Continued Cooperation in Externals?
I recently read the Reporter article about continued LCMS-ELCA talks (see it here.)
This post is a continued discussion based upon my previous posting at BJS entitled “Is it Cooperation in Externals..”
Some good things about the article:
Our chaplains may be getting a break in the forthcoming documents put out by Synod.
RSO’s will be reviewed a little closer for doctrine and practice.
Thank God for that progress.
Some questionable things about the article:
Synod is not going to be taking any steps away from the Inter-Lutheran agencies. These agencies have both LCMS and ELCA cooperation. I fail to see how such cooperation helps us proclaim the pure Gospel to the world. Are we satisfied with having our witness tainted by association with error?
It is very disappointing that these conversations continue in this format, especially when the ELCA representatives flaunt their false beliefs about church unity in the meetings. They make note of their full communion with other denominations like the RCA, PCUSA, ECUSA, UMC, and so forth. More than any decision about human sexuality, these union agreements are insults to what the Scriptures teach about dealing with the erring.
It was sad to see from the article that an area of agreement that is notable is our mutual stand against human cloning. That is a good stand, but sad in that we have to go that far before we find ourselves in agreement.
Couldn’t this be a good time to engage these other emerging Lutheran church bodies (like LCMC and NALC who have demonstrated some willingness to depart from error) in order to possibly call them back from the errors that they still have?
Don’t we have a hard enough time defining ourselves as “not those Lutherans” among the greater world in which we live bearing witness and showing mercy without confusing those whom we serve with such strange working relationships?
As I suggested in my previous post on this topic, our Synodical leaders need our prayers and encouragement on these matters.