Check out what Lord of the Mountain Lutheran Church (ELCA church located in Dillon, Colorado) has to say on their website,
"LOTM MISSION STATEMENT
In the spirit of the Reformation, Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church continually seeks meaningful ways
of expressing our commitment to the life and teaching of Jesus.
We do this by...
*welcoming all people to full participation in our community of faith.
*Recognizing there are other ways to God than just our way."
If you didn't catch that, Lord of the Mountain's Pastor, Joseph Holub says this on his own website,
"1. I affirm that Jesus Christ is the emergence of God's ongoing gracious presence in the world, and that through Jesus relationship with God is experienced. Jesus is a doorway into the mystery of God." (find here - click on "Joe.")
"Jesus is A doorway." "There are other ways to God."
So the belief that all paths lead to God is OK according to the ELCA? We see the ELCA teaching universal salvation, which has a very similar result. (read here) Allowance of this teaching means acceptance, in my view.
For what it's worth, I also found these statements by Lord of the Mountain's Pastor, noteworthy.
"Since The Enlightenment especially, but even long before that Christianity has been preoccupied with doctrine – faith defined as a set of right beliefs. Christianity is spoiled, grossly distorted and loses its heart when it is turned into a set of correct doctrines that I must accept or else. I mean read the Apostle's Creed. There's nothing much there that really stirs the soul and lights a fire in one's heart. There's nothing there about loving one's neighbor or enemy or anybody else. Doctrines and correct beliefs don’t make disciples but eventually turn us into narrow and intolerant fanatics. Jesus is not a doctrine. He is the expression of compassion and radical inclusive love who invites us to follow him on an adventure called discipleship that just may cost us our lives as we give ourselves away in the pursuit of love, compassion and justice. He calls us beyond the narrow boundaries behind which we protect and isolate ourselves from others. What Jesus asks for is our faith defined as trust and commitment in his way of loving and living. Unfortunately somewhere along the line being Christian came to mean accepting beliefs about Jesus rather than actually following Jesus." (read here, click on "blog" and go about 3/4 down the page to a heading called "The Deficiency of Doctrine.")
Lutherhill Ministries is an ELCA Summer Camp and Year Round Retreat Center. In April, 2010, a group called Spiritual Pride Project held a gay youth retreat at Lutherhill. They describe the retreat this way -
"We are offering a weekend camp retreat as a safe, accepting and loving community where GLBTQIA (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Question Intersex and Allied) youth can discuss how their sexuality and sprituality are beautiful gifts from God. We will accompany each other on the faith journey as we celebrate and struggle with our faith, family, friends, school, relationships, and everything in between. This is still camp after all, so we will enjoy God's creation and have a blast sharing our creative talents, playing games,and challenging each other. All People of all belief backgrounds are welcome!" (see here)
Lutherhill Ministries, in full knowledge, allowed this homosexual focused youth gathering to take place on their facilities. Lutherhill Ministries is a ministry of the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. It is located in LaGrange, TX. (see here)
You maybe able to keep false teaching out of your church, for a little while, but the ELCA is promoting their social policies, view of scripture and heresy everywhere and to everyone, including to our youth.
The Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), has been elected president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). He is replacing Bishop Mark Hanson, who is the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.
The election of Bishop Munib Younan should not be celebrated. His belief in replacement theology is evident (sorry to say it is also popular with many Lutheran's in America)
Here are a few quotes from the man himself, speaking of Christians who support Israel and who believe Scripture which says God's everlasting covenant stands with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob's descendants, the Jews.
"We don’t consider these people [Christian Zionists] a legitimate Christian sect or denomination," Munib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, said.
"It has nothing to do with true Christian teachings and ideals," insists Bishop Younan. "It is actually a heresy."
"To the Americans and the world at large, we would like to say that the Christians of Palestine stand firmly with their people for freedom and justice and deliverance from the Israeli occupation."
"To the Palestinians and the Arab world, we say do not lump Christian Zionists with true Christianity which stands with the oppressed and the weak against the oppressor," says Bishop Younan.
"And to Christian Zionists we say, you are not welcomed here. Don’t come to our country to dupe and mislead people with your money and poisoned ideology." (read here)
Bishop Younan was also an original signer of the Palestinian "Kairos" Document. The document has a host of outlandish statements and it is easy to see the bias and anti-semitic nature of it. This is the same document the ELCA has been heavily promoting.
Here is a well detailed review of the Document. (read here)
Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church is an ELCA church that has some interesting, non-orthodox beliefs. This is of no surprise though because they are much like the beliefs that the ELCA leadership hold.
Holy Redeemer's website says -
"By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who:
1. Proclaim Jesus Christ as our Gate to the realm of God
2. Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the gateway to God's realm" (read here)
Elsewhere on Holy Redeemer's website they say this about the "New" church, which they claim they are part of,
"The 'New' Church is ...
Steeped in Theology
This is the "new" progressive ELCA church. Coming to a church near you, if it isn't there already.
- Doesn't adhere to a simplistic and literalistic version of scripture that doesn't make sense
- View scripture as true, and sometimes factual" (read here)
August 11-14, 2010, the ELCA will be holding an event called "Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World."
First off, I pray the ELCA is going to be teaching attendees to tell the lost about salvation from sin and death in Christ alone. Sadly, I highly doubt that John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life) or Romans 10:9 (That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved we) will be preached.
We don't hear and see that message from ELCA leadership now so why would that change? (you hear a lot about universal salvation from the the ELCA though)
For those lucky few that will attend this event you get to hear about "Sharing the Gospel" from a . . . Muslim! Now isn't that special. The speaker is Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and author of the book called "Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation." (read here)
Featured speaker Patel made news on July 20, 2010 when it was reported that he had close ties with the controversial imam "who wants to build a 13-story Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero." The report also said that the "two have been documented together discussing America as 'the ideal place for a renewal of Islam.'" (read here)
I highly doubt the ELCA's goal is to share with the Muslim speaker the message of salvation in Jesus. So why is he speaking at a "Sharing the Gospel . . ." gathering?
Other featured speakers at the ELCA event will be the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, pastor of the progressive ELCA church which boasts to be social justice oriented and queer inclusive. (read here)
Michael Organ, who was Director of Internet Advertising for President Obama's presidential campaign. Note he is the second person with personal connection to the president.
A Muslim and theologically liberal individuals are the ELCA's event featured speakers. Where are the orthodox, conservative, Bible believing speakers? That's right. The ELCA wants you to stay in denomination but your views will not have a place, because the ELCA is moving full steam ahead with its universal salvation, social justice and Biblical revisionism ways.
The verses below are for your ELCA church (and all Christian churches). It has two very important points, in my view. Here are the verses.
Joshua 1:7-9 - "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
First point, God tells us to obey His law. There is no doubt the ELCA is not doing this. (read here) The question is if we will follow and support the ELCA's willful and remorseless disobedience to God or not.
Second point, God says He will take care of us when we strongly and courageously follow Him. God reveals to us His will in scripture. We do not need to fear. Doing what God wants is priority number one.
Note, we can also conclude from the above scripture that God does not promise our church that He will be with us or prosper us if we willfully go against His law.
Will we follow God? Here is how Joshua said it, "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15
Staying in the ELCA when you know that the denomination has departed from the Good News and scripture is like serving the LORD but still attending the "gods of the Amorites" religious ceremonies. Joshua does not list that as an option.
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.
The ELCA leadership and seminaries are leading the charge away from scripture and toward the world's view of morality. The ELCA seminaries teach the ELCA pastors and the pastors go out and teach the parishioners. Here is what one church in Omaha, NE says.
"The challenges we face today as individuals and communities cry out for more modern interpretations of scripture and creeds. Not everything about "that old time religion" is good enough for today's spiritual journey." (read here)
The poison is seeping into the veins and going to every part of the body.
Countering the (ELCA) SPIN DOCTORS...
(an article from the Faithfulness Gathering website. See here)
"But You don't have to call a gay pastor..."
The truth is:
Any ELCA pastor, gay or straight, can become a bishop or serve on the bishop's staff! This is a poor compromise, in fact, no compromise: you are forced to accept the decision for all of the ELCA.
They say: The ELCA does so many good things for people that you can't get other places... (LSS, LDR, WH, LWR)
The truth is:
The ELCA does some things well, but anyone, including other denominations like the Missouri Synod, work together with the ELCA (for now), to help serve people in need. You don't need the ELCA to support Lutheran World Relief, for example. The decision by the ELCA has actually threatened some of these ecumenical relationships, especially in mission outreach work. Some of your donations in the ELCA social organizations (World Hunger) has actually been used for radical social advocacy, and not feeding people.
You won't get good pastors if you leave, groups like CORE and LCMC don't have seminaries...
The truth is:
There are currently LCMC students scattered all over at different seminaries, including Luther Seminary in St. Paul.. ELCA seminaries already teach students from other denominations, including non-Lutherans! There are currently two groups working to form new, independent seminaries for Lutherans.
There aren't any pastors out there for you if you leave.
The truth is:
A new mission start in Waseca, MN, had over 28 candidates apply - mostly ELCA pastors trying to get out. A new mission church in Alexandria, MN had over 30 candidates applying. There are pastors out there, but would you want to send a new seminarian into the ELCA during a time like this? Obviously, location matters, but ask yourself if the ELCA has helped supply your congregation with solidly bibilcal, faithful pastors recently? For the larger churches, they can be more choosy, but for the smaller, more rural churches, it can be difficult. Again, the most vulnerable suffer.
Places like LCMC don't have good oversight, you won't have the support you have in the ELCA if your congregation falls into conflict or a sexual misconduct.
The truth is:
The ELCA has just inflicted every congregation with a sexual misconduct by ignoring the biblical norms for marriage and sexuality. They have betrayed our trust! While it may be true that LCMC, for example, does not have a heavy,expensive bureacracy that has committees and experts for crisis like these, they do have a few groups that do work with congregations in crisis. They could do more, but congregations could also do more to take responsibility for themselves rather than be spoon fed by synods. Sometimes the conflicts are made worse by synod intervention, rather than helped. There is no easy, perfect answer in this broken world.
Well, the church has spoken, you voted for this. We didn't force it upon you, you decided!
The truth is:
A few more than one thousand people gathered to take a vote, were told that they don't represent anyone, that they should follow the spirits leading, and then they disappeared after the vote. No one is there to hold accountable, there are no checks and balances. A few, well organized and well funded advocates, have systematically placed people in positions of authority, using everything from quotas to appointment power, to make these changes. The only vote left is with your pocketbook and your feet.
Well, I (would have) voted against this because I don't think the church was quite ready for this yet.
The truth is:
If you are really for it, then you ought to be truthful enough to advocate for it openly and loudly, or you are a coward.
If you are really against it, then you out to be truthful enough to advocate against it openly and loudly, instead of hiding your head in the sand hoping it will just go away. Sometimes you have to take a stand, or you will stand for nothing.
Very few churches have left, perhaps only 1-2%. It really isn't that big of a deal you are making it out to be.
The truth is:
Only 1-2% of ELCA congregations have left, which sounds insignificant! But when you have 10,000 congregations in the ELCA, that percent means that over 200 congregations have left or are preparing to leave! That is larger than some other Lutheran denominations like the AALC! LCMC has more than doubled in the last year, and is now the 4th largest Lutheran denomination with over 400 congregations. And of those 2%, many are very large congregations, and in fact, some synods are nearing bankruptcy as they are losing their largest contributing churches. Over the years we've been losing them - like the largest, North Heights with over 10,000 members. Or last summer, Lutheran Church of Joy in Phoenix, AZ. Or Hosanna! in Lakeville, MN. Many of our largest, most vibrant churches, have left, cut benevolence, or are in the process of leaving. Is that a big enough deal?
It doesn't affect us, here. It will help the mission of a church in a few places, we need not worry about.
The truth is:
It does affect us, all of us. Not only this issue of homosexuality, but also the big questions of scripture and its interpretation and application to our everyday lives. This issue is just the one that has gotten the most attention of late, and in fact, there are many other areas or issues which have an impact, whether we like it or not. For example, abortion - the ELCA health plan pays for abortions. Or Israel, the ELCA opposes Israel and favors the Palestinian cause. Education - the ELCA has opposed charter schools and other attempts to bring reform education. Missions - the ELCA no longer sends out missionaries to do evangelism, direct outreach with the Gospel (although some missionaries do it on their own). Policies of "accompaniment" prefer to respect the religions of the people they reach, and tend to focus only on feeding and clothing and medical, or social justice issues, at the expense of any talk of conversion.
Gays and Lesbians will flock into our churches and make up for the losses we're experiencing. We will be a more loving, inclusive, and grace filled church without those that left.
The truth is:
Gays and lesbians might come, but many already were coming and are welcome, as all sinners in need of repentance are. This whole movement has actually made it more difficult for them to worship, or even to serve as pastors in the ELCA, if they are celibate. The reality is that only 1-2% of people consider themselves homosexual, which will not necessarily have any effect on the church, financial or numerically, in the positive.
Video from a former homosexual. (see here)
Watch the video and then think about our denomination, the ELCA. We are suppose to be a christian church, yet we deny scripture and call homosexuality "good." We are encouraging people "into" hell. The ELCA is like a smiling lifeguard that throws a drowning man an anchor.
Check out this article written by Pastor Jonathan Hein. (read here)
The WELS pastor writes, in part 4 of the this series, about the ELCA's view of scripture, homosexuality, abortion, creation and Jesus' physical resurrection.