Obsessed with sex and disinterested in the Gospels, a conservative Lutheran faction misnamed the “Lutheran Coalition for Renewal” (CORE) is encouraging schism from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Focus on the Family applauded this split on Nov. 19.

The Rev. Mark Chavez, a CORE director, is quoted by Focus as saying one’s beliefs about the narrow topic of sexuality are key to determining whether one accepts the “authority of God’s Word and especially the authority of the Bible.”

It turns out, however, that CORE accepts neither.

The Bible assumes traditional marriage to be solely an arranged affair between a man, and an obedient and uneducated woman whom he has never met. CORE redefines marriage quite differently.

In condemning all religions except Judaism, some portions of the Bible seem to reject freedom of religion. Here, I confess, CORE is in agreement with those particular Bible passages.

In texts portraying God as ordering Biblical heroes to battle against religious and cultural infidels, portions of the Bible affirm rape and genocide against innocents in wartime. CORE is silent about its position regarding war crimes.

In the texts that are so frequently misquoted to justify genocide against sexual minorities, the Bible condones incest in Lot’s family and polygamy in the family of David. CORE is silent about its position regarding incest, and CORE disagrees with the Bible regarding polygamy.

Portions of the New Testament, meanwhile, require pacifism in response to assault — and define the Christian lifestyle solely in terms of a nomadic celibate life in which all possessions must be given away in order to evangelize about Jesus of Nazareth. CORE says nothing about pacifism, and little if anything about celibacy, charity, nomadism, or divorce.

That requirement of apostles to dump one’s possessions is issued in contradiction to other texts which affirm landowners’ keeping of slaves, provided that they are treated with a token degree of humanity.

CORE is certainly entitled to create splinter churches if it wishes. But its claim to be Biblical is transparently false. Focus on the Family’s approval of CORE’s claim suggests that Focus, too, is unbiblical in its “worldview.”