Thursday, May 15, 2008

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Set to Ordain Gay Minister

Gay issue dividing Lutheran Church:

In an all too familiar story line...

"'In the midst of some of my painful experiences at seminary, I think I discovered something about the Gospel. I learned that Jesus ministered in the margins. And I discovered that table of outcasts. And I really met that Christ through those experiences.'

Dawn Hutchings, the pastor of Holy Cross, believes Mr. Ketola is the ideal person to become the first openly gay Lutheran pastor.

Rev. Hutchings said she knows her parish will face consequences, but she thinks going ahead with the ordination will be a benefit for the entire Church.

She said most people who are against gay ordination are opposed to it in theory. But she said it is harder to be against the idea when you work with someone like Mr. Ketola.

In fact, she wants Mr. Ketola to be an 'ambassador' for gay ordination throughout the Church.

Susan Johnson, the National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, also would like to see gays ordained, but she is against this ordination because it is a break with the Church as a whole.

Bishop Johnson said this is an odd situation for her because she remembers when women were not considered worthy to be ministers -- so she knows what it is like to be on the outside. But she still feels it is better that the Church come to a consensus before change takes place.

"People are very committed to their Church and they would prefer to remain within it. But they want it to reflect their understanding of theology, their understanding of scripture and faithfulness to God's word. And that's where the moment of tension takes place, when we have differing opinions."

Words of Death - Words of Life

  1. You do not know me
  2. You do not know where I am going
  3. You do not know where I come from
  4. You do not know my Father
  5. You will die in your sin
  6. You cannot come where I am going
  7. You are from below
  8. You are of this world
  9. You will seek to kill me
  10. You do what you have heard from your father the devil
  11. You cannot bear to hear my word
  12. You are of your father the devil
  13. Your will is to do the devil’s desires
  14. You are not of God
  15. You dishonour me
  16. You have not known God

Such is a brief summary of some of the words Jesus spoke to people in the Temple at Jerusalem.

A church sign near my home reads; “Out of faith? Come in for a fill-up.” Apparently this is intended to get bodies into the church building. Although it is just a sign, it signifies to me what so many want to do in order to win the lost – offer the meeting of felt needs.

In some cases, Jesus did appeal to people’s felt needs of spiritual emptiness, but never without identifying for them the false hopes in which they trusted. In many cases, that included words like He spoke above. Words that, by the way, were surrounded by invitation to come to Him and find life: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light [that gives] life.”

People need to know their real condition, anything less than that is a lack of love on our part.