Why is it worth it to be in a larger denomination

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A front page article in the San Francisco Chronicle tells the story of two Lutheran churches that were kicked out of the ELCA several years ago because of decisions to ordain gay pastors. Now the ECLA has changed its tune, is allowing gay pastors, and is asking these free thinking congregations to rejoin them. One of the two churches has decided to return to the ELCA fold. But the other one is not so sure. The pastor, Susan Strouse, explains one reason why:

There's also the question of what the next Great Debate will be, Strouse said. What progressive position will First United take, and will it bring expulsion?
If a congregation has gone its own way for over a decade, having explored progressive values without having to subject itself to the authoritarian control of a denominational theology police, why should they now put their own independence once again at risk by rejoining the denomination? The church in question has seen itself as a place where people who have felt excluded from organized religion could find a home. Would re-joining the ELCA be consistent with that mission?

9 comments:

4 Men in a Den said...

Ya know Mystical I dont like the phrase 'progressive' to describe religious belief.

It's like 'freethinkers' or 'pro-life' or 'pro-choice' - overloaded with positive connotations which imply the alternative point of view simply cannot be right.

Even though I identify with 'progressive' belief.

4 Men in a Den said...

OK - Has anyone seen Mystical ?

Andrew said...

4 men - I haven't... miss his writing...

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