Wednesday, June 28, 2006


From The Lutheran:

WordAlone is also concerned about “a decline of the proper mission” within the ELCA and reduced numbers of missionaries, “compromise on fundamental Lutheran doctrine in ecumenical agreements,” “avoiding masculine pronouns for God,” and “[ELCA] leaders who say Lutherans can agree to disagree on sexual morality and ethics,” Chavez said, adding: “Both the Old and New Testament prohibit [homosexuality].”

Jane Ralph and 100 other protesters from Goodsoil faced the 2005 Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Fla., in a silent protest after the assembly voted not to allow pastors in same-sex relationships. Ralph left the ELCA clergy roster in 1998, and is now rostered with the Extraordinary Candidacy Project, an independent Lutheran ministry roster formed in 1993 for gays and lesbians.

Selectively literal?

More to the point, said Emily Eastwood, executive director of Lutherans Concerned/North America, a movement with 330 “Reconciling in Christ” congregations (welcoming of lesbians and gays), is that “Jesus says nothing about same-gender relationships but espouses a continuous ethic of love.”

“When we interpret Scripture from the Old Testament and the epistles we use the lens of the gospel and the witness of Jesus to assist our interpretation,” she said. “Our experience with those who claim a literal interpretation of Scripture is that they are selectively literal, picking and choosing which Scriptures will be interpreted literally.”

Eastwood said everyone interprets Scripture through tradition, what they’re taught and life experience. “The question becomes whether God still speaks to us about issues of justice and morality when our experience and engagement of [gay-
lesbian-bisexual-transgendered] believers would stand in contrast to some biblical passages,” she said.

“[LC/NA] isn’t afraid of dissent to the point of ecclesial disobedience. We see policies of exclusion as being inconsistent with the witness of Jesus,” she said. “The purpose of ecclesial disobedience is to shine a light on the injustice of discrimination ... knowing full well that censure or sanction may follow.”

Erik Christensen sees himself as both a dissenter and more than that. He’s a candidate for the Extraordinary Candidacy Project, an independent Lutheran ministry roster formed in 1993 for gays and lesbians that isn’t recognized by the ELCA. Denominational policy requires clergy to remain celibate outside of heterosexual marriage. The project’s roster has 34 clergy, five approved ordination candidates and six seminarians. Some of its clergy were once ELCA pastors before being removed for noncompliance with policy.

“ECP’s candidacy panels are made up of pastors, seminary professors and other leaders,” Christensen said, adding that its standards are as strict as the ELCA candidacy
process—except for the requirement for gays and lesbians to stay unpartnered and celibate. “It’s done as a way to stay in community with the ELCA, not [as] a process for congregations no longer interested in being part of the ELCA,” he said.

Selectively literal? My sweet tailfin! What the gay agenda idealogues have done, which is not that different from all revisionists and appears to be running rampant through the ranks of clergy, is make one way of reading law and gospel a selective hermeneutic so that they can find gospel in the doing of whatever it is that they think would be a good thing to do. They are turning gospel into law.

I have come to believe that what these folks are doing is a greater theological problem than Luther's concerns about salvation through faith and works.

Read it all here.

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