Missouri Synod finds working with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America "difficult if not impossible"

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Paul J. Scharf's picture

This type of situation is one of the oddities of Lutheranism for which there is no counterpart in the fundamentalist world by which one can illustrate the point.
Another major entity that I did not see in the article is https://www.thrivent.com/ Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (formerly Aid Association for Lutherans), which, according to its website, is "a Fortune 500 financial services membership organization" (they even advertise on the radio for Green Bay Packer games) that is available only for Lutherans -- at least the last I knew.
They are an excellent company and do many wonderful charitable deeds. You often see them giving money to fundraisers for people with cancer or some other major health concern. But the point here is that in order to participate in these types of groups or activities you often have to be "a Lutheran." Your specific denomination does not matter.
Conservatives have gone along with these arrangements for years -- sometimes with troubled consciences. Perhaps it is all coming to a boil.
For those who are not aware, there are alot of things bubbling up within Lutheranism right now -- not only in the ELCA, but also among conservative groups like the LC-MS and the WELS. Among the questions being considered is how/whether to maintain traditional, confessional worship in a culture now almost wholly given over to the "seeker-sensitive" approach.
A great source of information is a radio program run by some LC-MS guys, http://issuesetc.org/ "Issues, Etc."
Often the program has guests we as fundamentalists would be very comfortable with, such as Dr. Terry Mortenson of Answers in Genesis or even some Southern Baptists. But most of it is inside baseball for Lutherans. If you are desiring to know more about how the Lutheran theological game is played, immerse yourself in this conversation for a while. Biggrin
But a word of caution to the uninitiated: When they discuss issues like baptism or soteriology, or give their reflections on a topic like dispensationalism, the program may turn you into http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezra+9:3&version=KJV ]Ezra and make you pull out your fundamentalist hair .

Church Ministries Representative, serving in the Midwest, for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry 

Alex Guggenheim's picture

From the article:

The president of the Missouri Synod, the Rev. Matthew Harrison, said in a statement that the decision, effective next year, was based on the ELCA decision on gay ordination, and on the military's plan to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell," policy.

However, the guidelines for evaluating the joint relationships made it clear that cooperative work in many of the agencies is likely to end.

Matt is a fundie Lutheran. Yes, fundie Lutheran. While subscribing to sacramental regeneration (which is to be expected and of course quite confessionally orthodox Lutheranism) he is robust in his Martinisms, to coin a word. That is, the spirit and convictions that embodied the ministry of Martin Luther are very present in the expressions and direction under Matthew Harrison who was elected last year as Synod President. He is known for not simply uttering convictions but acting upon them.

There was a big push by the conservative end for him and they got him. So it is not surprising to hear, while he is couched with his words, the end results are going to be "that cooperative work in many of the agencies is likely to end".

jlamarcrowder's picture

I'm unclear about some things here. What exactly are they having trouble working together on? Does this relate to Confessional worship or is that a seperate subject? Thanks for any response.