Does theology change to meet social need?
On September 15, 1851, George Fox wrote a letter to “My Friend” wherein he stated in part:
“Instead of taking my writings for a guide, they should be considered as helps marks for encouragement, and never for a moment as laws to govern others. No written code, however, it may be adapted, will be wholly suited to the time and circumstances for which it was designed, will be wholly suited as an ultimate christian standard--his must be a life ever on the watch, ready to examine whatever draws his attention, and if selfishness is sufficiently subdued, and prepossessions banished from the mind, then with an honest purpose of heart, independent of books or men, a judgment will be formed that will elevate and prepare the mind for advancement while in the body, and will necessarily introduce to a happy eternity.”
This letter has been cited as an example of “Quaker Theology in Transition.” The Church of the Latter Day Saints and the Society of Friends are the only religious groups in Christianity that recognize that theology does change. Since this letter is a response to the actions of the ELCA in voting to allow congregations to extend a pastoral call to a gay or lesbian member of the clergy, I suppose I am allowed to ask the question, do Lutherans recognize that theology does change to meet social need?