article in THE LUTHERAN about couples living together and those choosing not:
...a University of Minnesota Lutheran campus-ministry counselor. “When I prepare [couples for marriage],” she was quoted, “I find it easier to talk to those who have lived together because they know what it takes to live with another human being. I see much more openness to sharing things that have been struggles.”
So.... a Lutheran campus Pastor (ELCA) finds it easier to talk marriage to those who have lived together. Well, that settles it. Lets just have all couples live together first because then we have something to talk about in premarital counseling. Hmmmm. By the same logic, lets have folks break all the commandments (in action and not in thought or word only) and then it will be easier to talk to them of forgiveness and repentance. Have you ever heard such screwy talk?
I am not always a fan of some of the stuff in the national magazines of other Lutheran bodies, but it seems that in the ELCA their official journal seems to be intentionally provocative and needlessly so... unless, of course, they have an agenda which is at odds with the published positions of the church body they serve. Ahhhh, could that be it? That might explain why THE LUTHERAN has so often written positively of gay and lesbians and gay and lesbian clergy well before the 2009 vote of the CWA... or why they can speak positively of contemporary worship while the ELCA was introducing its new hymnal to the Church... or a thousand other things.
A million years ago I recall an article in the then LCA THE LUTHERAN which spoke in defense of those who have soccer or other family or sports activities on Sunday morning and therefore are not in Church. A former LCA family that had joined our LCMS congregation brought it to me and asked "What do you think of that?" This came after a family decided to leave our congregation because they said the expectation of catechism and worship attendance for their children was extreme and unreasonable.
The point I am making is that the journal of a church body is an organ of that body. It has not journalistic independence from the church body it serves. That does not mean that it lies or distributes propaganda but that it can and should be expected to reflect the positions of the church it represents in print. When I open THE LUTHERAN WITNESS I do not expect articles which challenge the doctrinal position of the LCMS. On the contrary, I expect articles which are consistent with the belief, teaching, and confession of this church body. Why, then, does the ELCA seem to countenance and even encourage provocative articles which flaunt disagreement with their church body's position and public faith? The only real reason I can come up with is that there is no public teaching in the ELCA, no doctrinal position, no confession, and no truth which cannot be questioned, disputed, and denied and the sources good standing in that church body be broken.
The conclusion may be flawed but it seems that from the very pages of the ELCA house organ thatg conclusion is supported. Can someone give me another explanation? If it is true that there is no public teaching and confession of the ELCA which members in good standing cannot deny or dispute or question, then the ELCA is in far bigger trouble than approving a lifestyle for lay and clergy which is in conflict with the Lutheran Confessions and the historic position of the Church from the get go. Indeed, it may end up that believing in God at all is optional within the official parameters of the ELCA -- signalling its movement into the sphere of the UCC once and for all.