A gay Lutheran bishop?

What the Episcopal church in the USA is going through, the state Lutheran church in Germany is facing: Prospect of gay Lutheran bishop divides Germans . He hasn’t been elected yet, but he is one of two candidates.

We confessional types have pretty much written off the state Lutheran churches of Europe. Having a gay bishop is the least of their problems compared to (and related to) the watering down of Scriptural authority and related liberalisms.

HT: Glenn Moots

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I guess I don’t understand what (some) Germans are opposed to at this point. Is it just the “ick” factor? Cultural mores? It certainly seems to have nothing to do with biblical teaching, at this point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I guess I don’t understand what (some) Germans are opposed to at this point. Is it just the “ick” factor? Cultural mores? It certainly seems to have nothing to do with biblical teaching, at this point.

  • Bruce

    Biblical teaching? Maybe most European churchgoers don’t pay much attention to that. That’s for the elite. But a GAY bishop!! Now THAT they can understand. Maybe this incarnation of the European church’s theology will move some to look closer at the theology.
    One can hope, eh?

  • Bruce

    Biblical teaching? Maybe most European churchgoers don’t pay much attention to that. That’s for the elite. But a GAY bishop!! Now THAT they can understand. Maybe this incarnation of the European church’s theology will move some to look closer at the theology.
    One can hope, eh?

  • fw

    Ok.

    So what is missing here? What if the bishop is gay and celebate? Would that make a difference? Could even the LCMS have gay pastors and district presidents who are gay if those men are celebate (in fact, as most district presidents and pastors know, the LCMS does in fact have more than a few gay pastors…not to mention congregational members. I am one!)

    There is a definitional problem here. Some christians assume that the word “homosexual” =the sodom and gomorrah story and romans chapter 1. As a Man who is Christian by God’s Will and Gay as a matter not of choice, I can say sincerely that NO one who knows me would identify me with the sodom and gomorrah story or romans one. Not even close. I can confidently say that those two parts of the bible do not reflect generally what the experience of being gay looks like in any way whatsoever. So what we have here is false doctrine actually masquerading as some sort of moral stand.

    if Challenged, I would say that most “conservative” christians could not come up with a definition of what the terms “homosexual”, “Gay” or “gay lifestyle” or “gay agenda” actually mean objectively and clinically(as opposed to emotionally and viscerally). in point of fact “gay agenda” and “gay lifestyle” don’t seem to mean anything objective whatsoever. They only have visceral meaning and are word tools used to alarm and so raise funding for certain groups that we are all aware of here.

    Heck I could even imagine a christian gay pastor or bishop who is partnered. As a gay man I can say honestly (!) that I would not be able to guess what they did in bed. there are many gay couples who never do more than kissing and frottage and of course trade love and mutual affection and respect. that is a fact. And I would not venture to label those activities as sin. Even if between two men. Yuck factor does not equal sin. and couples in their 70s look alot like hetero couples in their 70s. companionship becomes the main thing that binds. I have trouble finding the sin in any of that.

    None of this even comes close to approximating running around “burning with and consumed by lust”. Boring stuff actually. Nothing that would sell a tabloid or be a fundraising device for the Dr Dobson crowd. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” sometimes seems to best approximate the 8th commandment and rules of christian decency and modest. It is not my job to ferrett out peoples secret sins. I can only hope that they avail themselves of private confession if they are christians.

    I hope that some day, the church will be able to separate itself from societal constructs enough to rightly divide things, and so more effectively be able to call sin for what it truly is with authority.

    I wish this because I want my beloved mother church to be equipped to reach out with the Holy Gospel to people in my situation by refraining from painting the human existence of some as sin with a brush that is wildly indiscriminate and extremely broad.

    and Dr Vieth here is correct. The anglicans have tolerated bishops who deny EVERY part of the holy faith for a more than a few decades…. and those men have been tolerated. Now this homosexual issue is the one dividing their ranks. What is it that I am missing here?

  • fw

    Ok.

    So what is missing here? What if the bishop is gay and celebate? Would that make a difference? Could even the LCMS have gay pastors and district presidents who are gay if those men are celebate (in fact, as most district presidents and pastors know, the LCMS does in fact have more than a few gay pastors…not to mention congregational members. I am one!)

    There is a definitional problem here. Some christians assume that the word “homosexual” =the sodom and gomorrah story and romans chapter 1. As a Man who is Christian by God’s Will and Gay as a matter not of choice, I can say sincerely that NO one who knows me would identify me with the sodom and gomorrah story or romans one. Not even close. I can confidently say that those two parts of the bible do not reflect generally what the experience of being gay looks like in any way whatsoever. So what we have here is false doctrine actually masquerading as some sort of moral stand.

    if Challenged, I would say that most “conservative” christians could not come up with a definition of what the terms “homosexual”, “Gay” or “gay lifestyle” or “gay agenda” actually mean objectively and clinically(as opposed to emotionally and viscerally). in point of fact “gay agenda” and “gay lifestyle” don’t seem to mean anything objective whatsoever. They only have visceral meaning and are word tools used to alarm and so raise funding for certain groups that we are all aware of here.

    Heck I could even imagine a christian gay pastor or bishop who is partnered. As a gay man I can say honestly (!) that I would not be able to guess what they did in bed. there are many gay couples who never do more than kissing and frottage and of course trade love and mutual affection and respect. that is a fact. And I would not venture to label those activities as sin. Even if between two men. Yuck factor does not equal sin. and couples in their 70s look alot like hetero couples in their 70s. companionship becomes the main thing that binds. I have trouble finding the sin in any of that.

    None of this even comes close to approximating running around “burning with and consumed by lust”. Boring stuff actually. Nothing that would sell a tabloid or be a fundraising device for the Dr Dobson crowd. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” sometimes seems to best approximate the 8th commandment and rules of christian decency and modest. It is not my job to ferrett out peoples secret sins. I can only hope that they avail themselves of private confession if they are christians.

    I hope that some day, the church will be able to separate itself from societal constructs enough to rightly divide things, and so more effectively be able to call sin for what it truly is with authority.

    I wish this because I want my beloved mother church to be equipped to reach out with the Holy Gospel to people in my situation by refraining from painting the human existence of some as sin with a brush that is wildly indiscriminate and extremely broad.

    and Dr Vieth here is correct. The anglicans have tolerated bishops who deny EVERY part of the holy faith for a more than a few decades…. and those men have been tolerated. Now this homosexual issue is the one dividing their ranks. What is it that I am missing here?


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