Lutherans Vote Gays into Ministry

A part of the Lutheran church, the ECLA, appears to have gone the same way as a branch of the Anglicans (Episcopalians) by voting last month for homosexuals to be allowed to practice homosexuality within the church and still function as pastors, etc. as long as they are committed to life-long monogomous relationships.

Here are the actual points as they were voted:

2. “Resolved, that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.” Approved with 61 percent of the vote.

3. “Resolved, that the ELCA commit itself to finding a way for people in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church.” Approved with 55 percent of the vote.

4. And that the church will respect the bound consciences of those who disagree; affirm “structured flexibility” in candidacy decisions and the extending of calls; eliminate the prohibition of rostered service for those members who are in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationship; development of appropriate guidelines and amendments; to trust established process and those entrusted to carry them out. Approved with 68 percent of the vote.

John Piper at his site reports that, curiously, on the day of voting a tornado appeared and seemed to have damaged a bit of the building where everything was taking place. Although I don’t think every tornado out there is God’s judgement or an act of God, something about this particular one is very peculiar.

That aside, I just don’t understand why loving gay people means that I should accept their sexual life as approved by God? If practicing homosexuality is a sin, then it is the same as lying, for example, and are we suddenly not able to love someone if they’re perpetual liars? And are we unloving towards them for calling what they are doing morally wrong and hurtful to themselves and others?

Surely the whole point of Jesus saying we should love each other and our neighbour is that we love DESPITE what people do rather than because of what they do? But the argument for homosexuality here is saying “love me because of what I do, because this is who I am”.

I don’t love anyone like that, not even myself. If I did then it wouldn’t be unconditional love, would it? It would be quite conditional. And Jesus exhorts us to love unconditionally.

I have to love myself despite all the sins I do both to myself and others. That’s what unconditional love is. So if I say “practicing homosexuality is a sin” is that the same as saying “I hate you?” Of course not. But yet that’s what I keep hear people saying and I’m getting upset about it because it really makes no sense whatsoever.

Since when does someone’s particular struggle in life line up with their identity, especially since the identity of Christian’s is found in Christ – not in our struggles but in God Himself? Alcoholics are struggling with alcohol, they weren’t born alcoholics but may have had numerous things happen to them which caused them to make certain decisions that made them addicted to alcohol. So what? We all have our own struggles. In God we can deal with them.

Fortunately for me I know a few gay people now and almost every single one of them are very suspicious over my motives when I love them and treat them the same as everyone else. They seem to find it difficult to relate to me and as a result I just don’t seem to be able to strike up good friendships with them, even though I’m trying.

It seems to me that they don’t seem to understand that when I openly say “having sex with the same gender is a sin” I am not saying “I hate you and you’re going to hell.” Why the heck would it?

Sometimes it even feels as if I’m having the eyes of judgement from others on me, that there is a self-righteousness that says, “hey, I accept homosexual sex as accepted by God. I’m WAY more righteous than you bro.”

Some people seem to think that if you are saying that homosexuality is a sin like lying then we’re calling homosexuals liars and robbers and thieves, which is unfair. To be honest, I’m a liar and robber and thief too but Jesus died for my sins so that I can die to them and live for Him. We’re ALL liars and robbers and thieves, didn’t anyone read Romans 3? Hasn’t someone missed the whole point here?

The unfortunate thing is once the Lutheran church has made this step it becomes incredibly difficult to undo it. They should rather have sought to be strict about their disciplinary methods, perhaps, ensuring these were more loving and gentle and reconciliatory.

7 thoughts on “Lutherans Vote Gays into Ministry”

  1. The question is: Is homosexuality a sin? No, it is part of the diversity that God has made and which we as his creatures have such a hard time accepting.
    So, enter the Biblical “proof texts.” Yes,, and I will counter with a host of texts which no one would countenance today, such as selling your daughter into slavery or executing children who curse a parent, and a host of others.The fact is we get so uptight with this diversity and hardly blink an eye at the deaths of millions through hunger! We major in minors. And that is NOT acceptable !

  2. Thanks Sig for the comments,

    There is more than just “biblical proof texts” in this issue. There are whole concepts in the Bible which don’t make sense if we see homosexuality as part of God’s diversity.

    For instance, in the Scriptures husbands are exhorted to love their wives and their wives are exhorted to submit to their husbands (Eph 5).

    How do you translate this into a homosexual marriage? Who does the submitting, who leads the marriage, who loves first, who reconciles first? You have to disregard the scripture completely in the case of homosexual marriage because it doesn’t suit the context. You’re then left with no Biblical instruction on marriage in homosexual contexts at all, which I don’t think God would do if he viewed it as part of what He wants.

    To accept homosexuality as part of God’s diversity is to mean that homosexuality is a gender of sorts as well. If we do that, then we have to change gender definitions from “male, female” to “homosexual, heterosexual” (if we were going to be consistent in such a definition).

    Ok. But then how does a young boy or girl know whether they are heterosexual or homosexual? Simply by trying out which one suits them best? If so, then it has nothing to do with God’s diversity (creation) but swings back to choice — and many (not all) homosexuals claim that this has nothing to do with choice, they were created this way.

    And I’ve heard of plenty of homosexual parents who have encouraged their kids to ‘try girls’ if they were having trouble with the boys. Hardly consistent, again, to saying that this has nothing to do with choice.

    So, yes, we could throw biblical proof texts at each other but there are whole concepts and contexts in the Bible which don’t make sense given your view, and you would need to explain those as well.

    Furthermore, you’re making bold statements that people don’t blink an eye at the deaths of millions through hunger, or that no one cares about systems and people that cause daughters to be sold into slavery etc. Is this true? Certainly it isn’t for me, and I am hardly the exception. Have you seen the kind of work that people who believe homosexuality is a sin do in these other areas? John Piper, since I spoke about him in my original post, writes more about this kind of stuff than homosexuality… your statement is unfortunately without fact.

    You’re fully aware that Christians in the past who worked for the prohibition of slavery also viewed homosexuality as a sin, as well? Don’t you think that some people CAN view it as a sin and still love people struggling with it, the same as they do anyone else?

    SOME people major on the minors, but most people actually don’t. Besides, who is deciding what a major or a minor is anyway? Isn’t it all sin? Shouldn’t we just put everything on the same equal playing field? Why would you say homosexuality is a ‘minor’ anyway, putting it on the same list as slavery and hunger? If it isn’t a sin or part of those kinds of problems it doesn’t belong on your list. You’re not being consistent.

  3. Thanks so much for your article. I did enjoy it.

    I will come back in a bit and read your article deeper as well as your reply to the commenter above me.

    I lived as as lesbian for almost 20 years of my life. When I came into a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit started convicting me that I was not born gay, but that I was in sin . . . over a five year period God helped me out of my homosexuality . . .

    I know all to well of how one can be blind to the sin of homosexuality.

    Here is the link to an article I wrote on it.

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