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Moral Deliberation

“As a community of moral deliberation, the Church seeks to ‘discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect’ (Romans 12:2). Christians struggle together on social questions in order to know better how to live faithfully and responsibly in their callings.” (ELCA social statement, “The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective”) 

We fulfill our vocation in many ways that reflect the rich variety of the gifts of the Spirit. As a result, we often disagree passionately on the kind of responses and reactions we have to social questions and issues. United in Christ and with all believers in baptism, we welcome and celebrate our diversity. The ELCA is a church committed to lively conversation as we strive to discern God's guidance within the ambiguity of daily life and embrace each other — questions, complexities and all.

Because Christians share common convictions of faith and a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, we are free, even obligated, to reflect and discuss together the challenges we face in the world. The ELCA views the world in light of God’s word, and we understand God’s word from its context in the world, enabling us to discern and deliberate on life’s complexities and challenges while considering both God’s word and God’s world, and the relationship between the two.

To help people talk together about social issues within the context of faith, the ELCA provides several resources:
  • Talking Together as Christians about Tough Social Issues”  is an easy-to-use guide for holding discussions in congregations and other ministry settings. A Spanish version, “Dialogando en Conjunto como Cristianos” is available by calling the ELCA at 800-638-3522.
  • For having discussions with groups that cross cultural boundaries, you are also encouraged to use “Talking Together as Christians Cross-Culturally: A Field Guide.” This resource provides help with discussing issues among people of different cultural backgrounds.
Just a reminder, ELCA social statements and social messages make great discussion starters!