Lutheran social services network shows strains over gays

Lutheran social services networks participated in jointly by the Lutheran Church0Missouri Synod and the ELCA are threatened by differences between the two denominations over the equality of heterosexuals and gays and lesbians.

Rachel Zoll of AP reports:

One of the largest social service networks in the United States, working in areas ranging from adoption to disaster relief, faces a shakeup because of Lutheran divisions over the Bible and homosexuality.

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a theologically conservative denomination, said Wednesday that direct work with its larger and more liberal counterpart, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has become “difficult if not impossible,” because of doctrinal conflicts, including the 2009 decision by liberal Lutherans to lift barriers for ordaining gays and lesbians.

Neither denomination would discuss the potential financial impact Wednesday. Many Lutheran-affiliated agencies receive substantial state and federal grants that would not be directly affected by any split.

Read it all.

From the Missouri Synod:

The document concludes by reaffirming that there “can and should be a measure of cooperation between the LCMS and other Christians, Lutheran or otherwise, so long as there is no compromise of the teachings of Holy Scripture as explicated in the Confessions.” Yet it also states that “the markedly different theological courses of our respective church bodies (LCMS and ELCA) mean that cooperation on the national level is a different matter. The ELCA’s departure from historic Christian and Confessional Lutheran standards makes it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for the LCMS to cooperate directly with the ELCA national office in united efforts with doctrinal integrity.

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