I sure wish this was a misquote!

The Santa Cruz Sentinel has a story from last September headlined “Local Evangelical Lutherans applaud church’s decision allowing gay clergy.” It’s about the ELCA’s then-recent move to ordain clergy who are in committed same-sex relationship (they actually had allowed gay clergy prior to the 2009 decision).

Anyway, check out these three paragraphs in the middle of the story:

“Scripture is not clear on a lot of sexual issues,” said the Rev. Stan Abraham, pastor at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in Soquel and Trinity Lutheran Church in Watsonville. “And because it is not a cut-and-dry issue, the ELCA’s decision is reasonable at this particular time.”

The Missouri Synod’s position is that you can be a gay or lesbian member of the church, but not a practicing clergy member, celibate or not.

“It was a good decision for the ELCA to allow each congregation to decide whether or not they want to allow for the ordination of gay men and lesbians in committed relationships,” said Abraham. “The decision will not impact the good relationships we have with our colleagues at the ELCA.”

Unfortunately it’s not a misquote. I don’t know why but District President Robert Newton apparently hasn’t had the time or inclination to deal with this false teaching.

What’s more — I’m told that Stan Abraham isn’t even just on the clergy roster of the LCMS. He’s the circuit counselor.

I know that Newton is a big supporter of President Kieschnick. I hope that President Kieschnick can talk to DP Newton and get him to handle this unfortunate scandal.


I sure wish this was a misquote! — 101 Comments

  1. @MN Grandma #100

    In my last post, I didn’t think you had been flippant–I just figured you may not have had a mental image of Carl’s statement. It’s rather revealing, and subtle, as well–layers of meaning and all that.

    Regarding your comment about the pewsitter. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Dealing with errant teaching & preaching is not always easy. But I would suggest that you have your catechism handy at home, and also your copy of the Lutheran Study Bible (an invaluable resource). It heps to have the Book of Concord, too. If you are unsure about the meaning of a certain passage, you can do some checking. You can ask your pastor what he meant, without being “in his face.” And you can take it from there. I suppose there’s almost always an element of uncertainty, but sooner or later, through your study you will come to an understanding, and your confidence will be renewed. You have as your example the Bereans (Acts 17:10-12). It helps to have a trusted friend or advisor to bounce things off of, too. I cannot emphasize “trusted” too strongly. Confidentiality is absolutely essential.

    It is a terrible thing to sit in church, making mental notes (or written notes) about your pastor’s preaching or teaching. A good friend of mine said that it could almost be described as “going to church and sinning.”

    As I and other have said here, we’re paying the price for a generation of poor catechesis in the LCMS. It’s a heavy price.

    I have seen first hand, and heard second hand what dealing with errant and false teaching can do to a congregation. I have also seen and heard what NOT dealing with these things can do. Both are not pretty pictures. But–Johannes’ First Rule applies: “Bad news early.” Sooner or later it needs to be dealt with. Better sooner than later.

    I hope this encourages you.


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