Would Real Lutherans Please Stand-Up

It’s official as of today.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (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.

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5 thoughts on “Would Real Lutherans Please Stand-Up

  1. I agree with you 100%, but I guess I am like most. I don’t know what to say or do. I allow myself to be bullied by the media and the radical left who threaten lawsuits, etc.

    May God have mercy on us and our country, and may He raise up a body of believers who stand for what is right (may He be gracious to me and include me among them).

  2. John,

    My reply to your first paragraph would be: Stop it! 🙂

    Stop being bullied by the media and the radical lefts. This is a time for Christians to take a stand.

  3. Agreed… I will pray for strength and wisdom. Faith, like patience, is like a muscle. It only gets stronger when exercised.

    Thank you for that encouragement.

  4. I was communed & confirmed in the ELCA & stopped going when I was about 15 or 16. I’m now 33 and have been trying to go back to church. But what a different church I find! Where is the “Lutheran” of the ELCA? Why does the ELCA’s conscience outweight the truth found in Scripture?
    I really don’t know what to do. I feel I want to stay Lutheran, but should I go to the Missouri Synod or Wisconsin? What’s left for those in the ELCA who want to remain true, faithful Lutherans?
    Seriously, if anybody has any ideas…

  5. Cathy,
    I would suggest looking at http://www.aflc.org for a more conservative Lutheran group in our area.
    I minister in a town of 3,500 with 3 Lutheran congregations: ELCA, WELS, and CLC. There is a LCMS congregation in the larger town nearby.
    In general I have found Lutheranism to be a blend of Law and Grace (heavier on the Law), with a strong emphasis on salvation by sprinkling rather than salvation by grace. Most Lutheran funerals I have attended include the assurance by the pastor that so-and-so is in heaven because they were sprinkled as an infant.
    May I encourage you to study the book of Acts and the NT epistles to see what churches in NT times believers and how they were to function, and then search for a church that lines up with that.
    Thanks again for your comments here at Pastor’s Perspective.

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