We need to tell people to run!
Some of what is said speaks directly to the ways of the ELCA.
We need to tell people to run!
“Money for hunger had became a very successful annual financial appeal. It was Richard (John Neuhaus)'s suggestion in Forum Letter that perhaps as little as 25 percent of the several millions collected yearly were in fact being spent on helping people who were hungry. Instead, most of it was being spent on programmatic advocacy projects, all ‘hunger related,’ to be sure. Richard put forth the not unreasonable notion that money for hunger ought to be used in alleviating actual hunger. Though the percentages have changed, the fact is most of the ELCA's nineteen state advocacy offices, inherited from the LCA in the merger, would have to close, along with the Washington, D.C., Lutheran Office of Governmental Affairs, were it not for hunger-appeal funds underwriting the lobbying budgets of those agencies.”
By Matthew Silber
The ARCUS Foundation, whose mission is to advance LGBT equality, continues its efforts to influence the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see previous blog we posted about ARCUS) In 2010, the foundation gave “Lutherans Concerned” $90,000 “for two convenings to advance the full inclusion of LGBT people of faith by convening pro-LGBT denominational leaders from the Episcopal Church USA, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutherans of America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Church of Christ, and by convening nationally recognized pro-LGBT Lutheran theologians.” (search "lutherans" in 2011 here)
A couple of the ARCUS Foundation’s stated goals are to “(e)nsure that denominations and faith-based institutions affirm LGBT moral equality and support LGBT rights,” and “(s)upport pro-LGBT faith-based leaders who form, sustain and drive the movement or LGBT moral equality and civil rights.”
Interestingly, the ARCUS Foundation, who has been active over the years in attempting to and succeeding to sway the ELCA leadership to adopt a new non-Biblical stance on homosexuality, have a six point strategy to accomplish their goals. They are:
The fact that the ARCUS Foundation is still funding ELCA targeted activities means that they have more plans for our denomination. They are not content with what they already have.
For a more in-depth article about what the ARCUS Foundation is up to see this article.
Exposing the ELCA asked, "Will you remain a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?"
Here are the results of our reader poll -
55 readers answered "Yes" (16.87%)
131 readers answered "No" (40.18%)
20 readers answered "I am not a member of the ELCA" (6.13%)
120 readers answered "I am no longer a member of the ELCA" (36.81%)
Total Votes: 326
Please take a few minutes to read this survey conducted by The Barna Group, in 2009, on what Christians believe. (read here)
Many Christian denominations in America are failing to teach the truth of scripture. The study says almost 60% of “Christians” do not believe Satan is a real being? Almost 40% think that Jesus sinned while on Earth?
How does this happen? The Bible is clear on Jesus being sinless and Satan being real, yet a lot of Christians think otherwise. This happens when denominations and pastors are not teaching Scripture correctly.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. said, "We have the Bible and all of the Bible. We are accountable to it all, and it is all true, trustworthy, authoritative, sufficient, and, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, clear in its message." Churches in America, including the ELCA, need to be teaching and preaching the truth of Scripture. It is God's Word.
Sadly, this isn’t happening. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s worldly teaching of Scripture, in their seminaries, leads their future pastors (many of them) to reject much of what the Bible says. This has been happening gradually for over 20 years. Subsequently, the pastors, who are now serving congregations, will rarely uphold the truth of Scripture in the sermons they give. (But they sure know how to deliver some enlightening social justice and self-help sermons.) Through these tactics, the devil has silenced God’s Word and replaced it with damnable heresy.
The following is a report written by Dean Kallenbach about Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, WI.
Two days after 56% of the congregation voted to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (falling short of the 67% required by the constitution), the congregation council of Grace Lutheran Church voted tonight to join Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC).
The council, before an overflow crowd in its church parlors, approved a motion that would have the congregation dually affiliate with LCMC and ELCA. Proponents of the measure said action needed to be taken to demonstrate to the 288 people who voted to leave the ELCA that they should stay with Grace, and joining LCMC demonstrated that their voice was heard on Sunday. Some dissenters warned that the ELCA has said it does not allow dual rostering, but others pointed out that several churches in the 90's were affiliated with both Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and ELCA, and only stopped dual rostering with the Missouri Synod forbade it.
The vote to join LCMC was one of several taken by the council Tuesday night. Early in the meeting, Pastors Rolf Nestingen and David Irgens were asked to leave the hall while an e-mail to them from ELCA Synod Bishop Duane Pederson was read to the gathered crowd. The email, which was addressed to the pastors by the bishop at 6:37p.m. April 3, about two hours after the vote to leave ELCA fell short, advised the pastors that they must now move forward and work to stop schismatic discussions in the congregation, and work toward healing. Bishop Pederson indicated in the letter that, as bishop and pastor of the Synod, he intended to hold a worship service this Thursday night, April 8 at Grace Lutheran Church. The bishop said he would lead worship, and he intended for pastors Netingen and Irgens to assist him in the liturgy. The bishop, in the email, instructed the pastors that they had a clear choice, and said if they were unwilling to support the ELCA, they should resign their call at Grace. He promised to work with them to come up with an appropriate severance package. Bishop Pederson concluded the email by saying the public vitriol that had occurred over this issue had diminished Christ in the Eau Claire community, and that the decisions they make will affect the congregation from this day forward.
Council President Anne Carter said the Bishop has no authority to declare that he will hold a service at Grace, that there is no such provision of a "forced service" in either the Grace constitution or that of the ELCA. The council decided there will be no service April 8.
The chair also pointed out that the 56% who would have chosen to leave the ELCA in Sunday's vote were also standing with the pastors, and that it was inappropriate for the bishop to suggest they resign. The council passed a resolution affirming full support of both Pastors Irgens and Nestingen in the call that Grace has made to them, and furthermore resolved to preserve the ministry at Grace Lutheran Church by thwarting those who would remove them or request their resignation. The resolution passed. The pastors were invited to return, and they were greeted with warm applause by most of those gathered. Council President Carter pointed out that it is unlikely the pastors will get any pastor care themselves, and that the congregation must help take on that role.
A resolution was brought before the council to declare a nine-month moratorium on discussion of the disaffiliation to allow a period of healing. If staff took part in uttering disparaging remarks against the ELCA or its leadership, they would be subject to a 30-day suspension without pay. That resolution was defeated.
The council spent a great amount of time discussing the membership roster. A number of people showed up to vote Sunday who were not on the membership roles. At the direction of the pastors, anyone who declared in good conscience that they were active members who had either giving or attended worship in the past two years was allowed to vote, even if they weren't on the roster. Work will continue on firming up the roster.
There was significant discussion about a mailing that was sent out just a few days before Sunday's congregational meeting by an unofficial organization calling itself Grace For All. That letter, which was sent to much of the congregation in a highly produced piece, made several inflammatory statements about the ramifications of vote in favor of disaffiliation with the ELCA. This mailing was sent in spite of a motion the council had passed at its last meeting that neither side of the issue would disseminate materials to the membership unless those materials were first approved by the council. There is some question about whether congregational funds or materials (such as the official mailing list) were used to send the mailing. Those things will be investigated, and the congregation has asked the committee of Grace for Call to come before it at a special council meeting Tuesday, April 12 at 7 p.m.
During the discussion regarding joining LCMC, which occurred late in the meeting, the pastors pointed out that such a decision would not change they way they preach or how the Gospel is shared at Grace. One member said she had surveyed the 25 Sunday School teachers, and 18 had indicated to her that they would finish their commitment through May, then leave Grace with their families to a church in which they felt the materials and the teaching could be purely Biblical. She supported the resolution to join LCMC as giving those teachers some reason to stay.
After the vote to join LCMC, it was recommended a committee be formed to implement that change.
John Brooks, spokesman for the Chicago-based ELCA, recently spoke with the NewsOK, an Oklahoma Newspaper. The newspaper said that Mr. Brooks “estimates about 25 gay and lesbian individuals have been ordained since the policy change.” (read here) That doesn’t include the unknown number of gay and lesbian ELCA clergy who were ordained before the 2009 decision under the rules that homosexuals could not engage in sexual activity.
However, the really disturbing result of the ELCA’s action has been the multitudes of ELCA members whom the leadership has deceived and gotten to condone something that God, for our own good, told us not to do.
Also disturbing is that the ELCA is preaching this damaging lifestyle to our children. The Lutheran, which calls itself, “The magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” has a story in the April 2011 edition called, “ELCA Camp Experiences Support Gay Youth.” (see here) (Exposing the ELCA reported on these camps last year - see here and here)
The article promotes the ELCA’s gay youth camps and ministries. You can be assured that the ELCA is not telling the youth what the Bible says about homosexuality, even though that is the loving thing to do. Also, the youth should be told that, with God's help, many people have left the homosexual lifestyle. (see Exodus International)
Jesus says, “And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” Mark 9:42