Dear Pastor. *Im Being bullied!*. Dear Gay Guy *You Are Forgiven*.

A post by Neil Hart on the homosexuality, LGBT, lesbian and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

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The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) is uncomfortably close to the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA). We have no official relationship with them but, then again, we have official relationships with almost no-one.  (except the LCC… and they are almost no-one.)

We in the LCA stand in that enviable position of being unquestionably right. We shine like a solitary beacon on a hill. While we have no official links with the LCMS we have, of late, allowed quite a number of their officials to come and share our glorious light.  We, in return, have sent some of our luminaries into their slightly darkened corner.

Just this past weekend, for instance, has seen the director of Lutheran Education in Australia speak at the triennial gathering of LCMS educators in the US.  I think he may have taken an LCA college principal or two along with him for the trip.   In Australia, I know that the LCA has engaged the services of an LCMS pastor to act as a national LCA conciliator. My own local congregation engaged an LCMS pastor for a couple of months last year .  His views on women reflected the ultra-conservatism of the LCMS… but… that will have to wait for another post.

Past readers of this blog will, no doubt, fondly (?) remember the insights given to LCA, pastors, chaplains and church workers by LCMS Psychologist (?) Beverly Yahnke  at a number of seminars conducted in Australia last year. She spoke of those retched, mentally ill, genitalia mutilating, child perverting, family destroying, better off if we just killed them… gays. (No… Im not exaggerating.  Just google *lcamyopinion yahnke*  and take your pick. )

Oh, BTW, Dr Yahnke was one of the speakers at this weekend*s LCMS  Teachers Conference, the one where our own Director of Lutheran Education was also lecturing .  Yup!  We are dangerously close to the LCMS.

Regular readers may remember that Dr Yahnke is one of two directors of a thing called Doxology, an official arm of the LCMS. They teach pastors. Although Doxology is an official part of the LCMS its advisory board includes the following LCA heavyweights.

Dr John Kleinig emeritus seminary lecturer who is very respected and still extremely influential in the church.

Rev Stephen Pietsch. Lecturer in Pasotral Theology at the LCA Seminary

Dr Andrew Pfeiffer head of the School of Pasotral Theology of the LCA Seminary and member of the LCA Commission on Theology and Interchurch Relations, the major theological think tank of the LCA.

(yup…. DANGEROUSLY close)

This mention of the good Dr Yahnke and Doxology (finally) leads us back to the letter hinted at in the title of this post.  The other director  of Doxology is a pastor called Harold Senkbeil. He has an article in the current Lutheran Witness, the official rag of the LCMS. The article is in the form of a letter from a young gay person together with Senkbeil*s answer.

Before we read the letter I need to explain some Lutherspeak to you. The letter mentions *the Law* (capital *L*).  This refers to God*s Law which, according to Lutheran Theology, condemns us for our sin and drives us to repentance.

Ok… heretis…

I think I speak for most (gay people) when I say, *Unclear Law is not the problem.*

At age 10, when kids called me *fag*, *sissy*, and *queer*, it was not a traditional way of proclaiming Law and it was not done in a Christian manner. But it was still Law…

In eighth grade the kid who held his hand over my mouth and nose so I couldn’t breathe while the rest of the class laughed as I turned purple was Law.

The high school teacher that greeted me with *Hello Princess* in a falsetto when he thought no one was listening was Law.

The *fag jokes* told by adult Christian men are Law…

The message of the Law has been clear.  The law condemns me as a sinner. What I need is hope… Can you give me that hope?

Pastor Senkbeil*s answer is in 5 parts but the first part pretty much summarises. Ready?…

Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners par excellence. He bore all the sins of the world in his own body, including yours, and He took them all away with him into his death. Now if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, and that includes you. In Jesus there is forgiveness for all your sin, sexual or otherwise.

Well, dear reader, there it is. Senkbeil and Yahnke make a beautiful match, don’t you think? They should run away together and have a million of each others babies. Or… at the very least… they should just run away…

The bullied gay man struggles with a horrible and unjust  burden placed on him through years of  humiliation, victimization and physical abuse beginning in his early childhood and continuing into his adult life. It is the worst of humanity levelled against him.  And I cant help but tear up when I realise that he thinks that all of this has come as God*s  judgement on him because of who he is inside. He thinks that it was and is all his own fault.

And Senkbeil*s answer to him is a horrible, resounding *Yes*.

He then refers to Jesus. I have never heard words of forgiveness applied in such an out-of-place and inappropriate manner.  They sound as perverse as the blinkered theology that, in this instance,  spawned them.

It is, of course, possible that this gay man does not exist,  that Senkbeil has just made him up for the purposes of the article. Dear God, I hope so.

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Yes, we are dangerously close to the LCMS. It seems that we may,  unofficially, have let them join us on our wonderfully-right-beacon-hill … their light joining ours like… like…

the headlights of a car bearing down on one startled and transfixed rabbit…