What would Martin Luther say?
In a move to further liberalize the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), delegates meeting in Minneapolis yesterday rejected the opposition’s proposal to require a two-thirds supermajority rather than a simple majority when the measure to allow homosexual clergy is voted for on Friday.
In addition to voting on whether to allow practicing homosexual clergy members, the ELCA is also considering a broader statement on human sexuality. Just such a statement in the 1990s, on abortion, led many of the church’s pastors to leave the ELCA and led others to convert to Catholicism.
In 2003, the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly homosexual bishop, causing a schism within the Anglican Communion worldwide.
Both the ELCA and the Episcopal Church have witnessed significant declines in their membership over the past several years. Over the past 15 years, the ELCA has lost more than 400,000 members. Membership in the Anglican Church continues to drop by 2% per year.