Huntington Beach, Calif., pastor and blogger David Huntington writes:
“The above chart spells unmitigated disaster. And itâ€™s a few years old. Itâ€™s gotten much worse since it was first printed.
“And better theology is not going to rescue us. We Lutherans have always had the odd idea that if we could â€œnailâ€ the philosophical content of the Gospel, then everything would line up and we would thrive. Truth is, we have right-leaning Lutherans (LCMS) and left-leaning Lutherans (ELCA) and ALL of us are headed down the same demographic waterslide hand-in-hand.”
The reasons? Householder lists several “crises” in Lutheranism including the following:
Lutherans have no clue how to do evangelism which leads to large-scale adult conversion and baptism;
Lutherans donâ€™t retain enough of their children;
Many of our congregations are led by informal juntas of empty nesters and retired people;
Lutherans are also clueless about the communications revolution;
Most Lutheran sermons are virtually impossible to understand
The newspaper of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod reports that delegates at last week’s denominational assembly adopted a resolution "from the Floor Committee on Theology and Church Relations" to amend the church’s bylaws regarding recognition of altar and pulpit fellowship with "small, formative or emerging confessional Lutheran church bodies."
Delegates also adopted five other Floor Committee 3 resolutions including one requestion "that the CTCR, in consultation with the faculties of the seminaries, ‘develop a thorough, biblical and confessional analysis of and response to’ the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s social statement ‘Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,’ adopted in 2009 at its Churchwide Assembly. The statement, with its concept of ‘bound conscience,’ is the basis of that church body’s action on the acceptability of same-gender relations and which authorizes the ordination of individuals living in such relationships into the pastoral ministry."
"With no debate, delegates to the Missouri Synod convention … adopted two resolutions in response to actions taken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) at its August 2009 Churchwide Assembly," According to Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s "Reporter" website.
The action came at the LCMS assembly currently underway in Houston, Texas.
Part of that action was to commend a statement by the International Lutheran council that includes the following: "Rooted in the Bible’s witness and in keeping with Christian teaching through 2,000 years, we continue to believe that the practice of homosexuality—in any and all situations—violates the will of the Creator God and must be recognized as sin. At the same time."
It further states that "we declare our resolve to approach those with homosexual inclinations with the deepest possible Christian love and pastoral concern, in whatever situation they may be living.”
Nominees for Synod president of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod have answered questions related to issues in the Synod. Those questions and the nominees’ answers are posted on the LCMS website. Read them here.
A while back I posted the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s press release on its meeting with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Here’s a portion of the the Missouri Synod’s release on that meeting and the discussion of the ELCA’s controversial sexuality decisions.
"Top leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod discussed in-depth the theological implications of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly decisions on human sexuality.
The church leaders met here April 12-13 as the Committee on Lutheran Cooperation (CLC), which meets twice a year. They also heard from the leaderclc-new.gifs of three cooperative agencies and provided updates about current happenings in each others’ church bodies."
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, a 2.4 million-member denomination and the nation’s second-largest Lutheran church body, holds its convention July 10-17 in Houston, Texas. There is a ton of information about the convention at www.lcms.org/pages/default.asp.
Located on the convention page, the convention workbook has a good deal of info in it in reaction to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s controversial sexuality decisions in August.