'Atheist' back in pulpitThe fact that the Danish church is run by the government may explain this screwy set of circumstances.
Copenhagen - A Danish Lutheran minister who was suspended after he publicly denied the existence of God renewed his clerical vows on Friday so that he can return to the pulpit.
Reverend Thorkild Grosboell promised he would be faithful to the "apostolic belief", but did not retract comments he made in a 2003 interview in which he said "there is no heavenly God".
Denmark's Lutheran Church suspended him because of the comments and asked the government to put him before a disciplinary labour court.
In Denmark, Lutheran ministers are employed by the state and only the government can fire or send them to the court, with a recommendation from their presiding bishop.
On May 11, Jan Lindhardt, the bishop of the Roskilde diocese, west of Copenhagen, said he would consider reinstating Grosboell if he was willing to renew his vows.
Grosboell did so on Friday by signing a document in front of Lindhardt, saying he would "act faithfully to the apostolic belief before the face of God". (link)
But for the life of me, I don't understand why a church would countenance one of their ministers being an atheist. What possible good does he serve? Or is the position of Lutheran minister in Denmark viewed no differently than that of garbage collector or street sweeper?
What good is the church?