Monday, June 28, 2010

Calling It like It Is

On the June 9 Issues, Etc. Pastor Todd Wilken interviewed Episcopal Bishop Keith Ackerman, President of the Anglican reform group Forward in Faith. They discussed the Anglican Church’s decision to remove Episcopal Church USA members from Anglican Committees because of the Episcopal Church’s consecration of a second lesbian bishop, in spite of the Anglican Communion’s forbidding such an action. Pastor Wilken quotes Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori’s reaction to the decision:
I don’t think it helps dialogue to remove some people from the conversation.
Pastor Wilken then asked Bishop Ackerman what she meant. Bishop Ackerman’s response:
Well, I do speak several languages, but I’ve had to learn how to speak her language in the past few years, but I can translate it. So, here is her language – here’s the interpretation. “Number one, we have done what we believe is correct. We shouldn’t be punished because we’re doing what we think is right for conscience sake, and if you remove us from this situation, then we won’t have any more opportunity to convince you that we are right and that you are wrong.”
I’ve heard this before somewhere. Rewind to April, when LCMS and ELCA leaders got together to, among other things, discuss the theological implications of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly decisions on human sexuality which allowed the ordination of gay ministers (which Stand Firm reported on here).

In a statement remarkably similar to Jefferts-Schori’s, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson responded to LCMS leaders:
We also hope that you understand, and we understand, that our actions put stress on relationships, but not stress to the point that we believe that they should sever the relationships rather than call us to deeper conversation.
Perhaps the LCMS should use Bishop Ackerman’s interpretation in the translation of what Bishop Hanson said, and respond accordingly.

Listen here:


Anonymous said...

I believe James Nestingen gave his translation of Bishop Hanson's "conversation" spin: "Bishop Hanson is saying that the conversation is over." The term "conversation" means, "We will keep talking, but we're going to do what we want, and we don't really care what you say."

Thus endeth my conversation.


Rev. Josh Sullivan said...

In this new definition of "conversation" that we have these days, when is a dialogue deemed successful? When it a conversation declared to be finished? I agree with you Johannes, the conversation is already over, the losers just haven't realized it yet.

It makes me wonder if what the LCMS really needs more dialogue within itself, or whether its just time to call the conversation over.