The first thing to be understood is that conservative (orthodox) and liberal (progressive) ministers have completely opposite views of Scripture. Consider this quote about the Bible from Marcus Borg. He's a seminary professor at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Ore., a writer, a producer of Bible studies that are promoted and used by many progressive denominations and an oft-invited speaker at multiple ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) synodical events and the national ELCA conventions.
Borg's opinions and teachings are promoted by the ELCA and, I believe, give us an excellent look into this progressive church's hierarchy and its beliefs.
Borg believes this about the Bible: "I let go of the notion that the Bible is a divine product. I learned that it is a human cultural product. ... As such, it contained their understandings and affirmations, not statements coming directly or somewhat directly from God."
Borg's comment highlights the progressive view of Scripture as practiced by a majority of the professors of seminaries and the visible leadership of the ELCA.
Orthodox Lutherans believe this: 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."
Martin Luther affirmed and orthodox Lutherans affirm that all Scripture was directly inspired by God and came directly from God. The Bible is literally the Word of God. Scripture is the sole and normative authority for our Christian lives.
The ELCA has held that mankind's "bound conscience" (mankind's own intellectual conclusions) has equal authority to Scripture as the normative guide of Christian life.
This opposite view of the authority of Scripture leads progressive and orthodox Lutherans to hold greatly divergent views of God and sin. The progressive Lutheran will tell you that God expects us to use our "modern, more evolved intellect" to reinterpret Scripture.
This leads them to interpret the verses on homosexual behaviors in the light of the present-day culture and society in which they live. Orthodox Christians hold that Scripture itself interprets Scripture and that the previous 2,000 years of such interpretations are still valid today as God's word does not change. This briefly and inadequately details the gulf between orthodox Lutheran ministers and our teaching and progressive Lutheran ministers and their teaching.
By Dennis Beckmann
read more at: http://www.salina.com/editorials/-Beckmann-column-for-Saturday--March-15--2014