The ELCA is doing its best to raise up the denomination’s youth in their own image. For years, the ELCA has gone out of its way to undermine Israel and those who support it. (see here) At the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering we see the most recent examples:
The ELCA’s official website posted pictures taken at the youth gathering of a Palestine exhibit. One part of the exhibit asked the youth to write how they felt after viewing the information contained in the exhibit. Here are some of the statements they wrote: “erase hate,” “keep fighting,” “outraged this happens,” “we are free, so why can’t they be,” “free Palestine.” (see here)
The Palestine exhibit also had an area for youth to write their congressmen to complain about Israel. (see here)
Of course, Bishop Mark Hanson had to get into the fray, filling the youth full of Palestinian propaganda saying:
“And then in my mind I went to that wall, that huge wall that separates Israelis from Palestinians. A wall that for Israelis means security from violence but for Palestinians it, we have Palestinians’ youths that have been with us and they’ve been in the convention center and they have been talking to us about what that wall means for Palestinian people. It’s a wall of occupation, it’s a wall of separation. It separates Palestinians from each other and from their olive groves. There is no chance, as long as that wall continues, for Palestinians to have a land in which to be citizens. And I knew we’re a church that committed to working for a just two state solution between Palestinians and Israelis. That’s who we are.” (see here - Sunday video)
We also have this gem from the Wednesday night keynote speaker, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber:
“This is a God whose loving desire to be known overflowed the heavens and became manifest in the rapidly dividing cells inside the womb of an insignificant peasant girl in first century Palestine.” (see here - Wednesday video)
Israel was not called “Palestine” in the days Jesus was born. Using the term Palestine “is specifically employed to avoid the use of the name Israel, and must be considered an anti-Israel term. . .In the New Testament, the term Palestine is never used.” says Thomas S. McCall, Th.D
God Himself calls the land, “Israel,” “saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.’ Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.”
Thomas S. McCall tells us, “. . .the term Palestine is the cornerstone of the propaganda war against Israel and the Jewish people,” and “It appears that Bible-believing Christians have either knowingly or unwittingly followed the world, pagans and haters of Israel in calling Israel by the anti-Israel term Palestine.” (see here)
The youth of the ELCA are being set up by their leadership (in more ways than one). It seems clear to me that this is a case of indoctrination.
ELCA magazine, The Lutheran, published an article titled, “Interreligious explorations.” The article advised its readers to “Consider visiting different religious services from time to time as a way to keep learning more about other traditions.”Any religion other than Christianity is the worship of false gods and demons. Why in the world would a Christian magazine recommend this? (see here)
-----Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mark Hanson, is now on twitter. He announced this at last week’s ELCA Youth Gathering. If you so desire, you can follow him by going here.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Bishop Hanson advised everyone on how to follow Exposing the ELCA on twitter in his next press release?
If anyone has concerns about what they heard while watching or attending the ELCA's 2012 National Youth Gathering and would care to write a blog about what troubled them, I would be happy to look it over and possibly post it.
Augustana College, one of the 26 ELCA colleges in the United States has these statements on their Religion, Philosophy, Classics webpage:
“Have you ever wondered: Does life have purpose? Does God exist?” and “While our department teaches from within the Christian tradition, we’re never afraid to question dogma and learn from others.” (see here)
Is this noteworthy? Some would say “no,” some would say “yes.” Either way, it is something to think about.
The ELCA 2012 National Youth Gathering is going on as we speak. Over 30,000 youth are estimated to be in attendance. After reading some disturbing reports by a number of orthodox Lutheran pastors about opening night keynote speaker Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber’s message (read about her here) I went to the ELCA’s website to view it myself.
Here are some quotes from Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address and some comments:
Rev. Bolz-Weber starts out mocking the “fundamentalist” church that she grew up in, at one point saying, “They thought they were the only Christians.”
She told the youth that as a teenager she hated Christianity. “I hated it. I hated the smallness. I hated that fact that we had to reject everyone that was not just like us. I hated the narrow-mindedness. That was the only form of Christianity I knew existed and I knew I didn’t like it.”
The main subject of Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address was herself. Of course there were the obligatory mentions of “gay” persons and even “transgender kids.”
Throughout the message there was a lot of bragging about being “Lutheran.” Bolz-Weber said, “Here is what you need to know about this thing you have, this Lutheran liturgy and this Lutheran theology, and this whole tradition. It is a feast, and it is a feast to be shared, and I’m here to tell you, people are hungry. People are hungry. And you have a feast entrusted to you, and they are ready for it.” And “That’s what it looks like to be a Lutheran!”
I have to ask, do we Lutherans worship Martin Luther or Christ? We are to lift up Christ and not our church.
Near the end of her speech she said, “. . . some of your parents and some of your pastors were really upset that I was your speaker tonight. They felt like I was somebody who should not be allowed to talk to tens of thousands of teenagers. And you know what I have to say to that? They are absolutely right . . . I should not be allowed to be here talking to you. But you know what? That’s the God we’re dealing with, people.”
Rev. Bolz-Weber referenced Jesus, saying, "Who from the cross did not even lift a finger to condemn the enemy, but instead said, 'I would rather die than be in the sin-accounting business.'"
Fact is, orthodox theology is clear that Jesus is all about the sin-accounting business. His death on the cross was exactly that. Jesus dying to account for our sins. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:8-9. Additionally, we know with confidence, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16
The very heart of the gospel was not spoken to the youth listening. Our young people need to know that if they do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, their sins are not forgiven, and if they do not receive Jesus their eternal salvation at risk.
I don’t remember hearing anything in Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address about repentance, turning from sin or forgiveness. But she did tell the youth, “I swear like a truck driver.”
The kids at the ELCA National Youth Gathering 2012 got a big dose of the “gospel of affirmation” in the Rev. Bolz-Weber’s keynote address. It is a false gospel.
Dennis E. Marks explains “gospel of affirmation” as: “instead of changing people, God simply affirms people how He finds them.” (read here) Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (Richfield, WI) explains it this way, “This teaching suggests that the good news is that God loves and affirms everyone, regardless of their faith, life style choices, etc. There never is a need for real repentance because God is never angry with us.” (read here)
Based on the video of Bolz-Weber’s address (see here click Wednesday) and on her husband’s blog (see here), the youth ate it up.
“The creation story in Genesis 1 may well be an monotheistic Hebraic adaptation of Egyptian creation myths that had influenced the Hebrew people during the Egyptian captivity.” - Don Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop in the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Michael Rinehart posted this on his blog; he is Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (read here)
Is that right, a myth? This ELCA leader takes a historic account of how God created the world as told to us by God and he tells the public that it “may well” be a myth. That is just wrong, it is a lie of the devil and it is accepted teaching in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (thousands of ELCA leaders are on public record proclaiming their support for evolution/against God’s account of creation - see here and here).
God tells us, “Every Word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6
Luke 16:31 shows us how much weight Jesus gave the books written by Moses and inspired by God, “(Jesus) said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
As Exposing the ELCA has shown, the prevailing view of ELCA leadership is that God’s creation account is not historic and not true.
Need more evidence? A poll on a popular Lutheran website frequented by many ELCA pastors and leaders asked, “How do you understand the term "yom" (day) in Genesis 1?”
The results show that:
- 2 voters marked, “I am ELCA and believe that God created all that exists in six 24-hour days.”
- 17 voters marked, “I am ELCA and do not believe that creation took place in six 24-hour days.”
- 10 voters marked, “I am ELCA and I am not sure whether the days were 24 hours or not.”
In comparison 29 LCMS voters said, “I am LCMS and believe that God created all that exists in six 24-hour days.” 6 LCMS voters said they “do not believe that creation took place in six 24-hour days.” 7 LCMS voters said they did not know. (see here - you may have to refresh the page to see the poll)
The July 2012 online issue of the ELCA publication, The Lutheran, has an article that highlighted noteworthy actions which were taken in ELCA synod assemblies this year.
At the end of the internet article, in the comments section, Donald Bohlken responded to the article by saying:
How sad it is that the assemblies for the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, the Eastern-Washington Idaho Synod and the Northeastern Minnesota Synod, the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, the Northwestern Minnesota Synod, the Northwest Washington Synod, St. Paul Area Synod, Southwest Washington Synod, acted in complete contradiction to God's Word in either opposing state constitutional amendments designed to protect marriage as an exclusively a union between one man and one woman, supporting homosexual "married" couples, or supporting the ELCA Social Statement. on Human Sexuality.
The Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior as sin. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination." Lev 18:22. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Romans 1:26-27. See also Gen 19: 4-8, 15, 24; Lev 20: 13; Deut 23:17; 1 Cor 6:9, 10; 1 Tim 1: 8-11; Jude 1: 6-7.
It is our duty to lovingly point out to homosexuals that this conduct is sin and that the way out of sin is to seek forgiveness through the blood and sacrifice of Christ. 1 Cor. 6: 11. To follow the path. of denying the scripture's teachings, which the ELCA General Assembly has chosen, is to assist homosexuals on a path to hell. 1 Cor. 6: 9-10.
God's law on marriage, as set forth in Genesis 2: 23-24 and affirmed by Jesus Christ at Matthew 19: 4-6, is also clear. It provides that marriage was created exclusively as a union between one man and one woman.
The policy of lying to sinners about sin can hardly be considered a Christian or loving alternative to the truth.
Here are a few more questionable or interesting actions that took place at synod assemblies -
Southeastern Minnesota Synod
• "Urged congregations to pass on a minimum of 10 percent of undesignated income to synod and churchwide ministries."
•"Called for an increase in the synod's giving to the churchwide organization."
Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod
• "Committed to pray for peace among Iran, its neighbors and the U.S."
Sierra Pacific Synod
• "Asked members to advocate for the replacement of the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole in California and Nevada; requested that the 2013 Churchwide Assembly do the same for the 32 states that have the death penalty."
(see the article here)
Click here to read the Exposing the ELCA July, 2012 Newsletter.
ELCA members, liberal and conservative, really seem to love ELCA World Hunger. That is the response I always get when ELCA World Hunger is brought up. I’m not a big fan of them myself, you see, I know some of the money they receive helps to employ ELCA leadership and helps this wayward denomination lead so many away from the truth of God’s Word and salvation in Christ. In my view there are much better Christ-following organizations that help the poor and downtrodden, in which we can financially support.
Case in point, the other day I read an article on an ELCA website written by former male, transgender lesbian, ELCA pastor Megan Rohrer. Pastor Rohrer writes:
“So I’m excited to announce that because of generous support from the ELCA’s World Hunger program, over the next year I’ll be posting stories of the congregations I visit and Do-It-Yourself Guides that have worked in Lutheran congregations on an interactive website of one of my congregations called ‘Just Lutheran.’” (read here)
When I looked up Megan Rohrer’s website “Just Lutheran,” it lists the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's World Hunger Project as a financial supporter. (see here)
Money from ELCA World Hunger is going to this transgender pastor, a pastor who is an outspoken supporter of living out sexual desires that God calls us to repent of.
I can find better places to send tithes and offerings.