It’s official as of today.
The(ELCA) passed a resolution at its annual assembly urging bishops to refrain from disciplining pastors who are in “faithful committed same-gender relationships.” The resolution passed by a vote of 538-431.
You can read more about it here.
I don’t even know where to start with this. They should just change their name to the “Extremely Liberal Church in America” (ELCA). Seriously!
To use the term “Evangelical” front of their church name is shameful. What an oxymoron description: an evangelical homosexual! By its very lifestyle one disqualifies him/herself from evangelical or the gospel-living. What gospel allows unrepentant sinners the privileges of fellowship and membership with the Body of Christ? If so, then such gospel is not the biblical gospel (Galatians 1:6-10). Also, to use the term “evangelical” mars the rest of churches that do truly embrace the historical evangelical heritages. What a shame.
My second thought is this: What would their founder, Martin Luther say about this? And where are the echoes of Luther who said, “My conscience is captive to the Word of God. To go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen” (Roland Bainton, Here I stand [New York: Abingdon Press, 1950], 185).
Thirdly, they need to drop the name “church” since it doesn’t fit the definition any longer. Historically the marks of a true church have been defined as: 1) true expositional preaching of God’s Word, 2) practice of church ordinances (baptism and Lord’s Supper), and 3) practice of church discipline. Because time does not permit me to comment on the first two, but the last mark does reveal the church’s view of sin and God’s holiness. This biblical mandate that is directly taught by our Lord is a multi-step process with excommunication/removing individual(s) being the final step (Matthew 18:15-20). And the only sin that can bring to such step is the refusal to repent of the sin that initiated the process in the first place. And two primary reasons for church discipline are concern for the soul of the sinner(s) and concern for the health of the church; and not to mention defaming the glory of God and smearing the Bride of Christ.
Let’s pray that a genuine remnant of God’s people would take a stand on this issue.
Here I stand. God help me.