Battle in Evangelical Lutheran Church as it Considers Allowing Pastors to be in Homosexual Relations
February 19, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released proposals Thursday, Feb. 19, that seek to change Christian teaching on homosexuality and would permit pastors to be in same-sex sexual relationships.
In response, leaders of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) announced Thursday that they will work to defeat the proposals that ask the ELCA to depart from biblical teaching on sexuality.
Lutheran CORE is a coalition of pastors, lay people, congregations and reforming groups that seeks to preserve the authority of the Bible in the ELCA.
"These recommendations mark a significant departure from the church’s commitment to Scripture as the source and norm of its faith and life," said the Rev. Paull Spring of State College, Pa., chair of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee.
"The proposal for change in standards for clergy departs from the clear teaching of Scripture," said Spring, the retired bishop of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod.
Responses to a 2004 study on homosexuality showed that a significant majority of ELCA members (57 percent) opposed change to accepted Christian teaching on homosexual behavior. Only 22 percent of ELCA members favored change in church teaching to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions or the ordination of practicing homosexuals.