DOMA Down

June 29th, 2013 Post by

Constitution-No-DOMAOn my way to a CTFWS continuing education class, being hosted by my home congregation in Seattle, I heard the news that the SCOTUS had struck down the DOMA. I was not at all surprised by this action of the highest court in the land. The homosexual lobby has been feverishly working to have the DOMA weakened or outright stricken and they won. Nonetheless I wasn’t happy at hearing about this change and I am still not happy and have some thoughts about it.

While thinking about this new “liberation” and establishment of so-called “marriage equality,” I shifted gears in my mind and began thinking about John 15:19 and Romans 12:2. The teaching found in these verses is that we in the Church are in the world, but not part of it. I meditated on the idea of being in the world.

For some, being in the world means bringing the world into the Church. After all, it is argued, if we are going to engage the world we have to do so in a setting familiar to them. I think such is just nonsense and the whole so-called “gay marriage” issue is a good example showing why. No matter what the Church says about “gay marriage” those in favor of it just wasn’t hearing the Church and neither did they care to listen. Those in favor of so-called “marriage equality” for homosexuals want to win their fight. They don’t want to be part of the culture we work in, but they want to change it and shape it into an image suitable for them. Those fighting for “gay marriage” want to change the world and make no mistake about it, they want to change you.

marketAll of us engage the world across several vocations on a daily basis. Indeed, it is absolutely insane to think that we are not a part of the culture we live in. I mean, it is possible to be a monk, but how many of us have removed ourselves from the world to such a great extent? The point being is that each of us have to rub shoulders with pagans daily and we give it no thought at all. The grocery store checkout clerk could be a pagan for all I know. The guy who changes my oil might not be a Christian. The fellow cutting my hair is certainly not a Lutheran, and so on and so forth. I can’t work in my many vocations without doing so amongst the denizens of the world and I doubt you could do so, too. In fact, no matter how much I might want to be left alone, I have to engage someone who is not like me just to get the most rudimentary stuff done, such as paying bills and taking care of my family. This is just so terribly obvious it is painful to write. Yet, some amongst us think we have to spend millions of dollars per year to learn how to engage our culture. These same people tell us we have to have a great Church makeover, or the Church is going to die.

So DOMA is struck down and Church leaders around the country begin the hand wringing. “How are we going to engage the conversation?” they frantically ask us. The answer is that we have been “engaging the conversation” through our vocations and have always been part of it. Why should we be surprised that some of our conversation partners in paganism don’t like what we have to say? When Jesus engaged His conversation partners, some of them plotted on how to best get rid of Him. Eventually their conversation turned into a horrific action of murder as they had Him, an innocent man, put to death on the cross. Jesus tells us that just as they hated Him, so they will hate us for His name’s sake. We’re in the world and involved with it, but we aren’t the world. We’re not even part of it and the pagans know this. We have drawn the pagans into conversation and they don’t like what we are saying about homosexuality and marriage. As far as they’re concerned the Church is on Mars and if you listen to them long enough you will find that they would rather we actually lived on Mars than here on Earth.

repentIt is time for the Church to be the voice crying in the wilderness just as John the Baptizer called upon Israel to repent for the Messiah was coming. We must plainly speak the truth in love. By that I don’t mean we come off as “spiritual therapists” offering carrots and sticks to make people feel better about themselves. Now is the time to stand firm and confess the faith given to us by Jesus Christ. We must obey God rather than men. It is time to let the chips fall as they may. It is time to confess that no matter what the SCOTUS has done, Holy Matrimony is between a man and a woman. We are in the world to confess Christ; not to make the Church look like the world.






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  1. RK
    June 29th, 2013 at 11:27 | #1

    Amen! Marriage is one man and one woman; no matter whose relatives and acquaintances are engaging in the national sin du jour.

  2. Joshua
    June 29th, 2013 at 13:41 | #2

    Fortunately, they didn’t overturn all of DOMA, and the part that still stands allows for states/territorities/tribal governments to refuse to recognize same-sex “marriages”. Fortunately, living in Kentucky, I don’t have to worry about this right now in my backyard (although I am concerned about it and I doubt that Sec. 2 of the law will stand when someone sues on account of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution).

    If you live in one of the following states/territories/tribal governments/etc., then same-sex “marriage” is legal and with the overturning of Sec. 3 of DOMA, the federal government recognizes their legality:
    1) California (2010/2012/or 2013: court case/U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California)
    2) Connecticut (2008: court case/Connecticut Supreme Court)
    3) Washington, D.C. (2009: law/11-2 vote in D.C.’s city council/signed by Mayor Adrian Fenty)
    4) Delaware (2013: law/23-18 in House/12-9 vote in Senate/signed by Governor Jack Markell)
    5) Iowa (2009: court case/Iowa Supreme Court)
    6) Massachusetts (2004: court case/Massachusetts Supreme Court)
    7) Maryland (2012/2013: statewide referendum/52.4%-47.6%/took effect in 2013)
    8) Maine (2012: statewide referendum/53%-47%)
    9) Minnesota (2013: law/75-59 vote in House/37-30 vote in Senate/signed by Governor Mark Dayton)
    10) New Hampshire (2009/2010: law/198-176 vote in House/14-10 vote in Senate/signed by Governor John Lynch/took effect in 2010)
    11) New York (2011: law/80-63 vote in House/33-29 vote in Senate/signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo)
    12) Rhode Island (2013: law/56-15 vote in House/26-12 vote in Senate/signed by Governor Lincoln Chafee)
    13) Vermont (2009: law/95-52 vote in House/26-4 vote in Senate/vetoed by Governor Jim Douglas/veto overriden with 100-49 vote in House and 23-5 vote in Senate)
    14) Washington (2012: law/state referendum/55-43 vote in House/28-21 vote in Senate/ signed by Governor Christine Gregoire/got enough signatures to block bill pending state referendum/referendum held/54%-46%)
    15) Coquille Tribe (2008/2009: law/5-2 vote in the Coquille Tribal Council/took effect in 2009)
    16) Suquamish Tribe (2011: law/Unanimous vote in the Suquamish Tribal Council)
    17) Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (2013: law/5-4 vote in the Little Traverse Bay Bands tribal council)
    18) Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (2013: law/announced a marriage license)
    19) Santa Ysabel Tribe (2013: law/announced recognition of same-sex “marriage”)

  3. Jim Pierce
    June 29th, 2013 at 17:38 | #3

    Joshua :
    Fortunately, they didn’t overturn all of DOMA, and the part that still stands allows for states/territorities/tribal governments to refuse to recognize same-sex “marriages”.

    Yes, it is true that the whole of the DOMA wasn’t overturned, but it has been “gutted out” now that the SCOTUS struck down a federal definition for marriage as being between a man and a woman. The SCOTUS indeed punted to the states, and that may be good or bad depending upon one’s view as to whether or not the federal government should define marriage, but in time the problem will go back to the SCOTUS as homosexuals seek to legally ensure their unions are universally accepted throughout the country and not just in select states. I think you make this point with reference to the full faith and credit clause.

  4. #4 Kitty
    June 29th, 2013 at 20:26 | #4

    In fact, no matter how much I might want to be left alone, I have to engage someone who is not like me just to get the most rudimentary stuff done, such as paying bills and taking care of my family. This is just so terribly obvious it is painful to write.

    You are different Jim. And we admire that distinction in you. So instead of beating yourself up, embrace who you are and like us, celebrate it. You were probably born that way!

  5. Jim Pierce
    June 29th, 2013 at 20:31 | #5

    @#4 Kitty #4

    Fly my freak flag, eh? ;)

  6. Joe Strieter
    June 30th, 2013 at 12:35 | #6

    The question is what does this decision portend for the Church? I’m sure that within 5-7 years, the Supreme Court will rule that the states have no right to define marriage as between one man and one woman. It’s just a matter of time. Then, those churches that refuse to marry homosexuals, or even solemnize their already-performed civil vows, will be hounded by the homosexual community. Between Obama’s assault on religious freedom thru the healthcare fiasco, and the frontal assault on the church by the homosexuals, we are in for some tough sledding. Within 10 years, the first amendment and religious freedom will be nothing but a few words, meaningless words on a yellowed scrap of parchment in museums and history books.

  7. Robert
    June 30th, 2013 at 14:13 | #7

    Today, Sen. Pelosi suggested on Face the Nation that gay marriage would be law in all 50 states within 5 years. At least that is the goal.

  8. June 30th, 2013 at 15:28 | #8

    Robert :Today, Sen. Pelosi suggested on Face the Nation that gay marriage would be law in all 50 states within 5 years. At least that is the goal.

    She got so excited, her facial expression almost changed!

  9. Joe Strieter
    June 30th, 2013 at 16:22 | #9

    @Pastor Ted Crandall #8

    “Senator” Pelosi? Who made her a senator–she’s bad enough in the house, fer cryin’ out loud.

  10. Martin R. Noland
    June 30th, 2013 at 17:39 | #10

    Dear Jim,

    Thanks for your thoughts on a subject that is sure to sadden all “right-thinking” Christians. The biggest problem is that a lot of “wrong-thinking” Christians and their churches rejoice in this latest ruling of the Supreme Court.

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    If you look carefully at the history of the “gay rights” movement, they have intentionally infiltrated the doctrinally-weakest Christian churches in the United States. I believe that the United Church of Christ was the first large denomination to go gay, then the Episcopalians, then the ELCA in 2009, and then the Presbyterian Church USA in 2010. There is a chart on Wikipedia that explains who and when, found at the bottom of this web-page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominational_positions_on_homosexuality

    My point here is that we really can’t accurately say that it is the “Church” against the “world,” because the Church itself has succumbed to the same error. I know we Lutherans distinguish between visible and invisible church, but most folks don’t.

    People need to realize that many gays entered the pastoral office of the UCC and Episcopal churches precisely with the intent of overturning their long-standing opposition to gay ordinations and gay blessings. I think this happened as early as the 1960s. The move to ordain women also contributed to the move to ordain gays–almost all “feminist theologians” (many use the title Womanist Theologian) are pro-LGBT and are part of the “fight for equality.”

    The gays seek moral approval, not just legal standing in the US and other countries. They can only obtain moral approval by controlling the churches–and they have already succeeded in the large denominations listed above.

    How do I know this? It was just about all that people talked about at Union Theological Seminary (a liberal ecumenical institution) when I was a resident doctoral student there 1986 to 1990. An MDiv or PhD student that really wanted to talk about traditional theology or its related fields, apart from “gay rights,” was considered a bit of an oddity. At my Ph.D. graduation at UTS in 1996, the master of ceremonies announced the formation of a new inter-denominational organization devoted to infiltrating all the major denominations and making them pro-gay.

    The gay movement will not settle for those denominations it has already conquered. Every Christian church that is not already pro-LGBT needs to get its “head out of the sand” and realize they could be next.

    We will have plenty to keep us busy with stemming the tide in our own denominations. I think the big mega-churches will be tempted to “go with the flow” in many cases. It will probably lead to a division within American Evangelicalism, either sooner or later, since “church growth” really means accommodating with the “world” in order to maximize your attendance and profits.

    Thanks again for a thought-filled message, Jim!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  11. Jim Pierce
    June 30th, 2013 at 17:43 | #11

    @Martin R. Noland #10

    Dear pastor you are welcome and thank you for your thoughtful and sobering post.

  12. Robert
    June 30th, 2013 at 19:58 | #12

    @Martin R. Noland #10

    Pastor Noland, what evidence you can marshal for the conclusion, “I think the big mega-churches will be tempted to “go with the flow” in many cases”?

    I think that the initial thrust, pardon the phrase, for the acceptance of gays will come from closet liberal “confessionals,” whose moral first principles mirror the secular culture.

    Their philosophy is the same.

  13. Martin R. Noland
    June 30th, 2013 at 23:21 | #13

    @Robert #12

    Dear Robert,

    What I stated was my own opinion about the future. I can’t provide evidence about the future; that is a non-sequitur. Also, please realize that by “mega-church” I specifically meant the Evangelical non-denominational churches; not the very-large-churches within our own denomination.

    As to why I said that, sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s I attended a seminar at UC Berkeley that featured Os Guinness, formerly of L’Abri. At the time, he was getting into the sociology of religion. He was greatly concerned that the Evangelical churches would be so impressed with their success, through their accommodation to the culture, that the “fundamental doctrines” which the Evangelicals originally shared with the Fundamentalists would be lost in future generations. The issue for Guinness was not just accommodation to the gay issue, but the loss of doctrinal authority in the church in general.

    If you read Os Guinness’ Gravedigger Files (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press) book, you will see his basic arguments there. Also Francis Schaeffer, in one of his last books, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Wheaton: Crossway Books) expressed his concern about the same tendencies in the Evangelical churches. So these were Evangelical intellectuals pointing out the problems, back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    The fatal weakness of the Evangelicals as church institutions is that they have an epistemology of “experience” based on a direct relationship to the Holy Spirit through their conversion and subsequent experiences. So if the Spirit tells the people that, today, God has said “gay is okay,” then that trumps any direct Scripture on the topic, even though they will still quote the Bible as an authority in other respects.

    The Reformation-rooted churches, e.g., the conservative Reformed and Lutherans, have an epistemology of “the written Word,” whose meaning is found through grammar and historical research. Francis Schaeffer was part of the conservative Presbyterian tradition, but was associated with the Evangelicals. His own church background thus gave him insight into the epistemological and doctrinal weakness of Evangelicals.

    I certainly hope that none of the churches that presently oppose gay marriage and gay ordination buckle under pressure. But the churches that are the most attuned to “culture,” in all its manifestations, will be the same ones most tempted to go that way–this is what Os Guinness was saying. Are those churches really willing to suffer loss in popularity, membership, and profits? It is very hard to step away from the limelight and take “a lower place.”

    Evangelical churches have been in the limelight since the Nixon years; and they are at a crucial watershed, especially in their relationship to the Republican party. If the Evangelicals do not compromise on gay marriage, the signs are that they will lose whatever influence they still have in that party. At this point, it is all or nothing for them.

    Examples: Rob Bell (former pastor of Mars Hill) is one smart guy who has realized that the tides have changed. The recent stepping-down of the director of Exodus International indicates he knows that he is quickly losing support among his own financial-backers and allies. And it was someone no less than Ralph Reed, former top-notch Evangelical politico, who worked on behalf of the Boy Scouts in order to make their new policy acceptable to the Evangelicals. All the “smart guys” are leaving the Evangelicals or “caving” on this issue; the rest won’t know what hit them. As I said previously, it will probably lead to a division among what are known as “Evangelical” churches and their institutions.

    Those of us who have never had any special connections to the inner halls of power don’t have that temptation. There are blessings in being small and “insignificant.” :)

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  14. July 1st, 2013 at 04:46 | #14

    Martin R. Noland :
    If you look carefully at the history of the “gay rights” movement, they have intentionally infiltrated…

    I remember hearing an editorial read on the radio back in the early ’90s, announcing that the Wall Street Journal. that bastion of conservative thought (and writing), was the last of the major news outlets to approve the use of the word “gay” as a synonym for “homosexual.” The author explained how this intentional campaign by homosexuals had succeeded in defining the debate by shifting the focus of the general public from sex to love (from homo-sex to gay). Because of this clever trick, when the issue is now discussed, supporters of sodomy sound like they’re only campaigning for something sweet and innocent, while opponents sound like they are opposed to love.

  15. Robert
    July 1st, 2013 at 06:11 | #15

    @Joe Strieter #9

    I’m sorry, Joe. I’ve watched so many politicos this weekend, I’m getting confused. Kind of like listening to Secretary Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi.

  16. Robert
    July 1st, 2013 at 06:48 | #16

    @Martin R. Noland #13

    Dear Pastor Noland,

    You wrote, “We will have plenty to keep us busy with stemming the tide in our own denominations. I think the big mega-churches will be tempted to ‘go with the flow’ in many cases.”

    I interpreted you to mean “our own” “mega-churches” here. You hadn’t mentioned “mega-churches” before, referencing only Evangelical mega-churches. As you are aware, the LCMS also has mega-churches.

    When I wrote “evidence,” perhaps I should have written “premise.” Coupled with “conclusion,” you could have concluded that I was asking for your argument, for indeed you had given an argument about the future. While it remains your opinion, you have presented an argument based on premises.

    You also write, “The fatal weakness of the Evangelicals as church institutions is that they have an epistemology of “experience” based on a direct relationship to the Holy Spirit through their conversion and subsequent experiences.”

    But that fatal weakness is also shared by some in the “confessional Lutheran” camp. These fake Lutherans emphasis not Law and Gospel, but the Law-Gospel experience, and interpret the Scripture according to experience. Let me quote from a paper that I’ve written in response to the CTCR’s Response to Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust:

    “Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views, by Dan O. Via and Robert A.J. Gagnon, starkly contrasts two approaches to Scripture: the ‘experiential or existential view’ represented by Via, who endorses same-sex behavior, and the “core value view” of Gagnon, who rejects same-sex behavior. While Via claims to accept biblical authority, he maintains that its authority is limited to ‘those parts that are existentially engaging and compelling—that give grounding and meaning to existence.’ In contrast, Gagnon suggests that the Scripture’s authority “must account for core values “that are held 1) pervasively throughout Scripture (at least implicitly), 2) absolutely (without exceptions), and 3) strongly (as a matter of significance).” In Gagnon’s account, while the force of authority may not lie directly in the propositional statements of Scripture, the Bible, as a whole, possesses normative authority even for today’s Christian, and the burden of proof lies with those who challenge that authority…

    “What may account, at least in part, for Via’s and Gagnon’s differing views on same-sex behavior is their differing views on biblical interpretation. Via approaches Scripture through the refracted prism of Christian experience. Given his prior commitment to “truth” derived from religious experience as opposed to propositional claims from authoritative religious texts or traditions, Via seems more likely to incorporate into his account of Christian morality a revised view of same-sex behavior based on empirical data, specifically given what has come to be called “sexual orientation.” In fine, in Via’s post-Enlightenment conceptual framework, an experiential or existential approach to Scripture correlates with a high degree of reliance upon empirical data from the social sciences. Thus for Via, and apparently as well as for HSGT, the concept of “homosexual orientation” plays a normative role over Scripture yielding a revised sexual ethic. In contrast, and despite concerns the LCMS might have with his acceptance of historical-critical methodology, Gagnon nevertheless approaches Scripture as an objective, authoritative text with propositional content from whence one may deduce authoritative conclusions pertaining to faith and life. For Gagnon the authority, value, and power of the religious text—specifically, the Holy Scriptures—exists prior to Christian experience, but nevertheless is experienced by the Christian in historical time. Christian experience, however, does not become normative of truth. Unfortunately, the Response does not broach a discussion of differences in biblical interpretation, which may correlate with a reliance on psycho-socio-empirical data, which, in the end, may become normative for issues relating to sexual morality.”

    “Footnote 19: “Via and Gagnon, Two Views, 2. Via contrasts his “experiential or existential view” of the Bible with the “a priori view,” suggesting that “the Bible is authoritative in all of its parts and is so prior to interpretation. Since this affirmation of total authority is made before one interprets the Bible… The affirmation is not made on the ground of one’s own experience,” 2. On the basis of the contemporary concept of “sexual orientation” (see footnote 6) Via relativizes Bible passages explicitly condemning same-sex sexual activity. While Gerhard O. Forde would affirm those passages due to their function of maintaining social order or for existential, i.e., condemnatory, effect as God’s Law, Forde shares Via’s view of Scripture. See Gerhard O. Forde, “Law and Gospel as the Methodological Principle of Theology,” in Theological Perspectives: A Discussion of Contemporary Issues in Lutheran Theology (Decorah, IA: Luther College Press, 1976), 52-68. Here it is important to note that Via and Forde’s approach to Scripture was not derived from Luther, Melanchthon, or Lutheran Orthodoxy, but is the fruit of the Enlightenment, which made an individual’s critical judgment the final court of appeal while challenging religion’s supernatural, moral, and ethical claims. Hence, “the 18th century’s characteristic inclination toward encyclopedic exposition is consonant with this attitude, refusing to be subject to an a priori metaphysical system and seeking instead to present the knowledge of the age in additive empirical order.” See “The Enlightenment” in Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion, Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning, Bernd Janowski, and Eberhard Jungel, eds., Vol. IV (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 464.”

    In the above footnote, you will not the familiar name of Gerhard Forde, whose teachings are not passively but actively promoted in our colleges and seminaries. Forde, of course, while unique in his own right, builds upon the experience theology of the old Erlangen School. While Forde no doubt was firmly against same-sex sexual behavior and marriage, his theo-philosophical system would allow for it.

    So, the foundation for profound change in our Synod concerning homosexuality is already here. It is insufficient to protest how much we are against same-sex marriage and gay pastors, when so many of our own people have (whether they know it or not) adopted foundational principles upon which a successful argument for inordinate and intrinsically sinful vice can be made.

    Add to that: 1) LCMS Floor Committee 2 did not bring forward resolutions that would a) support Biblical marriage (Overture 2-05), and b) withdraw RSO status from Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (Overture 2-06), the latter for facilitating the adoption of children to gay and lesbian couples, in direct violation of the Synod; and 2) The President of Synod has instituted a Same-sex Task Force (now “God’s Gift of Sexuality Task Force,”) which will seek to provide ministry (presumably including psychological counseling) to homosexuals. One of the members of the Task Force, Rev. Roger Sonnenberg, has recently written that sex education is part of the Great Commission, and prior to that endorsed sex toys and oral sex in marriage.

    All this in the same year that the US Supreme Court struck down DOMA.

  17. helen
    July 1st, 2013 at 08:11 | #17

    @Robert #16
    But that fatal weakness is also shared by some in the “confessional Lutheran” camp. These fake Lutherans emphasis not Law and Gospel, but the Law-Gospel experience, and interpret the Scripture according to experience. Let me quote from a paper that I’ve written in response to the CTCR’s Response to Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust: …

    Who are you talking about?
    There are people who call themselves “confessionals” and are no such thing.
    I’ve been generally tolerant of pseudonyms, but your accusations should be backed by a verifiable identity.

    Floor committee 2: has quite a list of non confessional people.
    And the chairman? Oh, yeah!

    You cite Via and Gagnon without identification, as if we should know them! Via is a Methodist; Gagnon is a Presbyterian and their book was published by Fortress Press, an arm of the ***A. Hardly the place to go for wisdom, but quite possibly the place to find “fake Lutherans”.
    And I don’t know what you are.

    [FYI: My name is my own, and my bio is on LQ. BJS doesn’t do bios.]

  18. Quasicelsus
    July 1st, 2013 at 08:56 | #18

    A conversation concerning DOMA won’t just be on this website or in the fellowship hall. The questions that are being asked aren’t necessarily the ones being addressed here.

    do a quick google image search. type “biblical marriage” look at a few of the images posted. i can wait.

    Everyone here can probably do the math and see where the kerfuffles lay.

    It is difficult, delicate and time consuming to speak to deut 22:28-29 as well as several other of positions posited – but not impossible. With that in mind, there are many “responses” that tend to act as a wedge between the hearer and speaker. This may be something to contemplate and pray about.

  19. Joe Strieter
    July 1st, 2013 at 09:18 | #19

    @Robert #15
    That’s OK. I’m over it–the hyperventilation has ceased, and I don’t need any more Xanax. All is forgiven.

    And, unlike Hilary, it does make a difference.

    Joe

  20. #4Kitty
    July 1st, 2013 at 11:18 | #20

    @Quasicelsus #18

    The questions that are being asked aren’t necessarily the ones being addressed here.

    That’s almost always the case. However, the questions being addressed here are the ones that are most likely being discussed within our congregations. Anyway, I did the Google search as you requested and I think it highly unlikely that any member of my church could think in those terms. And if they could they probably wouldn’t be members very long.

  21. Quasicelsus
    July 1st, 2013 at 11:38 | #21

    @#4Kitty #20

    Thank you, and thank you for taking the extra steps. :)

    That really is my point – that people here, the LCMS as an institution, and even the members of the congregations need to be able to speak to those questions – and do so in with good/helpful/God-pleasing practice.

  22. Robert
    July 1st, 2013 at 11:43 | #22

    @helen #17

    Helen,

    Any “confessional” Lutheran, who subscribes to an existential or experiential interpretation of Scripture, is a fake Lutheran.

    There are “confessional” Lutherans, who promote the views of theologians subscribing to an existential or experiential interpretation of Scripture, also within the LCMS.

    In fact, they post articles on this blog.

    Regarding Floor Committee 2, the Committee made the decisions as to which overtures became resolutions, not the Chairman alone. In fact, the Chairman, Dr. Behnke, did not attend the May Floor Committee meeting due to health issues.

    I am referring to http://www.amazon.com/Homosexuality-Bible-Robert-A-Gagnon/dp/080063618X, in which Via and Gagnon take opposing views on homosexuality. Via’s views on the interpretation of Scripture are remarkably similar to those of Gerhard Forde, whose disciples post articles on this blog. Apparently you know something about Via and Gagnon, because even I didn’t know he’s a Methodist and I’ve read his book. Further, it really is irrelevant if Via is a Methodist and Gagnon is a Presbyterian; what is important is the truth.

    For his part, Robert Gagnon, an authority the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, and a previous speaker at our own Concordia St. Louis, has heroically championed the biblical view within his (regrettably) own denomination, the PCUSA. I would encourage you to look at his work at http://robgagnon.net/ before you dismiss him merely based on his denominational affiliation. He has argued extensively and valiantly against the ELCA’s position on homosexuality, and you may find him surprisingly persuasive and a valuable ally for traditional sexual morality.

    As for me, I am Robert C. Baker, M.Div., M.S., son of Bob and Marjorie Baker, a graduate of CLS, having served Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (Vero Beach, FL), and Concordia Publishing House (senior editor, adult Bible studies). I also developed Marriage by God’s Design and Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal, so I do possess some knowledge about those things I speak and write.

    God bless you, Helen.

  23. helen
    July 3rd, 2013 at 10:36 | #23

    @Robert #22
    God bless you, Helen.

    Thank you! Never too many blessings! And thank you for the ID.
    Re Via: I got his denominational affiliation (and present occupation) from a googled book review.

    Thanks for putting “confessional” in quotes.
    In some cases, (including the ones you cite) it should be used that way!
    This blog is not limited to confessional liturgical LCMS Lutherans.
    Although they are its primary focus, it is in a public space.

    God bless you, too.

  24. Matthew Mueller
    February 13th, 2014 at 12:53 | #24

    In the words of my contemporaries “Boom! Roasted”. In other words, not only did you hit the nail on the head, you proceeded to hammer it home. Well written

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