"Conservative Lutherans began forging the new body just weeks after the ELCA gave the green light in 2009 for non-celibate gays and lesbians to serve as clergy."

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Ed Vasicek's picture

The Evangelical Lutherans never should have merged with the Lutheran Church in America in the first place. The "unity craze" is hopefully over. What seems silly to me is that the more conservative Ev. Lutheran Church was all aglow about unity back a dozen years ago or so when they merged with the notoriously liberal LCA, and now they had an opportunity to merge with the more conservative Missouri Synod and they are all of a sudden not concerned about unity.
Figure it out. I think it is simply this: foolish choice followed by opposite reaction.

"The Midrash Detective"

Charlie's picture

First, I'm a bit confused by the opening sentence: "More than 1,100 Lutherans, many of whom split from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, established a new denomination on Friday." Surely this doesn't mean that the new denomination represents only 1,100 people? Does it mean that 1,100 Lutheran churches left or that 1,100 representatives did the establishing?

Anyway, I find it puzzling and a bit disappointing that when minorities within a denomination secede, they almost always choose to form a new denomination. Why not link up with an already established body, such as LCMS? (I am pretty ignorant of higher-level Lutheran polity, so perhaps there is a real obstacle.) The Presbyterians have been incorrigible on this point: there are half a dozen or so denominations with less than 100 churches, and all of these denominations hold virtually the same confessional standards! You Baptists ought to tease us more, that for all our talk, we're really separatists and Independents at heart.

On a more positive note, the Lutheran CORE and the Presbyterian NAPARC are both fostering doctrinal and practical emphases that may lead to a spiritual revitalization of their target groups, laying the groundwork for unification down the road.

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Paul J. Scharf's picture

"Conservative" here is a relative term.
The ELCA included a merger of the American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches.
These groups were struggling with liberalism decades ago. Most of them would never have considered merger with LCMS as opposed to joining ELCA as they did, so far as I know. The AELC was actually a liberal split-off from the LCMS.
(For comparison, it would be like asking the American Baptists to merge with the GARBC.)
WELS ended fellowship with the LCMS more than 40 years ago because LCMS still had fellowship with the American Lutherans.
This new group will not be strongly evangelical unless God does a mighty work in their midst to change many years of liberal orientation.

Charlie,
As to why they would start a new denomination, that is just the way Lutherans think and work. Even if it were only one local church, they would consider it a "new denomination." The idea of an independent Lutheran church is almost non-existent, and the idea of joining an existing denomination with its previously existing modus operandi is also unappealing.

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

rogercarlson's picture

I havent read the article yet. But I do understand this issue. 2 of my children attend a LCMS school. We have had children in this school for 6 years and my wife and I are both employed there (she teaches and I run the before school care). We had two ELCA churches split last year over this issue. At the time, I asked an ELCA friend, "why don't you just join one of the LCMS churches?" His answer was that he wanted his son confirmed and he couldnt be Confirmed in the LCMS. The reason? The LCMS in our area expect a statement of faith - they expect the child to be able to give some type of testimony of conversion.

It has been my experience that the new church that started is less evangelical than the LCMS. This is not to say that there are not problems in the LCMS. Smile

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

... 57 varieties.
Turns out "not getting along" is more human than fundamentalist?
I've met some amazing WELS and LCMS people--amazing in terms of their beliefs. I didn't expect as much common ground (not that the differences are trivial!)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

rogercarlson's picture

Aaron.

I totally agree with your assesment. But when we first were introduced to the whole Lutheran system, we were scared. There are are big differneces, but I was shocked to find that LCMS believed in inerrency, for instance.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Paul J. Scharf's picture

rogercarlson wrote:
But when we first were introduced to the whole Lutheran system, we were scared. There are are big differneces, but I was shocked to find that LCMS believed in inerrency, for instance.

That's funny...when I was a Lutheran I was scared of Baptists -- thinking they were just one notch short of a cult or something.
Now that I mention it, some days I am still scared of Baptists... Bleah

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

rogercarlson's picture

LOL Paul!

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Paul J. Scharf wrote:
One good fruit that came from the group now known as the ELCA -- " http://www.daveyandgoliath.org/ Davey and Goliath ."
Someone will have some eternal rewards for that, for sure Smile

Wow. THEY did that?! I'm going to have to take back any critical thing I've ever said about them. I loved those guys. (Only saw them a few times as a kid... but indelible images.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.