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Lutheran Church—Canada Response to Pro-Homosexuality Decisions in Canada

July 18th, 2011
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A very fine statement released by the leadership of the Lutheran Church—Canada in response to the ELCIC’s decisions at their churchwide assembly this week.

July 18, 2011

Many Lutherans still support traditional marriage

Responding to a vote by delegates at the convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) meeting in Saskatoon, July 15 and 16 which authorizes its pastors to conduct same-gender marriages and finds sexual orientation no longer an issue for ordaining pastors, the leaders of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) issued a statement noting that the ELCIC does not speak for all Lutherans in the country.

The statement at www.lutheranchurch.ca/marriage notes that the ELCIC is the only Lutheran church body in Canada “that has approved such a departure from accepted Christian teaching.” While the ELCIC is the largest Lutheran body in Canada, statistics available online show that nearly 40 percent of Lutherans worshipping each week belong to congregations outside the ELCIC.

Noting the words of Jesus who spoke of marriage in terms of a man leaving his father and mother, being united to his wife, and the two becoming one flesh, LCC’s presidents (bishops) declared the church body’s continuing witness to “Christ’s clear teaching that God designed marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman.” They further stated that LCC will not ordain pastors who do not support this position.

At its 2002 convention Lutheran Church–Canada affirmed the historic biblical definition of marriage and at its most recent convention in June 2011 agreed that the Bible’s qualifications and standards for a pastor include a heterosexual orientation.

LCC’s position is one held by the Church for the past 2000 years and supported by millions of Christians worldwide including the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and a rapidly growing number of Lutheran churches in Africa. “LCC is not speaking from the margins,” the statement notes.

The statement also rejects any notion that holding to “historic Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality constitutes ‘homophobia,’ an irrational fear and hatred of people with same-gender orientation.” LCC’s leaders refuse to defend those who take a threatening or insulting approach to the issue, but instead “repent of such sin and ask God to help His people overcome it wherever it occurs.”

After noting that there are Lutheran Christians in Canada “still deeply committed to the Bible as the authoritative Word of God and still dedicated to its clear witness on human sexuality, marriage and standards for ministry” the leaders pledge prayers for those within the ELCIC for whom their church body’s decision is troubling.

Further information:
Ian Adnams

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Categories: Lutheranism
  1. EGK
    July 18th, 2011 at 11:07 | #1

    Note also that the vote in the ELCIC was by no means unanimous. There is a significant minority of both pastors and congregations who continue to support the biblical viewpoint. One pastoral problem is that the leadership of the ELCIC is more than happy to let this minority just go away in order to foist this agenda on their church body. There are a lot of hurting people in the ELCIC, and we need to be aware of this and do what we can for them while at the same time not violating our own fellowship principles.

  2. Rev. Barry Wood
    July 18th, 2011 at 11:16 | #2

    The link to the actual statement must be copied and pasted from the second paragraph at the moment. Thanks for posting this Rev. McCain

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