

    FWS, I agree that this seems to be solely motivated by the homosexual clergy issue. Mind-boggling that they can’t see the irony of ordaining women or communing without doctrinal agreement.

    By the way, many of the larger churches making the switch unabashedly use materials and curriculum espousing teaching contrary to what Christ taught (reformed Sunday School curriculum, Alpha, and much more). Again, they see no irony in rejection of God’s teachings in one area but adhering fully in another area.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well I think we in the LCMS would do right to have dialogue with CORE, but the women’s ordination issue will probably keep us divided.
    I sometimes wonder why we have to start new churches all the time. LCMC has too loose a structure? Since when does polity divide Lutherans? It seems the confessional education amongst these groups is non existent! I also wonder if the conservatives forming CORE could not be convinced to look harder at the path the ELCA has gone down to see that this issue of homosexuality is really just a surface issue, but the problem goes deeper and if they addressed that deeper problem, they would not be able to tolerate women’s ordination either. Seems to me if you tolerate the one but not the other, you have no doctrinal reasoning, just homophobia.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Well I think we in the LCMS would do right to have dialogue with CORE, but the women’s ordination issue will probably keep us divided.
    I sometimes wonder why we have to start new churches all the time. LCMC has too loose a structure? Since when does polity divide Lutherans? It seems the confessional education amongst these groups is non existent! I also wonder if the conservatives forming CORE could not be convinced to look harder at the path the ELCA has gone down to see that this issue of homosexuality is really just a surface issue, but the problem goes deeper and if they addressed that deeper problem, they would not be able to tolerate women’s ordination either. Seems to me if you tolerate the one but not the other, you have no doctrinal reasoning, just homophobia.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    Given what you have to say about close communion I wouldn’t mind your thoughts to a post I left Monday on my blog entitled “Should I commune?”

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    Given what you have to say about close communion I wouldn’t mind your thoughts to a post I left Monday on my blog entitled “Should I commune?”

  • Jonathan

    Well, WO may be very telling by itself, but, where will Core be at on their ecumenical agreements with RCC, UCC, TEC, UMC, etc.? Will they be quia Confessionals? Will they be historical-critical?

  • Jonathan

    Well, WO may be very telling by itself, but, where will Core be at on their ecumenical agreements with RCC, UCC, TEC, UMC, etc.? Will they be quia Confessionals? Will they be historical-critical?

  • Carl Vehse

    - Bible inerrancy
    – Doctrine of church and minstry
    – Church polity
    – Third use of the law
    – First use of the law, e.g. capital punishment, pacifism

  • Carl Vehse

    - Bible inerrancy
    – Doctrine of church and minstry
    – Church polity
    – Third use of the law
    – First use of the law, e.g. capital punishment, pacifism

  • Jonathan

    - Support for Life?

  • Jonathan

    - Support for Life?

  • Carl Vehse

    In addition to the above issues with likely differences bwtween the LCMS and the breakaway E_CA group, here are some more:

    – abortion
    – rite of ordination and apostolic succession
    – unionism and A&P fellowship
    – syncretism
    – Distinctions of Law and Gospel and “Gospel Reductionism”

  • Carl Vehse

    In addition to the above issues with likely differences bwtween the LCMS and the breakaway E_CA group, here are some more:

    – abortion
    – rite of ordination and apostolic succession
    – unionism and A&P fellowship
    – syncretism
    – Distinctions of Law and Gospel and “Gospel Reductionism”

  • Carl Vehse

    With CORE splitting from the E_CA essentially over the issue of ordaining active homosexuals in the clergy, that still leaves both church bodies still stuck in the tar pit of their other common heterodoxies.

  • Carl Vehse

    With CORE splitting from the E_CA essentially over the issue of ordaining active homosexuals in the clergy, that still leaves both church bodies still stuck in the tar pit of their other common heterodoxies.

  • Jonathan

    I agree with Pr Erickson, that now is the time for LCMS to be in dialog with them. We should get off off our ‘high-horse’ that has left them with a bitter taste in their mouth. Perhaps with some winsomeness, maybe somemight get over the LCMS gag reflex we’ve conditioned by our attitude.

  • Jonathan

    I agree with Pr Erickson, that now is the time for LCMS to be in dialog with them. We should get off off our ‘high-horse’ that has left them with a bitter taste in their mouth. Perhaps with some winsomeness, maybe somemight get over the LCMS gag reflex we’ve conditioned by our attitude.

  • Joe

    Jonathan – as one who has left the ELCA and joined the LCMS (years ago), I have no idea what you are talking about. The gag reflex was always reserved for our brothers in WELS.

    But we should reach out to them but we can’t compramise doctrine in the effort. Otherwise we just the same as CORE.

  • Joe

    Jonathan – as one who has left the ELCA and joined the LCMS (years ago), I have no idea what you are talking about. The gag reflex was always reserved for our brothers in WELS.

    But we should reach out to them but we can’t compramise doctrine in the effort. Otherwise we just the same as CORE.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I write as a former ALC/ELCA member who is now an Evangelical. I am attracted to Lutheran theology and liturgy, but until now the options have been limited to the ELCA (which has gone off the liberal deep end) and the LCMS (which is rather narrow in my mind on some secondary issues, such as close communion and young-Earth creationism). I hope that the creation of a new Lutheran body opens up more options. I know there are other Lutheran bodies out there, but for most of us they are not an option.

    Though I think ordination of women is wrong, it is silly to place it in the same category as ordination of homosexuals. One can make a Biblical case for ordination of women (e.g. Gal 3:28), but I don’t find that compelling. Granted, the ELCA probably did not come to the point of ordaining women because of Scripture but because of other reasons, which opened the door for ordination of homosexuals.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I write as a former ALC/ELCA member who is now an Evangelical. I am attracted to Lutheran theology and liturgy, but until now the options have been limited to the ELCA (which has gone off the liberal deep end) and the LCMS (which is rather narrow in my mind on some secondary issues, such as close communion and young-Earth creationism). I hope that the creation of a new Lutheran body opens up more options. I know there are other Lutheran bodies out there, but for most of us they are not an option.

    Though I think ordination of women is wrong, it is silly to place it in the same category as ordination of homosexuals. One can make a Biblical case for ordination of women (e.g. Gal 3:28), but I don’t find that compelling. Granted, the ELCA probably did not come to the point of ordaining women because of Scripture but because of other reasons, which opened the door for ordination of homosexuals.

  • Jonathan

    I agree that Gal. 3:28 is not compelling WO argument–the verse has nothing to do with the describing the office of pastor.

    I don’t think you have to be a young earth person necessarily in LCMS, however macroevolution theory could be a hang up.

  • Jonathan

    I agree that Gal. 3:28 is not compelling WO argument–the verse has nothing to do with the describing the office of pastor.

    I don’t think you have to be a young earth person necessarily in LCMS, however macroevolution theory could be a hang up.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Yes, as always, the time to study the Word of the Lord and subordinate ourselves and our agendas to it, in relationship with one another is now! I pray more in CORE are brought to repentance regarding their man-handling of the Word of the Lord which has gone on for far too long and is the main reason the ELCA is where it is now on women’s ordination.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Yes, as always, the time to study the Word of the Lord and subordinate ourselves and our agendas to it, in relationship with one another is now! I pray more in CORE are brought to repentance regarding their man-handling of the Word of the Lord which has gone on for far too long and is the main reason the ELCA is where it is now on women’s ordination.

  • Bruce Gee

    As always, I am wondering if, as Bror does in #6, we ought to be calling these synodical things “church”.

  • Bruce Gee

    As always, I am wondering if, as Bror does in #6, we ought to be calling these synodical things “church”.

  • Mark Schroeder

    To fws #2 and Carl Vehse #11:
    add:

    a quota system

    inclusive language in the new worship book (the Psalms were re-written)

    seminaries with non-Lutheran professors (check the websites)

    promotion of leftist causes in general

    Five ecumaniacal agreements denying Scripture and Confession regarding the Sacrament of the Altar

    the raison d’etre of many (maybe most) ELCA congregations is social causes/social ‘Gospel’, not Word and Sacrament

    the ‘church’ of acceptance not the Church of forgiveness in Jesus Christ

    But the denigration of Scriptural Authority and Confessional integrity is the root cause of all the above. For instance: In “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust”, sola Scriptura is literally a footnote.

    I think the best that can be said about CORE, et.al. is it could be a “half-way house”; but I think once it is formed, folks won’t want to move again. Sadly, most will stay put in the ELCA. As an ELCA pastor, this verse, 1 Kings 18: 21 and it’s conclusion sums up what will probably happen, actually not happen:

    “And Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.”

    As one Lutheran ethicist wrote: “Not to decide is also a decision”.

    (And I kindly ask that a new thread not begin with questions about my personally staying or leaving: but I ask for your prayers and for the prayers of many like me.)

  • Mark Schroeder

    To fws #2 and Carl Vehse #11:
    add:

    a quota system

    inclusive language in the new worship book (the Psalms were re-written)

    seminaries with non-Lutheran professors (check the websites)

    promotion of leftist causes in general

    Five ecumaniacal agreements denying Scripture and Confession regarding the Sacrament of the Altar

    the raison d’etre of many (maybe most) ELCA congregations is social causes/social ‘Gospel’, not Word and Sacrament

    the ‘church’ of acceptance not the Church of forgiveness in Jesus Christ

    But the denigration of Scriptural Authority and Confessional integrity is the root cause of all the above. For instance: In “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust”, sola Scriptura is literally a footnote.

    I think the best that can be said about CORE, et.al. is it could be a “half-way house”; but I think once it is formed, folks won’t want to move again. Sadly, most will stay put in the ELCA. As an ELCA pastor, this verse, 1 Kings 18: 21 and it’s conclusion sums up what will probably happen, actually not happen:

    “And Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.”

    As one Lutheran ethicist wrote: “Not to decide is also a decision”.

    (And I kindly ask that a new thread not begin with questions about my personally staying or leaving: but I ask for your prayers and for the prayers of many like me.)

  • Rev. Matthew Lorfeld

    fws #3, you assert that there are “many homosexual clergy in it´s midst.” Homosexuality is an activity not an identity. If one were engaged in homosexual activity prior to ordination, they would be denied certification and ordination. If they are currently on the roster and engaged in such activity, they would be removed. Furthermore, to use vague terms such as “many” implies that such activity is tacitly approved when it is clearly not as evidenced by nearly unanimous recent Synodical Convention resolutions.

  • Rev. Matthew Lorfeld

    fws #3, you assert that there are “many homosexual clergy in it´s midst.” Homosexuality is an activity not an identity. If one were engaged in homosexual activity prior to ordination, they would be denied certification and ordination. If they are currently on the roster and engaged in such activity, they would be removed. Furthermore, to use vague terms such as “many” implies that such activity is tacitly approved when it is clearly not as evidenced by nearly unanimous recent Synodical Convention resolutions.

  • Bruce Gee

    Aw, here we go again.

  • Bruce Gee

    Aw, here we go again.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~rikeischen/ Rik Eischen

    Please prayfor those leaving the ELCA and those contemplating this action. May God use this time as an opportunity to draw more people closer to Him in His inerrant, inspired Word.

    May Almighty God reach out to each sheep who depart from the ELCA fold, that none may be lost. May those in Lutheran CORE be open to the whole council of God, seeking to let God define their beliefs, rather than men’s opinions.

    May we also pray for those who choose to remain within the ELCA. May God have mercy upon us all.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~rikeischen/ Rik Eischen

    Please prayfor those leaving the ELCA and those contemplating this action. May God use this time as an opportunity to draw more people closer to Him in His inerrant, inspired Word.

    May Almighty God reach out to each sheep who depart from the ELCA fold, that none may be lost. May those in Lutheran CORE be open to the whole council of God, seeking to let God define their beliefs, rather than men’s opinions.

    May we also pray for those who choose to remain within the ELCA. May God have mercy upon us all.

  • kerner

    Bror @7:

    I read your post on your bolg, and I may comment there if I get a chance, but I think there are 2 issues that are related, but not identical.

    First, what am I saying (or implying) if I take communion at a particular non-Lutheran, or mushy-Lutheran, congregation?

    Second, what are we, th LCMS, saying or implying if we permit someone who is not LCMS to commune with us?

    The second question is less problematic for me. As confessional Lutherans, how we undrstand the Sacrament of the Altar ought to be clear. While we cannot read peoples’ hearts, that confirmed members of LCMS churches have a correct understanding of our doctrine should be a reasonable assumption for a pastor to make. But I am not convinced that we ought to have a policy of blanket refusal to convey forgiveness of sins to everybody else through this sacrament. I think outsiders ought to have to speak to the pastor in advance. I think that our doctrine of what Holy Communion is and does ought to be explained by the pastor. And then, if the pastor is satisfied that he probaly has a penitent Christian before him and that this penitent Christian wants to take communion and receive forgiveness in Christ’s true body and blood, the pastor probably ought to administer the sacrament to this person. If the person is a hypocrite, I think that’s his problem.

    On the first question, I think we ought to stay away form receiving communion from the heterodox except in extreme circumstances. If we take communion not just with but from the heterodox, I think we are implying that their erroneous understanding of the sacrament is unimportant. Among mushy-Lutherans this might not be such a big problem. Among Roman Catholics, who think they are offering a propitiary sacrifice, it is a very serious problem. And among reformed/evangelical types, especially those who repudiate the words of institution right after they say them, we see the worst problem of all.

    Even though the confessions teach that communion is effective and conveys forgiveness though Christ’s body and blood, regardless of the character of the person who administers the sacrament, I think the individual Christian is much better off to receive it where God’s Word is preached correctly.

  • kerner

    Bror @7:

    I read your post on your bolg, and I may comment there if I get a chance, but I think there are 2 issues that are related, but not identical.

    First, what am I saying (or implying) if I take communion at a particular non-Lutheran, or mushy-Lutheran, congregation?

    Second, what are we, th LCMS, saying or implying if we permit someone who is not LCMS to commune with us?

    The second question is less problematic for me. As confessional Lutherans, how we undrstand the Sacrament of the Altar ought to be clear. While we cannot read peoples’ hearts, that confirmed members of LCMS churches have a correct understanding of our doctrine should be a reasonable assumption for a pastor to make. But I am not convinced that we ought to have a policy of blanket refusal to convey forgiveness of sins to everybody else through this sacrament. I think outsiders ought to have to speak to the pastor in advance. I think that our doctrine of what Holy Communion is and does ought to be explained by the pastor. And then, if the pastor is satisfied that he probaly has a penitent Christian before him and that this penitent Christian wants to take communion and receive forgiveness in Christ’s true body and blood, the pastor probably ought to administer the sacrament to this person. If the person is a hypocrite, I think that’s his problem.

    On the first question, I think we ought to stay away form receiving communion from the heterodox except in extreme circumstances. If we take communion not just with but from the heterodox, I think we are implying that their erroneous understanding of the sacrament is unimportant. Among mushy-Lutherans this might not be such a big problem. Among Roman Catholics, who think they are offering a propitiary sacrifice, it is a very serious problem. And among reformed/evangelical types, especially those who repudiate the words of institution right after they say them, we see the worst problem of all.

    Even though the confessions teach that communion is effective and conveys forgiveness though Christ’s body and blood, regardless of the character of the person who administers the sacrament, I think the individual Christian is much better off to receive it where God’s Word is preached correctly.

  • http://www.shempel.blogspot.com Sarah in Exile

    I see the issue of ordaining women as a “nonessential” and think that a lot of conservative ELCAers probably see it the same way. Ordaning homosexuals is a totally different can of worms entirely.

    Other issues facing the ELCA- total lack of teaching the Gospel in lieu of the “social gospel.” Once the Gospel is missing, the church is pointless anyway.

  • http://www.shempel.blogspot.com Sarah in Exile

    I see the issue of ordaining women as a “nonessential” and think that a lot of conservative ELCAers probably see it the same way. Ordaning homosexuals is a totally different can of worms entirely.

    Other issues facing the ELCA- total lack of teaching the Gospel in lieu of the “social gospel.” Once the Gospel is missing, the church is pointless anyway.

  • kerner

    Bruce @18:

    I think that this is one point where the LCMS differs from the WELS.

    According to the LCMS, the Church is wherever two or more people gather to hear God’s Word preached and the sacraments administered, and that means in individual congregations. This is why LCMS is so heavily into autonomy of individual congregations in its polity. Each congregation is “the Church” in action, whereas synodical business, strictly speaking, is not.

    According to the WELS, as I understand it, they see synodical activity as “the Church” in action as well, which is why their polity is a lot more regimented.

  • kerner

    Bruce @18:

    I think that this is one point where the LCMS differs from the WELS.

    According to the LCMS, the Church is wherever two or more people gather to hear God’s Word preached and the sacraments administered, and that means in individual congregations. This is why LCMS is so heavily into autonomy of individual congregations in its polity. Each congregation is “the Church” in action, whereas synodical business, strictly speaking, is not.

    According to the WELS, as I understand it, they see synodical activity as “the Church” in action as well, which is why their polity is a lot more regimented.

  • fws

    Comment #20
    Rev. Matthew Lorfeld said:
    fws #3, you assert that there are “many homosexual clergy in it´s midst.” Homosexuality is an activity not an identity.

    aw. you have that opinion based on what clear word or scripture?

  • fws

    Comment #20
    Rev. Matthew Lorfeld said:
    fws #3, you assert that there are “many homosexual clergy in it´s midst.” Homosexuality is an activity not an identity.

    aw. you have that opinion based on what clear word or scripture?

  • Steve

    fws #2 and Pastor Lorfeld #20

    Pastor, thank you for your defense of our Synod and her Pastors. Honestly I have been irritated by comment #2 and am thankful for your addressing it.

    FWS, I pray for you often for your comments seem to be consistently colored by the homosexual agenda. It is sin, not anything less. God will forgive it should you be penitent and desire forgiveness. Please don’t make blanket comments that cannot be supported. I have not known every LCMS Pastor but the ones I have known, do know, and the one shepherding me and my family right now are all Godly men who demonstrate incredible evidences of sanctification. You would be wise to restrain your comments when addressing men God has chosen to lead His church. (II Kings 2:15-25)

  • Steve

    fws #2 and Pastor Lorfeld #20

    Pastor, thank you for your defense of our Synod and her Pastors. Honestly I have been irritated by comment #2 and am thankful for your addressing it.

    FWS, I pray for you often for your comments seem to be consistently colored by the homosexual agenda. It is sin, not anything less. God will forgive it should you be penitent and desire forgiveness. Please don’t make blanket comments that cannot be supported. I have not known every LCMS Pastor but the ones I have known, do know, and the one shepherding me and my family right now are all Godly men who demonstrate incredible evidences of sanctification. You would be wise to restrain your comments when addressing men God has chosen to lead His church. (II Kings 2:15-25)

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I recently visited the ELCA church I grew up in. I was pleased to hear very clear law and gospel preaching, and the pastor is opposed to the recent ELCA actions regarding homosexual ordination. This congregation is making no move towards leaving the ELCA.

    Not a perfect church, but a good reminder that there are still faithful churches in the ELCA.

  • http://geochristian.wordpress.com/ Kevin N

    I recently visited the ELCA church I grew up in. I was pleased to hear very clear law and gospel preaching, and the pastor is opposed to the recent ELCA actions regarding homosexual ordination. This congregation is making no move towards leaving the ELCA.

    Not a perfect church, but a good reminder that there are still faithful churches in the ELCA.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.bogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    I wasn’t trying to imply anything. I just wanted you to read my post!

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.bogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    I wasn’t trying to imply anything. I just wanted you to read my post!

  • kerner

    Bror:

    Sorry, I was unclear. In my comment I didn’t mean “you” personally. I meant, “what does any confessional clergyman imply when he communes someone who isn’t, or what does any confessional Lutheran imply when or she communes at a non-confessional congregation?”.

    My question was whether allowing an outsider to commune with us has to imply total doctrinal unity, or only sufficient unity to assure a penitent Christian that he/she is foregiven. And my greatest concern was whether communing with a heterodox congregation implies some kind of approval of their heterodox doctrine. But in both cases, not just for you, but for anybody.

  • kerner

    Bror:

    Sorry, I was unclear. In my comment I didn’t mean “you” personally. I meant, “what does any confessional clergyman imply when he communes someone who isn’t, or what does any confessional Lutheran imply when or she communes at a non-confessional congregation?”.

    My question was whether allowing an outsider to commune with us has to imply total doctrinal unity, or only sufficient unity to assure a penitent Christian that he/she is foregiven. And my greatest concern was whether communing with a heterodox congregation implies some kind of approval of their heterodox doctrine. But in both cases, not just for you, but for anybody.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    We might be better off carrying on that discussion elsewhere. But I think there is, at least to some degree, and at a minimum a tacit approval of heterodox theology when you commune at a heterodox altar.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Kerner,
    We might be better off carrying on that discussion elsewhere. But I think there is, at least to some degree, and at a minimum a tacit approval of heterodox theology when you commune at a heterodox altar.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sarah,
    “I see the issue of ordaining women as a “nonessential” and think that a lot of conservative ELCAers probably see it the same way. Ordaning homosexuals is a totally different can of worms entirely.”
    From the LCMS point of view this simply isn’t true. The two are more intimately woven together than you realize. I understand that the shock value is probably greater for the one than the other. But both betray an attitude that is willing to ignore the clear words of scripture and be swayed by the culture around them. To be sure there is nothing immoral about being a woman. Though there is something immoral about a woman usurping the pastoral office. Actually there is nothing “immoral” about a homosexual man taking on the office. There is something immoral about the homosexual activity he might engage in, and a man that is not repentant of that sort of activity and wishes the church to condone it and bless it is not a good candidate for the office. But I could see a man wrestling with that particular temptation being in the office.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Sarah,
    “I see the issue of ordaining women as a “nonessential” and think that a lot of conservative ELCAers probably see it the same way. Ordaning homosexuals is a totally different can of worms entirely.”
    From the LCMS point of view this simply isn’t true. The two are more intimately woven together than you realize. I understand that the shock value is probably greater for the one than the other. But both betray an attitude that is willing to ignore the clear words of scripture and be swayed by the culture around them. To be sure there is nothing immoral about being a woman. Though there is something immoral about a woman usurping the pastoral office. Actually there is nothing “immoral” about a homosexual man taking on the office. There is something immoral about the homosexual activity he might engage in, and a man that is not repentant of that sort of activity and wishes the church to condone it and bless it is not a good candidate for the office. But I could see a man wrestling with that particular temptation being in the office.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws @ 26:

    Right back ‘atcha: you have the idea that homosexuality is an acceptable identity from what clear word of Scripture?

  • Cincinnatus

    fws @ 26:

    Right back ‘atcha: you have the idea that homosexuality is an acceptable identity from what clear word of Scripture?

  • Jonathan

    Is it the homosexual orientation, or the homo erotic behavior that’s the issue?

    Well, fws, sorry but you’ve lost me again here in this post and the ‘fence’ from this morning, and one from yesterday on protesters, on what your position is on the subject. I may not be smart enough to follow your logic and style, but to me you appear to vascillating. So, can you just mark an ‘x’ in the one box that best describes biblical truth on the subject as it applies in fws-land:

    Homo erotic behavior in humans is
    [ ] always God-pleasing
    [ ] sometimes God-pleasing
    [ ] never God-pleasing

  • Jonathan

    Is it the homosexual orientation, or the homo erotic behavior that’s the issue?

    Well, fws, sorry but you’ve lost me again here in this post and the ‘fence’ from this morning, and one from yesterday on protesters, on what your position is on the subject. I may not be smart enough to follow your logic and style, but to me you appear to vascillating. So, can you just mark an ‘x’ in the one box that best describes biblical truth on the subject as it applies in fws-land:

    Homo erotic behavior in humans is
    [ ] always God-pleasing
    [ ] sometimes God-pleasing
    [ ] never God-pleasing

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    Comment #26

    fws, check out 1 Cor. 6:9-11

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    BTW to clear up some things from another post. You accused me of not personally knowing homosexuals. I know several and are on good terms with them–my brother, two of my first cousins, and a few of my highschool friends to name a few.

    Another loose end. You will probably say that the translation of this passage is anachronistic. I would contend rather that you are reading your just-so ideas back into scripture, since you have been confronted with 5 or more passages now.

    Where do you think the Christians throughout church history got the idea that practicing homosexuality was a sin if not from the Bible? It was certainly acceptable in Corinth as well as the Roman and Greek societies. Why would Christians have to change the behaviors mentioned above in the Cor. passage?

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    Comment #26

    fws, check out 1 Cor. 6:9-11

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    BTW to clear up some things from another post. You accused me of not personally knowing homosexuals. I know several and are on good terms with them–my brother, two of my first cousins, and a few of my highschool friends to name a few.

    Another loose end. You will probably say that the translation of this passage is anachronistic. I would contend rather that you are reading your just-so ideas back into scripture, since you have been confronted with 5 or more passages now.

    Where do you think the Christians throughout church history got the idea that practicing homosexuality was a sin if not from the Bible? It was certainly acceptable in Corinth as well as the Roman and Greek societies. Why would Christians have to change the behaviors mentioned above in the Cor. passage?

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    comment #35

    I apologize for the bold. I did not intend to yell, I just forgot to close the tag.

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    comment #35

    I apologize for the bold. I did not intend to yell, I just forgot to close the tag.

  • Steven

    As a recently departed ELCA (for LCMS) I would say this in regards to the formation of a new synod around CORE: wait and see, before rushing to judgment. There is quite a bit of imputing the full range of ELCA heterodoxy to this group, much of which they (CORE) and Word Alone have already opposed and come out in opposition to over and over in the past. Fore example WA formed expressly out of disagreement with the full communion agreements with the Reformed and Episcopalians. As to the supposed anti-liturgicalism of these congregations, I would expect that most of these will be highly liturgical. In fact, I would not be surprised if many of them (not all, by any means) may be far more liturgical than most LCMS churches that have gone all Ablaze!

    I think the dialogue between LCMS and the new body would be fruitful if the LCMS can leave aside the far too often holier than thou attitude it brings towards every other Lutheran body. I’ve seen here a lot of shooting from the hip and not much interest in aim.

    Give this body time to form, then engage. We may all find them more open to agreement on the role of women, especially if LCMS can give a good, solid prescriptive elucidation of deaconesses, their roles and responsibilities. This is something not well understood in the ELCA and is viewed unfairly as being a “second-class” pastoral status. Properly explained I think many might come to agreement although it won’t happen overnight.

  • Steven

    As a recently departed ELCA (for LCMS) I would say this in regards to the formation of a new synod around CORE: wait and see, before rushing to judgment. There is quite a bit of imputing the full range of ELCA heterodoxy to this group, much of which they (CORE) and Word Alone have already opposed and come out in opposition to over and over in the past. Fore example WA formed expressly out of disagreement with the full communion agreements with the Reformed and Episcopalians. As to the supposed anti-liturgicalism of these congregations, I would expect that most of these will be highly liturgical. In fact, I would not be surprised if many of them (not all, by any means) may be far more liturgical than most LCMS churches that have gone all Ablaze!

    I think the dialogue between LCMS and the new body would be fruitful if the LCMS can leave aside the far too often holier than thou attitude it brings towards every other Lutheran body. I’ve seen here a lot of shooting from the hip and not much interest in aim.

    Give this body time to form, then engage. We may all find them more open to agreement on the role of women, especially if LCMS can give a good, solid prescriptive elucidation of deaconesses, their roles and responsibilities. This is something not well understood in the ELCA and is viewed unfairly as being a “second-class” pastoral status. Properly explained I think many might come to agreement although it won’t happen overnight.

  • boaz.ralston

    I Corinthians commands discernment and self examination, and tells of judgment for those who take the sacrament without doing so. It is unwise to ignore that.

    Closed communion ensures that those communing understand that they are eating and drinking Christ’s physical body and blood. It also helps, but doesn’t guarantee, that those communing have examined themselves in light of God’s law, about which the ELCA and other liberal churches have created serious confusion.

    It is a loving doctrine: it shows love of God and his law; love of God and his promise of forgiveness; and love of neighbor by giving them instruction so they receive God’s forgiveness, rather than inviting them to judgment.

  • boaz.ralston

    I Corinthians commands discernment and self examination, and tells of judgment for those who take the sacrament without doing so. It is unwise to ignore that.

    Closed communion ensures that those communing understand that they are eating and drinking Christ’s physical body and blood. It also helps, but doesn’t guarantee, that those communing have examined themselves in light of God’s law, about which the ELCA and other liberal churches have created serious confusion.

    It is a loving doctrine: it shows love of God and his law; love of God and his promise of forgiveness; and love of neighbor by giving them instruction so they receive God’s forgiveness, rather than inviting them to judgment.

  • boaz.ralston

    “The dialogue between LCMS and the new body would be fruitful if the LCMS can leave aside the far too often holier than thou attitude.”

    That’s a generalization. Some in the LCMS have abrasive attitudes, to be sure, as in any community of sinners. But part of it is the insistence on pure doctrine as the center of the church. After all, the confessions define church as a gathering in which the Gospel is properly preached and the sacraments rightly administered. The focus is naturally on those things then.

    The LCMS’s frustration with ELCA and other mainline denominations is its knee-jerk instinct to reinterpret Scripture to comply with the currents of American culture. When no woman was ordained in the church until 100 years ago, and then you have all kinds of novel interpretations of Scripture popping up to justify it, which just so happens to coincide with the rise of feminism, that should make us suspicious.

  • boaz.ralston

    “The dialogue between LCMS and the new body would be fruitful if the LCMS can leave aside the far too often holier than thou attitude.”

    That’s a generalization. Some in the LCMS have abrasive attitudes, to be sure, as in any community of sinners. But part of it is the insistence on pure doctrine as the center of the church. After all, the confessions define church as a gathering in which the Gospel is properly preached and the sacraments rightly administered. The focus is naturally on those things then.

    The LCMS’s frustration with ELCA and other mainline denominations is its knee-jerk instinct to reinterpret Scripture to comply with the currents of American culture. When no woman was ordained in the church until 100 years ago, and then you have all kinds of novel interpretations of Scripture popping up to justify it, which just so happens to coincide with the rise of feminism, that should make us suspicious.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Thanks for you post Steven, it was interesting to read, since you are a former member of the church. You said that Word Alone was partly formed to resist the communion agreements with the Reforemd and Episcopalians. What do you think, what will be the relationship of the now forming new church body to the newly formed ACNA? They are both in a very similar situation: leaving because of the gay issue, they’re apparently having some congregations along them that don’t approve women ordination and in their old church bodies, they even were officially in communion with each other!

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    Thanks for you post Steven, it was interesting to read, since you are a former member of the church. You said that Word Alone was partly formed to resist the communion agreements with the Reforemd and Episcopalians. What do you think, what will be the relationship of the now forming new church body to the newly formed ACNA? They are both in a very similar situation: leaving because of the gay issue, they’re apparently having some congregations along them that don’t approve women ordination and in their old church bodies, they even were officially in communion with each other!

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    My take (and that as an outsider, a Baptist); as long as the issues of womens’ ordination and the Lord’s Supper remain out there, CORE is simply setting the stage for the next split.

    I hope I’m wrong. I wish them well. That said, there is something going on here.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    My take (and that as an outsider, a Baptist); as long as the issues of womens’ ordination and the Lord’s Supper remain out there, CORE is simply setting the stage for the next split.

    I hope I’m wrong. I wish them well. That said, there is something going on here.

  • Steven

    Snafu,

    I’m not sure what they’ll do about ACNA or relations to it. Much of the opposition from WA had to do with the insistence on apostolic succession, with maybe a little on the eucharistic understanding. That being said, I think they’ll remain separate but probably be open to some sort of broad cooperation. I have no idea how it would play out, though.

    From some postings at other forums, there may be some rethink of WO and the dangerous precedent. The LCMS has the opportunity to say “I told you so,” if they can do it without saying “I told you so!”

  • Steven

    Snafu,

    I’m not sure what they’ll do about ACNA or relations to it. Much of the opposition from WA had to do with the insistence on apostolic succession, with maybe a little on the eucharistic understanding. That being said, I think they’ll remain separate but probably be open to some sort of broad cooperation. I have no idea how it would play out, though.

    From some postings at other forums, there may be some rethink of WO and the dangerous precedent. The LCMS has the opportunity to say “I told you so,” if they can do it without saying “I told you so!”

  • James Jerpseth

    As an ELCA Pastor married to an ELCA Pastor, I find the idea that people are still arguing over Women’s Ordination about as foolish as arguing over segregation and “whites only” drinking fountains.

    Somebody please get these folks a calendar and show them that this is 2009 not 1959.

    What would happen if one of these groups came out against ordaining people of color and opted for an all white, all male, all heterosexual, never divirced clergy? The media would tear them to shreds. (I do find it interesting that none of these groups has come out against divorced Clergy given the fact that Jesus has some very explicit words to say about divorce. I guess cultural tolerance is a good thing when it affects such a large sub-group of the clergy.)

    I can see that my children (and all the people under 35 in my synod that I’ve talked to) will look back upon this time and ask “Why was the ordination of LGBT people such a divisive issue?” just like the bewilderment on my children’s faces when I try to explain slavery (which is condoned by the Bible so why no positive stance on the slavery from these groups either?) and segregation.

    My point is not to start a verbal war but to point out that every group mentioned above picks and chooses which parts of the Bible it wants to obey or ignore (divorce, slavery, and tithing are a good starter set). The sooner that LCMC, LCMS, WELS and CORE can recognize that fact, then the sooner it is that we can all sit down and talk about the greater issues of helping the poor, evangelizing the unreached and working to create a better tomorrow for all our children.

    James

  • James Jerpseth

    As an ELCA Pastor married to an ELCA Pastor, I find the idea that people are still arguing over Women’s Ordination about as foolish as arguing over segregation and “whites only” drinking fountains.

    Somebody please get these folks a calendar and show them that this is 2009 not 1959.

    What would happen if one of these groups came out against ordaining people of color and opted for an all white, all male, all heterosexual, never divirced clergy? The media would tear them to shreds. (I do find it interesting that none of these groups has come out against divorced Clergy given the fact that Jesus has some very explicit words to say about divorce. I guess cultural tolerance is a good thing when it affects such a large sub-group of the clergy.)

    I can see that my children (and all the people under 35 in my synod that I’ve talked to) will look back upon this time and ask “Why was the ordination of LGBT people such a divisive issue?” just like the bewilderment on my children’s faces when I try to explain slavery (which is condoned by the Bible so why no positive stance on the slavery from these groups either?) and segregation.

    My point is not to start a verbal war but to point out that every group mentioned above picks and chooses which parts of the Bible it wants to obey or ignore (divorce, slavery, and tithing are a good starter set). The sooner that LCMC, LCMS, WELS and CORE can recognize that fact, then the sooner it is that we can all sit down and talk about the greater issues of helping the poor, evangelizing the unreached and working to create a better tomorrow for all our children.

    James

  • Partizan

    Well, I hope the first topic on the agenda for CORE is name change. I can’t see a Lutheran body sticking around long if it doesn’t have the word Lutheran in its name.

  • Partizan

    Well, I hope the first topic on the agenda for CORE is name change. I can’t see a Lutheran body sticking around long if it doesn’t have the word Lutheran in its name.

  • NK

    Mr. Jerpseth,

    I do not expect you to acknowledge any of this as the truth, since you and your appostate sect reject the inerrency of Scripture. I address you as “Mr.” not out of personal disrespect, but because, as an appostate sect, the ELCA is not part of the visible Church on earth, and therefore does not posess the Office of the Keys. Because it does not posess the Keys, it does not have authority to call or ordain ministers.

    1. The Word of God does not change. It says exactly the same thing now that it said in 1951, in 1551, and in AD 51.

    2. The Word of God says that all people are descended from Adam and Eve. There is only one race, the human race.

    3. God created two sexes, male and female, and He made them different from the beginning. While so-called “racial” differences are superficial and count for nothing, sexual differences are real.

    4. In 1st Tim. 2:12, St. Paul wrote, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” I will not cite other Scriptures because this one alone is sufficient. It leaves absolutely no room to defend the ordination of women.

    5. Therefore, when you compare the exclusion of women from the ministry to racial segregation, you are making a false comparison.

    6. Scripture clearly says that sodomy is an abomination. (Lev. 8:22) Sodomy includes not only homosexual acts, but also all homosexual thoughts, feelings, desires and inclinations; in exactly the same way that murder includes all murderous thoughts, desire, feelings, and inclinations as well as the actual deed. (Matt. 5:28)

    7. No one is homosexual in the same sense in which people are Irish or blond. People are born Irish or blond. No one is born homosexual. As stated in point 6, homosexuality is sodomy, and sodomy is something people do, whether inwardly or outwardly. A person is a homosexual because he commits homosexuality (sodomy), just as a person is a murderer because he commits murder.

    8. A person who repents from sodomy is no longer a homosexual, just as a person who repents from robbery is no longer a thief.

    9. All unrepentant sinners are to be excluded from the office of the ministry, because they are not members of the Church, the body of Christ. Indeed, all unrepentant sinners are to be excluded from the Sacrament of the Altar, becuase by defending and persisting in thier sins, they reject Christ’s free grace.

    10. Therefore, when you compare the exclusion of homosexuals from the ministry to racial segregation, you are making another false comparison.

    11. In both of these false comparisons, you are openly contradicting the reavealed, inerrant Word of God, and calling Him a liar.

  • NK

    Mr. Jerpseth,

    I do not expect you to acknowledge any of this as the truth, since you and your appostate sect reject the inerrency of Scripture. I address you as “Mr.” not out of personal disrespect, but because, as an appostate sect, the ELCA is not part of the visible Church on earth, and therefore does not posess the Office of the Keys. Because it does not posess the Keys, it does not have authority to call or ordain ministers.

    1. The Word of God does not change. It says exactly the same thing now that it said in 1951, in 1551, and in AD 51.

    2. The Word of God says that all people are descended from Adam and Eve. There is only one race, the human race.

    3. God created two sexes, male and female, and He made them different from the beginning. While so-called “racial” differences are superficial and count for nothing, sexual differences are real.

    4. In 1st Tim. 2:12, St. Paul wrote, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” I will not cite other Scriptures because this one alone is sufficient. It leaves absolutely no room to defend the ordination of women.

    5. Therefore, when you compare the exclusion of women from the ministry to racial segregation, you are making a false comparison.

    6. Scripture clearly says that sodomy is an abomination. (Lev. 8:22) Sodomy includes not only homosexual acts, but also all homosexual thoughts, feelings, desires and inclinations; in exactly the same way that murder includes all murderous thoughts, desire, feelings, and inclinations as well as the actual deed. (Matt. 5:28)

    7. No one is homosexual in the same sense in which people are Irish or blond. People are born Irish or blond. No one is born homosexual. As stated in point 6, homosexuality is sodomy, and sodomy is something people do, whether inwardly or outwardly. A person is a homosexual because he commits homosexuality (sodomy), just as a person is a murderer because he commits murder.

    8. A person who repents from sodomy is no longer a homosexual, just as a person who repents from robbery is no longer a thief.

    9. All unrepentant sinners are to be excluded from the office of the ministry, because they are not members of the Church, the body of Christ. Indeed, all unrepentant sinners are to be excluded from the Sacrament of the Altar, becuase by defending and persisting in thier sins, they reject Christ’s free grace.

    10. Therefore, when you compare the exclusion of homosexuals from the ministry to racial segregation, you are making another false comparison.

    11. In both of these false comparisons, you are openly contradicting the reavealed, inerrant Word of God, and calling Him a liar.

  • Rev. James Jerpseth

    Dear Ms. NK,

    I am pleased to see that you (like so many others) have ducked behind the old tired arguments that have ground all conversation to a halt in the ELCA for decades while ignoring the fact that LCMS, LCMC, CORE also pick and choose scripture to lift up and ignore. Indeed using the Canon within the Canon to interpret scripture instead of the “Use one verse and claim inerrancy as proof” is a tenet central to Lutheran Theology.

    To ask the question again more plainly Ms. NK — where do LCMS, LCMC, Word Alone and CORE stand on the following?
    – Slavery, if you believe in an innerrant Bible you must condone slavery
    – Divorce, if you read the words of Jesus litterally then you must not allow any divorced clergy (or members).
    – Tithing, does everyone attach a copy of their tax return to their pledge card?

    The list could go on if we decided to mine all the rules and regulations of the Old Testament but these three are sufficient to prove that every group picks and chooses based upon certain cultural and social standards of the day. Nobody can claim to read 100% of the Bible in the manner you describe.

    Once you face that reality then a conversation can begin about how we can live together with differing views of Scripture.

    Tag — you’re it!

  • Rev. James Jerpseth

    Dear Ms. NK,

    I am pleased to see that you (like so many others) have ducked behind the old tired arguments that have ground all conversation to a halt in the ELCA for decades while ignoring the fact that LCMS, LCMC, CORE also pick and choose scripture to lift up and ignore. Indeed using the Canon within the Canon to interpret scripture instead of the “Use one verse and claim inerrancy as proof” is a tenet central to Lutheran Theology.

    To ask the question again more plainly Ms. NK — where do LCMS, LCMC, Word Alone and CORE stand on the following?
    – Slavery, if you believe in an innerrant Bible you must condone slavery
    – Divorce, if you read the words of Jesus litterally then you must not allow any divorced clergy (or members).
    – Tithing, does everyone attach a copy of their tax return to their pledge card?

    The list could go on if we decided to mine all the rules and regulations of the Old Testament but these three are sufficient to prove that every group picks and chooses based upon certain cultural and social standards of the day. Nobody can claim to read 100% of the Bible in the manner you describe.

    Once you face that reality then a conversation can begin about how we can live together with differing views of Scripture.

    Tag — you’re it!

  • NK

    Mr. Jerpseth,

    That’s Mr. NK. As I said at the begining of my comment, I did not call you “Mr.” out of personal disrespect, but because I do not believe that ordination in the ELCA is valid. Please return the favor, and don’t get personal.

    I am not going to argue about inerancy with you. Either you believe it or you don’t, and you obviously don’t. This issue has been debated at extreme length for years, and I’m not going to go over it again. Since we do not agree on Biblical inerancy, we have no basis from which do argue about anything else.

    I did not write that comment to start a debate, but to point out your errors clearly, becuase I thought you needed to be contradicted and no one else was doing it.

    Having done that, I have no desire to say any more on the subject. You can call this a cop-out if you like, but I’m not going to pursue this discussion any further.

  • NK

    Mr. Jerpseth,

    That’s Mr. NK. As I said at the begining of my comment, I did not call you “Mr.” out of personal disrespect, but because I do not believe that ordination in the ELCA is valid. Please return the favor, and don’t get personal.

    I am not going to argue about inerancy with you. Either you believe it or you don’t, and you obviously don’t. This issue has been debated at extreme length for years, and I’m not going to go over it again. Since we do not agree on Biblical inerancy, we have no basis from which do argue about anything else.

    I did not write that comment to start a debate, but to point out your errors clearly, becuase I thought you needed to be contradicted and no one else was doing it.

    Having done that, I have no desire to say any more on the subject. You can call this a cop-out if you like, but I’m not going to pursue this discussion any further.

  • fws

    #33 cincinatus

    I believe we are agreed that ALL extramarital sex in thought word and deed is sin. this would logically need to include sex between two men.

    beyond this fact, I am saying there is NO scripture specifically about homosexuality. so what would I come back at you with? besides, I am saying homosexual identity is not about sex. I indentify children from age 3-4 as homosexual. like I was.

    Sexual identity is a biblical and moral topic as much as clinical depression is.
    Translation of a greek word in the NT as “homosexual” is to anachronistically impose a word from a 20th century diagnostic manual onto scripture. This is exactly like translating…: “He was a man of sorry and acquainted with cinical depression”. It is wrong to translate Gods holy word in this way.

    Just how often do I need to state clearly my views on sexual sinning to get folks here to stop saying implying that I think sin is ok? WHY is that?

    It is FINE to disagree with me. especially on issues where the bible simply does not address the issue , such as is homosexuality a choice or not. In doing so, please do not igmore my views on sexual sinning, which I seem to need to repeat again and again and again and again for KNUCKLEHEADS like BARRY D BISHOP.

  • fws

    #33 cincinatus

    I believe we are agreed that ALL extramarital sex in thought word and deed is sin. this would logically need to include sex between two men.

    beyond this fact, I am saying there is NO scripture specifically about homosexuality. so what would I come back at you with? besides, I am saying homosexual identity is not about sex. I indentify children from age 3-4 as homosexual. like I was.

    Sexual identity is a biblical and moral topic as much as clinical depression is.
    Translation of a greek word in the NT as “homosexual” is to anachronistically impose a word from a 20th century diagnostic manual onto scripture. This is exactly like translating…: “He was a man of sorry and acquainted with cinical depression”. It is wrong to translate Gods holy word in this way.

    Just how often do I need to state clearly my views on sexual sinning to get folks here to stop saying implying that I think sin is ok? WHY is that?

    It is FINE to disagree with me. especially on issues where the bible simply does not address the issue , such as is homosexuality a choice or not. In doing so, please do not igmore my views on sexual sinning, which I seem to need to repeat again and again and again and again for KNUCKLEHEADS like BARRY D BISHOP.

  • fws

    #45 NK

    “8. A person who repents from sodomy is no longer a homosexual, just as a person who repents from robbery is no longer a thief.”

    This is a confusion on your part dear sister. you assume that all persons do agree or should agree that the word “homosexuality” = same-gender sex acts expressed in thought word and deed.

    All homosexuals would disagree with this definition. The definition of a word is not a moral or biblical issue. and it is not an attempt to excape the FACT that ANY sex outside of marriage, including homosexual sex, is sinful. ok?

    MEdical professionals and homosexuals identify the thing called ‘homosexuality’ as starting usually around age 3. NOw. whether you agree with this or not, or think this is unscriptural or not, the fact remains that those who see things this way obviously mean something ALOT different than YOU do as to what is encompassed by the word “homosexual”. To ignore this fact, means that you will look sorta ignorant when dialoging and debating with those who differ on how they view that word “homosexual”. btw, the word ‘homosexual’ appears NO where in scripture at all. so this is not a biblical issue in any way.

    Disagreeing on all this has NOTHING to do wht scripture or morality.

  • fws

    #45 NK

    “8. A person who repents from sodomy is no longer a homosexual, just as a person who repents from robbery is no longer a thief.”

    This is a confusion on your part dear sister. you assume that all persons do agree or should agree that the word “homosexuality” = same-gender sex acts expressed in thought word and deed.

    All homosexuals would disagree with this definition. The definition of a word is not a moral or biblical issue. and it is not an attempt to excape the FACT that ANY sex outside of marriage, including homosexual sex, is sinful. ok?

    MEdical professionals and homosexuals identify the thing called ‘homosexuality’ as starting usually around age 3. NOw. whether you agree with this or not, or think this is unscriptural or not, the fact remains that those who see things this way obviously mean something ALOT different than YOU do as to what is encompassed by the word “homosexual”. To ignore this fact, means that you will look sorta ignorant when dialoging and debating with those who differ on how they view that word “homosexual”. btw, the word ‘homosexual’ appears NO where in scripture at all. so this is not a biblical issue in any way.

    Disagreeing on all this has NOTHING to do wht scripture or morality.

  • fws

    #34 jonathan

    the scriptures do not directly adress homosexuality or homo erotic behavior. unless you want to quote passages about rape and say that those are what homosexuality looks like in practice…. dont do that please.

    the bible DOES forbid ALL extramarital sex. This INCLUDES , by definition, same-gender sex, since gays cannot marry.

    make sense now?

    I am saying that the bible says NOTHING about same gender sex per-se and especially NOTHING about HOMOSExualITy.

    It is still fully possible, and necessary, to say that same-gender sex is always wrong in thought word and deed. how” by using the SAME passage that would apply to heterosexuals. there is not a separate law or gospel for gays.

    now. I can repeat here till i am blue in the face that sex between two men is always wrong and sin, and i will need to keep repeating this again and again and again, and still some will not hear me.

    I have to ask why that is. can you enlighten me jonathan?

  • fws

    #34 jonathan

    the scriptures do not directly adress homosexuality or homo erotic behavior. unless you want to quote passages about rape and say that those are what homosexuality looks like in practice…. dont do that please.

    the bible DOES forbid ALL extramarital sex. This INCLUDES , by definition, same-gender sex, since gays cannot marry.

    make sense now?

    I am saying that the bible says NOTHING about same gender sex per-se and especially NOTHING about HOMOSExualITy.

    It is still fully possible, and necessary, to say that same-gender sex is always wrong in thought word and deed. how” by using the SAME passage that would apply to heterosexuals. there is not a separate law or gospel for gays.

    now. I can repeat here till i am blue in the face that sex between two men is always wrong and sin, and i will need to keep repeating this again and again and again, and still some will not hear me.

    I have to ask why that is. can you enlighten me jonathan?

  • fws

    The LCMS has a golden opportunity to show, by their example, how to deal with gay clergy in their midst.

    but then this would mean that the LCMS openly acknowledge the gay clergy in their midst wouldnt it?

    If they took this step, and maybe even asked those celebate gay pastors to be vocal about biblical teachings of sexuality, this could be something of great value to the HOly christian church could it not be?

    instead the only way for gay men to be clergy in the LCMS is to show the appropriate level of shame over being gay, which means hiding and keeping a low profile. why are not these men acknowledged? they could provide useful help in ministering to gay youth in the lcms and setting an example to the elca.

    THERE IS AMPLE ROOM FOR THE LCMS TO REPENT HERE.

  • fws

    The LCMS has a golden opportunity to show, by their example, how to deal with gay clergy in their midst.

    but then this would mean that the LCMS openly acknowledge the gay clergy in their midst wouldnt it?

    If they took this step, and maybe even asked those celebate gay pastors to be vocal about biblical teachings of sexuality, this could be something of great value to the HOly christian church could it not be?

    instead the only way for gay men to be clergy in the LCMS is to show the appropriate level of shame over being gay, which means hiding and keeping a low profile. why are not these men acknowledged? they could provide useful help in ministering to gay youth in the lcms and setting an example to the elca.

    THERE IS AMPLE ROOM FOR THE LCMS TO REPENT HERE.

  • Pastor James Jerpseth

    Ms. NK (no personal offense intended, I just choose not to recognize your supposed gender since it must come from a confusion about the roles of men and women in this world)

    I just looked and neither the LCMS, WELS, LCMC, Word Alone or CORE have yet to issue any statement condoning slavery, dismissing all their divorced Pastors or requiring mandatory tithing. My guess is that I’ll wait a long time.

    I do find it funny that when confronted with their own personal “pick and choose” method to reading scripture all the supposed innerancy folks just resort to “If I cannot win the argument by quoting the bumper sticker theology of ‘The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it’ then I will take my ball and go home.”

    It must be a terrible burden to be right 100% of the time. I’ll pray for your repentance and return to the Gospel where where we all acknowledge we are sinners and seek forgiveness.

  • Pastor James Jerpseth

    Ms. NK (no personal offense intended, I just choose not to recognize your supposed gender since it must come from a confusion about the roles of men and women in this world)

    I just looked and neither the LCMS, WELS, LCMC, Word Alone or CORE have yet to issue any statement condoning slavery, dismissing all their divorced Pastors or requiring mandatory tithing. My guess is that I’ll wait a long time.

    I do find it funny that when confronted with their own personal “pick and choose” method to reading scripture all the supposed innerancy folks just resort to “If I cannot win the argument by quoting the bumper sticker theology of ‘The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it’ then I will take my ball and go home.”

    It must be a terrible burden to be right 100% of the time. I’ll pray for your repentance and return to the Gospel where where we all acknowledge we are sinners and seek forgiveness.


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