I was checking out the webpage for Central City Lutheran Mission in San Bernardino, California. Check it out yourself by clicking here
A classmate of mine was supposed to go on internship there, through a program of the ELCA called Horizon Internships that helps churches, that normally wouldn't be able, support an intern. But some things went down: CCLM called a pastor who is in a lesbian relationship.
Now there are other instances of churches ordaining homosexual men and women in committed same-sex relationships. And the consequences have been different. But I was reading news releases on the CCLM webpage, and the consequences that this ministry received are outrageous!
Not only has the mission been removed as an official congregation in the ELCA, but Pastor David Kalke has, in essence, been fired from the ELCA. This is the harshest punishment set forth by a synod in about 10 years. The staff at the mission think that the homosexual pastor issue is only really part of the issue, however, and they believe that the driving factor behind the move was that the Pacifica Synod of the ELCA doesn't agree with their ministry to the poor, the homeless, the victims of HIV and AIDS, and all of the other disenfranchised people that they have been serving. And so they think that the synod used this as a means to give them the boot.
And that makes me sad. First, that a synod would want to get rid of this kind of ministry. And second, that the mission would have reason to believe that the synod disapproves of this kind of ministry.
Not even to mention the fact that as the BODY OF CHRIST we are to be about radical love and inclusion and forgiveness! That is the example that was set forth by Christ, and as CHRISTians we are to be about continuing the mission of Christ. But instead we get caught up in politics. We want a church that makes us feel comfortable. We want a church that we control. And that's not what the Church is about. It should be about moving out of our comfort zones and reaching out to others, because those are the instances when we will come close to God.
Why can't people see that sometimes when they try so hard to "follow God's Word" that what they're really doing is the exact opposite - and working their hardest to prevent others from following the call of God in their own lives.
Okay, so I think I'm done with that rant. But I'm still angry.