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Bill Dog's Journal: the Lutherans have completed their fall 26

Journal by Bill Dog

I grew up in the Lutheran church, and was confirmed and baptized there. In my case in that order, as while as long as I can remember I've believed in God, during my confirmation classes it was my mom sending me to do it, whereas the latter was a couple of years later and was something instigated by me. The former must've been in 8th grade, as I recall going on a winter retreat for confirmation while my leg was in a cast, and one time when everyone went off to play in the snow, a kind soul in my class stayed behind and played chess with me. She was no good at it, but she was angel for doing it. The latter must've been 10th or 11th grade, because it was before I started driving, and working my first non- paper route job. Some nerdy kid in jr. high mentioned to me that he had read the whole New Testament once, and I was inspired to and planned to do the same, and prolly did that around 9th or 10th, between those two events.

Anyways, that all predated the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and having heard in college how this was veering Left and (not so coincidentally) away from the Bible, I was disappointed to learn that my mom and I's little neighborhood church had affiliated itself with them. Which is when I began to try out some other kinds of churches, including the more conservative-leaning (actually a bit too much for me, I found out!) Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, and ultimately landing in an affiliate of the Biblically-serious but otherwise quite laid back Calvary Chapel, uh, non-denominational "denomination".

The ELCA first started pushing the envelope when they began ordaining female ministers. IIRC, there's something in the Bible about women should not be teachers over men. Might be part of the preservation of God's order, and to mirror and reinforce the analogous order in heaven. I've gotten the impression that in strength and lack of ambiguity it is more serious than "women should wear hats in church", but less than a "God hates it when a woman is put in a doctrinal leadership position over other than children (of either gender) and fellow women". I.e. proper reverance would indicate erring on the side of respecting God's word, and the church chose not to. Which is never a good sign.

At some point they okayed celibate homosexuals for becoming pastors. Possibly surprising to some and disappointing to others, I'm okay with that move. The Religious Right, of which I include myself, characteristically tends to overplay the sin of homosexual activity. To a Perfect Being, it is no more of a stain on one's soul than a heterosexual indulging in lustful thoughts. (Notice I didn't say merely "having", as that is temptation placed by the Enemy, but running with it is one's own responsibility.) It's an important distincton that it is not a sin to be a homosexual, it is a sin to engage in that type of activity. The Bible only says God hates the activity. But it is not the case that "God hates fags", as Jesus died for all, and before Him everyone was unworthy. By committing to celebacy (or marrying the opposite sex and keeping sexual relations within that framework), the homosexual is as "flawed but trying" as a straight person.

But now they've green-lighted practicing homosexuals for the clergy. Now I'm "a practicing sinner", for sure, but I recognize my bouts of disobediance as being wrong, and try to avoid it, not embrace it. The implication there is "practicing homosexuals" plus "being fine with that".

To this end the church has draped it in positive-sounding window dressing: "publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships". But that's proverbially like putting a gold ring in a pig's nose. Monogamy is only holy in the context of (heterosexual) marriage. If I shack up with a gal, I can be as monogamous as I want, but it's still extra-marital sex. And attaching "lifelong" to a prohibited activity only makes it worse, not better. Better to be an occasional bank robber who struggles with it than a committed, lifelong one. So again, "lifelong" is only admirable if what that commitment to is deemed admirable. And like these other words included for the purposes of deceit (a sin), "publicly accountable" sounds good, but is meaningless in the context of Christianity, as that's all about accountability to God. In fact what it does do is serve to indicate where and that the focus of the mainstream Lutheran church in America is now about pleasing man and the world and less so God.

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the Lutherans have completed their fall

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  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday August 24, 2009 @08:12AM (#29171523) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me that the Lutherans are learning from the mistakes of the Catholic church. A argument could be made that a significant factor in the sex abuse scandals involving Catholic clergy is their latent homosexual tendencies that they thought they could oppress by embracing celibacy.

    However we understand that in reality, sexual orientation isn't a choice. And you cannot choose to change it, either. Of course, as a private organization a church is free to choose to exclude people based on their sexual orientation. However it clearly does not work to take in a homosexual and then try to "change" them by suppression.
    • by cml4524 (1520403)

      See... here's the trouble. They book that all these factions pull their beliefs from was, at some point, written by a bunch of mysognstic goat herders wandering around in the desert having divine hallucinations. If you believe that they're conveying the word of an all-loving (yet genocidal), all-knowing (yet he bothered to put us all in Eden knowing we'd get kicked out anyway), all powerful (but he lets all life on Earth suffer mightily just for the sake of it) god, you don't really get to pick and choose w

      • I'm with Bill Dog. Either take the whole part and parcel

        That seems rather impossible to accomplish, considering how many parts of the bible contradict other parts of the bible. Of course, it is rather hard to avoid such an outcome when dealing with a document that was written by dozens of authors over hundreds of years.

        or drop the pretenses and just go secular

        I am agnostic myself, though the bible is not the reason why.

        I was raised Lutheran too... by a bunch of weathered, racist, homophobic, angry rednecks. Not a good introduction to religion.... as you may have noticed.

        Actually I can't say I had. You may or may not have noticed previously that I was confirmed methodist - a long time ago in a galaxy far away. Of course since I am apparently you (o

  • presented "as is"

    http://fratres.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/minneapolis-tornado-rips-lutheran-conference-on-gays-in-the-church-pics/ [wordpress.com]

    disclaimer: I am not "anti gay" but I am opposed to state "marriage licenses" for all, that's gays, heteros, plurals, all of the above. I don't think it is the state's business to determine who you live with and what you do in that regard. All economic and child custody determinations and so on and so forth that various people and groups say they are being discriminated against be

    • by cml4524 (1520403)

      Your newsletter, etc.

      It's really just common sense. Two competent and of-age human beings should be able to enter into any legitimate, legally binding contract they want. I don't care if 100 men all want to enter into a contract that gives them the same legal rights as a "traditionally" married couple. So be it.

      Take marriage out of the state entirely. If churches want to discriminate, fine, just so long as their discrimination has absolutely no legal recognition what-so-ever. You can marry whoever you want,

      • by Bill Dog (726542)

        Wow that's two things we agree on. (The first was "Either take the whole part and parcel - including [all the things that don't seem right relative to pop morality] - or drop the pretenses and just go secular.") Many of my friends in the Religious Right would prolly strongly disagree, but I'm with you and zogger on what I'll coin as the "separation of marriage and state" issue. To me and many others "marriage" is solely a religious concept. In fact it is one of the Holy Sacraments in the Lutheran church and

      • You speak my mind. Maybe that is why some confuse us-

        http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1349679&cid=29217787 [slashdot.org]

        I am only damn_registrars, right? And you are only pudge_confirmer. But we are unique humans, just like everyone else. ;-)

    • by Bill Dog (726542)

      While I'm not one to get all Pat Robertsonish and start equating natural disasters with punishments from God, that definitely is a bit eerie. Thanks for pointing it out. And I totally agree with the rest of your post as well, as I said in a response to one of cml-whatever's comments here.

      • Well, I GUESS SO! Muahahahahaha! If it wasn't so serious it could have been comedy routine out of a mel brooks movie or something.

        Really, on the marriage thing..THIS is something the left and right, religious folks, atheists, straights gay and otherwise could all agree on and push a federal law banning the marriage "license". It violates born with rights, example, "freedom of association". When they make you pay to get a permit or license, it ceases to be a "right". Blatantly unconstitutional. And why the h

        • by Bill Dog (726542)

          ..., and everyone would be happy.

          Unfortunately not -- there are those who won't easily give up having state sanction (for example Religious Conservatives) and those who will do anything to get it (which is precisely what the whole "gay marriage" issue is all about to advocates, and not about "equal rights"). Govt.'s blessing as normative is a prize that neither side will willingly abandon.

  • That while Lutheran, she was a "Cultural Catholic"- as the Roman Catholic Church would be the LAST to embrace homosexuality, euthanasia, health care rationing, abortion, and materialism over moralism.

    I had to admit she was right- the feminazi takeover of The Charismatic Catholic Movement seems to be over and in the past; my generation is FAR more CONSERVEative than the previous two in the Roman Catholic Church.

    Too bad some of the things we're conservative about- you've rejected.

    • by Bill Dog (726542)

      That while Lutheran, she was a "Cultural Catholic"-...

      Indeed I think the Catholic heritage is strongly visible in the Lutheran church, but whereas the Catholic church (not its people) has held steadfast, the Lutheran church has slipped. Altho both are guilty of being complacent about evil within their own ranks. I.e. I've read that the Lutheran church also had a sex scandal (molestations and cover-ups) and paid out a bunch of money in restitution.

      the feminazi takeover of The Charismatic Catholic Movement se

      • Indeed I think the Catholic heritage is strongly visible in the Lutheran church, but whereas the Catholic church (not its people) has held steadfast, the Lutheran church has slipped. Altho both are guilty of being complacent about evil within their own ranks. I.e. I've read that the Lutheran church also had a sex scandal (molestations and cover-ups) and paid out a bunch of money in restitution.

        I see the sex scandal as really being a part of our parent's generation- the demographics on it pretty muc

        • by Bill Dog (726542)

          I'm not sure I see the status quo in America today as being Left-wing; certainly the economic status quo is exactly what Ronald Reagan preached...

          In the article I referred to earlier, a case is made that the economic status quo we have is precisely what descends from a Left-wing overtaken culture.

          • It isn't quite a case I believe- because if we truly had a Left-wing overtaken culture, there is no way that Congress would be relinquishing the power to print money to the FED. Nor would any true left-wing government bureaucracy allow Wall Street to have that much power, they'd be regulated down to trading stock being nearly impossible.

            The lack of regulation is a sign or Reagan's "small government" nonsense; and that's the mess I'm referring to.

            • by Bill Dog (726542)

              The Left in the 60's was about no personal responsiblity. Today they've all grown into their unified goal being the pursuit of power to totally transform America. But power takes money (they failed to do it via numbers -- failed to stir up the workers to revolution), so today the Left is in bed with the bankers as much as the Right. But the culture of no self-restraint, of no duty except to the cause of converting America into something completely different, remains. It is these together that have got us wh

              • Barney Frank is no liberal- neither Obama or Pelosi or even Ted Kennedy. True liberals aren't for the elite- they're for the little guy. GK Chesterton was a true liberal. Father Caughlin and Archbishop John Hughes- those were liberals. And they were all about personal responsibility.

                I agree the Left of the 1960s was about no personal responsibility; but it was also about no loyalty to the poor or the middle class.

                • by Bill Dog (726542)

                  Barney Frank is no liberal- neither Obama or Pelosi or even Ted Kennedy. True liberals aren't for the elite- they're for the little guy.

                  We are experiencing a conversational imbalance. I understand perfectly well that when you rail on capitalism for example, that you mean not what that work ethic article says capitalism should be, but you're railing on what it currently is, in America today. And yet it seems you somehow can't understand that when I rail against Liberals, that I'm obviously not referring to t

                  • Ok, I'll agree with that one. But by that measure- Ronald Reagan was a Liberal, for he was for liberty apart from the Federal Government for the rich, just as Barny Frank is for liberty for homosexuals, Obama seems to be for liberty for usurers, and Pelosi seems to be for the liberty of women not to be mothers.

                    • by Bill Dog (726542)

                      I think you're thinking too narrowly here. What are the overall commonalities and differences. Did Reagan follow the same pattern that Liberals today are known for -- cozying up to big money to buy the power to control how we live our lives and to change America into something totally different? He certainly gave us significant deficit spending to pursue what he thought was of large-scale importance (winning the Cold War). So there definitely are similarities.

                    • Did Reagan follow the same pattern that Liberals today are known for -- cozying up to big money to buy the power to control how we live our lives and to change America into something totally different?
                       
                      Uh, yes, that's what lowering the top tax bracket to a mere 35% was all about- giving the rich more money to use for lobbying congress and allowing Corporate Rule over Constituent Rule.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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