Thursday, April 09, 2009

Statement on Gay Marriage in Iowa - Dr. Paul G. Sieveking, President, Iowa District West; and Dr. Gary M. Arp, President, Iowa District East

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Greetings in the name of our Crucified and Risen Savior, Jesus, this Holy week.

Like many of you, we were saddened and offended by Iowa Supreme Court ruling regarding “same sex marriage” and the response of the leaders of the Iowa Legislature ruling out any effort to overturn the decision or even discuss it.

Today there are voices telling us that we must learn to “accept” the changes that are taking place in society. The reality is, society no longer values the church’s role, is suspicious of our views, and considers us irrelevant. Society has lost its moral foundation upon which to base any decisions regarding true and false, good and evil, right and wrong.

As Lutheran Christians we have a duty and an unprecedented opportunity to speak to society the will of God as revealed to us in His Holy Word for this is the only solid foundation upon which a civilized society can stand. The Law of God declares that homophile behavior is intrinsically sinful (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom.1:24–27). The Gospel declares that Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2) and that Christ, who knew no sin, was made to be our sin so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). The church’s proper evangelical work is to proclaim the reconciliation of the sinner to God in the death of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:18–19).

Therefore, we cannot be silent regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling, but must faithfully and publicly speak against it. For we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that ‘we’ may declare the praises of him who called ‘us’ out of darkness into his wonderful light.” I Peter 2:9

We will continue to define marriage as God has, “a lifelong union of one man and one woman.” We will celebrate His gift to us and defend marriage as Martin Luther reminds us in his explanation of the sixth commandment, “We should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do, and husband and wife love and honor each other.”

We encourage our pastors and congregations to minister to homosexuals and their families with love and concern, calling for repentance and offering forgiveness in the Good News of Jesus Christ when there is repentance.

We are attaching a copy of the 2008 letter from Dr. Gerald Kieschnick, President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in response to the California Supreme Court ruling and a copy of Resolution 3-05A adopted at the LCMS 2004 Convention both of which further clarify our church body’s position. We encourage an “in depth” study of the Bible passages cited so that all of our people might be informed by God’s Word.

We urge all of God’s people to pray for our elected leaders, our legislature, our judges that our God will grant them wisdom and understanding so that they might govern us according to His will so that our nation, our state, our communities, and all people might be truly blessed.

Your Servants in Christ,

Dr. Paul G. Sieveking, President Dr. Gary M. Arp, President

Iowa District West, LCMS Iowa District East, LCMS

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