This ad appeared Sunday in our local newspaper, The Herald. It was signed by several men of the cloth from our region. Sadly, none of these churches are in our fair city of Rock Hill, SC. I have added links to the Biblical and historical references and made one minor correction where the word "to" was left out (highlighted in red).
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are writing as individuals to disassociate ourselves from certain actions taken at the recently concluded General Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC). We believe that by their actions, the ELCA and TEC have abandoned the authority and plain teaching of Holy Scripture; overturned two thousand years of Christian thought and teaching; and sought to conform the church to this world/age instead of discerning the will of God (Romans 12:2)
In response to these actions, we wish to affirm that:
* Jesus Christ is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6) and that "there is salvation in no one else" (Acts 4:12).
* We believe the Holy Scriptures to be God's Word written and to "contain all things necessary for salvation." In addition, we feel that "it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God's Word written" (Article XX - Articles of Religion).
* The ideal set forth by God in Holy Scripture for human sexuality is found within the bounds of Holy Matrimony between one man and one woman, or chastity in the single state. And if this be the case, the church cannot bless relationships outside of this standard, and ought not ordain those whose lifestyle does not conform (to) this standard.
We call upon all men, women and children to put on the Gospel armor, especially taking the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). We call upon all ordained ministers to heed what Jesus says to us, lest we miss our eternal commendation from the Lord (Matthew 5:19, Luke 12:48b). We call upon all Christians to heed the words of the Apostles (Acts 5:29b).
We acknowledge our own sinfulness and the need we have for repentance and amendment of life. We rejoice that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom we are chief (1Timothy 1:15). As we do believe that since all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23), all are welcome to join us in the fellowship of the church and we invite everyone, regardless of who you are, to come and worship with us.
Finally, we ask for your prayers (Ephesians 6:19-20) as we continue to preach the Gospel in this portion of the vineyard.
In Christ's love and service,
The Rev. Robert Gaillard Kirkland
Rector, The Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal), York, SC
The Rev. Chearles Aurand
Pastor, Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, York, SC
Pastor R.E. Lybrand Jr.
Lake Wylie Lutheran Church, Tega Cay, SC
The Rev. Kenneth "Corky" Spitler
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Gaffney, SC
Lord bless these clergymen. Lead them and teach them; "Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." Psalm 25 v.5.