N.C. Lutherans debate gay clergy

Meeting in Salisbury could be move toward schism

SALISBURY, N.C. — Hundreds of Lutherans from across the state met at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Monday to discuss their opposition to a recent denominational vote allowing partnered gay and lesbian people to serve as clergy, the Salisbury Post reported.

FYI…

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
www.elca.org

LutheranCORE
www.lutherancore.org

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
www.lcmc.net

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
www.splcweb.org

On Aug. 19, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) adopted a new social statement on sexuality. The statement, approved by delegates 676 (66.67 percent) to 338 (33.33 percent) , allows single and partnered gay and lesbian people to serve as clergy. In the statement, the 4.8 million member denomination pledged to “recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships.”

In response, the 450 North Carolina clergy and laypeople voted unanimously to form a Lutheran Coalition for Renewal (CORE) group in the state. Lutheran CORE is a national network of clergy and laypeople who believe the church has fallen into heresy as it becomes more inclusive of LGBT worshipers.

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The meeting was organized by Lasting Word (Lutherans Affirming Scriptural Truth as God’s Word). Formed in 2003, the local reform group joined Lutheran CORE in December 2007.

Bill Sullivan, a representative of the conservative splinter association Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), was the main speaker during the two-hour meeting.

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“What’s happening here is happening around the country,” Sullivan said, according to the Post. “I know the pain and struggle you are going through. If you should decide to leave the ELCA, we are there for you.”

LCMC has more than 230 member congregations in eight countries. Nearly 190 are represented in 38 U.S. states, including one in North Carolina and three in South Carolina. Some of its congregations are still affiliated with the ELCA.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

3 Replies to “N.C. Lutherans debate gay clergy”

  1. A closer review of the vote would not have reflected unanimity. There was no opportunity for abstention. Many had come not as members of LASTing Word, but rather as observers, and were therefore not prepared to vote or even to be included in a vote. Greater clarity would have been appreciated.

  2. How sad that those who don’t like a decision of the church want to “pack up their marbles and..” In all my years there have been plenty of times that I did not agree with my church-locally and nationally. Nevertheless, that’s where I’m rooted. We are one in Christ, remember?

  3. Yes, we are one in Christ… Ask yourself this, “What would Jesus do?” Hmm… He will love and WELCOME everyone that follows him. I am a member of an ELCA congregation where my pastor is gay and in a monogamous same-gender relationship. I wouldn’t change a thing about him. I can honestly say that I have grown closer to Christ since he joined our church. It would be a real loss for many people if he couldn’t continue being a pastor. You know, if we took everything that the Bible says, literally, none of us would be worthy…. We are all human. Everyone deserves to love and be loved. For the record: I’m a heterosexual married woman with two children.

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