Letter: Ad listing religious groups contained falsehoodsAn advertisement in Thursday’s edition of the Daily Globe names 15 religious groups, singling out the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as the only one which does not believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. This is not true.
By: The Rev. Gary Andersen and The Rev. Richard Ricker, Worthington, Worthington Daily Globe
An advertisement in Thursday’s edition of the Daily Globe names 15 religious groups, singling out the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as the only one which does not believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. This is not true.
ELCA Lutherans are not of one mind on this issue, as is also the case with members of the other groups mentioned. In fact, the ELCA’s social statement “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust” affirms that marriage is between a man and a woman while it also urges our members to welcome and care for those with a different understanding.
The final paragraph of the ad states that the ELCA no longer conforms with Lutheran doctrine and “is no longer Lutheran.” As stated in the opening section of the ELCA’s constitutional documents, the ELCA is in fact committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Bible, the Lutheran Confessions and the ancient creeds of the church. The ad says it comes from “Concern for Children” of Almont, N.D.. An online search of the stated address shows an empty lot in this town with a population of 122 as of the 2010 census. An article at MinnPost.com indicates there is no such group registered with the Minnesota Board of Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure, or with the North Dakota Secretary of State.
That there is no way of determining who this group is, where they come from or what they stand for, raises serious credibility issues. Given the divisive nature of our times, it is unfortunate that anyone needs to deprecate others. To do so based on misrepresentation, half truths and lies serves no worthwhile end. The better thing is to respect and honor one another, even if there be areas of disagreement, and to serve as light and love to the world in the name of Jesus, just as he has asked us to do.