Convention hit by tornado
by Irvin Baxter
When America’s largest Lutheran denomination gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 17, 2009, the number one issue on the convention agenda was a proposal to approve allowing gays and lesbians in committed relationships to be members in good standing and also to serve as pastors.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has about 4.7 million members with about 10,000 congregations in the United States. Debate among the approximately 1,000 delegates continued throughout the week. By Wednesday afternoon, the convention moved toward a vote. According to the printed convention schedule, the afternoon session in which the pivotal vote was to take place, was to begin at 2 PM.
At exactly 2 PM, out of the blue, a tornado ripped into the convention center and into the Central Lutheran Church across the street where many of the convention activities were taking place. The convention center was damaged, the tents that had been erected in the yard of the church were ripped down, and the cross on top of the church’s steeple was ripped off and left dangling upside down.
No severe weather had been predicted or expected. Weather experts were baffled, most saying they had never seen anything like it. It was so unexpected, and left so suddenly, that the city’s tornado warning sirens were not even sounded until it was over.
Did this obvious warning detour those bent on implementing practices of sodomy into the Lutheran Church? No. They held the vote to approve same-sex relationships anyway–that same afternoon. One of the convention delegates said that the storm was the wind of the Holy Spirit signaling its approval of the church’s action. No wonder Paul said about homosexuality in Romans 1:28 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind…”
Conservatives in the ELCA, also observing the weather aberration, said it could have been a warning from God and an expression of His anger.
Two days later, on Friday, the travesty was completed. The ELCA voted to allow clergy in committed homosexual relationships to serve as pastors.
What does God say about these unbelievable actions taken “in His name”?
“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 recompense 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.”
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