Pretty Good Lutherans blog offers several links to blog posts or articles critical of Lutheran Core (one of these was to my own post yesterday). With a hat tip to blogger Susan Hogan for her list, this post will dig into each link a bit.
In a letter to the editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune entitled “A continuing reformation”, David Weiss suggests the ELCA’s new policy on gays is “a huge change for the better.” Without naming Lutheran Core, Weiss concludes his op-ed piece with these words:
So, to those who say that the ELCA betrayed its own Lutheran heritage last August, I beg to differ. The heart of the Reformation is about grace and welcome offered as a free gift to people otherwise made anxious by social and religious forces. And this year, at long last, from the heart of the Reformation I’m saying to my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, “Welcome home.”
A second op-ed piece is offered by former bishop of the St Paul area synod, Rev. Lowell Erdahl. Writing on MPR news, Erdahl suggests “Unlearning the things that used to be obvious”. He uses the analogy of the rejection of Copernicus five centuries ago:
Convinced by what was obvious in nature and clearly proclaimed in the Bible, Luther called Copernicus a fool. Calvin asked, “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?”
Erdahl then suggests that he “was wrong in my understanding of both homosexual humanity and the Bible.” Erdahl argues that the Biblical texts cited by the opposition “relate to lustful, exploitive same-sex activity, such as temple prostitution, abuse of prisoners and pederasty, but say nothing about homosexuality as we understand it today,” and such texts should not dictate the church’s policy toward the “significant segment of humanity who, through no choice of their own, are attracted to, fall in love with and desire to live in lifelong partnership with persons of the same sex.”
Erdahl concludes: “It will be a great day when homosexual humanity is as clearly understood and as fully affirmed as Copernican astronomy is today.”
The third link is to blogger Joelle Colville-Hanson, an ELCA pastor in Iowa, who confronts Lutheran Core directly, based on comments on Core’s website.
Lutheran CORE is playing dirty. Got a pastor who agrees with the churchwide assembly decision or simply refuses to make a big old issue out of it? Get rid of them. Yup that’s their suggestion…
This was originally on their resources of “What to do now” You won’t find it on their webpage anymore because they have altered it –but for now it is still here: CORE Suggestions -don’t be surprised if they cover their ass and change that.
In an earlier post on her blog, Pastor Joelle took Core to task for their call for a funding boycott of the ELCA, mocking their stance as “”Well we will stay, call ourselves members of the ELCA, keep our jobs as pastors and other positions in the ELCA, vote in conference and synod assemblies, insist bishops and other leaders in the ELCA listen to us, scold and lecture the ELCA but will not sully our pure wallets by supporting the ELCA with our gold and silver.”
In the next link on Pretty Good Lutherans, Pastor S. Blake Duncan of Illinois also criticizes Core for withholding funds.
When we give as Christians, we are giving of ourselves – our time and our financial resources – out of a sense that everything we have and everything we are is given to us from God. So we give back to God what is already God’s so that the love of Christ can be proclaimed through the ministry of the church. The money I give to my congregation pays for the ministry of the whole church: for the hospital visits, the food pantry, the worship services, the bread and wine of communion, the Sunday school, confirmation. Besides funding our local ministry, a portion is sent to the synod as benevolence. This benevolence pays for Lutheran Social Services’ work of feeding and helping those in need; it pays for synod staff such as the new outreach coordinator who is now working directly with the Wartburg Parish; it provides resources to keep struggling congregations open and serving their communities in places where the need is great but resources are few – such as Trinity Lutheran Church in Kankakee; it pays for the First Call continuing education program for new pastors. A portion is also sent on to the ELCA, where it pays for churchwide youth events, disaster response, new congregational start-ups, campus ministry, Lutheran World Relief, and on and on. The money I give to my congregation each week does all of this! And this is possible only because my congregation is a partner with both the Central/Southern Illinois Synod and the ELCA. To stop giving is to imperil these ministries and risk hurting the most vulnerable programs and people. (Emphasis added)
The final link is to a brief letter to the editor of Star News in Elk River, Minnesota in which an ELCA parishioner notes, “when I heard an emotional plea from the pulpit last Sunday to urge the congregation to vote to leave the ELCA,” that parishioner and others began to work to ensure all views are heard in their congregation.