Last week, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to lift its ban against gays and lesbians serving as ministers and, not surprisingly, the response from the Religious Right has been decidedly negative.
The claim that these two contradictory understandings of the Bible’s teachings on human sexuality can coexist and be recognized as being equally faithful to the Scriptures is nonsense. Those pressing for the normalization of homosexuality must put the Scriptures through hoop after hoop of theological acrobatics. The claim that a church can both condemn and bless homosexual relationships with equal faithfulness falls false on its face. Worst of all, it sows a disastrously deadly confusion about the nature of sin — a confusion that subverts the Gospel and brings eternal consequences. Should homosexuals repent of their sin, or come to the church for the blessing of their homosexual unions? There can be no multiple-choice answer to that question. The actions in Minneapolis will reverberate far into the future. Woe unto those who cloak such decisions with the disguise of faithfulness.
The media is filled with reports concerning the slide of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) [sic] into heresy. Yes, that is exactly what occurred when the leadership of that community “voted” to abandon Christian orthodoxy. The Associated Press in an article entitled “Lutherans’ gay clergy vote hints at major shift”, led with these loaded words “In breaking down barriers restricting gays and lesbians from the pulpit, the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination has laid down a new marker…. The ELCA — the nation’s seventh-largest Christian church — reached its conclusion after eight years of study and deliberation. That culminated Friday when the church’s national assembly in Minneapolis struck down a policy that required any gay and lesbian clergy to remain celibate.”
What really happened is that representatives of the ECLA succumbed to heresy. Oh, I can hear it now, “how dare he say such a thing?” Because… it is true, and there is nothing compassionate about failing to help fellow Christians to reject error. Christians abandoning the clear teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the unbroken Christian Tradition is not a new phenomenon in the 2000 year history of the Christian Church. What is new is the massive support that such a sad turn of events receives from this kind of media report. There is a “fifth column” at work, determined to present the matter as a battle between orthodox Christians (who are disparaged with labels such as “right” or “conservative” or “fundamentalist”…) and those who this kind of media report favors, the promoters of heresy and advocates of a new paganism.