Dear Friends in Faith –
It’s not often that the attention of most Christian congregations is focused on a matter of doctrine or scriptural interpretation. Mostly, when parishes have a big meeting it is to debate about budgets or carpeting decisions.
We will be holding a congregational meeting on October 9th to vote on a resolution prepared by a task force of 15 Faith members and approved by the Faith Congregation Council. This will be a matter of doctrine and scriptural interpretation. Here is the resolution we will be presented with for a vote:
“Same sex couples will be allowed to be married at Faith Lutheran Church following the same pre-marriage requirements as heterosexual couples”
We have been approaching this issue with prayer and Bible study and conversation. OUR GOAL IS TO DO WHAT JESUS WOULD HAVE US DO!
That shouldn’t sound strange to anybody, because (to quote the communion liturgy) it is “the duty and delight” of the church: to do what Jesus would have us do.
I have not seen a pole lately on what the American public in general thinks about the rightness of same gender marriage. I do know that attitudes are changing. I’m certain that not long ago a solid majority of Americans would have said this is wrong. Now, perhaps not. It does not matter.
The Bible says: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]
We have been studying the Word of God together to see what is said there about this issue. I don’t know any other safe basis for a Christian to ground their faith and moral decisions on.
Without exception, Jesus is always expanding the borders of “the chosen people”; to gentiles, to women, to slaves, to the blind and lamb, to the poor and oppressed. THAT – as a fundamental principle – is WHAT JESUS WOULD HAVE US DO.
The only question left then is, does the scripture place homosexuals in a category of those that can’t be included in the borders of the church. The answer to that question is what we have been so diligent to seek by studying the Bible.
I BELIEVE THAT THOSE WHO STUDY THE BIBLE CAREFULLY, SERIOUSLY, AND WITH AN OPENNESS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL FIND NO BASIS FOR EXCLUDING PERSONS FROM THE BODY OF CHRIST ON THE BASIS OF THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
If, before our congregational vote comes, you are concerned about Faith’s fidelity to its Lord, Jesus Christ, I ask and encourage you to come and talk with one of your pastors. We need to know, together, that this vote is about doing what we believe God is calling us to do.
“Pr. Bob” Moberg