What can I say to my fellow Lutherans who agree with the recent ELCA vote?
By: Chuck Colson|Published: November 9, 2009 9:34 PM
What can I say to my fellow Lutherans who agree with the recent ELCA vote on allowing gay pastors in relationships to be rostered, when I am so deeply distressed over this—but they are not? Karin Jorstad
From Chuck Colson:
I am never entirely comfortable commenting on the actions of individual denominations—except in cases where a denominational body deliberately chooses to stray from the “faith given once for all.”
Non-celibate gay clergy clearly violates scriptural teaching about the conduct of “bishops and presbyters” who are to be above reproach (see 1 Timothy 3:1-13, and Titus 1:6-9). The Bible is clear that sexual immorality of all kinds is wrong for all believers (Acts 15:20), and also specific that homosexual relations are sin (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:9-10). We have a duty to bring the Word of God before others, especially those in positions of leadership, and allow it to speak.
One could ask on what basis they support such a decision. On love? But love wants the best for the other...and the best is revealed in Scripture. The Scripture tells us that we are blessed when we obey God’s statutes and when we seek Him with all our heart (Psalm 119:2).
Christ was adamant when it came to any sin that would keep us from experiencing God’s best for us. He went so far as to say if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off (Matthew 5:30). This gives us some idea of the degree to which God in his perfect agape love sees the danger of sin for us. By all means, out of love we should treat sin with the same seriousness.
One could also ask whom do they trust to guide their consciences and actions? Scripture, the tradition of 2,000 years of Christianity, or their feelings and majority votes? We cannot change the hearts of others. Only God can. But we do have a duty before God to speak the truth and love.
I commend you for your heart to do that. If you proceed in that spirit and with prayer, no matter the outcome you have done your duty before God.