In it I heard the typical bureaucratic vocabulary urging patience, attention to the eighth commandment, and "conversation." Yes, conversation. You would think all the talking had already been done before and during the CWA that adopted such a radical change. But, no. There needs to be more conversation.
Let we blame the ELCA alone, we have the same bureau-speak in the LCMS with respect to the "worship wars." We need patience, we need attention to the eighth commandment, and we need conversation. Again, you might think there had been enough conversation given the number of trees felled to publish articles and books on this subject (or cyber trees as the case may be). But, no. There needs to be more conversation.
Now I am all for conversation. I am guilty of spreading cyber ink and actual copy toner on paper on this subject. But... a caveat... it is my experience that the purpose of this conversation, though not formally admitted, is to get the people who hold to the "traditional" opinion to either change their minds, keep funding the changes while they fume and agitate, or stop being the thorn in the side of those (usually in the leadership) who are moving toward these changes.
In other words, the purpose of these "conversations" is never to agree to rescind the fateful actions of the ELCA... never to revisit closed topics like, the ordination of women, for example... never to stop this foolishness of contemporary worship forms that have nothing to do with our confessional identity... no... the purpose of these conversations seems always to bide time while the NEW or changed perspective has time to root itself and become accepted, tolerated, dare I say, the norm for the church...
Now I am all about honest conversation... over sexuality... over abortion... over worship forms that flow from our Confessions... but if it is an honest conversation, then it must include the possibility that those in favor of the new and different must allow for the possibility of change and not just those who hold to the "traditional" viewpoint on sex and gender, abortion and pro-life issues, and the evangelical catholic character of the liturgy.
So lets talk... but not as a real conversation in which the give is not only on the side of those against GLABT relationships as the equivalent of marriage... not only on the side of those who believe within marriage fidelity and outside of marriage chastity... not only on the side of those who believe that abortion is always wrong and life is to be nurtured and respected and not ended when it fits our mood/need... not only on the side of those who believe that what Lutherans do on Sunday morning should bear some resemblance to what they have confessed in their Book of Concord...
Generally, I am a pretty quiet guy... I do not rant and rave against other congregations, I do not interfere in their affairs, I do not begrudge anyone their civil rights, and I do not want worship police to inform and enforce a certain page in a certain hymnal... but I do tire of all of those conversations designed to change me... especially when what I believe is what Lutherans believed, taught, and confessed on these issues... generally without much doubt... for most of Lutheran history... Talk -- yes... but an honest conversation in which those who hold the position of change are honestly open to changing back to what was... if that is ever possible again.