Friday, June 10, 2005

More Fundamentalism

Go ahead, have some fun, google "elca" and "fundamentalism" and "sexuality" and "Bible." What will you get? A whole bunch of professors and bishops who get their paychecks from you who are blithely undermining what you believe. Nearly every story has a sound bite liek this, "But we are Lutherans and we are not fundamentalists." They then go on to say that the Lutherans hermeneutic is that the Bible promotes Christ, and that is what we are interested in most, the rest, like the law (rememebr the law/gospel hermeutic?) seeming to be so much chaff.

There is an interesting pair of articles from Gettysburg in 2003. To be fair, they are not that bad, and fairly predicable. The Bible guy is a little more balanced than the homiletician, and that probably makes sense.

The preacher says some interesting things in "Preaching Faithfully About Homosexuality," like:

"What Is It that I Believe?
Now, in the interests of honesty, I will set forth what I believe.

Homosexual persons are justified saints through faith alone, welcomed into the church’s life along with their fellow justified sinners.
Scripture’s censures and disapproves of homoerotic acts as a departure (Romans 1) from the ideal pattern of human sexuality (as set forth in creation, Ephesians 5:28-33, Christ’s teaching in Matthew 19:4-6).
The ELCA ought to affirm what is potentially good about permanent same sex relationships: the love and care of children whether adopted or biological, an understanding that fidelity is better than promiscuity and that enduring love is better than depersonalized or temporary encounters.
The ELCA may be able to develop ways to declare the created and foundational normativeness of a faithful male-female marriage, while still finding room for the faithful baptized who enter into other arrangements. I think it would be best if formalized mutual promises of life-long fidelity by homosexuals were made without the official approval or encouragement of the ELCA as a matter of individual pastoral judgment.
That the ELCA can utilize and celebrate the talents of homosexual persons used to glorify God and serve humanity and could conceivably accept into its ordained ministry those who choose to express their homosexuality in faithful and responsible ways. But, but we should only do so if we can somehow figure out how to do this without going beyond or contradicting what scripture permits and asserts. Whatever liturgical or rostering choices it makes, the ELCA cannot simply declare that homoerotic sex is a divinely created good or that it is a ethically neutral or a completely unproblematic practice.
It is wrong to undermine the consciences of our fellow believers in the pursuit of Christian liberties to which we feel entitled. A re-reading of 1 Corinthians 8 (food offered to idols) is in order here. It is also wrong to bind the consciences of our fellow believers by unnecessary and unwarranted denominational directives and human rules."

The whole thing here.

The Bible guy said, " I must remind you that for Luther, there were huge portions of the Bible that he regarded as inapplicable to Christians of his day. God’s word? Yes. Applicable? Not necessarily. And certainly not automatically.

For the most part, Lutherans have learned this lesson well. At our best, Lutherans have never been proof-texters. And this is also why Lutherans in the United States have been highly resistant to fundamentalism. I grew up in Texas. I know fundamentalism quite well. I know all of the arguments. It’s why I’m a Lutheran. One of the most common bumper stickers of my childhood was: “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.” But this is precisely the attitude that Luther was critiquing in his sermon. The fact that “the Bible says it” settles absolutely nothing for Lutherans. The fact that the Bible says something on a particular topic is the beginning point of theological discussion, not the end point."

Read Homosexuality and the Bible
Opening the Question

Could be worse.

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The good ship ELCA...

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