ELCA jury verdict: Guilty, but law needs to change

Paul McCain (LCMS publishing house director) comments on the ELCA decision regarding Atlanta pastor Rev. Bradley E. Schmeling. The ELCA committee voted 7-12 to remove him, but issued a statement saying they were nearly unanimous that the policy was wrong.

The text of the decision indicated that the committee was
nearly unanimous in its concern that “Definitions and Guidelines
for Discipline” and “Vision and Expectations: Ordained Ministers
in the ELCA” “are at least bad policy, and may very well violate
the constitution and bylaws of this church.”  The committee said

it was specifically concerned with a sentence in “Definitions and Guidelines” that states: “Practicing homosexual persons are precluded from the ordained ministry of this church.”

The committee said that if it was relieved of that requirement, it would find “almost unanimously that Pastor Schmeling is not engaged in conduct that is incompatible with the ministerial office, and would find with near unanimity that no discipline of any sort should be imposed against him.”

McCain comments:

Read the extended entry for the complete ELCA news release and the complete decision of the panel. Read it and weep. The slouching toward Gomorrah in the ELCA continues unabated. This “ruling” is empty and hollow.