ELCA action causes 'concern' in LCMS

In an Aug. 13 memo to Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod leaders, Synod President Gerald B. Kieschnick wrote that news of an action of the 2007 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly just two days earlier “troubles me greatly and is causing serious concern and consternation among the members and leaders of the … LCMS.”

Kieschnick’s reference was to the assembly’s Aug. 11 adoption of a resolution — by a vote of 538 to 431 — that “prays, urges, and encourages [ELCA geographical] synods, synodical bishops, and the presiding bishop to refrain from or demonstrate restraint in disciplining those rostered leaders in a mutual, chaste, and faithful committed same-gender relationship who have been called and rostered in this church.”

“We in the LCMS hold firmly to the conviction that, according to the Holy Bible, homosexual behavior is ‘intrinsically sinful,’ ” Kieschnick wrote in the memo.  “We are deeply disappointed that the ELCA, by its decision, has failed to act in keeping with the historic and universal understanding of the Christian church regarding what Holy Scripture teaches about homosexual behavior as contrary to God’s will and about the biblical qualifications for holding the pastoral office.”

On Friday, Aug. 10, Kieschnick conveyed greetings to the ELCA churchwide assembly on behalf of the Synod, saying that “every initiative and every directive of the church must be guided and empowered by the Word of God.”

The assembly, meeting in the convention facilities at Chicago’s Navy Pier, included some 1,069 voting members.  ELCA churchwide assemblies are held every two years.

For the full text of Kieschnick’s Aug. 13 memo, click here.

Posted Aug. 20, 2007

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