Robert Benne has penned a very thoughtful article for First Things here.
It is a summary of what is happening among those unahppy with the decisions to allow gay clergy in the ELCA over the summer.
Well worth the read.
Here is are some snippets: (read it all here)
What had been the promise of a renewed and robust Lutheranism in the merger of the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America was aborted before its birth, in 1988. The planners of the new Lutheran church saw to it that those who provided theological guidance to predecessor churches—then almost exclusively white and male—were marginalized from the real decision-making centers of church life.
One of their instruments was a quota system that insured that the more “progressive” elements of the church would be overrepresented. Every committee, task force, and voting body must be comprised of 60 percent laypeople of whom half must be female and 40 percent of clergy of whom half must be female. 10 percent must be people of color or people whose first language is other than English, of whom half must be female. This scheme dramatically reduced the role of white, male pastors in the church.
Other instruments were: making the Bishops merely advisory; categorizing theologians as only one interest group among others; and locating final authority in lay-dominated, semiannual assemblies that could vote even on doctrinal matters, as one fatefully did in August 2009. These bodies made sure there would be “many voices” in the life of the ELCA, and we now have “many voices,” but no authoritative ones. What is left of classical Lutheranism in the ELCA is a mere “aroma in the bottle.”
However, the most interesting fall-out is the organizational changes. The two organizations formed to resist the direction of the ELCA—the Word Alone Network and Lutheran CORE—have redefined themselves. Neither desires to continue organized resistance within the ELCA, which they regard as futile. Both have turned their attention to building new organizations independent of the ELCA, as they seek to provide harbors for those in search of a church beyond their congregations.