The Feast of the Expulsion: On Dec. 31, 1995, the ELCA expelled St. Francis and First United, the two SanFrancisco churches that were instrumental in calling and ordaining Pastors Ruth Frost, Phyllis Zilhart, and Jeff Johnson in January of 1990.
At St. Francis, December 31 is observed as the Feast of the Expulsion. We're not sure what kind of observance was planned for this year's Feast, but activity on the St. Francis Web site has exceeded the server's alotted bandwidth.
Rumblings: How would your bishop respond to the news that one of the synod's pastors had undergone sex reassignment surgery? We hear rumblings that, in one synod at least, we'll know the answer to this question soon.
Law, Gospel, Antinomianism, Sodomy: Mark Chavez, writing for Word Alone about the new ELCA sexuality study guide (Free in Christ to Serve the Neighbor), accuses the guide of separating Law and Gospel and warns of its effects on the church. A few excerpts
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The study begins in the wrong place by insisting that the church's understanding of sexuality must be grounded in the Gospel...
The study's assertion that our understanding is grounded only in the Gospel is an antinomian move.
Ironically, the authors of this third study want it both ways. In the section on sexual violence the study wants to bring the law into the picture by calling for "justice" (clearly a matter of the law) but then in the same paragraph places limits on the law.
After all, the authors don't want the law invading the privacy of "lovers" (though they don't mention it, it seems to be an attempt to protect sodomy)...
The basic presupposition of this study is that believers only need to agree on the Gospel and once we move into morals and ethics we will disagree as believers and that's fine. The result is that the study denies that there are absolute truths and values--except of course to insist that sex and sexuality are good--and worse yet, in the end, places it completely in our sinful hands to determine what might be good for our neighbor. Watch out neighbor!
Visit the Word Alone site to read the entire article.
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