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A Matter of Honest Labeling
January 6, 2010 |
To the Host:
What is your reaction to the ELCA's recent decision to allow congregations to bless same-gender unions and/or call openly gay pastors? How are the decisions playing at Lake Wobegon Lutheran?
My reaction, Jeffrey, is that I wouldn't want to be the historic First Gay Lutheran Pastor and walk around with a plaque on my back. People would expect you to be a saint and to give off radiant beams of light. They would await miracles. Pastors are servants and in the Lutheran church, congregations call their own pastors, so this decision is simply a matter of honest labeling. If a congregation wants a hetero pastor, they should have one and if they want the other brand, they can have that, too, but let the clergy be honest about who they are. You shouldn't order a Ford and get a Chevy. In Lake Wobegon, the Lutherans are all in turmoil about it and I don't know if they'll stay in the ELCA or not, or whether some of them might pull out and form their own un-gay church they're all busy shovelling snow now. But the urge to separate from others is strong and there will always be restless people. In every marriage there is a strong case for divorce. One thing that keeps Lutherans together is the love of singing. There is nothing like a Lutheran congregation for singing acapella the old hymns and when they are riven by divisive talk, the antidote is to sit them down in a room and have them sing "Beautiful Savior". You'd hate to have the tenors and half the sopranos walk away over some doctrinal difference.