Sunday, August 23, 2009

ELCA off the cliff

When I heard the news, I wasn't surprised, and only a little disappointed. I mean, it is not like orthodoxy was flourishing before now. The trends have been clear for a long while. And anyone who cannot see that the Scriptures do not permit a homosexual lifestyle is doing theological sophistry. If you want to allow things the Scriptures forbid, don't say your doctrine is based on the Scriptures and admit you disagree.

What will be the effect? The ELCA has by this action proclaimed openly what many have said about her before, she is just another post-modern, culture affirming liberal Church. Less liberal than some, to be sure, but that will change over time. By being in fellowship with so many, how can she speak for American Lutheranism? What do they bring to the table which the UCC does not?

Of course, I hope and pray that the people and clergy in the ELCA "fix" this, but I don't think the problem is gay ministers, but that there is functionally no doctrinal authority except the hierarchy itself. In other words, there is a lot to fix.


This is really interesting if it pans out. It appears that a freak tornado went through Minneapolis during the events described above, and shredded some tents and knocked the cross off a church used by the convention when the vote was to be taken.

Symbolism abounds. :-)


Steve said...

The ELCA has abandoned the Word of God.

The 60's liberals that run that denomination have a prideful will that replaces God's will.

There are many good and faithful pastors and congregations in the ELCA that are faced with many tough questions.

Please pray for us as we try and sort all this out, with the help of God.


Edward Reiss said...


Of couse my prayers are with you. I wonder, though, if as you say the ELCA has more or less abandoned the Word of God, what can be salvaged? I know there are solid Lutherans yet in the ELCA, but it seems to me the leadership is basically telling them to go. At what point does one simply leave?

I don't mean this polemically, BTW, I am honestly interested in what one does in such circumstances.

Steve Martin said...


We honestly don't know what to do as yet.

Since we don't politicize the gospel in our congregation we have very liberal members and very conservative members. Many would want to just leave (I'm in that camp), and give up our property, which is quite significant, and others will not want to do that at all.

Our pastor is a confessional Lutheran who pretty much feels the same way about the leadership of the ELCA as you and I do.

We have held our noses with regard to the ELCA for a long time, but this is the last straw.

We could vote to associate ourselves with other Lutheran groups and still keep our official ELCA status, while ignoring them.

It is a real mess and we will begin the process of hashing it all out on Sunday after worship.

I'll keep you posted as to what we do.

Thanks again, Ed, for your prayers for us!

- Steve

Edward Reiss said...


It sounds like you have quite a few decisions to make in a very short time. I can only offer my prayers for you, your pastor and your congregation.

Steve Martin said...

Thanks very much, Ed.

We do appreciate it.

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