Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some Sunday Thoughts: The ELCA

...Is all set to vote on whether or not to allow gay pastors. This issue is still a pretty divided one. In fact my own church (as of today, former church) added a blurb about it on the front page of their August newsletter. It was written by the senior pastor and after about 3 paragraphs of info on the event it says:

"The proposed social statement and rostering recommendations embrace a tolerant love for same-sex persons who approves of same-sex intercourse in committed, faithful, monogamous relationships. There are many of us, however, who believe that Christ's love for same-sex persons is much deeper and more radical than this tolerant love. Christ's love is a redemptive love that warns persons of the destructive nature of same-sex sexual activity and seeks to recover persons for the kingdom of God."

First off, many of "us?" Who might this "us" be? I know I certainly don't hold the same opinion. Okay, so Christ's love is a redemptive love. Yes, that's all well and good but let's continue to the end of that sentence- "seeks to recover persons for the kingdom of God." Doesn't that imply that anyone with homosexual desires hasn't been redeemed yet? That they're not included in the kingdom of God until they've been "recovered"? Well, we all know how well those church-sanctioned recovery attempts worked. It continues saying:

"We therefore affirm the current policy of the ELCA which states that people who are homosexual in their orientation must live a celibate lifestyle in order to serve on the roster of ELCA. At the same time we are working to defeat the proposed social statement and rostering recommendations. The outcome of the vote will have long term repercussions for many churches across the land....

Consider becoming involved in the following ways: Pray that Christ's love for same-sex persons would win the day and that the Christian tradition and the Lutheran Confessions definition of marriage would be upheld and affirmed."

I honestly don't even know what to say to that. I think it speaks for itself really. I guess gay pastors threaten the sanctity of marriage. I guess gay marriages threaten heterosexual ones. I mean, really, what if this were about race? Would it be okay to ban the african american pastors unless they pretended they were white- or even better, were "recovered" and overcame their skin color. It's ridiculous!

I pray God opens the eyes of my now ex-pastor and congregation. His love is not exclusive. His redemption is personal, not superficial. He doesn't turn away from his children, especially not the ones who desire his love and acceptance most.

Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.

As long as our pastors and leaders are mortal they should pocket their stones. If everyone sins and every sin keeps us from God then no man, no matter how powerful or how "godly," may call himself better than others or more worthy. It's not our place to judge. It's not our place to know the heart of others, heterosexual and homosexual alike.

It's really just not our place to exclude.

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