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Statement on homosexuality
Statement on homosexuality
WELS does not have an official statement on these issues, but our public teaching and practice is based on what the Bible teaches concerning homosexuality.
There are currently a number of hotly debated issues that may lead people to ask, "What is WELS's stance on homosexuality? Is homosexuality an inborn disposition or a free choice? Should states outlaw or endorse same sex marriages? Should gays be ordained to the Holy Ministry? Should churches bless same sex marriages?"
The best place to begin a discussion of the issue is with 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, because this passage emphasizes both the law and the gospel elements of addressing this issue:
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders , nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
On the basis of this and other passages of Scripture we must draw the following conclusions about homosexuality.
Scripture declares that homosexuality is a sin, which is contrary to God's intention in creating man and woman. Sinful resistance to the revealed will of God is a factor in this sin. People may become slaves to this sin (Romans 1:18-31, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Many factors contribute to individual acts of sin: the sinful nature we are born with, the weaknesses of our bodies, evil influences in our environment, temptations and encouragement from other sinners, and our own sinful choice join together to lead us into sin. All of these factors contribute to homosexual sin. The proportionate role of these various factors may vary from case to case.
We must warn the impenitent that homosexuality, like all sins, excludes people from eternal life (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The church, therefore, must not, bless same-sex marriages or unions, since these are contrary to the will of God. The church must not place into nor retain in the public ministry of the Word people who defend, condone, or persist in words or actions that are contrary to God's law.
We are happy to assure the repentant who are struggling against this sin that they have complete forgiveness through the blood of Christ. When Christ died for all of the sins of the whole world, he gained forgiveness for homosexual deeds, for homosexual desires, and for the inborn sinful nature that produces these sins (1 Corinthians 6:11).
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