CEP: Input Requested

So far, I haven’t emailed back any of the people who have replied.  But in this case… I’m tempted to.  I’d like y’all’s help in deciding how to handle this one.

LCMS Lutheran, verdict: tentative negative.

Dear S,

We are a Lutheran congregation that is a member of the Lutheran Church-
Missouri Synod. Here is a link to the small catechism which is our
official doctrine:

http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechismpdf.php

I am a layperson and cannot provide doctrinal counsel so if the above does
not assist you with your question, please let me know and I can connect
you with Pastor [name redacted].

Blessings,

[name redacted]

I followed the link to see if I’d find anything relevant, expecting not to, and discovered this part of Johann Eck’s 404 Theses:

306] For a man to be continent is an impossibility; but just as it is necessary for man to eat and drink, and to sleep, so also is it to have sexual intercourse. Hence no man can be without a woman, nor any woman without a man

Uh.  Wow.  Okay.  That there’s some compulsory heterosexuality if I ever saw some.

…So do I email her back?  Do I ask to be connected with their pastor?

Or do I assume this gives me all I need (or want) to know?

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10 responses to “CEP: Input Requested

  • doubleinvert

    I don’t think I’d bother writing back.

    Though I haven’t started seminary yet, it seems to me that a lot of these compulsory heterosexuality and anti queer ideas stem from the verse commanding Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). It seems that it comes down to a literal belief in this verse and all of human sexuality hinges on it. Persons who hold to this idea seem to ignore that the human race has been more than fruitful, perhaps a little too fruitful.

    I guess that’s my UCC showing. ;-)

    -Connie

    • acetheist

      Yeah, if we take it on faith that they agree with everything in that link, then it sure answers my original question.

      It’s weird, though, because I’ve never seen devout Christians claim that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for people to be sexually abstinent.

      • doubleinvert

        And when they do, it’s usually based on the idea that celibacy is good. Of course, celibacy is a lifestyle choice and not an orientation.

  • apprenticebard

    Wow. I honestly can’t believe that’s in there. I’ve got quite a few LCMS friends, I’ve taken two years of Lutheran Religion classes, and I’ve read most of their Catechism, but I’ve never heard anything like this.

    Now I’m tempted to investigate. :/

    • acetheist

      I’m not certain how central or relevant that particular passage is, so let me know what you find out.

      • apprenticebard

        OK, so it looks like this isn’t a part of the catechism. Given that the link also has quotes saying that bigamy is an acceptable alternative to divorce, adultery is OK if done to conceive a child, and that a man who “violates a virgin” owes her nothing more than “a pair of shoes”, I’m 98% sure this is just a collection of random quotes from Luther and other early Lutheran theologians. There’s no way the leaders of the Synod actually profess this. It’s not like Catholic documents- despite Luther’s status as a hero, nobody thinks he or his associates were infallible with regard to anything, and most of them acknowledge that he said some incredibly harmful things towards the end of his life (as in, “let’s deport the jews and destroy their synagogues” levels of harmful).

        I’m thinking that if the small catechism and the Bible don’t say anything about it, then the LCMS doesn’t have an official stance on it. Well, generally. I know there are a few stances that they officially hold that nobody outside of pastors seems to take very seriously (example: they officially believe that the Pope is the antichrist).

        TL;DR: I’m pretty sure this isn’t an official LCMS position.

        • acetheist

          That’s good news. Do you think I should email back, then?

          • apprenticebard

            If you’re interested, yeah. I know I’m interested, just because I spend so much time around the LCMS and they’re in general a very conservative group (arguably moreso than Catholics), and I don’t know what their take on this will be. It could go either way, honestly, and I would like to hear their thoughts on it if you’re up to it.

            I’m not sure *what* you should ask them, other than to be connected with the pastor. But I’d certainly be awaiting any further responses they might make.

  • talkabouttalking

    Email them back? It depends.
    Do you want to engage them in a process – to really sit down with someone and challenge that they still live by everything in that passage? If so then go for it.
    But if all you want are simple answers, I don’t think you are going to get them!
    I have been pondering as I read your posts, and in particular the responses you are receiving, what I would do if I received one of your emails (I work in a church office – I am not a priest or member of the clergy).
    I can’t see the clergy in my church wanting to give you simple answers, because truthfully there are rarely easy answers to any of these questions. It would be completely another matter if they sensed you wanted a conversation to try and work out faith/life struggles of your own. It that case they would offer you a meeting over coffee somewhere, and repeat that offer as long as you found it useful.
    The church I attend (and work in) is Episcopal. There is no doctrinal consideration about asexuality. However I had a look at the 2007 marriage liturgy today and the introductory bits giving the rationale for marriage. A couple getting married have a choice of 3 to choose from – one makes no mention of the gender of the partners, nor of potential children, the other two choices do. The bible is read with interest and attention, but not as a list of dos and don’ts to be taken literally. In that sense there are no easily given answers.
    I think what you have started here is a really worthwhile research project, that needs to be taken to the next level at some point – in other words to engage hearts and minds to begin to think about the whole issue of asexuality, and asexual people, and how they want to be places of inclusion, or of ignoring.

    • acetheist

      “I can’t see the clergy in my church wanting to give you simple answers, because truthfully there are rarely easy answers to any of these questions.”

      Nah, there are some pretty easy answers. Some of the pastors who’ve replied have given some strong ones.

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