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Lutheran CORE to Defend Traditional Marriage and Uphold Biblical Teaching on Sexuality

Contact: Rev. Mark Chavez, Lutheran CORE, 717-898-0801

MEDIA ADVISORY, Aug. 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) will be gathering Lutherans from throughout the United States to defend traditional marriage and to defeat proposed changes in church teaching about sexuality. Lutheran CORE will be working to defeat proposals that would change the teaching and policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The proposals to be considered Aug. 17-23 by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis would affirm homosexual relationships and would allow pastors to be in same-sex relationships.

"The Churchwide Assembly has no authority to be voting on these matters," said the Rev. Paull Spring of State College, Pa., chair of Lutheran CORE. "The constitution of the ELCA says that the Bible is the source and norm of the church's faith and life. A church meeting does not have the authority to overturn what the Bible clearly teaches about marriage and about homosexual behavior."

"The sexuality proposals show a tremendous arrogance. ELCA leaders think we can do whatever we want in our teaching about sexuality regardless of what the Bible teaches and what Christians around the world and throughout time have consistently taught," said Spring, the retired bishop of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod.

"Lutheran CORE will be working together with faithful Lutherans from throughout the ELCA to defeat both the proposed social statement and the proposal for blessing and ordaining practicing gay and lesbian persons," said Spring, "We have voting members and volunteers ready to bear witness to the truth as it has been revealed in Scripture and confessed by faithful Christians for nearly 2,000 years."

"Consideration of these proposals threatens the ELCA's relationship with our partner churches in the Lutheran World Federation. Church leaders from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe have already written letters stating that approval of the sexuality proposals would greatly damage the ELCA's relationship with their churches," said the Rev. Mark C. Chavez of Landisville, Pa., director of Lutheran CORE. "These proposals will also severely damage the ELCA's relationship with Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and most Protestant Christians."

"A Christian church has no business voting on whether the Bible is relevant to the faith and life of its members," Chavez said.

"In reality, this debate is not about sex. It is about the source of authority in the ELCA. The ELCA claims that the Bible is the source and norm of its faith and life. The sexuality proposals are based on a different source and norm. They reject the clear teaching of Scripture and seek consensus on a different basis," said Ryan Schwarz of Washington, D.C., a member of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee. "The question is whether the ELCA practices what it says it believes."

Lutheran CORE is a coalition of pastors, lay people, congregations and reforming groups that seeks to preserve the authority of the Bible in the ELCA. Lutheran CORE seeks to be a voice for the solid, faithful core that is the majority of ELCA members, pastors, and congregations. More information is available at www.lutherancore.org.