The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Why they stay...or leave

Those who remain wait & work for change

Mostly, it’s the sexuality issue. But for some, it’s worship style, a pastor or something bigger—the “disconnect” they feel toward the ELCA, especially with church leadership on Higgins Road. That’s what more than 35 readers said when The Lutheran asked: “Why do you stay or why have you left?”

One reader found a “country club mentality” when visiting three churches after moving from Nebraska to Michigan. Another doesn’t attend the local ELCA church because of its poor ventilation.

“Actually, I’m ashamed to be a Lutheran anymore,” wrote Melvin Huls, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Thomasboro, Ill. “The only reason I haven’t left is I’m hoping and praying for the leaders to come to their senses and make some changes. I’m not for ordaining homosexuals. ... I’m a sinner, too, so if they fight their sin and are sorry I can [accept] them communing alongside of me.”

John Kulma, Mentor, Ohio, used the The Lutheran’s April issue (“Mainine decline”) to point out what’s wrong with the church: he knows evangelicals who have left mainline churches because of the refusal to preach the Scriptures, repentance and change.

“Until the ELCA goes back to its roots and emphasizes Scripture alone, faith alone, true grace alone and becomes a place where the gospel is purely preached and the holy sacraments are administered according to that gospel, the ELCA will remain a stagnant liberal mainline theological organization,” he said.

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February issue


Embracing diversity