This Just in from Darrell – The NALC is Born

Over on an old post on the NALC (North American Lutheran Church) we just recieved this comment from Darrell.

The North American Lutheran Church has been born. The constitution was just adopted by a resounding voice vote by the 1100+ in attendance at the meeting in Columbus, OH.

Thanks Darrell for keeping us posted. We will have further news and commentary on this monumental event in days to come.

(Pastor Rossow, BJS Editor)

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

This Just in from Darrell – The NALC is Born — 64 Comments

  1. Oh, you mean that he he was involved Stefan’s divestiture and removal. He was also a signitory of Stefan’s investiture in the first place. I guess I don’t give that much weight since nearly everyone present agreed with Stefan’s removal. Nor, do I believe we’ve heard the last word on Stefan in terms of scholarship. I think there might yet be a bit more information on the whole, sad, affair that has yet to come to light.

  2. Recognizing that those who have elected to join the NALC have perhaps only made part of the journey, what should be our approach? Do we wait and pray that they rediscover the validity of Scripture, repent of their prior errors and complete the journey? Or should we begin to dialog with them now in order to nudge them in the right direction? And should that be nationally by the synod, or would it be best for individual congregations to go one-on-one with neighboring NALC congregations?

  3. In #36, I raised the question, “What is it about the recent NALC organization that suddenly has caused a thrill to run up the legs of some Missouri Synod Lutherans?”

    It’s not like NALC is anywhere near confessional Lutheranism (or indicated on their website any desire to be). So why the titillating interest in the new organization, as well as the spray of vitriol on any doubter?

    A clue may lie, ironically, in an August 18th Cyberbrethren blog, “CORE and NALC Update: Important for All Lutherans To Be Aware Of,” where amid the still-undeleted critical comments, Dr. Jack Kilcrease wrote on the factions within the E_CA:

    You have three main theological factions: Mid-west Pietist/Neo-orthodox, Liberals, and eastcoast Evangelical Catholics- the “Catholics” with a large “C” is not a mistake….

    NALC are eastcoast Evangelical Catholics. They are very high Church and are genuinely interested in ecumenism. They’re relatively morally conservative (except on the women’s ordination thing). They like bishops and think that basically if you had strong bishops everything in the church would be fixed. Their theologians, like Robert Jenson, formerly Michael Root, and David Yeago argue that the Papacy is necessary as a universal symbol of unity. They’re not keen on forensic justification either, they follow the Finnish school and want it to be conflated with mystical union. They like to talk about “participation in Christ” in quasi-Thomistic terms.

  4. @Rev. James Kusko #52
    Pr. Kusko, you ask the right questions, especially for us “pew sitters”, regarding the approach to be taken with this “new” group. When a “church” is formed for other than true theological reasons, one wonders, what should we DO? (I mean other than to continue to pray for their total conversion.)

    @Carl Vehse #53
    CV, you make a most important point as well. It seems some folks are acting/writing as if this new “lutheran” group were a bunch of Zwinglians that had discovered the truth of “hoc est corpus meum”. (I hope that I spelled that correctly.)

  5. Rick, you are pointing out facts, of which we are all well aware. The facts are not the issue. And there is no fact about the NALC that would change my view since my views were formed with full knowledge of these things. I would suggest however that you throwing fireballs at the NALC right out of the shoot is not at all helpful. They’ve been through a nasty battle. They’ve come through it, a bit singed, but come through they have. No one is ready to do a pulpit exchange with them. We all understand their shortcomings. I know a lot of ELCA people in my neck of the woods. I’m operating in a sea of them up here. YOU need to have some compassion for what these people have been through. I dare say that few people in the LCMS or any church body would have come through it as they have. They’ve shown great fortitude and courage. They’ve had to stand against their own bishops. They will come very quickly when it is time to sit down with them and try to correct the errors. But today is not that day.

  6. Why is it that some in the LCMS see this as a positive thing? The answer to this question is so painfully obvious that I am sure that it is not asked in the hope of a genuine answer. It is a positive thing because erring brothers and sisters have taken one step closer to the truth. It is not a complicated idea to wrap the mind around. It is joy over a small accomplishment and joy at the large possibility. For me it is a large scale version of the very beginning of the personal struggle I had with my father over the last 10 years.

    A little over a decade ago, I left the ELCA and join the LCMS. I did so after long and careful study. In doing so, I ripped a line in my own family. I separated myself (and my wife and eventually 4 kids) from my father, mother, brother, aunt, grandmother and cousins. In fact, every single member of my family attended the same church since they helped built it in 1888. But I left because truth demanded it.

    Over the next decade, I tried everything to get my dad to think about important topics of faith. And, for better or for worse, the debate over homosexuality was the issue that really grabbed his attention. Why? because it is so painfully obvious that it is contrary too scripture – even for the poorly catechized. This was the beginning of my father’s journey. It was the issue that allowed me the opportunity to show him from the Word where the ELCA was erring. It still took some time, I wrote him long letters on closed communion and other topics. Over time the Word did its work and my father and my mother have left the ELCA. (bit of a side track – they joined a WELS church, but I still working on it. The quality of the LCMS presence in their neck of the woods had a lot to do with this).

    I am excited because this could happen for thousands of other brothers and sisters too. And, I can tell you that over the decade I spent working this out with my dad, the only thing I ever did that was not effective was yell and holler. In those 10 years, I did this too much and I think I probably delayed the effort by years. Gentle encouragement, teaching and soft admonishment won out. This is the approach we need on the larger scale too.

  7. My question is, why was restraint counciled in criticizing the NALC yet the same restraint was not counciled in regard to the ACELC? Why was/is it just fine to ravage the ACELC but any criticism of the NALC is a violation of the 8th Commandment?

  8. @GaiusKurios #57
    Why was/is it just fine to ravage the ACELC but any criticism of the NALC is a violation of the 8th Commandment?

    Sounds sort of like “You’re entitled to beat your own wife/kids/dog … but not the neighbor’s”, doesn’t it!?

  9. Joe Olson :Why is it that some in the LCMS see this as a positive thing? The answer to this question is so painfully obvious that I am sure that it is not asked in the hope of a genuine answer. It is a positive thing because erring brothers and sisters have taken one step closer to the truth. It is not a complicated idea to wrap the mind around. It is joy over a small accomplishment and joy at the large possibility. For me it is a large scale version of the very beginning of the personal struggle I had with my father over the last 10 years.
    A little over a decade ago, I left the ELCA and join the LCMS. I did so after long and careful study. In doing so, I ripped a line in my own family. I separated myself (and my wife and eventually 4 kids) from my father, mother, brother, aunt, grandmother and cousins. In fact, every single member of my family attended the same church since they helped built it in 1888. But I left because truth demanded it.
    Over the next decade, I tried everything to get my dad to think about important topics of faith. And, for better or for worse, the debate over homosexuality was the issue that really grabbed his attention. Why? because it is so painfully obvious that it is contrary too scripture – even for the poorly catechized. This was the beginning of my father’s journey. It was the issue that allowed me the opportunity to show him from the Word where the ELCA was erring. It still took some time, I wrote him long letters on closed communion and other topics. Over time the Word did its work and my father and my mother have left the ELCA. (bit of a side track – they joined a WELS church, but I still working on it. The quality of the LCMS presence in their neck of the woods had a lot to do with this).
    I am excited because this could happen for thousands of other brothers and sisters too. And, I can tell you that over the decade I spent working this out with my dad, the only thing I ever did that was not effective was yell and holler. In those 10 years, I did this too much and I think I probably delayed the effort by years. Gentle encouragement, teaching and soft admonishment won out. This is the approach we need on the larger scale too.

    THANK YOU, Joe!
    I wish more people had eyes to see what you speak of. I still have family on my wife’s side who are still in the ELCA, and every step in the right direction is encouraging. We need to continue to pray for all those in the NALC and LCMC and the groups themselves. God can still convict them in other areas, too, but let us remember to put the best construction on everything. God isn’t finished with them yet, as He is not finished with us yet. When folks belittle the celebration of their exodus from ELCA, focusing on other doctrinal errors, they might not realize just how arrogant they appear to folks in that situation. We must speak the truth in love, and love is certainly not compromise, but love is indeed love (as in I Corinthians chapter 1). Jesus would have compassion, and so should we. God has rescued me from errors over the years, and I am thankful that over time He brought me to where I am today, but we must recognize that a group like NALC is also on a journey, and God will lead them as they study His Word. The discoveries might not be all at once, but God’s Word IS efficacious. Pray that they will be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading as He speaks to them through the Word.

  10. @Joe Olson #56

    I think Joe’s response goes a long way to understanding our response. For the lay people of these congregations I feel great joy and hope the path of correction continues. For those who do not study scripture as pastors and church leaders ought to, homosexual ordination is obviously unGodly in a way that women’s ordination is not.

    However, the pastoral leadership of the NALC should be castigated and this is not a positive step but a continuing denial of God’s word. For someone who is responsible for reading and understanding God’s word and is held to account to continue in the apostasy of the ELCA when the chance has come to lead people away from it is shameful and not good.

    The problem with the ELCA is not women’s ordination or homosexual ordination. It is not bishops, or structure, or open communion, or fill in the blank. There is one problem. They believe that the Bible contains the word of God, but they do not believe the Bible is the word of God. While it may be compassionate to encourage the lay people (who like Joe’s family have lots of good reasons for staying with their church) it is not compassionate to encourage their leadership to continue to deny God’s word and mislead their people.

    So when dealing with individuals I will (and do) encourage them to be faithful in the midst of struggle. If I deal with the leadership I will practice the true compassion of Christ which is to call error error and sin sin. The NALC is no closer to being a lutheran church than the ELCA, they just have a different cultural conception of homosexuality. I don’t care if women or homosexuals are pastors. I have known and liked both kinds of people and have certainly known women who I think would make excellent pastors. I have known homosexual men who have all the gifts to be excellent pastors. Unfortunately God disagrees with me, and much as I sometimes struggle with this, He does know better than I. Let us be honest, as long as the NALC maintains its current positions it left the ELCA for cultural reasons and not for Godly ones.

    I hope this marks a new beginning. For that hope I will rejoice with the people. At the same time, shame on the leadership for basing that new beginning in apostasy and not in faith before God and His delivered word.

  11. One clarification: homosexual men clearly can be pastors as long as they are repentant and not practicing. That obviously makes them distinct from women who can never be pastors.

  12. @Pastor Michael Joynt #61
    One clarification: homosexual men clearly can be pastors as long as they are repentant and not practicing.

    Yes, as long as we do not assume that every ordained man who is single must be a non practicing homosexual! (Layman, either, but that’s not the topic…)
    Christ, Paul and the Book of Concord speak of serving the Lord as a single man, if he has the gift (and is not coerced, in the case of the BOC).

    But the elca decision doesn’t make life any easier for the straight single.

  13. Back in #42 I noted some BJS reactions to the official organization of the NALC included “the sudden call for ‘possible partnership’ and other girlish giggles over the new NALC boy in town.”

    Those girlish giggles have now spread to St. Louis. From the WMLT blog, “LCMS-NALC Discussions“:

    On 15 – 16 December 2011, representatives from The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) held discussions in Saint Louis, MO, at the LCMS International Center….

    The nature of ecumenical relations was discussed as well as issues affecting both church bodies. Future discussions are planned between the LCMS and NALC.

    At a time when the LCMS is finally cutting its cooperative ties with the XXXA, we are playing footsie with the NALC why?!? Because the NALC is standing firm and won’t allow any of its ordained female pastorettes to be noncelebate lesbians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.