Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CORE Encouraging Congregations to Oust Pastors who Don't Agree with them

Lutheran CORE is playing dirty. Got a pastor who agrees with the churchwide assembly decision or simply refuses to make a big old issue out of it? Get rid of them. Yup that's their suggestion. First they use judgmental and incendiary language and refer to a pastor's support of the ELCA as "refusal to adhere to ordination vows" and then they say:

If You Need to Confront Your Pastors
If your pastors are unwilling to adhere to their ordination vows and the church constitution, your choices become very difficult.

1.) One is to tell them that you cannot in good conscience support the church with your time and money. That would be a tragic decision for many.

2.) Another—depending on the unity of your church—would be to encourage the pastor to look for another call. That could be a threatening decision for many churches, especially small ones or those who called a new pastor recently.

This was originally on their resources of "What to do now" You won't find it on their webpage anymore because they have altered it --but for now it is still here: CORE Suggestions -don't be surprised if they cover their ass and change that.
Pastors accepted these calls to ELCA congregations in good faith and excuse me but it is in our ordination vows to support the ELCA and to ENCOURAGE congregations to try to oust pastors for the SIN of supporting their church is reprehensible on the part of CORE and the fact that they have taken that out of their public documents shows they know darn well how shameful it is. The fact that they have taken it out of their public documents does not mean they are not still encouraging congregations to threaten to get rid of pastors who do not see things their way.

This is not the first time CORE has said/done something outrageous and backed away when called on it. Check out Magdalene's Egg "Bouman: CORE Lies to its Members They are not a trustworthy group.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I saw the column on Bouman too. (I consider him to be one of the great assets of the church, by the way.) Might link to it myself.

    Meanwhile, there's a church where the pastor is calling for leaving the ELCA, but the congregation doesn't feel that way. What do you do in those circumstances? (need to check where it is again, but it's listed on "Pretty Good Lutherans."

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I think Lutheran CORE is going to do more harm than good.

  4. If a pastor wants to leave the ELCA, the HONORABLE thing to do is to leave...and then let the congregation decide what they want to do. You don't try to take the congregation with you.

  5. Wow. The depth of their rage, and the ethical lapses to which it pushes them, really does shock me.

    Here, they are throwing back to the days of Donatism and the Novatianist schism. You know: We not only insist on moral rigor as we define it, but we refuse to tolerate anyone who defines it differently. I

    Sadly, it is worth remembering that the call to rigorism exerts a powerful emotional effect on the faithful. Despite church councils and the arguments of heavy-hitters like Augustine, the Novatianists had their own parallel "church" for centuries.

  6. I'm going to try to delete my comment because it showed up on Pastor Eric's FB posting.

  7. Ah yes, the Donatists and Novantists I believe they were declared heretics...(this is why I love Father)

  8. Reprehensible and yet oddly weirdly comforting to realize that un-Christian and very bad behavior is an ecumenical disease. We need to stop the contagion.

  9. Amen on pastors leaving the Church. The Lutheran Church is not a congreational church... If you don't like the Church or what it is doing... you may leave... some of your congragents may follow, but don't try to force the whole parish out of the wider church... its the priesthood of ALL believers!