CEP: Another Straggler

Wouldn’t expect people to respond after nine whole days, but my inbox keeps proving me wrong.  This response comes from the pastor of an ELCA Lutheran congregation, verdict: indeterminate.

It’s possible to interpret this one as a positive, but I have some reservations.  Hope to hear y’all’s input after you take a look.

Hi,
I had forgotten about your email and just rediscovered it. I am not sure we as a church have ever taken an “official position” on the subject of asexuality. However in 2009 we as a national church approved a social statement on human sexuality.

I’ll get to that in a minute.

While I am not sure about what it specifically says about your question, I would imagine since the document seeks to affirm all people that we could assume the same regarding asexuality.

In cases like these, it’s not good to assume things.  I would have liked to have heard this pastor’s own opinion, but from an optimistic point of view, he seems to have no problem with asexual people, given that he doesn’t object to them being affirmed.

Further the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7 the following:

I’ve removed the full quote because if you’ve been following this project, you’ve seen this verse several times by now.  What’s interesting, though, is that he chose to quote the chapter all the way to verse 17, which reads:

Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

Sounds pretty affirming to me.

I hope this helps.
[name redacted]

Well, sort of.  I wish Christians would learn that you can’t just drop a Bible verse on someone and walk away expecting them to come to same interpretation you do.  You’ll never pass your English classes that way.  Still, I think this pastor is pretty well-meaning, if disinterested.

Now let’s look at that ELCA statement on human sexuality.

From the summary:

When God created human beings, sexuality was made integral to their nature.

[…]

As trust and entrusting are established in a relationship, physical expression naturally becomes more intimate. For this reason the church teaches that degrees of physical intimacy should be carefully matched to degrees of growing affection and commitment.

From the introduction:

God creates human beings as sexual creatures

[…]

the ELCA is united in opposing all forms of violence or discrimination and is committed to welcoming all people, regardless of sexual orientation

From the statement itself:

We all have sexual identities that will find expression in our lives. We have sexual feelings that we are aware of and sometimes need to be negotiated

[…]

Sexually mature, healthy individuals learn to be comfortable with their bodies and are able to entrust themselves to others.

[…]

Human beings remain sexual creatures for life.

[…]

sexual intimacy would be expected to follow the same pattern of growth marked by the other dimensions of mutual self-understanding.

[…]

This church also will attend to the need for equal protection, equal opportunities, and equal responsibilities under the law, and just treatment for those with varied sexual orientation and gender identity. Such individuals are disproportionately and negatively affected by patterns of stigma, discrimination, and abuse.

Ironic, isn’t it?

The ELCA wants to be accepting of all orientations, according to this, but it’s clear they’ve got some serious work to do. Somebody just needs to pass on the memo that God creates human beings as asexual creatures, too.

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