The Evangelical Lutheran Church In Kenya’s Statement On The Evangelical Lutheran Church In America’s Resolution On Same Sex Marriage

(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:

  1. that the church body involved in this act (ELCA) is not associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya;
  2. 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;
  3. that we condemn sexual perversion in all its manifestations;
  4. 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;
  5. that God’s plan and purpose of marriage is fulfilled only in heterosexual (one man – one woman) life long commitment;
  6. that this act by the ELCA constitutes a loveless and callous disregard of the spiritual condition of those caught in homosexual bondage; and
  7. 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
Lake Diocese

Rev. Bishop Thomas Asiago
South West Diocese

Most Rev. Dr. Walter Obare

Rev. John Halakhe
General Secretary

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


The Evangelical Lutheran Church In Kenya’s Statement On The Evangelical Lutheran Church In America’s Resolution On Same Sex Marriage — 10 Comments

  1. Archbishop Obare will be a guest of the Northern Illinois East Region pastoral conference in a couple weeks. He will be speaking on “Joyfully Confessing Lutheranism in a Pluralistic World”. Can’t wait.

  2. But isn’t the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya a member church of the Lutheran World Federation?

    And if so, doesn’t that make their point 1 above, that they are not associated with the ELCA, kind of disingenuous?

  3. Yes, they are a member of the LWF and will remove themselves from the LWF in the future. The goal is to have the members of the ELCK make the decision together rather than remove themselves from the LWF as a reaction to their treatment of the Bishop. It is important that we don’t assume guilt by association. Look at our Church and we are not a part of the LWF.

  4. If the SP said what the General Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya said – “we call upon the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to repent of its apostasy from the truth” – it wouldn’t leave much room for continuing ‘cooperation in externals’ with the _ _ _ A.

  5. Bishop Obare is a courageous man. He ordained several ministers who were against women’s ordination recently in Sweden (I think it was Sweden). It was an “in your face” act, in defiance of the LWF. YOu can read his sermon on the CTSFW website. It’s a bit difficult to get to, but it’s an admirable sermon. Should be required reading.

    His speech to the 2004 Synodical Convention, following our vote to establish fellowship with Kenya Ev. Luth. Church was, to many (and me), the high point of the convention.
    We need more Obare’s in the LCMS! I don’t know if that particular speech is still available, but it’s worth reading if you can find it. May be in 2004 proceedings.

  6. As a member of the ELCA, I have to say that this statement summarizes everything I believe and confess to be true according to God’s most Holy Word. Many of us, lay and rostered within the ELCA, are working diligently to solve the problem of our membership status. Some of our congregations have already withdrawn, some pastors have done the same, some pastors and congregations have declared themselves to be in a State of Confession with the ELCA, some congregations are redirecting their benevolence away from the churchwide body and earmarking it directly to certain causes, some of us are working within Lutheran CORE, some of us are in conversation with local LCMS leadership, (at least) one synod is working on calling a special synod assembly for the purpose of examining our relationship to the ELCA (perhaps become a confessing, independent synod), etc. Pastors and laity (like myself) are working to promote and uphold the authority of scripture and to seek a resolution to this problem. Most of us will likely not continue with a membership in a church body that so blatantly ignores the teaching of God as revealed clearly in the Bible.
    I so appreciate the prayers and support from Kenya for us in the ELCA who are ashamed of the actions of the churchwide assembly. I ask everyone’s prayers for us in the work of Christ.

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