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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Agreeing on the big things

I had a conversation yesterday that warmed my heart. I had a chance to talk with a friend who disagrees with my take on the Bible and homosexuality. What was so exciting to me about this conversation was that this friend recognizes that this is a secondary issue that has been forced into the spotlight by the ELCA Assembly vote in August. Now churches and church leaders are in a position where they have to choose how to respond. My friend talked at some length about how things look from his perspective, and shared his bottom line stance.

"I have to do whatever will help our church be most effective in making Jesus known."

Here is a shining example of Jesus-focused wisdom. We can talk about secondary things and try to figure them out as time goes on. As someone who is committed both personally and professionally to the Bible's message -- both the broad picture and the specific details -- I have to say that the ELCA has compromised its commitment to biblical authority, and that compromise will bring consequences. In fact, it's already bringing consequences. Lutheran churches across the globe -- Guam, Kenya, the Czech Republic, and in the United States and other places -- have been distancing themselves from the ELCA since August. That process will continue, and we'll see many, many individuals and congregations leaving the denomination.

But my friend gives me hope that we can keep the main thing the main thing through all this.

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