Dennis D. Nelson is the Executive Director of Lutheran CORE
I am continually blessed and encouraged by the very positive and uplifting responses which I receive to my letters from the director, articles in our newsletter, CORE Voice, and other written communications. It is good to know that people read our materials and appreciate, value, and support our work. The responses I received to my most recent (the April) letter from the director were no exception.
One NALC pastor wrote, “There have been times when I have wondered why CORE staff and adherents remain in ELCA, but after reading this letter, I am thankful that you are still there. If you were to leave, it would please them because they wouldn’t have to deal with your wisdom any more. . . . I know your presence will probably not make a difference over the long run, you are fighting a strong and wily opponent, Old Scratch himself, but I admire your courage and your willingness to take on a formidable task. Blessings to you on your work, your passion, and your hope that there may be a ray of sanity somewhere in this mess.”
And then, to clearly show what we are up against and how we got into the mess we are in, a former ELCA synod mission director wrote the following [emphasis added] –
“Shortly after being called to that position I attended staff orientation at the ELCA headquarters with other new Mission Directors. We were told unequivocally that we were to start new congregations for gay and lesbian groups but to refrain from traditional church starts as there would be little if any financial support for traditional church groups. I was told directly by the then ELCA mission director it was the unspoken policy of the ELCA to NOT start traditional New churches or to provide any support for Rural Congregations because the money was to be directed to gay and lesbian church starts. . . .
“During one of my visits to the ELCA headquarters, the national mission director took me into a closet that held the congregations responses to the first sexuality study of the ELCA. She said, and I quote, ‘we are going to ram this s____ down their (congregations) throat.’. . .
“I and many faithful pastors suffered mightily at the hands of the ELCA. In fact nearly every faithful pastor I knew as Assistant to the Bishop suffers or has suffered as a result of ELCA pressure on their ministry to conform. In the ELCA almost anything is tolerated except not accepting their lgbt policy.” Thank you to both of these pastors for letting me quote them in this article. We give thanks for the support of all of our friends, and we pray for and want to encourage and help all who are enduring pressure to accept and conform to non-Biblical positions, practices, and priorities.