Hispanic Lutherans Urge Opposition to Sexuality Proposals
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Jul. 31 2009 10:48 AM EDT
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A group of Hispanic pastors from Florida released an open letter to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pleading against adopting changes to the denomination's positions on homosexuality.
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"When the Assembly votes on these matters, your vote will not simply decide on possible changes to ELCA policies but will also be a vote on whether or not Holy Scripture will be the final authority for our faith and life in the ELCA," the pastors state in the letter, released Friday.
Already several groups of Lutheran scholars and church leaders have released similar open letters urging votes for and against changes. Their pleas come ahead of the denomination's Churchwide Assembly, which convenes in Minneapolis starting Aug. 17.
The latest letter reveals that many pastors and members of Hispanic congregations in the ELCA are "extremely concerned" with the upcoming vote.
Next month, voting members will be considering adopting its first statement on human sexuality and proposals that conservatives say would allow non-celibate homosexuals to be ordained.
Earlier this year, the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality released a long-awaited report acknowledging that there is neither a consensus nor an emerging one in the denomination on homosexuality. The task force agreed that the denomination cannot responsibly consider any changes to its policies unless it is able and willing in some way to recognize lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships but it recommended that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to recognize such relationships.
It also recommended that individual congregations be allowed to choose whether to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to be ordained.
Opposed to the statement and the recommended policy changes, the Hispanic Lutherans stress in their letter, "[I]t is crystal clear that the Bible calls homosexual behavior contrary to the Word and Will of God."
And while everyone should be and is welcomed to ELCA congregations, homosexual behavior and any other unbiblical sexual behavior should be regarded as behavior not in accordance with the Will of God, they add.
"All of humankind is equally and inherently alienated from God and are forgiven and saved by the Grace of God, and only by the Grace of God. However, this forgiveness calls for repentance."
They warn that if the statement and policy changes are adopted, many will leave the ELCA and the denomination's unity will be further undermined.
"Being deeply concerned about the future of our Church, we respectfully request that, for the sake of the Word of God and for the unity of the ELCA, your vote may honor the Biblical, historical, confessional, and traditional teachings of the Church regarding sexuality, marriage, family, and the rostering of our ministry leaders," the pastors urge.
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Most recent comments
danpat1_2000 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:30 am : 0 : 1 Flag
"Throughout the history of the world, whenever there was deviation from that one man/one woman norm (polygamy, homosexuality, etc.) societies (and nations) have crumbled."
That's for sure. No marriage of men and women - no population...
danpat1_2000 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:28 am : 0 : 1 Flag
Chiesa: "Then they could form their own church and change the rules every year as their personal interpretation of Scripture leads them to do, still convinced they aren't in error."
Good suggestion. Since Sola Scriptura allows any and all to come up with their own views of the innerrant Scripture; mass confusion will continue, gay preachers, gay marriage, no Eucharist, no Sacraments, ad infinitum.
reformation » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:40 pm : 1 : 0 Flag
What the heck! Why are there gay people on the Christian Post. Notice the name is Christian, that means they are the ones to Post comments. There is no such thing as homosexual Christians, or lesbian or transvestite. Let's get it straight now. Sinners are saved by Grace, and the gay lifestyle God does look upon with anger and judgment, yet he is patient that all may come to repentance. But remember Sodom and how God only spared just Lot and his family. Whoever fLAGGED MY POST I WILL SAY IT AGAIN "STUDY THE WORD OF GOD"
Mike85 » Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:08 pm : 3 : 3 Flag
Flagged as inappropriate. show To blame the collapse of society on gays is laughable, and there is not a shred of proof there. Nice lying, though. hide
reformation » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:30 pm : 3 : 0 Flag
Flagged as inappropriate. show Study the Word of God. hide
Cheisa » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:10 pm : 0 : 0 Flag
These Lutherans should join forces with the Episcopalians and Methodists who can't decide if they want to follow church doctrine on homosexuality. Then they could form their own church and change the rules every year as their personal interpretation of Scripture leads them to do, still convinced they aren't in error.
weekenderman » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:56 am : 4 : 1 Flag
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Donkeycrats risk losing more and more of the Hispanic vote when they support ultra-liberal issues such as acceptance of homosexuality
The Latin population (as well as the black community) historically is very much for the traditional, Bible-based definition of marriage: one man and one woman. Throughout the history of the world, whenever there was deviation from that one man/one woman norm (polygamy, homosexuality, etc.) societies (and nations) have crumbled.
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