Monday, March 17, 2008

Bishop deFreese Also Writes

Bishop David deFreese of the Nebraska Synod has this to say on the release of the sexuality draft:

Bishop deFreese on draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality

The Rev. Dr. David L. deFreese

Nebraska Synod,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

March 13, 2008

ELCA First Draft of "Social Statement on Human Sexuality"

I am thankful for a church that addresses the crucial issues of life ... even when they are so deeply complex and controversial. Human sexuality is a matter deserving our most thoughtful and prayerful reflection because of its powerful impact upon our life together.

This first draft of an ELCA "Social Statement on Human Sexuality" is well rooted in Biblical scripture and human reason, and I believe, appropriately focuses upon two essential understandings: relationships and responsibility. Our relationship with God is primary in this discussion, as well as recognizing God's great design of life within community. This writing deals honestly and forthrightly with the reality of our human brokenness and selfishness. This is what we Lutherans call sin. It lifts up the human gift of responsibility in living out our lives, confronting where we fail and applauding where we flourish. Trustworthy relationships are at the heart of how we live.

This draft re-affirms that marriage is the location for full sexual expression, and testifies to the wonderful power of fidelity. It speaks to gender in friendships and confronts the risks of cohabitation. It also calls for continued prayer, study, and conversation as this church deals with same gender relationships. It wisely calls for greater protection of our children in an increasingly sexualized society, while denouncing the dangers of sexual exploitation.

This draft is not a finished product. Rather it calls for robust conversation and deliberation, hearings for people to share their understandings (of which Nebraska Synod will have two in September) and rewrites. The final draft will be voted upon at the August 2009 Churchwide Assembly.

Bishop David deFreese
March 2008

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