In 1995 the ELCA was formally examining man’s relationship with God in regards to our sexual nature. The study, The Church and Human Sexuality, a Lutheran Perspective, was being discussed by many churches in the ELCA and my church was among those having what were called “cottage meetings”. During one of our “cottage meetings” one of our congregants suggested that since Jesus said that divorce was unacceptable to God, but since the church now accepts divorce, that perhaps the church should also accept the gay lifestyle. (Back then the homosexual movement did not have the wide variety of acronyms that we see today) I suggested that as far as I have learned, two wrongs do not make a right. We travel on a slippery slope when we decide to disregard God’s commands and replace them with our human sensibilities. Like so many of the “new things” that the leaders of the ELCA promote, this is simply flawed human logic. To reach a conclusion that because the church decided to stray from God’s commands in one matter that one would necessarily conclude the next logical step would be to disregard another of God’s commands just makes one head spin.
This “study” meant to provoke discussion, was weighted with opinions that led the reader to the conclusion that the Biblical teaching on homosexuality did not necessarily condemn that practice, especially in loving, monogamous relationships. So, as far back as 1995, the leaders of the ELCA promoted that the only logical conclusion was that homosexuality should be acceptable to all ELCA congregants if one was to properly love one’s neighbor. Mark 10:6-9, Jesus said, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” While Jesus did not comment specifically on homosexuality, He was clear that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman. It becomes problematic when man looks upon himself as the earthly authority that somehow is more enlightened than the Holy Spirit inspired authors of Scripture.
Why is it so important to the leadership of the ELCA to normalize homosexuality? Can we not welcome our brothers and sisters who are homosexual in their understanding as fellow sinners, just like each and every one of us, in need of love and forgiveness by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? It would appear that the leaders of the ELCA promote that their membership fashion a god in their own image, one that will let them live as they please, one that does not rain on their parade with unfair rules and commands. Unfortunately, when we rely upon our own understanding we place our Lord in a secondary role in our lives. When we focus on ourselves and question our Lord’s authority, we look into a mirror and see the image of the god we pledge our allegiance. Only when we give ourselves to our Lord and Savior, fully and absolutely will we find true meaning in our lives. The only way to give yourself fully to the Lord is to discard those things of this world that you believe will be fulfilling, yet never seem to fill that emptiness in your heart. Deny yourself and place Christ first in your heart. Throw away the things of this world that cause you to sin and become a new creation, one that pleases our Lord.
Matthew 18:7-9, Jesus said, “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” Every one of us sins every day, in thought, word, and deed. No one is righteous in God’s sight, no one. Try as we may, it is impossible to be obedient in all matters of faith for us imperfect human beings. That is why we have a Savior that took the punishment for a sinful humanity. Why then does the leadership of the ELCA advocate a different path, one that is wide and undemanding? By encouraging their membership to accept that which the Lord prohibits, the leaders of the ELCA elevate the status of man, requiring no self-denial, no repentance and no need for faith in the Risen Christ.
John 3:16-21, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” While the ELCA pronounces that the Bible is the true word of God, that they abide by the Creeds and that they are one with the Augsburg Confessions, they continue to cast doubt upon the very God they are called to serve. The leaders of the ELCA continue to hide their deeds in the shadows, claiming that these "new things" are not their official teachings while they are promoted in their publications and in their seminaries.
God comes freely, openly offering His wonderful gift of grace to all who believe. God wants all of His children to be saved. Who do you see when you look into that mirror, a sinner in need of a Savior or one who knows better than the Creator of all that was, is and is yet to come? Continue to pray for those brothers and sisters lost and adrift amid the heresy of the ELCA.