Ephesians 4:15-16, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, that we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” The body that Paul refers to is the church and the head of the church is Jesus Christ. The church must grow according to the direction of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Lord gives us direction in His Word. When we dwell in His Word, His Spirit will lead us in our understanding and we will grow in our faith. We must also grow in unity and love of one another. Simply loving one another or living our lives in a Christian manner is not enough. One must believe in the truth that Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, went to the cross, suffered and died to atone for our sins, overcame death and was resurrected so that we may have salvation. Having unity is more than simply having a loving attitude or religious feeling. One must have a true understanding about Jesus Christ. To grow the whole body of the church is much more than merely doing good deeds. We are called to live as Jesus lived. We are called to reach out to those that do not have that personal relationship with our Lord. And we must bring those back to the Lord that have gone astray.
Many in the LGBT community are angry that the doctrine of bound conscience allows traditional Lutherans to disagree with the ELCA’s human sexuality statement. Many that choose to adhere to Scripture are derided and called intolerant and hateful. This does nothing to build up the church in Christ’s love. Instead, this posture causes division and strife among the community of the faithful. Is it more important to regard one’s sexual identity above the commands of our Lord to love one another? Christ’s disciples are called to reach out to those that have been led astray with Christian love and respect. Anger is not an option. James 1:19-20, 22 “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, 20 because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” When we place our Lord first in our hearts we will joyously obey God’s law. If we place ourselves first and choose to disobey God’s law, we will become slaves to sin.
The leadership and scholars of the ELCA have lifted up the things of this world over God’s command. Sexual identities, good works, tolerance, minimizing sin by making confession optional, and falsely interpreting God’s Word to fit in with the secular world, have replaced our Lord as the cornerstone of their Faith. Isaiah 53:5, 12, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 12 because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Everything we do should be done to give glory to our Lord. We are lost without our faith in the Risen Christ. Nothing else in this world matters as much as what our Lord did for us.
The ELCA is all about promoting their struggle for social justice. They proclaim “God's work, our hands” as the mission of the ELCA. What about those that do not know our Lord. If we gain the whole world, but lose our souls, we are nothing. Being a Christian is not just about loving your neighbor and being accepting, tolerant, and welcoming. God’s law has been given to us in His Word as written by mortal men, inspired by the Holy Spirit. If we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we will also joyfully obey His law. There will be no need to proclaim our own special identities. We are Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ and we will proclaim His Word to the world until we can speak no more. 1 John 3:11, 16, “For this is the message you heard from the beginning; We should love one another. 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another.”