Carl Braaten writes about how the ELCA got to the point of the recent decisions on gay clergy.
His diagnosis of the current mindset of many Christians is accurate far beyond the confines of the ELCA:
Modern Protestantism is an amalgamation of historic Christianity and the principles of the Enlightenment, its rationalism, subjectivism, and anthropocentrism. The underlying assumption is the neo-gnostic belief in the inner-dwelling of God, such that everyone is endowed with the inner light that only needs to be uncovered. The light of truth does not shine through the Scriptures and the Christian tradition as much as through scientific reason and individual experience. This is what happened in Minneapolis: appeals to reason and experience trumped Scripture and tradition, punctuated with pious injunctions of Lutheran slogans and clichés.
And another good paragraph:
There was no lack of Lutheran slogans and clichés flying around the mikes at the Convention Center in Minneapolis. Bishop Mark Hanson voiced them well, as did most of the speakers. The Lutheran lingo reminded me of the phrase Erik Petersen coined to describe modern German Protestantism in its defection from the doctrinal theology of the Reformation; it’s “the aroma of an empty bottle.” There’s not much left of the original Reformation. The Lutheran “solas” can be used as slogans to mean the opposite of what the Lutheran confessors intended. In the current circumstance they are the tell-tale clichés of “gospel reductionism.”