The ELCA Churchwide Assembly just rejected (9:30 AM Central) a substitute motion that would have overturned the proposal to allow the rostering of active homosexual clergy. There is good news and bad news in this action.
Of course, overall this is bad news. The floor voted 2 to 1 rejecting this substitute motion. That implies that the same basic ratio will apply later this morning or this afternoon when the question is called on the main motion. So following up on their motion on Wednesday which allows practicing homosexuals to do so without guilt, they will now approve of having practicing homosexuals on the clergy roster of the ELCA.
The silver lining on this dark cloud of idolatry, worshipping human reason over God’s word, is the numerous speeches by the minority speaking against this idolatry. Many of the minority view speakers called the ELCA back to scripture. They also recognized the false theology of conscience that the ELCA is using to support this heresy. A word about this conscience argument may help the Brothers of John the Steadfast and our other readers appreciate this deceptive tool of Satan.
Luther stated in his battle against Rome that he was bound by conscience to stay the course. Of course, Luther’s conscience was bound by Scripture as he clearly stated at the Diet of Worms. In the nineteenth century liberals within Christianity began to subject the authority of Scripture to the authority of human reason. This is the so-called scientific turn in culture. In the twentieth century trust in scientific progress began to wane but the liberals did not mis a stride. They simply replaced trust in scientific reason with trust in extreme individualism. This turn to the individual is characterized by the rise in psychology, existentialist philosophy and finally the anti-authoritarianism of the 1960’s.
It is this turn to the individual that the ELCA and other liberal denominations are embracing in place of Scripture. In other words, if my conscience says it is so, it must be so. They are now re-writing history and claiming that this was Luther’s insight. Of course it was not. The conservative speakers at the mics have tried to convince the ELCA assembly that Luther was not bound to pure conscience but conscience bound by Scripture as we are in the LCMS.
If time allows I will update you on the final vote but it is clear how that vote will turn out based on the failure of the substitute motion this morning.