Thursday, January 7, 2010

ELCA Bible Camp Statement

In the past couple days I've been talking with executive directors of three ELCA affiliated Bible Camps.  The board of one camp organization, Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camps, has put together the following.

What do you think?
Marriage and Sexuality:
Ingham Okoboji seeks to make Christ known to all persons and welcomes all people.
While sexuality is not planned as a theme for events, this subject has reached major public discussion in the state of Iowa and in the ELCA recently, and sexuality is part of the wonder of God’s creation.
Following is the IOLBC approach based on our traditional orthodox understanding of faithful interpretation of scripture:
1. Everyone is welcome.

2. We promote abstinence for everyone who is not married.

3. We support marriage as a formal union between one man and one woman.

4. We ask all counselors and teachers at camp to support these perspectives in all that they teach and lead at camp. We also ask them to live out these convictions.

5. We ask all guests at camp to honor these teachings when they make housing arrangements with us.

6. We want to be gentle, open and loving with persons having all kinds of dilemmas in life, and we want to lovingly point them to scripture as the source and norm for the faith life and God’s very best for all areas of life.

7. We encourage youth struggling with matters of sexuality to seek additional council from their pastors and families who also seek to follow God’s best.


  1. I think it would be smart for our congregation (or council) to draft something like this and get it into place. It seems like there are a lot of people in our congregation that are in need of a new statement of faith, something that will put their minds at ease after the ELCA fallout and the failed CORE common confession vote. I pray that something like this could allow some to finally move on to more important issues. Many in the congregation are getting tired of the CORE drumbeat, me included. There are options other than CORE or WordAlone (which gets you into CORE automatically), like LCMC with our own congregation's statement of faith/statement of teaching for example. We're never all going to agree (I would be worried if we did). Some people are going to leave CELC no matter is decided. Some people are going to leave CELC because NOTHING is being decided. I pray for those that are struggling with what is going on within the 4 walls of CELC. For those that are, don't go through this alone, look up for guidance, He wants to hear from you! NOTHING is too big for Him. He is and will be glorified in this struggle. Just my $.02

    Praise God,
    Mike Lawyer

  2. I'm not sure what's problematic about Lutheran CORE or WordAlone - maybe someone can explain more about that. But, yes, there are other options.

  3. What are other camps saying? This is an interesting conversation, because what happens in the ELCA will certainly impact the kids' Bible camps!

  4. I talked this week with the directors of Wapogasset (Amery WI) and Green Lake (Spicer MN). Nothing official from either yet. I submitted Ingham-Okoboji's statement to be considered at Green Lake.

  5. I believe that we can agree to beat the Word Alone and CORE and LCMC and LCMS and WELS and CLC drum.. and any other drum that is willing to take a public position to stand on the solid rock of the Word of God.