"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Deja vu all over again

Clicking on the title to this post will take you to a story from today's Washington Times about the pending formation of an new Lutheran denominational body. The Steering Committee of Lutheran CORE, a group of traditional Lutherans who has been opposing the leftward slide of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, has voted to form a separate church structure in the aftermath of the ELCA's national Synod's vote to jettison Scriptural teachings on human sexuality last summer.

It is striking how closely ELCA's slide has paralleled that of TEC. May God bless Lutheran CORE richly as they strive to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to answer God's call to righteousness.


Blogger William Tighe said...

ell, there is another side to this. There already exists a perfectly proper conservative and orthodox Lutheran body -- the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod with 2.4 million members, as well as much much more conservative groups, such as the Wisconsin Synod (ca. 400,000 members) and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ca. 15,000 members) -- as well as bodies that stem from congregations and pastors who refused to join in on earlier stages of the various unions that produced the ELCA -- for example, the "American Association of Lutheran Churches," dating from the formation of the ELCA in 1987 with ca. 20,000 members, and the "Association of Free Lutheran Congregations," dating from the mergers in 1962 with produced the LCA, one of the bodies that merged to form the ELCA in 1987, with about 25,000 members.

However, all of these bodies both embrace and require (less stringently in the case of the Missouri Synod than the others) conservative approaches to biblical inspiration and authority that those who dislike them could plausibly label "fundamentalist," and all of them repudiate and reject the pretended ordination of women.

I suspect that it is the rejection of WO by all these bodies that drives the formation of this new one, for it is a fact that in the ELCA (by contrast with ECUSA) many female pastors in the ELCA have been strongly orthodox in areas like morality and Christology, and some of them have been very active in the ELCA's various "evangelical catholic" organizations. So they, too, want a Lutheran equivalent of a conservative (and in my view incoherent) "broad church" like ACNA that will allow them to continue practice such innovations as appeal to them, while virtuously and "orthodoxly" rejecting those that don't.

One big difference is that all American Lutheran bodies, big and small, liberal and conservative, allow "lay celebration" of the Eucharist in a variety of circumstances -- and the Wisconsin Synod has even allowed laywomen to celebrate it for groups comprised only of women.

I expect the ACNA to perish sooner or later of its own internal contradictions, but these ELCA dissidents may have a brighter, or at least more stable, future, in adding yet another small Lutheran body to the ca. 24 that now exist in the USA, and one that is distinguished from the others by its acceptance of WO.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this whole thing is about sexuality. The episcopal split from TEC, now the Lutherans from the ELCA.

All because of Sex? What happened to reason?

2:25 PM  
Blogger Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...

It is about the authority of Holy Scripture, anon. If your "reason" causes you to reject the clear teaching of the Bible and the unbroken tradition of the Church, then that so-called "reason" is the problem, not the solution.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Anglican Rite in full union with Rome)



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6:03 PM  

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