Viewpoint: ELCA is wrong in allowing clergy who are in same-sex relationships
The ELCA's action on accepting homosexual clergy is wrong.
The problem with many Christian churches today is that the clear word of scripture is ignored because we want to do whatever we want. We think we know better than God, which is the ultimate arrogance. Ignoring sin is the fastest way to remove Jesus from the church. A church that does not forgive sinners is a social club or service organization.
What does Jesus say about the Old Testament Law? Jesus clearly supports keeping of Old Testament law as stated in the Gospel of Matthew Ch. 5:17-20. In Matthew 5:21-22 and 5:27-28 Jesus even amplifies the OT Law. Jesus says lusting is adultery and calling your brother a fool is murder. Jesus does not condone sinful behavior. He demands perfection and we fall far short of it.
The most important item in that verse of scripture is not that we can't keep the law, it is that Jesus fulfilled the law for us. That is why Jesus' death and resurrection was an acceptable sacrifice for our sins and why Jesus can offer us the gift of eternal life.
What does Jesus say to sinners? In the Gospel of John Ch. 8 folks wanted to stone a adulterous woman. What did Jesus say to the people? Jesus said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (No stones were thrown) What did Jesus say to the adulterous woman? Jesus said, "Go now and leave your life of sin." He did not say it was OK to keep on sinning. Ignoring the clear word of scripture on relationships is also wrong. Certain activities are clearly forbidden by God, are unnatural, and should not be done. See 1 Corinthians Ch. 6:9-10 for a New Testament statement on this. As sinners, we do what God forbids. So the real issue is the struggle with sin. Should we continue sinning that grace may increase? No! We should make every effort to do what God commands.
Christian churches are open to all sinners and are for sinners only. We are to repent of our sins and, with the grace of God, sin less. One of the things Jesus does often is forgive sins. There are around 40 statements on forgiving sins in the New Testament. Clearly forgiving our sins is an important work of the church.
My encouragement to the faithful brothers and sisters in all Christian churches is to return to God's word which is the source of true wisdom. Don't ignore your sinful behavior; confess it.
Sin is sin and should not be condoned for anyone, clergy or layperson. Understand your sins and fight them.
Jesus' death and resurrection is for all sins and all sinners. God loves us, knows we struggle with our sin, and has provided Jesus as the answer for our sin. All sinners should be welcome at all Christian churches and encouraged to leave their life of sin. Christian churches should be sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins he provides.
Is there forgiveness of sins at your church? Does your church help you fight the good fight of the faith?
Dave Duebner is a Woodbury resident.