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Wednesday, August 26, 2009 

ELCA Convention Fallout

Well, that didn’t take long, nope, not long at all. I was at least expecting until I came in to work on Monday to explain that my church wasn’t part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), the country’s largest Lutheran organization, which voted to enter into fellowship with a church body whose confession is as different from its own as night is from day, grant non-celibate homosexual ministers the privilege of serving as rostered leaders and pastors as well as their blessing of homosexual marriages as unions that are God pleasing in spite of Scripture’s clear prohibition against the same. There are other issues to be sure but there can be no doubt that the homosexual issue will be the one a lot of folks focus on. Nope, I only had until Saturday morning before I had to explain the situation as it.

I was loading up the kayaks for the weekend kayak excursion that the missus requested (read demanded) when my neighbor who was out walking his dog stopped by for a chat. After discussing how much both our workloads have slowed down he mentioned that he had seen what he thought was my church body, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, on the news the night before. It took a few minutes but I eventually was able to lay out a thumbnail sketch of the growing chasm of differences between the two organizations.

The ELCA should be considered an apostate body that has rejected God’s Holy Word for its own subjective interpretation and needs to be called to repentance. This whole situation will no doubt make having productive conversations with members of both leadership and laity even more difficult in the future.

I myself have family members in churches whom hold membership in the ELCA a bit further south from my little corner of the Haut South. I have never communed in these churches because when visiting family as I’ve heard in more than one homily that “God’s Word says ___ but what it really means is ___”. With the situation the way it is now, I don’t suspect either my missus or I will so much as even visit the very church she grew up and was confirmed in ever again, certainly not with a faithful congregation (where we have attended Sunday worship when visiting) just down the road. I believe the ELCA convention will bring considerable grief to a great many families in addition to my own.

The ELCA didn’t get to where it’s at overnight and it may take even a generation if ever for this organization to see its errors and return to the historic church catholic. After being brought out of Egypt, Israel had to wander forty years in the desert for her lack of faith in the very God that had just delivered them from Pharaoh and Egypt. But as the faithless generation passed away, a new generation did eventually enter into the land that the Lord had promised. Our Lord has always welcomed back repentant sinners and on the cross He died for each and every sin whether committed in a convention, at work, or at home. In love we must call our brothers to repentance before their hearts become so callused they resemble Pharaoh’s heart of stone.

Our hope should always be that the faithful remnant fighting the good fight within ELCA’s ranks be able to reach those who look at Scripture as something to be accepted or rejected by majority vote and varying cultural sensitivities at conventions be strong in the faith and always be point to the unchanging and inerrant Word of God. As we pray for the erring members of the ELCA, we need to keep those those good and faithful servants in our prayers each and every day that our Lord tarries, whether its forty years or four hundred, it makes no difference.

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The ELCA has done a terrible thing.

The liberal mindset of the leadership and the 'we know better than you' attitude exhibited by them, is a sign of a broken church.

That the laity let this happen is a sad testimony to people NOT reading their Bibles.

May the Lord have mercy on us.

"The social statement on human sexuality – the theological premise for the ministry proposal – is based on the doctrine of justification. This is a novel and dubious departure not only from historic Lutheran exegesis but from the Christian tradition as a whole, where human sexuality has been understood on the basis of Scripture (law, which applies to God’s people) and the orders of creation which applies to everyone. This also, it seems to me, reveals the utter absence of any meaningful doctrine of sin within the progressive elements of the ELCA and their gospel of radical inclusion."

From my pastor (ELCA), Mark Anderson, So. Cal.

I thought it was worth sharing.

Worth sharing indeed. Thanks Steve. When you get a chance, pop me off an email... if you dont know my super secret address send it it to my public one and I'll respond from the other.

Steve, one more thing, I've seen support for what happen among laity was in the mid 20's and the biggest push was from the leadership of ELCA. This wouldnt be unheard of in LCMS circles as it was largely the laity that fought the "battle for the Bible" back in the 1970's. What's your take on the laity as a whole as to where they are at?

Frank,

I think the laity will be pretty evenly divided, once they figure out what happened.

And a lot of them won't care one way or the other as long as it doesn't directly affect them.

Little do they know just how much it will affect them.

We are having a meeting about this on Sunday after worship. I'll have a much better idea once that meeting is over.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
  • Confessional Lutheran
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