Upholding Marriage: God’s Plan and Gift

A statement by the Rev. Bart Day, executive director, Office of National Mission
June 26, 2013

Today the Supreme Court issued its ruling, striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), allowing for federal benefits for legally married gay couples and potentially allowing for gay marriage in all of California with regard to Proposition 8. Though the ruling is not a surprise, we are saddened for our nation, even as we call our fellow Christians to faithfulness and prayer.

As Christians, we believe and confess that God Himself instituted marriage as the life-long union of one man and one woman.  Same-sex unions are contrary to God’s will, and gay marriage is, in the eyes of God, no marriage at all.  As Christians, we proclaim this truth, no matter what the courts or legislatures may say. We are called not to popularity but to truth.  Therefore, we call on our fellow Christians to be faithful first to God’s Word, knowing that another court is ultimately supreme.

Marriage is a fundamental building block of society, binding parents to their offspring.  Every child benefits from the nurture of a mother and the leadership of a father.  While having one mother is a blessing, having two mothers or two fathers is confusing for the child and detrimental to her well-being.  The divorce culture has done great harm to the institution of marriage as well, and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) has and will continue to respond to that heartache with Christ’s comfort while simultaneously working to restore a culture where marriage is upheld.

While this occasion reminds us that Scripture calls homosexuality sinful (see Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:24–27), the Bible also says plainly that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” that is to say, those who repent and show genuine sorrow over their sin, are forgiven and loved by Christ.

And so as Christ’s Church, we forgive and love too, following His lead with compassion and humility.  We forgive and love because we are all sinners in need of His grace and mercy; because no matter the sin, we have all rebelled against our Creator and fallen prey to unbelief; because He has justified us by grace through faith, freely given and joyfully received (Rom. 3:23–24); because Christ has reconciled us to the Father; because He has declared us righteous and we are.

In love, we will continue to teach marriage according to God’s plan and gift. We will continue to proclaim marriage as a picture of Christ’s love for His bride, the church.  And we will continue to be a place of forgiveness, mercy and healing for all people, even as we will continue to proclaim God’s truth in love.  As we move forward, we offer up our prayers for the nation and particularly for marriage, family and children.

Rev. Bart Day, executive director
LCMS Office of National Mission

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Updated: Wed. 12:08 PM

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76 Responses to Upholding Marriage: God’s Plan and Gift

  1. Vicki Schnack June 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    This is a very sad day, but not a big surprise. Once again, our Lord Jesus has been slapped in His face by this government. God’s Word has been denied.

    But the comfort we have as His people is knowing without doubt that He is still and always in control.

    One day at His Second Coming, all people will know who He is. There will be no doubt on that day.

    Come, Lord Jesus…

    Vicki Schnack

    • Mike July 7, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      Thank you LCMs for upholding the word of God and speaking the truth in love

  2. Bill Dake June 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    Amen, Amen – May it be so.

  3. Chris Fleshner June 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    If marriage “binds” the family, why is there divorce, even in Christian families. Also, how can the church profess this union, as sacred, if it in fact can be annulled, (or otherwise) negated, also, in the eyes of the church. It is not consistent with logic to define a untion as marriage alone. As God is with us, so too are our vows recognized, and within that sacred collective relationship with God, we live in hope, that our lives will be blessed, within the scope of marriage or outside of it.

    • Paul Klinge June 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

      There is divorce within the church, Chris, because even we Christians are fallen creatures, in need of daily help from God. We simply quit trying to make our marriage work. It’s tough, but with help from God and our brothers and sisters, we can stay together – and be happy together! It is unfortunate that some churches proclaim that a marriage can be annulled. I don’t think this can be supported in scripture anywhere. We should always be looking to the Bible for answers, not some denominational church doctrine.

      • Stacy Paisley June 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

        Thank you for your response Paul.

  4. David Kelly June 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    It is a sad state of affair that we see ourselves in today. Christian denominations are becoming corrupt and under the guise of inclusiveness are accepting the homosexual lifestyle. While I still believe we should continue to shine God’s light of truth in the darkness, more and more I am feeling that we should ‘shake the dust from out feet’ and allow the nation to drink from the cup of God’s wrath.

  5. James Hutson June 26, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Society will always legislate its own demise, since it promotes subjective truth instead of the absolute truth to which no human can affect change or repeal. Look at the Roman Empire as it became more and more subjective in its morality.

    We are not called to legislate society or even to help it promote its own demise. We are called to be a lighthouse in the storm-tossed seas of this world, standing as a beacon of love, compassion, truth and mercy so that we may affect rescue of the poor souls tossed from their corrupted ships of sinfulness and bring them to fullness of life in the Savior’s sacrifice.

    The truth has not changes since it was. God’s truth bears out in everything and anything we do. We neither have to fight for its protection or argue for its righteousness; we simply have to bear witness, live according to its tenants and reflect its loving truth for all to see.

    Not all the SCOTUS agreed with the decision. Read the dissenters and support them in this turbulent time.

    Come Lord Jesus Come!

  6. Lisa McDonald June 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    You will here no argument from me that in a perfect Christian world marriage is between a man and a woman until death do you part. But we do not live in a perfect Christian World or a solely Christian Nation or a solely Christian World. We live in a land where the Constitution is supposed to reign supreme and in a world where there are many people of different faiths or none at all. Somehow we must all find a way to live together in peace or we will live and die together in dysfunction and war. I understand from the Christian perspective that in the time we all get along the world will be near its end and the second coming will be upon us. I see that as no just reason to continue with the dysfunction and war just to prevent the second coming from occurring. I’m at piece with my life and I give to god the right to make judgments upon all of us in our death. Till then can’t we all just get along and respect each other and let god do the judging at time of death?

    • Rev. Robert Mayes June 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Hi Lisa:

      I wish that were possible that we could live together in peace, especially in our culture that has embraced the idea that homosexuality is not sinful, but an alternative and even safe lifestyle to be celebrated. And in a sense we will do our best as Lutherans. Certainly, we do not condemn every person who has same-sex attractions. We will do our best to serve our neighbor in love, and that includes our neighbors with same-sex attractions.

      But to cease from speaking God’s Word about this subject is to turn a deaf ear to God. It is not about “preventing the second coming from occurring,” since that will come at a time that God the Father has already decided and set. Indeed, there is no way we can prevent this from happening, and especially not by our behavior.
      Rather, the second coming of our Lord will happen at a time that will surprise everyone. It’s just that at that time, many people will have embraced false teachings, idolizing their thoughts as doctrines, and will be spurning and resisting God’s Word. This is why Jesus wondered if He would find faith when He returned.

      You say, “I’m at piece with my life and I give to god the right to make judgments upon all of us in our death. Till then can’t we all just get along and respect each other and let god do the judging at time of death?” The problem with this is that by respecting the ideas of homosexual marriage, we are disrespecting God according to His Word. We cannot respect the teaching that says God’s Word is wrong, or doesn’t matter. And unfortunately, that’s what is ultimately at the root of the approval of homosexual marriage.

      But if we are to hold to God’s Word as Christians, we will not be at peace with the world. Check out John’s gospel, chapter 17. Throughout this chapter, Jesus teaches that those who hold to His Word and are His, will be hated by those who are worldly minded. There’s no way around it. So if we are to be faithful to Christ, we must hold to His Word – even if it is unpopular. That includes the Word that correctly teaches that God instituted marriage as for one woman and one man, only.

      The good thing is that in this unpopular position, Jesus comforts us with the promise that He has already overcome the world. His grace comforts us in every time, and with that comfort we can comfort others. Even those affected by same-sex attractions. We are not “judging” these individuals as holier-than-thou pharisees. We are calling them to the only life that is judgment free – the life of repentance over their sins, and faith in Christ. From this Gospel and this only, do we escape from the judgment of the Law. Hope this helps.

    • Bruce Robinson July 1, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Thank you Lisa. Your posting is a breath of fresh air. The U.S. is a multi-faith country living in relative religious peace because we agree to allow for disagreement, we maintain a separation of church and state, and we hold the Constitution in high regard. The Constitution requires that all people be treated equally. This implies that everyone should have access to basic human rights, like to the right to marry the person that one loves, and to whom they are committed. Heterosexuals will naturally choose an opposite-sex partner, while those with a homosexual orientation will naturally choose a same-sex partner. But the love, commitment, and mutual support are the same.

  7. Kate Cole June 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    I am thankful for my church and Rev. Bart Day, executive director
    LCMS Office of National Mission for taking the truthful, loving stand on marriage and family. I’m so thankful God lead me to this church.
    I know Christ’s forgiveness and pray others may find HIS peace, love, which is greater than any other.

  8. Joseph Durfee June 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    As a younger man, I knew that this lifestyle was sinful. But now as a father of a 16-month old son, and school teacher, I can see exactly why it is absolutely necessary for a child to have a nurturing mother and a faithful father.

    God has already won. The battle has been fought. Keep your faith strong and do not conform to the patterns of this world. Amen?

    • Mark Durfee June 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      Amen son.

  9. Sam Halstead June 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    The beginning of the end of civilization. A victory for Satan? I will love the gay and let Christ be the judge. Life is getting very confusing. I will be glad to pass on to the good life.

  10. Bob Wilson June 26, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Traditional marriage was defined as man and woman. Also, divorce was not allowed in God’s traditional plan. Move ahead 2000 years and understand that many changes have occurred. One time we were instructed to ‘be good to our slaves’, today we live under laws prohibiting slavery. Once, women were to be silent, and serve their husband… today, women have equality at home, work, and they are even allowed to vote (and in some churches allow women to sit with their family’s). So many religious ideas, as defined over 2000 years ago, have changed with society and the understanding of human equality.

    Let us continue to love each other, and work harder on our own hearts. Why worry about same-sex marriage, while being diverted from the real issue of focusing our lives and heart to be prepared to be Christ’s bride. My heart is only hear on earth for a short while, but my soul is preparing for an eternity with Christ.

    One thing for sure, on Earth, change is constant. While society on earth changes, let us live our lives focused on Christ’s purpose of being good, loving servants. While we continue to argue of the definitions of sinful acts, and waste time condemning individuals, the devil laughs, knowing we have forgotten our purpose of loving, helping and caring.

    I am not on earth to judge, I am here to serve Christ, love and live each day to honor Christ. I am preparing my heart for Heaven, to be with Christ. Why would I exclude sharing God message of love with any person on earth, simply because of their God created attributes, orientation, disability, color, race or other?

    For over 40 years I have been excluded from worshiping in churches because I was born gay and since man interpreted the scripture as not gay-inclusive, I am simply told I am not welcome. Thankfully, I keep my salvation and my love for Christ at the forefront of my daily life, and I do not live in defeat. While many churches and evangelical Christians, reject both my birth attribute, and my salvation, I proudly live each day serving and loving Christ. Christ is my Savior, too, and He blesses my life daily. I live in the knowledge that He died for me and He loves me and salvation is mine. Christ is in my heart, and I am so proud to serve Him and despite rejection by churches, I am proud to be a Christian, and I will be in Heaven with my Jesus, as His beautiful bride.

    My desire is that every person know Christ and the power of His love. He is there for each of us, to help us through each day… and I promise you, that if you follow Him, He will never let you down. Thank you Jesus for being my savior, and for allowing me to be your chosen servant on earth. Thank you for loving me. Create in me a clean and pure heart, and allow my life to be a witness to You and Your message of love.

    With Christ’s love….

    • Stacy Paisley June 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      How you wrote of your love for Christ and following Him is beautiful.

  11. Laura Smith June 27, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    I’m just tired of being called a “hater” because I oppose same sex marriage. God will judge. This society is going down the tubes quickly. I can’t help but think of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    • John Weinbach June 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      To oppose same sex marriage is to say you don’t believe gays deserve the same rights as you have. In this country, we don’t call that hate, but we do call it prejudice!

      • Troy Helmick June 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

        To acknowledge that sin is wrong does not make one a bigot. The premise of right and wrong are absolute truths to a Christian. I would and will respect ones individual choice. That does not mean I have to agree with it. The real premise of gay rights is not marriage or equal rights. Your (John) premise and desire is to force me to acknowledge and condome sin. No amount of legislation will ever replace to the Word of God his teachings and forgiveness he offers. Call me a bigot I will forgive you because Christ has forgiven me. I will never condone or acknowledge homosexulaity as anyhing other than wrong.

      • Jeff Weber July 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

        Nicely noted and true.

  12. Josh June 27, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    Actually, the Roman Empire fell as it started to become more and more Christian in its beliefs and practices. However, neither that nor becoming “more and more subjective in its morality” is why the Roman Empire fell. There are many reasons leading to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Don’t make up things that are easily discredited by minimal amounts of reading and research.

    • John June 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      And knowing that period of history myself, Josh, I would say that your understanding of that period of history has taken a slant that is at best, questionable. Are there some who believe what you have stated? Certainly. Is it as definite and clear as you try to make it out to be. Not at all.

      • Josh June 27, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

        What? “Is it as definite and clear as you try to make it out to be. Not at all.” What on earth did I even remotely try to make “definite and clear”?

        My exact words were “However, neither that nor becoming “more and more subjective in its morality” is why the Roman Empire fell. There are many reasons leading to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.”

        How is that in any way making anything definite? The whole point of my comment is that there are NO definites as to why the Roman Empire fell, but it sure as heck wasn’t just becoming “more and more subjective in its morality”

        • Rev. Robert Mayes June 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

          Josh:

          St. Augustine defended this very criticism from the charges that Christianity caused Rome to fall. Check out his book, The City of God. It’s an old argument you raise, but one that has already been successfully rebutted.

          In Christ,
          Rev. Robert Mayes
          Beemer, NE

          • Josh June 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

            For God’s sake…. will someone please read what I actually wrote before responding with what they THINK I wrote….

            I never said Christianity caused Rome to fall. Besides, even if I had, I’m certainly not going to let St. Augustine convince me otherwise. (gee, I’m sure there’s NO bias in his explanation)

            All I had said is that Rome fell AS CHRISTIANITY (not because of) became more common place. I even immediately followed it up with: “However, neither that nor becoming “more and more subjective in its morality” is why the Roman Empire fell.”

            Finally, I ended with “There are many reasons leading to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.”

            It’s bad enough when regular joes respond on impulse without listening (reading in this instance), but come on, can we get a little more out of our pastors?

          • Rev. Robert Mayes June 29, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

            Ah. I see what you are saying now. You do have to admit, though, reading back from what you were saying, it sounded like you were meaning it the way I and the other commenter took it. I misunderstood your point.

            As for Augustine, give the guy a break. It’s not easy to discuss such matters with an empire that is hostile against your religion because it thinks your religion caused its downfall. Nor is it easy to win such heated discussions. Yet Augustine did a remarkable job.

            One more side note. The problem with dismissing a thinker because of bias is, that try as hard as people might, there will always be some bias somewhere, that directs man’s thoughts. Every writer has some bias for or against something. But that does not mean we can just dismiss every writer or writing, for that matter. Perhaps it would be better to frame the question as to asking which bias is more grounded. And if you start from that point, Augustine holds up his own pretty well. Just a consideration in the future. Again, sorry for misunderstanding and God’s blessings.

            In Christ,
            Rev. Robert Mayes
            Beemer, NE

  13. John Weinbach June 27, 2013 at 1:21 am #

    To any who might be tempted to assume that Mr. Day’s reference to Leviticus is proof of how God feels about two committed men or women living together as family, it would be good to study all of Leviticus to see if there might be other verses that seem out of touch with Christ’s teachings.

    • Rev. Robert Mayes June 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Mr. Weinbach:

      Leviticus is not contrary to Christ’s teachings. Christ did not come to abolish the Law (including Leviticus), but to fulfill it. I recommend John Kleinig’s helpful commentary on Leviticus to help you in seeing how Christ has fulfilled this, and yet the moral teachings of Leviticus still apply.

      Further, Jesus upholds that the estate of marriage is between one man and one woman in Mt. 19:4-6. He rightly reads Genesis 2 as still applying today.

      In Christ,
      Rev. Robert Mayes
      Beemer, NE

  14. Deb June 27, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    The Church’s statement needs to do some back tracking here……”While having one mother is a blessing, having two mothers or two fathers is confusing for the child and detrimental to her well-being…” and that implies that families like my own (Hetero, with adopted children who have two mothers, and two fathers) are some how unfit and damaging to children. Let’s face it, there are multiple other situations in today’s families that would include children having the love and nurturance of more than one mother or father, and that should not be labeled as bad. As far as the church’s position on gay marriage…whatever. You have the right to believe what you will in your religious setting, but the reality is, that all citizens of our country should be entitled to the same rights and privileges under the LAW.

    • Jordan June 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Deb,

      As a stepfather, and a stay-at-home dad, I understand the heart of your comment. However, in my experience, having more than one father is definitely, “confusing and detrimental to the child.” I have had to watch my stepson cry while asking questions no child should have to ask… “Why doesn’t daddy live with us?” “If my dad loves me, why did he leave me and mommy?”

      It occurs to me that many children from adoptive families have the same sort of questions, “Why did my mommy abandon me, didn’t she love me..?”

      To somehow imply that having more than one father or mother is simply not harmful to the child is, at best, wishful thinking. My own experience goes even further into this subject. My stepson’s father left his family to pursue a homosexual lifestyle. To say his life has not been confused or suffered detriment is sadly, just not the truth.

      Perhaps your situation is an ideal one where all parties involved love and are loved, but, that is definitely not normal for a blended family. In most blended families confusion and detriment abound…

  15. Kristen June 27, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    I was born and raised Christian and call myself a Christian as well but I am also gay. I understand and was taught the same thing that all of you were but I also know that God made me the way that I am and believe that I am exactly who He wants me to be.

    Yes the bible says that marriage is to be with a man and woman but it also says people should get stoned to death for adultery and other things… Why are we picking and choosing what we are following?

    I am not trying to start an argument just feel that everyone’s voice should be heard and that minds should be left open.

    • Rev. Robert Mayes June 28, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Hi Kristen:

      The question you raise is how to interpret the Bible. Basically, there are three kinds of Old Testament law that we need to understand, and also understand how the New Testament treats each kind.

      First, there is the moral law. This is summed up by the Ten Commandments. Included in this is the commandment against sexual sin. Based on Jesus’ words in Mt. 5:17-19, Christians understand that the moral law is still in effect today. Jesus did not come to abolish the moral law, or do away with it completely. Later in the New Testament, examples of the ongoing nature of the moral law abound. This includes the teaching against homosexuality and even against homosexual marriage. Mt. 19:4-6 is where Jesus upholds the Scriptural teaching that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

      Second, there is the ceremonial law. This refers to the worship life of the Old Testament and the unique holiness laws of the Old Testament. The ceremonial law is fulfilled, and no longer applies. We no longer offer animal sacrifices, etc. It is all fulfilled in Jesus’ death and priesthood.

      Third, there is the civil law. This includes laws regulating the political entity of the Israelites in their context. The civil law not only refers to things like zoning regulations and borders, but also to penalties for breaking the law (such as the stoning of adulterers). The New Testament provides proof that the Old Testament civil laws no longer apply to Christians too.

      And that’s why we can and must say that homosexuality, as recognized by the New Testament, is still sinful against the moral law, even though we do not advocate the stoning of adulterers or other such things. Yet we also recognize that homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin, and offer the saving Gospel to all who are affected by same-sex attraction. Christ was tempted in all ways, just like us, but His blood was shed for all sinners too. Ultimately, that’s what the Lutheran Church upholds: Christ for all sinners. In Him is life, and that includes for you too.

      In Christ,
      Rev. Robert Mayes
      Beemer, NE

  16. Katie June 27, 2013 at 2:27 am #

    I am shocked by the blatant sexism in the third paragraph: “Every child benefits from the nurture of a mother and the leadership of a father.” The implication here is that mothers do not show leadership and fathers do not nurture. I am repulsed by this ridiculous notion. How one can be so clueless, in 2013, about what men and women contribute to relationships and to child-rearing is baffling.

    • Steven June 29, 2013 at 5:01 am #

      Amen Katie!

      • Bruce Robinson July 1, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

        Another amen!

        I must admit that my stomach lurched a bit when I read that sentence.

        Every child benefits from the presence of two parents. They learn to appreciate differences in people. They often benefit from a higher standard of living than found in most single-parent families. They benefit from having two adults to love and care for them.

        But I don’t really see how it matters whether the parents are two women, two men, or one woman and one man. I can see, however, that if one assigns rigid and different roles to people on the basis of gender, that it would matter a lot.

  17. Roger Ruff June 27, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    What I find disappointing is not Rev. Day’s response on “Upholding Marriage: God’s Plan and Gift”, but his failure to comment on Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision gutting the heart of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a decision that may well deprive many minority citizens of the right to vote. Clear and simple, this is an act of judicial activism that preempts congress’s authority under the 15th amendment to regulate voting.

  18. jacob June 27, 2013 at 5:12 am #

    Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.matt 7:13 and 14 remember 1 corinthians 6:9 True Christians keep in mind John7:7 and john15:18-19 and remember Gods grace if they repent and truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ they will be saved, read Romans 13:1-14 we can only rely on Christ, scripture and grace through faith.

  19. Tae June 27, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get one. I fail to see how allowing two people who love each other to get married has any bearing whatsoever on you. And if the litmus test for eligibility for marriage is the ability to bear children, then I guess infertile couples and older couples should be banned from the institution.

    • John June 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Tae,

      One sees the crudeness of your response if one simply changes a few words . . .

      Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t get one.
      Don’t like slavery? Don’t buy a slave.
      Don’t like polygamy? Don’t take more than one spouse.

      Your reasoning is not reasonable.

      • Alan Marr July 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

        John,

        Huge difference between slavery and gay marriage and polygamy, there are no civil victims in gay marriage or polygamy assuming all parties enters consensually and willingly. In slavery there is a clear victim and a clear oppressor.

        I believe it is immoral to gamble and I don’t gamble, yet I don’t advocate for gambling to be illegal…in fact I usually advocate for anti-gambling laws to be liberalized. I feel the same with over consumption of alcohol, recreational use of drugs, permissive divorce laws, birth control, and many other “moral” laws.

        Victimless “crimes” are best enforced by religious institutions not civil law. I believe that homosexuality, divorce, gambling, and altering ones conscious with drugs or alcohol are all immoral and to best to fight that immorality is to invite people to church with me and involve them in the Missouri Synod Faith. BTW I do believe that the use of birth control is moral, and would be furious if the religious faiths that believe otherwise were to ban its use.

        So yes – If you don’t believe in gay marriage don’t enter in to a gay marriage. If you don’t believe in polygamy don’t enter into a polygamist marriage. If you don’t believe in gambling don’t gamble. If you don’t believe in divorce don’t get divorced…If someone believes that slavery is moral and they kidnap me and sell me to exploit me against my will, strip me of my human rights and dignity for their pleasure or profit that should be illegal, even if their “religion” believes that such action is moral.

    • Adriane June 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      Tae, sound public policy is based on the rule, not the exception. The vast majority of marriages do produce children. While not every marriage will have children, every child needs a mom and a dad. Even childless marriages serve a broader social
      purpose by affirming the pattern of the only type of union with the potential to create children and to meet children’s need for a mom and a dad

      • Alan Marr July 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

        Adriane,

        Why do we in the LCMS get so bent out of shape about gay marriage? For every two marriages that are performed in this country there is one divorce. Almost sixty percent of all college students spent a portion of their childhood in a single parent home or a blended marriage with a step-parent. If we want to save the institution of marriage, maybe start with teaching “Christians” not to divorce and not to have sex (eventually children) out of wedlock. If marriage is so important to raising children they why do so many people of faith, openly reject that lifelong commitment to raising children as one mother and one father. We should get bent out of shape about that 60% number, not a 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision that will affect less than 5% of all marriages performed in this country.

  20. Steven June 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    While we are called to be light and salt to this world, and to be in it while not being of it (Jesus said these things, not me), I am saddened by the approach of some I see reflected in the limited Biblical understanding of fallen human nature. We are not “made” a certain way by God, with total endorsement of all our personal desires and preferences. Sin has corrupted what was made perfect. We are all born broken. To pretend that I or any of us can do whatever we desire, while attributing those choices to God’s allowing or pre-forming, ignores the Word of God. “We [all] daily sin much, and indeed deserving nothing but punishment.” But God brings forgiveness to the repentant. By the Holy Spirit’s work, we can and must love our fellow sinners, for we have been forgiven much.

  21. Jakob Heckert June 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    My questions are:
    What is marriage? If marriage is between a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and love, gay marriage is not marriage, because it excludes one ingredient, procreation. Infertile and older couples, while they have the potential, cannot fulfill it either because of infertility or age.
    Why do gay people want to get married? If gay couples get married legally, where do we stop legally? Could polygamy or polyandry be next? Recently I read a lesbian’s statement, which said that the ultimate goal is the destruction of marriage as we have known it.
    Both gay and straight people live under law. Through Jesus Christ we have freedom from under law to live in law to the praise of the Triune God and to the service of our fellow human beings. Blessings to one and all.

    • Bruce Robinson July 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

      A lot of folks are saying the same thing: that procreation requires a woman and a man. But ultimately it really requires three items: one very lucky spermatozoon, one human ovum, and a womb in which to grow. A lesbian couple has two of the three requirements and needs only a spermatozon. They are readily available. A gay couple has only one of the requirements, but can often arrange with a surrogate to provide the other two.

      I must admit that I get riled up when I see a comment like Jakob’s because it denigrates couples like my wife and I who married late in life when procreation was impossible. It also denigrates all infertile couples who choose to adopt.

    • Alan Marr July 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      My wife and I chose before we were married not to have children. We decided before our marriage that I would get a vasectomy because we did not want children. We chose sterilization knowing it was radical decision but I also knew if we ever changed our minds we could adopt, and we would love our adopted child as much as we would a natural child. We have been married 20 and have never looked back and regretted our childless union. I know that some judge (including family) our decision but it was our decision.

      Should we been denied legal marriage because we never intended on having children? You ask why did we want to get married? We wanted to enter into a lifelong partnership of love, support and fidelity. But asking us the question why we wanted to get married or why gay people want to get married is really none of your business. Audrey’s father and my brother both asked us that question before they would officiate our wedding and they had that right. Just as our Synod has the right not to preform gay weddings.

      BTW our faith is important to us and we attend church weekly, my wife’s father and both my brother and uncle are Missouri Synod Ministers. We did not announce our decision to them before our wedding but they all heard it when they asked us when we were going to start a family. Having children are no longer “necessary” for being married. Maybe I missed it during Confirmation instruction but I don’t remember at any time being told that getting married and not intending of having children violated the Missouri Synod doctrine.

      I do disagree with our doctrine about the immorality of committed same sex relationships…that is about the only doctrinal difference I have with the LCMS. But lets assume I am wrong and the Doctrine is right on this issue. When I look around the country and see the daily immorality of our 70% Christian society…homosexuality is way down the list on the immorality that is damaging our society. It isn’t even as high on the list as infidelity and domestic violence as to the problems that are destroying the institution of marriage.

  22. Paul Landskroener June 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    I’ll demur on Bart Day’s selective use of scripture and misinterpretation of Romans 1, but I would like to ask this question: He says, “Same-sex unions are contrary to God’s will, and gay marriage is, in the eyes of God, no marriage at all.” So, what if two men or two women in a meeting for worship stand in front of the congregation and God and make solemn vows of lifelong fidelity and love and mutual support — and then keep those vows — what is it if it isn’t marriage?

    • Rev. Robert Mayes June 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

      Mr. Landskroener:

      I would say that what this is the attempt of people to re-create God’s grounded estate of marriage into something of their own making. It would be no different if an adult father and his adult daughter decided to go to a meeting for worship, stand in front of a congregation and God, and make solemn vows of lifelong fidelity and love and mutual support and then keep those vows. Yet because the union of a father and daughter would in effect be against God’s Word, it could not be considered a marriage, nor could God bless such a union without denying Himself and recanting His Word. This He cannot do (2 Tim. 2:13).

      The same thing applies to homosexual marriage. God instituted marriage as male and female (Gen. 2, Mt. 19:4-6). And He did this in perfection, before sin entered the world. Thus, now that society has adopted a new mindset that runs contrary to God’s original institution, we now expect God to bless what His Word does not bless? That can’t happen without God denying Himself and recanting His Word, which as shown above, He doesn’t do.

      The problem with attempting to redefine and recreate what God has instituted (e.g., in marriage) is that turns people from the receivers of God’s intended blessings, into the creators of their own blessings. It redefines what it means for God to be Creator and for man to be creature. It redesigns God into man’s image. But man’s blessings for himself are not efficacious. And God redesigned into man’s image is completely contrary to God’s purpose in creation, salvation and sanctification. Ultimately, this is what is at stake in the same-sex marriage debate.

      In Christ,
      Rev. Robert Mayes
      Beemer, NE

  23. dave mundt June 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Greetings and Salutations;
    I am sorry to see the several posts from folks that believe that this decision is the end of the world. That smacks of a worrisome distrust in the power of God to bring good to the world…
    As for the subject at hand, I respect the reasoned argument presented by Rev. Day in the position paper. I do not, though, completely agree with it. While it is true enough that in a perfect world, a family would have a mother and a father and one or two children, and, those children would be reared in a loving home, where the parents work to instill good, Christian values in them, as well as an inquiring mind, and a willingness to respect the beliefs of others, even when those beliefs are different. However, the world is an imperfect place. I believe I do not have to rehash all of the circumstances and actions that pollute, pervert and sully that perfect society, and, add hate and evil to the world, instead of love.
    As for the issue of sex…does the church REALLY still believe that the only reason for two people to marry is to produce more little Lutherans? If that is the case, then there are millions of people out there who are apparently sinning, since they have either made the decision not to reproduce, or, are unable to do so. Rather, i would suggest that marriage is a union of two souls that exists to create an entity that is stronger than the sum of its parts. In a good marriage, the weaknesses of one partner are balanced by the strengths of the other. partner.
    the LGBT community exists, and, has been a fairly constant percentage of the population for as long as records exist. America, which has a Constitutional mandate to treat all citizens equally has, for many years, discriminated against the LGBT community by denying it the benefits and responsibilities that marriage brings. It is, in a real sense, no different than the owning of slaves and the shameful way that America treated Blacks for too many decades. This was a situation that should not, and, as it proved, could not stand on a Federal level. Now, unless we forget, or ignore this, the fact is that this change does not force Churches to perform Marriages as the religious act it can be. It does not even force all states to practice or respect the contract. Let me give you an example of what WILL happen now… We have an LGBT couple that has lived in a supportive, monogomous relationship that they have sealed with marriage in a state that allowed it, for, say, 30 years. One partner falls seriously ill, and, is hospitalized, and is in a coma. Up to now, the partner would not have even been allowed into the hospital room in many facilities. The partner’s family is notified, and, the person that shows up is a brother who has not seen the man for 30+ years and hates LGBT folks. Now…if you were that man in the bed, who would you rather have making decisions on your care? The family member that you have not seen for decades and hates everything you stand for and do in your life? Or the faithful partner who has lived with you for that time, and helped you through the highs and lows of life?
    I know which I would rather have making that decision…
    Pleasant dreams;
    Dave Mundt

    • Rev. Robert Mayes June 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Mr. Mundt:

      A few brief remarks:

      1) The presence of sin in the world makes it imperfect. Yet even still, sin does not overthrow God’s created estate of marriage and allow it to be redefined according to judicial whim. God instituted that the sun rise in the morning. Even though there is sin in the world, yet the sun still rises. So it is with His institution of the estate of marriage. Though there is sin, yet His institution stands as it always has. On His Word, not on man’s rebelliousness against it.

      2) You ask, “does the church REALLY still believe that the only reason for two people to marry is to produce more little Lutherans?” A: No. There are three traditionally understood reasons for marriage. Companionship, procreation of children, mutual joy and blessing. There is a 4th reason that also needs to be added to the traditional list – marriage as a curb against sin. That’s how 1 Cor. 7:2 speaks of marriage. Because sexual immorality is a huge temptation for men, God instituted marriage to curb that temptation. However, the idea of same sex marriage actually causes two people to sin (because they take God’s name in vain to bless what His Word does not bless, they do not hold God’s Word that speaks against homosexuality as sacred, and they sin against each other by sexual immorality).

      3) In the example that you gave of an LGBT person in the hospital, one does not have to be married to someone to give them a durable power of attorney for health reasons. You can sign anyone you like to have those decisions. Your example does not carry the argument, but is a side issue completely.

      In Christ,
      Rev. Robert Mayes
      Beemer, NE

  24. John Weinbach June 29, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    “Our mission is vigorously to make known THE LOVE OF CHRIST by word and deed within our churches, COMMUNITIES AND THE WORLD.”

    What a wonderful mission for this Lutheran church. And how, exactly are you promoting it with a diatribe against the inevitable desire for the majority of Americans to offer equal rights to all couples who desire to enter into a marriage? Of all people, seems that Lutherans should be charitable toward those who are different.
    We have enough trouble trying to live down the vile statements Dr. Martin Luther made about God’s chosen people, the Jews.

  25. Morticia June 30, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    Why is the LCMS even concerned about same sex marriage anyway? Why would anyone who is gay even remain a member? Run quickly away, find another church that is more loving and welcoming. The LCMS members and clergy obviously do not want any gay members.

    • Justin July 2, 2013 at 4:12 am #

      Just because the LCMS church (and Christians) have righteous discernment in regard to sin does not make us less “loving or welcoming”. Acknowledging murder or rape as a sin does not mean that we would deny sharing Christ’s love or worship alongside a repentant murderer or rapist. We are to hate the sin, not the sinner. Yes, it is our humanity that causes us to associate stigmas to these sinful acts, but we as Christians (and the LCMS members) believe that the blood of Christ is able to wash away any sin. As for me, I will gladly love and welcome a fellow brother or sister in Christ who is struggling with sexual attraction to the same gender. The point is that we ALL sin and fall short. I have habitual sins and desires that condemn my soul as well. Let’s quit with the “God made me this way” argument… you know what – we were all made sinful through the fall of Adam. Likewise, we as believers are all saved through the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” – Luke 5:32

    • Matt July 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      Why do we stay??

      Because there are many of us who take God’s Word seriously. The Bible is very clear that sex is reserved for a life long marriage between a man and a woman. And while the LCMS sometimes (well often) proclaims that in such way as to make us gay people feel, well, to be honest, kind of like dirt, and even more frequently forgets to apply the Gospel to our specific sin/temptation, nevertheless, the LCMS is one of the few church bodies in which one does receive the means of grace. And that is worth staying for.

      So, if it is a choice between being pointed to my own self worth and being told that Jesus is a really nice guy who had warm feelings for the “marginalized”….

      and…

      being told that I am “profoundly unnatural” and a “perversion” but being pointed to Christ as a savior who died for me and is a friend of sinners….

      then I will take the second option because I survive without friends here on earth but I can’t survive with out the cross, without the Word and without the sacraments.

      • Amy July 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

        Agreed!!

  26. gregzaller June 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    I think the relevant scriptures have to do with judging others. There are so many of them. Clearly Christ would not be involved with this discussion based on judging others, and neither would his followers. As Christians our model is Christ’s example. He would be busy following the instructions he gave us to care for the poor instead of judging others. Anyone can twist a scripture to serve his prejudices. This is why Christ had no scribe and taught by example. There are plenty of examples of Christ standing by those that others judge. It is that simple.

  27. Lisa July 1, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    I am saddened and discouraged by the SCOTUS ruling. Justice Kennedy has given wings to the idea that those who disagree with gay “marriage” are bigots and haters. We will now see the domino affect in the culture of homosexuals continuing to pursue legal action against Christian businesses, public schools eventually being forced to teach about homosexuality ( actually already happening in California), and the further marginalization of people of faith by our government. The President and Hillary Clinton have already made reference to our supposed “Freedom to worship” , rather than our constitutional right of “Freedom of Religion”. Our only hope is in Christ, who, thanks be to God!, is bigger than the government or one misguided man in the White House. ” My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”….

    • Bruce Robinson July 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      Lisa. I am saddened. The term “religious freedom” used to have a well defined meaning: the freedom to believe differently, to gather with fellow believers in worship, to proselytize. etc.

      But now, the same term is changing. It is rapidly adopting a new definition: the freedom to apply one’s religious beliefs to discriminate against, oppress, and denigrate others.

      I suspect that Jesus disliked people discriminating, oppressing, and denigrating others, but there doesn’t seem to be a way in which I can check that out.

  28. Leslie July 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I was confused for many years by policy of another Lutheran church because they said they would not approve or disapprove of homosexuality. I tried to put the best construction on this thinking that they didn’t want to be part of any persecution of homosexual people, people with AIDS, particularly children who had either been born with AIDS or contracted AIDS through no fault of their own. But in time the Lutheran church which would not approve or disapprove of homosexuality moved to approve women’s ordination into the clergy, with ordination of homosexual persons into the clergy, providing they were celebate. Now, same church has moved, again, to approve homosexual unions, marriages.

    I am glad for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod providing clarity on God’s will, as found in the Holy Bible, for marriage. As a matter of fact, I am grateful to the L.C.M.S. for being firm and holding to the truth in the Holy Bible about the union of marriage for male and female, husband and wife.

    There are alot of people born into circumstances beyond their control or who suffer circumstances after they are born which makes marriage and family, for some, out of reach – yet they perservere in faith as Christians:

    I can’t go along with the notion that accomodations must be made for homosexual marriage.

    I do not think it is kind of the other Lutheran church to shift from no commitment on the issue of homosexuality being right or wrong to approval of it and, in making rules up for themselves, I think they’re really off track.

  29. Walter July 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Well, last time i checked, marriage isnt the same as it was 2,000 yrs ago. Marriage had more to do with business and property than love and compassion. Times change and God knows it. Lets all try and live according to the laws of Moses, not gonna happen. Sure Paul spoke out against “men lying with men”, but isnt it possible he was speaking out against something different, such as pedophilia and pederasty. I havent read the greek, hebrew, and Aramaic texts myself, and i know alot of people havent and cannot. But until i can read the oldest possible texts, I will not judge others. Luke 6:37-42 [37] “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. [38] Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” [39] He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? [40] A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. [41] “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? [42] How can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    Only God has the power to decide wether someones soul is damned, so why not let the secular world run itself, and focus more of our energy on housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting people in prison as we were commanded to do.

    • Walter July 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      Sorry about the spelling and grammar.

      • Leslie July 9, 2013 at 8:20 am #

        Just expressing an opinion. Feel more secure with LCMS pastoring.

        • Amy July 13, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

          I’m backing you, Leslie. You are correct. So many denominations are just as you say.

          Additionally, I have seen many individuals attending churches not even realizing WHAT their church stands for. It’s more of a social club for so many people. These individuals then blindly trust their pastor because they are a “pastor”, so that must mean the pastor knows more than anyone else, which isn’t always the case.

          Even worse, these pastors accept or reject anything they want to according to their whims or what makes them popular for the moment, but the scripture is very clear about their accountability as church leaders: James 3:1 (stricter judgment for teachers). God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7).

          (I wrote much more, but it’s turning into a book and how everything is connected, so I’ll stop.)

          God bless all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who is here representing the true Word of God and the LCMS. I always say that I’m a Christian not a denomination. But when we’re facing this type of religious and social climate, maybe we can help lead people to the LCMS where I know for a fact the true Work of God is present.

  30. Tyler D. Andersen July 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    I’m a life-long LCMS member. With great haste, I will soon join the ELCA. Here’s why: God made us in HIS image. God didn’t make mistakes. He made some people straight … and others gay. And to those who use this phrase, “Struggling with same-sex attraction” … YOU should be ashamed of yourselves. YOU are denying the empirical truth that homosexuality is not a choice. It’s genetically assigned in the womb. YOU are causing LCMS youth (and all LGBT people) to feel inferior to their “straight” brethren due to something over which they have no control. Shame on you all. You should focus on preaching the message of salvation through Christ. And the message that Christ loves ALL of his children, regardless of sexual orientation or any other human condition.

    Sincerely,
    Tyler D. Andersen

    • Matt July 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      As a person who IS gay, I completely disagree.

      I despise the ELCA because their message is that I must give up my values and my trust in the Bible as God’s Word in order to follow my sexual orientation.

      Well, God did NOT promise I would be able to have a boy friend. He DID promise eternal life and, in this life, a cross. Should I reject him just because I don’t happen to like the kind of cross I got? Just because its something I got stuck with because our genes have been infected by the fall?

      As to the LCMS making homosexuals feel inferior, yes, you are right and this is the sin of the LCMS. (the fault, however, is not in preaching that homosexuality is sin but in failing to preach that heterosexuality is sin too – not just adultery, lust or fornication but the orientation of attraction to opposite sex people other than one’s spouse. This, too, is profoundly unnatural and perverted – we need to start preaching that and give straight people the opportunity to know they too are twisted in their sexuality from what God designed.)

      But the sin of the ELCA is that it strips my dignity to choose my values over my sexuality and strips the comfort and power of God’s Word.

      Given that there is no perfect denomination, I will choose the one that offers me eternal life rather than sex. It will last longer and be a whole lot more fun.

      • Rev. Dustin L. Anderson July 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

        Matt,

        Thank you for your faithful confession. I can only imagine the burden of your particular cross. You have done well, in faith, to take up your cross and follow Jesus. You are, indeed, forgiven in Him by grace through faith and as you confessed, you will inherit the Kingdom of God.

        As to your criticism about heterosexuality, I agree that more needs to be said about the fallenness of man and his perversion of all sexual desire. But their needs to be a distinction between homosexuality and heterosexuality. In the natural order of creation heterosexual desire between a husband and wife is ordained by God to be “very good.” That is to say that heterosexual desire is a gift from God and therefore not sinful. After the Fall, however, that desire is utterly perverted, turned inward. The desire is still good, the possessor of that desire is not and so we all pervert its use. Yet as perverted as it might be, heterosexual lust is still within the confines of the order of creation – i.e. the parts fit and procreation is still naturally possible. Not so for homosexual lust. Homosexual lust has extended beyond the scope of the created order. Heterosexual desire in and of itself is sinful. It has never been declared good by God.

        You and all who bear crosses of a particular severity remain in my prayers.

        In Christ,
        Pastor Anderson

        • Rev. Dustin L. Anderson July 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

          Correction: 2nd paragraph, 2nd last sentence should be “Homosexual desire in and of itself is sinful.” not “Heterosexual…”

          • Matt July 9, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

            Sorry but you can’t defend your stand from a biblical standpoint as the ONLY heterosexual orientation allowed or upheld in the Bible as natural according to God’s creative intent is within the marriage relationship.

            Heterosexuality is presented as a gift from God ONLY within marriage and NEVER outside of it.

            I say again, with the exception of its place within marriage, heterosexuality is as perverted as homosexuality

        • Matt July 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

          Look, I’m sorry, maybe insisting you see yourself as a pervert too is asking too much.

          I’m just really tired of pleading and begging for the Gospel.

          I don’t know of any other situation in which a 10 year old is labeled a pervert based only on his temptations and then has to go begging for someone to talk about forgiveness for the next 5 decades of his life.

          We compare homosexuality to alcoholism, pedophilia and kleptomania. But you won’t actually be labeled any of those things unless you actually act on temptation. You might, for instance, be diagnosed with an obsessive disorder but you won’t be a kleptomaniac unless you actually take something that’s not yours.

          When seeking to tell homosexual teens that their “sin” is no different than others, pastors usually say something like “we confront all sin equally, murder, pedophilia, adultery and theft.” So the 12 year old who is attracted to other boys is assured by the fact that his pastor sees him as equal to a man who took another man’s life, had sex with another man’s wife, took property that was not his or raped a child?

          And then, on top of it all, the only time I hear the Gospel is when I beg for it? And 9 times out of 10, even after begging pastors to include the cross when they talk of homosexuality, they still don’t.

          I’m sorry but I’m getting to the point I feel so afraid of my follow Christians that I am physically sick to my stomach whenever I am around them.

          So I guess I hope that maybe, just maybe, if you are forced to face the perversion of your own sexuality you will be a little more ready to include the Gospel and the cross when talking about mine.

          • Amy July 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

            I get what you are saying, Matt.

            As a heterosexual female I have been hard pressed to find a committed Christian man who doesn’t check out the women next door or the pew next to us. I have been 100% committed. I am currently single because I refuse to subject myself to exactly what you are referring to. People either need to be committed or be single. If people want to gawk or frolic about, then they should stay single.

            I want to make a note that women are just as bad if not more so than men when it comes to lack of commitment in this area.

      • Tyler D. Andersen July 13, 2013 at 4:19 am #

        Well, Matt … I’m gay too. And I disagree with YOU. I wish to remain a Christian at large. God made me (and you) in His image. Period. I want to be happy. And you should too.

    • Maccabeus July 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Tyler D. Andersen wrote: “…YOU are denying the empirical truth that homosexuality is not a choice. It’s genetically assigned in the womb…”

      Could you provide some links to unbiased studies that have shown this to be absolute fact?

      I have found that Jeffrey Satinover’s “Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth” is a good introduction to how the various aspects of genetics, prenatal influences, postnatal influences, environment, brain plasticity, and personal “choice” (reinforcing behaviors) all do or don’t contribute to same-sex attraction. The broad brush statements of “They are born that way” (with the implication that it is good and God-pleasing) or “they choose to be that way” (with the implication that there are no other factors or forces at work besides carrying out a specific sexual act) all seem terribly uninformed and don’t address the actual circumstances of a given individual.

      In the end, the question is do we all hold to the Word of God in the face of our own struggles and temptations? Looking to Christ as Savior, trusting His grace to be sufficient in our trials, and seeking to be obedient to His guiding Word, even when — especially when — our fallen brains and bodies tempt us to do otherwise.

      • Tyler D. Andersen July 13, 2013 at 4:23 am #

        Well, Maccabeus, … I can tell you that you’re wrong. It IS biological. I’m in the medical profession. I should know.

  31. Margaret July 7, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    ‘ NOTHING can separate us from the love of God ‘

  32. Paula July 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Dear LCMS–

    You are just as guilty. You should find as much derision, contempt and sadness with regards to your own actions in the demise of the institution of marriage as you do with the LGBT community, or the SCOTUS or the divorced members of society or single mothers. Merely being faithful to God’s word and remaining in unity with fellow Christians does not absolve you from your responsibility to teach what a healthy, loving, and committed relationship looks like between two people.

    Now unless I was absent that Sunday, seeing as I have been a member of the LCMS for 50 years, I never once remember someone explicitly preaching from the pulpit or teaching in the Sunday School classroom or inviting congregants to attend a workshop as to what to look for in a life partner. You have failed terribly on this point. I simply do not understand that if this is such a critical and vital bond then why is the sanctity of this relationship not inculcated through the church’s teachings from an early age.

    The very fabric of what a traditional family looks like has changed. The church should be another tool by which a family is able learn how to foster a viable and healthy life partnering and it should start guiding congregants long before they even say their “I Do’s.” Sadly enough, skills for identifying what a suitable partner should look like are often not taught by parents. If this is such a hot button for the LCMS then step up to the plate and develop the curriculum.

    The very institution of marriage is continuously evolving due to societal changes that I must say are not all inherently bad. For instance, it is no longer necessary for a woman to marry just so that she is guaranteed a roof over her head and someone to take care of her. In fact, I think this evolution actually could be a benefit towards establishing a marriage of equally yoked partners and a foundation of purer love because marriage would no longer be one of necessity but one based on mutual love and a desire to form a bond.

    But it is my firm belief that the LCMS has not remained in step with our current culture. I am not asking you to change your beliefs. Rather, the Church has the opportunity to envelop the flock to keep it on the right path through education. My perception however is that when I do hear from the LCMS it is in the form of a passive-aggressive press release and is reactionary in nature rather than proactive. In short, I have just come to expect that the LCMS is just “bitchy” and turned into a bunch of mean spirited separatists that would rather exclude huge segments of the population than to actually seize the opportunity to reach people that need to hear God’s word.

    I find Rev Bart’s musings subjective rather than objective and in some cases just outright unfounded. I went to marriage counseling with my pastor prior to getting married. In hindsight the red flags were going off during each session that we met. Yet, the church agreed to marry us. I am divorced now. Judge me, hate me, stone me, whatever gets you through the night. The LCMS needs to stop rubbing my nose in it and blaming me as the reason for the demise of the institution marriage. God forgave me through the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ. You are not perfect either LCMS. But God also forgives you the LCMS for your shortcomings because maybe just maybe you are falling down on the job too.

    As for my LGBT brethren, I have nothing but love for you and a sensitivity for the challenges that you must face. I cannot and will not heap scorn and judgement upon you. You were created in God’s image as was I. We are united in that we all came from the same source.

    I am extremely disappointed and disillusioned when it comes to the LCMS and its very hands off approach towards explicity teaching, “This is what a Christian lifestyle looks like. These are the skills to use when navigating this world full of choices.” We are the “Frozen Chosen.” I cannot help but notice that more and more, the LCMS refuses to keep up with societal changes by seeking new methods for embracing the lost and needy and would rather ostracize and marginalize than inform. The very fact that we isolate ourselves and put up walls keeping those people that struggle with their identities and saddening circumstances and need us the most is just so distasteful and maddening. We would rather point the finger of blame than to actually try to make a difference in the world.

    There may never be a Supreme Court ruling with regards to the LCMS’ responsibility to teach, inform, guide, love, care for all people whether they are like us or not, but I am most certain that Jesus Christ would be the first one to have us sit at his feet to teach and guide us compassionately, bind up our broken hearts and give us second chances even when we fall short of His expectations.

    Peace out–

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