Thanks for "Insiders and outsiders" (February). I was cheering the whole time I read it. I do not understand why the ELCA is confused by its lack of influence and relevancy. If we don't become more relevant or useful to the needs of those not with us today, we are dooming ourselves to not only irrelevancy but to our ultimate demise. The ELCA has so much that is exceptional, worthy and meaningful for our society — for outsiders. The church has what outsiders need. The message itself does not change, cannot change, and will not change because it is the word of life, the very gospel itself. But there is a need to package the message in a way that outsiders can understand. Just look at how the message was made relevant and adapted to the audience in Acts 17.
Loving the outsider
While the author of "Insiders and outsiders" points to some evident truths, we believe he blew it. "Every decision made by staff, council and committees is made on behalf of those not yet here" (emphasis added). It's not about making changes so the outsiders can become insiders. It's about loving the outsider simply because they exist. That's what every decision by staff, council and ministry team should be based upon — how many people in the world will know the love of Jesus because we live this way?
The Revs. Jane Jebsen & Peter Morin
A Supreme Court associate justice famously said that while he perhaps could never define pornography, "I know it when I see it ...." I would tell your two professors ("What is sin," February) that most of us don't need them to define sin because most of us know what it is when we see it. I once had a professor say that many theologians enjoy dissecting a gnat. I think the gnat has been thoroughly dissected.
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