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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Discussing tough issues

Sometimes patience wears thin

A recent discussion on the ELCA sexuality study materials leads me to say the focus of the Bible study on homosexuality is far too narrow and limited in scope. We can't just take a few passages from the Old and New Testaments that specifically mention homosexuality. It is essential for us to take a comprehensive view of the whole Bible ... and examine all that Jesus said about sexual relations, marriage and family. We need to study his expectations of his followers to have higher moral standards than the laws and practices of his day. We need to raise the whole matter of sanctification. And the enabling power of God's grace to deliver us from sin and the deceitful attraction of the so-called wisdom of the world/secular culture needs to be raised. The matter of distrust enters into this discussion (as mentioned on page 46 of the study materials). Accusations have been made that the process of selecting the task force was biased. So rather than a proposal by the majority with a minority response, let's have each task force member share their views before being appointed, how their views have changed during the course of the study and finally their understandings and convictions as the study came to a close.

Vernon Swenson
Lindsborg, Kan.

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