Monday, August 06, 2007

Lutheran Pastors Leading the Gay Pride Parade In Stockholm

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Sweden's Lutheran Church participated for the first time in Stockholm's Gay Pride parade Saturday as tens of thousands of revellers marched under the slogan "Love is stronger than everything".
...

The parade was kicked off by some 30 pastors from the Church of Sweden -- the country's main church -- which earlier said it also wanted to "break the masses' big silence" regarding gays, bisexuals and transexuals.

"The Church of Sweden is a church open to everyone," Uppsala pastor Ann-Katrin Bosbach explained.

This is your faith...

(Disclaimer - yes I know a small minority of Protestants hold both to Sola Scriptura and something somewhat similar to orthodox morality minus a few things so I'm not lumping all Protestants in with this blatant abandonment of Christian values).

23 comments:

Tiber Jumper said...

I thought I was the blogger table king of "crossing the line" with Ouch! posts.
I hand my "pinball crown" to you.

Thankfully the conservative evangelical movement in this country basically maintains the same moral values as Catholics do, (except for contraception though there is a move afoot in reformed and other circles to consider the unative /procreative understanding of sexuality.

I can't help but think this blog was influenced by watching a blogger recently go from one denomination to another, considering Catholicism, than rejecting it rather abruptly after a brief romance with it, followed by joining a reformation denomination, then followed shortly after by a blog saying "I don't think homosexuality is a sin."
The trajectory was too uncanny, but I don't believe the denomination in question is responsible for this individual's moral ambivalence. He will however find support for whatever moral issues he chooses in this denomination , which he wouldn't in Catholicism.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Hey now I had a disclaimer! TJ You keep up with the blogosphere very well and I too noted the coincidence which you mentioned. In fact I commented on that blog post. But in reality, this post was unrelated - the story was emailed to me by a friend who no longer reads blogs.

Anyway, I know there are Protestants out there who are almost completely faithful to orthodox morality but I'm not going to beat around the bush - they are a tiny minority.

Tiber Jumper said...

Yes, you did post a disclaimer, just bustin' a little:)

I have posted about this issue before but in regards to artificial contraception, every major protestant denomination opposed it but has changed their minds ad doctrines after the anglican church 1930 Council of Lambeth, and I suspect that the approval of homosexuality was the aftermath of this.
If folks no longer believe that the unative and procreative should be inseperable, then it follows that sex that doesn't lead to babies is going to be approved and encouraged, even if it's among same sex couples. Lambeth opened the door.

Regards your blogger friend who doesn't post anymore, if that is the guy who moved to connecticut please tell him hello and e mail me sometime. thanks

theo said...

Yikes!

GFF my brother,
Even with your disclaimer in place, I humbly suggest you reconsider this post. I’m sure that between the two of us we have known many hundreds if not thousands of good people who believe sola scriptura, and the odds are excellent that not one of them would reject the clear teaching of scripture itself regarding homosexual behavior. It would be a fair guess that those pastors who marched in the parade would no more confess sola scriptura than a Catholic Priest in a quasi-Marxist liberation demonstration would confess faith in the authority of the Holy See.

I'm sorry bro, but I just don't get the joke in this instance. Now if the article had been about snake handlers...

Humbly, I remain your stick-in-the-mud servant and brother in Christ,
--Theo

Phil Snider said...

I'm with theo on this. Disclaimer or no disclaimer, the connection between sola scriptura and the decision of Sweeden's state-sponsored Lutherans to walk in the Gay Pride Parade is offensive. It is also a next to non-existent. If someone actually took sola scriptura seriously, they couldn't march, could they, not if they had read Romans 1,23ff and other passages like it.

Now, I do recognize that you're likely going to argue that liberalism is the logical outcome of the Reformation and you'd even have a point. Yet, those Protestants who uphold sola scriptura rigourously aren't the ones that you are critisizing here, it is the ones who have reacted against this reading and become hyper-literal the other way: that is towards disproving the literal level of what the Bible teaches. That is, of course, the liberal project, but it isn't the classically sola scriptura approach.

My problem here is that you are mis-targeting what is responsible for this decision.

Peace,
Phil

Anonymous said...

It does raise the point of what is inevitable with sola scriptura and sola fide, though. If you look at some of Luther's quotes and the difference between the original Reformers' idea of church and what has become of the Protestant religion as a whole, this story doesn't fall too far from the mark.

Of course, I'm not saying that this abomination serves as the example of every Protestant, but, it is the inevitable result... obviously. It may be offensive to some Protestants who were also offended at the declaration made by the CDF (which has always been Church teaching), but it may also serve as a wake up call.

Granted, in the Church we've had our issue with bad priests, bishops, and laity throughout history, but the Church's teachings have never changed dramatically or evolved in the least. Even those Protestant fragments that hold close to the traditions of Luther and Calvin still look different, if not slightly than radically, than the first churches of the reformation. Any "change" as such should make anyone think twice about the stability of the denomination they associate themselves with.

The people in this article are an official Protestant religion, in fact, they get their tradition from Martin Luther. One only has to read what the man has said in the past to see that this is the true blossoming of his revolution.

Anonymous said...

On the flipside, whether or not this Lutheran gay pride parade was the culmination of the doctrines of Luther, I definitely don't think orthodox Lutherans were part of this. It can be said that this group provides a good representation of Lutherans just as much as the gay priests and bad bishops do in the Catholic Church.

Except of course

Anonymous said...

Also, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, GFF used the phrase "your faith on sola scriptura" to describe a "Lutheran" gay pride parade. Luther was the inventor of the doctrine of sola scriptura, so there is some logic in this post and not so much an attack. That's right, Luther invented sola scriptura, not Christ, the Head of the Church. No where does Christ say in the Gospels that we are saved by faith "alone" and that the Scriptures are the sole authority of the Church. Neither do the prophets or the Apostles. So, if the Bible doesn't say it... Hmmm....

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Theo: I get where you're coming from. No one's nominating me for ecumenist of the year this year.. I'll try to cool it down - seems like I'm pissing everyone off lately.

Anon: thank you for the backup.

Phil & anyone else who took offense: Maybe I should have been stronger in my disclaimer and perhaps someone with better judgment wouldn't have posted this thing at all.

But my argument isn't that liberalism has to do with sola scriptura. I don't think it has anything to do with sola scriptura.
Liberalism (in the modern sense of the word anyhow) has to do with human nature and selfishness.

I think sola scriptua has to do with completely neutering the only earthly force which has proven to stop liberalism from getting out of control (see the 2000 year track record of the Catholic Church.. Unparalleled by any organization of any kind in history).

These guys seem like fringe protestants (and they are) for now. But this will be mainstream Protestantism before too long. At one time, Protestants who ordained women were fringe and now they are mainstream. Same thing with contraception etc..

The point is that there is no magisterium to stop it and so it wont stop. Some small groups will splinter off again and again and again. It will keep happening thanks entirely to sola scriptura.

The Eastern Orthodox baffle me how they have remained orthodox without a magisterium. Yet they hold on to sacred tradition and that is the difference between them and Protestants - thus the remark about sola scriptura.

Look, Luther himself made remarks on how much chaos the Protestant experiment had produced even in his life time - so I really don't want to hear anyone getting on my case for pointing out the same thing that the founder of the Lutheran religion himself said!

500 years down the road, it's by God's grace alone that any of the rafts which jumped out of the ship (the Church) are anywhere close to the ship and her course (to borrow an analogy from Steve Ray). (And of course it's by God's grace alone that the Church is still on course herself)....

And don't think that I'm out here bashing all Protestants - I'm not. I'll have you know that not too long ago I chewed some mainstream evangelicals out for poking fun at an elder from the OPC for his beliefs (which were completely orthodox Christian beliefs regarding ordination of women).

And although I readily admit that there are many Protestants who are very faithful to Christ and orthodox Christian morals (for the most part barring contraception as TJ mentioned), I cannot turn a blind eye to the reality that they are a dwindling minority in the evangelical world.

Yes it would be wrong for someone to point at these pastors and say "look because of what they're doing sola scriptura is false" just the same as it would be (as has been mentioned) for a Protestant to point out liberation theologians or pretty much any Jesuit these days and pretend like that disproves the validity of the Catholic Church. I'm not doing that at all. But which Church has remained faithful to the Scriptures and to tradition, the Catholic Church or the one Luther started? That's my point..

This is you faith (the Catholic Church - the original)

This is your faith on sola scriptura (33,000+ denominations many of which flagrantly disobedient to Scripture and the mainstream of which far far out of touch with any kind of real Christian tradition).

JP Manzi said...

Tiber,

Low blow, ouch. I never stated homosexuality was not a sin. Just that I have trouble with the issue.

"but I don't believe the denomination in question is responsible for this individual's moral ambivalence"

No, the Lords church is not responsible for my questioning, that many christians, world over, have experienced.

It almost seems like I am the only one in this world who doesn't accept everything with out a problem. Geez, sorry I brought it up. I guess I will leave my troubles in the back of my head to deal with them all by my lonesome.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

JP - as I stated in my reply to Tiber, this post was entirely unrelated to yours as much of a coincidence as it may seem.

As I mentioned on your blog, I too have wondered how this breaks the law of love as given to us by Christ.

And again, I did state that it was not mine to judge that - the Church has spoken on the issue.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

By "This" I mean homosexual acts. And please understand I am in no way attacking or questioning your character or your views I haven't mentioned them.

This post is simply a jab (maybe uncalled for) at the fruit of the reformation.

Tiber Jumper said...

I stand corrected.
The comment of the blogger was "Is homosexuality a sin? I honestly do not know. I have heard both sides."
I read into what was said and I apologize for that. I have many close friends with SSA and believe that it is an amazingly difficult cross to bear. The Catholic Church says that being a homosexual is not a sin in and of itself and that individuals with this inclination need added grace and support to live out their christian vocation. However the Church states and always has and always will, that homosexuality(the practice of ) is a grave sin.
I think GFF's point of the post is that the majority of post reformation churches have changed the definition of sin to fit the times. Catholics believe in a Church that should change the times and not change with the times as Chesterton so aptly put.
Let me put a different spin on it. In other denominations, a person can find a church that fits their theology and morals. Catholics don't have that option. I purposely didn't use your name to cause scandal or embarrassment, I apologize if it did.

Tiber Jumper said...

GFF: If it means anything,
The Prodigal Daughter and I talked about your post. She is more ecumenical than I but she "got it" the way you explained in the comments and didn't think it was wrong to post. Besides, It's your blog man! Just tell us to go away!

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I don't agree that this kind of thing is the inevitable endpoint of sola scriptura. These ideas have existed all throughout time with or without sola scriptura. The Catholic Church is dealing right now with a tremendous high-profile problem with homosexuality in its leadership ranks. It's certainly not over yet. Did sola scriptura cause that? I don't think so. You'll note that I take no pleasure in the Catholic Church's problems in this regard, as I have stated many times before in my posts and other comments to Catholics.

As far as a church giving sanction to Biblically-prohibited sin, whether in its actions or its failure to act, this also will continue to happen until Christ returns.

I really don't think you're qualified to judge how many Protestants (a tiny minority, you said) remain faithful to traditional (yes, Biblical) morality. Why do you think there are so many Protestant denominations? Yes, there has been sin involved in some of this over the centuries. Another reason is the continual planting of "sister" churches around the world where cultural issues come into play. But ultimately, there are many people who break away from these lunatic denominations such as that named in your post in order to follow Christ more faithfully. Why not break down and give them a little credit?

Protestants are always reforming. As long as there are people who love Jesus Christ, there will be many Protestant denominations. You understand this, having come from the PCA, a group formed for the purpose of being more faithful to Christ and the Bible.

You seem to find great satisfaction in slamming sola scriptura at every turn. I can't even follow your reasoning in this much of the time. You even worked it into your Evan Almighty review, a feat which leaves me astonished and perplexed.

Give a rest, why don't you, and concentrate on persuading me why the Catholic Church is so beautiful instead of slamming my faith every chance you get. Try being positive for once. You may even find it more satisfying.

Anonymous said...

Play that Ace, baby. No, wait. It's the instruction card.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheGodFearinFiddler said...

[Darth Vader Voice] I have been waiting for you Pilgrims Arbor.

Ok in all seriousness :

I know I'm not very diplomatic and I've been told this by a number of different Protestants and you're all right. I need to work on my ... diplomacy skills. But I haven't slammed any denomination or anyone. I have criticized what the Catholic Church has condemned as heresy.

Often times I write with Catholics in mind and perhaps that is my problem since a handful of Protestants also read my blog. This post obviously wasn't intended to explain why I don't believe in sola scriptura or go through the details of how sola scriptura is partially responsible for the kind of wide spread departure from orthodoxy that we see in modern Protestantism. But again, I'm not going to apologize for pointing out the very same thing that Luther himself pointed out while he was still living and his followers started interpreting the Scriptures their own way instead of his. The post was aimed at Catholics, a quick and simple jest at this doctrine which we believe is false. Tiber Jumper got it immediately, so did Anon because they're both Catholics. Theo, I'm sure gets what I was saying but he cautioned me not to be so harsh - I should take his advice.

Now let me get a little personal... Here's why I slam sola scriptura so much. Firstly, I thought the comment in the Review was self explanatory - Al Gore grossly misinterpreting Scripture was reason number 237 not to believe. (No this is not a great reason to disbelieve that's why it's number 237 not number 1).

Anyway, I spent about 10 years as a Protestant trying to find any legitimate reason to accept the authority of the canon. Something told me it's true but there was no good reason to believe it's true. In a nut shell, Protestant apologists whom I respected (like Greg Koukl for example) had lots of great arguments until they came to the Scriptures. I became very frustrated with the utter lack of ability for anyone to answer my questions. When by God's grace I was brought into the Catholic Church, I had a lot of frustration to vent. Supposedly most of that is out now..but every once in a while (ok once every three posts recently) something slips out.

I should take your advice too and be more positive. One of my favorite Protestant apologists Ravi Zacharias said 'when you sling mud not only do your hands get dirty, but you begin to lose ground'.

Now about the ratio of faithful Protestants, you're right I'm in no position to judge the number of faithful Protestants but look at Protestantism as a whole versus Catholicism or Orthodoxy. In Catholicism you have 1 doctrine for the 1.1 or 1.2 billion adherents. This doctrine is objectively the least liberalized of any doctrine of any group of Christianity on the planet. (I'm just dealing with morality now not Church hierarchy etc...)

But now look at Protestantism (not your individual ecclesial community) but the Protestant faith as a whole. In the 700 million people it encompasses (I'm just guessing I don't know what the real number is but I think its in that neighborhood). Now this group also says they believe in one source of doctrine - the bible - sola scriptura. Yet they have literally 35,000 different ways of interpreting it. Now obviously many of them are very close.

But there are significant differences in almost all of them. I have a friend who is an elder at the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, you and him would get along fabulously. He's a bookworm when it comes to reformation theology. He's told me a number of times he can understand why I converted. He also has said on multiple occasions that his denomination has more in common with the Catholic Church than with the mainline evangelical faith community.

I think you should agree with that. I don't bring this stuff up because PCA & OPC are so far away from Catholicism, they're right next door. Why do you think so many in the Catholic Church are from the PCA? PCA members are converting by the truckload! Our views on salvation are nearly identical! A lot is made about relatively small differences in our beliefs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we're all one big family and should just ignore our differences. In a sense, we are one big family but we have been separated by irreconcilable differences in doctrine. Rome cannot change her doctrine, even the Pope doesn't have the authority to change what we have been handed from the apostles.

This is why sacred tradition is so vital. Look at the Eastern Orthodox Churches in comparison to the Protestants. They are not in full communion with the pope, but they don't believe in Sola Scriptura and they DO believe in sacred tradition. Look at their faithfulness! They are a living testament in favor of sacred tradition just as the Protestant divisions are a living testament against the doctrine.

So like I said to Phil, sola scriptura didn't cause the problem of liberalism (certainly didn't cause these pastors marching in a gay pride parade since as you mentioned the Scriptures explicitly condemn homosexual acts) but it doesn't have any power to stop it.

The only answer Protestants have to liberalism is to be (in Calvin's words) "constantly reforming" like you alluded to. Some of the founding fathers of our country had
similar ideas about government - revolution needed to take place every so often to weed out corruption.

After all, if we look at not some but every man made institution, we see corruption and evil. We see through history that these institutions always always always fails.

But there is one that has yet to fail for 2000 years. This is the one Church which has defied the gates of hell as Christ predicted.

Have we had corruption? You betcha.
Have we had gay priests? Still do.
Have we had clergy in gay pride parades? Of course.
Have we had greedy popes? Leo X for starters.

Have we ever been guilty of
teaching a false doctrine? You can't name one instance.

Have we ever liberalized on one tiny moral issue? Not even one.

Have we abandoned the apostolic tradition which was handed to us directly from Peter, John, Paul and all the other apostles which in turn gave to their disciples - Ignatius, Polycarp, Clement, Papias, Irenaeus, Justin etc... We have not. History repeatedly backs this up.

Now while we both agree that Scripture openly condemns homosexuality, it also openly condemns sola fide and in no uncertain terms - see James 2:24. Now the trained reformed response is "That's not the kind of faith that we believe saves you" and the Catholic response is well then yours may not be the kind of 'faith alone that the Church condemns!!

But the reality of the situation is that most evangelicals believe in the type of sola fide explicitly condemned in the book of James. Luther certainly did which is why he didn't consider James to be part of the inspired canon.

So here we have most evangelicals openly rejecting Scripture in this case and a growing number rejecting it in the other (gay issue).

That is the point of my one liner. I'm sorry to take so much time explaining it but I felt it necessary after it's ruffled so many feathers.

Obviously, I don't put every Protestant into the boat with these frauds (the ones in the picture above). But I do believe that sola scriptura has a huge part in this matter.

Now as for being positive about Catholicism, no one does a better job with that than Tiber Jumper. You read his blog so you get the positive from him and all the negative stuff from me I guess haha.

Anyway, Ive said it before and I'll say it again - I have a lot of respect for many groups within Protestantism especially the reformed and the orthodox branch[es] of the Anglican church.

But as Catholics, it is our explicit belief that there is but one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. This is the visible, authoritative Church throughout the world which has maintained the apostolic tradition (orthodoxy) and is in communion with the bishop of Rome.

Phil Snider said...

Whew, that was quite a response, GFF, possibly justified. However, just a couple minor points.

First, I agree with you about how sola scriptura has been taken in the Protestant world. There are few controls about how you can read scripture and that gets us into trouble time and again. I think Luther's point in his slogan, however, was that scripture is where we need to go to explain difficult scripture. In itself, that is a patristic response, although Luther was being his hyperbolic self and gave us the sola instead of a prima. That is unfortunate, but we do have to remember that most orthodox Protestants hear the prima in sola scriptura implicitly, not necessarily the kind of distortion you are arguing against.

Second, as a point on the gay priest thing. The point in a catholic tradition isn't whether a person is gay or not and a priest, but rather is he faithful to his vow of celibacy. If he is oriented to the same-sex and celibate, there isn't a serious problem except the temptations are different for him. If there were, we'd be in Donatist territory, wouldn't we? The problem we Anglicans (and other Protestants have) is that we allow married clergy (for reasons which I think are good), but we have to deal with relationships among clergy who are homosexual. That creates a problem of a very different order, but one that has the same solution: celibacy.

Phil

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Phil, Good point about priestly celibacy and the difference in disciplines between the Latin rite Catholics & Protestants. I had not thought about it in those terms.

I have started a new thread continuing this discussion.

Anonymous said...

"The Catholic Church is dealing right now with a tremendous high-profile problem with homosexuality in its leadership ranks."

Yes, as many other denominations are.
Check this out

Bob said...

yeah, just to state the obvious...the churches that are down with the gay pride stuff are generally full blown apostate and don't give a rip about sola scriptura.

What you have is a faulty comparison. Left the PCA for Rome...wow, I am a PCA member I just can't make heads or tails how people can go from Calvinism to Popery.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

Bob - I still have a lot of respect for the PCA but to be blunt, it doesn't hold a candle to the Church. I only wish I had crossed the Tiber sooner.

I'd invite you to read the Church fathers, the early Christians and martyrs and study the history of Christianity. If you take an honest look at Catholicism you might just find out why so many PCAers have converted.