After reading Andrew E. Carlsson’s views (October, "My view: Authority & power") about Paull Spring’s article (August, "My view: Reforming the ELCA"), I wondered if Carlsson and I had read the same article. Nowhere did Spring infer that the Lutheran Coalition for Reform was in control of the ELCA. Rather CORE advocates a return to the basic Christian fundamentals that used to be the foundation of the Lutheran church, some of which are: the Blessed Trinity (Father, Son and Spirit), justification of God’s forgiveness through grace, and the sanctification of marriage reserved for a man and a woman. The only way the ELCA can reverse its shrinking membership trend is to return to fundamental principles.
I’m responding to Andrew Carlsson’s comment that “it’s quite difficult to find marriage as we know it in the Bible.” I disagree. We need simply to read Matthew 19:4-6: “He answered, ‘Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”
Is this fundamentalism?
Carlsson accused Spring and CORE of selective fundamentalism. This is often used among ELCA Lutherans to describe any desire to apply God’s word to the Christian life. The ELCA Confession of Faith says our church affirms “the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith and life.” This means we as a church believe that the Bible applies to our teaching, faith and individual lives. Has this now become fundamentalism?
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