Special message just for Lutherans

In August of this year, a major Lutheran denomination voted to permit gays and lesbians in "lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to be approved for professional service" in that denomination. They also voted to allow "congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships."

To be sure, there are some who welcome these actions. They believe it represents a compassionate response to a group people who have been marginalized because of their sexual orientation. For them, this is a decision whose time has come.

However, many other Lutherans are troubled by these decisions, believing that they violate a clear, simple reading of the Bible's prohibition of homosexual behavior. They wonder what this means for the future of the Lutheran Church in America, and how they should respond.

What does this mean for the future of the Lutheran Church in America?

No one should be surprised by the steps denomination took, as if it were something "out of the blue." It is the logical conclusion of a line of thinking that asks, "Did God really say...?" But to say that it is the "conclusion" of a line of thinking might be misleading. In reality, it is the "latest version" of this line of thinking. We should expect to see more like it.

This particular denomination is probably correct in thinking that such actions will make it more appealing to certain like-minded people. But no one should be misled into thinking that it is in the mainstream of traditional Lutheran thinking. It is not. This action, and others like it, is a repudiation in all but name of what the Lutheran church has historically taught. Luther would probably not recognize the church that bears his name. A fair reading of his writings bears this out.

How should Lutherans respond who are disturbed by these actions?

Some will choose to stay in their congregations and denomination, hoping to be able to work for change within the system. To them, we say, "Good luck!" Hundreds and thousands of others have tried the same thing. In vain.

Others will stay, hoping that whatever happens won't effect them. To them, we say, "Wake up!" The currents of change within this denomination will not be content to allow islands of opposition to go un-challenged.

Some will choose to leave the Lutheran church altogether, and affiliate with a Bible-believing church of a different denomination or affiliation. To them, we say, "Please don't go!" Over the years, the larger Lutheran church has been empoverished because many, many faithful, Bible-believing Lutherans have walked out the door.

Others will join Lutheran churches of different synods (the word "synod" refers to a group of like-minded churches affiliated together). One is unable to find a Lutheran denomination to the theological (and political) left of the one that took these actions. The only alternatives are those Lutheran synods that have attempted to remain faithful to the Bible (as historically understood and interpreted) and the original foundations of Lutheranism. Many churches of these affiliations are eager to welcome fellow-Lutherans. Most Bible-believing Lutheran synods have written positions on the issues of homosexuality, marriage, and ordination. At the bottom of this page, you'll find links to a number of these synods. From there, you can find files on their positions on these issues.

As you'll read on the main page of our beliefs, we believe and teach what the Bible says about these issues as Lutherans have understood them for nearly 500 years. If you live in the Denver metro area, and are troubled by what has taken place in recent months, please visit us. We'd be honored to have you join us as we reach out to lost and hurting people.

A special note to our friends struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction

Lutheran synods or affiliations

Only those groups with congregations in the Denver metro area are listed. For a more comprehensive list of synods or associations with churches throughout North America, visit here or here.

The American Association of Lutheran Churches

The Lutheran Church - Misouri Synod

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Church of the Lutheran Brethren

Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ