What’s Next for Gay-Affirming ELCA Lutherans — Allowing Porn-addicted Pastors? The Folly of Voting to Overrule God

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

(Isaiah 5:20)

Editor’s Note: we have received several letters in response to this post asking us to clarify that the “Lutherans” in question represent only the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) — and not the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, which is the Lutheran denomination that rejects homosexual clergy and remains faithful to Scripture and the historic tenets of the Christian faith. 

By Peter LaBarbera

rainbow_crucifix_gays_steal_christianity.jpgThe recent vote by liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) — the liberal “Lutheran” denomination — to embrace homosexual clergy is yet another sign of America’s spiritual and moral confusion, and how far down the of road of social decay we have traveled. [Click HERE to read the response to ELCA by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.] The New York Times reports:

By a vote of 559 to 451, delegates to the denomination’s national assembly in Minneapolis approved a resolution declaring that the church would find a way for people in “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships” to serve as official ministers. (The church already allows celibate gay men and lesbians to become members of the clergy.)

If you take the Bible seriously and thus reject as unscriptural the modern, “gay” activist construct of homosexuality as a benign “sexual orientation,” then you might join me in asking: would the ELCA ever have a vote on hiring pastors addicted to pornography? Would the ELCA deliberate on whether pastors practicing adultery or incest should be welcomed into the fold? Certainly not, yet all of these, like homosexuality, are sexual sins. Once again, homosexuality gets a special indulgence from liberals who, sadly, have lost faith in the Bible as inerrant, divinely authored Truth — and Jesus Christ’s ability to help lift people out of sin.

There are some important lessons from the ELCA story:

  1. The folly of putting God’s law up for a vote — especially in a morally compromised church: Alan Medinger, a former homosexual and dean of Christian ex-gay ministry (with Regeneration), once opined that there is no need to have a church dialogue on homosexuality because the Bible has already spoken clearly on the subject. Medinger is right: the ELCA vote is as preposterous as the liberal “Jesus Seminar” scholars taking votes on which portions of Scripture are legitimate (“true”) — in their quest to identify the “historical Jesus” as opposed to the Christ of the Bible. If Lutherans can vote for special treatment of this particular sin, why not others? (How about shoplifting in these economically troubled times?) That the self-styled “queer” movement and media have succeeded in changing the terms of the debate does not alter the truth that we are talking about sexual misbehavior that God calls an abomination (detestable) in the Old Testament — and a sin that is changeable through Christ in the New;
  2. The role of radical feminism and shared victimology in the church’s embrace of homosexuality: note the linkage of the alleged victim status of women and homosexuals to serve the GLBT agenda. However, even if one accepts female ordination, it has nothing to do with the GLBT agenda, as the latter (sexual behavior) is changeable while the former (one’s biological sex) is not;
  3. The practical, direct role of lesbian feminists and homosexuals in subverting historic Biblical teaching: Note the lesbian Bronx pastor, “Rev.” Katrina Fostor, in this AP story [see photo below]: for Foster to accept biblical truth, she would have to shed an artificial “identity” based upon her proud embrace of sinful sexual impulses. As it stands now, she is on the road to hell and I hope and pray that she repents. (Can I still say that or is it a hate crime?) There are many homosexuals in various denominations working to undermine Biblical truth. If you believe in politically-driven, “democratic” “morality,” changing creeds becomes a numbers game. And politically-driven morality is precisely what is behind the “Gay” Lobby’s recent foray into Christian theology: they know that religious people who agree with God about marriage and sexual sin are the last impediment to achieving their overall agenda. And so they set out to radically redefine Christianity itself;
  4. The role of “proud” homosexuals and their desperate need for approval in destroying good organizations: so often homosexuality is presented as a personal issue — as if opposing “gay rights” means sticking your busybody’s nose in someone else’s private business. Such notions now seem quaint given the far-flung demands of the “Gay” Lobby — including giving first-graders propagandistic lessons on homosexuality — and its adherents’ willingness to trample over the First Amendment freedoms of traditionalists.  The homosexual activists’ relentless drive for approval, coupled with their deep resentment of God’s Word (or at least historic Judeo-Christian wisdom) as it applies to their pet sin, leads them to elevate their supposed “rights” over the best interests and beliefs of the targeted institution. Case in point: the Boy Scouts of America, which had no “sexual agenda” except to live by its own “morally straight” code. No matter: “gay” activist lawyers went all the way to the Supreme Court in their unsuccessful attempt to force the BSA to abandon its creed. To this day homosexual activists are maligning the poor Scouts — and punishing them financially — even if it means harming the welfare of boys. Who are the real victims here? Of course, the most compelling example of homosexual infiltration nearly destroying an institution is the homosexual-priest-predator scandal in the American Catholic Church: read author Michael Rose’s Good Bye Good Men to learn the whole sad story;
  5. The pivotal role that (false) “LGBT” (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) identity plays in negating traditional norms and fueling the homosexualist “civil rights” charade: again, nomenclature and semantics are key here. (Allegedly unchangeable) “gay” “orientation” is the shaky foundation for the homosexuals activists’ bogus claim that their cause is a continuation of “civil rights.” If they are wrong and the Bible is right — and same-sex sexual behavior is but one of many changeable sin patterns — then their entire movement crashes to the ground. This is why professional homosexual zealots like Wayne Besen work so hard to demonize and deny the existence of “ex-gays”: every changed homosexual is a reminder that homosexuality is nothing like race and that “gay and lesbian” activists, too, can leave the lifestyle;
  6. Lastly, if ever there was an exercise in futility, this was it: moral truth comes from a holy God, not sinful man. Make no mistake: the homosexual activists act as if they possess absolute truth — that’s what makes them so dangerous. These dedicated social revolutionaries — with their naive (albeit often well-meaning) straight allies in tow — do not flinch at dismissing Biblical Christianity as “hateful” and “discriminatory.” Seems our overly judgmental God is Himself a bigot. Go figure. In their minds and hearts, the GLBT ideologues are morally superior to us, even though their radical truth claims come up empty, resting as they do essentially on subjective feelings and sexual/gender confusion. This is indeed a “Culture War” to define Truth — yet so many Christians are AWOL. But at least they are not traitors: shame on the ELCA majority for passing this measure that does great violence to the Word of God. There are atheists with a better understanding of Christian sexual morality than these religionists with their trendy heresies. Political and cultural power — and the ability to organize a vote — does not equate with truth. It’s time for faithful Christians to come out of their church closets and get busy reinstating God’s Word as the true standard of morality in America.

______________________________

Associated Press and AFA’s One News Now report:

Evangelical Lutherans Abandon Bible teaching on homosexuality
Patrick Condon – Associated Press Writer – 8/22/2009

MINNEAPOLIS – Even though the Rev. Mark Chavez believes the leaders of his church made a decision in direct contradiction of the Bible by lifting a ban on sexually active, monogamous gays and lesbians as clergy, he said he’s staying with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).

“I’m not leaving,” Chavez said Friday night, promising an effort to keep the church moving even further toward what he sees as an embrace of behavior condemned by Scripture.

Chavez, of Landisville, Pa., is director of Lutheran CORE, a conservative group within the ELCA that fought the homosexual clergy policy. The group will hold a convention in Indianapolis in September to review its next steps, but Chavez said he thinks some ELCA clergy, congregations and individual members will walk away from the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination.

The change to gay clergy policy passed with the support of 68 percent of about 1,000 delegates at the ELCA’s national assembly. It makes the group, with about 4.7 million members in the U.S., one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to abandon the authority of God’s Word on homosexuality.

“I have seen these same-gender relationships function in the same way as heterosexual relationships — bringing joy and blessings as well as trials and hardships,” the Rev. Leslie Williamson, associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Plaines, Ill., said during the hours of debate. “The same-gender couples I know live in love and faithfulness and are called to proclaim the word of God as are all of us.”

But the change may be too much for some Lutherans. Conservative congregations will not be forced to hire gay clergy, but opponents nevertheless warned there could be spiritual consequences for a church that strays from Scripture.

“This will cause an ever greater loss in members and finances. I can’t believe the church I loved and served for 40 years can condone what God condemns,” said the Rev. Richard Mahan, pastor at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Charleston, W.Va. “Nowhere in Scripture does it say homosexuality and same-sex marriage is acceptable to God. Instead, it says it is immoral and perverted.”

Mahan said he believed a majority of his congregation would want to now break away from the ELCA.

Other leaders indicated they might leave as well. The Rev. Tim Housholder, pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Minn., described himself during the debate as a rostered ELCA pastor “at least for a few more hours.” The Rev. Marshall Hahn, pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Parish in Dubuque, Iowa, said he’d need to talk to his bishop “to discuss what this means for my future with this church.”

Other Christian denominations in the United States have struggled to remain united in the face of such debates. In 2003, the 2 million-member Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, a move that alienated American Episcopalians from its worldwide parent church, the Anglican Communion. The divide has led to the formation of the more conservative Anglican Church in North America, which claims 100,000 members.

But ELCA supporters of its denomination’s change said failure to ratify it ran just as great a risk of alienating large portions of the membership, particularly younger ones.

katrina_foster.jpgThe Rev. Katrina Foster (pictured at left), pastor at Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church in The Bronx, N.Y., said Lutherans heard similar warnings about flouting Scripture when they made past changes that are now seen as successful — chiefly, the ordination of women.

“We can learn not to define ourselves by negation,” said Foster, a lesbian. “By not only saying what we are against, which always seems to be the same — against gay people. We should be against poverty. I wish we were as zealous about that.”

Under the new policy, heterosexual clergy and professional lay workers must still abstain from sex outside marriage. The proposed change would cover those in “lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”


Support Americans for Truth about Homosexuality

Americans for Truth
P.O. Box 5522
Naperville, IL 60567-5522

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Peter's Lifesite News Articles'

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Americans for Truth Radio Hour

Want to See Every New AFTAH Article?

If you don't want to miss anything posted on the Americans For Truth website, sign up for our "Feedblitz" service that gives you a daily email of every new article that we post. (This service DOES NOT replace the regular email list.) To sign up for the Feedblitz service, click here.

Americans for Truth Academy