An official ELCA news release having to do with the sexuality business that I've been writing about in this blog says that the CWA:
"...turned back a motion that would have required a two-thirds majority for changes in policies relating to the rostering of clergy, associates in ministry, diaconal ministers and deaconesses. The vote, with 57 percent in opposition, came late in the evening of the first day of the gathering.After last night's session ended, I went to a meeting of Lutheran CORE, one of the unofficial groups that is getting together during the CWA. Lutheran Core believes church decisions should be based on scripture.
"A vote to allow people living in committed same-gender relationships to be on the professional rosters of the ELCA is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 21.
"The action leaves in place a recommendation that a simple majority vote be sufficient for the proposed policy changes."
I am a supporter of Lutheran Core. I am concerned that the ELCA makes some decisions in a way that dishonors what God has revealed in the Bible. No church has perfect knowledge of God's will, but in some matters, including sexuality, I believe that the ELCA has drifted away from its scriptural basis.
I encourage you to look at the news releases produced by Lutheran Core. This morning's Lutheran Core news release said this:
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted 584-436 Monday night to reject a proposal that would have required a two-thirds majority to change ELCA teaching and policy to allow pastors to be in same-sex relationships.A group representing another view is Goodsoil.
The assembly rejected appeals from voting members including five synod bishops that a two-thirds majority would serve the unity of the ELCA.
“A two-thirds vote would indicate how seriously and carefully we have addressed this topic,” the Rev. Larry Wohlrabe, bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, told the assembly.
“Right now this church requires of us a higher standard,” said the Rev. Callon Holloway, bishop of the Southern Ohio Synod.
Leaders of Lutheran CORE expressed disappointment in Monday’s decision. “I am very disappointed that the voting members seem willing to let basic Christian teaching be overthrown by a simple majority vote of a tiny percentage of ELCA members,” said the Rev. Steve Shipman of Lock Haven, Pa. “Such a decision would lack any legitimacy both ecumenically and among our members.”
“The assembly seemed intent on achieving a particular legislative objective rather than considering the wider implications of the action on the ELCA and on the global Christian community,” said Ryan Schwarz of Washington, D.C.
“It is a shame that the assembly intends to make such a serious decision by a majority margin. It shows utter disregard for most of the rest of the Christian Church,” said the Rev. Mark Chavez, director of Lutheran CORE.
“Consideration of these proposals threatens the ELCA’s relationship with our partner churches in the Lutheran World Federation. Church leaders from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe have already written letters stating that approval of the sexuality proposals would greatly damage the ELCA’s relationship with their churches,” said the Rev. Mark C. Chavez, director of Lutheran CORE. “These proposals will also severely damage the ELCA’s relationship with Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and most Protestant Christians.”
“The ELCA has already been damaged significantly just by presenting the sexuality proposals to the Churchwide Assembly. And the damage will be compounded no matter what the assembly decides,” Chavez said. “A Christian church has no business voting on whether the Bible is relevant to the faith and life of its members.”
Respected theologians and church leaders say the proposed social statement would overturn Biblical teaching as it has been understood by Christians for nearly 2,000 years.
“No church has the authority to overturn the Word of God that protects sexual relations by placing them properly in the structure of marriage, and establishes marriage as being between male and female,” said the Rev. Erma Wolf of Brandon, S.D., vice chair of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee. “When any church finds itself accommodating its teachings to the ways of the culture, that church is in trouble.”
"Goodsoil is a collaboration of organizations working for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families in the full ministerial and sacramental life of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). [Goodsoil works] to reconcile our church’s policies and practices regarding same-gender marriage, blessings of covenanted unions, and the rostering of partnered LGBT ministers, harmonizing these with our shared values of faith, trust, commitment, monogamy, mutuality, and dignity."I think Goodsoil, and many within the ELCA, would strongly disagree with the thesis I posted on Saturday. I am putting it up on this blog again today in the hopes that people from our church or others would comment below.
Because God has chosen to create, protect and nurture human life through the sexual act and committed love of one man and one woman, therefore we honor committed heterosexual monogamous marriage above all other forms of sexual intimacy.Please continue to share your opinions on that thesis and any of the other issues that will impact our church's future.