Cultural Revolutions

Leaving the ECLA

The recent decision by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to ordain active homosexuals and adopt a more permissive attitude toward fornication has put many parish churches in the difficult position of choosing whether to remain in the ELCA.  One such church is Prince of Peace Lutheran in Rockton, Illinois, a village of some 5,000 souls located just a little to the north of Chronicles’ hometown.

Prince of Peace is deeply upset by the ELCA’s move.  In the church’s monthly bulletin, Pastor Douglas Johnson emphasizes that the “real issue” isn’t sex but “the authority of Scripture and how God’s word in Scripture is rightly interpreted.”  The church has assembled a task force to determine its plans.  Prince of Peace has two options: It can remain in the ELCA, in a position of confessional resistance, or it can go elsewhere.

The church is seriously considering two other relatively conservative Lutheran bodies.  The first is Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal), an umbrella organization that includes several reform movements within the ELCA.  At a recent Lutheran CORE gathering on September 26 in Minneapolis, 1,200 people showed up instead of the anticipated 300 to 400.  Registration had to close two weeks before the event.  Those 1,200 voted to form a freestanding synod, which would strive for the “reconfiguration of Lutheranism...

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