Evangelical Lutheran leader suggests Bible not the final authority


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.

At its churchwide convention in August, the ELCA lifted its ban on partnered gay and lesbian clergy, prompting some traditional congregations to withhold funds and begin forming a separate denomination.

But Hanson insisted the ELCA can accommodate both views. In his words, "God is still speaking to us."

He also suggests that more homosexual-friendly policies may help the denomination grow.