Thursday, November 19, 2009

More CORE Lies

Or anyway, fibs.  Or "failures to do quite what they said."

Apparently, when the CORE people elected to wait a year before deciding to forming a new denomination, they didn't really mean wait a year, to see how the ELCA's decision would play out in real life, and perhaps let tempers cool.  They meant decide now, even absent a positive vote to do so, and spend a year actually forming the new denomination.

Perhaps that's not fair.  Strictly speaking, they weren't lying at their convocation; they have simply changed their minds since then:

ELCA had asked members who opposed the change to hold off on taking action, and CORE delegates had agreed to wait a year before taking steps to split from the ELCA. But Ryan Schwarz, chairman of CORE's Vision and Planning Working Group, said congregations had grown impatient.

"When we talked about waiting a year, we never intended to sit around for a year and just contemplate," he said. "We expected to do planning. Now we're also going to be doing the legwork in terms of creating a new church body.

Note the construction:  "we expected to do X; now we're [also] doing Y."  In other words, we're not doing what we said we would; we're doing that and something else.

No big deal, really.  No sane observer could have doubted that CORE would create its own denomination sooner or later.  We point out the change in plans only as a further instance of the unreliability demonstrated by the organization and its leaders during this gestational period -- call it public service for our friends who may be inclined that way.  Caveat emptor, and so forth.


Pastor Joelle said...

and in the meantime, they can go to assemblies and vote, serve on councils and vote, call on their bishops to listen to them, in other words take advantage of all the benefits are of being part of this evil entity called the ELCA while they get their ducks in a row so they have some place to go.

The combination of this totally UNChristlike, un-ethical behavior combined with their smug superiority and judgmental self-righteousness just makes my head explode.

I've had it. I hope the door DOES smack em on the ass on the way out.

Father said...

Nor are you the only person to make that suggestion, today alone. One correspondent used the memorable phrase "let the door 'em where the dog should have bit 'em."

Truth be told, I'm not sure what makes me sadder: the loss to the ELCA, which will be a less broadly inclusive community than it has been, and one with a diminished stake in the hard work of reconciling those who disagree; or the loss to the CORE/LCMC faithful, who -- whether the believe it or not -- are going to be led by people whom I would not want leading my sister. If you see what I mean.

I've had a lot to say in this blog, and much more in private, about the leadership that has emerged from the last major schism in US Lutheranism. I can't help thinking that some of the same personality types are engaged here.

Among other things, I have pointed to the danger of a church movement, forged in conflict, which is directed by the invincibly and imperturbably self-righteous. They may not necessarily be wicked people -- although in the present case, the jury is still out -- and they often are bright and accomplished people. Zealots can be very impressive, from a distance. But up close, they can prove difficult to work with.

Anonymous said...

Cynically, I think what's happened is that they read their constitutions, and realized that their only hope of taking the church property with them when they leave is if they leave to join another Lutheran church body... being "independent" (or, I would guess, affiliated with an "unofficial", non-501c, church body like LCMC) would mean the property would revert to the ELCA.

And Joelle, your post on the sorority wars was the funniest thing I've read in a long time (and spot on!).


Pastor Joelle said...

Yea, Zealots even when they are right are pretty scary. John Brown was on the right side but he was one scary dude.

Anonymous said...

The phrase is: "Don't let the door knob hit ya where the dog shoulda bit ya."

Pastor Joelle said...

Or don't let the door smack you where the Good Lord cracked you.

We could do this all day.