I just had the chance to read through the Reporter article on the February 8th meeting between the ELCA and LCMS and their cooperation (Committee on Lutheran Cooperation). The article can be found here.
This article comes after seeing a number of other articles on the continued downfall of the ELCA. They just elected a new female bishop in Minnesota (first such bishop in the Minneapolis Synod of the ELCA). The Star Tribune article on that can be found here. They also have been actively opposing an Amendment in Minnesota which would define marriage as being between one man and one woman. The article is here. Please note in this article the headline simply states the word “Lutherans” without distinction. Also notable is this is the new “ELCA militant” promoting gay marriage, which if I remember it correctly, was also the decision of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA.
The Reporter article sounds like our Synodical leadership is beginning to close the door to working with the ELCA in order to either restore or preserve our confession of the Truth. This break in cooperation is right now true in the areas of Disaster Response, military chaplaincy, and institutional chaplaincy. I commend this sadheartedly because it seems as though from the article that the ELCA is not hearing the “law” spoken through our actions of breaking ties. Bishop Hansen of the ELCA even says that they will start working with their other ecumenical partners more:
“While I regret that The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has taken action to discontinue our shared ministries, that work continues to be a priority for us as the ELCA with existing partners, and we will continue to look for ways to do that with Lutherans and ecumenical partners,” said Hanson. (from the Reporter article)
Also it is notable that the ELCA continues to talk about being committed to conversation with the LCMS. This is similar to the serpent being committed to continued conversation with Eve. Conversation does not always bring benefit, sometimes it can be the thing that drags you into the pit.
Sad though it seems, the parting of the ways appears to be beginning in official channels. Thank you President Harrison and all those who are working hard to figure out how these things need to be done in order to preserve our confession.
UPDATE: Some have asked for this, so I include it, a comparison of the ELCA and LCMS which I did a few years ago. The web links in it are probably not going to work since both ELCA and LCMS have redone their websites (without keeping old links active). Comparison of the ELCA and LCMS Doc