Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Power of One Vote: ECLA Social Statement passed

The ELCA's Social Statement on Human Sexuality passed by literally ONE VOTE yesterday, 66.667% in favor to 33.333% against.

The 34-page social statement actually touches on homosexuality only briefly, and is intended as a sweeping definition of the ELCA's approach to matters of human sexuality. It also sketches out the church's approach to gender, friendship, marriage and children, cohabitation outside marriage, the commercialization of sexuality, and the global sex trade.
One vote. Some of my friends who were present at the assembly had a friend who stepped out to make a phone call before they had called for the vote. He literally ran through the Minneapolis Skyway to make it back in time and barely pressed his voting button before voting ended. If he had been 5 seconds later, the statement wouldn't have passed.

Friday, they'll be voting on Ministry Recommendations that consider opening the ELCA pastoral roster to GLBTQ people, including those in long-term, committed relationships. While the Social Statement needed a 2/3 supermajority to pass, the Ministry Recommendations only need a simple majority (50% + 1). People are speculating that the recommendations will pass, based on the votes of the past week.

In addition to passing the Social Statement, the ELCA also passed a Malaria Initiative, a HIV/AIDS Strategy and a memorial (from an individual synod) on Immigration Reform. You can find all the results of the vote here and the unamended Social Statement here.

Seriously, if you don't think that a single person can make a difference, this is shatters all that. Collectively, everyone contributed to the passage of the Social Statement and yet individually, if one person hadn't vote in favor of the document, it wouldn't have passed.

Also, all this happened in the midst of a tornado. That's right, a TORNADO blew through downtown Minneapolis and right over the convention center yesterday afternoon. The convention center and the church next door had some damage and one person was injured, but overall, everyone was safe. What an incredibly unpredictable day.

Keep it up, ELCA! Hopefully we'll have some good news on Friday.

EDIT: Before anyone gets the completely asinine idea of calling the tornado a sign from God, take a look at these pictures of other damage around the city. Certainly the Electric Fetus record shop and North School wasn't thwarting God's will that afternoon, right?


Mike said...

It's stuff like this that is driving away people from the ELCA in droves. They care more about having everybody love them and being "open-minded" instead of preaching the Gospel. The decisions they are making are not furthering the kingdom of God, in fact it is damging it. They have decided to start preaching this 'Social Gospel' instead of the real Gospel. They are stuck in this emerging church vaccuum which refuses to teach right from wrong in order to spare anyones feelings. What exactly is sin anymore to these people? To them it's all relative and they refuse to nail down anything absolute. The ELCA is destroying itself from within and I couldn't be happier about it!

btw, you accidentally put ECLA in the title instead of ELCA.

Anonymous said...


I suggest you go and reread St Paul, particularly Galatians 4, 5:4-7, 5:14-15, 1 Corinthians 13, Romans 3:10-31 and 7:4,6.

These passages offer ample justification in Scripture of the path chosen by the ELCA.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ was above all a Social Gospel.

Mike said...


First of all there is no such thing as a 'social gospel'. Jesus did not come to earth to cure what you think of as social injustice. Did Jesus accpet everyone? Of course he did. However that doesn't mean that he accepted their lifestyles or condoned it. Jesus came for one reason and one reason alone. To Die. To die on the cross and offer salvation to everyone who will recieve it. If you think this is wrong, then please tell me how you think the Gospels are a scoial one.

Now, the verses that you provided do not in anyway justify the actions taken by the ELCA, mostly because they are taken completely out of context. Believe it or not, you can accept sinners with out accepting their sin. God made his intentions for men and women very clear. In no place in the Bible does it permit or set forth homosexuality as accpetable. Read: Romans 1:18-32, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gen. 2:20-24, Gen. 19.

lindsay said...

If you think this is wrong, then please tell me how you think the Gospels are a scoial one.

The Beatitudes? The parables? The prodigal son, the good Samaritan, miracles of feeding and healing people? Anyone who has read the Gospels even once knows that Jesus said to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, love your neighbor, and on and on and on. How you could utterly miss that is beyond me. You're really missing out on a MAJOR aspect of Christianity, in my opinion.