I’m sure Martin Luther would be thrilled…

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I'm sure Martin Luther would be thrilled...

…with the deci­sion to allow gay clergy to no longer be celi­bate in the Lutheran Church.

The nation’s largest Lutheran denom­i­na­tion took openly gay clergy more fully into its fold Fri­day, as lead­ers of the Evan­gel­i­cal Lutheran Church in Amer­ica voted to lift a ban that pro­hib­ited sex­u­ally active gay and les­bian peo­ple from serv­ing as ministers.

Under the new pol­icy, indi­vid­ual ELCA con­gre­ga­tions will be allowed to hire homo­sex­u­als as clergy as long as they are in a com­mit­ted rela­tion­ships. Until now, gays and les­bians had to remain celi­bate to serve as clergy.

Hey this was just what he was envi­sion­ing when he broke away from us Roman Catholics all those cen­turies ago start­ing the ref­or­ma­tion and all that.

So now the Luther­ans have endorsed spe­cific bib­li­cal sin among clergy I say good luck to you guys.

Mean­while if you are a Lutheran who actu­ally takes Chris­tian­ity seri­ously that old Roman Catholic Church that Mar­tin decided wasn’t good enough before is still there.

We’d be pleased to wel­come you in.

Oh and the Amer­i­can Papist notes another one of those coin­ci­dences that my friend Brian insists means noth­ing:

To be clear, it was not a “pos­si­ble tor­nado,” it was an actual tor­nado. Local blog­ger Orate Fratres has pic­tures of the top­pled steeple , and describes the event as one of those “things that make you go hmmm…”.

I mean, I don’t remem­ber the Coun­cil of Trent being plagued by local mete­o­ro­log­i­cal disasters.

Yup just another coincidence.

Lutheran blog Not alone is not happy

When peo­ple say that they will agree to dis­agree, what they are say­ing is that they do not count these mat­ters as impor­tant enough to press to the point that the other per­son is left with only two pos­si­ble responses: either to aban­don the belief that has been erro­neously held and to come into agree­ment with the truth; or to reject what the other per­son believes and to reject the per­son who presses it as absolute truth.

This kind of con­vic­tion regard­ing what is believed is com­pletely aban­doned when peo­ple agree to dis­agree. Such an agree­ment is an agree­ment that the areas of dis­agree­ment really do not mat­ter beyond being the expres­sion of one’s per­sonal opin­ion. There­fore the two par­ties can con­tinue to be friends in the agree­ment that these mat­ters are not of any real impor­tance. They have agreed that there is noth­ing so impor­tant as to argue to the point of absolute agree­ment, and so they absolutely agree that noth­ing is to be absolutely rejected.

I, for one, do not agree.

I’ve looked at 20 or more dif­fer­ent Lutheran blogs and this is the only one that seems to have even noticed the con­fer­ence let alone the ruling.

I’ll check some more after supper.

UPDATE this post is now huge so I’ll add the More but­ton here.
Update: A lot of those links aren’t work­ing I’m going through them alphabetically:

Balaam’s Ass is not happy:

Unless God inter­venes by His grace, these pro­pos­als will be passed. The ELCA will then join the Epis­co­pal Church in its fur­ther apostasy.

But who is sur­prised? It’s like Jenga: you can remove one or two or even a few blocks, but even­tu­ally the weight can­not be sus­tained. The only thing that remains unre­solved is, what will pas­tors and mem­bers of ELCA con­gre­ga­tions who oppose the rec­om­men­da­tions now do?

I’d say he would make a bet­ter Catholic than a lot of Catholics I know.

Cyber­stones has an inter­est­ing per­spec­tive:

But I write it now because I see such fear in the ELCA. The reports I’ve read of their regret­table deci­sion to move fur­ther from what God has estab­lished and given us in sex­u­al­ity are filled with admo­ni­tions from the bish­ops and lead­ers that their church is shrink­ing and they are dying. This regret­table and shame­ful deci­sion sounds to me like an act of des­per­a­tion. If they don’t go along with the devil, they’ll be no church at all. I wish I could have been there to com­fort them with the angels word that they need not fear, that the Lord will pro­vide, that the Church has not always grown or pros­pered in an out­ward way in every age.

His bot­tom line is much like the old hymn: Though the moun­tains may fall and the hills turn to dust still the love of the Lord will stand…

The Rev­erend Charles Lehmann edu­cates us on the dif­fer­ent branches of Luther­ans.

All too often, when the ELCA takes sig­nif­i­cant actions like this, head­lines across the coun­try read some­thing along the lines of, “Luther­ans approve same-​sex unions.” It is impor­tant for peo­ple to know that the ELCA does not rep­re­sent all Luther­ans in Amer­ica. Though the ELCA is the largest Lutheran church body in the United States, they are also the most lib­eral theologically.

Many Lutheran church bod­ies such as the Mis­souri Synod (LCMS), the Wis­con­sin Synod (WELS), and the Evan­gel­i­cal Lutheran Synod (ELS) still hold to the bib­li­cal teach­ing regard­ing homo­sex­ual rela­tion­ships. We, along with the Holy Scrip­tures (Lev. 18, Rom. 1, 1 Cor. 6, and oth­ers), teach that the prac­tice of homo­sex­u­al­ity is sin. We also teach that mar­riage between mem­bers of the same sex is not legit­i­mate marriage.

I must con­fess I didn’t know this. I guess there is still an alter­na­tive if you don’t want to come back to Rome. We’d still take you of course.

Old Solar isn’t happy but doesn’t sound all that upset:

The debate itself was bet­ter than I expected it to be, on both sides. The lib­eral side did not con­vince me, but there was a near absence of cer­tain kinds of argu­ments I would have expected. That much was nice. I would have lit­tle prob­lem going to church with any of the peo­ple who spoke on either side.

Liv­ing with the res­o­lu­tion will be more of a chal­lenge. I did not join my con­gre­ga­tion because it was a mem­ber of the ELCA. I joined it because it was nearby and sur­pris­ingly solid. Ques­tions of affil­i­a­tion will no doubt come up. I am not clear whether this res­o­lu­tion has any teeth that could be used against my con­gre­ga­tion, or whether it merely allows other con­gre­ga­tion to pur­sue their own courses. If the lat­ter, we prob­a­bly have some time to ponder.

Sounds like the Church of Laode­cia to me.

Father Hol­ly­wood hasn’t com­mented yet but look­ing at his blog it will be inter­est­ing to see what he even­tu­ally says con­sid­er­ing this state­ment on con­gre­ga­tion shop­ping:

This is another rea­son for you to set­tle in to a con­gre­ga­tion. How can you “obey your lead­ers, and sub­mit to them” if you are bounc­ing hither and yon? It would be like a cor­po­ral jump­ing from army to army every time he receives an order he doesn’t feel like obey­ing, or encoun­ters an offi­cer he doesn’t want to sub­mit to. You are cur­rently unable to do what our Lord bids you to do in Heb 13:17.

It would seem to me that if a par­tic­u­lar church is teach­ing sin then this state­ment not with­stand­ing you might want to shop for another church.

So far I’m see­ing a lot of faith­ful Chris­tians in terms of what I’m read­ing that’s always a pleasure.

Hel­mets Required II has this to say:

There is no mid­dle ground on this issue. Sadly, this action demon­strates that the ELCA is out­side the one, holy, catholic and apos­tolic church to the extent that it has embraced this false teaching.

What should we Luther­ans do who do not share this view?

Pray for the ELCA that it may faith­fully return to God’s Word.

Be clear about what we believe as Lutheran Chris­tians who do not share the ELCA’s opin­ions on this issue. To do this, it is good famil­iar­ize your­selves with the basic truths of God’s Word regard­ing homo­sex­u­al­ity. The pam­phlet “What About Homo­sex­u­al­ity” offers an excel­lent overview. These will be avail­able in the narthex within the next week.

Pretty Good. Iron­i­cally that would be the same sug­gested action for any Catholic con­cern­ing the Lutheran Church in general.

Incar­na­tus est iron­i­cally refers to of all things the Catholic Blog first thoughts for com­men­tary:

Last year the ELCA reported a loss 76,000 mem­bers and 52 con­gre­ga­tions. Ear­lier this year church offi­cials elim­i­nated thirty-​five staff posi­tions at the denomination’s Chicago head­quar­ters, and were forced to cut $2.4 mil­lion from the bud­get. Informed observers — uh, that would be me — fore­see a pos­si­ble loss of 300 to 500 con­gre­ga­tions over the next three to five years as a result of the con­ven­tion action.

He sus­pects the same effect as I do although with a lot less snark.

Ich­a­bod doesn’t seem happy, but basi­cally quotes news stories.

So far through the Let­ter “I” of the list I have, no sign of a blog­ger happy about this.

Pas­tor Kozak: Doesn’t believe in coin­ci­dence either:

How­ever, just as the con­ven­tion was prepar­ing to vote, and just as one of their large churches was prepar­ing to host a ser­vice in sup­port of this apos­tasy, a tor­nado hit. Yes, a tor­nado hit. The church in ques­tion was dam­aged, and the ELCA con­ven­tion cen­ter was hit. Nobody was injured, but it does look to me like God, who had been denied a vote, cast one anyway.

Luther­ans and Pro­cre­ation has no com­ment yet but notes the action. They do have a related com­ment on the sub­ject in a recent post:

Per­haps the best way to under­stand this new move­ment is to under­stand it as a nat­ural con­se­quence of sub­vert­ing mar­riage. We have largely nor­mal­ized adul­tery, seri­al­ized mar­riage, sep­a­rated mar­riage from repro­duc­tion and child­bear­ing, and accepted divorce as a mech­a­nism for lib­er­a­tion. Once this hap­pens, bound­ary after bound­ary falls as sex­ual reg­u­la­tion vir­tu­ally dis­ap­pears among those defined as “con­sent­ing adults.”

I guess Steve Chap­man didn’t ask him.

Laugh­ing Mar­tin isn’t laugh­ing:

Does all of this sound all too sadly famil­iar? If so, why? When will we have had enough? And why did con­gre­ga­tions and pas­tors who con­sider them­selves to be Lutheran ever buy into this chi­canery in the first place?

Oddly enough, a for­mer U.S. pres­i­dent, Her­bert Hoover, may give us a clue. He once wrote, “Every col­lec­tivist rev­o­lu­tion rides in on a Tro­jan horse of ‘emer­gency’. It was the tac­tic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mus­solini.… And ‘emer­gency’ became the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of the sub­se­quent steps. This tech­nique of cre­at­ing emer­gency is the great­est achieve­ment that dem­a­goguery attains.”

He’s right of course but con­sid­er­ing the econ­omy Hoover quotes aren’t going to be pop­u­lar these days.

North­woods Seel­sorger has been fol­low­ing all this weeks actions:

This is hardly sur­pris­ing, given the pre­vi­ous “full com­mu­nion agree­ments” with the Reformed, the UCC, and the Epis­co­palians. But again, it shows their total dis­re­gard for the doc­tri­nal her­itage of the Lutheran church, espe­cially our teach­ing regard­ing the Lord’s Supper.

As a fel­low Chris­t­ian I feel bad for him but all of this reeks of Irony to a Roman Catholic.

Outer Rim Ter­ri­to­ries has two excel­lent Sub­links the first to one to Bioethike who sees a deeper issue:

I would sug­gest that the cen­tral ques­tion fac­ing our broth­ers and sis­ters in the ELCA is this: Hav­ing rejected God’s Word in Scrip­ture, are we now to reject God’s Word in creation?

Col­leagues from my side of the aisle, The Lutheran Church – Mis­souri Synod, as well as other con­ser­v­a­tive com­men­ta­tors, will surely pil­lory the ELCA regard­ing this mat­ter regard­less what the Assem­bly decides (”I can’t believe they did that!” or “They should have never let it get this far!”). But I fear what my col­leagues will not do is get to the root of the prob­lem. In typ­i­cal fash­ion, they will limit them­selves to argu­ing on two fronts: for bib­li­cal author­ity and against homo­sex­u­al­ity. They won’t seek to under­stand that the prob­lem goes much deeper.

We’re not talk­ing sim­ply about the Bible and its do’s or don’ts. We’re talk­ing about God’s Word in nature. Nat­ural Law. The mean­ing and pur­poses of mar­riage. Why God cre­ated male and female in the first place. The proper roles of men and women. All that stuff we used to talk about as Luther­ans, but now we talk about it in so very, very dif­fer­ent ways.

his sec­ond link is to a blog called Four and Twenty Black­birds whose com­men­tary is pretty good as well:

We Luther­ans need to keep in mind what we con­fess about not only the Church but also about the Sacra­ments (espe­cially Holy Com­mu­nion — which is, by def­i­n­i­tion, com­mu­nal) lest we fall into the trap of indi­vid­u­al­ism and reduc­ing the mys­ter­ies of God to intel­lec­tual knowl­edge or Bible trivia.

The eter­nal heav­enly ban­quet, the mar­riage feast of the Lamb is not a self-​centered buf­fet where you take what you want (and believe what you want), at your own con­ve­nience and accord­ing to your indi­vid­ual tastes and wants; nor is it a lonely mouth­ful of once-​frozen indus­trial grog from a microwave oven, served in a PVC “dish,” eaten alone hunched over a com­puter screen. No indeed! It is a glo­ri­ous ban­quet eaten with all the faith­ful in the pres­ence of the One who feeds us! The Lord has armies of ser­vants — both there in eter­nity and here on earth — who serve the Lord’s people.

Pretty good stuff but the “believe what you want” busi­ness does move the RCIM (Roman Catholic Irony Meter)

Past elder post Vat­i­can II for Luther­ans did get a grin out of me:

Once again, the cal­en­dar, lec­tionary and ordo of Vat­i­can II all miss the mark, even of its own intended reform, the prod­uct not of the Chris­t­ian church but one denom­i­na­tion headed by an office bear­ing the marks of Anti-​Christ — regard­less of its cur­rent occu­pancy by a nice and learned Ger­man guy — and now the com­mon prop­erty of all het­ero­dox litur­gi­cal churches in the West, utterly irrel­e­vant to Christ’s Church and there­fore should be utterly irrel­e­vant to Lutherans.

Yeah after all those Roman Catholics have pushed all those denom­i­na­tions in join­ing them in accept­ing birth con­trol, abor­tion, divorce, gay mar­riage, woman priests, aban­don­ing sacraments…Oh wait.

It looks like Pared­wka got out just in time

Satis Est’s post is clas­sic:

Jesus went on with his dis­ci­ples to the vil­lages of Cae­sarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his dis­ci­ples, “Who do peo­ple say that I am?“
And they answered him, “Well, it appears that there isn’t a con­sen­sus yet among the crowds. Herod seems to think that you are John the Bap­tist come back from the dead; so I would stay out of Galilee for the fore­see­able future if I were you. Oth­ers say Eli­jah; but you don’t really look the part, and your diet is too rich for that to be a good descrip­tion. And still oth­ers say one of the prophets. Jere­miah seems to be the prophet that gets men­tioned most often, espe­cially after that rant in the Tem­ple; but we’ve also heard Amos. Thomas heard you com­pared to Micah; Simon even heard some­one think you were Zepha­niah, but I think that is a dark horse. So there really isn’t agree­ment on this as of yet.“
John piped in, “We’ve been con­cerned about this, actu­ally, because your image is becom­ing dif­fuse and con­fus­ing to the crowds. Your pub­lic per­sonna needs sharpening. ”

If you don’t click on any of the other links in this post click on this one. It’s the best of the batch.

Waters­blogged gives some his­tory and con­cludes thusly:

It has been said that the Holy Roman Empire was nei­ther holy nor Roman nor an empire. Well, The Evan­gel­i­cal Lutheran Church in Amer­ica is no longer merely nei­ther evan­gel­i­cal nor Lutheran. Pan­nen­berg is exactly right: it is also no longer the Church.

So what should Chris­tians who remain mem­bers of ELCA con­gre­ga­tions do? Sim­ple: every­thing in their power to get their con­gre­ga­tions out of the ELCA, just as soon as proves fea­si­ble. And the moment it becomes clear that get­ting their con­gre­ga­tions to leave the ELCA is itself not fea­si­ble, it is their absolute duty before God to leave those con­gre­ga­tions. As long as they remain mem­bers of them, their pub­lic wit­ness– whether or not this is their inten­tion– is of sup­port for the abom­i­na­tions which took place in Min­neapo­lis this week.

Resqrev is very blunt:

As of yes­ter­day, this Church body left the ranks of his­toric Chris­tian­ity, is no longer catholic (as their teach­ing now devi­ates from what the Church has always believed, taught and con­fessed) and have ranked them­selves as a sect. The ELCA is apostate.

and elab­o­rates:

The Church can­not — must not — rede­fine what the Word of God says. We can­not sim­ply ignore or explain away those parts of the Scrip­tures that don’t sit well with us. Cer­tainly cul­tures change, but the doc­trine of the Word of God can­not change. “Jesus Christ is the same yes­ter­day, today, for­ever”… remem­ber that?

And finally Weedon’s blog (which pro­vided the link to resqrev above) notes Canada’s reac­tion:

Lutheran Church – Canada desires to reach out with the Gospel to every­one, includ­ing the homo­sex­ual, to pro­vide real heal­ing of the per­son, so that their lives may begin to reflect the holi­ness God desires of all of His peo­ple. Those who may have such incli­na­tions and who strug­gle against them are wel­come in our churches, will receive for­give­ness of their sins, and may serve in the office of min­istry. Those who flout the clear Word of God, refuse to call sin what it is, and who seek to jus­tify their behav­iour, dis­qual­ify them­selves from the office and indeed put their eter­nal sal­va­tion in jeopardy.

We rec­og­nize that our view is decid­edly counter-​cultural, but we know that we must con­tinue to main­tain the clear teach­ing of the Scrip­tures. We regret the deci­sion of the ELCA, which, even by its own admis­sion in its res­o­lu­tions at this con­ven­tion, goes against every­thing the Scrip­tures clearly teach and which the church has con­firmed over the last 2000 years and even before.

So out of every Lutheran blog I found that was not pass­word pro­tected not a sin­gle one liked the changes. For the fun of it I checked Andrew Sullivan’s blog but appar­ently he is on vaca­tion this week and his guest blog­gers didn’t men­tion it, although they did have a post on Gay Mar­riage sup­port­ing it.

I really feel bad for the blog­gers above, from what I can read they are pretty good Chris­tians and don’t deserve the trou­ble they are now in.

Hey ELCA I’ll make a deal with you. We Roman Catholics will hap­pily take all these peo­ple above who don’t agree with you and we’ll trade you Andrew Sul­li­van and any of his guest blog­gers who claim Roman Catholicism.

Update 3: Don Surber notes the rather pub­lic com­ment from a Lutheran pas­tor.

…with the decision to allow gay clergy to no longer be celibate in the Lutheran Church.

The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination took openly gay clergy more fully into its fold Friday, as leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to lift a ban that prohibited sexually active gay and lesbian people from serving as ministers.

Under the new policy, individual ELCA congregations will be allowed to hire homosexuals as clergy as long as they are in a committed relationships. Until now, gays and lesbians had to remain celibate to serve as clergy.

Hey this was just what he was envisioning when he broke away from us Roman Catholics all those centuries ago starting the reformation and all that.

So now the Lutherans have endorsed specific biblical sin among clergy I say good luck to you guys.

Meanwhile if you are a Lutheran who actually takes Christianity seriously that old Roman Catholic Church that Martin decided wasn’t good enough before is still there.

We’d be pleased to welcome you in.

Oh and the American Papist notes another one of those coincidences that my friend Brian insists means nothing:

To be clear, it was not a “possible tornado,” it was an actual tornado. Local blogger Orate Fratres has pictures of the toppled steeple , and describes the event as one of those “things that make you go hmmm…”.

I mean, I don’t remember the Council of Trent being plagued by local meteorological disasters.

Yup just another coincidence.

Lutheran blog Not alone is not happy

When people say that they will agree to disagree, what they are saying is that they do not count these matters as important enough to press to the point that the other person is left with only two possible responses: either to abandon the belief that has been erroneously held and to come into agreement with the truth; or to reject what the other person believes and to reject the person who presses it as absolute truth.

This kind of conviction regarding what is believed is completely abandoned when people agree to disagree. Such an agreement is an agreement that the areas of disagreement really do not matter beyond being the expression of one’s personal opinion. Therefore the two parties can continue to be friends in the agreement that these matters are not of any real importance. They have agreed that there is nothing so important as to argue to the point of absolute agreement, and so they absolutely agree that nothing is to be absolutely rejected.

I, for one, do not agree.

I’ve looked at 20 or more different Lutheran blogs and this is the only one that seems to have even noticed the conference let alone the ruling.

I’ll check some more after supper.

UPDATE this post is now huge so I’ll add the More button here.
Update: A lot of those links aren’t working I’m going through them alphabetically:

Balaam’s Ass is not happy:

Unless God intervenes by His grace, these proposals will be passed. The ELCA will then join the Episcopal Church in its further apostasy.

But who is surprised? It’s like Jenga: you can remove one or two or even a few blocks, but eventually the weight cannot be sustained. The only thing that remains unresolved is, what will pastors and members of ELCA congregations who oppose the recommendations now do?

I’d say he would make a better Catholic than a lot of Catholics I know.

Cyberstones has an interesting perspective:

But I write it now because I see such fear in the ELCA. The reports I’ve read of their regrettable decision to move further from what God has established and given us in sexuality are filled with admonitions from the bishops and leaders that their church is shrinking and they are dying. This regrettable and shameful decision sounds to me like an act of desperation. If they don’t go along with the devil, they’ll be no church at all. I wish I could have been there to comfort them with the angels word that they need not fear, that the Lord will provide, that the Church has not always grown or prospered in an outward way in every age.

His bottom line is much like the old hymn: Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust still the love of the Lord will stand…

The Reverend Charles Lehmann educates us on the different branches of Lutherans.

All too often, when the ELCA takes significant actions like this, headlines across the country read something along the lines of, “Lutherans approve same-sex unions.” It is important for people to know that the ELCA does not represent all Lutherans in America. Though the ELCA is the largest Lutheran church body in the United States, they are also the most liberal theologically.

Many Lutheran church bodies such as the Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Wisconsin Synod (WELS), and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) still hold to the biblical teaching regarding homosexual relationships. We, along with the Holy Scriptures (Lev. 18, Rom. 1, 1 Cor. 6, and others), teach that the practice of homosexuality is sin. We also teach that marriage between members of the same sex is not legitimate marriage.

I must confess I didn’t know this. I guess there is still an alternative if you don’t want to come back to Rome. We’d still take you of course.

Old Solar isn’t happy but doesn’t sound all that upset:

The debate itself was better than I expected it to be, on both sides. The liberal side did not convince me, but there was a near absence of certain kinds of arguments I would have expected. That much was nice. I would have little problem going to church with any of the people who spoke on either side.

Living with the resolution will be more of a challenge. I did not join my congregation because it was a member of the ELCA. I joined it because it was nearby and surprisingly solid. Questions of affiliation will no doubt come up. I am not clear whether this resolution has any teeth that could be used against my congregation, or whether it merely allows other congregation to pursue their own courses. If the latter, we probably have some time to ponder.

Sounds like the Church of Laodecia to me.

Father Hollywood hasn’t commented yet but looking at his blog it will be interesting to see what he eventually says considering this statement on congregation shopping:

This is another reason for you to settle in to a congregation. How can you “obey your leaders, and submit to them” if you are bouncing hither and yon? It would be like a corporal jumping from army to army every time he receives an order he doesn’t feel like obeying, or encounters an officer he doesn’t want to submit to. You are currently unable to do what our Lord bids you to do in Heb 13:17.

It would seem to me that if a particular church is teaching sin then this statement not withstanding you might want to shop for another church.

So far I’m seeing a lot of faithful Christians in terms of what I’m reading that’s always a pleasure.

Helmets Required II has this to say:

There is no middle ground on this issue. Sadly, this action demonstrates that the ELCA is outside the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church to the extent that it has embraced this false teaching.

What should we Lutherans do who do not share this view?

Pray for the ELCA that it may faithfully return to God’s Word.

Be clear about what we believe as Lutheran Christians who do not share the ELCA’s opinions on this issue. To do this, it is good familiarize yourselves with the basic truths of God’s Word regarding homosexuality. The pamphlet “What About Homosexuality” offers an excellent overview. These will be available in the narthex within the next week.

Pretty Good. Ironically that would be the same suggested action for any Catholic concerning the Lutheran Church in general.

Incarnatus est ironically refers to of all things the Catholic Blog first thoughts for commentary:

Last year the ELCA reported a loss 76,000 members and 52 congregations. Earlier this year church officials eliminated thirty-five staff positions at the denomination’s Chicago headquarters, and were forced to cut $2.4 million from the budget. Informed observers—uh, that would be me—foresee a possible loss of 300 to 500 congregations over the next three to five years as a result of the convention action.

He suspects the same effect as I do although with a lot less snark.

Ichabod doesn’t seem happy, but basically quotes news stories.

So far through the Letter “I” of the list I have, no sign of a blogger happy about this.

Pastor Kozak: Doesn’t believe in coincidence either:

However, just as the convention was preparing to vote, and just as one of their large churches was preparing to host a service in support of this apostasy, a tornado hit. Yes, a tornado hit. The church in question was damaged, and the ELCA convention center was hit. Nobody was injured, but it does look to me like God, who had been denied a vote, cast one anyway.

Lutherans and Procreation has no comment yet but notes the action. They do have a related comment on the subject in a recent post:

Perhaps the best way to understand this new movement is to understand it as a natural consequence of subverting marriage. We have largely normalized adultery, serialized marriage, separated marriage from reproduction and childbearing, and accepted divorce as a mechanism for liberation. Once this happens, boundary after boundary falls as sexual regulation virtually disappears among those defined as “consenting adults.”

I guess Steve Chapman didn’t ask him.

Laughing Martin isn’t laughing:

Does all of this sound all too sadly familiar? If so, why? When will we have had enough? And why did congregations and pastors who consider themselves to be Lutheran ever buy into this chicanery in the first place?

Oddly enough, a former U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, may give us a clue. He once wrote, “Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of ‘emergency’. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. . . . And ‘emergency’ became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.”

He’s right of course but considering the economy Hoover quotes aren’t going to be popular these days.

Northwoods Seelsorger has been following all this weeks actions:

This is hardly surprising, given the previous “full communion agreements” with the Reformed, the UCC, and the Episcopalians. But again, it shows their total disregard for the doctrinal heritage of the Lutheran church, especially our teaching regarding the Lord’s Supper.

As a fellow Christian I feel bad for him but all of this reeks of Irony to a Roman Catholic.

Outer Rim Territories has two excellent Sublinks the first to one to Bioethike who sees a deeper issue:

I would suggest that the central question facing our brothers and sisters in the ELCA is this: Having rejected God’s Word in Scripture, are we now to reject God’s Word in creation?

Colleagues from my side of the aisle, The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, as well as other conservative commentators, will surely pillory the ELCA regarding this matter regardless what the Assembly decides (”I can’t believe they did that!” or “They should have never let it get this far!”). But I fear what my colleagues will not do is get to the root of the problem. In typical fashion, they will limit themselves to arguing on two fronts: for biblical authority and against homosexuality. They won’t seek to understand that the problem goes much deeper.

We’re not talking simply about the Bible and its do’s or don’ts. We’re talking about God’s Word in nature. Natural Law. The meaning and purposes of marriage. Why God created male and female in the first place. The proper roles of men and women. All that stuff we used to talk about as Lutherans, but now we talk about it in so very, very different ways.

his second link is to a blog called Four and Twenty Blackbirds whose commentary is pretty good as well:

We Lutherans need to keep in mind what we confess about not only the Church but also about the Sacraments (especially Holy Communion – which is, by definition, communal) lest we fall into the trap of individualism and reducing the mysteries of God to intellectual knowledge or Bible trivia.

The eternal heavenly banquet, the marriage feast of the Lamb is not a self-centered buffet where you take what you want (and believe what you want), at your own convenience and according to your individual tastes and wants; nor is it a lonely mouthful of once-frozen industrial grog from a microwave oven, served in a PVC “dish,” eaten alone hunched over a computer screen. No indeed! It is a glorious banquet eaten with all the faithful in the presence of the One who feeds us! The Lord has armies of servants – both there in eternity and here on earth – who serve the Lord’s people.

Pretty good stuff but the “believe what you want” business does move the RCIM (Roman Catholic Irony Meter)

Past elder post Vatican II for Lutherans did get a grin out of me:

Once again, the calendar, lectionary and ordo of Vatican II all miss the mark, even of its own intended reform, the product not of the Christian church but one denomination headed by an office bearing the marks of Anti-Christ — regardless of its current occupancy by a nice and learned German guy — and now the common property of all heterodox liturgical churches in the West, utterly irrelevant to Christ’s Church and therefore should be utterly irrelevant to Lutherans.

Yeah after all those Roman Catholics have pushed all those denominations in joining them in accepting birth control, abortion, divorce, gay marriage, woman priests, abandoning sacraments…Oh wait.

It looks like Paredwka got out just in time

Satis Est’s post is classic:

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”
And they answered him, “Well, it appears that there isn’t a consensus yet among the crowds. Herod seems to think that you are John the Baptist come back from the dead; so I would stay out of Galilee for the foreseeable future if I were you. Others say Elijah; but you don’t really look the part, and your diet is too rich for that to be a good description. And still others say one of the prophets. Jeremiah seems to be the prophet that gets mentioned most often, especially after that rant in the Temple; but we’ve also heard Amos. Thomas heard you compared to Micah; Simon even heard someone think you were Zephaniah, but I think that is a dark horse. So there really isn’t agreement on this as of yet.”
John piped in, “We’ve been concerned about this, actually, because your image is becoming diffuse and confusing to the crowds. Your public personna needs sharpening. “

If you don’t click on any of the other links in this post click on this one. It’s the best of the batch.

Watersblogged gives some history and concludes thusly:

It has been said that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Well, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is no longer merely neither evangelical nor Lutheran. Pannenberg is exactly right: it is also no longer the Church.

So what should Christians who remain members of ELCA congregations do? Simple: everything in their power to get their congregations out of the ELCA, just as soon as proves feasible. And the moment it becomes clear that getting their congregations to leave the ELCA is itself not feasible, it is their absolute duty before God to leave those congregations. As long as they remain members of them, their public witness- whether or not this is their intention- is of support for the abominations which took place in Minneapolis this week.

Resqrev is very blunt:

As of yesterday, this Church body left the ranks of historic Christianity, is no longer catholic (as their teaching now deviates from what the Church has always believed, taught and confessed) and have ranked themselves as a sect. The ELCA is apostate.

and elaborates:

The Church cannot—must not—redefine what the Word of God says. We cannot simply ignore or explain away those parts of the Scriptures that don’t sit well with us. Certainly cultures change, but the doctrine of the Word of God cannot change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, forever”… remember that?

And finally Weedon’s blog (which provided the link to resqrev above) notes Canada’s reaction:

Lutheran Church–Canada desires to reach out with the Gospel to everyone, including the homosexual, to provide real healing of the person, so that their lives may begin to reflect the holiness God desires of all of His people. Those who may have such inclinations and who struggle against them are welcome in our churches, will receive forgiveness of their sins, and may serve in the office of ministry. Those who flout the clear Word of God, refuse to call sin what it is, and who seek to justify their behaviour, disqualify themselves from the office and indeed put their eternal salvation in jeopardy.

We recognize that our view is decidedly counter-cultural, but we know that we must continue to maintain the clear teaching of the Scriptures. We regret the decision of the ELCA, which, even by its own admission in its resolutions at this convention, goes against everything the Scriptures clearly teach and which the church has confirmed over the last 2000 years and even before.

So out of every Lutheran blog I found that was not password protected not a single one liked the changes. For the fun of it I checked Andrew Sullivan’s blog but apparently he is on vacation this week and his guest bloggers didn’t mention it, although they did have a post on Gay Marriage supporting it.

I really feel bad for the bloggers above, from what I can read they are pretty good Christians and don’t deserve the trouble they are now in.

Hey ELCA I’ll make a deal with you. We Roman Catholics will happily take all these people above who don’t agree with you and we’ll trade you Andrew Sullivan and any of his guest bloggers who claim Roman Catholicism.

Update 3: Don Surber notes the rather public comment from a Lutheran pastor.