Friday, August 21, 2009

The latest assembly results

All four sub-parts of the ministry policies recommendations passed. You can read more about it in this LA Times link or at the ELCA site. Among the most prominent online comments (whether pro or con) is a general agreement that Bishop Hanson is a wonderful leader for our church. You can see his comments here, and I'm told the ELCA website will continue to be updated with discussion and interpretation materials in coming days.

A youth minister and one of the voting delegates in the minority of the final decision posted these thoughts on his blog. I think he eloquently points out that the church should work to retain communion and unity in the coming days:

"Some, both individuals and churches, will leave the the ELCA over this assembly’s actions, and I think that is unfortunate. On Twitter, someone said that, “The true Church is neither constituted or destroyed because of a vote. Where Christ is – there is the Church.” And I agree. With the vote today, there was no ontological change in the church catholic or the ELCA. This vote simply turned into “official” church policy that which was already taking place within the ELCA. Yes, there will be practical implications of this decision today. But Hope Lutheran Church, where I serve, can continue to preach with conviction our interpretation of scripture, to feed the hungry, to worship God, to minister to and with our youth, and every other good work of mission and ministry that we are already doing. At this point, we are not being asked to act contrary to our deeply held convictions, and I believe we should stay within this national church body."

"Martin Luther himself remained within the Roman Catholic church until it was clear to him that his ability to proclaim the gospel was being hindered by remaining within that body. I would admonish those in the ELCA who are now on the side of the minority on this issue to do the same."

1 comment:

  1. Change is always difficult, but without it we are condemned to continue the mistakes of the past. Scripture has been used to justify slavery, and even Luther was quite anti-Semitic by today's standards. I don't think any sane person would suggest that we go back to those interpretations, and we need to continue to make careful progress in thinking about the ultimate truths to which we are called to witness. When our witness becomes filled with name-calling and anger, then perhaps we are lacking in the "scriptural or logical" arguments which Luther espoused.