2009 CWA: Possible reactions to the
social statement approval by God
Possible reactions by God:
Many delegates to -- and observers of -- the CWA wondered what God thinks of the
approval of the Social Statement?
There are at least three ways to assess the will of God:
Pray. A person can try praying to find
out God's will. We noticed a few pictures in various media outlets that
indicated delegates doing precisely that. However, assessing God's will via
prayer can be a bit tricky. We conducted a pilot study
in which volunteers were asked to assess the will of God through prayer on a
related topic: same-sex
marriage (SSM)? We found that:
100% of those volunteers who personally favored SSM
before praying about it reported that God fully agreed with them.
100% of those volunteers who
started the study being personally opposed to SSM reported that God fully agreed with them.
all of the subjects taking part in the study were quite certain that God had
communicated his will to them.
We made a
number of conclusions from the pilot study: the main one is that devout,
sincere, spiritual people may have confidence that they can assess the will of God through
prayer, and yet be unable to do so.
It is really important that Christians and other theists understand the
unreliability of prayer in assessing God's will. Most of the delegates probably prayed
about the Social Statement. If the delegates obtained the same results as
our pilot study subjects, then those qho personally favored the document
would sense that God did as well; those opposed would sense that God were also
This situation can not only generate confusion, it can cause
bad feelings as well. Those who opposed the document might well assume that
its supporters were praying to assess God's will, had learned from God that he
opposed it, and yet voted in favor of the social statement -- and vice versa. Feelings of
hypocrisy and anger might have circulated by those who assume that God
communicates his will through prayer.
Look for physical manifestation(s) of God's
will: A remarkable event occurred just before the vote was taken: a
tornado hit the area.
According to the ELCA blog of Daniel J. Lehmann:
"... sirens and announcements marked the approach of the storm that raked
Minneapolis. Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson told the more than 1,000
voting members to stay in the assembly hall. He later informed the crowd that
a tornado nipped the building and damaged the steeple of nearby Central
Lutheran Church. Minneapolis media reported no injuries." 1
The cross on top of the steeple was left inverted after the tornado. According
to the belief of many conservative Christians, an inverted cross is
a Satanic symbol. According to religious Satanists, it is not one of their
According to a comment added to his blog by "Joshua," Goodsoil, the
Lutheran LGBT advocacy group held their worship service on the previous
evening in that church. Some speculate that God was trying to send the ELCA
church a message that he was displeased with the social statement.
John Piper, a local Baptist minister and author of "Desiring God" wrote on his blog:
official church pronouncements that condone the very sins that keep people
out of the kingdom of God, are evil. They dishonor God, contradict
Scripture, and implicitly promote damnation where salvation is freely
"The tornado in Minneapolis was a gentle but firm warning to the ELCA
and all of us: Turn from the approval of sin. Turn from the promotion of
behaviors that lead to destruction. Reaffirm the great Lutheran heritage
of allegiance to the truth and authority of Scripture. Turn back from
distorting the grace of God into sensuality. Rejoice in the pardon of the
cross of Christ and its power to transform left and right wing sinners."
On the other hand, "Lura" wrote:
"Or, a mighty wind is the sign of the Spirit moving! For those whose
theology is meterologically inclined, the sun came out as the vote passed.
And the Goodsoil worship! Had you been there, you would have had no doubt of
Jesus' presence, and the power of the Spirit moving among us. It was
awe-inspiring! And contained plenty of correctly oriented crosses. ;)"
We received an anonymous Email stating that God was trying to send two
messages to the ELCA. He caused the convention center to receive a
glancing blow from the tornado, that simply meant "I am with you."
Then he broke the cross either as a rejection of the use of a religious symbol
derived from Pagan religions, or to deliver a general message to Christian
denominations -- most of whom do not treat sexual minorities equally --
that they need to change their policies.
Logos Apologia placed a fascinating 6.33 minute
video on YouTube with the statement:
"While it is a dark and sad day for those who once considered the
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America a place of worship, the holy living
God has displayed his glorious power in a overtly miraculous manner which is
not often seen in the New Testament era. The ELCA voted to separate itself
from biblical Christianity by accommodating and endorsing unrepentant
homosexual relations on Wednesday August 19, 2009. At precisely 2 PM - the
deadline for the "Social Statement on Human Sexuality" - the Lord sent a
tornado, defying conventional wisdom, directly to the Minneapolis convention
center and Central Lutheran Church area. So intentional and directed was this
action that it sheered the cross clean off of the historic steeple while
leaving the roof and building intact. In his mercy no one was harmed. A true
historic miracle in the old testament vein, God in His infinite mercy has sent
a clear warning. Lutherans are your hearts so hard that you cannot see God
reaching out? Repent and return to sound doctrine - uphold the word of God."
"REPENT Lutherans - Repent! repent!"
The video shows a clear
before and after video of the church steeple.
Thus, there were lots of signs around that might indicate God's pleasure or
displeasure with the vote. Unfortunately, the signs pointed in opposite
Observe if the Holy Spirit is active in the
CWA: Some delegates marveled at the vote data taken just after the tornado
hit. The denomination's
constitution required a 2/3rds super majority in order to pass the social
statement. Support was 66.67%. Some observers considered this a working of
the Holy Spirit: giving comfort to the progressives by allowing the document
to pass, and yet giving comfort to the traditionalists by having it pass with
the minimum possible number of votes.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.