Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Steps on How to Accept Gay Marriage in a Church

I found this pro-gay marriage in the church article fascinating. It's from someone in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America(ELCA).


Herbert Chilstrom: Gay acceptance and churches Article by: HERBERT W. CHILSTROM Updated: August 3, 2013 - 4:48 PM


Despite the pope's warmhearted words, don't expect immediate change. Instead, be patient.

The pastoral, warmhearted response of Pope Francis to a reporter’s question about homosexual persons quickened many hearts. Was it a harbinger of change in the near future?

My experience tells me such hopes are unrealistic.

I became a Lutheran bishop in Minnesota in the mid-1970s. It wasn’t until then that I began to meet members of our Lutheran congregations who were gay and lesbian. Among them were graduates of our Lutheran colleges and children of some of our most prominent parish pastors.

They told their stories — tales of heartless rejection and accounts of persistent faith. I listened and asked questions.

It was a step.

It was a full two years before I wrote a pastoral letter to all of the more than 600 ordained ministers on our roster in Minnesota. I urged them to do as I had done, to get acquainted with gay and lesbian members of their churches and to give them pastoral care.

It was a step.

Over the next decade, I carved out time to study carefully the handful of Bible passages that refer to same-sex behavior. Eventually, I came to believe that all of them addressed homosexual abuse and rape. I had seen none of this among the growing number of homosexual Lutherans I had come to know firsthand.

It was a step.

In 1987, I was elected the first presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the fourth-largest Protestant denomination in the United States. By now the issue had bubbled up into a national crisis. Along with other denominations, the ELCA was seeking to develop a policy on gay ordination, gay marriage and related questions.

Each attempt at a resolution failed.

In the meantime, in 1991, I urged the 65 regional bishops of the ELCA not to bring disciplinary action against parish pastors who felt free in conscience to bless homosexual pairs who came for an affirmation of their relationships.

It was a step.

After I retired from office in 1995, the ELCA continued to wrestle with these matters. Finally, in 2009, more than three decades after my first encounters with gay and lesbian members, the national assembly of the ELCA, by a two-thirds majority, affirmed those in faithful, lifelong same-gender relationships and allowed congregations to call a homosexual pastor who is in that kind of partnership.

It was a step.

In the four years since then, a small but growing number of the nearly 10,000 congregations in the ELCA have opened wider their doors to these fellow believers.

It is a step.

In a hierarchal organization like the Roman Catholic Church, where such decisions are made by a small coterie of cardinals in Rome, the process of change could drag on for far more than three decades. And the outcome can only be surmised.

In the meantime, many of us — Lutherans, Roman Catholics, other Christians and non-Christians — give thanks for the kind and understanding words of Francis.

It is a step.

------ Herbert W. Chilstrom, of St. Peter, is former presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

3 comments:

Nicholas Leone said...

Like the old mainline "Protestant" denominations, the Roman Catholic Church has abandoned the authority and inerrancy of Scripture and has embraced historical criticism of the Bible:

http://bible-researcher.com/nab.douglass.html

http://bible-researcher.com/romcath.html

http://bible-researcher.com/catholic-interpretation.html

When a church body does this, it only goes downhill from there.

Nicholas Leone said...

More examples:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2012/05/bishops-and-bible.html

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2005/10/catholic-church-no-longer-swears-by.html

In the comments at the second link, a Romanist tries to prop up the Roman Catholic system by agreeing with the liberals that the Bible contains errors, contradictions, etc., but by proposing the Magisterium as the remedy to that "problem." However, embracing modernism has been, and will continue to be, disastrous for the Roman Catholic Church.

Here is a page on an officially Roman Catholic university which claims "Even the Bible itself, it turns out, contains "pro-gay" texts": http://www.fordham.edu/Halsall/pwh/index-med.asp#c5

There are even more blasphemous things said at the above page that cannot be repeated here. Is the "infallible" Magisterium going to make Fordham University take that down? No.

A J MacDonald Jr said...

True Catholics don't deny the validity of Scripture. And they don't take a historical-critical approach to it either. The RCC is officially belly-up and the true Catholics within her are persecuted. Since Vatican II, the RCC has officially become antichrist. The Reformers were a bit early on that call, but today they would be correct on calling her antichrist. The Church is the New Israel, and now, like Israel, she, too, is being judged. Keep studying guys... and you will end up being persecuted Catholics too. :)