Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lutherans and gay marriage: your head asplode.

The ELCA has been passing resolutions like crazy lately. They usually read like this:

"To prayerfully consider, and thoughtfully cogitate, and carefully ruminate, before taking disciplinary action against congregations that prayerfully call pastors in covenanted same-sex relationships into leadership positions."

"Not to be overtly hasty in the passing of resolutions that deal with the thorny, divisive and hurtful issues surrounding same-sex relationships."

"To prayerfully consider before hastily passing resolutions that deal with resolutions surrounding the possibility of disciplinary action being prayerfully taken by congregations attempting to prayerfully deal with same-sex relationships."

This is not to say that I have any wisdom that they don't. I've blogged about this before, and the ELCA has walked the finest line that can be walked on this issue:

In language first proposed by the church's Conference of Bishops in 1993 and formally adopted by the Churchwide Assembly in 2005, the ELCA holds "there is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of a homosexual relationship. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church’s ministry." However, in acknowledgement of the complex nature of this issue, the Churchwide Assembly also expressed its "[trust in] pastors and congregations to discern ways to provide faithful pastoral care for all to whom they minister." Though some on both sides of the issue have found this position to be tacit permission for same-sex blessings by individual pastors, no allowance is made for such blessing services in the church's governing documents, and the Churchwide Assembly declined to change church policy to provide for such services.

So, we don't accept it, but we don't...not accept it!

I'm praying, and hoping, that this issue doesn't split the ELCA.


At 3:31 PM, Blogger StandingOutInTheCold said...

I would really like to see the jusification for any of the church sects that do not consider homosexuality to be a sin. From what I can tell it seems clear that many Biblical authors considered it to be a fairly heinous sin. I'm totally against the government regulating homosexuality on the basis of morality and I am against any anti-gay marriage legislation (I'm still waiting for a good reason that the government sanctions marriage at all). But within a religion I don't understand why we have a problem saying that something is wrong because the religion mandates such. I agree that people who are homosexual are no different than the rest of us. But that doesn't mean that homosexuality is acceptable. Anyway, I could go on for awhile but here is my basic question: if the Bible does indeed seem to imply that homosexuality is wrong and we are going to use the Bible (and even Church history, if you like) as the moral basis for our religion, why would we not discourage homosexuality and try to move people away from it just as we do with any other wrong act, rather than learning to accept it? This question is asked in good faith, not arrogantly or provocatively. I really want to know the justification, if anyone has one to provide.

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Hans-Georg Gadamer said...

Charles - Sweet Barthian Lutheran Church? We (ECUSA/TEC) have finally been a bit more upfront about it, which is great and horrible at the same time. I hope your denomination waffles into non-existence so that you have to join LCMS. They are sweet. And really conservative. And don't suck as much as ELCA.

At 12:11 PM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

The LCMS would probably not let wife_of_charlespeirce be a physics teacher--they'd make her stay inside and cook and stuff. And would wife_of_charlespeirce roll with that? Doubtful. Extremely doubtful.


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