Atlanta’s oldest Lutheran church celebrated their pastor this weekend, who is at the center of a battle over the treatment of "gay" clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
"Schmeling became a focus of the ELCA’s debate over gay clergy when he was removed from the church’s clergy roster last year after he told his bishop that he was in a relationship with a man.
"A disciplinary committee decided it had no choice but to defrock Schmeling and order him out of the pulpit due to a policy that excludes gay, bisexual and transgendered persons in relationships from the ordained ministry.
"However, the committee also suggested that the church consider reinstating gay clergy forced to step down because of their relationships. And it concluded that, aside from his relationship, Schmeling had proved he is worthy of his title."
Aside from his relationship, he has proved worthy of his title? You mean the relationship which is condemned in the Scriptures as an abomination before God? Other than the fact that he is making a daily practice of lawlessness which, the apostle Paul said, would prevent him from inheriting the kingdom of heaven, he has proven to be a fine pastor?
Wouldn’t the man whose heart was set in love on the Lord his God, read these passages of Scripture, which reveal the Lord’s heart, mind, and will concerning this particular type of immorality, and be rent with remorse at the revelation of his own sin, and repent, turning from it by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ? If someone were unaware of these passages, then he is not well- versed in Scripture, or if he has read them, and continues in sin, then he has (temporarily) closed his heart and mind to the admonition of Scripture. In either case, I would not call such a candidate worthy of the title of pastor. But that is just me.
Perhaps there is a reason the elders of yesterday instituted the defrocking policy in the ELCA, and if today’s leaders do not know or understand that reason, then the ELCA is headed for the same dance of death with the world that the Episcopalians have fallen for.
I seem to recall Israel was not content to serve the Lord either, and went after the gods of the nations around them. If we say of them, "How could they have done such a thing," are we not doing the same thing? Are not tolerance of sin and the desire to appear wise in the eyes of man gods of this world? Paul’s instruction, that what happened to Israel serves as an example to us, is still so pertinent after all this time.
It is not that I don’t have compassion for someone trapped in a horrible deception. May the Lord have mercy and deliver them. But Church, WAKE UP! Do not leave your First Love, and do not leave the Word of the Living God, which is the only plumb line we have to tell us whether we are on course or not!