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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Clergy surveyed on gay issues

About one-third of mainline clergy support civil unions and one-third oppose any legal recognition for gay couples, found Public Religion Research, a Washington-based consulting firm, which released part two of its “Clergy Voices Survey” in May.

Seven denominations, including the ELCA, were surveyed. “Significant and sometimes stark differences” were found between denominations — with clergy in the United Church of Christ and Episcopal Church most supportive and those in the United Methodist Church and American Baptist Churches USA least supportive.

And 51 percent said disagreements in their church over homosexuality have become a crisis. Among that group, 40 percent say the crisis is about how the Bible should be read.


Comments

Rik

Rik

Posted at 7:03 pm (U.S. Eastern) 6/24/2009

     BINGO!  The main issue at this year's Churchwide Assembly is NOT homosexuality, or human sexuality in general.  Rather, it is how we understand Scripture.  The other are just side issues.  Both sides desire to share the love of Jesus with all people, homosexual people included. 

All people seek to make the church a welcoming church.  The difference is some recognize that sinners are in need of forgiveness, which is ours through Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Others are in denial whether the sinful thoughts that tempt them are sinful or not, and are eager to replace the three-letter word "S-I-N" with just about anything else, because sin sounds so negative.  Two Bible passages I thought Lutherans would never forget are:  "

 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (I John 1:8&9)

Oh, that we would finally get it right and accept people without accepting their sin, pretending that somehow it is acceptable to God.  We do not define God--He defines us.  We do not create god--God created us.  Kyrie Eleison!

Eleanor

Eleanor

Posted at 10:12 am (U.S. Eastern) 7/24/2009

How has the issue of homosexuality become so convoluted in the minds of those who endorse same sex unions? If I am a thief nothing in Scripture advises me that if I am a respectful, committed thief I am justified in stealing. If I am a homosexual I am assured that God loves me. The issue is not my inclination it is my behavior. God loves me no less if I steal and no less if I engage in homosexual sex since I am flawed by sin. But he  does ask that I not steal and that I live a chaste life which includes not engaging in premarital sex, extra marital sex, sex with children or relatives or animals. The Bible is not unclear on standards of moral conduct. When St,. Paul encourages women to cover their heads it is a prudent reminder to women to be modest and not flaunt sexuality.American society is stumbling down a path that can only lead to destruction and now the Lutheran Church, rather than leading people away from sin, is joining the parade. May God have mercy on the souls of those who condone sexual immorality. Love the sinner and hate the sin is still the correct path. Eleanor B. Shoemaker 



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