Matthew Block—Lutherans follow Anglicans down rocky road of dissent

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hundreds of congregations have held votes on leaving the denomination. Others have cut off funding to the national church. Bishops in Africa have condemned the actions taken by their North American counterparts. And this week disaffected members are gathering to found a new breakaway denomination.

You would be forgiven for assuming that the denomination under discussion here is Anglican, but the battleground this time is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a denomination which — at least before its controversial August 2009 vote — counted more than 4.6 million members. But while the names are different, the crisis in the ELCA is remarkably similar to that rocking North American Anglicanism.

In August 2009, the ELCA narrowly voted to affirm couples living in same-sex relationships and further opened the ministry to non-celibate homosexual clergy. Members holding a historical interpretation of Scripture were outraged. For them, the authority of Scripture — a foundational tenet of the Lutheran Reformation — was being rejected in favour of cultural relativism.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Posted August 26, 2010 at 6:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. notworthyofthename wrote:

Wouldn’t it be a great witness if the new North American Lutheran Church (NALC) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) were to join up with each other! It would certainly be much more difficult for their opponents to call them schismatics.

August 26, 4:11 pm | [comment link]
2. palagious wrote:

It is the height of Western liberal arrogance to call the orthodox schismatics when the preponderance of global Christianity has condemned their actions.  I guess schism is defined by whichever side controls a majority of the denominational political apparatus and not adherence to any recognizably Christian doctrine.

August 26, 7:08 pm | [comment link]
3. Rod L Ronneberg STS wrote:

There are four ACNA bishops in attendance at this gathering.  And there is a strong sense of ecumenism among CORE/NALC and ACNA.  Thanks be to God! So # 1 - in a real sense they are “joining up.”  I’ve been watching the live streaming all afternoon.  It’s truly the Holy Spirit calling all of us back to the Gospel of Christ and him crucified.

August 26, 7:42 pm | [comment link]
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