Monday, September 13, 2021

The ruling class of religion. . .

Listening to the coverage of the recent Southern Baptist Convention is really rather humorous.  An already clearly conservative denomination was in a bit of a tussle with more conservative forces within that group.  The end result was that the more conservative candidate lost and a slightly less conservative won.  It was an unexpected loss for those who had been trying to shore up the SBC's seeming ventures into a more moderate or less conservative stance.  Even in the SBC, the more conservatives are the outsiders.  But that is how it has been for a very long time.

In nearly every denomination, the ruling class moves in a less conservative direction -- even if that is marked in degrees.  In nearly every church body you can name, the forces more in the middle are in control.  That is certainly true for Rome.  Pope Francis is less conservative than Pope Benedict -- everyone knows this.  But he is not quite the liberal or progressive that the synodal forces in Germany are and he is not likely to ordain women or open the door to LGBTQQIP2SAA forces.  He is a slightly left of center centrist.  The muddy middle as some would put it.  As vocal as the conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church are, they are in the minority and nowhere near the halls of power.  

It is true for Missouri as well.  Though some love to paint Pres. Harrison as a right winger, he stands largely within the vast center of Missouri.  Conservatives have influence but they do not have a lock on power.  No matter Herman Otten or United Lists, Missouri's ruling class (especially considering the District Presidents) is slightly right of center but still rather in the broad center of our denomination and its history.  It is a truism for most denominations and it is certainly true for the Missouri Synod.  Missouri's leadership is very conservative in comparison to the ELCA but looking at Missouri's history that would not be a fair description.

In the ELCA, the ruling class is decidedly left wing.  It is not mainstream or middle of the road or even slightly left of center.  In the ELCA conservatives are persona non grata and they have no voice or vote anywhere.  Take, as example, the ELCA Presiding Bishop's post about the SCOTUS ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia:

​As children of God, we give thanks for all of the LGBTQIA+ people who experience God's calling to the holy work of parenting. In particular response to the June 17 Supreme Court ruling on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the ELCA stands with our LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ and reaffirms our commitment to equal protection, opportunities and responsibilities under the law (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, p. 33).

Children and youth in the child welfare system are among the most vulnerable members of our society, and a disproportionate number of young people in the child welfare system are LGBTQIA+ and in need of compassionate and supportive homes. Our concern as disciples of Christ is for their best interests. This includes recognizing and affirming the vocation of LGBTQIA+ people as parents and foster parents.

Each of us can respond through ongoing education and action in support of LGBTQIA+ people, including those who are called to provide loving care for children, and through compassionate care for our most vulnerable children and youth.

There is nowhere where the ruling class of any Christian church body lies in the hands of very conservative people.  It is a matter of degree and moves from moderate to the left wing but where is there any place where conservatives constitute the ruling class of leadership?  Yet the media and the perception is that the main enemy of Christianity is the crazed and blood thirsty mob of conservatives out to win at all costs.  Where is that the case?  There are nominal forays into leadership by conservatives but the ruling class of the Christian religion is securely in the hands of those from slightly right of center to fully on the left fringe.  The media simply cannot see this and treats every conservative voice as a threat, the voice of the devil.  Look at the way outspoken conservative voices are treated in comparison with outspoken liberal voices.  Yet the reality is that the more conservative forces within Christianity tend to account for more conversions, a higher attendance rate, and a more resilient membership.  However, the media and the ruling class of most denominations view conservative voices with deep suspicion and tend to label them as dangerous to the health and future of the faith.


John Joseph Flanagan said...

How troubling that we have to look at Christian church bodies as conservative or liberal, generally Left or right. In the matter of the faith and the teachings of Jesus, the way we are to live is as Christians or followers of the Lord. We must learn to be much tougher tha we are at present, ELCA is not merely liberal, it is apostate and heretical, and we should have nothing to do with them. To compromise the Faith by attempting some kind of dialogue is useless, Only separation is the solution.

Carl Vehse said...

John Joseph Flanagan said... "How troubling that we have to look at Christian church bodies as conservative or liberal, generally Left or right."

Yes indeed! It is troubling!! Especially when "liberal" and "Left" include the advocacy, support, and participation in such actions as anti-Christianity, treason, sedition, murder-by-abortion, euthanasia, violence, lawlessness, racism, sexual perversions of every description, socialism, communism, and class warfare.

No orthodox Christian church bodies should condone or allow such liberal or Leftist activities by their leaders or congregations.