The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


For the record: 926 congregations take first votes to leave ELCA

The ELCA Office of the Secretary is now updating information about congregations disaffiliating from the ELCA on a quarterly basis.

As of June 30, 926 congregations had taken first votes to disaffiliate from the ELCA. These 926 congregations took a total of 1,004 first votes. Of those, 699 passed and 305 failed. There have been 671 second votes; 637 passed and 34 failed. Of those, 625 have completed the termination process and are no longer on the roster of congregations of the ELCA.

Of the disaffiliating congregations, about two-thirds are from rural communities or small towns of less than 10,000. Since March 31, the numbers represent 15 additional congregations that passed first votes and six additional congregations that passed second votes.

Most of the votes came in reaction to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly's votes on sexuality.


Donald Bohlken

Donald Bohlken

Posted at 12:50 am (U.S. Eastern) 8/8/2012

The ELCA continues to pay the price of denying God's Word. 625 congregations have left the ELCA because they will not accept the false position that we should lie to homosexuals and tell them that homosexual sex is not sin, or that God will "bless" homosexuas in a "committed" relationship.

It is beyond dispute that this is sin, as it is repeatedly condemned in the Word of God. Gen 19: 4-8, 15, 24; Lev 18: 22, Lev 20: 13; Deut 23:17; 1 Cor 6:9, 10; Rom 1: 24-27; 1 Tim 1: 8-11; Jude 1: 6-7.

How do we deal with it?  We simply lie to our fellow sinners about this sin and, by telling them that congregations can choose to have a "blessing ceremony" for committed gay couples and accept "monogamous" gay pastors, send the clear message, contrary to scripture, that this is not sin.

It is our duty to lovingly point out to homosexuals that this conduct is sin and that the way out of sin is to seek forgiveness through the blood and sacrifice of Christ. 1 Cor. 6: 11. To follow the path we have chosen is to assist homosexuals on a path to hell.  1 Cor. 6: 9-10.



Martin Johnson

Martin Johnson

Posted at 6:17 am (U.S. Eastern) 8/9/2012

Mr. Bohlken, The Lutheran Church has for many years performed wedding ceremonies for people who are marrying for a second or subsequent time and we have men and women pastors on the roster who have been married more than once. And, while Jesus says not one word about homosexuality, he does talk about divorce and Paul tells us that the leaders of the church should, among other requirements, be married only once. 

Clearly divorce, except in the case of infidelity, and remarrige are also sin.  How is this sin one iota less than the sin of homosexuality?

Do we lie to those getting divorces or are getting remarried that what they are doing is not sin? No, but we are open to the grace and forgiveness and love of God.  

To apply grace to the sin of divorce and remarriage and law to the sin of homosexuality is hypocracy. I am divorced and remarried, the sin of a homosexual is no greater than my own. 

Our duty is to lovingly open our own eyes to our own sins to look inward and see the log in our own eye and not worry so much about the splinter in our neighbor's eye.

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February issue


Embracing diversity