NY Times: Advocates Hail Lutheran Act on Gay Clergy Members

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The country’s largest Lutheran denomination officially bars openly gay people from the ministry. But in a move that advocates for gay men and lesbians are hailing as a step toward changing that policy, the denomination is urging its bishops to refrain from disciplining gay members of the clergy who are in committed same-sex relationships.

A resolution to that effect was passed last weekend in Chicago by delegates to the biennial meeting of the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Church officials said it did not signal a change in policy. But they said that a denomination task force was completing “a social statement,” or theological document, on human sexuality, to be discussed in 2009, and that the resolution allowed bishops to hold off, in the interim, on taking action against gay and lesbian ministers in their jurisdictions.

Robert Tuttle, counsel to the bishop of the synod of metropolitan Washington, D.C., said, “What it changes is that it gives bishops some cover who want to exercise discretion to not bring charges.”

Supporters of the ordination of openly gay men and lesbians hailed the vote.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheranSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

10 Comments
Posted August 17, 2007 at 11:39 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/5131/



1. Rocks wrote:

Wow, great picture. Is that the future of mainstream protestentism in America?
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/08/17/us/lutherans600.jpg

There is a tendency among many shallow thinkers of our day to teach that every human act is a reflex, over which we do not exercise human control. They would rate a generous deed as no more praiseworthy than a wink, a crime as no more voluntary than a sneeze . . . such a philosophy undercuts all human dignity . . . all of us have the power of choice in action at every moment of our lives—Fulton J. Sheen

August 17, 12:30 pm | [comment link]
2. Doug Stein wrote:

Afraid so. Just call it “Ichabod Memorial Church”.

When I was a new believer over 25 years ago, I never understood how Israel could have turned away from the Lord and embraced the Ba’alim. Now I do. Infiltration by the Enemy through willing dupes and weak resistance by those who otherwise held fast (although resistance was certainly suppressed by Jezebel’s active persecution).

Elijah did find thousands who hadn’t bent the knee to false gods - and there are more of us that hold fast in the Church. Unfortunately, it seems we’re in for a bit of wholesale pruning/burning among demoninations that have ceased to bear fruit for the kingdom.

Remember not to make idols of a denomination - Christians first (and Lutheran, Episcopalian, etc. second or less).

August 17, 12:59 pm | [comment link]
3. Jim the Puritan wrote:

#1 photo.  This is a great illustration of my personal rule No. 1 for discernment of the spiritual nature of pastors:  If they are wearing a rainbow, multi-colored or Sixties Style tie-dye stole, be careful, it’s a big warning sign they’ve got agendas other than the Gospel.

August 17, 5:22 pm | [comment link]
4. drjoan wrote:

Boy they ALL look SO happy!

August 17, 7:10 pm | [comment link]
5. Katie My Rib wrote:

#4, my thoughts exactly!

August 17, 7:11 pm | [comment link]
6. PadreWayne wrote:

#1-3, c’mon, lighten up on the women. Just because they’re wearing rainbows does that mean you have to disparage their looks? their demeanor? How adolescent… #4-5, could it not be that they are listening intently? What do you look like when you’re seriously attentive?

Sheesh. Stick to the topic.

August 17, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
7. Larry Morse wrote:

ANd you lighten up PW. The picture was a scream. Those Women-For-X with their rainbow stoles are exactly what Jim said. The rainbow scarf is the bumper sticker of people who are not driving. Like bumper stickers, this is what you display when there is nothing going on in your head.Great picture. Worth a thousand Spongs.  LM

August 17, 10:05 pm | [comment link]
8. Brian of Maryland wrote:

It *is* a great picture of the ELCA.  No men.

MD Brian

August 17, 10:37 pm | [comment link]
9. Cousin Vinnie wrote:

I love the title:  Advocates always hail what they advocate.

August 17, 11:55 pm | [comment link]
10. Eric Swensson wrote:

Sheesh. My denomination goes in the tank and all you guys talk about it a photo?

The story aboiut this article is that it was a more honest and accurate account of what happened than what was offered by the ELCA or the reform group, CORE. This was local option, there is no turning back, and in synods like mine in a metropolitan area, gay clergy have been “certified.”

August 18, 7:35 pm | [comment link]


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