i’m going to preface this by saying that i haven’t done a WHOLE lot of research on this, but i’ve done a little. i’m also going off what i’ve heard from some people. i also don’t belong to this particular denomination so again, this is a bit of a toughie to write on but at the same time, i’ve been hearing about this issue for quite some time and it continues to appall me, so i may be about to stick my foot in my mouth. those who know more and feel i’m VERY wrong in what i’m saying, speak up. i’d love to hear what you have to say.
apparently, the ELCA is attempting to add or has successfully added a homosexual inclusion type clause – allowing homosexuals to pastor and lead churches, to be in relationships and the like with the full blessing of the church. now, call me a crazy conservative or a gay basher or ignorant or whatever, but to me that doesn’t seem quite right. it has nothing to do with the fact that they’re gay, per se, or that i’m homophobic. that simply isn’t true. however, i do feel that allowing this kind of thing is going DIRECTLY AGAINST what the Bible teaches. the last time i checked, this was a Christian denomination that views the Bible as the Living Word of God etc, etc, but i find it hard to believe that they FULLY believe that in light of this decision or amendment.
i’m a very accepting and non-judgmental person, but i have my beliefs and i stand beside them – no matter how unpopular. for people to start throwing out blanket statements like ‘the church is homophobic’ or ‘mass homophobia because of religion’ is highly offensive to me (and from what i read, to other people as well). though there IS probably some truth to that second statement – religion IS judgmental. religion is rules, practices, rituals, generally impersonal as a means to an end, generally to incur the favor of whatever or whomever you worship. that’s fine if your object of worship is a tree or some animal or the like. that particular definition does NOT work when who you worship is the Living God. religion does NOTHING to appease Him. it’s about having a thriving, living relationship with Him in which He pours Himself out to you. it’s the same as any other relationship – hard work, it takes connection and communication, submission, adoration. if you call yourself a religious person and practice religion, don’t call out other people who do not have the same view.
i’m not going to say that Christianity is perfect. it is NOT by any stretch because there are FAR too many people out there who are living the religion of Christianity and tainting its image, its name, everything it stands for. there aren’t enough people out there who truly understand what it means to live ‘in Christ’ and to daily strive to become more ‘Christ-like’. there are too many people who live on one spectrum or the other of the Bible. either they live entirely in the grace and mercy side or they live entirely in the law and truth. NEITHER STANCE CAN WORK!! you MUST have a blend of grace and truth, mercy and law. if you don’t or can’t accept the law and the truth, how can you even think of calling yourself a Christian? if you can’t accept grace and mercy, how can you even think of calling yourself a Christian? Jesus was a blend of grace and mercy AND law and truth. Jesus called people out when they were out of line, He upheld the Old Testament. how is it that now we feel we can rewrite and reinterpret what the Bible says? how is it that we now can go back and say things like ‘the people in this time didn’t have a word for homosexuality like we know now’. does it REALLY matter? are we hinging an argument on a TECHNICALITY?! are we trying to interpret Scripture by a TECHNICALITY?!
i mostly try to stay out of arguments such as this because for the most part, in my experience, the most vehement and vocal are precisely those who don’t know what they’re talking about. they are those who have their beliefs but do not know the foundation of their beliefs to be anything other than a gut feeling. unfortunately, feelings are misleading. the heart is deceptive. religion is what you make of it – religion can be molded to fit the beliefs of anyone – any person. so many people have started religions but few, one, have begun a faith. Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of our faiths and before we dare open our mouths and start judging people because they don’t align with our sense of religion, we’d better check it out with the author of our FAITH. we better check it out and see what He has to say. if we claim to be Christians but don’t uphold the teachings of Christ, what are we? posers, fakers, riding on the biggest coattails in history. understand and know what you believe before you open your mouth. understand and know where your belief COMES FROM before you open your mouth. though religion has no place on this earth, it has been given one and too many people are being led astray by religion.