Friday, August 21, 2009

A Christian Word concerning the ELCA Statement on Human Sexuality

The following is an adapted version of an email from Reverend Paul McCain for use within the congregation I serve.

At its Churchwide Assembly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) adopted a "social statement" on human sexuality that includes an endorsement of same-sex relationships that are "chaste, monogamous and lifelong." This is, of course, contrary to Holy Scripture which teaches us that God, in His creation, created man and woman to live together as man and wife in a chaste, monogamous and lifelong relationship. This is the natural order of things which is found in God's good creation itself. Deviation from the natural order, and natural law, are a consequence of the fall into sin. There is no middle ground on this issue. Sadly, this action demonstrates that the ELCA is outside the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church to the extent that it has embraced this false teaching.

What should we Lutherans do who do not share this view?

Pray for the ELCA that it may faithfully return to God’s Word.

Be clear about what we believe as Lutheran Christians who do not share the ELCA's opinions on this issue. To do this, it is good familiarize yourselves with the basic truths of God's Word regarding homosexuality. The pamphlet “What About Homosexuality” offers an excellent overview. These will be available in the narthex within the next week.

We also need to make it clear that we, in no way, are "excluding" homosexuals from the Christ’s Church. We exclude no one, but welcome all to join us as repentant sinners before the throne of a loving and merciful God. We reach out with God's word of Law and God's Gospel.

Please remember that even as much as we deeply disagree with this action on the part of the ELCA, and while it causes great grief and, yes, even anger, please remember that this is an opportunity to demonstrate loving care and concern for those caught up in this error and for those who are striving to resist this false teaching.

Make your witness constructive and take care that in zeal to condemn error you not “bruise the bent reed or snuff out the flickering flame”. Witness to the truth; speaking that truth in love. Do so humbly and without any hint of triumphalism or "good thing we are not like *those* Lutherans." We are all sinners before God and we must now bear one another's burdens, in love, truthfully and faithfully.

In Christ,

Pastor Leary

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