God's Love Is Unconditional for Homosexuals (& Therefore for Everyone)

April 2007

The Rev. Bradley Schmeling told his bishop and his congregation about his homosexual orientation before he was hired as pastor of the oldest Lutheran church in Atlanta, Georgia. After he had been on the job, he announced that he found a homosexual partner. His congregation gave a party for him and his partner.

Bishop Ronald Warren of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) asked Schmeling to resign. Schmeling did not resign, so Warren started disciplinary action.

According to a report in the Guardian (Jan. 18), "The ELCA...bars unmarried clergy -- whether gay or straight -- from having sex. The denomination believes that sex is reserved for marriage, and marriage for heterosexual couples. Still, many Lutheran churches support ordaining partnered gays, and perform same-sex blessing ceremonies despite the policy.... In 2005, delegates to an ELCA national meeting rejected a proposal to allow sexually active gays and lesbians in committed, long-term relationships to be ordained. Schmeling and his supporters say the policy barring sexually active gay pastors is discriminatory by forcing them to refrain from sex, while heterosexuals only have to wait for marriage."


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New Oxford Notes: April 2007

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From what I understand, the ELCA is the LIBERAL branch of American Lutheranism, as opposed to the 'conservative' Missouri Synod. The former ordains women; the latter does not. Ten years ago, ELCA made an accord with the Episcopal Church. Yet, the Episcopal Church now has V. Gene Robinson. It's interesting how the ELCA appears to be going in the other direction... Posted by: jjackson
April 02, 2007 03:11 AM EDT
It seems to me, not only is God's love unconditional, but it is very convenient as well. I did not intend to upset anyone with my addition, just trying to be more compassionate -- and truthful. Posted by: fallace@optonline.net
April 02, 2007 09:23 AM EDT
My brother is an ELCA minister in Virginia, and he and his wife advocate all of the liberal doctrine(abortion, homosexual rights, ESCR) while at the same time damning the Iraq war, the only point with which I can agree with them, and which is, according to him, policy for the ELCA.

I remember when he and I were growing up, in the old LCA, we always referred to the Missouri Synods as the 'reactionaries down the street', and indeed the were considered as anti-Catholic as any Seventh-Day Adventist or Penticostal. However, how many times will one find a protestant magazine(I don't recall the name; I saw a copy at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque while waiting for an appointment) that refers to Our Lady as the 'Mother of God'? It was a publication of the LC-MS. I had to do a double-take to be absolutely sure.

In any case, My brother has fallen for the same fallacy that I see in other liberal denominations, and in some Catholics, more's the pity: That God loves every one, repentant or otherwise, and will not damn anyone. And that last part is correct-He doesn't do the damning. The sinner does.
Posted by: lyricmac
April 03, 2007 01:09 AM EDT
The term "unconditional love" is a fascinating rendering to me. The more so since my son [a cradle Catholic - now Lutheran] has found me lacking in it's special merits. I think it's Protestant at it's core. It was never used during his youth in a profoundly Catholic home. It is not scriptural [IMO] and is unheard of in most [but not all] Catholic discussions of God's love.

I have read what is available on the internet regarding the term. One Baptist [I think] minister disavowing what it tries to suggest, But, if any here know the genealogy of the term, I would appreciate a sharing of your resource.

I personally think it profoundly mis-states the real nature of God's love for all of His creation. But that's a much longer thread than is appropriate here...............JB
Posted by: Mayo-man
April 16, 2007 02:54 AM EDT
I AM NEW AT THIS AS A RECENT SUBSCRIBER,BUT...WHO CARES WHAT A LUTHERAN CHURCH DOES OR SAYS? ARE ACTIVE LUTHERAN HOMOSEXUALS DIFFERENT THAN ACTIVE EPISCOPALIAN HOMOSEXUALS? ALL ARE APOSTATES AND HERETICS. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE HAS ITS CONCEPTUAL ORIGINS IN THE GRATUTIOUS GRACE, LONG MISUNDERSTOOD BY HERETICS SINCE AUGUSTINE AND BY PROTESTANTS SINCE LUTHER. I NOTE A GOOD DEAL OF INTEREST IN THE VARIETY OF ERRORS AND MISTAKES OF THOSE WHO REJECT THE ONE TRUE CHURCH, BUT WHY DO ALL YOU CATHOLICS CARE?OF GREATER IMPORTANCE IS RIDDING THE CHURCH OF SILENT HERETICS WITHIN BY INSTRUCTING THEM. Posted by: VMANNING
May 21, 2007 02:36 PM EDT
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