Resolved: To receive with gratitude the memorial from the Florida-Bahamas Synod related to Affirming Global Human Rights and Non-discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation; and To call upon the churchwide organization to continue to speak out publicly against human rights violations globally that criminalize homosexuality and against any teachings which encourage persecution in the name of […]
Resolved: To receive with gratitude the memorials of the Eastern North Dakota, Northern TexasNorthern Louisiana, Eastern Washington-Idaho, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Southwestern Texas, Saint Paul Area, Sierra Pacific, Northwest Washington, Greater Milwaukee, Southwest California, Minneapolis Area, Metropolitan New York, Northwestern Minnesota, Upstate New York, Northeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Southwestern Minnesota, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Washington, D.C., […]
WHEREAS, all persons were created by God in the divine image, and human sexuality is a
gracious gift of God;
WHEREAS, our baptism into the family of God calls us to stand firmly and pastorally against
all forms of abuse and to respect and empower our brothers and sisters in Christ;
WHEREAS, sexual violence of many kinds is widespread in our society (including sexual
harassment on the job, rape and sexual assault, incest, and child sexual abuse), and experts
estimate that two-fifths of working women experience sexual harassment, two-fifths of all
Please Note: This is a historical document of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
and while it is still a useful, valid resource, references made to unit and staff names,
publications, financial figures, etc., may be out of date.
Please refer to www.elca.org/safeplace for the most current information.
Human Sexuality and Sexual Behavior A Social Statement of the American Lutheran Church, a predecessor church body of the ELCA (1980): Renewing Our Ministry
1. For many persons sexuality is so emotional a topic that they are uneasy at its mere mention. They hesitate to discuss sexuality with the dignity and respect it merits. To them various forms of sexual behavior are so abhorrent that they would drive the sexual sinner from the fellowship. Yet in self-righteousness over feeling so superior to other persons they may incur the condemnation the Lord spoke in Luke 18:14.
Human Sexuality and Sexual Behavior A Social Statement of the American Lutheran Church, a predecessor church body of the ELCA (1980): Ministering as a Church
1.1. The church’s first concern is for people. The body of Christ is a caring community. It cares that each person be in right relationship with God, with neighbor, with nature, with social systems, and with self. It is a caring shared among all the members. It is a mark of Christian love and discipleship. It reaches out to those most in need—the widowed and the orphaned, the weak and the lowly, the despised and the rejected, the hurting and the confused, the lonely and the solitary.
Human Sexuality and Sexual Behavior A Social Statement of the American Lutheran Church, a predecessor church body of the ELCA (1980): Considering Homosexuality
1. We note the current consensus in the scientific community that one’s preferred sexual behavior exists on a continuum from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual and that homosexual behavior takes a variety of forms. We believe it appropriate to distinguish between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior. Persons who do not practice their homosexual erotic preference do not violate our understanding of Christian sexual behavior.
Human Sexuality and Sexual Behavior A Social Statement of the American Lutheran Church, a predecessor church body of the ELCA (1980): Expressing Concerns Through Law
1. Laws express society’s recognition that sexual behavior affects not only the participants but also the health, strength, and survival of the society itself. Christians must beware, however, of equating sin with crime. Nor dare they accept the proposition that because behavior is not against the law it therefore must be acceptable. Their concern must be for laws that foster justice, mercy, equality of opportunity, and the protection of basic human rights.
Human Sexuality and Sexual Behavior A Social Statement of the American Lutheran Church, a predecessor church body of the ELCA (1980): Defiling God’s Gift
1. Human beings are capable not only of good but also of evil uses of their sexuality. People are ready to exploit this fact to their own power or profit. Major industries are built up around satisfying “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).
2. Among forms of exploitive sexual behavior against which Christians should be ready to work are those which:
(a) exploit children and youth, men and women, as in pornography and prostitution;
(b) take advantage of persons who are ill, helpless, dependent, handicapped, or of little power;