By almost every standard for measuring such things the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America stands on the conservative side of mainline Protestantism. It maintains cordial relations and some measure of cooperation with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which nobody would place in the mainline. Pastors and congregations subscribe formally to the authority of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, and that subscription is taken seriously. The creeds and liturgy provide an additional support for the dogmas of the church catholic. A continuing pietism flavors that orthodoxy with a deep concern for personal conduct and devotion. Lutheran identity counts, and that identity for most Lutherans still includes clear doctrinal and ethical content. In in North America many of these commitments and characterizations are much shakier than they were one or two generations ago, but the best aspects of Lutheran particularism are still identifiable. Then there are the Lutherans themselves. Overwhelmingly German and Scandinavian, they are properly known for their solidity, hard work, reserve, and, well, conservatism. The civic progressivism of the upper Midwest, where the ELCA is so heavily concentrated, does not contradict this in the slightest.
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It should surprise no one that sexuality saturates American culture in the twenty-first century. Talk show radio shovels in the smut. One huge issue of sexual integrity is masturbation. The first part of the battle is establishing the fact that it is indeed sinful. Many find that masturbation carries an inherent sense of guilt. However, one can easily rationalize it given these factors: 1 The Bible neither condemns nor even mentions masturbation. Even Leviticus with all its detailed prohibitions on various aspects of sexuality fails to address the topic. Contrarily, paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church strongly forbids masturbation. Howard Stern.
Lutheran Disaster Response
The first draft of a page Lutheran statement on sexuality says that non-compulsive masturbation is healthy, that sexually active teen-agers should use condoms and that churches should re-examine their traditional disapproval of gay and lesbian couples. The draft is subject to revision before the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America considers voting on it in In the Los Angeles area, Bishop J. Most major religious bodies have struggled over questions of homosexual behavior since the s. The 5. The other major U. Lutheran body, the conservative Missouri Synod Lutherans, is not involved in the study. But officials agreed that the problems began in mid-October when the Associated Press was given a copy of the document a few days before it was mailed to the 19, pastors in the ELCA.
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