Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Speaking of Lutherans ...

... did you know they're doing something this week? Besides living in the world's most expensive cities?

The ELCA is holding its biennial Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis. Among the many subjects to be debated and decided upon are SEX the election of a vice-president SEX Methodists SEX malaria and HIV SEX the budget SEX and some other stuff nobody is really paying attention to.

Owing to the timely intervention of an Adirondack vacation, we have not been following the events thus far. Owing to high blood pressure and a propensity for yelling at the computer when it says things we don't like, we probably won't follow the live feed these next few days. Fortunately, we have friends who do this sort of thing for us.

Pastor Joelle's blog, linked above, carries an outstanding description of the first day's antics. She describes some parliamentary wrangling over whether passage of a particular proposal SEX would require a simple majority or a supermajority. She ably describes the intellectual pros and visceral cons of requiring a supermajority, but then goes on to say the things that really matter, and which all Lutherans will need to remember this week:

This is going to be a divisive decision, regardless of how it goes or how it is passed. A super majority is not going to make the losing side happy.

And I'm tired of hearing all this angst about the "angry people in the pews" who are going to take their marbles and go home if we decide to recognize God's call to gay people in committed relationships. (Actually we are not even voting to do that – we are voting to be willing to abide in the same church with those who do and those who don't).

What about the people who have left already because of the way we do things now? What about all the congregations who have been excluded from full participation in the ELCA because they like their gay non-celibate pastor very much and are quietly without any whining just going about the work of God, many of them even sending financial support to the mission of the ELCA? Are they less important?

The delegation from our own synod, while as serious as a heart attack regarding the issues, takes another approach to reporting the day's affairs:

We encourage our readers to follow both sources -- Pastor Joelle and Convivium New York -- as their authoritative guide to SEX the ELCA Churchwide Assembly.


Pastor Joelle said...

That's funny. As my husband and I used to say during certain dry spells "can't do it, might as well talk about it"

Bob Waters said...

As a former ELCA pastor who currently serves an independent confessional congregation, let me clue you in on something: the ELCA is not, and never has been, "Lutheran" in any historically meaningful sense.

I wonder, "Pastor" Joelle, whether your comment explains why you write about theology. Those with your take on the issue seem to believe that eisegesis saves. It is simply impossible on any honest exegetical ground to conclude that the words consistently used in ancient Greek literature for the active and passive partners in utterly consensual homosexual acts
somehow refer only to non-consensual ones in Paul's epistles.

This is not about a difference in scriptural interpretation. This is about the decision of the revisionist Left to eisegete their way out of the hole they're in trying to defend a position no honest exegesis of the biblical texts can conclude is anything but utterly laughable.

ELCA's god is the Agenda, and Eisegesis is its son. Or daughter. Or offspring. Or whatever.

Father said...

Ummm, sure, Bob.

Note to readers: We published this comment only so that we could, ever so delicately, draw your collective attention to the post two down from it, headlined "Nothing Funny Here." About schismatics.

Father said...

As well as everything we've ever said about the LCMS. (Bob is an alumnus of Concordia, River Forest, and while his congregation is "independent," it takes a certain pride is describing itself as "Old Missouri.")