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Dissidents Unveil New Rival North American Lutheran Church

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) Saying they’re done with efforts to reform the nation’s largest Lutheran body, dissidents unveiled blueprints Thursday (Feb. 18) for a rival denomination, the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).
The new body, which will hew to a more traditional line on issues of human sexuality, is expected to be formally launched in August as a conservative alternative to the 4.6 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
So far, at least seven ELCA congregations have voted to leave after the Chicago-based denomination lifted restrictions last summer on non-celibate gay clergy. An additional 28 congregations appear poised to leave.
The ultimate size of the new denomination remains unclear.
Congregations seeking to leave the ELCA must garner a two-thirds majority in back-to-back votes. So far, 64 of the 220 ELCA parishes that moved to secede couldn’t muster the necessary votes, both sides said.
The new denomination will be “faithful in its preaching and practice to the Holy Bible and to the teachings of the Lutheran Confessions,” organizers said. Still, they said remaining in the ELCA is also a “faithful course” for individuals or congregations that choose to stay.
Organizers are “united in a common confession of the Christian faith and commitment to submit to the authority of God’s Word over all matters of faith,” said the Rev. Mark Chavez of Landisville, Pa., director of the group Lutheran CORE, which is overseeing the breakaway.
Chavez said Lutheran CORE would remain as a network of Lutherans across the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, NALC and perhaps even the more conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Lutheran CORE expects to work alongside the new denomination on evangelism, theological training and social services. Former ELCA Bishop Paull Spring, who chairs Lutheran CORE’s steering committee, said there are no plans to dissolve Lutheran CORE into the new NALC.
Whatever the group’s future, organizers made clear they’re fed up with years-long fights within the ELCA.
“These proposals are a way for Lutherans to move forward … while leaving behind past struggles to reform the ELCA,” said Ryan Schwarz, a NALC organizer from Washington, D.C.
The new body would mark the second major U.S. church schism over homosexuality in as many years. In 2009, conservative Episcopalians launched the rival Anglican Church in North America, which now claims some 800 congregations in the U.S. and Canada; Episcopal Church headquarters puts the number of breakaway congregations at no more than several dozen.
The new Lutheran church body was announced on the 464th anniversary of the death of Protestant Reformer Martin Luther, a date on which Lutherans celebrate their founder as “a renewer of the Christian church,” officials said.
Recently released ELCA membership figures reported a 1.6 percent drop in 2008 — losses incurred well before last year’s policy change.
For its part, the ELCA issued a statement saying church leaders will go forward on implementing the policy changes while regretting the decision of “a few congregations” to leave the denomination.
“As the ELCA carries out the directives of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, we continue to encourage congregations, synods and the churchwide organization to remain in conversation about these matters,”
the ELCA statement said.
By KEVIN ECKSTROM
2010 Religion News Service
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.



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pagansister

posted February 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm


Why not launch a new branch? Then the fussing and fighting can end and each group can “worship” the supposedly same god their own way. One group will be inclusive, one won’t.



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Chicago11

posted February 19, 2010 at 9:00 pm


The ELCA permits ‘home rule’ for its churches. Individual parishes aren’t required to seek or accept any minister they don’t like for any reason. With all the suffering and need in the world and in their own communities, the secession movement is utter nonsense and totally counterproductive. Sow divisions, and then be surprised when membership continues to decline?



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nnmns

posted February 19, 2010 at 10:51 pm


Yep, when there are serious problems a conservative will seek entertaining trivia.



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nnmns

posted February 20, 2010 at 11:00 am


I should have said “distracting trivia”.



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Wannabe Theo

posted February 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm


Forming a new denomination is ridiculous. There are already many Lutheran church bodies in North America, most of which do not accept homosexual clergy. These congregations should move to an established Lutheran body, such as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, rather than form their own micro-denomination (fewer than 100 congregations!) This is about a handful of people needing to have everything exactly their way.



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pagansister

posted February 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm


WT:”Thai is about a handful of people needing to have everything exactly their way”.
WT, what else is new?



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cknuck

posted February 20, 2010 at 10:58 pm


The sin of homosexuality will probably bring down many churches as they compromise in God’s Word.



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pagansister

posted February 20, 2010 at 11:15 pm


AH, the “sin of homosexuality” rears it’s ugly head once again….Go get um, cknuck!
AH, the acceptance of all of God’s creation…wouldn’t that be different and nice too? Guess not, huh, cknuck. Guess there must be several different gods, as even churche’s can’t agree on just what that Divine Being actually did. Thus they will go off and decide that their god is the best, and will worship that god THEIR way. What a joy religion is! :o(



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cknuck

posted February 21, 2010 at 2:43 am


pagan quote, “Guess there must be several different gods”
Keep guessing pagan that’s what you do best.



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nnmns

posted February 21, 2010 at 7:01 am


I presume that was supposed to be a slam cknuck. But we’re all guessing and ps does do it well.
Every person who believes in a god or gods believes in their own version. Just for instance you and Henrietta are both Christians but your gods have very different agendas so in fact you believe in different gods.
And since, based on lack of evidence for any of them, these gods only exist in peoples’ heads, there sure are several different gods. There are millions of Christian gods, one per Christian head. And millions of Allah’s and millions of Jewish gods and millions of Shivas and, well, thousands of Flying Spaghetti Monsters. Clearly lots of them are similar but I’m guessing if you looked really closely no two would be identical.
In fact people’s gods vary from day to day as their moods and hormones change and hence their world views change, though they would deny it.



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pagansister

posted February 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm


Thanks for the compliment, nnmns. Not sure my guesses are any good…but hey…that’s life! And I do agree…god/goddesses/gods are in people’s minds. (Mine gets cluttered at times!!! :o)
Yes, cknuck, you have absolutes in your mind…so much so that there apparently is no room for error. Makes sure you don’t have to guess at anything, I “guess”.
Have a nice Sunday…Guessing it will be absolutely good.



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Henrietta22

posted February 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm


Ck, quote: Homosexuality will bring down Christians Churches.
If anything brings down Christian Churches it will be the people and their doctrines in them that turn Bible verses into hate, broken families, and wrong doings against people who interpret differently then themselves.



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Henrietta22

posted February 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm


Nnmms and PS, there is only one God. Exp. You can take a family of children with one father and mother, and they can teach their children what is expected of them in their family. Each child will take this training and hear it the way he or she wants to. It’s the same thing in the human family we all belong to. Now Ck believes there is one God also, but he feels that I won’t be accepted by God because I intepret differently than he does. I believe God accepts Ck and understands his heart even if He thinks Ck isn’t getting it, but has much patience that someday he will.



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Henrietta22

posted February 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm


PS and Nnmms, Check out, Haiti Judge to Free some Detained Missionaries. New news from Idaho paper.



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nnmns

posted February 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm


Henrietta I was sure you’d feel that way, and we just disagree. In your example the father can be proven to exist. In Christianity there are only tales (the Bible) of fabled events, which tales happen to be complex, self contradictory and clearly wrong in places. Christians are picking out the parts they want to from that source and formulating their gods. Churches try to control how people formulate their gods but they can’t control people’s minds, much as some of them might like to.
That’s my opinion and there’s no real evidence to the contrary. So we agree to disagree.



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pagansister

posted February 21, 2010 at 5:02 pm


Henrietta, I know you believe in One God…and I totally respect and accept that. Your God is a loving, and accepting God, unlike the one represented by cknuck…at least from what he writes.



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cknuck

posted February 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm


H22 quote, ” Now Ck believes there is one God also, but he feels that I won’t be accepted by God because I intepret differently than he does.”
If you want to know how I believe then ask me H, this statement from you about me is totally incorrect. I don’t know God’s business with you and I have never expressed that I do. I do however argue your scripture interpretations that I feel are harmful and that’s where it ends outside of the few insults I may have made out of frustration.
pagan it is true the pagans worship many gods but that is not the case with me and JohnQ, H22, and jest one God diffewrent people. Although I fully understand where you multple gods statement comes from and its purpose.



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Henrietta22

posted February 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm


I guess I took your insults too seriously Ck. I’ll overlook them for now on as frustrations.
Did you all read about L. Silsby?



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pagansister

posted February 21, 2010 at 7:47 pm


Actually, cknuck, I HONOR, not worship, a Goddess. Ultimately, I make my own decisions, not counting on anyone or thing to make things happen.



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pagansister

posted February 21, 2010 at 7:52 pm


And yes, cknuck, I know that Henrietta, JohnQ,and jestifyl worship ONE God. That never has been a problem for me (or probably some others who don’t happen to do that). However, the God they worship seems to be different than the one you worship. More understanding and loving. How is that possible if indeed there is only ONE divine being to be worshiped? Could it be interpretation?



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nnmns

posted February 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm


I did read about L. Silsby, and she’s one of the last people I’d want to have anything to do with a young child of mine.
Now why did all those Baptists hang with her? What were they thinking? What kinds of things were they thinking?



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cknuck

posted February 22, 2010 at 12:30 am


no pagan if one has true desire the Holy Spirit will interpret the bible for us. Some Christians have chosen to approach the bible like those outside of our belief, the bible is just stories, poetry, and fiction to them and not truly the word of the Lord and in doing so they are a lot like you. That’s why their theology is appealing to you a lot of it falls in the same line of thought of those who don’t believe.



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nnmns

posted February 22, 2010 at 5:52 am


“the true desire”, as opposed to one of the false desires? And what if Satan has put a false desire into you, cknuck, and you only think it’s the true desire, and it’s not “the Holy Spirit” but some base instinct of yours that guides your interpretation?
If the universe were like you imagine it, that very thing could be happening and you’d never know it and you’d be doing Satan’s work.
Being certain would be no protection.



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Wannabe Theo

posted February 22, 2010 at 9:02 am


cknuck wrote: “the bible is just stories, poetry, and fiction to them and not truly the word of the Lord”
Can’t it be stories, poetry and fiction and still be the work of the Lord? Or are only history books the work of the Lord?
The Psalms most definitely are poetry, and at least the parables are fiction; very useful fictions, but fiction none the less. And Jesus (and others) told lots of stories to get his point across.



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nnmns

posted February 22, 2010 at 10:32 am


cknuck let’s for a moment assume you are right about the Bible and the “Holy Spirit” and all. Now what does it say about the competence of your god that in his one best chance to get his message out to his creation he inspires a book that allows people who study it in good conscience to support abortion rights and slavery (I presume a few of the Christian slavery supporters did it in good conscience) and not harassing homosexuals and so on.
In other words, cknuck, how could your all-powerful, all-knowing god have written such a muddled, unclear, error-riddled book? Why should people need “the Holy Spirit” to read it? Why not just write a book people could read and understand on their own?
Did your god just set his Holy Coffee Cup down in heaven, look at your Jesus and say “Duh, why didn’t I think of that?!” Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.



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pagansister

posted February 22, 2010 at 11:17 am


nnmns, maybe THE BOOK is so unclear because it was written over 2000 years ago! Lots of people (inspired, of course, by GOD) have put their slant on it… so no wonder everyone is confused!



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nnmns

posted February 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm


That’s my theory, ps.



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cknuck

posted February 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm


nnmns quote, “Did your god just set his Holy Coffee Cup down in heaven, look at your Jesus and say “Duh, why didn’t I think of that?!” Sorry, I couldn’t resist that.”
Maybe because He didn’t consult you nnmns so that He could inspire something clearer and that would bring so many people to Him and survive over the years. Maybe you could do like ole Tom Jefferson and write in the appropriate corrections. (oh by the way where is his bible.)
nnmns quote, “And what if Satan has put a false desire into you, cknuck,” haven’t had Satan put anything into me so I can’t answer that one for you. I never take your questions seriously enough to address them I know their purpose.



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nnmns

posted February 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm


Sometimes you address them cknuck, sometimes you realize you can’t answer them.
And if the Bible is so clear why does the “Holy Spirit” have to get involved to read it right? And why are there so many people who haven’t seen your light?



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cknuck

posted February 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm


nnmns ignore the fact that there are so many people who have seen the light. It’s alright for you to play the devil’s advocate but you are boring sometime in your same old lame attacks. Just because I don’t bother to answer your silly accusations about the bible does not mean I don’t know the answer. why should I waste my time on you?



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nnmns

posted February 22, 2010 at 9:37 pm


Your god is claimed to be all-knowing and all-powerful and to have had the Bible written to his design. Your god also designed a universe where our default condition is to spend eternity burning in Hell, the only way around that being to have the right kind of faith. Given all that, the Bible should be a miracle of clarity and it should lead anyone who cracks it to the religion that would save us.
Well instead it’s just lame. You say it can only be read well if the “Holy Spirit” becomes convinced we already deserve the help. Not much help for the rest of us. And it contains errors and it contradicts itself. If a company published an instruction manual that bad it would be laughed out of the market.
I’m just glad your whole picture of the universe is wrong, wrong, wrong.



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Dan Skogen

posted February 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm


The ELCA has a lot of troubling issues. I should know, since I’m one of them. Check out this website.



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cknuck

posted February 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm


nnmns quote, “I’m just glad your whole picture of the universe is wrong, wrong, wrong.”
nnmns you don’t even enough to make that statement unless you are a fundamentalist atheist and are just proselytizing. the “wrong, wrong, wrong.” part sounds quite childish, actually I got quite a good laugh about that.



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Scott

posted March 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm


I left a year before the vote happened, I could see this happening…the lack of making a stand with “pastors” that were breaking rules, I would get fired if I did not follow company rules! Not following the Bible…what comes next?
I am at home at a LCMS Church that is growing, I am being fed…feel like it should have been my home all along…I almost cry when I sing “Lamb of God”…I am being more than fed, I am growing, loving more, living more…Maybe the ELCA will wake up?



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Laurie

posted March 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm


I think many “Christians” are judging others and claiming to follow the bible, but have totally missed the point we are all sinners. Every day. Our jobs are to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls and minds and to love one another as Jesus loved us. To spread the good news of Jesus and to be a servant to all.
To try to exclude or accuse others is not what God told us to do. I stand with the ELCA and all Christian churches where ALL are welcome.
I cannot imagine why anyone would want to keep others from a relationship with Christ and fellowship with believers. How is that following the bible? How is that teaching Christ? How is that loving God, and all his people?



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Your Name

posted March 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm


“The new body, which will hew to a more traditional line on issues of human sexuality”
IOW, will revert to old ways of thinking, old, uninformed, uneducated ‘thinking’. Sure wish so many worshippers would learn a bit more, understand a bit more.



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Your Name

posted March 16, 2010 at 5:43 pm


ck,
You post so many demonstrably false statements…
Eg.: “I don’t know God’s business with you and I have never expressed that I do.”
You frequently express what you “believe” is “God’s plan” or “God’s will” – for us, even tho you do not know our hearts nor our personal walks with God.
In fact just above in this very blog: “there are so many people who have seen the light”. Shurely you mean your version of “the light”.
You are correct though, when you admit you “don’t know God’s business with [us]“. So why do you keep trying to ‘set us, er, straight’ on the topic if you “don’t know God’s business with [us]“???



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