According to the article, “the ELCA, which has 4.9 million members, allows openly gay clergy, but only if they are celibate.” It also indicated that “the 12-member disciplinary committee said they felt the church rule left them no choice but to defrock Schmeling, effective Aug. 15. But the committee also wrote that, if not bound by the rule, it ‘would find almost unanimously that Pastor Schmeling is not engaged in conduct that is incompatible with the ministerial office’ and would order no discipline.”
I know very little about the ELCA, but am left scratching my head over this one. Instead of speaking out against the outright sinfulness of his lifestyle, they simply dismiss him on a technicality. How sad that tolerance and compassion have been distorted so much that sin can no longer be defined. And even worse is the fact that the leadership is leading those under its care in the same direction.
*For a biblical perspective on homosexuality see the following articles: