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Gingersnap
11-19-2009, 11:16 AM
Lutherans second church to split over gays

By Julia Duin

Conservative members of America's largest Lutheran denomination announced that they are splitting from the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, making it the second mainline Protestant church to undergo a major schism over the issue of homosexuality and related matters of biblical authority.

The U.S. Episcopal Church has experienced a similar split, with whole dioceses attempting to leave, new Anglican churches formed and a series of property fights in the years since the 2003 consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

On Wednesday, an 11-member steering committee of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal), meeting in New Brighton, Minn., said it cannot remain inside the 4.7-million-member ELCA after the denomination agreed at its August churchwide assembly in Minneapolis to ordain partnered gay clergy.

That decision, CORE said in a statement, created "a biblical and theological crisis throughout the ELCA and conflict in local congregations."

"We are not leaving the ELCA. The ELCA has left us," said Ryan Schwarz, a steering committee member from the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean, Va. "A lot of people who are planning to leave are telling us, 'We need you to form a new body that is like a traditional church body.' "

Financing will not be a problem for the yet-to-be-named Lutheran synod, which expects to triple or quadruple its $100,000 annual budget.

"Money has been pouring in since the churchwide assembly," Mr. Schwarz said. "We received more in contributions in the July-to-September quarter than the first six months combined. People are being incredibly generous."

In contrast, the ELCA's board of directors this week cut $7.7 million from its 2010 budget, eliminating 40 positions, though six of them already were vacant. Church officials said the cuts were results of the poor economy and conservative congregations that are withholding their funds out of disagreement with the denomination's direction.

Each CORE church would have to take steps individually to leave the ELCA and join the new synod. CORE has about 86 member churches and claims more than 300 other churches and groups as affiliates.

Gee, it's like the 1860s all over again!

Washington Times (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/19/conservative-lutherans-to-leave-synod/?feat=home_headlines)

PoliCon
11-19-2009, 11:49 AM
Churches that hold up a standard of holiness - GROW. Churches that let people do what ever they want decline.

FlaGator
11-19-2009, 01:33 PM
Churches that hold up a standard of holiness - GROW. Churches that let people do what ever they want decline.

But you can't convince the Church liberals of that. The National Episcopal Church has been watching their membership and average Sunday attendance drop steadily since 2003 since they ordained and actively homosexual bishop and they blame the decline on everything except the liberal doctrine. The more they distance themselves from the true teachings of Christ the more the faithful look else where to worship.

noonwitch
11-19-2009, 02:28 PM
But you can't convince the Church liberals of that. The National Episcopal Church has been watching their membership and average Sunday attendance drop steadily since 2003 since they ordained and actively homosexual bishop and they blame the decline on everything except the liberal doctrine. The more they distance themselves from the true teachings of Christ the more the faithful look else where to worship.


It is a matter of principal for liberal christians to accept gays-one that we hold strongly regardless of attendance levels and financial issues.

I can't name a single instance where Jesus himself condemns gays. Paul and the OT writers, yes, but Jesus himself was silent on the matter. Liberals believe that the Sermon on the Mountain always trumps Leviticus.

Rebel Yell
11-19-2009, 02:31 PM
It is a matter of principal for liberal christians to accept gays-one that we hold strongly regardless of attendance levels and financial issues.

I can't name a single instance where Jesus himself condemns gays. Paul and the OT writers, yes, but Jesus himself was silent on the matter. Liberals believe that the Sermon on the Mountain always trumps Leviticus.

No one is saying lock them out of church. i don't think anyone should be kept out of church. Just don't let them lead the congregation.

On Edit: How do you feel about the separation of church and state? The Constitution is silent on it, but Jeffersons letters show support for that separation.

noonwitch
11-19-2009, 02:34 PM
No one is saying lock them out of church. i don't think anyone should be kept out of church. Just don't let them lead the congregation.



My church has 5 pastors, and one is gay. We're Unity, so we really don't care about that stuff. My church is one of the largest in the denomination. It's more of an issue in the UMC, PBUSA and the Episcopalian churches than in ours. The UCC decided the issue in the 80s, and lots of people left over it.

Rebel Yell
11-19-2009, 02:36 PM
My church has 5 pastors, and one is gay. We're Unity, so we really don't care about that stuff. My church is one of the largest in the denomination. It's more of an issue in the UMC, PBUSA and the Episcopalian churches than in ours. The UCC decided the issue in the 80s, and lots of people left over it.

I guess to each his own, but that wouldn't fly down here.

FlaGator
11-19-2009, 03:01 PM
It is a matter of principal for liberal christians to accept gays-one that we hold strongly regardless of attendance levels and financial issues.

I can't name a single instance where Jesus himself condemns gays. Paul and the OT writers, yes, but Jesus himself was silent on the matter. Liberals believe that the Sermon on the Mountain always trumps Leviticus.

Jesus condemns sexual immorality, homosexuality falls under the old testment laws of sexual immorality. Ok Jesus didn't specifically condemn bestiality so is that item acceptable as well? In Leviticus it sits right next to the law forbiding homosexuality.

Unwittingly you many have just identifed the problem with liberal interpretation of scripture. You have to take the old and the new Testaments together. If you are allowed to pick and chose which pieces of doctrine you agree with and which you don't then you have constructed an idol and are guilty of idolatry. Unless Christ specifically trumped something in the old testament like He did with the dietry laws then you have to assume that he left them intact for a reason and that reason is that they remain true.

Liberal churches are losing attendance (in my opinion) because the Spirit is sending the faithful else where to be clear of the heresy that is now being taught. Liberal churches tend to teach only those things in the Scripture that they agree with and discard or ignore the rest. The truth is found in the whole of the Bible not the bits and pieces we like. There as some things that I don't necessarily agree with but I accept as truth because I know that I have to accept the word in its totality.

As someone else said, we are not closing the doors of the church to homosexuals, they are just being asked to repent of their sins just like all believers are asked. All believers have to give up their sinful nature for Christ. We can't just relabel the sin and expect to be accepted. What did Christ tell the adultress when she was brought to Him. "They do not condemn you? Then neither do I. Go and sin no more."

As for Paul, having received the gospel directly from Christ, speaks as Christ's representative just as the rest of the Apostles do. Do you think that Jesus would use a faulty representative to spread His gospel.

megimoo
11-19-2009, 03:31 PM
It is a matter of principal for liberal christians to accept gays-one that we hold strongly regardless of attendance levels and financial issues.

I can't name a single instance where Jesus himself condemns gays. Paul and the OT writers, yes, but Jesus himself was silent on the matter. Liberals believe that the Sermon on the Mountain always trumps Leviticus.You are Predictable to a fault !

noonwitch
11-19-2009, 04:10 PM
Jesus condemns sexual immorality, homosexuality falls under the old testment laws of sexual immorality. Ok Jesus didn't specifically condemn bestiality so is that item acceptable as well? In Leviticus it sits right next to the law forbiding homosexuality.

Unwittingly you many have just identifed the problem with liberal interpretation of scripture. You have to take the old and the new Testaments together. If you are allowed to pick and chose which pieces of doctrine you agree with and which you don't then you have constructed an idol and are guilty of idolatry. Unless Christ specifically trumped something in the old testament like He did with the dietry laws then you have to assume that he left them intact for a reason and that reason is that they remain true.

Liberal churches are losing attendance (in my opinion) because the Spirit is sending the faithful else where to be clear of the heresy that is now being taught. Liberal churches tend to teach only those things in the Scripture that they agree with and discard or ignore the rest. The truth is found in the whole of the Bible not the bits and pieces we like. There as some things that I don't necessarily agree with but I accept as truth because I know that I have to accept the word in its totality.

As someone else said, we are not closing the doors of the church to homosexuals, they are just being asked to repent of their sins just like all believers are asked. All believers have to give up their sinful nature for Christ. We can't just relabel the sin and expect to be accepted. What did Christ tell the adultress when she was brought to Him. "They do not condemn you? Then neither do I. Go and sin no more."

As for Paul, having received the gospel directly from Christ, speaks as Christ's representative just as the rest of the Apostles do. Do you think that Jesus would use a faulty representative to spread His gospel.



You are so nice and charitable in assuming that I unwittingly identified the problem, when I very consciously do so. I don't consider gays to be sinners. I don't believe the Bible is the unquestionable, infallible word of God. I think it's inspired by God, but written by men. It's why liberals ordain not just gays, but also women. The largest christian denomination in the world won't ordain women and neither will most conservative denominations, because they quote Paul's teaching about women being silent in church and not having authority over men-that's their perogative in a democracy, and it's mine to choose a church where my gender is never an issue when it comes to my fitness to serve God in any capacity I am called to serve in.


I think a big part of why liberals go over to conservative churches has to do with the dynamics of worship and a desire to break away from the whole pastors in robes and the rituals that are part of the mainline denominations' services. They also want to read the Bible with groups of others, and the liberal churches really don't offer Bible study in the same way the conservative churches do-something I respect about conservative churches. One of the fastest-growing churches in Michigan in the past decade is a liberal church (Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville-although they would call themselves "Emergent", not liberal) that about 10,000 people attend every week-many of whom left the reformed tradition because they found it boring.

My church has never lost members over the issue of gays-we lost members when Marianne W. left as our pastor, mostly people who had more personal loyalty to her than to the church. Our commitment to minstering to gays is the same as it was before she came and after she left. Nobody who has religious issues about gay clergy is going to be attending a Unity church, anyways, unless it's for a wedding or a funeral.

Gingersnap
11-19-2009, 04:24 PM
The largest christian denomination in the world won't ordain women and neither will most conservative denominations, because they quote Paul's teaching about women being silent in church and not having authority over men-....

Just to be clear - that's not actually even close to the reason why the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches exclude women from the priesthood. ;)

Okay, back to the gay thing.

Rebel Yell
11-19-2009, 04:27 PM
the liberal churches really don't offer Bible study in the same way the conservative churches do

I wonder why?:confused:;)

noonwitch
11-19-2009, 04:27 PM
Just to be clear - that's not actually even close to the reason why the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches exclude women from the priesthood. ;)

Okay, back to the gay thing.


Well, but now I'm curious as to why the RC and Orthodox churches don't ordain women, if that's not why.

FlaGator
11-19-2009, 04:32 PM
You are so nice and charitable in assuming that I unwittingly identified the problem, when I very consciously do so. I don't consider gays to be sinners. I don't believe the Bible is the unquestionable, infallible word of God. I think it's inspired by God, but written by men. It's why liberals ordain not just gays, but also women. The largest christian denomination in the world won't ordain women and neither will most conservative denominations, because they quote Paul's teaching about women being silent in church and not having authority over men-that's their perogative in a democracy, and it's mine to choose a church where my gender is never an issue when it comes to my fitness to serve God in any capacity I am called to serve in.


I think a big part of why liberals go over to conservative churches has to do with the dynamics of worship and a desire to break away from the whole pastors in robes and the rituals that are part of the mainline denominations' services. They also want to read the Bible with groups of others, and the liberal churches really don't offer Bible study in the same way the conservative churches do-something I respect about conservative churches. One of the fastest-growing churches in Michigan in the past decade is a liberal church (Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville-although they would call themselves "Emergent", not liberal) that about 10,000 people attend every week-many of whom left the reformed tradition because they found it boring.

My church has never lost members over the issue of gays-we lost members when Marianne W. left as our pastor, mostly people who had more personal loyalty to her than to the church. Our commitment to minstering to gays is the same as it was before she came and after she left. Nobody who has religious issues about gay clergy is going to be attending a Unity church, anyways, unless it's for a wedding or a funeral.

If you don't believe the Bible to be infallible then how do you know which parts to believe and which not to believe? How do you separate what is true from what is false?

Also Mars Hill in Granville, I believe that is Rob Bells church has become very liberal as much of the emergent movement has. I was very much enthralled with the emergent church until I became aware of the relativistic leanings. I'm now more of a fan of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle where Mark Driscoll preaches, http://www.marshillchurch.org/ if anyone is interested. Driscoll has a tight understanding of the gospel.

Rebel Yell
11-19-2009, 04:34 PM
If you don't believe the Bible to be infallible then how do you know which parts to believe and which not to believe? How do you separate what is true from what is false?

Believe the parts you like, and skip the parts you don't. Duuuuh

Gingersnap
11-19-2009, 04:38 PM
Well, but now I'm curious as to why the RC and Orthodox churches don't ordain women, if that's not why.

Because the sacrifice of the mass requires the priest to become in persona Christi. This is a gendered concept and it's critical to related concepts like transubstantiation. ;)

PoliCon
11-19-2009, 04:50 PM
Because the sacrifice of the mass requires the priest to become in persona Christi. This is a gendered concept and it's critical to related concepts like transubstantiation. ;)

there's that and then there's the OT example and the fact that women spend most of the month ritually unclean so . . . . :p deal with it.

FlaGator
11-19-2009, 04:56 PM
Believe the parts you like, and skip the parts you don't. Duuuuh

I asked her because Jesus seems to have believed in the infallibility of Scripture. He quoted the Old Testament often and quoted Isaiah in reference to himself. If you discard some of the Bible then you must discard it all because you can no longer be sure of what is and isn't truth. Why would you want to base your beliefs on something that you can't trust? Since Jesus quoted Scripture and you don't trust Scripture then how can you trust Jesus? Also, I happen to believe that God is powerful enough to make sure that the book that contains His words is accurate and does not say anything that He didn't intend. If God is incapable of doing that then He is not really God and we all should be worshiping someone else or nothing at all.

noonwitch
11-19-2009, 04:59 PM
Believe the parts you like, and skip the parts you don't. Duuuuh


If that was the case, I would totally reject the part of the Sermon on the Mountain that tells me to love my enemies, because it's too hard to do that.


I've read the entire Bible-at least, the protestant version (my familiarity with the apocrypha is limited), several times. My criteria is this: Does this teaching build people up or tear them down? Is it based on love or hate? To quote my favorite non-Unity preacher, "Love Wins".


If you are going to follow every teaching in the Bible-there are a whole lot of them that are not practiced anymore, at least not by christians or jews. We don't stone alleged sinners, we eat non-kosher food ( I know, Peter's dream and all), men are not required to be circumsized, women have rights in societies dominated by christians and jews (although it was not an easy battle to get them), women aren't required to live apart from men when Aunt Flo visits, etc.


I have to go home soon, and I don't want anyone to think I'm offended by any of their comments. I actually love religious discussions, especially with people who disagree with me. It broadens my understanding and perspective. That's why I love conservatives-they are as into the Bible as I am. We might interpret it differently, but the desire to learn more is still the same.

Rebel Yell
11-19-2009, 05:06 PM
, women aren't required to live apart from men when Aunt Flo visits, etc.

That's one part I wish we'd kept.;):D


I have to go home soon, and I don't want anyone to think I'm offended by any of their comments. I actually love religious discussions, especially with people who disagree with me. It broadens my understanding and perspective. That's why I love conservatives-they are as into the Bible as I am. We might interpret it differently, but the desire to learn more is still the same. [/QUOTE]


I don't think you're offended, and I don't mean to offend you. I can come across gruff sometimes, but it's mostly my sense of humor. I love to say things people feel i shouldn't, just to watch their reaction. Sometimes it doesn't translate well online. Despite the fact we disagree on almost all social issues, and that you are a liberal waste of space, I like you. You're civil in your discussions (almost to the point it's sickening sometimes), and I can respect that.

FlaGator
11-19-2009, 05:34 PM
If that was the case, I would totally reject the part of the Sermon on the Mountain that tells me to love my enemies, because it's too hard to do that.


I've read the entire Bible-at least, the protestant version (my familiarity with the apocrypha is limited), several times. My criteria is this: Does this teaching build people up or tear them down? Is it based on love or hate? To quote my favorite non-Unity preacher, "Love Wins".


If you are going to follow every teaching in the Bible-there are a whole lot of them that are not practiced anymore, at least not by christians or jews. We don't stone alleged sinners, we eat non-kosher food ( I know, Peter's dream and all), men are not required to be circumsized, women have rights in societies dominated by christians and jews (although it was not an easy battle to get them), women aren't required to live apart from men when Aunt Flo visits, etc.


I have to go home soon, and I don't want anyone to think I'm offended by any of their comments. I actually love religious discussions, especially with people who disagree with me. It broadens my understanding and perspective. That's why I love conservatives-they are as into the Bible as I am. We might interpret it differently, but the desire to learn more is still the same.

So Rebel was right, you basis what is true and what is false about the Bible on what you feel is right and wrong. You don't like the forgive your enemy but you feel it must be right. You don't believe that homosexuality is a sin because you don't feel it to be a sin. I am assuming here that you also feel that Christ was all about love yet Christ did say

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

Matthew 10:34

There are many practices in the old testament that we don't do now and some we still do but in a different way. Sacrifice is unnecessary because Jesus became the redeeming sacrifice. It is one that can not be repeated. Ritual cleanliness is covered in Baptism. Many of the social laws no longer apply because they were meant to set the Hebrews apart for the other nations but with Christ's death the door to salvation was open to all. Christians are now set apart by our live choices being different than the secular world. The laws that were not revoked from the Old Testament are the moral laws because even as the world changes the morality does not. If it was a sin two men to have sex 3000 years ago then it is a sin now. You said that your test for the truth of scripture was that if it builds someone up then it must be true and I believe that you are right and if all the Bible was about was the building up of man then we wouldn't be having this discussion. The Bible, however, isn't mainly about the building up of man, it is about the restoration of man's relationship to God. When the bible speaks of love it speaks of Gods perfect love for us not or fallen love for each other. Carnal desires do not reflect God's love of us but only our love of what is pleasurable. God wants us to love each other as He loves us.

Here, in a nutshell, is why I believe that homosexuality is a sin. It usurps a homosexuals love of God because it is a forbidden act and they cannot give it up even for God. It is more important to them the have sex with each other than it is to honor God's word.