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Another Church Leaves ELCA

Another Church Leaves ELCA


A Lutheran congregation in Memphis has become the first in Tennessee to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over the denomination's acceptance of gays.

Members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church voted Sunday to leave the ELCA and affiliate with the North American Lutheran Church, a body established in 2009 in response to the ELCA's decisions that year to allow partnered, monogamous gay clergy instead of requiring them to be celibate and to let congregations choose to bless same-sex unions.

Lord of Life members believe these changes are not supported by the Bible, said pastor William E. White (pictured). "The scriptures are really clear that the only proper arena for sexual relations is one man and one woman in the bonds of marriage," he told local TV station WREG, adding, "It's a theological issue. There's a difference between theology and civil rights."

The vote Sunday was the second of two required for leaving the ELCA, the first having come in December. More than 80% of those voting supported the move. Since the denomination amended its policies on gays in 2009, 374 of its more than 10,000 congregations have left. Read more here.

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