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A letter from the heart

by Diane Eaton (WordAlone board member)

September 10, 2003

Dear WordAlone Members,

I was talking to my dad today about the sadness I feel about the state of our church and the fact that I won’t send my own children to an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) sponsored conference. Because he was unaware of the business of the ELCA youth this summer and after reading my Bible study today, I know that this issue needs better airing than it has received.

I am finishing the summer with Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Today I studied chapter 5, verses 3-7

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person — such a man is an idolater- has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

From the ELCA News: July 28, 2003:

“Atlanta (ELCA)– Human sexuality and ethnic diversity were among a variety of topics addressed by some 255 high-school-age Lutherans at the Sixth Triennial Convention of the Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) here July 20-23 at Georgia Institute of Technology. The LYO is the youth organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA), Chicago.

“Delegates passed resolutions on a variety of topics, including human sexuality. . . .

“Resolutions passed at the sixth triennial convention call for LYO members to:

  • Encourage discussion on the topic of human sexuality in confirmation classes and at synod-led youth events.
  • Delegates also adopted a esolution supporting the blessing of ‘same-sex unions’ and the ordination of ‘non-celibate individuals’ of ‘all sexual orientations’ in committed relationships.”

Back to Ephesians, at what point do we say, “do not be partners with them?”

Is it today, when the ELCA is sending press releases out directing that confirmation classes be brought along on the human sexuality study? For me personally, that is the case now. However I am cautious lest this issue become too a great distraction from our real work.

Last week a football player I know didn’t make the “A” team. When he asked his coach about it, the coach told him, “You didn’t go into the scrimmage when I called your name. You weren’t paying attention.”

The football player said that he was so busy watching the scrimmage that he didn’t hear his name called.

Lord, open our ears so that we hear you calling us into the game. Cleanse us Lord from sexual immorality, impurity and greed so that we may serve on your “A” team.

You require us to speak your truth and word even when it is difficult. But, help us not to be distracted by issues in the church so that we miss opportunities to study your Word, listen for your voice and tell others how you are transforming our lives. Give us insight to know when and how to speak so that these issues in the church don’t become stumbling blocks to the Holy Spirit’s work in drawing others to you. Yet, give us wisdom and strength to address tough issues when and where it is needed.

In Jesus Name Amen!