The Call to Freedom and our Charter of Freedom have practical and necessary consequences, including but no limited to the following:
1. We are free to live by the hearing of the Word (Rom 10:17) and are therefore not dependent upon any particular experience, feeling, qualms of conscience, or lack thereof.
2. We are free to live as one priesthood – of all believers. We value an educated clergy but reject Episcopal ordination liturgies1 because they claim to create sacramental bishops who have special grace that laity lack.
3. We are free to be involved in the political parties of our choice. This means the church has no particular expertise or sanctified wisdom in moral concerns. The gospel (and the Holy Spirit) cannot be identified with particular political causes or decisions by an individual, congregations, or church assemblies.
4. We are free to use common reason to sort out ethical issues, including sexuality, following Paul’s principle of asking about the damages of any behavior. (Romans 13:10: “Love does no harm to the neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”)
For example, common reason, including the question of damages, leads us to be concerned for what is best for children, and therefore to protect the mom-dad family.
5. We are free to be respectful of all religions, without making tolerance into god. We support the civil rights of all people while we are also free to proclaim Jesus Christ as “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6)
1 As required in the ELCA Constitution 10.81.01.