|To the Editor: Pastors offer their views on gay ordination issue|
|Written by Pastor John E. Merseth and Pastor Luke Ulrich|
|Thursday, 15 October 2009 08:38|
On Aug. 21, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America approved the ordination of practicing homosexuals and lesbians. Many headlines referred to this decision as something "Lutherans" have decided.
We do not agree with the resolution, neither do our congregations or the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. To view same-sex relationships as something acceptable to God is to place cultural viewpoints and human opinions above the clear Word of God.
Our synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod - along with other Lutherans including many in the ELCA itself - maintain that homosexuality is sinful in God's eyes and is contrary to natural design.
In 1992, at our Synod Convention, we adopted the following as the ELS position:
"We confess that Scripture condemns homosexuality and extramarital relations (fornication and adultery) as sin.
"Nevertheless, when an individual caught up in such sins truly repents, the forgiveness of the Gospel is to be fully applied.
"We confess that the divine institution of marriage is to be heterosexual, in which, according to God's design, a man and a woman may enjoy a lifelong companionship in mutual love.
"We teach on the basis of Holy Scripture that marriage is the only proper context for the expression of sexual intimacy and for the procreation of children."
We included the following scripture: Rom. 1:26-27, 1 Cor. 6:9, 18 and 7:2-9, John 4:17-18, 1 John 1:9, Gen. 1:27-28 and 2:18-24 and Matt. 19:4-6.
All Christians should stand ready to help those struggling with same-sex attractions. And with any sin, show love and compassion to sinners, not by condoning or justifying the sin, but by calling the sinner to repent and the assuring of forgiveness in Jesus Christ. See: (Isa 53:5).
The ordaining of practicing homosexuals and lesbians to the ministry is a serious departure from the Biblical standards of morality and is clearly a sin. See 1 Timothy 3:1-15, 4:1-5. This departure from God's Holy Word has gone on to long in the ELCA.
You who call yourselves Lutherans, members of this synod, take your Bibles and read the passages listed above. Ask your pastor what he believes, what your synod says; then compare it to what the Bible teaches. After all, God's Word is above all others; and we "Must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
How can so many people over look what they do not like of God's Holy Word? As it says in 1 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
If you would like more information about the Evangelical Lutheran Synod visit evangelicallutheransynod.org or call (507) 344-7354.
Churches of the ELS in this area: Grace Lutheran Church of Weston and Abiding Word Lutheran Church of Bowling Green.
Pastor John E. Merseth
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Pastor Luke Ulrich
Abiding Word Lutheran Church
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