by Jeremiah G. Dys
October 1, 2009
Still stinging from a strong debate among ELCA pastors this summer, The Rev. Dr. Ralph W. Dunkin pushes to move his synod beyond the controversial topic and offer some reasons of support for the work of the ELCA. He begins:
The major news coming from the 2009 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Americas biennial Churchwide Assembly has been the change in policy related to persons in gay and lesbian relationships. The policy change allows congregations to determine for themselves if they wish to offer blessings of same-gender relationships and if they are open to calling a pastor who is in a same-gender relationship.
But, he then moves quickly past the issue, noting the ELCAs broad partnership of full communion with, the Reformed Church, The UCC, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Moravians, The Episcopal Church and now the United Methodist Church. Interestingly, each of these denominations have taken similar measures as the ELCA did this summer.
The point, the Rev. Dr. Dunkin is trying to make is that, regardless of the controversy, the ELCA is still doing some incredible things and, implicitly, the vote to ordain practicing homosexuals not only doesnt affect their overall ministry, but actually may improve their ability to link with others in an effort to do good deeds to this world.
Yet, the Rev. Dr. Dunkin fails to address a fundamental point vis-a-vis the recent ELCA vote: What would LUTHER do?