NY Times: Lutherans Offer Warm Welcome to [non-celibate] Gay Pastors

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With a laying on of hands, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Sunday welcomed into its fold seven openly gay pastors who had until recently been barred from the church’s ministry.

The ceremony at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco was the first of several planned since the denomination took a watershed vote at its convention last year to allow noncelibate gay ministers in committed relationships to serve the church.

“Today the church is speaking with a clear voice,” the Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, one of the seven gay pastors participating in the ceremony, said at a news conference just before it began. “All people are welcome here, all people are invited to help lead this church, and all people are loved unconditionally by God.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, known as the E.L.C.A., with 4.6 million members, is now the largest Protestant church in the United States to permit noncelibate gay ministers to serve in the ranks of its clergy — an issue that has caused wrenching divisions for it as well as for many other denominations.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. deaconjohn25 wrote:

Step by step—the movement started by Martin Luther to Reform the Church becomes the leader in Deforming traditional Christian moral teaching.
    It is sad to see some Lutherans accepting sin (not just a person’s alleged sexuality) and calling it “love.”  True Love is to lead someone away from sin, not ordain those who are ensnared and blinded by sin and openly lead sinful lives.
    185 ELC parishes apparently are so repelled by this action that they are pulling out of that Church. And, apparently, hundreds more parishes had very close votes. Maybe the Times could do some rah-rah coverage of one of those parishes to balance their basically cheerleading “news???” story about the ceremony here.

July 26, 9:30 pm | [comment link]
2. Rod L Ronneberg STS wrote:

Dear friends -welcome to “our” brave new world!  Those of us who are still “in” - at least for now - need the prayers of our orthodox Anglican friends.  My former bishop, Goerge Mocko, once said that the actions taken in 2009 at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly will lead to the slow bleed Deacon John quoted above.  Again - at least for now - until I am asked to leave - I continue to adhere to the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, and the Great Tradition.  As for what happened in San Francisco - well, I’m sickened by that “clear voice” of the false gospel of inclusivity.

Rod L. Ronneberg, STS +

July 26, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
3. Katie My Rib wrote:

I watched the service by way of the internet.  I found that I felt nothing.  I am numb.  There is no going back. And I fail to see any way of going forward.  It felt like watching the Great Schism unfold before my eyes. 
  Lord, have mercy.

July 27, 1:51 am | [comment link]
4. Jim the Puritan wrote:

“. . .all people are loved unconditionally by God.”

Can anyone show me anywhere where it says this in the Bible?

July 27, 2:08 am | [comment link]
5. Larry Morse wrote:

Jim, that is exactly the question I was going to ask. First of all, it is unclear what it means. Worse, it suggests that God’s love is so structured that he will not render judgment with perfect justice. It implies an absence of punishment without regard for evidence? It suggest that all will be saved - somehow, some why? In short, to use the French phrase, To understand all is to forgive all.I have seen this phrase often from the Left, but have always questioned its source.

July 27, 10:17 am | [comment link]
6. Frances S Scott wrote:

Sorry, it is not “The Lutheran Church” that has done this thing, it is the heretical wing that promotes itself as “The Lutheran Church” that has done it.  It has always stuck in my craw that the ELCA posts billboards and releases statements as “The Lutheran Church”, totally ignoring that the LCMS and Wisconsin Synod have been active and faithful since long before ELCA called itself into existence.  I consider it irresponsible of the media to repeat this lie.
Frances Scott

July 27, 1:51 pm | [comment link]
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