Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church Response to the ELCA Decisions.
It is with deep sadness that we have heard of the decision by the ELCA in their General Assembly to support the ordaining of persons in monogamous, committed life long same sex relationships and to bless same sex unions. This is a sad time in the history of the Church. We have watched those who have been called to be standard bearers for the Lord Jesus Christ lay down their standards and take up the cause of those things that are against the Word of God; the Word of God which Christ made flesh. It is disturbing that in many cases as this news is reported in the television, radio and newspaper Medias that it is being said that Lutherans made this vote. There are approximately 70 million Lutherans in the world. Of that figure approximately 13.6 million are in the United States. Of those in the United States approximately 4.6 are in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. That leaves approximately 65 million Lutherans worldwide that had no say so in the vote and 9 million Lutherans in America that had no say so in the vote. Included in that remaining 9 million is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (2nd largest with approximately 2.6 million) and 35-40 or more other Lutheran denominations of various sizes of which the Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church is included. Lutherans as a whole did not make this decision. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America made this decision. It is a sad occasion for Lutherans and the Body of Christ at large.
Desiring a people for Himself God told the Israelites in Leviticus 18 not to learn the ways of the people who lived in the land that he was taking them into. God himself listed those things abhorrent to him and that would surely cause any nation that practiced them to “vomit out” the people as the land of Canaan had done. Listening to God and not becoming involved in such acts is part of our setting ourselves aside unto God as his people. The Greco-Roman culture of which Christ and the Apostles found themselves in was one of deviate behaviors. These sins were the reason that Jesus gave his life that we might be forgiven. Jesus said that since he had come and revealed sin for what it was and performed miracles to backup his Divinity that there was now no excuse. (John 15) To not accept the work of Christ and repent of sin and accept his justification is to deny the revelation that he brought, to deny his Lordship and therefore live in unbelief. The Apostle Paul well aware of the sins of his day said that these sins must be renounced. He said that there were those among them who had turned from their sin and had been washed, sanctified, and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of Our God. (I Corin. 6) There is no excuse now for ignorance. God’s will has been made plain and hope has been offered in forgiveness, regeneration, cleansing and wholeness.
What is taking place now is not really about homosexuality. These are but the pawns in an evil agenda. What is taking place now is about the Word of God and the right of the Lord Jesus Christ to govern his church, and God his people, as he knows best. Jesus Christ came to save us from our sin and from a way that seems right to man but leads to death. To attempt to justify homosexuality is to live in the sin of unbelief that leads to more sin and to the teaching of sin as acceptable when God has said it is not, not for his people, not for his Church.
The Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church (GCEPC) along with others of like mind and agreement on this issue in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and other smaller Lutheran synods like ourselves, stand with the clear teaching of the Bible that homosexuality is not the will of God. We stand with those members of the ELCA who are grieving the decisions that have been made by the Assembly. We keep our brothers and sisters in prayer. The turning from the word of God is not the will of God. The denying of the revelation of Christ and the Lordship of Christ through approving the sin of homosexuality is not the will of God. Repentance and healing is the will of God for the individual struggling with same sex attraction. Homosexuality is not the will of God for our nation. It is righteousness that will exalt us as a people. It is obedience to the word of God that will bring blessing.
The Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church (GCEPC) will continue to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God. It is one of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. We say with Christ, “Repent, change your way of thinking, the Kingdom of God is at hand.” God’s Christ has come and he is King. We are ready and available to offer the hand of hope to those struggling with same sex attractions. It is the Church’s responsibility to love and have compassion for those who are caught in any sin and assist them in finding their way to forgiveness, deliverance, peace and wholeness in Christ Jesus. It is our privilege and honor as Christ’s ambassadors to do so recognizing that we all like sheep have gone astray and fallen short of the glory of God. Nonetheless, God saw fit to entrust his message of reconciliation and the ministering of his love and his gifts to us. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting mankind’s sins against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corin. 5:19).
Presiding Bishop Nancy K. Drew
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