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Switch to Forum Live View interpreting scripture
3 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2011 - 8:31AM #1
steve
Posts: 48

Is there room in the ELCA on how to interpret scripture?  Is there room for people who take a literal view of the scrpitures (i.e. Creation taking a literal 6 days, not thousands or millions of years;  literally a donkey talking; Jonah actually in a large fish)?

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2011 - 9:00AM #2
WannabeTheo
Posts: 400

Aug 10, 2011 -- 8:31AM, steve wrote:


Is there room in the ELCA on how to interpret scripture?  Is there room for people who take a literal view of the scrpitures (i.e. Creation taking a literal 6 days, not thousands or millions of years;  literally a donkey talking; Jonah actually in a large fish)?





Before I answer such a question, I think you need to define what you mean by 'room'.


I don't believe a person with such an interpretation would be forced out or prevented from joining.  But I also think such an interpretation is uncommon in the ELCA, and so a fundamentalist may feel uncomfortable.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2011 - 9:04AM #3
steve
Posts: 48

Thank you.  So maybe the LCMS would be a better fit for those who take a literal view?


 


As far as being uncomfortable if one were a fundamentalist, in your church, if it is ELCA, would a fundamentalist feel uncomfortable in bible studies, sermons, etc.?  Or would they be belittled, and looked down upon?

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2011 - 9:18AM #4
WannabeTheo
Posts: 400

Aug 10, 2011 -- 9:04AM, steve wrote:


Thank you.  So maybe the LCMS would be a better fit for those who take a literal view?


 


As far as being uncomfortable if one were a fundamentalist, in your church, if it is ELCA, would a fundamentalist feel uncomfortable in bible studies, sermons, etc.?  Or would they be belittled, and looked down upon?





Yes, the LCMS would be a better fit.


In my experience people are polite and respectful in Bible studies and pastors don't belittle anyone from the pulpit, though they may disagree with certain viewpoints.  If nothing else, Lutherans tend to be non-confrontational.


Also, all this can vary from congregation to congregation.  If you are considering visiting a church, I would suggest giving it a try.  If you feel your viewpoint belittled or put down, don't return.  Who knows, maybe there is a conservative ELCA church in your area where you'll feel right at home.


By the way, what is the background to your question?

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2011 - 9:27AM #5
steve
Posts: 48

Yes, I am considering an ELCA church just because of proximity to where I live.


 


Thank you very much for your replies.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 10, 2011 - 11:45AM #6
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Steve


It might help you to look at the ELCA as a wide tent which allows for many different understandings of Scritpture.  There are some who take a very conservative view of Scripture, and there are some who take a very liberal view of Scripture, but the uniting factor is that all are welcomed to the Lord's table.


I have found that denominations that have more narrow tents, who insist that you have to understand Scripture their way and accept doctrine as they understand it, that you will find contrary views belittled.  These denominations insist it has to be their way or the highway.  You will not find that in most ELCA congregations.


However, that is not to say that in and ELCA Bible Study you will not be encouraged to grow in the faith and your understanding of the Bible. 


Like Wannbe says, though, the best way to find out if you are comfortable in your neighboring ELCA congregation is to go and see.  Attend worship.  Sit in a Bible Study.  Most ELCA congregations offer an inquirers class or wekcome individual sessions with the pastor.  These classes or sessions may be an excellent place for you to share your concerns and see what the responses are.  There is no obligation to join if you take these classes.  They are there to allow people to open up without feeling threatened.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 11, 2011 - 8:46AM #7
steve
Posts: 48

Thanks.  That helps out.  I will be attending the ELCA church this weekend with my family.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2011 - 10:03AM #8
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Steve


Am wondering how your visit went.

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2011 - 10:01AM #9
steve
Posts: 48

It was wonderful.  The scripture was about the caananite woman who begged Jesus for healing.  The whole service was, in fact, about healing.  The soloist sang a fantastic song on the subject, and the sermon was actually more about the differences between the caananite woman and the jews.  So the pastor talked about the vast differences in cultures, even among the same launguage peoples (like arabic speaking people and the different cultures within that language group).  But despite all of the differences, we are all children of God and Jesus comes to all of us despite our cultural backgrounds.  For the communion part of the service, all the congregation formed a large circle around the pews in the sanctuary and the pastor when around and gave us the elements.  It was a fantastic time of worship.  I had a nice conversation with one of the congregants afterwards.


The church I went to this past weekend was:  splc-bellville.org/


This coming weekend I will be visiting another ELCA church:  www.stpaulwesterville.org/

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3 years ago  ::  Aug 15, 2011 - 10:23AM #10
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Good to know it was a wonderful experience!  You didn't get struck by lightening and the roof did not collapse on you . 


My wife and I went to Messiah Lutheran in Vancouver, WA.  Son was finishing up a summer internship there and he preached.  He focused on the persistent love of the Canaanite woman and how he felt the love of the congregation throughout the summer.  He ended up singing, "Blest Be the Tie That Binds Our Hearts in Christian Love".  There weren't very many dry eyes.


You might not know this, but nearly every Lutheran Church has the same Scripture Lesson as each other.  Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians all have similar lessons (with some variation between the denominations).  It helps me to remember we are part of the church universal. 

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