Thursday, August 11, 2005
The Lutherans and Gay Relationships
|Inching towards acceptance:|
Miami Herald"More than 400 delegates and observers crowded into a hotel meeting room, where Lutheran leaders invited comments about proposals on blessing same-sex unions and ordaining gays who are not celibate.
The Rev. Robert Goldstein, a gay minister at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chicago, wore a rainbow sash around his cleric's collar as he urged delegates to ''go beyond the justice of incrementalism'' and remove all limits on gay leadership in the denomination.
''I'm a gay pastor in this church. I serve faithfully. I love it,'' he said. ``Our church must go beyond institutionalizing fear.''
Yet there is some acceptance.
Turmoil over what the Bible says about gay sex has created rifts in Protestant denominations for years. The global Anglican Communion is struggling to stay together after its U.S. province, the Episcopal Church, confirmed its first openly gay bishop two years ago.
Affirm the church ban on ordaining sexually active gays and lesbians, but allow bishops and church districts called synods to seek an exception for a particular candidate if that person is in a committed relationship and meets other conditions.
I think the important point is that the proposal suggests that individual groups may ask for an exception. This is important because there are some areas that are accepting of gay relationships and they can do what suits their congregation. I do think that as people become less worried by a different relationship, there will be more acceptance. There are many actions prohibited in the Bible that we overlook as antiquated or not useful in our world today. Gay relationships will eventually become one of those.