The Evangelical Lutheran Church of American, the "liberal" wing of the Lutheran Church, in its ""Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality," stated that marriage should still be confined to one man and one woman, but that same-sex couples were legitimate, but came up with the following:
"The church recognizes the historic origin of the term `marriage' as a lifelong and committed relationship between a woman and a man, and does not wish to alter this understanding."
"The document released Thursday repeatedly states that sexual intimacy should be reserved for married couples, and condemns sex for personal gratification alone."
And, to add insult to injury, it states: "These [same gender] relationships are to be held to the same rigorous standards and sexual ethics as all others," the document says. "This suggests that dissolution of a committed same-gender relationship be treated with the same gravity as the dissolution of a marriage."
[For the full article, see here]
So, the "liberal" wing of the Lutheran Church comes up with the statement that same-gender relationships are to be tolerated, but the couples are not to engage in sexual activity and, to top it off, those relationships must "be treated with the same gravity as the dissolution of a marriage." Talk about a double wammy!
"Next year, the panel will decide whether to suggest changes in current clergy standards that bar gays and lesbians from being ordained if they are sexually active." What do you think will be the result of their decision?
These "liberals" are still squeamish (or, perhaps, fearful) about sexual activity, still view same-gender couples differently from heterosexual couples, still will not allow the term "marriage" to be applied to same-gender couples, still hopelessly seek to deny them the sexual activity that goes along with marriage and, if one is a Lutheran and does engage in sexual activity with his or her same-sex partner, he/she can be allowed to feel guilty.
Since when did Jesus give any organization or human being the right to judge the relationships between two consenting adults? Since when did the Gospel of grace become distorted into a false gospel of legalism? Since when did "sex" become equated with "morality," to the exclusion of the rampant structural and corporate sins to which we've been exposed and from which we've suffered since the dawn of man, and about which most all of the institutional Church has been predictably silent?
Rather than lead the way in affirming love among consenting adults in all its forms, and formally recognizing the intrinsic holy nature of love and its sexual expressions, most church bodies within the institutional Church have merely either pandered to the most reactionary forces in both "religious" and secular society and/or seek to anemically navigate the waters of controversy lest they lose members and, of course, the moneys that flow into their collection plates that enable them to have their careers, and continue with their building beautification programs.
And these are the "liberals!"