CHICAGO – The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is suggesting that the Bible isn’t the last word on homosexuality.
In a town hall meeting Sunday, Bishop Mark Hanson said, “the understanding we have of homosexuality today does not seem to be reflected at all in the context of the biblical writers.” Therefore, he said, Lutherans should consider more modern views on sexual orientation. [source]
Well, he’s getting it partly right, at least. The Bible is NOT the only source of Christian truth and Divine revelation. Not only is that nonsensical, it’s also non-biblical. Restricting ourselves to only what is explicitly written in the Bible as Christians means not only being prone to misinterpreting it, but it also means missing out on so much!
On the other hand, what this Lutheran bishop is saying is just embarrassing. He hasn’t a clue. Lord help him. It’s quite simple really…
Jesus gave us a Church. That Church has passed down to us things. That’s called Tradition. One particularly special part of that Tradition is sacred scripture and the canon of the Bible. Other things that have been passed down include the proper interpretation of scripture as well as a more complete and full understanding of the true Gospel.
And these people just passing things down to us are not just random souls who happened to like doing it. They are the Apostles (the first bishops of the Church). They are the people who lived and walked with Jesus and the Apostles. They are the students of the Apostles. They are the bishops who directly and personally received authority and a command from the Apostles to continue to pass these truths down and apply them to the present day. They are the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. It is directly connected from Pope Benedict today all the way back in a direct line of succession of authority (and promised guidance of the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ Himself) to the Apostle Peter (That’s called Apostolic Succession). If you want the fullness of what Jesus Christ gave us in His Church, you can find it today and until the end of time (as Jesus promised) in the Catholic Church. Anything else is a compromise.
This Lutheran Bishop is a fine example of what is driving many protestants back into communion with the Catholic Church.