Monday, February 20, 2012

The Lutheran reformation continues

I've often felt the Lutheran church is trapped in traditions around its liturgical worship style and music.  It felt like that the radical movement Martin Luther started back in 1517 when he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the wall of a Catholic Church has since been cast in granite, as it became the Lutheran tradition.

Valley of Peace Lutheran Church
However this past week it was evidenced that there is still a reformational spirt within the Lutheran Church.  Headline stores from the StarTribune these past couple of days included a story of a new female bishop (Svennungsen is new bishop of ELCA's Minneapolis synod) and an article indicating that the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA re-soundly opposed a constitutional amendment restricting marriage between one man and one woman (Minneapolis-area Lutheran oppose marriage amendment0.

The United Church of Christ (UCC) had a national campaign a few years back declaring "God is still speaking". Seems that the Lutherans are in agreement with their friends in the UCC.

Jesus prescribed a radical lifestyle that often got him in trouble with the institutional church of his day.  He re-prioritized the vast number of laws that were prescribed in the Old Testament, with the primary focus on loving God and neighbor above all else. However even given those new marching orders the institutionalized church has often been slow to change with scientific discoveries and new cultural understandings of human nature.  I hope that Martin Luther, were he alive today, would be thrilled with the continuation of the reformation.  And much more importantly that the radical Jewish leader, Jesus, is pleased to see more welcoming and inclusive followers.

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