The Mainline’s Mainstreaming of Homosexuality
This coming summer, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will be voting on whether or not to accept actively homosexual persons as pastors in their church. The decision to do so appears to be a fait accompli, since at their last churchwide assembly they voted to put a moratorium in place on any disciplinary activities against any of their pastors who were involved in homosexual relationships. The deck has been stacked in favor of the motion to adopt homosexually active clergy by only requiring a simple majority vote; but as one of my ELCA pastor friends reminded me, one never knows how this may, or may not, turn out. We will have to wait and see.
The recently released study Bible from the ELCA openly advocates for revisionism on these issues. In its comments on 1 Cor. 6:9, the ELCA Bible declares that the two terms that appear here, which have historically been translated to refer to homosexuality and homosexuality activity, have, in fact, been mistranslated by all modern versions and then it asserts that "neither term applies to homosexuality or the lives of gay
and lesbian people." (p. 1881). In the book of Ezra, the ELCA Bible contains the following: "What is Christian marriage? Marriage is a holy and a permanent union instituted by God and affirmed by Jesus. In choosing a life partner, his or her commitment to faith and life of the church will be of extreme importance." (Note for Ezra 9:1-4). Not a word here about what our Lord says bout marriage: that it is a one flesh union of a man and a woman.
This trend in the ELCA reflects the trends throughout mainline Protestanism's clergy ranks. Two recently completed surveys confirm that acceptance of homosexual behaviors and so-called "marriage" is high among many mainline protestant ministers. You will be interested in reviewing 2008 Mainline Protestant Clergy Voices Survey and then the Pew Forum's survey showing that mainline clergy are in favor of societal acceptance of homosexuality. Here is a graphic depiction of the results of the Pew survey: