Saturday, August 22, 2009

ELCA Church Blesses Sexually Deviant Clergy

The liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted Friday to lift restrictions that prohibited sexually active homosexuals from serving as pastors.

In contrast, the smaller, (yet truly evangelical) Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod denomination continues to uphold God's Word with regard to sinful sexual behavior.

-- From "Lutherans lift barrier for gay clergy" by Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times 8/22/09

The nation's largest Lutheran denomination Friday reversed a long-standing ban on the appointment of non-celibate gays to the clergy, becoming the second major Christian group in a month to liberalize policies governing who may minister the faith.

Leaders of the 4.6-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Minneapolis, gave local congregations the authority to choose ministers or lay leaders who may be in "lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships."

The decision follows a similar action last month by officers of the Episcopal Church, who lifted a de facto ban on the consecration of partnered gay bishops.

Theologians and church analysts said both votes could influence other Protestant denominations -- including Presbyterians [PCUSA] and United Methodists -- that are struggling to reconcile conflicts over homosexuality and the Bible.

One scholar characterized the move by the two groups as a "watershed moment in American Christianity" that could further divide churches already laboring to stem the flight of traditionalists.

Conservatives in the [ELCA] Lutheran church condemned the decisions by the Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, saying the actions on gay and lesbian clergy run counter to Biblical teachings about marriage.

One prominent group, Lutheran CORE, called for Lutheran congregations to direct funds away from the national church and instead give to "faithful" ministries within and outside the denomination. The organization is hosting a meeting next month in Indianapolis to plan what it called a "united common future" with traditional Lutherans.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.