I will be joining Sandy Rios tomorrow on Chicago’s 1160 AM for her afternoon radio program. We’ll be discussing the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s (ELCA) 10th Biennial Assembly now in session in Chicago and its front and center battle with homosexuality and false doctrine.
Particularly, you may remember Rev. Bradley Schmeling, an Atlanta Lutheran pastor is taking on the church over his dimissal due to his open homosexual relationship. Incidentally, Schmeling was in a sexual realtionship with a former Lutheran minister who after being dismissed, moved his membership to the United Church of Christ.
No sooner than the ELCA ruled that Schmeling was unfit to pastor the church, the gay community feted him as grand marshal of the annual gay pride parade here in Atlanta in July. The church he pastored –St John’s– defied the national church and refused to fire Schmeling. Twenty-two of them are in Chicago now and have so far handed out 1600 “devotional guides” which detail Schmeling’s story and bullet arguments for allowing gay ministers to have sexual partners and remain in ministerial positions.
Thankfully, the ELCA’s Presiding Bishop took action when a prominent church in his synod ordained an open lesbian. That may be a sign that he will uphold church law…and the Bible.
Feel free to listen online…and pray for the church.
UPDATE: By request, here’s the “devotional guide” [pdf]
UPDATE #2: Bishop Paul Landahl of the Metro Chicago synod told the Chicago Sun-Times: “For me, those who are in committed relationships, if they are doing good ministry, I say “God bless them.” We are not here to fight. Christ was a welcoming presence in the world in his time. It’s a Gospel issue. “
Since he declares it to be a “gospel issue”, I would ask the Bishop to show in scripture where what you do has ever been a qualifier of relationship with or approval of God. His remarks demonstrate an incredible mangling of even the simplest of righteous principles in order to accomdate those who celebrate their sexual immorality.
Update #3: Pondering Pastor is in Chicago and has a day-to-day report on the proceedings and more.
Update#4: It appears the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Baalim. The general assembly urged the Bishops not to reject homosexual ministers who are in “relationships” as unfit for leadership. GCM Watch will defer to Independent Conservative who sums it up best. Also, a note of interest a commenter at IC points out that although the ELCA is the largest and perhaps most liberal, other Lutheran brances such as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Lutheran Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Synd, and the Association of Free Lutheran Churches are remaining steadfast to biblical doctrine. Take note that the media is saying nothing about these churches.