Monday, June 06, 2005

Call it, Doctor.

The time of the death of historical understanding of the origins of the church and of Lutheran identity in Greater Milwaukee:

WHEREAS ... and WHEREAS ... and

WHEREAS a significant number of members and clergy of the ELCA have seen the presence and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the lives of gay and lesbian persons who are single and others who are living in committed, responsible, loving relationships, whose lives give a daily testimony to the unconditional love of God in Jesus Christ in their families, in their congregations, in their work places, and in their communities, and

WHEREAS the first generation Church, in the face of great opposition from pious and loyal leaders and members, agreed to a more inclusive definition of church membership that no longer required the Mosaic tradition of circumcision – a radical, history-changing decision based almost totally on the testimony of Peter, Paul and others that they had seen in uncircumcised Gentiles the work of the Holy spirit and, based on their “Lutheran” conclusion: “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are,” (Acts 15:11) and

WHEREAS the Lutheran church has historically affirmed the centrality of the Gospel and Jesus Christ Himself as the prism through which the Church is to look as it interprets Scripture, shapes its teaching, and proclaims the life-changing Good News of God’s unconditional love for all people in Jesus Christ, and

WHEREAS failure of the Church to accept, affirm and bless gay and lesbian persons, their Spirit-filled faith and witness, as well as their relationships and families, is a serious matter of a negative witness to the entire gay/lesbian community and to the world at large, and

WHEREAS it has always been with great struggle that the Church has changed its stance on such watershed issues as the abolition of slavery, the end of child labor, the enfranchisement of women, the end of racial segregation and the ordination of women – yet the Church and the world are less oppressive and much healthier for the changes, and

WHEREAS the Greater Milwaukee Synod, and its congregations, are already enriched by the gifts of gay and lesbian persons who believe in Jesus Christ and whose lives are filled with the Sprit, many of them living in healthy, loving, committed unions, and

WHEREAS the unity of the Church does not hinge on complete agreement about such mysteries of human life as our sexuality, but on our faith in Jesus Christ and our openness to the Holy Spirit, therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America memorialize the 2005 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, to

1. Witness to the unconditional love of God in Jesus Christ by affirming acceptance of gay and lesbian believers in Christ as congregational members on the same basis as other members.

2. Encourage congregations that find the full acceptance of gay and lesbian persons and pastors to be contrary to their understanding of the Gospel and of the Scriptures, to continue in prayerful study and discernment of God’s will in dialog with sisters and brothers in the ELCA.

3. Encourage congregations that find the full acceptance of gay and lesbian persons and pastors to be consistent with their understanding of the Gospel and of the Scriptures, to continue in prayerful study and discernment of God’s will in dialog with sisters and brothers in the ELCA.

4. Call upon all congregations of the ELCA to engage in ongoing prayer, study, discernment, walking with sisters and brothers in the lesbian/gay community, and partnering with other congregations for the purpose of mutual enrichment and growth, as outlined in recommendation one of the ELCA Studies on Sexuality Task Force Report.

This resolution was passed by the assembly"

I haven't seen such a collection of the lame arguments together in one place before.

We offer this as exhibit Q your honor. The GLBT lobby killed lutheran idenity and common sense.

2 comments:

Jay Thorson said...

As a Greater Milwaukee Synod pastor, I was forced to pay $200 in registration fees, and give up 2 1/2 days of my life, to witness these pitiful actions. I can assure readers that the official public theology of the Milwaukee Synod is a new Christian sect. It uses some of the same terms as orthodox Christians (grace, Spirit), but in novel ways. Other parts of the confessional witness (repentance, judgement) are conspicuously absent. Interesting was how all of the scheduled public speakers (preachers at worship, bible study leaders, keynote addressers) found opportunities within their talks to make jabs at people who take the Bible as the Word of God. The phrase "Lutherans are not fundamentalists" was used as a justification for numerous claims that "the Bible is our starting point, but the Spirit is leading us to new things." Add to this emotional testimonies about "we can't exclude my (insert close relative) who has been a Lutheran all his life," and regular helpings of Republican bashing, and you had a juggernaut. In the past six years, I've seen more and more of our formerly orthodox pastors cave in to the idea that "we need to create a place for sexually active gays and lesbians in the ministry." The reality of the resulations, and the intent of those who wrote them is, they are creating a place for conservatives, until such time as we see the light and embrace "God's justice." In Greater Milwaukee, the church to which I was ordained has disappeared.

Anonymous said...

And the ELCA said, "Let us make God in Our image, after Our likeness."

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...