Jump to content

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America New Rule for Pastors

Recommended Posts

Ed, for members of the ELCA it certainly does. For members of ECUSA it already was. In fact, many Christian religions accept homosexuals as members so it must to some degree be OK for them too.


Do you consider a religion that accepts homosexuals to be less of a religion? I am just wondering because under the Scout Law we are supposed to respect the beliefs of others.


Shortridge asked if the IH has to be a registered member and from what I can see they don't. They decide whether the organization will charter a unit, they sign the charter and they must sign the application for the COR.


While looking for this information on the BSA site I found some documents on how to sell various types of organization on starting a unit.




I looked at the Evangelic Lutheran kit and a couple others and they all include a section on overcoming possible objections. This is the one that struck me:


"We dont agree with several of the Boy Scout stands on membership.

We feel that as a private organization we have a right to establish our membership

requirements. I thank you for your time, but I feel that theres nothing further we can do at this time to help you."


That is the sound of a door slamming on a scout unit.


For all other issues (11 in total) they gave arguments to overcome the objection. This was the only one that ends the discussion. As more religions accept homosexuality it follows that this objection will come up more often. It is sad that fewer units will be formed and existing ones may be dropped by their COs because of this obstinacy.


I seems to me that each chartering organization, should be free to set their own standards of leadership in accordance with their beliefs.



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 138
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I think and I'm kinda sad that I have seemed to have lost the fight that I once had!

Where as at one time I was willing to save the world, adopt a polar-bear and hug a tree. Today? Not so much.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America New Rule for Pastors?

Hey! It's their church, their members, they will do what they think is right.

Much the same can be said about the BSA.

It's their organization, their members and they too will do what they think is right.

The big difference for me is that I belong to the BSA and I'm not a member of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

I know and have known for sometime that the BSA does discriminate. I'm sure that there are some who will think that I'm wrong for belonging to an organization that I know discriminates. I'm OK with that.

I'm also OK with the penalties that go with the BSA being a private organization. I see why we can't have it both ways.

If public funded what-ever open their doors to us? Then they should do the same for every other private organization. No matter if I find these other organizations to not be my cup of tea.

I'm not anti-gay. More and more I'm not even sure if it's important.

I really don't care or want to know what goes on in anyones bedroom. Gay or straight.

A few years back I found out that the District Commissioner I had looked up to and admired back in the UK was gay. I never knew then. I'll admit to being a little shocked when I found out, but I can still look back at the good work he did and be thankful for the help and support he gave me.

I have no idea if the BSA is ever going to make changes.

Who knows maybe there is a Evangelical Lutheran Church rep on the National Board who can make a good argument that will change things?

Maybe the Local option will be the way to go?

While I'm not gay, I really don't think gay leaders are ever going to bring about an end to Scouting as we know it.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to disagree but it doesn't make it okay for this member of the ELCA. I find that I apparently have less in common with the policy makers in the ELCA each year.


According to the information that I have received from my church, this initiative was approved by a two-thirds majority: "from Minneapolis, Minnesota, from the Eleventh Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where voting members adopted the social statement, "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust" by a vote of 676 (66.67 percent) to 338 (33.33 percent), exactly the two-thirds vote needed for the statement's adoption. Just one more negative vote would have tipped the percentage, and the statement would have been defeated. Social statements in the ELCA have no authority as such, but are guides to the thinking of the church on a particular topic. The statement covers many areas of sexuality's place in theology, in the family, and in society at large. Most of the statements in "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust" express convictions widely shared by Lutheran Christians."


This battle has been going on for years with the inevitability seemingly getting a little closer each year. As with most prolonged battles, eventually a number of people just get tired of it and give in.


To me, it is amazing that BSA has continued to stick up for their principles for as many years as they have, at the implied cost of membership and finances that have been suggested. On the other hand, just maybe they have gained (or kept) an unknown number of members and raised finances just because of their stances!

Link to post
Share on other sites

" This has nothing to do with religion, Hal! It has everything to do with morality"


But, without a religious reference, how does one determine morality? It all comes back to some kind of religious viewpoint. I agree with Hal on this one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Every faith faces this dilema with their clergy, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, ELCA, etc., etc., some just hide it or refuse to acknowledge it better than others. For example RC priests are supposed to be celibate however several national studies showed that over 65% of priests interviewed admitted to being openly homosexual, while most of the rest admitted to having homosexual leanings. The abuse scandals in the Catholic church a few years ago and into the present have led to a massive drop in white middle and upper class white parishioners in large urban areas. As to the ELCA at least they are being totally open about the issue, unlike my prior example, and its membership can make their own choice. After all no one religion has an exclusive on getting to heaven, even though the Catholics like to think they do, and people have a right to choose the place where they feel they receive the best spiritual guidance and support.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder what this will mean for the National Lutheran Association on Scouting. Made up of ELCA and Missouri Synod Lutherans, our group has managed to get along and work through our differences for the greater good of Scouting. But I think this may be a major sticking point for those of us among the membership who belong to the more conservative Missouri Synod. Should be interesting to see what comes of it.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod does not recommend members join Boy Scouts. I thought it also extended to the conservative Missouri Synod too, but I was mistaken.

Us Lutherans are a very diverse bunch, eh?


From the WELS website...


Do we directly condemn boy scouts or do we just not affiliate ourselves with them? I have read and mostly understand the WELS view on Boy Scouts, but why don't we attack the Pledge of Allegiance because it is an oath to a nation under an indirect God? You might say "they teach that you must work for rewards so forth teaching them to work for heaven", but yet we don't attack business that have their employees work for promotions? We also do not say that our children cannot join clubs at school or go to "Meet you at the Pole" where kids get together and pray for safety of their fellow students. Scouts promotes religion to God as the most important thing. No matter what religion it is. Our country had its pledge written with God in it because primarily all people believed in God back then. Same with scouts. If we don't even associate with other people of other religions how can we win them over?


We do warn against civil religion which treats all religions as one or interchangeable. If the Pledge is used to give that implication, we could not join in it. I do not know what percentage of WELS schools use the pledge. None of the ones I attended used it. Many people, religious or non-religious, have objections to the wording of the Pledge.


The reason we say more about scouting is that the topic involves voluntarily joining an organization with false religious priniciples. You hit the nail on the head with your statement "Scouts promotes religion to God as the most important thing. No matter what religion it is." That is exactly why we can't participate.


People in this world work for rewards at their jobs, at school, in athletics, and many other endeavors, but these rewards are earthly not spiritual. We have no objection to organizations that give earthly rewards for earthly achievements. Scouting is talking about doing your duty to God by your achievements. That is a very different matter. Believing in God or a god is not the same as believing in the one true God.


We can associate with people from outside our faith in every way except joiining them in evil or false worship. We can't win people by joining them in false worship.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I grew up in the Episcopal Church rather than as a Missouri Synod Lutheran, I am pretty much in agreement with the way the Missouri Synod looks at things.


Yes, worshipping with others in Scouting is a difficult thing for us. Scouts Own, inter-denominational, non-denominational style "worship" services all make me pretty uncomfortable. I would be much more comfortable worshipping with like-minded Lutherans, or just spending time with the Word on my own.


I have no need to "inflict" my beliefs on others and I don't care if other Scouts wish to "worship" together. I just ask that they understand my reasons for not taking part.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does it make it right? Your call. And Gods... but I do not know HIS position even if others do.


I guess they are saying it is right for them. The RC church does not allow women to be priests. I do not agree, but as I am not RC I do not have to. The RC church can (and do) set their own policy.


The more interesting discussion (to me) is does BSA reexamine its own policies? ELCA charters many troops. This is not an issue yet, but does it become one?


Note I said BSA can reexamine, not that we must change. But it is OK to debate the issue.

On another point, for those who are not Lutheran, please recognize that Wisconsin Synod (WELCA) and the larger ELCA are two VERY different organizations even if both have the word Lutheran in their names.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...