Sunday, August 23, 2009

Parallel Lutheran decline

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the largest Lutheran body in the US with about 4.7 million members. Last week the ELCA had its own gay clergy vote to parallel that of the TEC. (Of course, the ELCA and TEC are in communion with each other).

German-born Lutheran theologian Uwe Siemon-Netto lamented the decision in his own recent commentary:
East Germany called itself German Democratic Republic, or GDR, for 40 years. Germans used to quip that this acronym stood for a threefold lie. The GDR was neither German, nor Democratic, nor a Republic. One wonders whether a similar analogy could not be made for the ELCA now that its national assembly of this denomination supposedly committed to the "Sola Scriptura" principle stressing the authority of Scripture.

Is it still "evangelical"? Surely not. Is it still "Lutheran"? No way. Is it in fact still "Church" in the original sense of this word deriving from the Greek vocable "Kyriake" (belonging to the Lord)? That depends on which Lord are we talking about - God or a wimp who does not care whether His word is mocked? The Greek word for church is "ekklesia," meaning "called out." In the light of the ELCA's new sexuality decision we must ponder the identity of the Spirit the largest Lutheran church body in the United States seems to follow these days.

To state it bluntly, there is nothing Lutheran about what has happened in Minneapolis.
I won’t say that misery loves company, but the situation of the remaining Lutheran faithful parallels that of American Anglicans watching the abandonment of the faith by their former Episcopalian colleagues.

No comments: