Thursday, January 07, 2010

Oh Boy (That's Exasperation, Anger, and Sorrow)

Apparently some synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are using intimidation and scare tactics-and bad theology--in an effort to stop congregations and pastors from expressing their opposition to the August, 2009, decisions of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to allow congregations of our denomination ordain practicing homosexuals in committed relationships and to allow congregations to legitimize/recognize same-sex committed relationships. See here.

The pastor who wrote this post, Eric Ash, is a member of his synod's council and has incurred some angry responses to his own opposition to the Churchwide Assembly policy and theology changes. Read the whole thing.

Funny, I thought that the proponents of these departures from Scripture and Christian teaching wanted the "bound consciences" of all to be recognized.

This ELCA pastor's experiences are interesting:
I myself was put on notice by a member of our synod council's Executive Committee that she was going to make a motion a that I not be allowed to participate as a synod council member because of my protest against the ELCA. Also, another member of our synod council showed up at a class I was teaching in my parish to publicly say that she is married to a gay man who is living with another man, and who has had other homosexual lovers, and that this all biblically and theologically justified, in her opinion, because God gave him a need for "male sexual energy." No one has taken any action to exclude her from the synod council.
He goes on to reflect:
The last I heard, more than 130 congregations have already taken a first vote to leave the ELCA, and nearly 100 of them have received the necessary 2/3 majority. You can be certain more will follow. I know of several parishes in our synod that are redirecting their benevolence away for the synod and the ELCA. Undoubtedly, for many of them this is a first step toward leaving the ELCA. The ELCA has already cut its budget 10% and terminated more than 40 employees. It is said financial receipts at ELCA headquarters are down 20-40%. What the exact figure is, the ELCA isn't saying. Our synod was looking a deficit for 2009 nearing $200,000 before some of its largest parishes voted to redirect their benevolence. It will be interesting to hear -- if I'm actually allowed to be at the next synod council meeting -- what that deficit is today.
I pray that the ELCA will reverse itself and repent for the actions of last August.

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