John 3:21

John 3:21
"It is the nature of all hypocrites and false prophets to create a conscience where there is none, and to cause conscience to disappear where it does exist." Martin Luther

Monday, January 4, 2010

From The Sheep Dogs Spot Blog

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What's going on...

I had imposed a gag order of sorts on myself to not delve into the crisis in the ELCA until after the Christmas season. However, recent events make that self-imposed guideline not in the best interest of the church.

A published report in the Washington Times (Dec. 19) reports how pastors and congregations critical of the ELCA are being threatened and intimidated by bishops, synod staff, and their synod councils. This has included at least one pastor, at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Illinois, being threatened with the loss of his pension. The bishop of that synod will not comment on that. Yesterday (Dec. 25) the Word Alone Network published a report also saying that bishops and synod councils were not following the constitution and putting coercive pressure on pastors and congregations voting to dissolve their relationship with the ELCA.

I myself was put on notice by a member of our synod council's Executive Committee that she was going to make a motion a that I not be allowed to participate as a synod council member because of my protest against the ELCA. Also, another member of our synod council showed up at a class I was teaching in my parish to publicly say that she is married to a gay man who is living with another man, and who has had other homosexual lovers, and that this all biblically and theologically justified, in her opinion, because God gave him a need for "male sexual energy." No one has taken any action to exclude her from the synod council.

Such politics of intimidation and terrorism from Christian people is reprehensible.

The last I heard, more than 130 congregations have already taken a first vote to leave the ELCA, and nearly 100 of them have received the necessary 2/3 majority. You can be certain more will follow. I know of several parishes in our synod that are redirecting their benevolence away for the synod and the ELCA. Undoubtedly, for many of them this is a first step toward leaving the ELCA. The ELCA has already cut its budget 10% and terminated more than 40 employees. It is said financial receipts at ELCA headquarters are down 20-40%. What the exact figure is, the ELCA isn't saying. Our synod was looking a deficit for 2009 nearing $200,000 before some of its largest parishes voted to redirect their benevolence. It will be interesting to hear -- if I'm actually allowed to be at the next synod council meeting -- what that deficit is today.

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