Saturday, August 22, 2009

WWJD? Not What We Do, That's for Sure

I read today that the Evangelical Lutheran church (the largest in the denomiation) has relaxed its previous policy to now allow openly gay men and women serve as clergy. The resolution declared that people in “publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships” could now be official ministers. (Celibate gays were already admitted to the ministry.) The Lutherans reached this decision after studying and pondering it for eight years. Only a few weeks ago, the Episcopalian Church in the U.S. endorsed an identical policy. Apparently the Presbyterians are leaning this direction also. But not the Methodists, who are strongly on record against this.

Naturally, the move has been roundly condemned by the conservatives in the church. Not a surprise. People have threatened to split off from the church and form their own. Not a surprise there either. Episcopalians have already done the same over the installation of an openly gay "married" bishop several months ago.

Just a couple of observations: No matter what, the Christians, supposedly followers of Jesus by any name, can always find any number of issues to squabble and fight about. But this particular issue is certainly not an issue to be splitting up churches over.* Somehow I don't see the Jesus of the gospels getting too overwrought about this issue . . . certainly not with major wars and civil wars raging all over the planet, when millions of people are starving, when unmet human needs across the globe are crying out for his attention. I seriously doubt he's going to get concerned about two people living in fidelity with each other in a committed relationship of love. And if this is the case, why should we be concerned?

*If a person is genetically hard-wired to be a homosexual, what's the issue? But then that's a whole 'nother post.
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