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Author Topic: The Lutheran Church Embraces the LGBTQ Community!  (Read 830 times)

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Offline SamaelTopic starter

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The Lutheran Church Embraces the LGBTQ Community!
« on: April 19, 2010, 06:51:32 PM »
To say this came out of the left field would be an understatement.
George Bernard Shaw once said, "Certainly all great truths begin as blasphemies." On April 11, 2010, those who identify as people of faith and as "non-heterosexual" were given particular cause to celebrate Shaw's wisdom: a most unlikely church has given a most unlikely people a gift of love and truth, and I cannot stop smiling.

After twenty-five years of deliberation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Church Council has abolished its anti-gay policies, effective immediately. Following from discussions at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly last summer, the ELCA will now allow people in same-sex relationships to serve as rostered leaders. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) human beings are no longer considered abominations but blessed church members with full standing. Same-sex partners and families can now fully participate in the ELCA Pension Plan.

Best of all, the ELCA is reinstating people who were removed from ministry positions because they were truthful and came out of the closet, as well as those who conducted holy unions for non-heterosexual couples. The ELCA has practiced restorative justice.

The Lutherans -- breaking from Garrison Keillor stereotypes as shy, retiring, or stoic -- said, "Just do it!" All votes passed overwhelmingly, with no votes against and no drawn-out hassles about how to implement the policies.

I am surprised that it would be a church before a majority of states, but I don't think anyone will complain.


Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: The Lutheran Church Embraces the LGBTQ Community!
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 06:58:44 PM »
Wow.. that's a stunner. I'm surprised. Wonder what sort of follow up will come of it.

Offline Illun

Re: The Lutheran Church Embraces the LGBTQ Community!
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 07:20:46 PM »
A few lost members, a few bitter comments, and some stares in the church...for the next few decades.

I got to see that a while back at a deacon ordination at a church I visited. Three of them were divorcees, and ones wife had died. A "concerned" woman with a little too much scorn in her voice spoke against them, quoting scripture that they should "have only one wife", which had been used as an excuse in the past to preclude divorcees from church service. The pastor (thankfully) shot her down by pointing out the obvious, it precluded polygamy, not the remarried or unmarried. This is a policy change that wasn't recent, but has taken decades for people to get their heads around. We're working on the same with women in ministry. My church was kicked out of the SBC for taking a firm stance, not taking the backward steps of the Fundamentalists. I'm happy to say we have several female deacons and associate pastors. I don't know that the older members have their pacemakers tuned up well enough for a female head pastor, but it will happen someday.

That said, while I agree with this choice by the Lutheran church, some will take this as condoning LGBTQ "activities". Their doctrine still treats it as a sin, and Biblical scholars currently support that doctrine. What this does, though, is recognizes that no particular sin magically makes you unfit to be a member of the church. "For all have sinned...", as the Bible clearly states. It also makes it clear we're supposed to love our neighbors, and doesn't have any exemption clause after that. I'm doubtful the Southern Baptist Convention with it's Fundamentalist leadership will follow suit, but I believe most independent Baptists will soon. I don't know the Catholic policy on it currently, nor do I keep up with a lot of the other denominations.

I won't get into the argument over whether it's a sin or not, that's for someone to argue with the Biblical scholars.