Unity and Compassion
Yesterday, the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted that it is in "Full Communion" with the United Methodist Church. The UMC passed a similar vote at General Conference last year, so the ELCA vote sealed the deal.
This means, according to the United Methodist Reporter, that "each church acknowledges the other as a partner in the Christian faith, recognized the authenticity of each other's baptism and Eucharist, observes the validity of their respective ministries and is committed to working together toward greater unity."
Wonderful, and a great thing to celebrate. Unity.
In the same news story, it was noted that the ELCA voted to adopt, "Resolved, that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same gender relationships." It was not passed without controversy, and there were threats that if the vote didn't go their way, some groups would leave.
Today I was told that the when a minister was asked what the Bible says about homosexuality, and he/she responded that "Jesus doesn't discuss it, and we should be compassionate," he/she was giving a response that was woefully inadequate.
Compassion -- love your neighbor as yourself: that might be the first time I've ever heard it called "woefully (or maybe it was completely) inadequate."
Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we get it wrong.