Gerald B. Kieschnick, president of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, expressed “great disappointment and deep sadness” on the content of the two documents from the Task Force for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality.
One document concerns changes in standards for clergy and the other is a proposed social statement on human sexuality.
In a letter to LCMS members, Kieschnick said if a recommendation changing clergy standards were adopted by the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, “it would constitute a radical departure from the 2,000-year-long teaching of the Christian tradition that homosexual activity, whether inside or outside of a committed relationship, is contrary to Holy Scripture.”
The LCMS has repeatedly affirmed that the historical understanding of the Christian church is that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior as “intrinsically sinful,” he added.
Kieschnick reminded LCMS members of a resolution the LCMS passed in 2001 that it “cannot consider (the ELCA) to be an orthodox church body” but “we of the LCMS recognize that many of our brothers and sisters of the ELCA remain faithful to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we resolve to reach out to them in love and support.”
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