The fall-out continues from last Friday’s vote by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to allow homosexual clergy.
Not surprisingly, the reaction echoes that witnessed when the Anglican church ordained its first homosexual bishop. A schism, within the Anglican church in the U.S. and abroad, took place.
Immediately following the ELCA’s decision, Lutheran leaders from both Asia and Africa denounced the decision, showing that those very places where the church is experiencing growth are also those places where the faithful are trying to hold onto the church’s traditional teachings.
Here in the U.S., parishes have responded as well. St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Charleston, WV decided to cover up the word “Lutheran” on their outdoor sign.
The other major Lutheran bodies, not affiliated with the ELCA, denounced the decision. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) all made statements regarding the ELCA vote.
“Ordaining practicing homosexuals and lesbians to the ministry is a serious departure from the Biblical standards of morality to which Lutherans and Lutheran pastors have historically been held,” said Rev. John Moldstad, president of the ELS.
In 2001, LCMS president Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick said that the ELCA was no longer an “orthodox Lutheran body.”