A letter written by the vice president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is being distributed to the church body’s 4.6 million members in response to the growing dissatisfaction over divisive decisions made this past summer by the denomination’s chief legislative authority.
Since ELCA's Churchwide Assembly adopted a social statement on human sexuality and made it possible non-celibate homosexuals to serve as rostered leaders, a number of congregations have considered parting ways with denomination, which they say has been parting ways with the Word of God.
And some are thinking about ceasing their donations to the church body, which is already facing a significant decrease in its budget. more >>
"It wasn't primarily about sex." With those words, Lutheran theologian Robert Benne explained that the actions recently taken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to normalize homosexuality were not primarily about sex at all, but about theological identity. "The ELCA has formally left the great tradition for liberal Protestantism," Benne declared.
Taking its stand with the radical theological revisionism of the Protestant Left, the ELCA "left the Great Tradition of moral teaching to identify with United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church," Benne lamented.
Writing in Christianity Today, Benne argued that his denomination had abandoned the Gospel for a social gospel. "The liberating movements fueled by militant feminism, multiculturalism, anti-racism, anti-heterosexism, anti-imperialism, and now ecologism have been moved to the center while the classic gospel and its missional imperatives have been pushed to the periphery." more >>
Hip-hop, musical comedy and contemporary Christian music artists have joined forces on a nationwide music tour aimed at inspiring young Lutherans to fight global poverty and hunger.
Entitled “Jesus Justice Jazz: The Tour,” the show is hitting a total of 16 stops where at each location young attendees are hearing testimonies about hunger and being encouraged to donate towards the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s World Hunger fund. The venues are ELCA-affiliated Christian colleges and Lutheran churches.
The colleges are underwriting many of the tour expenses so that money raised can go towards the hunger fund. more >>
Bishops within the largest Lutheran denomination in America are asking President Obama to “remain firm” in his commitment to achieving a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
"The U.S. plays a key role in negotiating necessary compromises and in holding both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to their obligations," expressed the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and 58 of the denomination’s 65 synod bishops.
“We express profound concern at the stalemate that persists and at the fading hopes for a two-state solution due to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem," the bishops added in their letter to Obama, dated Tuesday. "It is our firm belief that a just resolution is within reach if the United States remains unwavering in its determination to help the parties finally reach agreement." more >>
Bishops in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America requested more time to review ministry policy revisions that will formally open the ordination process to practicing homosexuals.
The changes were discussed at a Conference of Bishops meeting that ended Tuesday, but the synod bishops, the presiding bishop and secretary want another opportunity to look over the updated language before it's made permanent.
The ministry policy revisions were voted on in August at the Churchwide Assembly. The ELCA's chief legislative body approved a resolution allowing gays and lesbians in "life-long, monogamous, same gender relationships" to be ordained. more >>
It would be a “blessing” if the actions taken at the assembly of the largest Lutheran church body in America were not implemented, said the head of the second largest.
For many years, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has worked cooperatively with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessor church bodies through many inter-Lutheran agencies such as Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and Lutheran Services in America.
“It is our desire to be able to continue to provide Christ-centered ministry through such agencies, always doing so in faithfulness to the doctrinal positions of our church,” LCMS President Gerald B. Kieschnick wrote in an Oct. 1 letter to ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson and the ELCA Conference of Bishops. more >>