Dividing the Body of Christ, Who, What, When


#1

Where, How…

This posting is about unity and not division. I searched for “things that divide the Body of Christ” and found this…

stillsearching.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/6-big-things-that-divide-christians/

This site states that there are 6 things that divide the body of Christ

  1. Homosexuality
  2. Politics
  3. Evolution
  4. Women in Ministry
  5. Universalism
  6. Internet

Other sites state that the measure of division is truth, and when things are not true the body of Christ is divided.

I posted this after some time on threads about the Disorder of Homosexuality and thought this is not bringing the Body of Christ together, it is divisive, and hence the search.

This thread I hope will bring many comments about what divides and what unites.

Thoughts? Comments?


#2

I think it depends on which communions we are talking about, both inter and intra.

For Lutherans (LCMS) and Catholics, it is not homosexuality. It seems we have similar views, that is,* being* homosexual is not a sin, anymore than* being *heterosexual is. It is how we **respond **to our sexuality in terms of the teachings of the Church.
I think, essentially we agree on the issue.
Our disagreement, that which divides us, revolves around doctrine - primarily soteriology (though for me less so now than histroically), and ecclesiology.

Within Lutheranism, LCMS vs. ELCA as examples, again it is not the being that matters, but what is the teaching of the historic Church and the confessions, and we in the LCMS believe that the ELCA, by allowing practicing homosexuals into the ministry, is not responding to the instructions of scripture, the historic Church, or the confessions.
The same can be said, but for different reasons, for women in the clergy.

Jon


#3

There is no unity among the brethren, unless each of us are first united to the Father, and to His Son. There is no unity among the brethren, when our wills are not in harmony with God’s will, which is obedience to the teachings of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is not so much our profession of faith that makes us one, as it is our obedience to the will of our Heavenly Father as reflected in the clear teachings and commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ. His teachings are impossible to follow without denying ourselves, and taking up our cross daily, and without the Holy Spirit enabling us.

It is the narrow way that leads us on the road to unity, anything else is division, and the broad way to destruction.


#4

Mercy,

Then you would fall into the camp that says what divides is what is true and not true.


#5

Jon,

This is true.


#6

Exactly. Whosoever remains, or does not remain in the true vine.

**“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. ** (John15:1-10).


#7

Jon,

I’d add the ECLA is not even following Luther himself on homosexuality. :mad: I know there are numerous quotes from him on the subject, this one From wiki, from Plass’s What Luther Says:

“The vice of the Sodomites is an unparalleled enormity. It departs from the natural passion and desire, planted into nature by God, according to which the male has a passionate desire for the female. Sodomy craves what is entirely contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversion? Without a doubt it comes from the devil. After a man has once turned aside from the fear of God, the devil puts such great pressure upon his nature that he extinguishes the fire of natural desire and stirs up another, which is contrary to nature.”

I disagree with Luther all over the place but he’s right here and his own church can’t follow him. :ouch: They really don’t sound very Lutheran if they don’t follow him. I bet they allow contraception too! :frowning:


#8

Pork,

I am not speaking for Jon but have learned from Jon that when you speak of Lutheran that there is not just one Lutheran dimension and you need to designate to which Lutheran group you are speaking. This is my understanding. Lutherans are divided as you know and homosexuality may be one of the issues that divides that confirms this post.


#9

Correct, and as I said, my siblings in the ELCA are not following scripture, the confessions, or the historic Church on the issue. And while there are many in the ELCA who remain constant with these - I have family there, as an example - the leadership is quite astray on a number of fronts. Enough so where it is hard to understand them, the leaders, as Lutheran.

Jon


#10

He did specify in the beginning of his post that he was talking about the ELCA.


#11

Holly,

This is true. I found a dissonance and disconnect I could not resonate with when I saw the introduction as you say…

I’d add the ECLA is not even following Luther himself on homosexuality.

and then the statement that was inclusive.

I disagree with Luther all over the place but he’s right here and his own church can’t follow him.

becase this statement does not clarify the division and designates the ELCA as the only Lutheran Church group…and Lutherans are as a whole divided.

OK:thumbsup:


#12

True that I was speaking of the ELCA. My Missouri Synod relatives roll over in talking about them. Sometimes in laughter other times in sadness. I do wonder what Luther would think if he were here today. I’m paraphrasing, but I remember reading that he thought that the issues in the church would have to be settled by a future council. He never would have envisioned protestantism in its current form and certainly not a church with his name on it that permitted homosexual clergy. Am I wrong on this (current Protestantism and issues being resolved by a future council, not homosexual clergy) Thoughts? :confused:


#13

Pork,

It is my suspicion that since there is division and accptance in one camp vs the other that the problem concerning Luther is that he would not have accepted Homosexuality in the clergy.


#14

Sorry I was not clear and modified the question. Did Luther not say that problems in the church would have to be settled by a future council? What would he say if he were here today and saw all the forms of Protestantism? Thoughts?


#15

There were other forms of protestantism in his day, so he probably would not be surprised.
I have this nagging suspicion that if he were here today, he would look at the likes of JPII and BXVI and run back to Rome. Other Lutherans may disagree.

Jon


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