Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Come out or stay in?

In another dust-up over clerical sexuality, dozens of gay and lesbian Evangelical Lutheran clergy and seminarians revealed their sexuality yesterday at the biennial convention in Chicago. At issue is whether same-sex oriented clergy must remain celibate. A third of the ELCA's 65 synods (regional districts) have supported dropping the celibacy requirement, though the convention as a whole reaffirmed it in 2005, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of ELCA bishops permit clergy in relationships to continue serving, though the bishops could face disciplinary action themselves.

The question the Lutherans have to ask themselves, of course, is: Does it really matter? Is sex and sexuality really the determining factor when evaluating a pastor or candidate for ministry?

Catholics don't get to dodge that one either. And I know what my answer is. We've been ably served by gay men and women for generations, whether we've known it or not. It's time to start acknowledging it.

Lutheran CORE, which opposes any change in policy, summarizes its position on the Lutheran Churches of the Common Confession blog:

"Ultimately, we do not believe we have the right as Christians to vote on whether or not we will accept the clear teachings of Holy Scripture. Especially when an overwhelming majority of Christians through the ages and across the world have understood the texts of the Bible regarding same-sex relationships in their plain sense, we have to say, "our conscience is captive to the Word of God; unless we are convinced by clear Scripture and evident reason therefrom, we cannot and will not recant."

I imagine all the women of CORE are veiled at services, and none of them presume to teach men. All part of the "plain sense" of scripture, you know...



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