@erikullestad tweeted the following: “Lots of people (on both “sides”) who think the sexuality vote DEFINES the #CWA09 and, by extension, the ELCA. I’d love to hear why..” As such, I’ll give it a shot 🙂
To the same gender seminary grad praying to be allowed ordination, by all means, the vote defines #CWA09. Granted, they no doubt see the vote as one of many good things, but being it is so personal, absolutely, it is a defining moment. As far as extending to the ELCA, I’m less sure for a couple reasons.
First, sexuality issues do not define, nor really even extend to the body of believers as a whole. As potential pastors, their focus is on Christ and the Gospel, much less so their own identity. Secondly, this really is a tiny step in the big scheme of things, granted, its massive progress, but there still remain huge barriers. I think it puts a major dent in the “welcome, but…” exclusion of the least of these. Otoh, just as the old adam remains, until same gendered folks, single, married, committed, etc are welcomed the same as anyone else, the almost welcome thing will remain.
To the person who upholds views similar to Carl Braaten’s, or even more so, someone who ascribes to a different/more literal Bibliology, or even the remnants of congregations with a pietist leaning or even historical connection, it is a huge deal. To the few who would leave over the vote, by all means, it would define #CWA09, as at the bottom if they leave, the vote would also define the ELCA.
In a nutshell, I think the call as to its definition, or lack there of depends upon their level of personal connecton to the results of it.
For me, what defines #CWA09, as well as the ELCA, is what happened at CWA07. It was pretty cool, that despite the disagreements, how much Jesus was seen as truly the center of all that occurred, not just the sexuality, not just the diversity, not all the other uber cool resolutions, but that the light of Christ shown forth over all.