Lutherans to allow sexually active gays as clergy
MINNEAPOLIS – Leaders of the nation's largest Lutheran church voted Friday to allow sexually active gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy.
Gays and lesbians are currently allowed to serve as ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America only if they remain celibate. The proposal to change that passed with 68 percent approval.
At 4.7 million members and about 10,000 congregations in the United States, the ELCA is one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to take a more gay-friendly stance on clergy.
The final decision on whether to hire gay clergy in committed relationships will lie with individual congregations.
Some critics of the proposal have predicted its passage could cause individual congregations to split off from the ELCA, as has been the case with other Christian denominations, including the Episcopal Church.
I can't imagine Luther would be pleased at how his name is being represented here. Fortunately for him, he is in glory with our Lord and such things no longer concern him. It is stunning that this wasn't even close. Nearly seven out of ten leaders in what purports itself to be an Evangelical Christian organization voted to embrace sin as normal and in doing so tacitly declare the Word of God to be meaningless.
What now do Christians in the ELCA do? I can't speak for them but I also can't see how people who take the Word of God even slightly seriously can stay in fellowship with something like this. I am not sure how schism is avoidable, nor do I see how schism should be avoided. The Gospel is a call for sinners to repent and trust in Christ, not a call to embrace sin as normal and something to celebrate. Several verses of Scripture come to mind here...
Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Rom 1:32)
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty." (2Co 6:14-18)
Please join me in prayer for our Lutheran brother and sisters in the ELCA, faithful in Christ, who are now faced with a church that has abandoned them by abandoning the Gospel.