Thursday, August 27, 2009

ELCA and Practicing Homosexual Clergy

The 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships. This vote was able to be passed because within the ELCA the Bible is not held to be the Word of God written but a book that contains the Word of God. Therefore, it is up to the interpreter to determine that which is the Word of God and that which is not. The clear Scriptural prohibitions against homosexaulity in the Scriptures are no longer held to be the Word of God by the ELCA.

However, I find this action of the ELCA rather confusing. They have chosen to disregard the Word of God when it comes to homosexuality but then they restrict such homosexuals seeking to serve as pastors to those in committed life long relationships. Why? Why would the ELCA place such a restriction on those seeking that Office? If the prohibitions against homosexuality in the Scriptures can be dismissed as culturally bound - then why not the Scriptural instruction regarding monogamy?

Much of the argument that was used in the ELCA to argue for this action was that to not allow practicing homosexuals into the Ministry is exclusive. However, is it not true that to restrict those homosexuals who are not interested in being in a life long committed relationship but enjoy multiple partners also exclusive?

Those of us in the LCMS and LCC must be saddened by this action of the ELCA. We must also seek the Lord in prayer that we would be humble before the Word of God and that the Lord of the Church would keep us steadfast in the true faith.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The ELCA 2009 Convention

I am presently watching/listening to the ELCA convention and at this time they are discussing the document "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust." The ELCA is presently discussing a statement that would accept same sex marriage and blessings in the ELCA thereof and later they will debate allowing the ordination of practicing homosexuals.

It is sad to see such a discussion taking place. However, I find it rather odd that while I have no idea what the convention will decide regarding these two matters, I am ambivilent. Why? Because I don't think it matters. The fact that the discussion is occuring and the decision is teetering one way or the other means the battle has essentially been lost.

From a number of conversations I have had with members of ELCA/ELCIC congregations - if the respective church bodies do in fact accept and bless same sex marriage and accept actively homosexual people into the Ministry they will seek to leave their church. However, many will not find a home in the LCMS/LCC. They fully endorse female ordination and most disagree with the practice of closed communion. I fear that these people will be left floundering on their own.

On a completely different topic: Wow! I love the electronic voting system they have - I hope we can get those at our conventions soon!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Darwinian Evolution and My Son

Today we went to the Royal Tyrrel l Museum in Drumheller, AB ( The museum is situated in the Badlands of Alberta and houses one of the largest and most impressive collection of dinosaur fossils in the world. It is a truly spectacular place to visit.
At one stage in the tour through the museum there is a display telling of Darwin and the theory of evolution. On one wall was a display much the same as that pictured here. My son Noah, 6 1/2, sees the picture and walks up to it pointing and says - "We don't believe that. We don't believe that." A few people looked at him - perhaps thinking he was odd. It brought a smile to my face. I don't believe we have had a long serious discussion over the issue of evolution as of yet - though it has come up. He is fascinated by dinosaurs as most boys are at his age and we have read countless books on the creatures. Darwinian evolution inevitably comes up. I guess in the little discussion we have had and in his reading and hearing of God's Word the theory of evolution does not fit. Thanks be to God!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chew on this for a while...

"The paradoxes in which the church fathers so often reveled in the life of God, revealed to us perfectly in Christ, are all glorious impossibilities: God became man, omnipresence became circumscribed, the sinless became sin, omniscience became ignorant, omnipotence became impotent, and the immortal died. Tertullian said, Credibile est, quia ineptum est: 'It is believable because it is, from the human point of view, absurd.' But rationalist theologians, liberal or conservative, don't like paradoxes. Instead of looking for them as signs marking places where inquiry stops and doxology begins, they resist them on instinct and principle, and take out their hammers."

- From Touchstone "Paradox Lost" by S.M. Hutchens (July/August 2009 p.14-16).

I love that. It reminds me of what Melanchton said somewhere:

"The mysteries of God are not to be investigated but adored."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Touchstone Gold - AGAIN

I have been singing the praises of the journal TOUCHSTONE for years now. I began reading it when I worked nights at the seminary library. I have subscribed to it ever since I have been in the parish. It is simply excellent. Even though I do not get any "kick-backs" from Touchstone a few of my friends have also subscribed to it lately. If you do not regularly read Touchstone - you should start. Check it out at

I have not finished reading all the latest edition. However, there are two articles I have read that were so excellent that I have to mention them. One of them you can read online.

Leon J. Podles writes an article called "Unhappy Fault" and examines the rightful place of anger in the Christian's life. He notes that in contemporary Christianity anger is seen as a sin and something that is un-Christian. He calls this thinking into question in the article. You can read it here:

In another article that I found so excellent I have read it twice. This article has put into words some thoughts I have had bubbling around in my mind for a long time but couldn't quite get a handle on them. This article puts it together. The article is written by Ken Meyers and is called "Contours of Culture: Waiting for Epimenides." Meyers calls into question the contemporary Church's seeming desire to adapt the Church to the culture. He notes that this is quite contrary to what St. Paul is advocating in Titus. This is truly an excellent article and I wish many would be able to read it.
I might also note the Editorial at the beginning of the Journal is also excellent as it examines certain ways of thinking regarding abortion. You can read it here:
I am happy to pass on the this Touchstone gold... enjoy. I would love to hear your comments regarding any of those articles.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Call

I have recieved the call to serve Beautiful Saviour Lutheran Church and School in Winnipeg, MB. Please keep me, Our Saviour, and Beautiful Saviour in your prayers as I consider this call.

A Pastor's View of Listening to Preaching

I rarely have the opportunity to hear preaching on a Sunday. Most parish pastors are busy preaching on Sundays and rarely have the opportunity. Often the only opportunity is at Winkels or at conferences and conventions. The two past weeks at Our Saviour we have had guest preachers. I led the Liturgy but I was able to listen to the sermons.

It is great to hear the Word! I have truly appreciated hearing the Word these two weeks. Don't get me wrong - I love preaching. It is one of the great joys of being a pastor as far as I am concerned. However, it is very refreshing to hear someone else preach now and again.

So - I was thinking. How can we parish pastors hear preaching more regularly? Maybe it is not possible - but I wonder if there is a way we could do it? Any ideas?