For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them;
for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful;
but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:18-32)
On Divisive Issue of Gay Clergy, Two Churches Weigh Softer Stance
Lutherans, Presbyterians May Allow Locals to Pick Pastors in Same-Sex Relationships
By JANE LAMPMAN
April 4, 2009
Two mainline Protestant denominations, after decades of wrestling over the place of homosexuality in the church, are considering allowing local congregations to select pastors who are in long-term, monogamous, same-gender relationships.
Lutherans and Presbyterians may allow local congregations to choose people in same-sex relationships as pastors.
The church council of the largest Lutheran body in the U.S., the 5-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), decided this week to send such a recommendation to its national assembly. The proposal would take effect if supported by majority vote at the assembly's biennial meeting in August.
The 2.3-million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) approved the idea at its national assembly last summer, but a majority of the church's 173 district bodies, called presbyteries, must vote in favor by June for it to become church policy.
While it's not clear that either denomination will embrace the change, their actions reflect the shifting views on homosexuality in society, as well as an acknowledgement that the old consensus in the churches has broken down and a new one is not likely to arise soon. The churches are seeking to accommodate differing views and avoid a denominational split.
"There is no question that attitudes have shifted in the church in the way in which this issue has been interpreted theologically," says the Rev. Peter Strommen, chairman of the ELCA task force for studies on sexuality, which developed the recommendation.
"People of sincere faith are coming to different, strongly held conclusions" based on different interpretations of scripture and tradition, he said during a Tuesday teleconference with reporters. "It's hard to imagine that as being possible 15 years ago."
The task force has spent eight years developing a new "social statement" on human sexuality to serve as a theological and teaching document of the church, and in the process, it held more than 100 public hearings. In 2007, the national assembly asked the group to also recommend changes to any policies "precluding homosexual persons" from church leadership.
For the rest of the article: