Rev. Dr. Brian Peterson, Professor of New Testament at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, has written a clear, succinct six page paper in which he explains how the ELCA can respect the authority of Scripture without condemning committed, faithful homosexual relationships. A sample:
In Romans 1, Paul similarly uses assumptions from first century culture, medicine, and science, particularly an assumption that same-gender intercourse is the result of runaway passions. We should hear in this text the claim that life lived apart from God leads to disordered relationships. We should hear in this text that sexual addictions, which our culture seems so good at promoting and which consume so many lives, are in fact contrary to God’s will. We should hear in this text a clear word against any society obsessed with how sexually active people are and which abandons fidelity in relationships for the sake of sexual self-gratification. However, the text does not require us to affirm the 1st century cultural assumption that all same-gender intercourse is the result of runaway passion or to conclude that those same-gender couples in our congregations must be secret idolaters, any more than Joshua requires us to affirm that the sun goes around the earth. This stance is not an abandoning of the authority of Scripture over the church, but in fact results from taking the text and its authority seriously enough to read carefully and to notice the point that Paul was actually making.
Read the entire paper here. It is worth it.
I found Dr. Peterson's paper through Obie Holman's blog. He found the link through Ted Sitz's blog.