Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Statement on Scripture

Bishop Emeritus Mocko makes reference to the Lutheran CORE statement on Scripture. This statement makes no claim to be all that can be said about how Scripture is to be understood by Lutherans. Yet, in such a time when there is much discussion as to varieties of "theologies" of interpretation, this is one attempt -- a work in progress, yet a faithful one -- to be a part of the conversation. Against the claims that those who are conservative in their interpretation of Scripture must be "fundamentalist," this statement argues instead that holding that Scripture is over us is being faithful. Rather than place it here, I will direct you to the website where it is printed in full, and if you wish you can add your name to the list of those who wish to say, in a small way, here I stand. The statement is located here: http://

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Open Letter to Mark Hanson, ELCA Presiding Bishop

The following Open Letter was recently written by the Rev. George Paul Mocko, Bishop Emeritus of the Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA

An Open Letter to Presiding Bishop, Mark Hanson

Dear Mark.

All my life I have been proud to call myself a Lutheran. Given my Hussite roots, I have quipped that I was a Lutheran a hundred years before Luther. That pride is not what it was, as I feel it breaking down before feelings of betrayal and alienation. This is happening as I watch my church, like a juggernaut follow the path of the ECUSA in the matters of the ordination of those openly living in homosexual relationships and the blessing and marrying of those in such relationships.

We ignore what this is doing to the ECUSA: it faces schism; it has become a pariah in Africa; the welcome mats from Rome and Constantinople have been pulled back; membership and income losses were recently described in The Christian Century as "precipitous." But undeterred, we push forward, apparently ready to accept the same sort of results.

Why? Is it because some new exegetical revelation has burst upon us? No. All attempts to claim that come up against the wall that every reference to homosexual practice in our scripture gives a clear negative judgment. Yet we would pronounce it blessed.

So next we launch into a study on the authority of Scripture, which, excuse me, early signs are, that it will tell us that we can continue to claim that Scripture is the "source and norm of our faith and life", as we clearly brush aside Scripture and turn to other sources and norms. We are preparing to sell our birthright as the foremost biblical theologians of the West for the pottage of this culture's approval, as we accommodate to its desires and demands in its extraordinary and overwhelming obsession with and worship of sex. What hubris possesses this generation to think it is qualified to rewrite the teaching of what has been the faith for two thousand years, and a thousand before that.

If we succeed in doing this, we will sacrifice the credibility of all our teaching. The very thing that has made our teaching notable has been its solid rootage in Scripture. Make that optional, take it away and who cares what we say about anything?

I read with deep appreciation the paper on the authority of Scripture produced by bishop Paull Spring, and Lutheran CORE. I hope there may still be hope for us.

In Christ,
George Paul Mocko,
Bishop Emeritus, De. Md. Synod, ELCA