Proposed Resolutions: Committee 3, Theology and Church Relations (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

We’re moving through the eight floor committees with their 106 proposed resolutions in “Today’s Business.” Here are the resolutions being proposed by Floor Committee 3, Theology and Church Relations:

3. THEOLOGY AND CHURCH RELATIONS

3-01: To Commend ILC and Task Force Statements as Responses to the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly Actions

Responds to the ELCA actions condoning homosexuality. Upholds our biblical position that homosexuality is sinful. Looks OK to vote for.

3-02: To Support Confessional Lutheranism at Home and Abroad

This resolution deals with the “fallout” from the ELCA decisions, by encouraging those who take a biblical stand on the matter. Seems OK for the most part.

3-03: Cooperation in Externals with Theological Integrity

This will undoubtedly be a controversial resolution. The question is, basically, whether we can or should cooperate with the ELCA at all anymore, even in “externals.” To me, it would depend on what the “cooperation in externals” would entail, how “theological integrity” would be put into practice, and how those things would be determined. I’m not sure yet how I’ll vote; I’ll have to think about it some more. But, frankly, I don’t see much point of doing anything with the ELCA on an official level.

3-04: To Amend Bylaw 3.9.6.2.2 re Altar and Pulpit Fellowship with Small, Formative, or Emerging Confessional Churches

This resolution would let the synod president declare altar and pulpit fellowship with other church bodies. And how is it determined which church bodies are “small, formative, or emerging”? This is too much power to the president. Such fellowship decisions could wait till the next synodical convention (another argument for not spacing conventions four years apart). I am against this resolution.

3-05: To Request a Thorough Response to the ELCA Social Statement Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust

I have no strong objection to this resolution, but haven’t we responded enough to the ELCA actions?

3-06: To Commend The Creator’s Tapestry

I’m not ready to support this resolution. Like 99% of the delegates, I have not read “The Creator’s Tapestry,” and on a controversial subject like “Man-Woman Relationships in the Church,” I’m not ready to commend what I haven’t read. If the resolution were amended to “To Encourage People to Read and Provide Feedback on ‘The Creator’s Tapestry,’” that would be a different matter.

3-07: To Prepare New Studies on Biblical Interpretation

This resolution looks fine. Studies for the laity on “How to Read the Bible,” addressing current trends–these could be helpful.

3-08: To Encourage Collaboration Between the CTCR and Seminary Faculties

To give the seminary faculties a greater role in providing theological guidance for the church–this is a good thing.

3-09: To Decline Overture 3-16

Why is this declining of an overture not put in the following resolution, which declines overtures? Seems odd. Ov. 3-16 (CW, p. 170) is “To Request Partner Church Withdrawal from LWF.” The question is whether LWF membership in itself necessarily involves “fellowship.” To my knowledge, it does not. I don’t know what to do with this resolution.

3-10: To Respectfully Decline Overtures

Nothing jumps out here as being urgent to pass.

Next: Committee 4, Administration and Finance.

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