Thursday, July 15, 2010

Resolution 3-03 Adopted

Resolution 3-03, Cooperation in Externals with Theological Integrity, on page 65 of the original Today's Business, has just passed, 961 to 175, with amendments as shown below. This resolution garnered more debate and ate up more floor time than did 8-08A, which restructured the entire Synod. The debate stretched out over two days and three different time blocks. It's the resolution that just wouldn't go away. President-Elect Harrison spoke briefly to the convention earlier this morning, indicating that he was not satisfied with what the floor committee had produced regarding this resolution, mentioning that the status quo could not be maintained. He also indicated that he did not think that the LCMS should cease all cooperation with Lutheran World Relief. He didn't indicate how he thought the resolution should be changed, and it was adopted without any further amendment.

The massive amount of time spent on this resolution was both good and bad. It was good, because it shows that there are many people in the Synod who are concerned that works of mercy continue, and because it shows that there are many people in the Synod who are concerned about the possible unionism that may occur because of our joint work with the ELCA. It was bad because it may indicate that the delegates do not understand that there are theological concerns contained in the resolutions dealing with structural changes, not just those resolutions explicitly labeled "Theology and Church Relations." We should be just as diligent in our discussion of structural changes as we are in our discussion of obvious theologically-oriented resolutions.

The resolved text is contained below, along with the amended text.

Resolved, That the task force be thanked and commended for its work on identifying practical implications of the 2009 ELCA decisions on human sexuality; and be it further

Resolved, That, in keeping with the basic principles set forth in the task force statement, cooperation in externals with other Lutheran churches, including the ELCA, continue with theological integrity; and be it further

Resolved, That we give thanks to God for the opportunity to give witness to God’s care for all people through such cooperative work; and be it further

Resolved, That the CTCR, in consultation with the Praesidium and other entities and individuals as needed, develop more in-depth theological criteria for assessing cooperative endeavors, determining what would necessitate termination of such cooperative efforts; and be it finally

Resolved, That the Praesidium, in consultation with the CTCR, provide an assessment of the current state of cooperation in externals and a full report of criteria for on-going assessment of the same by the next convention July 13, 2011.


Anonymous said...

God says, "you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral ... With such a man do not even eat." (1 Corinthians 5:11).

The ELCA calls itself Lutheran & Christian, and they approve of sexual immorality. Therefore, do not associate with them.

Carl Vehse said...

The amendment is little more than a shameless "stall tactic" of the liberals or of the timid. With respect to the E_CA, there has long been more than sufficient 'talk' to warrant the LCMS to sever the cooperation in externals.

Furthermore, even assuming criteria are developed and approved and applied and we all agree the criteria have been met (and pigs fly), there will still be objections that we need another 1, 2, 3 years or more, for the sake of those receiving charity help from these cooperative organizations, in order to develop a termination plan that minimizes the impact.

And after all that, demands will be made that we need to reassess the whole thing all over again.

Preachrboy said...

I think Harrison is great - but he'll need to convince me on this one.

In some respects, I think it would be better to associate with any OTHER church body in externals than the ELCA, so as not to perpetuate or cause confusion. Maybe if they didn't use the word "Lutheran" in their name. But many will see our association as tacit approval of their "Lutheran-ness". Our actions shouldn't leave any doubt how we feel about that.

I think we also need to address the fact that joint chaplaincy is not "external" but is a sort of shared W&S ministry - and it needs to end. Not sure what our president-elect will do with that one...