The ELCA Church wide assembly is underway. Day one is in the books and Day 2 is up and going. Yesterday was debate about parliamentary procedures. One of the big items was the passage of the rule to only require a simple majority for passage of ministry recommendations concerning homosexuality. I did not listen to this debate via live streaming through the ELCA website but entered the discussion afterward on Twitter. It is really fun to see the number of people Tweeting the assembly via Twitter. But if you are doing that make sure you are getting accurate information. Go to the the ELCA website for updates or follow “pglutherans” on Twitter. She is posting Tweets of news stories and other information about assembly action; a reliable source of information (pglutherans is reliable, maybe not so much the mainline media). You can also follow the ELCA on Twitter for up-to-date information as well.
Last night, as I was following various people on Twitter about CWA news, I got into a discussion with a fellow Tweeter about what was going on. Obviously we hold different views about homosexuality. One of my Tweets indicated that I hope and pray that the delegates are not just following societal trends. By the time we were finished with our discussion/debate I was accused of being “uncharitable towards those who disagree with me”. At that Tweet I stopped the discussion…not because I didn’t have a response, but rather I wanted to process that discussion we were having and respond later.
Well…later is here…
“Uncharitable”? Without giving you the full text of the conversation I want to respond. And in all fairness to my colleague (who I follow on Twitter and on her blog…and whom I respect) I am not going to take shots or anything like that but rather respond in a general sort of way. Our discussion/debate last night is between the two of us and anyone else following us on Twitter.
“Uncharitable” — I have heard similar terms such as that when connected to the debate about homosexuality. The other terms I have heard are: “Unwelcoming”, “Intolerant”, “Unloving” and even “Homophobic”. I am not suggesting that my colleague was eluding to any of those terms, but rather I have heard all of them in the same debate. Am I “uncharitable”…NO. Am I passionate about what I believe…YES. For the record: I believe in the traditional view of marriage between ONE man and ONE woman. But…if a gay couple walks through the doors of the church I am serving will I welcome them…ABSOLUTELY…and I hope and (frankly) expect everyone else to as well. Will that gay couple be welcomed as members of the congregation…YES. I will preach the Gospel to them; pray for them and serve with them…just like everyone else. I just can’t support their lifestyle. If a gay pastor comes to serve a congregation in Jackson what will my response be…I will work with my colleague and that congregation in an ecumenical way as I always have.
I may sound “uncharitable” to those who disagree with me but maybe that is because our view of scripture is so different. Maybe it is because we are at a point where debate about homosexuality is not going to change the view of people who are already entrenched in their view. Maybe I sound “uncharitable” because saying that you disagree with the homosexual life style proponents generally hear that you have “closed your doors”.
I am not “uncharitable”…I am just passionate about my beliefs and I hope the delegates remain faithful to their convictions and beliefs as well. I hope and pray they do not get swayed by societal trends or media/societal pressure. I hope and pray that the delegates remain and continue in prayer…and remember to listen. I hope and pray that people are respectful. And…no matter the out come of the vote this week…I hope and pray that the ELCA can get back on track and proclaim the Gospel, continue in mission and be evangelically focused.
There’s much work to be done, but nothing will happen through our own strength and understanding. May God be praised and glorified in all we do. And remember…be charitable to all people…regardless of beliefs.
Praise be to God!