On December 30, 2009, the Toledo Blade printed a letter from a Mr. Baumgartner of Bluffton, Oh., saying that St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Maumee was "judgmental" because most of their members voted to pull out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America "because that denomination approved allowing its pastors to be homosexual."
He says "Jesus's message of love was not selective and indeed encompassed society's rejects, the poor, and the scorned."
True enough. So why does that mean homosexuals should pastor churches?
He says, the church is "ignoring Jesus' express, vital, institution-defying, inclusive teachings of love, which never judges and is unconditional."
Well, true enough that the love is unconditional. But righteousness has Biblical definition and homosexuality is biblically defined as "an abomination", i.e. sin in God's sight.
As for judging, Jesus said He is going to judge and separate His sheep from the goats on the basis of their compassionate works toward the poor and imprisoned --or lack thereof. We know elsewhere in scripture that we are saved by faith and not by works --and yet, "faith without works is dead."
We are to repent of sin as Christians --and not continue in willful, unrepentant doings. A practicing homosexual in the pulpit would be doing just that --willfully unrepentant and therefore not qualified to lead Christ's flock.
Ah, but Mr. B. wants us to know that science is sure that homosexuality is congenital --from the womb --intrinsic like left-handedness. That's one theory --which has not been proven. Another idea is that since we see some homosexual activity in nature among other life forms, it must be "natural" among humans. Yet, humans have always prided themselves on not being animals. Promiscuous creatures, predators and those who eat their young and hump your leg are ALSO found in nature. Doesn't make it right for humans. Many psychologists believe there are environmental/experiencial reasons why people are homosexual. Just as a pedophile has often been a victim of pedophilia himself, so a homosexual has been influenced in various ways to have abnormal sexual interest. Compassion is an appropriate response for the Christian toward the homosexual as toward all sinners; condoning homosexual acts is not.
Until Christ gives me a clear message otherwise, I will continue to theorize that homosexuality resembles adultery, pedophilia, incest, and rape -- sexual temptations to avoid at the first inkling. I believe we can bar the mind's door to illicit sexual thoughts and activities and not have any of these addictions. Granted, heterosexual inclination is VERY strong in most people --as God intended. He DESIGNED woman for man to fulfill that sexual need in covenanted marriage. Sodomy, however, is NOT His design for sexual union.
A pastor or church elder should be, as the Bible says, the husband of one wife--or celibate like Christ and Paul.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church has made a Biblical decision while the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has not.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible