The following is a slightly edited version of an email I wrote recently responding to a question about what “we believe” regarding Gay & Lesbian Clergy. Since I’m sure it will come up in other contexts, here are my thoughts:
…The short answer is that we believe along with the Scriptures that any sexual activity that is outside of God’s intention of a man and a woman living together in lifelong marriage is wrong and spiritually dangerous, as is all sin. That is true for anyone, and that certainly includes pastors. So I think it would be fair to say that our church body (The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod) would probably fit into the socially conservative category when it comes to such things.
However, and this is very important, while homosexuality is a sin and is against God’s Word, it is only a sin. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, not just socially acceptable (or unacceptable) sins. As the hymn puts it, Jesus Sinners Doth Receive! So while these sexual sins are serious (as is all sin), we seek to be a place of healing and forgiveness. That means recognizing right from wrong. That also means recognizing we are all poor, weak sinners who need Jesus and the Gospel.
I hope that answers at least some of your questions. Please feel free to call me at church if you would like to get together and talk more.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Todd Peperkorn