By email, from a friend with Lutheran roots and Episcopalian background:
"I have added the ELCA to my prayers this week and next. It might be something that we all try to do. They are having their 'General Convention' (or Assembly) starting late in the week in Minneapolis, and they are up against very similar issues... Particularly interesting is the concept of 'bound conscience', a cleverly-devised canard, pointing to some of the inconsistencies in Luther's' teachings among other things. This 'bound conscience' thing is simply a diversion to keep everyone at the table while the changes go through...something like the Listening Process, with a similar implied concept of people of opposing theologies being bound together by simply 'agreeing to disagree'..."
The "bound conscience" argument can be explored here; Dr. Leander Harding has linked to this letter by a prominent Lutheran theologian, who explores the complete breakdown in thinking on the part of "mainline" denominations:
"Yes, reason and experience are in command. Whose reason and experience? Not the Church’s, as defined by millennia of teaching by the fathers, martyrs, saints, doctors, evangelists, and missionaries, down through the centuries and across all cultures, but yours and those with whom you agree during the last 20 years of American culture-conforming Christianity."