Tuesday, August 25, 2009

LCMS Response to ELCA Actions

As promised, here's the LCMS response.

Statement of the president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in response to certain actions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

August 24, 2009

The two largest Lutheran church bodies in the United States are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) with 4.8 million members and The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod (LCMS) with 2.4 million members.

On Friday, Aug. 21, the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to open the ministry of the ELCA to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in "committed relationships." In an earlier action, the assembly approved a resolution that commits the ELCA "to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships."

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod has repeatedly affirmed as its own position the historical understanding of the Christian church that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior as "intrinsically sinful." It is therefore contrary to the will of the Creator and constitutes sin against the commandments of God (Lev. 18:22, 24,20:13; 1 Cor. 6:9-20; 1 Tim 1:9-10; and Rom. 1:26, 27).

Addressing the ELCA assembly on Saturday, Aug. 22, I responded to their aforementioned actions, stating: "The decisions by this assembly to grant non-celibate homosexual ministers the privilege of serving as rostered leaders in the ELCA and the affirmation of same-gender unions as pleasing to God will undoubtedly cause additional stress and disharmony within the ELCA. It will also negatively affect the relationships between our two church bodies. The current division between our churches threatens to become a chasm. This grieves my heart and the hearts of all in the ELCA, the LCMS, and other Christian church bodies throughout the world who do not see these decisions as compatible with the Word of God, or in agreement with the consensus of 2,000 years of Christian theological affirmation regarding what Scripture teaches about human sexuality. Simply stated, this matter is fundamentally related to significant differences in how we [our two church bodies] understand the authority of Holy Scripture and the interpretation of God's revealed and infallible Word."

Doctrinal decisions adopted already in 2001 led the LCMS, in sincere humility and love, to declare that we could no longer consider the ELCA "to be an orthodox Lutheran church body" (2001 Res 3-21A). Sadly, the decisions of this past week to ignore biblical teaching on human sexuality have reinforced that conclusion. We respect the desire to follow conscience in moral decision making, but conscience may not overrule the Word of God.

We recognize that many brothers and sisters within the ELCA, both clergy and lay, are committed to remaining faithful to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, are committed to the authority of Holy Scripture, and strongly oppose these actions. To them we offer our assurance of loving encouragement together with our willingness to provide appropriate support in their efforts to remain faithful to the Word of God and the historic teachings of the Lutheran church and all other Christian churches for the past 2,000 years.

Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

"Transforming lives through Christ's love ... in time ... for eternity ..." John 3:16-17

[Editor's Note: A complete draft of President Kieschnick's address to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly is posted on the LCMS Web site at www.lcms.org.]

Saturday, August 22, 2009

LCC and WELS respond to ELCA Clergy Resolution

On Friday the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a resolution to allow for the ordination of those in committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships. The vote was 559 in favor, 451 against. The links below are response statements from the Lutheran Church of Canada and The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. If and when the LCMS releases a statement I will post that as well.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Penn Jillette

Rev. Marcus Zill, campus pastor at Wyoming, sent this to me.

"Hey gang, I just back from the HIgher Things, Christ on Campus conference in CA.  Rev. Bill Cwirla showed us the below clip by Penn Jillette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JHS8adO3hM  Penn Jillette is the tall talkative member of the comedic/magic duo of Penn and Teller.  This is from an online web cam thing he does periodically.  He is an avowed atheist, but here he goes out of his way to give kudos to a man who dared to reach out to him and give him a Bible.  This gives us a lot of insight into how one should go about seeking to share the faith through the opportunity to see the reaction of an atheist.  Our evangelism should "dare to be Lutheran," and be honest, up front, and respectful.  But above all else, Penn shows us that it is important to care enough to try. He respects this guy for even trying to simply give him a Bible and says, "How much do you have to hate somebody to NOT proselytze!?!"  Unbelievable.  Please, please watch this, and share this with everyone and anyone. This has really haunted me ever since seeing it.  Zill

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sundae Night on a Friday!

On Friday, May 1, some of the students got together to enjoy a night of all-you-can-eat sundaes. This delicious night consisted of massive amounts of Dairy Queen ice cream, some exciting card games, Foosball, and a heavily salted cake (payback is on its way, Angie).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

International Food Fest

The afternoon of Sunday, April 26th was a fun and busy day here at the Chapel as East met West in the grand potluck to end all potlucks known as the International Food Festival. American students, International Students, and members of the St. Paul's Community and our sister LCMS congregations gathered to consume such culinary masterpieces as burgogee, tea eggs, German Potato Salad, and Curry Fried Rice. Following dinner there were games of foosball, Uno, and plenty of good conversations. Much fun was had by all.

Congratulations to Deaconess Candidate Angie!

Wednesday, April 22, our own Deaconess Intern Angie Carriker went down to St. Louis for Concordia Seminary's Call Day. To everyone's astonishment, she has been called to St. Paul's Lutheran Chapel and University Center! Angie plans to accept the call and will be consecrated as Deaconess in August. Piefest will probably ensue.

Everyone here at the Chapel was so excited that we get to keep her, we decided to receive her upon her return in proper chapel style:

Congratulations, Angie!

Hawkeye Heartbreak

The game: Kickball

The teams: The Panthers of College Hill Lutheran verses The Hawkeyes of St. Paul’s Lutheran Chapel.

The stakes: The IDE President’s Cup (A real coffee cup from which the IDE President has slurped his tea.)

The date: Saturday, April 25, 2009.

The place: Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca

The conditions: Deplorable.  It was cold, wet, and miserable; a day unfit for the great game of kickball.  Nevertheless, we played. 

We played our Hawkeye hearts out.  We played until we bled black and gold, from both knees, but to no avail.  When all was said and done, when the last ball had been kicked, the scoreboard read: Panthers 6.  Hawkeyes 5.  Oh the humanity!  Here’s how it happened.

 With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the score reading 6 to 4 in favor of the Panthers, the Hawks had runners at first and second.  Our heavy kicker was up – it was a perfect situation.  Fear filled the Panther hearts.  The ball was rolled and kicked.  A long fly ball to left field!  One run was in, then two.  The score was tied.  The Hawks had the winning run just 60 feet away.  Victory was in our grasp, but then came the call.  Seems the ball struck a tree and by Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca’s rules that’s a ground rule double.  One run came off the board as the runner went back to third.  But not to fear!  Runners on second and third, two outs, all we needed was a ground ball out of the infield and The Cup would be ours.  It was a not to be.  The ball was popped up for an easy out.  The Hawkeye heartbreak began as the Panthers hoisted the IDE President’s Cup in victory!