Comments (20)
  1. Kim says:

    I am a life-time Lutheran.
    I understand the church’s support of marriage between a man and a woman – though, frankly, the Bible seems to support marriage between a man and multiple women. I have great issue with my church calling upon its congregation to pray for people “struggling with same-sex attraction.” Are we really a church that believes that homosexuality is a choice? Martin Luther railed against the Catholic church for keeping its people in the dark and for hanging onto archaic positions and teachings. Science and sociology tells us that homosexuality is not a choice. Are we going to demonize homosexuality as churches before us once deomonized interracial marriage?
    Shame on us for not sticking to God’s 10 Commandments and Jesus’ teachings: love one another and believe in Him. Why would we venture beyond those?

    1. Maurice Bronstad says:

      Somehow, the “marriage definition” of one man & one woman has been thrown under the bus in a frenzy to adopt same sex marriage as a norm. I think the civil union to provide gay & lesbian’s legal rights makes some sense. Clearly this civil union is not the same as marriage as procreation is just one, but important difference.

    2. Eric says:

      If God declares homosexuality an abomination then it is an abomination. Are people born with “same-sex attraction”? Yes, we are all born with a sinful nature and each of us struggles with different sins. We have a choice if we are going to embrace our sinful desires or fight them and take every thought captive. The philosophy that we should act upon our sexual desires is what has lead to a culture that accepts and even encourages adultery (swingers for example). Homosexuality is only the next step. After this is fully embraced, bestiality will be next. It is already being tested as a British woman has married her dog:

      Don’t sit in judgment on the Word. Test every teaching against the scriptures. That is the standard.

    3. Peter says:

      Show me the science.

    4. Charlie says:

      I agree with Kim, we should be welcoming (for interaction in business and social world) to all fellow-sinners, helping them to feel the love of Christ no matter what differences their genetics or reaction to social circumstances/environment has brought about. That being said ( i.e I will welcome all LGBT couples in my business and social world and will treat committed LGBT couples with equal love as I do heterosexual ones), I strongly feel that we should not allow them in the ministry, agreeing with LCMS doctrine

  2. Bob says:

    @Kim…In Christian humility and sincere respect, I think that the “scientific and sociologic” jury is not yet unanimous regarding the question of sexual preference or gender identity being innate or by choice. But regardless, and again with respect, I think that this is actually irrelevant to the issue at hand.
    What I mean is that as Lutheran Christians, we believe in the doctrinal position on total depravity. In other words, due to the fall of man through original sin, we are all by nature children of wrath. Our nature, being spiritually dead in and of itself, is definitely not a choice we had the opportunity to engage in, and is with us from conception onward – and for which we are accountable and responsible. In other words, even here where “choice” played no part at all, it does not therefore exonerate us from the standards of an Holy God, with just and righteous judgement.
    The propitiation for ALL sin, as you know, is our Savior Jesus Christ. His atonement pays for all sin, for all time. Yet if the scriptural position on homosexuality is that it is sinful, because we now walk in grace we must not advocate it, just as we would not advocate stealing or lying (which stem from the same depravity) as being right and natural because they’re perhaps debated as choice or innate.

    Luther did not advocate that Rome move from archaic teachings, he advocated that they move from WRONG teachings. There is always a risk that those outside the church will dismiss it as being closed-minded, bigoted or discriminatory, but it’s actually none of those. It is a principled and yet compassionate stand that does not stand against those who self-identify as LGBT etc, but stands compassionately with them under the empty cross.

  3. Janice Knaus says:

    My understanding is that there is no reason to believe that homosexuality is not a choice. There is, however, evidence to support that there are relationship issues involved in causing this abnormal attraction to the same sex.

    And then there is also God’s clear Word that calls it an abomination. A person always has a choice whether or not to commit a sin. Whether the attraction is there or not, there is always a choice about acting on it.

    There is also research that supports that a traditional marriage (one man and one woman) is the best option by far in raising children.

    1. Wayne Anderson says:

      Janice, the American Psychological Association has some explanations regarding sexual orientation. With many professionals supporting the idea that homosexuality is not a choice, it is incorrect to say that there is no reason to take the opposite view.

      I also believe that traditional marriage is the best option in raising children. It would be helpful to identify the research that says that.

  4. Randolph Reynoldson says:

    Does the Bible say that sex between anything other than one man and one woman is alright. Remember that adultery is wrong even between anyone. Also, the Bible tells of multiple wives but does not condone the practice either. In your heart you know that God is right and we are all infected with SIN. Love the sinner and hats the sin.
    God forgive us but come now Lord Jesus.

  5. Matthew says:

    Our churches have been providing an inconsistent and often confusing witness about this issue in particular and, most importantly, what the scriptures have to say.

    To get right at it – I hope that science does prove that gender/sex identity/attraction are not a matter of choice, but are things we are born with. Quite frankly, that would not weaken our position on gender/sex identity/attraction, but actually confirm it. Here’s why.

    As has been said (in many more words) above, the scriptures teach that sin is not simply a matter of choice, but it is also something we cannot control. We are born in it. I am born sinful and I did not choose it, just as people are born with a gender/sex identity/attraction identity that they did not choose. Just because I was born with a sinful orientation that I cannot control doesn’t mean that it is still not sin. I am born sinful, and I cannot control it.

    Whether something is sinful or not has little to do with whether I have a choice in that matter or not. Sin is sin, whether I have no control over it or not.

    If science proves that gender/sex identity/attraction is something we have no control over, we can say: of course! I have no control over the sin in my life! That makes me no different from anybody else who identifies as lesbian, gay, bi or transgendered. We are all equally born in sin that we cannot control, and all equally in need of salvation.

    Most important here is the Gospel that we are so quick to ignore – it is exactly because I have no control over the Sin in my life that God became man and died for me. It is exactly because I am born doing things that are wrong in God’s eyes (that I cannot control) that Jesus came down and won my release from the power of the devil.

    We have so quickly and readily given into the language of choice that we have forgotten what the scriptures actually teach about sin. It is not a choice – but I am still responsible for my sin.

    We have so quickly and readily given into the language of choice that we have forgotten what the scriptures actually teach about salvation. It was his choice – but I receive eternal life.

    Praise be to God that I am not left up to my own choice, otherwise, I would be lost. Praise be to God that rescue from sin depends not on my choice, but on Jesus’ choice to rescue me by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Praise be to God that it is not my choice, but his choice that matters.

  6. LeRoy Hass says:

    I praise the Lord for your opening these issues to public discussion among His people. Whether same sex attraction is innate or learned is not the issue, as our brother has stated. It’s how we deal with sinful thoughts which emanate from our sinful hearts that is the issue. Since many men from youth on are loaded with lustful thoughts toward women, is it, therefore, permissible to act on those thoughts and engage in sexual activity with any woman they desire? After all, this is part of their nature? As people redeemed by Christ I am confident that we would not condone such activity. We would encourage men to “daily drown the Old Man and let the New Man come forth and arise.” Celibacy would be a godly path for either women or men dealing with same sex attraction.

  7. David says:

    I pray you are sincere in seeking answers as was the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. As Bob succinctly shared very good answers, I have identified seven statements or ideas in your post that I would like to share my thoughts and God’s Word on the matter. My brother was a practicing homosexual and also my business partner until his Aids Related Complex sent him into a comma and ultimately ended his life. I miss him terribly but have found complete truth and understanding in the living and active Word of God. I am sorry, but I can’t be as brief as Bob, but his answers were spot on, thank you brother.

    #1 The Bible seems to support or condone sinful actions like multiple wives.
    There are many actions of O.t. people that are reported prior to the giving of the Commandments. This, however, is not “supporting” such sinful actions. According to Rm.5:12-14, the consequence of sin is death, we all die, therefore all sin. Every O.T. believer (saint) is also a sinner, and the Bible honestly and clearly reports this. Abraham and Hagar’s union was Sarah’s desperate plan, not God’s. Israel’s desire to have a worldly king, with all their wives and political and social conflicts, was not God’s idea. The Bible reports these sinful actions as well as their consequences: Divided homes, jealousy, adultery, idolatry, destroyed kingdoms.

    #2 The Church should not pray for homosexuals to successfully struggle against their desires.
    The church prays for every sinner to successfully struggle against their temptations to sin: youth to remain firm in God’s Word and refrain, that is to struggle against, pre-marital sex; For husbands to remain faithful, that is to struggle against their sinful natures, and find fulfillment only in their wife; For those with addictive or abusive behaviors to be struggled against constantly. All have sinned. We all are to struggle against temptation in general and those that are particular to ourselves. To pray for Christians to have success in resisting daily temptations is a very good and loving prayer. The opposite is to encourage people to yield to sin and become a slave all over again. (Rm6:15-18; Jn8:34; Eph4:22; Ps50:15)

    #3 Homosexuality a choice?
    Luther did not teach that we are born with a free will, rather with a bondage of our wills to sin. In other words, sin comes natural to us, righteousness does not, it is a gift of faith. The bully finds it natural to pick on others, the child who lies to keep from getting punished does so naturally, this is our sin nature. It has fallen far short of God’s intended glory for us in the beginning. So, homosexual desires are no more a choice than my sinful heterosexual desires, but when those desires are contrary to the will of God as revealed in Scripture, then they spring from our sinful nature. (Ps51:5; Rm5:12; Eccl7:20; Ps14:3; 1Jn1:8; Jms1:14-15; Mt15:19) Please note that this applies to all sin: Religious, spiritual, communal, social, heterosexual and homosexual etc. But when discussing homosexuality in particular read these passages of God’s Word (Rm1:24-27; 1Cor6:9-10). The Law was given to show us our sin, that we might repent (turn from) those sins on a daily basis (Titus 2:11-12). Jesus died for heterosexual and homosexual sins. We sinners are justified/forgiven by His death and resurrection, but this atonement does not justify (make right) our sin. Therefore, in baptism and constant living in the Word of God, we are reborn and strengthened to resist our sinful nature (Gen39:9; 1Cor6:18; Eph5:3-4; 1Cor6:19-20;1Thess4:3; Col2:6; Titus 2:14; Gal2:20; 1Pt2:24). This is a daily struggle of confessing our sins, asking forgiveness, and our victory is assured only in Christ. By grace, NOT our works (of choice), we are enabled to thankfully do His will and not our own. (1Pt2:9; Acts 3:19; Ps32:5; Jn8:11; Mt3:8.)

    #4 Martin Luther railed against Archaic teachings.
    Martin Luther did not rail against the Roman Church for having archaic teachings, but for having man-made teachings in conflict with God’s Word. There are many modern “positions and teachings” today that are ungodly and deserve Luther’s “railings,” but I suggest that the good Doctor would rather both Rome and modern liberalism would reform to a Church that professes and teaches all of the Bible’s doctrine purely and administers the sacraments according to Christ’s institution, but alas, they would not. (Jn15:5; Jn8:31-32; Acts 2:42)

    #5 Demonizing homosexuality is equal to the past demonizing of interracial marriages.
    This comparison of a Biblical doctrine on homosexuality or any sexual immorality with that of “demonizing’ interracial marriage, is an emotional argument disconnected from a Biblical discussion. Sin is lawlessness, rebelling or acting contrary to God’s Law and will. “I am a sinner,” that does not demonize me, it informs and warns me of the truth so I can cast aside faulty notions of self-righteousness and receive the grace of God in Christ. The non-Biblical errors of human beings, does not nullify the eternal Word of God. Please discuss these volatile issues honestly and Biblically.

    #6 “Shame on us for not sticking with the 10 Com, Love one another, and Belief in Him.”
    You seek to admonish a church body for being, as shown in the above Bible texts and explanations, absolutely correct and faithful. That is not to say we are a denomination without need of admonishment, but our Confessions are Christ and Word centered, while others are becoming worldly and full of empty philosophy. We certainly stick to the 10 Commandments, which is why we point out and confess our sins, including miss-use of our sexuality. Take a fresh look at your Catechism. “Love one another” is simply the second table of the Law from those same 10 Commandments, and for our discussion means that we are not to cause harm or cruelty to an unbeliever, but tell them the truth in love. Belief in Jesus includes trusting His Word, every letter of it, even if it doesn’t jibe with the wisdom of this fallen world. This is the true unity Paul speaks of. (1Jn4:1; 2Tim4:3; Jn8:31-32; 1Cor1:10)

    #7 Why should we venture beyond the 10 Commandments and belief in Him?
    I would be fine with that…right up to the point someone denies that misuse of our sexuality does not violate the 6th Commandment, or that “belief in Him” means we can love our neighbor without pointing to sin and calling for repentance as John did, as did Jesus, and Peter, etc., etc. If your friend or loved one is dead in sin, love demands that you warn them of the danger, and offer them life through the forgiveness of those sins (Jn:3:16). God gave the entire Bible because He knew false prophets and teachers would twist those clear Words, and the rest of Scripture combats this by interpreting itself, and thus leaving no excuse for those who misuse it for evil, when it was intended to be for our good. I know where you are at because I have been there. Don’t make up any pseudo-science, nor embrace the emotional rationalism of the day, but just love your homosexual friend, neighbor, son or daughter without yielding God’s entire Word of Truth an any way. They need to hear God’s truth from your compassionate heart and lips. There will be a day when the scales will fall from our eyes and you will be glad you did. (Jn6:63; Rm1:16; 2Pt3:15-16; Jn10:35; Mk8:38; 2Tim3:16-17; 2Pt1:21; Acts 17:11)

  8. Kim , as a lifelong Lutheran you are surely aware that there is more to God’s written Word than the ten commandments, broad as they are.
    The Old Testament specifically condemns homosexuality at least nine times as does the New Testament nine times specifically, with other indications about God’s judgment on all sexual perversion.
    Many individuals have come out of the homosexual lifestyle and have remained celibate or have successfully married and raised families so it is not something they were born with.
    Several denominations and some Lutheran Synods accept the homosexual lifestyle but God’s Word stands unchanged forever. Many in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament decided to ignore God’s infallible Word to their own peril.
    God’s grace is sufficient for you, Kim, and His love unfailing, but the one who continues to sin turns away from God and His perfect redemption from all sin.
    Kim, God keep you in His gracious, loving care now and forever. You matter!

  9. Win Strieter says:

    Dear Kim–

    The Bible forbids homosexual behavior–there’s no getting around it. So, whether one is born that way (or not) is not the issue. The question is “What choices does one make?” As painful as it may seem, persons with homosexual tendencies are called to live a celibate life, if they are unable to relate sexually to the opposite sex. Heterosexual people have the same calling, until they enter into marriage.

    We ought to pray for all people, not only those with same-sex attractions, but with any and all proclivities which would lead to breaking God’s law. For example, there are many men and women who are very tempted to break their marriage vows. They need our prayers, too. I’m sure you can think of other examples.

    I hope this helps.

  10. GENE says:

    The LCMS bases its position on homosexuality on the Bible. It then argues that the Supreme Court should not approve homosexual marriage because it is contrary to Biblical teaching. Unfortunately, the Justices of the Supreme Court may not decide the issues before it on the basis of Holy Scripture. The Justices have sworn an oath to uphold The Constitution of the United States.

    The issue before the Supreme court is not whether homosexuality is moral or immoral. The issue involves the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees to every person (citizen) the “equal protection of the laws.” The Justices may only use this as their guide and not any Scriptural text.

    Too often, I think, our Lutheran Church, ignores this.

    It is the Constitution, not the Bible, that the Justices must use in deciding these very important questions.

  11. dan says:

    We should be welcoming of all sinners as we are among them, but the Church cannot condone sin as in performing the sacrament of marriage. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

  12. Donna says:

    I agree with David’s seven points. I remember my Mother’s teachings about sin. She educated us about equality of sin in God’s eyes–not the world’s. My LCMS Pastor clearly held forth the teachings of Scripture when he instructed us in the “just as if I” had done it: I remember him saying that if I/he had said just one bad word ever in my life or in the history of the world that Jesus would have still died for that one sin and sinner. After many years of observing in friends the aftermath of homo and heterosexual pain, reading what homosexuals themselves say and, by no means declaring that this makes me an expert, I have come to know what, in addition to Scripture—which says clearly it is wrong—the homosexual folks say about themselves: that is wrong and that it is a choice. I quote them. I agree and will continue to pray for anyone struggling with any kind of sexual sin —-hetero or homo. I take great comfort in God’s word in Ecclesiastes: There is nothing new under the sun. And Christ died for all!

  13. The NW Indiana Times published my column below on 3-15-15. It might help to explain why
    there is a rush to approve same sex marriage. It is a cultural choice for most people and one
    which can destroy a civilization.

    AMERICA CAN EXPECT MORE TURMOIL (by Martin Henrichs -Watchdog for Accuracy in Media)

    In 1857 the U. S. Supreme Court issued the Dred Scott Decision allowing slavery to expand into northern states. The decision, following decades of simmering conflict over the morality and legality of slavery, lit a fire that flamed into the Civil War.

    When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in 1914, Sir Edward Grey said, “The lamps are going out all over Europe.” Soon WWI erupted, killing

    On Monday, October 6, 2014, the U. S. Supreme Court allowed unelected Appeals Court judges to overturn the will of the voters in five states that banned same-sex marriage.

    The twin lamps of democracy and morality are going out all over America. What now?

    President George Washington said in his 1st inaugural address: “The propitious smile of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself hath ordained.”

    Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-6, “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

    And Jude verse 7 says, “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

    There are at least 7 Old Testament references to marriage and sexuality and 14 in
    the New Testament. When people reject God’s law, which includes, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” they reject God, often resulting in their destruction.

    Homosexuals, as individuals, deserve respect. Live and let live! But they are now infringing on an institution, which has nothing to do with them, and are undermining 4,000 years of moral law.

    Christians, Jews and Muslims must ask, “How could this happen in America?” Why is
    media coverage so pro-gay?

    The answer was revealed when a Chicago television station reported that the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association was meeting in Chicago.

    A check of their web site at revealed that it was “Founded by Roy Aarons in 1990, it has roughly 700 members in the United States and abroad.”

    Commentators marvel at how fast gay marriage has gained favor in polls. Well, it’s easy to influence people if they hear only one side of the story. Objective journalism is rare! Advocacy journalism is the rule! Liberal elites control what is politically correct

  14. Rob Wistrand says:

    Dear LCMS,

    You are incorrect. You and all humanity sin everyday and call is good and righteous. You have changed Grace to a thing to be deserved, instead of truly given to a utterly dead in trespasses being. You have betrayed Luther and Christ by a kiss of works. Here I stand with God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and all the faithful to condemn your teachings. May the love of Christ compel you to see that you too will only be saved by complete and utter Grace. You will not earn your salvation based on your stance on marriage but you will render your witness void by preaching the heresy of works.

    1. Bob says:

      I’m sure I’m not the only LCMS member blankly staring at the screen after reading this.

      Rob, would you care to elaborate as to how the LCMS, in it’s stance on the present issue, can even remotely be said to be advancing a works-theology?

      Thank you for your time.