Thursday, August 20, 2009

ELCA accepts Homosexuality, Romans 1, and Avoiding Sin

I had written this long triumphalistic post about how much better Catholicism was than Protestantism because of this decision and how bankrupt Protestant Moral Theology was, but then I deleted it, realizing that the destruction of another ecclesial community isn't something to be celebrated (unless they're returning to the one Church).

The ELCA has joined the ranks of the Episcopal Church (with whom they are in full communion) and allowed homosexuality as a Christian lifestyle.

Lord have mercy...

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious towards parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practise such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practise them." - Romans 1:18-32

This is actually one of my favourite passages in the Bible because it so clearly outlines Natural Theology (v. 20) and the universal guilt of humanity. Romans 1 is what the world needs to hear today. and the tradition of Catholic spirituality focuses so much on avoiding both sin and the 'near occasion' of sin because of this deep truth. It's an important part of Augustinian Christianity:

"God, O Lord, grant me the power to overcome sin. For this is what you gave to us when you granted us free choice of will. If I choose wrongly, then I shall be justly punished for it. Is that not true, my Lord, of whom I indebted for my temporal existence? Thank you, Lord, for granting me the power to will my self not to sin."
-St. Augustine

Living in sin is living in falsehood, it is exchanging the truth for a lie.

May God's grace lead us to Sacred Scripture and the Church of Christ and aid us in exchanging the lies in our life for the truth of God. May God's grace turn us to Christ, lead us to repent of our sin, and follow in the grace of the Spirit the command to "Go your way, and from now on do not sin" (Jn 8:11)

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