ECLA votes on gay issues

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Guest, Aug 13, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    The United Church of Christ recently endorsed same-sex marriage. Today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America rejected such a resolution.

    See story here.
     
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Now why the heck should anybody be too terribly surprised if a given religion rejects the idea of giving its endorsement to activities which are clearly considered immoral by that religion's holy writ?
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    First of all I didn't inject any element of surprise in my post.

    Secondly, now that you mentioned it, I am sure many who are attentive to what transpires in the various denominatinal bodies were surprised since the ECLA has a reputation of becoming increasingly liberal and the vote, as you could see, was close.
     
  4. mattchand

    mattchand New Member

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    scholarly writing on this subject

    Worth looking at the foremost scholar on sexual issues and Scripture has to say about this topic:

    http://www.robgagnon.net/

    Matt
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: scholarly writing on this subject

    Thanks for the URL! Excellent debunking of the modernists' claims homosexuality was not condemned, per se in Scripture.
     
  6. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

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    I wasn't surprised... and I'm an ELCA Lutheran. It's been a hot topic for a while now. The Word Alone and SolidRock Lutherans have been lobbying hard within the ELCA against it for a long time. The ELCA is mostly old LCA and ALC churches. The old ALC is the more socially (and theologically, now that I think of it) conservative of the two, and is what makes-up, in largest measure, the WordAlone and SolidRock groups. There was a bit of preview at an ELCA meeting in Chicago not all that long ago. Those present were divided similarly; and the delegates from the various gay groups were treated quite shabbily. I knew right then how it was gonna' go.

    [sigh] I've always believed that the LCA/ALC union was impracticable. I see it as a huge problem, and always have. My Lutheran experience has never been quite right since the merger. This event just exacerbates those feelings. It's a sad day.
     
  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    I never necessarily said that you were surprised, but merely anticipated that others might be surprised. As a Lute myself, I'm aware that the ELCA is the more liberal body of Lutheranism while the LCMS is the more conservative body of Lutheranism. My thinking was that if there are some that are unhappy about their denominational church bodies not allowing gay pastors and/or gay marriage, they can follow the time-honored tradition of storming out of the old church body and founding a new one. After all, Luther stormed out of the Roman Catholic Church and ended up founding the Lutheran Church and Jesus Christ Himself stormed out of the Jewish religion and founded the Christian religion.
     
  8. mcdirector

    mcdirector New Member

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    I was a bit surprised. The vote was close though. I think it will happen before too many more years have come and gone.
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Did he?
     
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Didn't the ELCA also include the old AELC?
     
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    He may not necessarily have thought of himself as founding the Lutheran Church per se. That may very well have been one of his followers. However, intentional or otherwise, yes, he did.
     
  12. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

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    If you care about the integrity of the Scriptures, you must conclude that they condemn--in no uncertain terms--the union of those of the same sex, both Old Testament (I prefer the term "Hebrew Scriptures") and New. It's called various things, including an "abomination".

    However, if your purpose is to fit the Scriptures into your modern understanding, and you are unconcerned about their integrity, original intent, etc (in other words, if they are but the ancient meanderings of bigotted and xenophobic tribes rather than the Inspired Word) then by all means jettison that which makes you uncomfortable. By why refer to it as "Christianity"? Doesn't that just confuse matters?

    That oughta set off a firestorm!



    :) :( :)
     
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Thank you, little fauss!
     
  14. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

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    You like that? Thanks for the support!

    I really believe it, as you may have surmised, but I grimaced as I wrote it, assuming that I would be cashing in every ounce of good will--what there is of it--that I've accumulated on this forum.

    Homosexuality is the third rail of American culture. Make a pronouncement upon it from any perspective short of unqualified acceptance, and you'll be rhetorically tarred-and-feathered. Remember Andy Rooney's rather mild remark that engaging in homosexual sex was dangerous? The feces as well as his ample buttocks soon came into contact with the fan. But the problem was, he was absolutely, undeniably correct. There was a reason that AIDs was seen in extreme disproportionate numbers among male homosexuals and intravenous drug abusers--and it wasn't because what they were doing with their bodies was safe!

    Again, thanks for the kind words, Ted.

    Mike aka Little Fauss
     
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  15. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

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    Yep... and a few others, too. I was just making the point that the two largest (and still at-odds, I might add) groups were the LCA and the ALC... which I've always felt were irreconcilable both theologically and socio-politically. I've believed that for decades... and if yesterday's vote is any indication, it would seem I'm right. I haven't looked at it myself, but I'll bet you'll find, if you did the research, that the vote came down pretty much along the old LCA versus ALC lines... with some crossover, of course... but I'm just sayin'.

    I dunno. I think you should spend some time on the WordAlone and SolidRock web sites and understand their resolve before coming to that conclusion. I think once they spin-off, sure. But until then (or if they never do), I dunno. It's a bigger deal for many Lutherans than maybe you're realizing. I mean I respect your observation and, hey, from your typing fingers to God's ears... er... email inbox. But... well... I just don't know.

    Ah, yes... the "America... love it or leave it" mentality. Change from within is honorable and shows respect for and a belief in the organization. Proponents of gay rights issues within the ELCA are showing it a great deal of respect by not doing precisely as you prescribe. The WordAlone folks, on the other hand -- who, if the sophistication and content of their web site and publications, as well as what they talk about in their meetings, are any indicator -- are obviously ramping-up for doing precisely as you prescribe. Personally, I wish they'd just up and do it and stop torturing us, but that's just me.

    Yes... good question, Jimmy... er... really, good point, just with a question mark after it. "Storming out" is a little strong, Ted. When Luther posted his 95 Thesis on the door at Wittenburg, he merely wanted a debate. It was the Catholic Church that got all up in a swivet about it and turned it into something that Luther, though he ultimately embraced it, didn't necessarily want. A whole new church most definitely wasn't what Luther had in mind... and, in fact, he considered the terms "Lutheran" or "Lutheranism" ones of derision (and, in fact, when used by Catholics, they were). Rather, he wanted to fix the Catholic Church; to honor it by working from within it... just as the gay rights folks today are trying to do within the ELCA.

    As for Jesus storming out of the Judaism and founding the Christian religion... hmm... well, that's not really accurate, either, is it? Didn't Jesus consider himself a Jew right to the end? And wasn't it, if anyone, his followers who could be said to have worked more along the lines of church- and/or religion-starting... if even that in the earliest days after the Crucifixion?

    Originally posted by little fauss
    That oughta set off a firestorm![/quote]Yeah... and I, for one, won't bite. The earlier reference/link to Dr. Gagnon's web site and, more specifically, to the Two Views publication there, would be a good place for the reader to begin to read some interesting and high-quality argument on both sides of the issue. And I can refer to seemingly countless other sites that present the arguments quite nicely.

    Or do we really wanna' launch into it here?

    Just askin'.
     
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  16. mcdirector

    mcdirector New Member

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    No firestorm from me either. I've been pondering all these issues -- Wondering why what I believe is biblical is not seen by all as biblical. I heard a Lutheran scholar on NPR the other day who helped to put it all in perspective for me. There are two belief systems -- two perceptivable gospels.

    The first is a transformational gospel, God meets us where we are, but our desire is to be transformed.

    The second is a gospel of affirmation. God takes us as we are and accepts us as we are -- affirms us. No questions asked. No change required on our part.

    Hence the modern conflict. Or maybe its not so modern . . .
     
  17. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    I still agree with little fauss that both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Scriptures call homosexuality an abomination. And when one bends the xenophobic and bigoted meanderings of the ancients to one's modern understandins, one no longer has the same old ancient wisdom, so why bother preserving the ancient name?
    As for myself, if the Lutheran church ever gets to the point of declaring heterosexuality politically incorrect and outdated and, as such, denying pastorates and marriages to straight people, I will make no pretense of remaining within such an organization.
     
  18. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

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    Jimmy's kirchengeschichtliche question and Gregg's reply were bang-on.

    Who founded the Lutheran Church?
    The signatories to the Augsburg Confession in 1530.

    As to the issue of this thread. My Synod (WELS) is strongly conservative on the issue at hand. So am I. The issue itself has been debated elsewhere and I don't care to participate in rehashing it. Best wishes to yuns wherever you stand on this.

    Janko
     
  19. little fauss

    little fauss New Member

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    Gregg:

    I think "if even that" is accurate here. I don't think there was any intention on the part of the eleven plus Paul of Tarsus to be a separate group, I think history demonstrates they wanted to be known as a subset of Jews who called themselves Christians because they believed Jesus was the Christ, but who wanted to change the system from within--Paul even said he'd be willing to be eternally damned if only he could help his Jewish bretheren see the light (along with Moses' similar statements in the Torah, I find that one of the most extraordinary statements in the 66 chapters of the Bible). The separation was something forced upon them by the authorities, much like Luther experienced 15 centuries later.

    I'm always willing to launch, so long as it can be done without ad hominem. I trust your ability to maintain your dignity on such matters, I'd try my best to maintain mine.

    But I don't know if we'd make any headway.

    Best to you, Gregg.

    Mike aka Little Fauss
     
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  20. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

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    Let's see here. Dr. Luther died in 1546. This means he had 16 years left on him as of 1530. Was he one of the signatories or no?
     

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