06 October 2009

Mission Impossible

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


Chad Myers said...

"of good conscience" -- that's where you veered off.

If people had good, well-formed, and properly trained consciences, we wouldn't have hardly any of this nonsense.

Unfortunately, no group of humans (religious, secular, or otherwise) are immune to the effects of poorly-formed consciences and the effects of having no common sense. LCMS people working for women "pastors", misguided Catholic liberals working for women "priests", the wonders abound and never cease.

Anonymous said...

It depresses me to know that LC-MS congregations do participate with the ELCA, though this is by no means the first instance I have seen.

If only we remained true to our Confessions and refused to compromise, whether intentional or not, then at least situations like this wouldn't plague us. Our Confessions are weakened by the actions of our people, even if it was "for a good cause."

Cecil The Sea Sick Sea Serpent said...

So how come we remain members of the LC_Mess? Makes a sea serpent sore!

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

"I do not understand how any LCMS Lutheran in good conscience can serve an ELCA mission, especially one that has a woman "pastor.""

'Because, because. . . you just have to think of the good that we do (and how good it makes me feel) -- who cares about right or wrong or your outdated morality.'

That seems to be the logic as best I can see fit. It's a good cause, so supporting it must be good -- the ends justify the means. That's the logic behind it.

Pastor Foy said...

If you will read the comments or letter of Sept. 28 from Dr. (not signed Reverend) Gerald K. you will hear a no stand stand. Rather than rebuking and calling to repentance he rather calls upon the ELCA to not impose their ways upon our joint missions. Too many analogous situations come to mind, none of which have been for the better.

The road of pastor is long and lonely but compromise does not grant suitable companions for the journey nor does it comfort the conscience before God. Laity are informed by the words and work of pastors and their faithfulness and adherance to the Word of God.

Sad, but we brothers, in this generation and in past ones, have led them astray, made them soft and suseptable to the alurements of itching ear doctrine and worldly wisdom by failing to preach well, hard the law, pointed and personal, and sweet the Gospel, personal and joyful.

It is never to late to try hard to do what is right and godly. The Lord keep you all in this most difficult but necessary calling.

Chad Myers said...

@Rev. Brown: You hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately that's no logic at all, it's illogical. But thats how the "Church of What's Happening Now" folks operate. You all know what I mean by that because every denomination have some or is entirely based on that bogus philosophy