Two interesting events in the life of the church – Charity and Investiture

The first is local to my synod and actually made the major papers. The Pan-Lutheran relief agencies appear to be splitting over the ELCA votes concerning homosexuality. Here is the article.

I’m not really sure about this. On the negative side, I don’t really think doctrinal purity is a reason to stop works of charity. I am also wary of some of the statements from the CTCR quoted. I think they could just as easily be used against churches within the synod as charitable partners. For example “adopt operational principles alien or contrary to scripture” in certain circles could be read as any church that uses some “church growth” techniques is to be doubted. Lutherans have always run ecclesially light. Unlike Catholics who mandate an episcopal structure, or reformed who work in presbyteries or baptists who are local control – Lutherans can confessionally be found in all organizations. That statement would signal a potential change. On the positive side, the Harrison administration says something and given time takes action instead of just letting inertia and lethargy do their thing.

The other interesting thing is the growing investiture crisis in China. The Catholic church for many years worked with the Catholic Patriotic Church (as well as running house churches). Occasionally China asserts the patriotic side of that body and appoints bishops. In the west, settled in the snows of Canossa, the Pope alone appoints or invests bishops. Some interesting parallels. If you work with someone (like the LCMS and ELCA in charity) you will have to deal with relationship troubles – like who appoints bishops and leaders and where money gets spent. If you opt for purity, you control that, but where does that line stop and do you have the reach to actually make disciples, or are you too worried about your purity. [This one eats with tax collectors and sinners].

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