Does the ELCA Northeastern Iowa Synod Bishop Steven Ullestad not know scripture? Was he not thinking? Or did he say something that best helped his cause? To do and say anything he could to keep a ELCA church from leaving the denomination and his synod.
Bishop Ullestad had this to say, "(t)he Bible says, in Ezekiel 16, that the sin of Sodom is that she had pride, excess food, and prosperous easy but did not aid the poor and needy. So who are the Sodomites, according to scripture, has nothing to do with any sexual activity, it has to do with those that have money don't share it with the poor. Those are the Sodomites. That is not what you will find in Webster's Dictionary as the definition but it is what the Bible says." (listen here)
But if you read Jude 1:7, you will hear differently. It says, "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
That sounds like sexual activity to me! People of the ELCA, don't just believe what your leaders say. Study the Bible and know scripture so you are not deceived by those who may twist God's words to make their beliefs acceptable.
Do you have information about the ELCA teaching of universal salvation? Personal stories, sermons, presentations, seminary classes, church emails, etc. (documentation is greatly appreciated) Please send anything you have here.
I think we all know a goal of the ELCA leadership was to allow ELCA pastors to marry same sex couples in ELCA churches. It is the logical progression of the August 2009 church-wide decisions. But I for one have not heard the ELCA leadership come out and say it. The leadership knows admitting they will allow the marrying of same gender couples is not going to win them any points with the conservative, bible believing ELCA membership. So the ELCA leadership does their best not to bring it up. They enjoy having ELCA members, who believe scripture, finance their attack on God word.
So I was surprised when I heard Dr. Craig L. Nessan, academic dean and professor of contextual theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary, say this during a presentation at an ELCA church, ". . . Resolution 1 was adopted by a vote of 619 to 402. Resolve that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountably life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships." What does this mean? This resolution means that congregations which choose to do so, can recognize same gender relationships and marital unions, depending on what state one lives in. This does not force congregations to recognize same gender relationships it simple allows other congregations who wish this to be part of their ministry to be able to do so with the support of the wider church."
"So in effect, I think this resolution allows congregations autonomy to decide whether or not it will allow and recognize the blessing of same gendered partnerships and because we live in Iowa, it also allows congregations the decision about whether or not they are willing to solemnize marriages between same gendered persons." (listen here -
1/4 of the way through the audio)
This confirms what we all knew. There is no reason to doubt that the ELCA will be performing gay marriages.
This is what God says in the Bible.
Leviticus 18:22 - Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
Leviticus 20:13 - If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.
Romans 1:26-27 - Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Jesus says to turn from sin (John 8:11), but the ELCA is encouraging people to continue sinning AND make a commitment to live in sin, "as long as they both shall live." Members of the ELCA need to ask if they are going to stay in a denomination that encourages sinful behavior and rejects God's clear direction in scripture.
As more and more ELCA churches and individual members leave the ELCA, you will see the denomination's theology increase in it's rejection of scripture. The ELCA will grow more liberal in their policies. It is inevitable. The people and churches leaving the ELCA are. for the most part, conservative, bible believing Christians. They stand on Jesus being the only way to salvation. They believe that the Bible is God's word and true. These people are leaving the denomination.
Over 300 churches have left the ELCA so far and hundreds more will follow.
In every ELCA church, there are members who have left because of the ELCA's rejection of God's word (as they should.) Likely in the hundreds of thousands.
Those left in the ELCA will be people that accept the ELCA's views and policies, or people that are indifferent to those views or people that don't want to leave the ELCA no matter what the ELCA teaching and beliefs are.
Look where the ELCA leadership has already lead us. Does anyone believe they wont continue in the direction they are already headed? With less people to oppose those policies and decisions?
Watch! It's coming. The policies and demands will be more and more out of line with the God's teaching in scripture. It's happening already, and every year it will get worse.
No need to believe in Jesus. Believe whatever you want! ELCA seminary professor, David J. Lull, says you are going to heaven no matter what.
This is Part 2 (see Part 1) of an examination of Dr. David J. Lull, Professor of New Testament at Wartburg Theological Seminary series of lectures in January 2010 titled, "Preaching Lent and Easter."
The following are quotes from Dr. Lull's lectures -
"For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom [lytron] for many (Mk 10.45) - The term 'many' is not restrictive, as if it meant 'to give his life as a ‘ransom’ for some but not all'; rather, it is equivalent to 'all': 'to give his life as a ‘ransom’ for all.' And we know that 'all means all': not just Christians, or believers, or good people, but all people." (pages 6-7)
"We need to pause a moment to consider another reason why I’m skipping over the important ecumenical discussion of 'the doctrine of justification.' I have come to believe that, as important as that Reformation doctrine is, along with the partial rapprochement between Lutherans and Roman Catholics on that doctrine—to which the Methodists have added their affirmation—that doctrine’s vision of salvation is too limited. It isn’t big enough to encompass those who are sinned against: the innocent poor, especially the poorest among the poor; the innocent victims of violence in their homes, communities; innocent victims of war; innocent
victims of genetic malfunctions and disease; innocent victims of ordinary accidents; and innocent creatures who are victims of ecological injustice. The list could go on. These innocent victims do not need forgiveness for their plight!" (page 3-4)
"God’s salvation is for 'all.' The problem is that Paul wrote that 'if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.' Doesn’t that mean salvation is only for confessing Christians? But Paul also quoted Isa 28.16: 'No one who believes in him [that is, God] will be put to shame.'
And Joel 2.32: 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [that is, God] shall be saved.' Also, remember that this section of Romans begins with 'the righteousness that
comes from faith says…' (Rom 10.6). For Paul, a monotheistic Jew, that means faith in God." (page 12)
"Jesus did not have to die as a condition of God’s forgiveness of sins. Mark knew that Jesus knew that God had always forgiven the sins of “many/all,” and that God would keep on forgiving their sins." (page 9)
Dr. Lull teaches the future pastors of the ELCA, and has been for many years. If the students believe this teaching of universal salvation then when they are pastors they will not be telling anyone about the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ. The lost will remain lost, just as the devil wants.
Have you ever prayed to the Goddess? Recited the "Goddess Rosary?" Joined an ELCA Goddess small group? If you stay in the ELCA long enough you may just get your chance. ELCA church, Ebenezer Lutheran in San Francisco (http://www.herchurch.org) has been doing this for a long time, but they are not the only ones. Rev. Jeff Johnson, recently elected to the Sierra Pacific Synod Council, and his church University Lutheran Chapel (ELCA) in Berkeley, CA are conducting a monthly "Goddess Rosary" service.
Here is what the University Lutheran Chapel newsletter says about the service.
Last Sunday of the Month Goddess Rosary, 6:45PM at the Chapel. During the 1-hour session, the Divine Feminine will be recognized and reclaimed through recitation of the Goddess Rosary, silence, music, and movement. This very special Rosary consists of prayers by feminist theologian Carol Christ and musician Sister Miriam Therese Winter. The evening will be based on Rev. Stacy Boorn’s Goddess-centered devotion at Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran Church in SF. People of all gender identities are welcome." ( See here )
You can't have a Goddess service without praying the "Hail Goddess" prayer. It goes like this,
"Hail Goddess full of grace. Blessed are you and blessed are all the fruits of your womb. For you are the MOTHER of us all. Hear us now and in all our needs. O blessed be, O blessed be. Amen (adapted from Carol Christ)(see here)
One participant in the Goddess Rosary service (at herchurch) described her experience this way -
"From the basket of rosaries, I took into my hand a strand of vibrantly-colored beads with a silver goddess icon in place of the traditional cross. The goddesses came in a variety of shapes and sizes, celebrating the beauty of the feminine form; I found reflections of my own figure in the full hips and Rubenesque curves of my goddess. Once gathered, we began to recite together the “Our Mother” and “Hail Goddess” prayers."
This is what is happening in the ELCA! The ELCA is well aware of this and they have chosen to accept it. If they didn't, they have the power to stop this practice. But the ELCA does not. This is false teaching and praying to a false god. This is on the ELCA's head. Let's not forget that they have promoted it in official publications (See on Page 6) AND have allowed a pastor who sanctions it to be on a Synod Council.
For those of you on the fence concerning if you want to remain in the ELCA, what is it going to take? For those that insist on staying in the ELCA, there is more than enough evidence that the ELCA has abandoned scripture and true Christian teaching (see here), you cannot deny it. You are living for your own desire for your church and placing that above the will of God which is clear to all in His scriptures.
God tells us in His Word -
Romans 16:17 - Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
2 John 9-11 - Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching,do not receive him in your house and do not give him a greeting: for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deed.
The Bible is clear. Don't "participate in evil." Get your church out of the ELCA and if that doesn't happen, you should leave and find yourself a bible believing church.
Dr. David J. Lull, Professor of New Testament at Wartburg Theological Seminary gave a series of lectures in January 2010 titled, "Preaching Lent and Easter." It is amazing what ELCA pastors are being taught by our seminaries.
For all of my life I thought Jesus died for my sins. Thankfully Dr. Lull set me and the 2000 years of Christian teachers and believers straight.
Here is what Dr. Lull teaches.
"Jesus did not have to die as a condition of God’s forgiveness of sins. Mark knew that Jesus knew that God had always forgiven the sins of “many/all,” and that God would keep on forgiving their sins." (page 9, http://www.wartburgseminary.edu/uploadedfiles/
" . . .I can’t get past the idea that God had a thirst for innocent blood that had to be quenched, or that God’s justice required a death-penalty for sinners until Jesus’
death satisfied God’s wrath. Even if Bible passages can be made to support these ideas, I can’t get past the idea that God had been unforgiving before Jesus died. That’s not the God I find in the Bible." (Page 1, http://www.wartburgseminary.edu/uploadedfiles/
"So, an alternative to traditional substitutionary or satisfaction atonement theories is to think of “Good Friday,” not as the beginning of God’s saving action in Jesus, but as its “end,” in the sense that it represents the aim and purpose, the “first passion,” of what God was doing in Jesus’ life all along: namely, entering in full solidarity and accompaniment with the marginalized and oppressed." (Page 2,
Fellow Christians. Please investigate what your denomination is teaching and decide if you want to continue to be part of that denomination and what they teach.
The following newsletter and comments are from an Exposing the ELCA reader and pastor. The main thought that came to my mind when I read the newsletter was, "Lot about justice, little about Jesus." This is todays the ELCA.
Thank you pastor for bring this to our attention.
"The May 2010 newsletter of the Southeast Michigan Synod (pdf file) is a great example of where the ELCA is (mis)leading us. The lead article by Bishop Stephen Marsh (p.1) explains the Synod's "resurrection of purpose" as "And here is what the Spirit led us to see as the purpose of the SEMI Synod: God is calling the Southeast Michigan Synod to rise up: To bear burdens; To build bridges; To break chains; To bring hope." No mention of Christ, the Gospel,repentance and forgiveness, the Word, the Great Commission, salvation, etc. Justice and social activism, that's it!
But there is more: Most of page 5 of the same Synod newsletter contains a prominent ad by the US Social Forum (USSF) organization promoting a Detroit event at the end of June. The ad has a protest picture that says: "Another world is possible. Another US is necessary." And, most significantly the following inflammatory rhetoric: "The USSF will send a powerful message to people's movements around the world that there are active movements in this country that oppose US policies and are developing strategic community based alternatives to our current destructive economic systems. The USSF will gather social and economic justice organizers, environmentalists, peace & justice activists, community-based organizations, indigenous nations, unions and students to address the key issues of our time." Aren't those words frighteningly reminiscent of early 20th century Russia, China, the Black Panthers, the Weathermen, Abby Hoffman and the Chicago 8?
What is something like this doing in the monthly newsletter of an ELCA Synod? How can Synod leadership reasonably accept this stuff for and promote the USSF, as appears from its inclusion in the newsletter? I guess we already know the answer! This is an insult to faithful, orthodox Lutherans who take responsible American citizenship seriously as well as to those who respect the constitutional separation of church and state. The only other question: Why aren't more ELCA pastors and lay members making more noise about this and standing up to be counted as faithful to the Word of God?"