Unfortunately, this has become a regular part of our monthly communications – our asking the question, “What Will It Be Next?,” as we find the ELCA slipping further and further away from the historic, orthodox Christian faith, a traditional view of the mission of the church, and Biblical morals and moral values.
Relentless LGBTQIA+ Agenda
In the July issue of our newsletter, CORE Voice, I asked the question, “What Will It Be Next?”, in response to the fact that the ELCA Church Council declined to act upon the document, “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” even though it had been recommended to them by the ELCA Conference of Bishops. Instead they sent it back to the Domestic Mission Unit for revision. You can be sure that the process for writing and rewriting and revising this statement of what the ELCA expects of its rostered ministers will continue until it fully conforms with everything desired and demanded by the relentless LGBTQIA+ agenda.
In the August letter from the director I wrote of a video in which Bishop Elect Leila Ortiz of the ELCA’s Metro Washington D. C. Synod speaks favorably of polyamory (a relationship in which there are three or more partners). A link to that video can be found here.
Songs for the Holy Other?
This month’s “What Will It Be Next?” is my response to an August 20 communication from ELCA Worship. This email included in its list of resources a new hymnal entitled, Songs for the Holy Other: Hymns Affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ Community. This hymn collection was introduced at the recent annual conference of the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada. According to the society’s website, TheHymnSociety.org, the volume is intended to be “a toolbox of hymns by and for those who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic, two-spirit, and other sexual/gender minority (LGBTQIA2S+) community and their allies.” As explanation for their choosing the name, Songs for the Holy Other, they write, “We continue to be othered for our identities, relationship-styles, dis/abilities, race, economic status, and more.” So the title is “a self-conscious claiming of otherness as holy and beloved of God. We who have been labeled as ‘wholly other’ are claiming our holiness, and reclaiming our otherness as a prophetic witness to the church.”
The first thing I noticed is that here once again the ELCA is promoting letters far beyond what was actually approved by the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. That gathering only addressed the issue of publicly accountable, lifelong, and monogamous same gender relationships (L and G relationships held to a very high standard). It said nothing about the issue of B, T, Q, I, A, and + relationships. And yet here we are – only ten years later – and the ELCA feels free to promote a wide variety of sexual identities and expressions far beyond what actually was addressed and approved. “What will it be next?”
The second thing I noticed is that there was a number and a letter which I had never seen before in the series of letters – 2S. Doing some research, I found that 2S stands for “Two Spirit,” which I discovered is “a term used by some indigenous North Americans to describe certain people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) ceremonial role in their cultures.” Realizing that the ELCA is now promoting a new hymnal affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ community, all I could think of was to again ask the question, “What Will It Be Next?” What letter/letters will be added next?
The ELCA document, “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” says, “Those who serve as pastors and deacons reflect a variety of sexual orientations and diverse gender identities.” (page 11, lines 233-234) If a document which has been rejected because it is too conservative makes a statement like that, what will be said in the document which finally is accepted because it finally is acceptable to the LGBTQIA+ community? And if, for the ELCA, the clear teachings of the Bible are not the basis for understanding human sexuality, how is the ELCA going to decide whether to endorse and promote all of the letters and numbers which are going to be continually added to the sequence, LGBTQIA2S+? The plus sign allows for any and all possibilities. “What will it be next?”