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  • The Scriptorium

    8/12/2005

    ELCA votes down same sex blessings, but doctrinal waters still muddy

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 1:03 pm

    Like many “mainstream” Protestant denominations, the Evangelical Lutheran Conference of America (ELCA) has been immersed lately in a battle between orthodox biblical doctrine on homosexuality and an emerging liberal social theology. Issues such as gay marriage, same-sex unions, and ordination of gay clergy have become issues of debate in the ELCA, even though the Bible clearly indicates that homosexuality is a sin. A new vote by the ELCA seems to offer a glimmer of hope, but the ELCA doctrinal waters on this issue are still muddy.

    Today the ELCA is voting on three recommendations with regards to homosexuality. In a small victory for the biblically orthodox, the church chose to NOT adopt a resolution that will allow for the blessing of same-sex couples who will commit to living in long-term relationships. It is a small victory because the ELCA is still expressing trust in the local pastors to determine how to effectively minister to gay and lesbians in their congregations – allowing those who live in sin to serve as active members. Moreover, a vote still needs to be taken that will decide the synod’s position on ordaining gay clergy who commit to living in a long term relationship. As you can see, despite the small victory, the waters are still muddy. They decided it would be improper to offer same-sex blessing ceremonies. At this rate, they’ll likely be ready to approve the teachings of the Ten Commandments and the existence of Jesus Christ in the next couple of years!

    The ELCA wants to have its cake and eat it too. It distinguishes between homosexual “conduct”, which it admits is a sin, and homosexuality as an attraction, which it does not consider a sin, in spite of clear biblical teachings to the contrary.

    On a day when the weeklong meeting focused on gays’ role in the church, delegates stripped language from a same-sex blessings measure that many Lutherans thought would give local pastors leeway in deciding whether to conduct the ceremonies.

    Once the language was removed, the proposal then became an affirmation of current church practice, which bans such blessings and expresses “trust” in pastors ministering to gays and lesbians. It was approved overwhelmingly.

    Earlier in the day, delegates voted 851-127 to keep the church unified despite differences over homosexuality.

    The issue that was expected to be the most contentious still hadn’t been decided – whether to allow ordination for partnered gays.

    A proposal before the assembly would affirm the church ban on ordaining sexually active gays and lesbians, but allow bishops and church districts called synods to seek an exception for a particular candidate if that person is in a committed relationship and meets other conditions.

    Discussion on that measure began late Friday afternoon.

    See AP article here.

    One Response to “ELCA votes down same sex blessings, but doctrinal waters still muddy”

    1. The Scriptorium Says:

      [...] ain songs have been included. The ELCA has already departed from other Lutheran synods in compromising biblical doctrine for a socially progressive acceptance of homosexuality. For example, some openly [...]