Last week the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America installed Rev. Guy Erwin as Bishop of the Southwest California Synod. Rev. Erwin is the first practicing homosexual to be a bishop in the ELCA. The ELCA's Living Lutheran website reported that there were at least 10 ELCA bishops in attendance. (see here) Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, the highest ranking ELCA leader, delivered the sermon at the installation. Bishop Hanson's sermon made it clear that there is no more debate in the denomination about whether homosexuality is sinful or godly. He then proclaimed the ELCA's repentance for once holding the Biblical position that homosexuality is sinful.
Below are some quotes and my thoughts from the ELCA leader's sermon.
In the opening moments Bishop Hanson expressed his overwhelming gratitude to those that were there saying,
“on behalf of this whole church, I want to say a deep and heartfelt thank you to everyone here and everyone watching the live stream and those that have gone on to glory that have worked so tirelessly, fervently, prayerfully, prophetically, educationally, so that we could come to this day as a church, when Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin, in the presence of his husband Rob, could be installed in the office of bishop in Christ's church. Thank you.” (see video below)
Translation: Homosexuality is good, it is from God, thank you for your role in unsinning homosexuality in our denomination. We are so happy to encourage it and have church leaders who practice it.
Moments later Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said,
“There is weeping for joy this day, because for too long many of you have wept tears of bitterness from the experience of being rebuked. Rebuked for believing that God could call you to the ministry of word and sacrament and to the vocation of marriage with your beloved Rob.”
Translation: People who believe and speak the truth about the Biblical position on same gender sex are evil “rebukers.” ...And all you wanted was to have sinful deviant sex and be a leader in the church.
Then Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson said,
“Rev. Erwin, in your call to serve the gospel in the office of bishop, we as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are saying again and saying publicly and forthrightly, such rebuking shall not be what we as a church will be saying quite openly any longer.”
Translation: The ELCA is for homosexual sex and you will never hear the denomination preach contrary to that. Let that be a warning to any ELCA leader who thinks otherwise.
He then proclaimed,
“But let our public resounding 'no' to such shaming and bullying and rebuking also become our public repentance. Our being turned from that dead end path of rebuking to live differently, speak differently, openly preserving the dignity of all. May our public repentance be both an act of confession and an act of reconciliation with all that who have been rebuked.” (the ELCA confessed to this invented sin before – see here)
Translation: We, the ELCA repent of our sin. We repent for once holding the Biblical position that homosexuality is wrong/sinful. We will no longer say that. We are sorry for those church fathers before us who spoke the truth in love to you. They sinned, we sinned and anyone who still holds that position has sinned because of it.
Remember, this is what the ELCA said in their 2009 Social Statement - Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, “faithful people can and will come to different conclusions about the meaning of Scripture and about what constitutes responsible action. We further believe that this church, on the basis of 'the bound conscience,' will include these different understandings and practices within its life as it seeks to live out its mission and ministry in the world.” (see here)
How does that jibe with what the ELCA's leader is now saying?
Presiding Bishop Hanson's sermon makes it clear, if it wasn't already, that the Biblical position on homosexuality will not be allowed, respected or tolerated anymore. It is full speed ahead and every ELCA entity will be (has been) pushing, justifying and indoctrinating its membership into their worldly view on homosexuality.