Friday, October 30, 2009

$200K Grants for Changes in Church Policy: Welcome to the New Way of Being Church

A few weeks ago I lamented that everyone wanted to be a politician, even those who lead the Church. Simply preaching and defending the gospel has ceased to be enough of a calling; the so-called “social gospel”, enacted by achieving social justice now deserved top billing. This social gospel compelled those who should have been churchmen to become politicians, by lobbying politicians, preaching on the social ills of the world and the building of God’s Kingdom as a remedy, or using plays like The Vagina Monologues to make a “religious” point about the abuse of women. The examples are myriad. It turns out I was more right than even I imagined, especially if one of the hallmarks of politics is behind-the-scenes deal-making and huge sums of money being used for lobbying purposes.
I recently heard about a $200,000 grant to an organization called Lutherans Concerned, a self-described advocacy group that worked for change within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). (Details about the grant are here.)

Lutherans Concerned is not affiliated with the ELCA, and the exact cause they supported is not my concern here, though I will say I am not in favor of their agenda. The fact that a seemingly secular organization could so influence the life of a denomination does not surprise me. But it does shock me. It is not the business of any foundation, or in this case the Arcus Foundation, what the ELCA chooses to do with theological issues before it. Yet they got involved, and no doubt Lutherans Concerned was only too happy to take the money. 

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Podcast 8

In this podcast , Corbusier and Relieveddebtor discuss a recent trip to eastern Europe and what really defines vitality in the life of a city. Listen and subscribe here!