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Meet the Lutherans Who Don’t Want Their Churches Overtaken By Gays (Or Women)

bigguy1

Let’s say you’re a devout Lutheran who does not think last week’s ruling, to allow sexually active gays to become clergy, was the right call. What are you to do? Join a separate Lutheran group that’s gone rogue and doesn’t follow those mainstream Lutheran rules!

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has split developed separately from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, which means they don’t have to listen to all those rules passed last week. It sort of makes LCMS’s slogan — “One Mission … One Message … One People” — kind of silly, but hey, it’s their Jesus. While other churches are threatening to leave ECLA, some have already gone and done it. Brave.

“We are basically the ‘other’ church,” says Rev. Bob Kobler, who left ECLA. “Even though we are Lutheran and they are Lutheran, they have a different look on the world, on society and everything and their look is much more liberal than ours.”

If you’re wondering what the Rev. Kobler means by “liberal,” we’ll give you a hint: His new home at LCMS not only doesn’t allow gays to become clergy, but women are banned, too. Their wombs get in the way of talking to God.

By:           editor editor
On:           Aug 26, 2009
Tagged: , , ,
  • 50 Comments
    • Brian
      Brian

      Yet another “flavor” of Lutherans. Great. Clergy can be gay or lesbian, but that crap about homosexuals in the Bible is still in tact.

      One of these days some Christian Club will have some real courage and reject the biblical lies about homosexuals. Until then it’s all the same. An ECLA Lutheran whispers what a regular Lutheran shouts. The “welcoming” and “affirming” just creates a “don’t ask, don’t tell” style of Lutherans. Very similar to Vicki Gene’s Episcopalians. It’s marketing.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allogenes
      Allogenes

      Correction: Missouri Synod never “split from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.” Lutheran denominations formed from the ground up, as each local parish joined with like-minded ones to make larger and larger organizations. The more conservative ones formed the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods a long time ago; the more liberal ones gradually ended up together in ELCA.
      But as to Brian’s comment: you don’t need to worry about the stuff in the Bible. Lutherans teach that just about everything we do is sinful, even in the straightest traditional marriages… The church is there to proclaim God’s forgiveness, not fuss over enforcing each of the do’s and don’ts. At least that’s the liberal Lutheran view. (Don’t blame me, I’m Unitarian, I’m just trying to set the record … er, ahem… straight.)

      Aug 26, 2009 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @Allogenes: You said “we don’t need to worry about the stuff in the Bible.” Are you crazy? The “stuff in the Bible has defined homosexuals, making us “wrong, sinful and deviant.” The “everyone is a sinner” defense doesn’t work. Gays and Lesbians have been branded by Religion. You can’t just suggest “gee whiz, we’re all sinners.”

      Religion made us wrong – it doesn’t matter which particular perversion of Christiantity, they all make us wrong. That’s why we will never be equal.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott
      Scott

      Brian suggests a silly question, but I have to ask: What exactly is “irregular” about an ELCA Lutheran–what standard is the Lutheran norm?

      Also, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America =/= ECLA. Acronyms, folks, they’re always spelled in order.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 11:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allogenes
      Allogenes

      Brian,
      You’ve every right to be angry with “religion.” Not just Christianity, all religion.
      I’m just saying there are also people in all the religious traditions (more in some than others) who are at least trying to reason their way out of the bad stuff and learn to recognize people as they are. Equal, yes, and always equal.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @Allogenes: But we will never be “equal” as long as we refuse to reject the “homosexual lies” in Religion. Only 1% of the churches in the US are gay-friendly and yet they ALL still make homosexuality “wrong.” I don’t see that as very “friendly,” but rather as a con-job.

      Progress would be actually changing the doctrine or dogma of religion, not just putting up a “welcome” sign. They made us wrong, they need to undo that by rejecting the idea that we are less than everyone else, you know – abominations.

      The Lutherans need to have the vote about homosexuality “right or wrong.” That would be telling. This other stuff is not significant.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      This is possibly one of the worst written articles I’ve ever read. Did you even do your research, LCMS was never part of ELCA for one. ELCA was formed in 1988, when the ALC, LCA, and AELC merged.

      LCMS is much older than ELCA and was originally called “German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States”. It was formed in 1847, 100 years after that they changed to the name to “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod” or LCMS..

      LCMS doesn’t allow women to be pastors big deal, many other Christian churches are the same way.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      This article is incorrect from top to bottom. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has never been a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (not “of America”). They have always been separate, with separate churches, separate governing bodies, even separate schools. This sort of slap-dash reporting is very disappointing.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh
      Josh

      I hope the Queerty folks will correct all the mistakes in the poorly written, poorly researched article.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allogenes
      Allogenes

      Scott,
      Not an unreasonable question at all; which doesn’t mean there’s an altogether reasonable answer… Since ELCA includes a solid majority of US Lutherans, and is in communion with a large majority of Lutherans worldwide, it can claim to be the “norm,” but that won’t stop Missouri and Wisconsin from saying ELCA is apostate and not “really” Lutheran. As I said, I’m Unitarian-Universalist so I haven’t really got a stake in the question. I do think a case can be made that the more conservative types are ignoring some of the more distinctive points of core Lutheran theology, like the distinction between Law and Grace, and the proper uses of the Law, but this site is clearly not the place for a detailed discussion of the matter so I shall not go into it further. (And Brian, my church has always rejected any notion of being bound by ideas and prejudices of the past, homophobic or otherwise; but of course you were thinking of “Christian” churches, which are or claim to be bound by the Bible, so your point stands, with that clarification.)

      Aug 26, 2009 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • eagledancer
      eagledancer

      @Allogenes

      You know years ago, I was asked to be an annual “Judy” lecturer by a regional conference of Unitarian-Universalists, and was requested to speak about homophobia. I was honored, but wrote back to ask why one of the only (at the time) “mainstream” church groups, which had openly gay ministers, would need me to address the issue. I figured it was one of the lower priorities. The answer I got was to be given a number of statistics and responses from members of the UU’s for whom the “party line” of equity and respect towards GLBTQs wasn’t being accepted.

      I suppose like many things, the UU experience (I’m not a member)is a journey, and needs to constantly renew itself to keep its goals healthy and alive.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @CMYK: “The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has never been a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (not “of America”). They have always been separate, with separate churches, separate governing bodies, even separate schools. This sort of slap-dash reporting is very disappointing.”

      Separate, but Equal. ALL still Christians. Christians believe “homosexuals are wrong, sinful and deviant.” That’s the problem, not that you have some petty little differences.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @Allogenes: Unitarian Universalists are cool – they kind of believe everything and nothing.

      I believe in I don’t know, neither do you and that’s Okay.

      It would really suck if someone “did” know. But, with 34,000 different (religious) stories, the odds are bad. It also becomes clear people inherit their particular story at a young age and then, it kinda controls their life.

      To each his own. I just think we need to reject the religious branding of homosexuals. We’re not wrong.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @eagledancer: Homophobia comes from Christian, Judaism and Muslim beliefs. UUs shouldn’t have a problem with gays and lesbians, unless they had some brainwashing as children from one of the big 3.

      Aug 26, 2009 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      @Brian: I have to disagree. I know plenty of ELCA Lutherans who would scoff at the notion of being “separate but equal” to LCMS Lutherans, or Catholics, or Baptists or Mormons or any number of other Christian denominations. What appear to be petty differences to us are major theological disagreements among many Christians, some of whom are my friends and all of whom reject the notion of gays and lesbians as deviant, women as inferior or the eating of shellfish as sacrilege. They afford me the courtesy of judging me as an individual, not as a member of a group they are expected to hate. I afford them the same courtesy.

      Still, my initial criticism stemmed from the fact that this article was originally written as if a major schism had occurred within the Lutheran church over the ordination of gays and lesbians — something that was completely untrue. Even with the correction, the author makes it seem as though other branches of Lutheranism are “rogue,” another misrepresentation. Lutheranism in America evolved in different areas at different times throughout different European immigrant communities, and so there are many variations of the faith, as with most Protestant traditions. The Missouri Synod is the second-largest branch of Lutheranism, but when one takes into account that their are about 30 different bodies in the U.S. alone (there’s one called the Illinois Lutheran Conference and another called the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, just to illustrate how distinct each body is), it’s hard to see every other synod as heretical or outside the mainstream.

      And again, it’s the Evangelical Lutheran Church IN America, not OF America. For Christ’s sake.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 12:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @CMYK: “What appear to be petty differences to us are major theological disagreements among many Christians, some of whom are my friends and all of whom reject the notion of gays and lesbians as deviant, women as inferior or the eating of shellfish as sacrilege.”

      What your “friends” tell you about their beliefs isn’t good enough. Which Churches have formally declared that “homosexuals are not wrong, sinful and deviant?” The CHRISTIAN BELIEF is that we are WRONG.

      I want to see some real evidence that ANY Christian Church has rejected the idea that homosexuals are wrong.

      So, call your friends – let’s get the declarations. Let’s make some real progress with gay-friendly churches.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 12:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew W
      Andrew W

      @CMYK: I want to see some evidence that these particular Lutherans are saying homos aren’t wrong. No religion has done that yet.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      No religion has ever said homosexuality is not wrong. That would be the end of them. These fights we hear about at different denominations are to stop the spread of gay. They will. They are a lot bigger than us.

      It’s wishful thinking if anyone gay thinks some Christians have changed the doctrine about homosexuals – it would be suicide.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      @Brian: Which Christian churches have formally declared that we are not “wrong, sinful and deviant”? The United Church of Christ, for one, sometimes known as the Congregational Church, a mainstream Protestant denomination. My grandmother’s best friend, an ordained UCC minister, is a lesbian who’s been with her partner for about 20 years.

      From the UCC LGBT Ministry’s website:
      “For more than 30 years the national setting of the UCC has been on a clear course of welcome and inclusion, calling for serious study of human sexuality, supporting the civil rights of LGBT persons, and in 1985 adopting the Open and Affirming (ONA) resolution. To say that a setting of the UCC (a local church, campus ministry etc.) is “Open and Affirming” means that it has publicly declared that “gay, lesbian, bisexual” (GLB) people (or those of all “sexual orientations”) are welcome in its full life and ministry (e.g. membership, leadership, employment etc.) It bespeaks a spirit of hospitality and a willingness to live out that welcome in meaningful ways.”

      Also, the Quakers (now called the Society of Friends), who had the guts to say this in the 1960’s, well before secular humanist psychologists did:
      “We affirm the love of God for all people, whatever their sexual orientation, and our conviction that sexuality is an important part of human beings as created by God, so that to reject people on the grounds of their sexual behaviour is a denial of God’s creation.”

      And the Church of the Brethren, the Unity Church, the Community of Christ, and the list goes on. All of this is coming from a non-Christian who’s nevertheless tolerant of the faith, so there may be smaller Protestant denominations I’ve never even heard of that profess the same or similar beliefs.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 2:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      @CMYK: I should also point out that these are useful facts to cite when the “marriage is a religious institution” argument is carelessly thrown into the gay marriage debate. All of the aforementioned religions recognize same-sex marriages, and most of them have written specific marriage vows for gay and lesbian couples.

      Also, feel free to add the Unitarian Universalists, major swaths of Reform Judaism, most Episcopalians and Methodists and more than a few branches of Buddhism to the mix. Not that most of the religious Right is interested in the opinions of a Buddhist.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 2:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @CMYK: ALL of those references ONLY “welcome” and “affirm” homosexuals – they do not change the Christian Doctrine that homosexuals are “wrong, sinful and deviant.” That can only happen if they REJECT biblical references. No Christian denomination or even a single Church has EVER done that. It would violate Christian belief.

      There is no need for all this flowery “double-talk” about welcoming, they just have to adopt a 7-word declaration: “Homosexuality is not wrong, sinful or deviant.”

      It’s very simple.

      Why don’t you ask WHY they WON’T adopt that simple statement? They have a reason. Maybe they’ll share it with you.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 9:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      @Brian: They have. What does “to reject people on the grounds of their sexual behaviour is a denial of God’s creation” mean to you? Here is a denomination that has declared homosexuality to be a creation of God himself and you still seethe with hatred for them. Here are religions, many of which have been blessing gay unions since the 1970s — well before most gay rights groups were even campaigning for equal marriage — that call for our rights and say we are “welcome in … full life and ministry,” and yet you still won’t accept them. When they say we are “welcome,” they are not saying we are merely tolerated. The Congregational tradition, which stretches back to the days of the Puritans, says that to be welcome within the church is to be welcome within the “kingdom of God.”

      You’re defaming an entire people based on petty semantics. When the UCC incorporates the rainbow flag into one of their official religious symbols and runs the phrase “God is still speaking” across the bottom of it to indicate their deep-held belief that God loves us and intends for us to be a part of their community, is that still not enough for you? Perhaps they should unfurl a flag that says “We’re OK with ‘mos.” Would that be direct enough?

      Despite your protestations, nothing will change that fact that there is no single “Christian doctrine.” There are different Christian Bibles — not just different translations, but entirely different books and writings — and different hierarchies, different interpretations of the afterlife, different saints, different revered teachers, different beliefs in the creation of the Earth itself.

      For better or worse, it’s a faith as diverse as the people who comprise it. And the ways in which social and cultural rules are written and re-written within those denominations usually have more to do with the biases of the men and women who make them up than with any sort of dogma delivered from on high.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @CMYK: It’s not “semantics” it is truth and full disclosure. You have been Christian-ly “mislead.”

      Homosexuals have suffered for 2,000 years because RELIGION made them “wrong, sinful and deviant.” THAT was, and IS, the religious “branding” of homosexuals. Religion made us WRONG.

      Now, as you have promoted, 1% of the Churches in the US are “gay-friendly.” Suggesting anything beyond that is inaccurate. Your repeated references to “welcoming,” “affirming” and “blessing,” DO NOT reject the idea that gays are still “wrong, sinful and deviant.” For them to change and be truly friendly, they have to un-do the making of homosexuals wrong.

      If you actually believe these “gay-friendly” churches wish to REJECT the Biblical LIE about homosexuals – it’s very easy.

      Have them sign the following statement:

      “HOMOSEXUALS ARE NOT WRONG, SINFUL OR DEVIANT.”

      If what you are suggesting is TRUE, the religions you named would have NO PROBLEM signing that simple 7-word statement.

      MCC has refused to sign it.
      UCC has refused to sign it.
      Jews have refused to sign it.
      Catholics have refused to sign it.
      Muslims have refused to sign it.

      ALL Religions have refused to sign it.

      BECAUSE THEY DON’T BELIEVE IT.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @CMYK: YOU SAID: “Despite your protestations, nothing will change that fact that there is no single “Christian doctrine.” There are different Christian Bibles — not just different translations, but entirely different books and writings — and different hierarchies, different interpretations of the afterlife, different saints, different revered teachers, different beliefs in the creation of the Earth itself.”

      Are you actually suggesting that some Christians have a version of the Bible that doesn’t contain all the damning of homosexuals? Or do certain “Christians” just “ignore” those references.

      It seems you want to somehow suggest that there are good and bad Christians and all the Mormons and Baptists need to do is buy a rainbow flag and everything is cool. I guess we should just send rainbow flags to all the churches and the hate of homosexuals will end.

      I agree with Brian’s simple statement. The big question is why these religions/churches won’t just sign it.

      I used to attend MCC and we had a split back in 2003 when they wouldn’t say “homosexuality wasn’t a sin.” That’s when I left along with hundreds of others. If I remained with that gay-friendly church I would still wake up every day being a “sinner” because I love another man. My love is not a sin. MCC thinks it is. I don’t need to be “saved” from my sin – I need to be “equal” with others. Straight people don’t wake up pre-defined as sinners.

      Many of us would like to see Religion grow up and stop defining homosexuals in such negative terms. I believe religion is our enemy. Getting caught up in their double-talk about welcoming gays and lesbians doesn’t correct what they’ve done to us.

      See if you can get any christian faith to sign the simple statement. It would be a big step.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      Where is this statement? WHERE is this statement? Who has approached the UCC with this statement? Who has approached the Quakers with this statement? Has the HRC? Has GLAAD? Have you? Have you physically produced this statement and asked for their signatures? And even if you did, why would they sign it, when they have stated again and again and again — in much friendlier tones and without the oft-offensive term “homosexual” (is it still 1970? What decade are you living in?) — that gay people are equal to straight people in their eyes and in the eyes of their God. That gay people have the same access to the sacraments, the same opportunities for employment, the same chance at heaven, the same sacred relationships with their partners that straight people do. That gay people, like women, were represented by some of the Bible’s authors in ways that we find abhorrent today — much as their opinions on warfare and the treatment of children are unacceptable to modern society. Let’s not forget, too, that the UCC was more progressive than our own civil rights leaders when it recognized gay marriage decades ago.

      You have displayed, again and again, a fundamental misunderstanding of the structures of modern Christianity, its people and the ways in which it functions. I suspect most of your education on this topic stems more from a bad Sunday School experience as a child than it does from any serious theological study or debate. That’s fine. But please don’t declare what “every Christian church” believes based on your limited experience.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Brian:

      “To each his own”

      Are you kidding me?

      There’s no point in even discussing this with you because you continue to repeat outright lies and misinformation, and refuse to recognize clear declarations from churches that do not condemn homosexuality.

      But please don’t turn around and pretend to be accepting and tolerant of religious diversity. Didn’t you say something not too long ago about doing whatever we can to hasten the demise of religion?

      You hate religious belief. “To each his own” is about as far away from your philosophy as it gets. Please at least be honest about that.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      @Andrew: Of course “Christians” [scare quotes yours, not mine] ignore these statements. Just as they ignore the invocation to “dash upon the rocks” the heads of their enemies’ babies. Just as they ignore the order to silence women in church. Just as they ignore the rule that prohibits them from mixing cotton with hemp. Are they disregarding major portions of the Bible? Yes — the Old Testament, the half of the Bible which they are told became invalid with the arrival of the Christ, “the new Gospel.” It’s the result of theological nit-picking, to be sure, but the view of the New Testament as taking full and complete precedent over the Old Testament — a bit of dogma based on the interpretation on some of Jesus’ words — is what separates plenty of forward-thinking Christians from their hateful cousins. And once again, the term “welcoming,” as it applies to the Congregational tradition, does not mean “We’ll put up with you.” As part of a religious tradition that believes strongly in being what were once termed “visible saints,” being “welcomed” means being an equal part of the congregation and in communion with God and one another. Does that mean gay and lesbian Congregationalists aren’t sinners? Of course not, because their tradition states that everyone is born a sinner — equally flawed in the eyes of Providence, despite what you think, Andrew.

      Please note, also, that I didn’t contend that the MCC believes gay people are equal to straight people. The MCC, while relatively “gay-friendly,” did not develop from a tradition which views the Old Testament as completely invalid, as a source of historical information with little theological value. This is an important distinction, and anyone who expects different from the MCC doesn’t completely understand its tenets or its origins.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 1:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CMYK
      CMYK

      @strumpetwindsock: “There’s no point in even discussing this with you because you continue to repeat outright lies and misinformation, and refuse to recognize clear declarations from churches that do not condemn homosexuality.”

      I’m getting to that point, too.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @CMYK: @strumpetwindsock:

      In Christopher Hitchens words you two are “trying to square a circle.” You conveniently suggest that somehow Christianity is “ala carte,” and you can pick and choose what parts of the Bible (God’s Word) are true or false or simply “not talked about.” Yet, religion doesn’t have to make a direct, unambiguous statement. Gee, you would think it’s IMPORTANT to be clear about beliefs.

      With all your dribbling about how friendly and loving some churches are, you have not addressed why these religions WILL NOT sign a simple declaration. It seems that would effectively reduce this discussion to its simplest terms. Is homosexuality “right or wrong.”

      Yes, MCC and UCC declined signing that simple statement, as well as 812 individual Christian churches (so far).

      You both want to celebrate something that is a con-job. Some of us take the religious branding of homosexuals very seriously. Yeah, we want clarity. We think Religion should be held accountable. Vague expressions of welcoming and tolerance are not enough. Homosexuals don’t need to be tolerated – THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH US.

      So, for the sake of progress and Equality for gays and lesbians, find a Church or Christian faith willing to sign that simple declaration. That would be progress.

      Until they say it “isn’t wrong,” it still is. Get them to sign it.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @strumpetwindsock: “please don’t turn around and pretend to be accepting and tolerant of religious diversity.”

      Religious diversity is different than religious BELIEFS. Beliefs are not sacred or somehow “out of bounds” for any challenge. We have grown and learned primarily by challenging beliefs, yet you seek to provide “cover” for religious beliefs. YOU are the problem.

      The indisputable historical FACT is that Religion made homosexuality wrong. Nothing else did. Not science, art or nature. So, for 2,000 we have been subjected to this religious “branding.” It made us wrong, sinful and deviant. Many Christians believe this, as do Jews and Muslims. Some “apparently” do not, (based on polls) or they are just tolerating homosexuals – nobody knows for sure.

      After 2,000 years 1% of US churches are now “gay-friendly.” That is insignificant. It is also important to understand what gay-friendly actually means. It has NEVER meant “Homosexuals are Not Wrong,” which would begin to undo the 2,000-year LIE about us.

      It would be incredible progress if just one denomination would IN VERY CLEAR TERMS, undo the wrong done to homosexuals. It’s just 7 simple words. If all your references are of that belief – ask them to sign the Declaration, otherwise it’s just marketing.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      @strumpetwindsock: I have followed Brian’s comments and very simple request that Christian make a 7-word Declaration that Homosexuality is not Wrong. I think it’s brilliant.

      It is a shame that you would belittle the effort for “accountability.”

      I don’t know as much about religion as you seem to, but I do know that religion has caused all our pain and suffering. I agree with that assessment. I think we should figure out how to end the obvious confusion about religious beliefs and I think that is what Brian is trying to do.

      So, I have a question. IF these gay-friendly denominations or churches are firmly on the side of equality for gays and lesbians, why WOULDN’T they sign a Declaration?

      It seems that would clear everything up and we wouldn’t have this confusion/debate. It would also be a defining moment for our community. It would be helpful. Why would you fight that?

      Aug 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Brian:

      We are the problem?
      At least you’re talking like your old self. That cuddly Mr. Rogers act didn’t suit you too well.

      And actually religion IS “a la carte”, Brian. Even for the Catholics.

      You’re the one making up a fairy story here, and your ridiculous focus on a literal interpretation of the bible doesn’t accutrately decribe even the most right-wing of christian churches.

      Even the New Testament and the old Testament don’t jive 100 percent, otherwise Jesus would have picked up that stone and chucked it himself.

      But really, you would be a lot less annoying if you would just stop repeating the same few inaccurate paragraphs (especially the bit about the U.S. and organized christianity being around for 2,000 years).

      Aug 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @strumpetwindsock: I never said the US has been around for 2,000 years.

      I did say Christianity has been around for 2,000 years.

      READ: http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/history.htm

      Aug 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      A Lutheran Leader answers the question about Homosexuality being Wrong: http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=29&cuItem_itemID=19396

      It’s worth reading. An excerpt:

      As Christians we based our convictions on Bible statements and teachings rather than cultural opinions or societal standards. The Bible begins to teach us about sexual issues and marriage issues already in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. Here it is revealed that God created mankind as “male and female,” gave men and women to each other to complement each other, and established marriage and sexual activity for one man and one woman. So, as it has been said, it all goes back to God’s choice and creating work of making Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, or Madam and Eve. This information is revealed in Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:18-25, and reflected in dozens of passages on the topic elsewhere in the Bible. When Jesus taught regarding marriage and sexual activity, he referred back to these passages and events that occurred at the time of Creation (see Matthew 19:1-12 and Mark 10:1-12). And when people misuse marriage and are active sexually outside of this design for marriage, the Bible consistently calls that kind of activity sin. That is, it is behavior and activity that is contrary to God’s expressed will and command. It is wrong and angers God, to whom all mankind is accountable. It sounds like your Bible reading included passages that said this.”

      Aug 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Brian:

      As an organized religion – try 1600 years.

      And the bible you seem so fixated on wasn’t even organized until hundreds of years after the presumed death of Jesus. Most of the books weren’t even written until the middle of the first century.

      @Brian:

      And again, it is interesting how your beliefs about christianity are in line with the most orthodox and right-wing sects, and they seem to be the only ones whose word you do not question.

      The pastor you quote is simply talking nonsense. In fact there is nothing in Genesis about a marriage covenant being exclusively for “one man and one woman”.

      Also, marriage was not even considered a sacrament until the 13th century, and a marriage ceremony was not a church requirement until the 16th century.

      And some Christian sects – the Puritans, most notably – considered the notion of marriage as a religious rite to be highly offensive.

      Brian, you get all picky about church declarations supporting christianity, and yet you don’t question other statements at all, so long as they support your belief. You don’t really have a good grasp on the ideas you are throwing around, and frankly you just believe what and whom you want to believe, without any firm foundation at all.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Plus you might want to read that passage in Matthew 19.

      On the one hand, it has Jesus saying that divorce and remarrying is adultery, something which not every christian church follows.

      On the other hand, Jesus says that not everyone can accept these laws, but that everyone who feels they can, should.

      Not exactly fire and brimstone. is it?

      Aug 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Brian:

      Plus the pastor’s claim about sin doesn’t really have a biblical foundation.

      He does not appear to understand what the word meant, either in hebrew or in new testamant aramaic.

      Plus, many of the biblical references say nothing about sin at all.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian
      Brian

      @strumpetwindsock: Not a single word about religion making homosexuals wrong in your 3 replies. Just more of your rambling about Christian minutia – which IS NOT the POINT. Religion is the point and you are too chicken to hold it accountable.

      Everyone who has studied the issue agrees that Religion made homosexuality wrong, yet you don’t care about that. Instead you weave some meaningless Christian-friendly babble about Marriage. This is NOT about marriage.

      Gays and Lesbians will NEVER have Equality as long as we continue to be defined by religion. You DO NOT have the courage to do that. Some of us ARE doing that.

      Anyone who has simply asked themselves “what made us wrong and hated?” begins to understand what we must do to end the hatred. We must hold Religion accountable. We must un-do the “wrong” of being a homosexual. Only that will lead to real, sustainable, equality.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Brian:

      Who’s babbling?

      You’re the one who brought up marriage in that ridiculous quote from that pastor. I was just ripping it apart in order to point out that he has a poor grasp on what is actually in the bible, and neither do you if you are using him as a source.

      “Everyone who has studied the issue agrees” ?

      Not everyone, evidently, so you can stuff that little gem back in your ass where you got it from.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh
      Josh

      I am still waiting for the editors to correct this article.

      Aug 27, 2009 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      I don’t understand how this debate even started. Show me the day when an Atheist organization protests against gay rights. Whether or not there are a few religious groups that actually support sexual minorities, the simple fact is religious groups are the ones that support discrimination towards homosexuals, and prop 8 is the perfect example. I will not respect ANY Christian church until I see an official doctrine where any aspects of the Bible referring to homosexuality as a sin are eradicated. This is all long-winded semantics fueled by people who are afraid of not having an afterlife.

      Aug 30, 2009 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rev. CJ Conner
      Rev. CJ Conner

      “Straight people don’t wake up pre-defined as sinners.”

      I see what you are saying here, but I guess the definition of sinner is all en-compassing… no matter who you are, in Christian tradition, you wake up everyday pre-defined as a sinner, a poor miserable one at that- as we confess on Sunday Mornings- Jesus said if you so much as look at a woman other than your wife with lust in your heart, you have committed adultery. Straight people are not off the hook either- for some men it is a heavier cross to bear than others. And let’s face it, it is our own individual choice whether to accept that pre-definition or not. That’s why many do not choose to be Christian.

      You are talking about changing nearly 10,000 years of Judeo-Christian teaching. It just simply is not going to happen. We’re talking about a Christian Tradition whose adherents died throughout the ages – had their lives taken from them- simply because they would not toss out a passage of the Bible here or there. Many died because they would not accept divorce. Many died because they would not eat meat sacrificed to idols, or simply lie and say they reject Christ. Christians have died for much less than unsinning homosexuality. I myself would die before un-sinning homosexuality- or adultery- or divorce. And I and the Christians I know- Christians faithful to the teaching of the Church- would put our lives on the line for a gay man if we saw him in danger. In fact, not despite he is a gay man, but because he is a brother in humanity.

      So there is this impasse, that will not ever go away. 80% of the world’s Christians are as fiercely committed to the teachings of the Bible as activists are to legalizing gay marriage. In America, it is the Mainline Church that has led the charge to legalize gay marriage- and the decisions of the ELCA said exactly what you want them to- that they reject the interpretations that would pre-clude gay people from ordained ministry and ecclesiastical recognition of marriage- this has already been done- they have said that they are not convinced at all that homosexuality is a sin. But Christians that live in that tradition of martyrs will pick up, many of them, and go to other denominations- even create new ones- so we can continue to be faithful to our deeply held convictions- and some with those deeply held convictions are gay people sitting in those “conservative” pews. As the liberal churches do throw out the scripture, though, it creates a diaspora. The biblically orthodox spread out across the land and multiply.

      Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Several Roman Emperors, thought they had the solution to this problem- kill the Christians and their offspring. Hitler didn’t only kill jews, either- he killed gays and disabled people (though military intelligence officers believed Hitler himself was gay) and about 3 million christians for protecting them or plotting to overthrow Hitler. The soviet union killed about 23 million who refused to budge from their faith. China, last I heard the number is up to 16 million. The Roman Empire is said to have killed 12 million by some estimates. Today, Muslims in Nigeria, just in the last few years, have killed hundreds a month and some other places in Africa even enslave christians because they would not throw out a few passages of the bible. In recent months, hundreds of Christians were killed in Pakistan. Even this very hour slaughter continues. In all these regions, though, Christianity has exploded with new adherents, and the Christians choose to die rather than throw out a couple passages of the Bible.

      I guess what I mean to say is that despite a history of slaughter, Christians never let go of their commitment to the inspired authority of the scriptures. As a people, we haven’t killed others for them- except during the crusades, when the Church actually moved militarily to stop the widespread slaughter of Christians during muslim expansion. Even were a denomination to sign a statement like you request, American Christians would leave- not all, but I think you will see the ELCA’s membership cut in half over the next 10 years, much like the UCC and Episcopal Church has. Un-sinning homosexuality is not something that most christians could do. we have lived and thrived throughout history in a hostile world- in the midst of forces we have no power or control over- and in a world that demands that we discard our faith or portions of it, all because we won’t let go of a Bible verse here or there. Silly to many, I know, but this is the unexplainable conviction of Christian faith.

      On the reference to shellfish- this is a passage in Leviticus, which is one of the most poorly taught and widely misunderstood books in the Bible. That’s an entirely different discussion, but the reference used so much is taken out of context from a very complicated constitutional/legislative document.

      Though we disagree sharply, we both share a fierce commitment to deeply held convictions and ideals- albeit on opposite spectrums. But what kind of trouble is this country in if those who abhor the Church and Christianity and her teachings refuse to tolerate Christians? We have little or waning influence and comprise the majority of the nation. The only way to get rid of us is to kill us- or outlaw us- and even those only make us stronger as history shows. And this would be for the idea of Christian marriage- why an anti-christian or atheist would want to claim that for their own is beyond me. Working for equality under the law I can understand- but working to destroy christianity or change christianity through the law, as so many other “kingdoms” around the world have done- well, not only will that backfire in the grand scheme of history- but then you are surpassing everything you are angry at christians about.

      If it were me, I wouldn’t focus on something unchangeable- and work on the things you can change, knowing in the end that no matter what happens, no law is going to make you more or less who you are, and finally no law can take from you or give to you what you already have within yourself. There is peace in that. If Christianity doesn’t express or represent who you are, then why care what Christians teach? But if you want to be a Christian, then you know the teachings and Bible verses you would be sacrificing yourself to.

      Sep 1, 2009 at 1:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert kamphuis
      robert kamphuis

      I am new to this site. I hope I’m not duplicating a message here.

      I want to clarify that the author of the ghastly pastor’s quote referenced by Brian is a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran, not an ELCA Lutheran. That author would be horrified to be mistaken for an ELCA member.

      I am a Christian, and a member of the ELCA, and I strongly affirm Brian’s “Seven Words.” A great many fellow ELCA members would, too. We have come to recognize that affirmation is demanded by the central teachings of the Bible. For those most progressive on this issue in the ELCA, ‘Reconciling in Christ’ (RIC) is a designation for congregations that likely would agree with Brian’s formulation. RIC is a program of Lutherans Concerned/North America, which, along with Goodsoil, exercises some leadership on these issues within the ELCA.

      Homophobia is a form of violence, and religion in the broad, global sense that Brian uses the word, has been deeply complicit with violence. Violence and the Sacred, by Rene Girard, is a great book on that. A growing movement within the Christianity–across denominational lines–is acknowledging this and beginning to work out its implications.

      The MCC is another denomination worth looking at as an example of churches that embrace LGBTs.

      Sep 8, 2009 at 10:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ioan
      Ioan

      Allogenes is right–the Missouri and Wisconsin synods are old entities.I grew up Missouri Synod Lutheran and I can say “amen” to the fact that almost everything seems to be sinful to those dweebs.

      I’m not surprised at the Missouri Synod stance…these idiots have yet to come into the late 20th Century and permit women to be ordained. All that bullshit from Paul about women remaining silent in church and all that.

      The last time I set foot in an LCMS church was when I married (a disaster). I only went to one last year for about an hour for my mother’s funeral.

      I’m pretty much Pagan these days, but the MCC is a good group if you want to be Christian and self-affirming GLBT.

      Oct 20, 2009 at 12:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew [Different person #1 using similar name]

      MCC still makes homosexuality wrong. Ask them to prove otherwise.

      This religious man understands – he’s a former Episcopalian Bishop. He’s not a pussy like Bishop Vicki Gene Robinson – he makes it very clear – homosexuals are not wrong, sinful or deviant.

      http://www.queerty.com/john-shelby-spong-is-sooo-over-debating-gays-in-the-church-bless-him-20091019/

      Oct 20, 2009 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • P.EPHRAIM
      P.EPHRAIM

      Remember them those are in Bonds Remember them those are in Sufferings Heb:13:3

      “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,Even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12

      SOUL2 SMINISTRIES

      (ORG .BY:- THE SOCIETY OF THE PRINCE OF PEACE)

      P. O. BOX NO. 3. TENALI- 522 201. GUNTUR (DT) A. P. INDIA ======================================================================================

      Rev.P. EPHRAIM

      To,

      Dear servants of God

      Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Let me introduce myself that my Name is Rev. P. Ephraim, We have established a Christian Organization named “Society of the Prince of Peace” with the Help of some Faithful Christians. We established this society only because that we can proclaim the spirit of God in our Area. Some of our Gospel Teams have been Distributing the Bible free Tracts and Booklets in the particular centers Hospitals, Educational Centers and some Remote villages of our Area. By the Grace of God we are running a Christian Lending Library in my town since 1997. So many people are come and search the scriptures and saved their souls to our Lord’s kingdom through these scriptures. I will be able to succeed this program. So we request you please pray for my spiritual need and send some Bibles, Bible based material to my library purpose.

      We have a good team of youth 15 members, they are all involved Tracts distributions, street preaching and they are visit to some remote villages and proclaim the God’s words and distribute the free tracts and new testaments. So we need some more Gospel tracts and Library material to my area people spiritual help. Kindly consider my request and send the above material to me. We win some souls here through these materials. God bless you always.

      Pls Prayer for our Need‘S OUR TEAMS ARE VISIT TO SOME REMOTE VILLAGES , AND SPRED THE WORD OF GOD AND DISTRIBUTE THESE TRACTS FREEIY. OUR TEAMS VISIT TO HOSPITAL EDUCATIONAL CENTRES WEEKIY ONCE I HAVE NEED OF MORE THEN TRACTS & BIBLE’S . . . OUR TEAMS NEED OF ONE MINI PROJECTOR PLS PRAYER FOR OUR NEED IN MY AREA MY AREA WILL COME TO FLOOD SOME OF KID’S LOSE OF FATHER’S & MOTHERS SO WE HAVE NEE OF 1 ORPHEN HOME IN MY AREA

      We pray for you and you’re Family and also your ministry in my Regular prayers.

      With Love and Blessings From

      Rev.P. Ephraim I am waiting for your kind reply

      Pls See Our Web Site: – http://www.soulsaveministriesindia.blogspot.com

      ==========================================================================

      “Leading People into a Life – Changing and Productive Relationship with Jesus Chris”

      ==========================================================================

      PLS PRAYER FOR MY AREA PEOPLE’S NEED’S

      Apr 16, 2010 at 7:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ioan
      Ioan

      You are mistaken about the supposed split of the LCMS from the ELCA. They were never one synod together. The LCSMS has been a law unto itself for a good 162 years now. My grandmother who was a German Evangelical Lutheran joined the LCMS when she immigrated here. My father’s people were from some other Lutheran group but he just went along with my mother and me to the LCMS.

      I left because of their homophobia and sexism and the only time I set foot in a Lutheran Church in nearly 35 years was to attend my mother’s funeral. They are virulently anti-both gay and anti- women. I felt called to be a priest from a young age and realised that I would have to leave the LCMS to do so. I am happily Old Catholic and would gladly sign Brian’s 7-word statement anytime.

      The bad jokes about the Missouri Synod vis a vis other Lutherans are way closer to the truth

      Apr 16, 2010 at 8:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ioan
      Ioan

      Sorry–meant to say “The jokes on “Cheers” about the Missouri Synod vis a vis other Lutherans are way closer to the truth than many people would imagine.

      Apr 16, 2010 at 8:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pr.Jack
      Pr.Jack

      Homosexuals are wrong, sinful, and deviant–just like the rest of us. We’re all sinners. That’s why Jesus came to save us.

      May 9, 2010 at 1:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bo
      Bo

      Someone needs to bone up on Lutheran history.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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