cross splinters

Lutherans Angry At Church’s Acceptance Of Gay Clergy Form Create Acronym We’re Going to Have to Remember

Is it me, or does it seem like Lutherans are forming more splinter groups than the Tea Party? Well, here comes the North American Lutheran Church, or NALC. Pastor Tom Brock is going to be so happy!

“Critics of the country’s largest Lutheran denomination and its more open stance toward gay clergy formed a new Lutheran church [Friday] at a meeting of a conservative activist group. The overwhelming voice vote by members of the Lutheran Coalition of Renewal created the North American Lutheran Church, a tiny denomination of churches formerly affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As of early August, 199 congregations had cleared the hurdles to leave the ELCA for good, while 136 awaited the second vote needed to make it official. In all, there are 10,239 ELCA churches with about 4.5 million members, making it by far the largest Lutheran denomination, or synod, in the U.S. The vote followed the ELCA’s decision to move gay pastors into its fold, becoming the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. to allow noncelibate gays into its ranks. The vote came during Lutheran CORE’s annual meeting.”

Not that there isn’t some excellent history here: “The church has strong ties to a little-known ministry in the Twin Cities and a new seminary in Brookings. The battles have included scorching accusations of blasphemy, ‘devilish’ behavior and the leader of a reform group declaring that last year’s vote on gay clergy amounted to the biblical sign of the beast: 666.”

[AP, Argus Leader; pictured: Paull Spring, the new bishop of the North American Lutheran Church]