Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Journal of Lutheran Ethics

Journal of Lutheran Ethics on the ELCA Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality.

1 comment:

  1. A fine piece that notes some of the oversights I have noticed as well. Being a Benedictine olbate-novice, I cannot help but notice ignoring the call to vowed religious life. I understand that abuses in Luther's day were great, but some are called to such a life out of free response to Jesus Christ and not mere convention or by force. We should have room for them in the Body and provide means for them to live out such responses to the Word. Also, knowing some fine Lutherans who remain single and serve others greatly, I found strange the focus almost exclusively on the married. Some emphasis on the single contextualizes sexuality in a wider eschatological lens.

    I might add, that I also found it troubling, perhaps part of the ecclesiological obsession overtaking the mainline these days, that while it was noted that families can become demonic, little attention was paid to how the church community too can become a place of radical inhospitality. I find that surprising in a tradition that takes St. Augustine seriously yet in this statement fails to acknowledge that the church community "this side of the New Creation" (to use Volf) is not some blissful utopia. More honesty in this regard would be a good thing when so much romanticism of community and church abounds.

    I also noticed that while a lot of concern was given to extended families with a same-gender oriented person in their midst, little attention was given to the families formed by same-gender oriented persons and the particular struggles and joys therein.

    I was troubled by the dual pastoral responses possible because frankly the responses from a Lutheran ethical framework should be able to be measured for their fruits. The responses are not equal and in my experience pastors start threatening hellfire, suggesting that the matter is a matter of one's salvation. My partner has had to counsel more than one person harmed thusly by a fellow Lutheran pastor.

    The humility to acknowledge more listening and study, and the particularly Lutheran emphasis on neighborcare was a really promising way to begin an ethics of sexuality, in my opinion.