Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Passing on some information from a friend:

On the last page of the ELCA Church Council Response to Metro NY (7) it says, "Yet, in any careful reading of the whole resolution, the plain meaning of the statements must be considered." If only they read the Bible and its prohibitions of sexuality the same way!

I think these sections need to be scrutinized as we look for ways of helping our bishops enforce the rules governing the sexual behavior of ordained persons:

"Further, the synod has responsibility to exercise discipline as specified in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and in applicable policy documents...Discipline hearing committees are made up of six members of the synod discipline committee and six members of the churchwide discipline committee, with a hearing officer appointed by the presiding bishop from the Committee of Hearing Officers elected by the ELCA Church Council...In fact, oversight and review of the decision of a discipline hearing committee is vested solely in the Committee on Appeals, which is elected by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly."

This is important
:

"In regard to such discipline, the word “may” is used in bylaw 20.21.04. The “may” reference, however, does not imply that a synodical bishop or synod has the latitude to ignore the bylaws of this church or “Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline.” In that bylaw, “may” relates to the need to gather information before determining that “cause for discipline may exist.”

I really like this part, and I wonder if it cannot be used with both professors who are also ordained in the ELCA as well as with bishops?

Ordained ministers, according to bylaw 20.21.01., “shall be subject to discipline” for the following:
“a. preaching and teaching in conflict with the faith confessed by this church;
“b. conduct incompatible with the character of the ministerial office;
“c. willfully disregarding or violating the functions and standards established by this church for the office of Word and Sacrament;
“d. willfully disregarding the provisions of the constitution or bylaws of this church; or
“e. willfully failing to comply with the requirements ordered by a discipline hearing committee under 20.23.08.”

…Further, under bylaw 20.21.02. in regard to ordained ministers:

“The disciplinary actions which may be imposed are:

“a. private censure and admonition by the bishop of the synod;
“b. suspension from the office and functions of the ordained ministry in this church for a designated period or until there is satisfactory evidence of repentance and
amendment; or
“c. removal from the ordained ministry of this church.”

…When there are indications that a cause for discipline may exist, and before charges are filed with the secretary of this church, the synodical bishop must seek to resolve the matter by consultation as required by bylaw 20.21.04. in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.Information that a rostered person is allegedly a non-celibate homosexual is—under “Definitions Response of the Church Council to the Resolution of the Metropolitan New York Synod (April 2006) - page 6 and Guidelines for Discipline”—an indication of a potential cause for discipline. Information that a
congregation has called someone not on the clergy roster is similarly such an indication. In an effort to resolve the matter by consultation, the bishop may appoint an advisory or consultation committee to provide advice as described in bylaw 20.21.05.

…It is in the bishop's discretion how much investigation to do. In order to make a decision or to try to reach a resolution, however, it is necessary to gather as much information as possible about the situation. Every case is different, and these cases can be particularly difficult. It would be important to know, for example, exactly what the “committed relationship” entails and what evidence exists that it violates “Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline.” Except for the attempted resolution under bylaw 20.21.04., the synodical bishop has discretion about the following:

1) Whether to censure and admonish under ELCA constitutional provision 20.18.
2) Whether to appoint an advisory or consultation committee.
3) Whether to file formal disciplinary charges against the pastor, rostered layperson, or a congregation.
4) Whether to request resignation from call or from the roster.

And from the footnotes, a reminder: The document, “Vision and Expectations: Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” in the section on “Sexual Conduct,” reads: “The expectations of this church regarding the sexual conduct of its ordained ministers are grounded in the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that ordained ministers are to live in such a way as to honor this gift. Ordained ministers are expected to reject sexual promiscuity, the manipulation of others for purposes of sexual gratification, and all attempts of sexual seduction and sexual harassment, including taking physical or emotional advantage of others. Single ordained ministers are expected to live a chaste life. Married ordained ministers are expected to live in fidelity to their spouses, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste, and faithful. Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships.”

The full, official report is a 7 page document that was posted to the ELCA COMMUNICATORS ONLINE meeting on LutherLink in pdf form.

19 comments:

Good Soil said...

I agree with you that if you read the bible's affirmations of diverse sexuality in the same way we did (from Jesus' healing of the gay couple in Luke, his relationship with the "beloved" in John to God's same-sex in the book of Hosea), I think people would discover that our perspectives are very similar in encouraging the ELCA to become more confessional.

I would argue that there are more possible affirmations of same-sex people and their relationships in the bible then possible admonitions (since there are only 7 against man lying with man and only one against women lying with women as with a man). Are you willing to talk about the bible as well as the confessions with me?

Dan said...

apparently goodsoil has a different version of Scripture than the rest of us. This is truly breathtaking.And very sad.

Good Soil said...

Well, in my bible, there is a book called Hosea where, sinful human marriage is between Hosea and a female prostitute. Holy marriage is between the male God and Hosea's third born son "My People" who represents the sons of Israel. In this case scripture seems to say that same-sex marriage is God's way and opposite sex marriage is the way of sinful humans.

But, perhaps you meant the translation of the bible. Do you read the King James? Did you know that the King James Version of the bible actually includes a number political jabs that were not included in the history of the text before that translation. Apparently the translators wanted to stick it to King James, so they added the references about “homosexuality” in order to critique King James and his male lover.

Please, if you are going to critique my theology or say that I am misreading the bible, please tell me what it is that you think that I am misreading. Paul seems to believe that we have an obligation to tell our fellow members of the church when they have erred in order to bring them to the truth.

I happen to think that you all are all worth dialoguing with because you are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope that you will pay me the same respect.


Vicar Megan Rohrer

Shrimp said...

Megan, Dan was giving you no disrespect by saying that your reading of Scripture is "sad." It is. And I'll tell you why in a moment. But first, I will ask everyone to be as respectful as possible. Real people read your comments, so it is unethical to just post generalizations. Be specific as to points and people.

Now, Megan. I don't have time to waste. I would ask you to go point by point is you want to interact.

Therefore, please cite the healing of the gay couple text. This is new to me.

Shrimp said...

The reason someone could say your reading of Scripture is sad is because some of the examples given are so novel it looks like classic eisogesis. It seems you are looking for proof texts to prove your point. And that is sad whenever it happens.

There is a problem with "novel" interpretations, and that is, the burden of proof is on you.

I will go and look and see if anyone has ever seen Hosea's son and God as an example of same sex marriage. Of hand, I would have to ask you, why not just say that all spiritual readings of Christ as Bridegroom are about same-sex marriage? I think you don't because it would be ridiculous. You would then be foreced to say that we are all destined to eternal homoerotic behavior, no? So why force that reading onto one example.

Lost_in_Chicago said...

Megan,

In regards to respect, can we please respect God's Holy Scripture by capitalizing the "b" in Bible?

To be honest, I sometimes wonder if this isn't part of the problem. In other words, too many intellectuals/theologians are serving themselves, rather than God, by critical/exegetic re-interpretation of Scripture... thereby trivializing it, and, showing how much smarter they are than the 2,000 years of theologians that pre-dated them. Which, in turn, enables us sinful humans to pick-and-chose what parts of the Bible we wish to believe.

Bottom line; personal opinions/interpretations do not matter. We can not pick-and-chose which of God's dictates we will follow without also expecting judgment for doing so. We all have our crosses to bare... we must all be born again in Christ, and, "Go and sin no more".

Lost_in_Chicago (and praying for a bishop that serves God rather than his own personal agenda)

Anonymous said...

Vicar Rohrer,

I must say that your analysis of Scripture, while interesting, is not correct.

Jesus' relationship with the beloved is not "sexual".

There is no healing of the gay couple in Luke (I'm guessing you are talking about the Centurian's servant). There is no reference to a sexual relationship there.

Hosea's piece is actually not about same-sex union but, focusing on Hosea's wife, a reminder of how unfaithful God's wife, the people of Israel have been and yet his merciful nature to reclaim her.

I would suggest reading Gagnon's book "The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Text and Hermenutics." It speaks to all the arguments you are making.

The problem with your reading of Scripture is not simply the texts you are using, but the hermenutical principle. You are coming at the texts with the belief that "I must find every text that speaks or I think speaks to homosexual relationships."

Actually, you need to return to first things, as our Lord Jesus did. You need to return to Genesis 1 and 2. Man/woman sex is what is ordained and blessed by the Creator. There are sinful permutations of that to be sure, that comes after the fall. However, our Lord makes it clear in Matthew 19 (also in Luke and Mark) that this male/female sexual union is the only union wherein sex may be found. If one cannot or will not enter into sexual union with a husband or wife, then one must be celebate.

We must also note that in Scripture, while there are certainly any number of heterosexual sins of the flesh, there is still a place for heterosexual sex. In other words, not all heterosexual sexual desire is disordered and sinful. However, all homosexual sexual desire is disordered and all acting on that desire in thought, word, or deed is sinful.

Friend, we also find that acting on this behavior can keep one from inheriting the Kingdom of God (1 Cor.6, 1 and 2 Peter, just to mention a few). We need to be clear that inviting people to act on homosexual proclivities or urges is inviting damnation. I would not invite others to act on incest, stealing, etc. because the same sentence applies. The church is here to save souls, not get them ready for hell.

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler

Dan said...

Meagan, I wasn't trying to be disrespectful to you personally. I
apologize that my words came across as insulting.

I just don't see the Scriptures you referenced as supporting your claims. Our views of Scripture and its' authority and interpretation are so vastly different, I don't think they can be comprehended within one denomination. I think the best thing that could be done, and perhaps the most humane thing that could be done, would be an amicable divorce. It is clear to me that the leadership of the ELCA supports your views and goals. I know that most people who post on this blog are working hard to reform the ELCA and to stem the tide of false teaching. This is courageous, but it is not my fight.

I would rather go to another association where I can concentrate on ministry without fighting the denominational matrix. Pastoral ministry is exceedingly difficult even under the best of conditions; when one is constantly at odds with denominational and synod leadership and at the same time trying to do pastoral work, the burden of disappointemnmt makes the heart grow sick. And that grievously damages pastoral work.

Shrimp said...

I'd like Megan and Robert Goldstein and any others out there to address the dynamic that Dan's post brings up, that is, the ELCA is losing at least one congregations a month OFFICIALLY to LCMC, and many, many more pastors are very alienated because they interpret churchwide and synods inability or refusal to enforce quidelines as tacit support.

What is your answer for the alienation of whicc Dan's post is emblematic?

Good Soil said...

There were a lot of responses; I'll try to respond to as many as I can. Let me know if I have forgotten some. First I think it should be said that I am glad that despite our diverse theologies, I am glad that we are united in the body of Christ and that we are all able to lift up the words of the Good News (even when we use different words to do it).

Having said that I would also like to point out that I am not trying to proof text. I am willing to talk about the entire bible with you. Not all during holy week, as I have many church responsibilities. But I have the time to be in conversation because it’s important. I believe that the Good News is Good News for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. The whole book! Many other gay and straight people feel the same. I would also say that since the history of the churches support for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people is older (see below) then your new understanding that homosexuality is sinful – actually the burden of proof should be on you. The idea that heterosexuality was the only acceptable worldview was taught to the world by Christian missionaries in the last 1,000 years.

There are no texts that will say “be a homosexual and do not be celibate” because the word homosexual is a new word (created before the word heterosexual and both homosexuality and heterosexuality were considered medical dysfunctions). As I have said before the admonitions in the bible appear in the bible in the King James version as a political assault on King James I.

Additionally, I think that even if all 7 of the texts that have been said to be against homosexuality say that homosexuality is abominable that our Lutheran faith, confessions and history still would call us to affirm and welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. This includes ordination and marriages. Same-sex blessings have always been allowed because any Christian can offer blessings (for anything) without the churches approval.

It is true as you have said that our personal opinions do not matter. That is as much true for me as it is for you. Fortunately Christ bore the cross for me. And while it is easy to say “go and sin no more” it is impossible to do. For it is grace, though faith that has saved me not my own works. It is not enough to only be concerned with my own salvation, but we must also attend to our neighbor who is Christ incarnate.

I have actually already read Gagnon's book "The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Text and Hermenutics." There are many books I could suggest that you read. But, I don’t really think the big 7 texts are really what will help us come together on this issue. I imagine that it is issues like whether or not homosexuality is sinful, the legitimacy of celibacy, ordination and marriage that are actually the important issues. And on those matters I would invite you to read Martin Luther. He has some pretty insightful things to say.

The Beloved Disciple: I understand that it may be hard for you to believe that the beloved disciple relationship is sexual. Factually there is no way to prove it either way. If not sexual, it was definitely physical and deeply intimate. Think of the last supper scene in John where the beloved disciple is laying on Jesus’ chest and Jesus shares information with him that he won’t share with the rest of the disciples. Since individuals ate while reclined during that time it would at the very least say that Jesus’ action was of a “man lying with a man.” Which is the literal translation of the act that thought to be what people who are given up by God and left to their own devices do (according to Paul anyway - Romans). Before going to this last supper Jesus told the disciples to find the male water carrier – which is the ancient equivalent of an outcast man who does woman’s work.

Gospel of Luke (7:1): Jesus heals the slave that the centurion “highly regarded.” Again can we prove that it was for sure his lover? No. But there is a whole lot of literature about the culture and what it often meant to talk about the most favored slave… and it was almost always sexual. In greek society it was not the sex of the partner that was important, it was their social status. Social status was as following:
Free man
Free woman
Slave man
Slave woman

It was socially acceptable to have sexual relationships with anyone below you on the list. But not to be the sexual aggressor or top of anyone above you on the list.


Hosea: It would be easy to say that God's relationship is with ALL the people of Israel, however the text says it is the SONS of Israel. (See the discussion below on marriage as it applies) – You can read my further exposition on this and other texts at: http://www.ecpsems.org/resources/

Genesis 1&2: I would point out that the text says that people were created Male AND Female not Male OR Female. Paul further upholds this view by saying that in Christ Jesus we are no longer Jew OR Greek, Slave OR Free, Male AND Female. Our sexual bodies are not an either or. Many children are born with ambiguous body parts, genitals are as diverse as our feet (which may be why the OT often substitutes the word feet for genitals), there are more than 44 different gene patterns (XX, XY, XXY, etc.), there are many hormone variations. Both in the animal kingdom and in humans we are a very diverse bunch. See Dr. Beeman’s article (http://www.buddybuddy.com/beeman-1.html). I’m sure we all know men who are good at cooking and women who are strong and good at building things. God’s creative ability is bigger than our abilities to comprehend it.

Marriage in the bible is not a simple matter. It is only within the last 1,000 years that people began to believe that marriage was about love and procreation. Before that marriage was about economics, social status, peace and civil contracts. King David had more than 700 wives. Why not see the bridegroom language as queer? Why must God be heterosexual or believe that heterosexuality is the best? Why is it ridiculous – is it merely because you are not that way? The tradition for reading the bible in a homoerotic way is much longer. There is a long list of saints that became saints because of their miraculous sex changes, because they had same sex relationships before death and male saints who were celibate for the soul purpose of being married to Christ.

I am not saying that everyone must be homosexual. Though many, many, many psychologists have produced studies that say that all people have homoerotic potential. The Gospel of Mark in particular shows that God can even use the words of a demon to announce the glory of God. If homosexuals are vile sinners (as you may believe), surely God could still use us to share God’s message in the world. I personally am grateful, that if I am wrong and my sexuality is an offense to God, that I have a God with enough grace to forgive even that.

Matters of the flesh keeping homosexuals from the kingdom of God:
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come… (Romans 3:8) In response to your mentioning of 1 Corinthians chapter 6, I would suggest that you also read the next chapter in which Paul articulates that all (no matter their state of sinfulness) should remain in the state with which they are called (See: http://www.ecpsems.org/resources/wordalone.pdf) in response to this text Luther writes:

But what if the Gospel calls me in a state of sin, should I remain in that? Answer: If you have entered into faith and love, that is, if you are in the call of the Gospel, then sin as much as you please. But how can you sin if you have faith and love? Since God is satisfied with your faith and your neighbor with your love, it is impossible that you should be called and still remain in a state of sin. If, however, you remain in that state, then either you were not called as yet, or you did not comprehend the call. For this call brings you from the state of sin to a state of virtue, making you unable to sin as long as you are in that state. All things are free to you with God through faith; but with men you are the servant of everyman through love.

From this you will see that monasticizing and making of spiritual regulations is all wrong in our time. For these people bind themselves before God to outward things from which God has made them free, thus working against the freedom of faith and God’s order.

Luther, M. (1999, c1973). Vol. 28: Luther's works, vol. 28 : 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (1 Co 7:25). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

Good Soil said...

Again, I am only speaking for myself, not officially for the Good Soil group.

On the point of alientation, I would say that the alienation is happening on both sides. Just as many churches are leaving to go to the UCC or MCC who are supportive of gay and lesbian individuals.

Both sides seem to see the church as being non-responsive to their needs. I wish that the Word Alone community and the Good Soil community would have sent a joint response to the churches sexuality study voice our displeasure that the question of the sinfulness of homosexuality was not addressed and that it did not give a wishy washy answer to the issues.

Again, I think that our sides are closer to each other then we are to the ELCA in that we both want confessional reform. We both want the policy enforced if it is going to remain in the churches polity (though we would like to see it removed). I think the churches don't ask don't tell policy is silly and unsafe both for congregations who don't know they have a gay pastor and may not want one and for gay pastors who can be blackmailed into disicpline at anytime for any reason. Our current system is dysfunctional and is not helping either side.

I think it is unreasonable to have a policy is based on a bishops willingness to enforce it because it means that each time the bishop changes, the policy changes and that is not fair for churches or pastors.

Is your community going to participate in the sexuality study even though the results of the homosexuality study did not reflect your imput in the process?

I think there is still time to send letters of disatisfaction to the church in a powerfully meaningful way. Would your movement be willing to have a joint statement with goodsoil? I would be willing to ask my community if you thought it would be something you all would sign on to?

Vicar Megan

Good Soil said...

P.S. Sorry about the obtuse length of my posts. But I value your conversation and wanted to give you responses to your questions.

Vicar Megan

Lost_in_Chicago said...

Megan,

Amen! The Good News is indeed for us all.

Sadly, we apparently won’t agree that the Bible plainly states that homosexuality is immoral So then, to your point regarding Christian missionaries teaching of the ills of homosexuality around 1000 AD, I counter that Augustine of Hippo clearly taught of the ills of homosexuality in 400 AD. I’ll also add that eminent historian, Sir Richard Southern, has found that pre-Augustine people also felt that homosexuality was symptomatic of mankind’s general sinfulness. Therefore, the burden of proof falls back on you.

In regards to our opinions being inapplicable, I meant that none of our opinions/desires matter when contrary to Scripture, including my own. Aren’t we called to “transform” our lives and live to serve? Shouldn’t we therefore be convicted of our sins, like the Samaritan women at the well, then, feel the grace and forgiveness of our Lord? Then, go and sin no more? Also, doesn’t Jude clearly teach that we should not change the grace of our God into a license for immorality? Instead shouldn’t we snatch others from the fire?

Regarding the beloved disciple, isn’t this argument rather Da Vinci Code’ish? Shouldn’t we be correcting the pagans regarding this rather than debating the merits of some plagiarized book?

In closing, regarding Brother Luther, doesn’t he teach that if the Pope acts contrary to Scripture, that we are bound to stand by the Scripture, to punish and constrain him? So… I say to you that Scripture has always said the same thing, this is an abomination. You are therefore contrary to Scripture, and I, as a lowly lay person, will do everything in my power, in a Christian way, to constrain this teaching.

We’re all sinners, we’re not all trying to change the definitions of our sins,
Lost_in_Chicago

BTW, isn’t it clear that you’re on a slippery slope when you see the likes of http://www.herchurch.org/? Today – reinterpretation of Scripture, tomorrow – heresy.

Good Soil said...

I could prove thinkers in each age have believed that homosexuality was acceptable, but I imagine that we would all agree that it is God's opinion not the minds of humans that we are really truly concerned about.

I have never read the Da Vinci code, so I am not sure what that reference means. I'm not sure how I understand how my literal interpretation of the gospel of John is pagan, but I am willing to listen. Does it not say that the beloved lay on Jesus’ chest?

Yes I am indeed convicted by my sins and believe wholeheartedly in the order of confession and forgiveness. Honestly, it is my favorite part of services (along with the sharing of the Word and communion). But, I wonder if we are called to “transform” our lives and live to serve (which I believe we are indeed to do - even more so in this Lenten season encourages metanoia) then what would it take for you to be transformed? If you lived in an imaginary world where the scriptures approved of homosexuality, what would they say to let you know that? What about the confessions of our church and the discernment process? What if anything could transform you?

In fairness I will answer the question myself first? It would need to be shown to me that my enacting of my call as a non-celibate lesbian is in detriment to the gospel. Also, it would need to be shown to me that what I believe to be love is indeed not love. This could not be done in the abstract by looking at the extreme and the basest gays and lesbians. For, should all heterosexuals be pastors, absolutely not. Priesthood of all believers, yes. But those who are called (by God and by the community of the church universal) should whether they are gay or straight, black or white, woman or man.

To my knowledge the information at herchurch.org comes out of the feminist movement, not the gay rights movement. I have never been to that church, so I could not say if it is following scripture. I know that Rev. Stacy is a wonderful person and a great collegue and that if you had met her you would probably think the same. I'm not sure how anything I have said leads to herchurch.org - nor am I sure that I would be upset if it did. Saying that we are related is kind of like saying that the language that you are using absolutely leads to beating up gay people to get rid of their gay demons and other such abomidable things that happen in the name of some christian's venom for gay and lesbian people. But, I believe that you are about love not hate. And that every bit of slippery slope that is down the same line of thinking is what you would have done in your name.

I absolutely believe that God is calling us to obedience and that God is calling us to justice in the world. God is also calling us to love kindness and walk humbly before God. I don’t think you are a lowly lay person, how can you be if you are the incarnate Christ in the world. I appreciate and respect your willingness to speak the truth to me, just as I am obligated to speak the truth to you. You may now think that that the word of God has always stated that homosexuality was an abomination (as I the opposite), but how can you know for sure if you do not this and everyday seek the will of God in your life. That calls for personal discernment (particularly within the church community).

However it should be pointed out that Luther was never really very consistent about his feelings about the pope. Luther’s feelings toward the pope and the papal priests shift depending upon the type of rhetoric he was using. In his 1520 letter To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate, Luther articulated the link between the priesthood of all believers and anticlericalism: “It is pure invention that pope, bishop, priests and monks are called to spiritual estate while princes, lords, artisans, and farmers are called the temporal estate.” [Luther, Martin, “To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate” A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions, Fortress Press, 1999, 91.] Also in 1520, Luther wrote in The Freedom of a Christian: “I freely vow that I have, to my knowledge, spoken only good and honorable words concerning [the pope] whenever I have thought of [the pope].” [Luther, Martin, “The Freedom of a Christian,” A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions, Fortress Press, 1999, 98.] Luther did not praise the pope because he believes that the pope and the priests are correct, but because he believes that the pope will hear his words understand his true role in the church. Luther writes: “You [the pope] are a servant of servants, and more than all other men you are in a most miserable and dangerous position. Be not deceived by those who pretend that you are lord of the world…” In 1537, Luther wrote in the Smalcald Articles that “the pope is the real Antichrist who has raised himself over and set himself against Christ for the pope by his own power, which amounts to nothing sine it is neither established nor commanded by God.” [Luther, Martin, “The Smalcald Articles,” A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions, Fortress Press, 1999, 127.]

Good Soil said...

To be honest I think that we could be back and forth for days and days because one of the beauties of the scripture is that it is able to speak through many times, with the stories of many people (some more sinful than others) and even when God is violent or nonviolent, male or female (though more rightly probably male AND female), homosexual or heterosexual that the omnipresent message of the text is that God is with us and God saves us. Though our definition of who the “us” is may change. I think you are a part of my “us.” And you will have to tell me if I am a part of your “us.” And as long as Christ is for “us” who can be against “us?”

Shrimp said...

Yes, we could go back and forth, and what good purpose would it serve except to bring some Lutherans up on apologetics? Read my comments in the post below.

Anonymous said...

Dear Megan,

There is no need to continue. I cannot disagree more with your assertions. You obviously cannot accept the teachings of the Church or the Scripture as taught by the church.

Again, I send you to Gagnon's book(s). I could send you to many writings by Luther, Athanasius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, as well as Philo, Josephus, and other Jewish/Christian writers over the last 2,000 years or more. You will find a universal condemnation of homosexual sex because it violates natural moral law, as well as natural law. My sense though is that you would dismiss this.

Therefore I commend you to Almighty God and pray for your repentance. The Lord desires to be Lord over your whole life, including your sexuality.

I confess it is difficult for all of us to kill and supress unnatural, sinful, immoral impulses especially with regards to sex. It is hard work.

Yet this is the vocation our Lord calls us too. The Lord is calling for you Megan, calling you to put to death the lesbian impulses that have taken center stage in your life. Kill them, put them to the cross and follow him.

I commit myself to helping you for my part. I will support you in recovery. Repent and live. Why should you die?

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler

P.S. I mean what I said about supporting your recovery. You can find me in the ELCA Year Book. Call me if you want to talk about newness of life.

Anonymous said...

Respectfully to all parties, this makes me grateful that I am not part of the ELCA. Posts like this are why those in the LCMS and WELS use terms like "E?CA" to define the theology of your church body. We know there are many, many good people in the ELCA, but also many with this perverse and rotten feminist, homosexual nonsense.

As for herchurch.org, goddess worship is heresy. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Pertinent commentary:

http://www.ecpsems.org/resources/

Especially:

The Top of All Tops: YHVH’s Same-Sex Marriage to Gomer’s Third Born Son and Homoeroticism with the Sons of Israel in Hosea 2 By: Vicar Megan Rohrer

Why Martin Luther Decided to Have Sex By: Vicar Megan Rohrer

Queering Lutheran Understandings of Salvation By: Vicar Megan Rohrer

Wow...hermeneutics out the window

The good ship ELCA...

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