Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh was the home of the ELCA Church Wide Assembly last week.  While things were happening in the official program of the CWA, other things were also happening.  Just in case you missed the name of Bishop Guy Erwin, newly elected gay partnered bishop, among those vying for Presiding Bishop, he was there.  He was also there pushing the boundaries of taste, decorum, and orthodoxy.  This from someone the new Presiding Bishop Eaton describes as “one of our most faithful and also scholarly confessional theologians.”

So, pushing the limits, he presided at a "revisionist" liturgy in which everything was gender neutral (including God) and every aspect of maleness was excised -- including the Old Testament reading from Isaiah 56:3-8 in which “eunuchs who keep my Sabbath” are said to be better than sons or daughters.  Not sure how that one fits.  Not even the prayer our Savior taught us to pray was exempt from the funny business.  Father and Mother of us all....  What makes it worse is that the display was an amateur liturgical endeavor with truncated and ill sounding attempts to make neutral every reference to maleness, especially in the references to God. 

Just goes to show you... you get slightly hopeful because a candidate for Presiding Bishop says she wants the ELCA to be more distinctively Lutheran and then you hear of this kind of thing going on by someone who also carries the title Bishop...  When it comes to the ELCA it is hard to say hope springs eternal... at least not when somebody jumps up to smash it down every time it chances to raise up a shoot from the rather dead stump of what still has the distinction to be called the largest Lutheran (?) body in the USA...  Too much pink smoke over Pittsburgh...

You can read an account of it all here. . .


Dr.D said...

When the ELCA was considering electing a woman as Presiding Bishop, they should have looked at the disaster that has happened in ECUSA. The man who was PB before Kate Schori was bad news, but he was not the total tyrant and one-world secularist that she has proven to be. Scripture tells us that women are not to be Church leaders, but we are so "smart" these days, that we think we know which parts of Scripture can "safely" be ignored!! What fools we are!!

Fr. D+
Anglican Priest

Anonymous said...

Pastors try to be relevant. They chase relevance like kids chase fireflies on a summers evening. Whole denominations have abandoned the Gospel seeking to be relevant.
My in laws attended a Presbyterian Church. The church started chasing social relevance. They stopped attending. Wondering how people have stopped attending Church as it became relevant.
Thing is when my kids were baptized and the Creed and Lord’s Prayer were recited, both of my in laws chimed right in. When father in law was in the hospital, his mind blighted by Alzheimer’s and he no longer recognized my wife, his grandkids and I prayed the Lord’s prayer, he chimed right in.
The last time I saw my mother alive, she received the sacrament. I have no doubt that she is with the saints in heaven.
God has promised to work through His Word and His sacraments. He has not promised to work through what we think is relevant. I think God knows what is relevant; what I need; to confess my sin and to hear of my Redeemer.
LCMS Pastors try to be relevant as well. I attended a LCMS Church. The first half of the Liturgy was regularly rewritten. Even the Introit was rewritten. The last service I attended was so bad I walked out. I now attend a different LCMS Church.
One might say that the Pastors are not rewriting what God has written but what the Church has written. I would argue that what the Church has written reflects a deep understanding of Lutheran theology and doctrine.
When I am on my death bed and if my mind is blighted and a Pastor comes in and says, “But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins…,” I want to, having made this confession for many years, just chime right in. God strengthen and preserve us in what He knows is relevant and save us from Pastors trying to be relevant.