WHEREAS the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is engaged in studies of human sexuality and homosexuality, and
WHEREAS these churchwide studies are exploring the specific issues of (a) blessing same-sex unions and (b) ordaining gay and lesbian persons living in committed relationships, and
WHEREAS the Confession of Faith of the ELCA commits this church to regarding the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as “the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith and life” and the Lutheran Confessions as “further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church,”
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the ________________________ affirms and endorses as a faithful expression of biblical and confessional teaching regarding the question of blessing same-sex unions, those statements regarding human sexuality and homosexual behavior already adopted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, to wit, the statement of the October 1993 meeting of the ELCA Conference of Bishops, that
"[T}here is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of a homosexual relationship. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church's ministry;"
and, as a faithful expression of biblical and confessional teaching regarding sexual conduct of ELCA pastors and particularly the question of ordaining gay and lesbian persons in committed relationships, the statement contained within the 1990 ELCA Church Council document Vision and Expectations, that
"[T]he expectations of this church regarding the sexual conduct of its ordained ministers are grounded in the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that ordained ministers are to live in such a way as to honor this gift. Ordained ministers are expected to reject sexual promiscuity, the manipulation of others for purposes of sexual gratification, and all attempts of sexual seduction and sexual harassment, including taking physical or emotional advantage of others. Single ordained ministers are expected to live a chaste life. Married ordained ministers are expected to live in fidelity to their spouses, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste, and faithful. Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships;" and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the __________________affirms the following statements of biblical and confessional principles of the Lutheran Church in support of the previous actions of the ELCA, and as a guide to the deliberations of the ELCA committee guiding the churchwide studies on human sexuality and homosexuality:
We believe, teach and confess that
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the ___________________ memorializes the _____ Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to affirm these scriptural and confessional principles regarding human sexuality and homosexual behavior and to adopt no changes in its teaching or practice that contradict these principles.