St. Andrew's is committed to our continued welcome, inclusion, and celebration of our LGBTQ identified friends, family, neighbors, and leaders. For us, this affirmation is a deep part of who God is calling us to be in the world.
The Bible is the cradle for the word of God. Lutheran's do not subscribe to pithy doctrines of biblical literalism or legalism. We take the Bible far too seriously for that. The Bible is a spectacular "little library" of books, letters, songs, poems, and stories composed over many generations mostly from the other side of the globe.
The Bible has many stories of welcoming people, especially those who may experience hostility in the world.
The Biblical witness of Jesus crossing cultural borders and offering respect and hospitality are patterns we try to emulate.
Just like the world of the Bible had no word for "gravity" or "evolution" so neither does it have a way to comment on loving gay and lesbian relationships. It does say a lot, however, about treating others with dignity and avoiding religious zealotry.
People often confuse the biblical condemnation of "Sodomites" as meaning "gay people" but that association is anachronistic, misleading, and false. The story of Sodom is about inhospitality and sexual violence...not about warm, caring, nurtuing relationships.
Here are some further resources for you to explore.
The word "homosexual" was first used around the turn of 19th century. It came at a time after same-gender-loving persons had experienced horrible persecution especially in Europe.
LGBTQ decriminalization began in Europe as well.
Under the Nazi regime gay men were marked with a pink triangle.
Gay rights navigates similar social territory as women's rights and civil rights movements had in generations past. Including, denial of services, lack of legal protection, and "biblical" condemnation.
Here are some links to help you explore how modern LGBTQ inclusion relates to past movements.
American Lutheranism began to ordain women in 1970. LGBTQ inclusive movements began in the church around that same time.
LGBTQ families still face a great deal of prejudice and homophobia even in a diverse place like Los Angeles.
Part of our mission is to provide a safe and welcoming environment to those who have felt shunned by churches in the past.
Christianity is a movement of grace and love; two elements that drive us toward difficult and necessary social change. We are proud to be a congregation active in the needs of our community and bold in the face of oppression and violence.
The gospel calls for nothing less.