Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mainline churches divided about more than homosexuality

From California-

For years, debates over homosexuality have dominated headlines on divisions within mainline Protestantism.

First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Redlands began splitting apart shortly after its national denomination approved the ordination of noncelibate gay and lesbian ministers in 2009, and most of the people who left nearby Trinity Episcopal Church in 2006 opposed the Episcopal denomination's consecration of a gay bishop.

But, reflecting what religious experts say is true nationally in mainline Protestantism, current and former members of the Redlands congregations said homosexuality is only part of far broader theological differences that are the real root of the divisions. Local congregational matters such as a pastor's personality and worship style also factor in, they said.

"It's a much bigger picture than one issue," said the Rev. Greg Wallace, who left First Lutheran and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America denomination in November to form a more conservative congregation. "It really comes down to a theological split between the left and right in mainline Protestantism."

Mainline Protestantism encompasses the establishment churches that were at one time dominant in the United States, including denominations now known as the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church.

More here-

No comments: