22 August 2009

The ELCA's Recent Decision

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today, August, 22, 2009, the outcome of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s recent positive vote on welcoming gays and lesbians to the pulpit. This is distressing news of course to those of us who view homosexuality as sin. And what I also find distressing by those in favor of gays and lesbians in the church is their misrepresentation of the truth. For example, the article opens with a quote from the Rev. Paula Meader of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), “ ‘Jesus accepted all the social outcasts of his time”…”So, it’s about time, according to her, for the church to do the same.” How true, Jesus did accept and associate with the outcasts of his time but not to condone their sin but rather to bring them to accept his saving grace. It is astonishing how twisted and altruistic the truth can become when some start to defend what they think is biblical truth that is anything but Scriptural.

Did Jesus condone the sin of the woman at the well because she had five husbands and was living with another man (John 4:11-41)? No, but he did talk to her to so she would see her sin and abandon it to live a life that would be pleasing to God. And how do we know what is pleasing to God? It is not what we think, it is not what sounds good or what is socially acceptable. Nor is it what tradition says or any combination of tradition and Scripture. It is Scripture alone (Sola scriptura) which is a Reformed benchmark.

Scripture clearly points out that homosexuality is sin. The most prominent place we find this is in Romans 1, verses 26 and 27, For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. You can try your best to wriggle out of that truth by doing any sort of interpretational gymnastics that you like but the teaching is clear.

The article goes on to quote the Rev. Don King who is openly gay, “I believe the ELCA is moving in a direction of justice and openness.” Interesting that the ELCA is not moving towards being Scripturally obedient, rather it is moving towards “justice and openness”. It must be asked then, who is defining justice here? If it is God then we must see justice in light of what he has shown us in Scripture. God has sent his Son to live a perfect life, be persecuted, die on the cross and rise again in three days for our sin. That is how God has carried out justice for all of mankind including homosexuals. If it is man defining justice, well, we see how justice is carried out, i.e., to accept openly rebellious sinners into the church and give them positions of leadership.

What should we be doing? Christians in the church universal should be openly embracing the homosexual community in an effort to win them to Christ so that they may repent and turn from their sin of homosexuality. That is truly showing openness to the gay and lesbian community and an effort to see that justice is accomplished biblically.

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