Thursday, July 25, 2013

21st Century Formula of Concord Opposes Homosexuality

Christian News, July 29, 2013

The Twenty-First Formula of Concord the CN editor attempted to get the LCMS’s 2013 convention to support says in a section on Adultery: “The Bible condemns both homosexual orientation and practice as sin. There is no room in heaven for unrepentant adulterers, homosexuals, etc. churches which allow homosexuals and lesbians to serve as pastors are false churches with which faithful Christians should not fellowship. (Romans 1:26, 27); 1 Cor. 6:9; Romans 16:17; Christian News Encyclopedia, 2366-2403, 1002-1636).

“Gay-friendly trend washes over court,” an RNS report in the July 25, 2013 Christian Century includes a photo (above) with this caption: “A Normal Part of Ministry: Mike Wilker, pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., said half the weddings he performs at his congregation are for couples of the same gender.”

The report in the Christian Century says in part:

“Sometimes a court opinion is more than just a court opinion. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 26-page decision on June 26 striking down a federal ban on same-sex marriages offers a window into Americans’ rapidly shifting views of same-sex relationships-a shift that increasingly relies on secular views of law and fairness, not traditional moral or religious views.

“At the same time, Justice Antonin Scalia’s biting dissent in United States v. Windsor reflects a set of cultural, religious and social arguments that are losing ground in the court of public opinion and now in the highest court of the land. In the 17 years since Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, many Americans have gained ‘a new perspective, a new insight’ on the meaning of marriage, Kennedy said. As a result, gay marriage is now legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

“Kennedy said large swaths of American society had concluded that not allowing gay couples to wed is an ‘unjust exclusion.’ He used a striking string of words to describe DOMA’s impact on gay families: Disparage. Degrade. Demean.

“Allowing gay marriage, he said, is a ‘far-reaching legal acknowledgment of the intimate relationship between two people, a relationship deemed by the State worthy of dignity in the community equal with all other marriages. It reflects both the community’s considered perspective on the historical roots of the institution of marriage and its evolving understanding of the meaning of equality.’

“A decade ago, it would have been near inconceivable to imagine the nation’s highest court referring to the ‘dignity’ of gay marriage. But things have changed-remarkably so. In 2003, at the time of Lawrence v. Texas, the court’s last major gay rights case, support for gay marriage hovered around 32 percent; today, that figure is 51 percent.

“Why the shift? For one, older generations that are the most opposed are giving way to younger Americans who are far more supportive. Gays and lesbians are coming out younger and more often, and openly gay characters anchor popular shows like Glee and Modern Family.

“In 2003, gay marriage didn’t exist and the Episcopal Church was shell-shocked by the election of an openly gay bishop. On June 26, the bells of Washington National Cathedral pealed in celebration of the court decision, and the election  May 31 of the first openly gay Lutheran bishop was met with mostly shrugs. A recent Gallup poll found a 19-point swing on the ‘moral acceptability’ of gay and lesbian relations since 2001 -the largest shift on any social issue. As Gallup put it, ‘U.S. acceptance of gay/lesbian relations is the new normal.’”

1 comment:


    Is water baptism essential for the forgiveness of sins? Is it possible to be a Christian before or apart from baptism? Is there salvation without baptism? Is water baptism valid, even though the person baptized intellectually rejects the Biblical purpose of baptism?

    Is baptism necessary so that your sins may be forgiven? According to the inspired apostle Peter, the answer is yes (Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.") The question is, would the three thousand who responded to Peter's message have been added to the church had they made this statement, "Peter, we have already said the sinner's prayer, our sins have already been forgiven, but we will be baptized as an example of our faith"? IS THAT A VALID BAPTISM?

    Is it likely that one may become a Christian before or apart from water baptism? The apostle Paul stated that we are baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27 For all of you were who baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.) What if the Galatians responded as such, "Paul, our relatives were all good Christians, and they were not immersed in water; you cannot tell us that being baptized into Christ is the only way to become a Christian. Yes, we were all baptized, but it certainly had no bearing as to us putting on Christ? WOULD THAT BE A VALID BAPTISM?

    Does it matter what you think about baptism?

    Is there salvation apart from baptism? Jesus said, no (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.) What do you imagine would have been the reaction of Jesus, had the eleven replied in the following manner, "We were saved the minute we believed in you, Jesus, but water baptism has no part in salvation, however, we will preach baptism as an act of obedience"? Would an "obedience only" baptism, BE A VALID BAPTISM?

    Is immersion for the wrong reason a valid baptism? Most Christians would agree that water baptism is essential for the remission of sin, however, some would be willing to accept believers who were immersed, unscripturally, as brothers in Christ; yet few would seriously consider those who would deny faith, confession and repentance as being essential for salvation, as being in a saved state.

    If we can safely say, that we were baptized, but it had nothing to do with our salvation, then, why can we not assert that we repented, but that it had no bearing on receiving remission of sin? Can we not also say, that believing in Jesus is apart from salvation because we were saved by grace alone? Would it be possible to proclaim that we confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, and believed God resurrected Jesus from the grave, but it had absolutely nothing to do with our salvation?

    If we have to be intellectually correct concerning faith, confession and repentance for the the remission of sin, then does it not logically follow that men should be re-immersed (actually baptized for the first time) in situations where persons were baptized for the wrong reason?

    We must either be saved according to God's word or free to choose our own terms for pardon. Which will it be?


    (All Scripture quote from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

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