The 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted to open the ministry of the church to gay and lesbian pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships. This vote was able to be passed because within the ELCA the Bible is not held to be the Word of God written but a book that contains the Word of God. Therefore, it is up to the interpreter to determine that which is the Word of God and that which is not. The clear Scriptural prohibitions against homosexaulity in the Scriptures are no longer held to be the Word of God by the ELCA.
However, I find this action of the ELCA rather confusing. They have chosen to disregard the Word of God when it comes to homosexuality but then they restrict such homosexuals seeking to serve as pastors to those in committed life long relationships. Why? Why would the ELCA place such a restriction on those seeking that Office? If the prohibitions against homosexuality in the Scriptures can be dismissed as culturally bound - then why not the Scriptural instruction regarding monogamy?
Much of the argument that was used in the ELCA to argue for this action was that to not allow practicing homosexuals into the Ministry is exclusive. However, is it not true that to restrict those homosexuals who are not interested in being in a life long committed relationship but enjoy multiple partners also exclusive?
Those of us in the LCMS and LCC must be saddened by this action of the ELCA. We must also seek the Lord in prayer that we would be humble before the Word of God and that the Lord of the Church would keep us steadfast in the true faith.
Homily for Good Shepherd at St. Paul's
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