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No courage in watering down purpose of church

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I am writing in response to the Pioneer's Sept. 19 editorial from the St. Cloud Times "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's decision an act of courage."

Some people may view the decision by the ELCA to allow homosexuals to be pastors in this denomination as a courageous decision, but I am not one of them. As I see it, there is no courage in allowing the world's standard to penetrate and water down the purpose of the church.

Courage is standing firm to biblical truth in spite of what the world says we should do. Courage is holding to that biblical truth in spite of the threat that we are unloving in doing so. Courage is looking at the Word of God as a measuring stick to live by rather than wanting to water down the truth to fit our lifestyle. Courage is teaching these truths to our children rather than teaching them to be silent in order to avoid conflict. Courage is every pastor who says from the pulpit on Sunday that sin is sin no matter that some would have us think it is intolerance.

God has called the church to be set apart from the world for His purpose and His pleasure -- not our own. Not once in the editorial (not that I expected it) was God's truth mentioned -- only the world's standard. At some point in all of our lives, we are presented with the choice to either accept or reject Christ as our Lord. Acceptance means we choose to live according to the standard God Himself has given us in His Word while putting the world behind us. That is the bottom line and there can never be a coming together of the world and the Word.

Jesus himself said to be in the world, but not of the world. In 1 John 2:15-16 it says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world."

Standing for this truth, I believe, is a higher and more courageous call than the recent decision by the ELCA.

Mary Hannah

Bemidji

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