During last week's biennial Church Wide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the church affirmed major policy recommendations to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions (which practice will soon inflate to same-sex marriage) and the rostering of gay and lesbian pastors in partnered relationships.

Earlier in the week it also passed by one vote—out of over 1,000 total votes cast—a Social Statement on Sexuality that admitted there was no consensus on the moral evaluation of homosexual conduct, and offered no compelling biblical or theological reasons to support the policies it later in fact adopted. The Statement was firm and bold on issues that everyone agreed upon—the moral condemnation of promiscuity, pornography, sexual exploitation, etc.—but indecisive and vague about contested issues—co-habitation, premarital sex, the importance of the nuclear family, and, of course, homosexual conduct.

Right before the vote on the Social Statement a totally unexpected tornado hit the Minneapolis Conference Center where we were meeting as well as the huge Central Lutheran Church next door, knocking the cross off one of its towers. Orthodox voting members saw the work of God in the tornado's cross-toppling effects and in the vote that passed with a .666 majority. Revisionists noted that the sun came out after the vote. In response the orthodox quipped that the sun comes out almost every day, but rogue tornados are pretty rare!

Those in the orthodox camp warned the assembly not to vote on binding church doctrine, especially if it had no convincing biblical or theological arguments to overturn the moral consensus of the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church held throughout the ages ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueTogether for the Gospels: Unprecedented Unity Brings Big Bucks to Bible Translation
Together for the Gospels: Unprecedented Unity Brings Big Bucks to Bible Translation Subscriber Access Only
Lessons learned from illumiNations initiative could transform giving to other causes.
Current IssueOn Immigration, Welcoming the Stranger Is Only One Piece of the Puzzle
On Immigration, Welcoming the Stranger Is Only One Piece of the Puzzle Subscriber Access Only
Why Christians should support reforms that recognize both the dignity of immigrants and the rule of law.
RecommendedLifeWay Stops Selling Jen Hatmaker Books over LGBT Beliefs
LifeWay Stops Selling Jen Hatmaker Books over LGBT Beliefs
(UPDATE) Hatmaker says she doesn't need to defend her decision.
TrendingForgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
Editor's PickWhatever Is Pure: Cedarville Requires Professors to Apply Philippians 4:8
Whatever Is Pure: Cedarville Requires Professors to Apply Philippians 4:8
Faculty push back against stricter standards keeping curse words, R-rated movies, and sexual content out of their curricula.
Christianity Today
How the ELCA Left the Great Tradition for Liberal Protestantism
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.