Is the type of gathering our denomination should be promoting? I highly doubt the proclamation of the gospel was happening here.
We recently reported that the Southeast Michigan Synod, of the ELCA, was promoting an event held by the US Social Forum (USSF). (read here) It has been learned that this forum had the known terrorist Bill Ayers as a speaker. (read here and here)
Is the type of gathering our denomination should be promoting? I highly doubt the proclamation of the gospel was happening here.
The ELCA made it's decision to call homosexuality "good" even though God calls it sin and asks those to turn from it. The ELCA decision was a rejection of the Bible and then they ask it's members to remain in unity. Here is how we all should answer the ELCA.
"It is illogical to embrace heresy and then expect unity. . . It is better to be divided by truth than united in error."
"Unity, Biblical unity comes from what we believe about the word of God and the Son of God."
"It is appalling and evil when an official denominational pronouncement condones and celebrates the very sins that keep people out of the kingdom of God. How is that good? How is that justice? How is the loving? How does that liberate anyone? This decision slanders God. It just misses God's word and promotes damnation in the place of salvation. . . it is better to be divided by the truth than united in error. . . Biblical heresy is not the rallying point for church unity, Biblical truth is. We rally around the word of God and the Son of God, that is where we find our unity."
"Personally, I could not stay in a church or denomination that has blatantly ignored and defied scripture." Quotes from Pastor Troy Dobbs (see video here)
Faithfulness Gathering, a group of "faithful Lutherans in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa," has decided to give up on reforming the ELCA.
The Faithfulness Gathering website reports, ". . .we are finished working within the ELCA for an overall systemic, organizational reform. That doesn’t mean we have to give up on the hope of spiritual reform for all sinners within the E?CA – that work continues as it always has. But this does mean we can cut our losses and stop wasting time, energy, and money in fighting politically against these entrenched heresies holding grip on the E?CA organization (it is not a church). We can still work for revival and conversion of one person at a time, one church at a time.
There may be pockets of resistance, but many are simply moving on – that is what Lutheran CORE and LCMC are there for. If there was going to be a huge backlash, it would have happened by now. But instead of that, we’re seeing a total lack of loyalty - nothing new in the ELCA – continuing its downward slide, but even more rapidly. People and churches are simply leaving rather than staying and fighting to change the church. People just don’t care all that much about the E?CA! Who needs it? There are plenty of other options out there!" (Read "What is happening in SE MN after the 2010 synod assembly?")
"For those not attending the synod assembly in SE Minnesota, we failed to pass the resolution to rescind the sexuality statement and implementing resolutions by a vote of 178 to 225. We got 44% of the vote. That’s not good, but not bad, either. We did have some significant support for a fairly “radical” resolution that outright opposed the ELCA CWA actions! We took the issue head on – no questions about what we wanted, and we found out that we were not alone." - (read here)
"Lutherans of the Lower Susquehanna Synod rejected a resolution during their annual assembly June 11 to propose a repeal of the gay clergy policy approved during last year's Churchwide Assembly. The vote was 311 to 190." (read here)
In a newsletter from the Metropolitan New York Synod of the ELCA -
"Lutheran presence in the Pride March Saint Peter's, Manhattan and the synod's Commission for Gay and Lesbian People invite you to march in this year's Pride March on Sunday, June 27 and add to the Lutheran presence. Our proclamation of welcome is already enhanced by the inclusion of a float. All participants are encouraged to wear a solid color t-shirt. For updates on gathering location and time, register your e-mail address with the Commission at email@example.com." (see here)
Participation in a Gay Pride march seems to me like an endorsement of a sinful lifestyle rather than a message of welcome to all sinners, to find forgiveness and life changing power in Jesus.
You will not find the ELCA leadership consulting homosexuals that they can leave that sinful lifestyle and find freedom in Christ Jesus, which is the loving thing to do. No, the ELCA participates in events that glorify sin and the ELCA encourages people to continue dying in their sins.
And true Christians want to be part of this?
Please read this article -
Excerpts from an Email to ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson from Jaynan Clark, President, WordAlone Ministries
I read this article minutes ago and feel it is something all ELCA members need to read. We, the members of this denomination should have the same passion and courage to stand against the enemy who desires to lead the elect astray. I call on all to ELCA members to not back down to the false gospel the leadership of the ELCA is endorsing and weaving into a once Christ centered, scripture following denomination. As the young shepherd David boldly proclaimed victory over the giant and ran swiftly at him in battle, knowing God was on his side, we need to be a strong voice of truth, leading our churches away for the false gospel the devil has brought into the ELCA.
Please send this article on to all you know who would be interested.
Have you heard of LIFT: Renewing the Ecology of the ELCA (see here) and what do you think the purpose and goals are of the organization?
By Wayne M. Anderson
The largest Protestant church in Africa grabbed the world’s attention when it publically denounced homosexuality and said people who support gay rights were not welcome in the church—and neither was their money.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) posted a notice on its Web site entitled: Church rejects homosexuality.
"Those in same sex marriages, and those who support the legitimacy of such marriage, shall not be invited to work in the ELCT,” a press release states. “We further reject their influence in any form, as well as their money and their support."
In addition the fastest-growing church in Africa with 5.3 million members said it “supports all those around the world who oppose churches that have taken the decision to legalize same-sex marriage.”
This loud warning was seen as a prelude to split from its main financial partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which now supports gay rights.
But those strong statements have toned down considerably since the head of the ELCT recently conferred with ELCA officials here.
“I hope there will be time to discuss it and see what we can do,” said Presiding Bishop Alex Malasusa in an exclusive interview from Tanzania. “We have been with ELCA for a long time, so we hope there will be room for discussion.”
In April there was no apparent room for discussion. The declarations from Tanzania were loud and clear. Now, asked directly if he will lead the ELCT out of ELCA he is not certain.
“Well I can’t say that,” Malasusa said. “As I say, I can’t really commit to anything.”
Last summer at their national convention in Minneapolis, the ELCA committed to supporting gay rights, when it narrowly voted to ordain practicing gay and lesbian ministers who are in a “committed relationship.”
The unexpected decision on August 21 threw traditional Lutherans into a state of shock and started an exodus from the largest American Lutheran body with 4.6 million members.
Many traditional-minded Lutherans in the US have left the ELCA and support others around the world who follow a traditional reading of the Bible.
“I fully applaud their decision (ELCT) to follow what God’s word says,” said Lois Carlson, of Grantsburg, Wis., who was born to medical missionaries in Tanzania, is the wife of a retired Lutheran pastor and has left the ELCA over the controversial issue. “Their stand is certainly based on Scripture.”
The head of the ELCT once expressed support of this US exodus in his last Easter sermon. He said gay-rights advocates had gone astray from the Bible, and it was up to Africa to get them back on the straight and narrow.
“It's time Africa preached to the rest of the world, and remind them of God's word,” Malasusa is quoted saying in The Citizen newspaper in Tanzania.
And the bishop warned this scriptural mission will have a cost.
“We should be independent so that they don’t use their money and wealth to threaten us…we should leave them with their money and stick to the word of God,” he said.
But Malasusa is now walking back his unequivocal stance since his trip to America, where he openly visited ELCA synods and then met with church officials in Chicago behind closed doors.
Church officials characterized the meetings as “confidential” and declined to shed any light on them.
"We believe that concerns are best worked out through church-to-church relationships rather than through public statements," ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson is quoted by the ELCA News Service.
The two bishops, and other church heads, will again meet at the Lutheran World Federation meeting in Stuttgart, Germany in July.
But for now, Malasusa is no longer saying Africa will lead the fight against those who “do all they can to destroy one Biblical passage after another in order to legalize homosexuality.”
He now says, “It’s not our duty to do that.” Adding, “we are not forcing anybody to follow us.”
After the May 28 exclusive interview, the bishop and his secretary general further declined to answer any subsequent phone calls or emails.
His last statement was, “I think you can contact Bishop Mark Hanson and he will tell you what we have discussed.”
An interview was requested with the head of the ELCA.
“As for your request, I wish I had better news,” said John Brooks, director of ELCA News Service. “Bishop Hanson declined to be interviewed.”
The Tanzanian bishop also said his Easter sermon containing unwavering statements was reported out of context. However, the newspaper reporter stands by his story.
“It's true,” said Mkinga Mkinga, in an email. “That was his statement, and it was a news headline in Tanzania!”
The journalist also offered an explanation for Malasusa’s now softer stance: money and politics.
“The problem I can see here is, that the matter has involved financial assistance from countries that supports homosexuality,” he said.
The ELCA is a major contributor to the ELCT. For the fiscal year of 2009 the ELCA gave $1,073,966 to their African global partner.
“This figure does not include any direct support…from ELCA synods, congregations, individuals, or other Lutheran organizations,” Brooks said in an email.
The ELCT greatly depends on the financial contributions, missionaries, doctors and other personnel from the ELCA. This sizeable support admittedly can be an influence.
“Yes. And that is always the struggle when we work with developing countries,” said Rev. Thomas Skrenes, bishop of the Northern Great Lakes Synod and a long-time friend of Malasusa.
Skrenes, who voted against ordaining practicing homosexuals at the convention because “the case had not been made biblically or theologically,” said Tanzanians have the “right to come to their own conclusions…and we respect that. They won’t see money as a manipulator. We can’t do that. That would be wrong.”
But Bishop Skrenes said the practice of ordaining homosexual ministers will not likely split the two churches.
“No, we are hopeful…even confident that we can work together with our brothers and sisters in Tanzania and other places who hold a different position.”
But not all Lutheran pastors see it that way.
“There’s no basis in the word (Scripture) for compromising or changing or softening one’s position,” said Rev. Jaynan Clark, president of WordAlone Ministries, an organization assisting congregations to leave the ELCA.
And she is suspect on the influence and motivation.
“I can’t see how anything but the money could be influencing their position,” said Clark.
As a former ELCA missionary to Tanzania, she warns against taking “any blood money and not to compromise their position.”
Of the 70 million Lutherans worldwide, many traditionalists expressed optimism when Malasusa posted his clarion call to return to “God’s word.” Some said it was like when founder Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis to the church door.
But for whatever reason, Malasusa’s once Luther-like unwavering stance is now on the way to a table of compromise, where it all began in Germany.
(Wayne Anderson is a freelance journalist based in Wisconsin. His Web site is: www.theandersonreport.com.)
Does God's written word mean nothing to you? Are you a Christian in name only? I have to ask this, after reading the following article (read here) and hearing of ELCA members and churches deciding to stay in the ELCA. (Praise God for those of you who are standing up to the ELCA's false teachings and ways)
The ELCA mocks scripture that is given to us by God. (Explore this website for the evidence) The ELCA cuts out pieces of the Bible they don't like and rewrites the words to say what they want it to say. Yet most still support this denomination.
And what about the content ELCA bishops and pastors? Why are you staying in the ELCA when you know the heresy of the ELCA? Isn't standing up for truth more important to you than your jobs? Are you afraid you may upset some of your congregation or lose some of your members? Or are you afraid you may be called names by people, most of whom are not even Christians.
Do you really want to be part of a denomination that places their thoughts above God's thoughts? Do you really want to stand before Jesus someday and tell Him you knew the ELCA walked away from Him but you were afraid to do the same to the ELCA?