06 October 2009
I received a newsletter of a Lutheran mission to a certain ethnic group in the United States, the usual bulk-mail glossy with lots of pictures. It was addressed to our church, and it ended up on my desk. I did not recognize this group, and took a quick glance at the picture on the back that was visible even without breaking the seal. The picture was of a vested woman "pastor" having hands laid on her.
Obviously (or almost obviously), this was not an LCMS mission society. I wondered why my congregation was on their mailing list?
I don't think it is helpful or salutary for Lutherans to be exposed to pictures and stories about Lutheran women "pastors" - as this only serves to normalize the heresy. I wrote to the mission and told them that although I have no doubt that it was certainly not their intent to be offensive, they were doing just that by including LCMS churches on their mailing list. Obviously, the ELCA and the LCMS have doctrinal differences when it comes to the role of the vocation of the male and female sexes.
I received a reply from their "pastor" ("Rev. Deborah") that said:
"I will be sure to take you off our mailing list. Historically, our mission has been blessed with the participation of both Missouri Synod and ELCA congregations, and the picture was of my husband and I being installed, not ordained. I have been ordained for over 25 years. I am sorry our newsletter was offensive to you, we have several Missouri Synod board members who are involved in what is distributed."
Their board includes 12 members, and according to Mrs. Deborah, "several" of their board members are affiliated with the LCMS.
I do not understand how any LCMS Lutheran in good conscience can serve an ELCA mission, especially one that has a woman "pastor." There are many LCMS missionaries living hand to mouth, always on the edge of being shut down, even as we have LCMS folks not only supporting this mission with their treasure, but with their talents.
Personally, I believe any and all cooperative ministries with the ELCA - whether schools, chaplaincies, or malaria prevention - ought to be shut down. There seems to be an attitude among Missourians that "it can't happen here." We will never have a serious push for female "ordination" or a blessing of homosexual "marriage." Arguably, the four stupidest and most arrogant words in the English language are: "It can't happen here."
There must be other ways to end the scourge of malaria other than cutting a Faustian bargain to normalize that which is contrary to Scripture. As terrible as malaria is, it can only kill the body.
--- Rev. Larry Beane