What Should Faithful ELCA Members Do?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Backwoods Presbyterian, Oct 7, 2009.

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  1. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    My Former Prof at PTS (who is the authority on homosexuality in the mainlines) has a provocative answer in an article posted here.

    Well worth the look.
  2. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    To answer the OP question: They should leave. In fact, they should have left years ago. And I'd add that the reasons for my answer are legion, with the issue of homosexuality being but one matter.
  3. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    Right. I think the Roman Cathoic Church is more faithful than the ELCA if that tells you anything.
  4. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    He's wrong to focus on the symptom, rather than the disease.

    Of course, in either case, the answer is, depart.
  5. Julio Martinez Jr

    Julio Martinez Jr Puritan Board Freshman

    What are the grounds of leaving a church anyway? I know that as a Presbyterian I have such a high caution of people leaving a church. I remember reading Calvin's Institutes (book 4). He has such a high view the church, and a very cautious attitude about leaving a church. He even states that leaving a church should be well deliberative. So I would ask what then are those conditions, and where are those conditions found in the Bible?
  6. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    He's trying to define the argument too narrowly -- I cannot accept that a church is defined by its view of sexual relationships -- it is defined by its allegiance to Christ and submission to His authority. The ELCA holds to an image of Christ (a loving, inclusive figure that is a bare shadow of the true God) and long ago rejected the authority of the scriptures.

    To some extent, even trying to engage in his argument, you are giving away the farm, since a premise is a given and the argument is judged on whether the conclusion may be supported by the preceding statements.
  7. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    True, but I'm fairly certain he wouldn't have been caught dead in a denomination that has degenerated to this level.

    They should leave and either start a new denomination, or join the LCMS or the Association of Free Lutheran Churches or whatever else there is that's not like ELCA. :2cents:
  8. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Have you read the statement of the founders of your denomination?

    PCA Historical Center - Documents: Message to All Churches (7 December 1973)
  9. Julio Martinez Jr

    Julio Martinez Jr Puritan Board Freshman

    My question, however, is more specific. What are those conditions? I get that Calvin wouldn't "find himself dead" in a church that has degenerated to this level. I would like to know what are those conditions then? Obviously sexual orientation shouldn't be the rule. What is "the rule?"

    -----Added 10/7/2009 at 07:15:14 EST-----

    Yes I have. But my question is for the opinion of those engaged in this forum.
  10. Dearly Bought

    Dearly Bought Puritan Board Junior

    I would argue that there are three marks that identify the true church of Christ. We have no right to separate from any church which bears these marks, but we are responsible to separate from any body which fails to bear these marks.
    The three marks are inextricably connected. As the visible Gospel, the sacraments cannot be corrupted without corrupting the church's presentation of the Gospel itself. Corruption of church discipline corrupts the sacraments, corrupting the Gospel. To practically illustrate, a congregation which does not fence the Lord's Table in any way is preaching an antinomian message by her administration of the sacraments, thus corrupting the Gospel itself. I would also add that churches do not preach a Gospel from the pulpit for long that contradicts the message of their sacramental practice. Most congregations that commune unrepentant sinners do not preach against their sins while so doing.

    Most will agree that preaching of a false gospel necessitates separation, but will then balk at the inclusion of the administration of the sacraments and church discipline. However, notice Paul's response to the imposition of circumcision in addition to baptism on Gentile believers. He believes the Gospel itself is at stake (Gal. 2:5)!
  11. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Widespread apostasy of the denomination's leadership would be one such rule (as in this case), but surely there are other doctrinal concerns that come up before it gets to that level. There is some gray area.
  12. Julio Martinez Jr

    Julio Martinez Jr Puritan Board Freshman

    Very believable. Thanks. So say someone does leave the congregation or denomination. What then? What is the responsibility of the "leaving party?"
  13. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem Puritan Board Junior

    I have a group of inlaws that are ELCA. They believe they are standing up for "gay rights" and that their church is the only one doing the "right thing". They told my wife that our church (PCA) discriminates against gays and that we are intolerant. One of my wifes sisters who had visited our church a few times has decided to instead go to a more "accepting of people" non-denominational church because the PCA is "against gays".

    I just found out about this a few minutes ago. Apparently they really grilled my wife today when they were out together.

    So, this is unfortunate. I think the ELCA and all Churches like it are under the influence of the devil. These are dark days for the Church Universal.
  14. mvdm

    mvdm Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks, Ben. Excellent analysis. However, I'm not sure what you mean by "provocative" re: his conclusions. They appear straightforward and foregone based on the scriptural evidence lays out.
  15. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I wonder if their church is pro-liar and pro-thief as well.
  16. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I was being slightly facetious...
  17. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    You could cause a big stir like I did when I left the PCUSA. (Just kidding) Seriously, the elders and leadership need to know why you are leaving. Meet with the leadership, them the reasons with biblical references, and then quietly walk away.
  18. Julio Martinez Jr

    Julio Martinez Jr Puritan Board Freshman

    My concern is more with the person who actually has left. What is his responsibility at that point. And I don't want to start a stir, for certain. I do want to know, for the sake of research, what the responsibility of person is who left a so-called congregation. :2cents:
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