Law and Gospel

September 6, 2009

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My Letter to the Bishop of the ELCA Pacifica Synod

August 27, 2009

Bishop Finck,

I wanted to pass along my observations of some of the issues covered at the ELCA Assembly 2009. I am a member of Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Anaheim.

We know tension has been building in our ELCA for many years. I wonder if the negative impact would have been different if the issue had been handled in a more expeditious manner. It took so long to make the statement, and both sides retreated from one another waiting for the battle. Much of the blame lies with ELCA leadership. Each side of the issue dug deeper fox holes, cleaned and polished their weapons for the great battle. There will be casualties of the battle. The side of Sola Scriptura lost the battle but the war will not be over until God’s Word is seen as holy as God himself. “I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”- Psalm 138:2

I wish the battle had been over something other than same sex issues that so divides our civil society. As Christians we must have compassion that comes from Jesus Christ for every person no matter what the sin, for we are all sinners and sin much daily. God loves sinners but hates sin. Are we doing sinners a disservice by not calling a sin a sin? How can people truly be set free from sin and live in the joy of being liberated from sin if we do not call sin a sin. There is no sin too great that God’s mercy will not cover it. God mercy is great and we must herald that message. When we are weak in confronting sin, then God’s mercy seems weak. We must accept the repentant homosexual as we would any brother or sister. The biggest sin is covering up the sin like Adam and Eve did and say it is not a sin. Jesus commands us to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Our only true measuring device is the Bible.

I will stand with the ELCA where the pure Word of God is taught. If I am under teaching that goes directly against Scripture, I must take a stand on the side of Truth. I thank God for my Lutheran heritage and pray for God’s will to be done in His church.

God bless you in His service.

Byron Lovering