(Editor’s Note: We thank Holger Sonntag for forwarding this to us.)
This is the statement of the General Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya on 25 September 2009, in Kapenguria, on the decision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to roster among her clergy those who are in same sex marital unions.
We, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, have received with shock, dismay and disappointment, the news that the ELCA, in her Churchwide Assembly held on 21 August 2009, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, resolved officially to open the door of the office of the public ministry to those who are in “committed” same gender sexual relations. We, therefore, would like the general public, particularly the Church of Christ here in Kenya and elsewhere in the world, to take note of the following:
- that the church body involved in this act (ELCA) is not associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya;
- that we condemn in the strongest terms possible this unfortunate and anti-scriptural development in a church body that bears the name of the great reformer, Dr. Martin Luther;
- that we condemn sexual perversion in all its manifestations;
- that same sex marital union is not only contrary to God’s will as clearly expressed in the Holy Scripture, but also repugnant to the natural created social order;
- that God’s plan and purpose of marriage is fulfilled only in heterosexual (one man – one woman) life long commitment;
- that this act by the ELCA constitutes a loveless and callous disregard of the spiritual condition of those caught in homosexual bondage; and
- that, most seriously of all, it is nothing less than a denial of the transformative power of the love we know in our Savior Jesus Christ, Who seeks all sinners in order to restore them to communion with the Father through the ministrations of His Holy Spirit in Word and sacrament.
Therefore, we must confess the Word of God and be faithful to it. In the name of our crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to repent of its apostasy from the truth. We feel compassion for those among us who are caught in homosexual bondage and want them to know the transforming power of God’s forgiveness and love. Thus we hereby dedicate ourselves anew into the service of Him Who came to serve us sinners, including those caught in homosexual bondage, and Who by the power of His cross and resurrection creates in us a new will to please Him in patterns of living that are chaste and pure. In saying these things, we are standing with our fellow redeemed in the great consensus of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church, particularly with those church bodies in the International Lutheran Council. We acknowledge there are many Christians within ELCA itself who are offended by the action of their church body, and we want them to be assured of our prayers and support.
Signed this 25th day of September 2009:
Rev. Bishop William Lopeta
North West Diocese
Rev. Bishop Richard Amayo
Rev. Bishop Thomas Asiago
South West Diocese
Most Rev. Dr. Walter Obare
Rev. John Halakhe