Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Task Force Document from LCMS on the Implications of the 2009 ELCA Decisions Regarding Homosexual Behavior

Recently I was informed by email of a new document from the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod that gives guidelines regarding the ELCA decision this past summer that legitimized the full participation of active homosexual clergy. Having reviewed the document I believe that this document offers a firm, biblical, confessional, and balanced approach not only to the issue at hand, but the practical ramifications for churches and clergy dealing with this on a more local level. You may find the paper Theological Implications of the 2009 ELCA Decision on the LCMS website by clicking the title with the link provided above.

One aspect of the document I appreciated was the appeal to understand this issue in its "catholic" dimensions. Lutherans, while existing as a confessional church, also take seriously the "catholic" witness of certain fundamental teachings and practices of the church throughout the ages. The ELCA decision has clearly broken with that time-honored understanding and ignored the Church's witness of the millenia while simultaneously attempting to claim a distinctive "Lutheran" approach to the issue at hand. This document helps to clarify this point.

I also appreciate that we are taking a distinctively public stand that clearly calls the ELCA to account for practices we identify as contrary to the witness of Holy Scripture and outside the boundaries of a true Christian witness, while still recognizing the necessity of certain cooperative efforts that do not compromise our witness.

Feel free to read this document and offer your feedback here. If I have missed something that should be noted, let me know.

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