Over the last two years we have exposed a widely held belief by leadership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that Adam and Eve are a myth. (see here and here) Just a few days ago, the Director of the Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, Dr. David Lose, said, “Did Adam and Eve exist? No.” I have personally been told by the Academic Dean of an ELCA seminary that “not one professor in any ELCA seminary believes that Adam and Eve were real people.”
In a recent blog, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. talks about the importance of believing what God’s Word says about Adam and the truth that he was the first historical human being. Dr. Mohler, Jr. says, “(T)he denial of a historical Adam means not only the rejection of a clear biblical teaching, but also the denial of the biblical doctrine of the Fall, leading to a very different way of telling the story of the Bible and the meaning of the Gospel.” (read the whole blog here).
Think about this, the Bible, Old and New Testament, speaks of Adam at least twenty-one times. Scripture always speaks about Adam being a historical, actual individual. Yet the ELCA leadership teaches and believes that Adam and Eve are a myth.
The fact of the matter is that the ELCA leadership likes to deny historical accounts and Biblical teaching throughout Scripture. There is a great deal of documentation of the ELCA leadership questioning the virgin birth, Christ’s resurrection, the creation account, salvation in Christ alone for those that believe, historic Biblical accounts, the reality of hell and if the Bible is true (and those are just a few of the examples).
When we look at the evidence, it is easy to see that the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America does not believe much of what is written in the Bible!
What results from a view that holds such an arbitrary view of the Bible? A dying church which un-sins sin, doesn’t evangelize, disregards the law, denies God’s eternal covenant with the Jews, supports abortions, preaches a social gospel as opposed to the “Good News,” rejects using male terms for God, and decides for themselves what is truth.
I pray that the ELCA will repent of its ways, but until then, perhaps it is time to find a church that believes what God says.
Exposing the ELCA asked its readers this question:Is it concerning that over 1500 ELCA leaders signed a letter saying they did not believe the Bible's account of creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah and the Ark?
The results were:
88.01% (257 votes) said “Yes”
11.99% (35 votes) said “No”
Total Votes: 292Read about those 1500+ evolution believing, creation and Bible denying ELCA leaders here.
One would think that ELCA pastors, bishops and teachers would believe Scripture. However all one has to do is read, “The Clergy Letter - from American Christian clergy: An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science,” to find that most do not.
Over 1500 ELCA leaders signed this letter which states,
“the overwhelming majority (of Christians) do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth.”
Make no mistake, what these Christian leaders are saying is that they do not believe what the Bible actually says. They are calling the story about creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark, lies. These ELCA leaders think they know better than Jesus, the Old and New Testament writers, and 2000 years of Christians, who knew these stories to be true. (read more here)
The letter goes on to say, “We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as ‘one theory among others’ is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”
Really? So those that believe God’s account of creation, are “ignorant?” Maybe these religious elites should read from this website about the many scientists who are skeptical of Darwinism. (read here and download the list of scientists who signed "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.")
More from the letter, “We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris.”
Let me get this straight, now these “Christian” leaders, who say that the Biblical account of creation is not true, are now telling us that if we believe God’s account of creation we are REJECTING God’s Will?
Finally the letter says, “We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge.” (read here)
Here are “Christian” leaders urging school boards to have the teaching of evolution be a “core component of HUMAN knowledge.” These are the people teaching us and our children about Jesus and the Bible?
Someone may ask, “What’s the big deal?” “Who cares if ELCA leaders and pastors don’t believe what the Bible says about creation?”
Here are a few quotes that highlight why we should care:
"More cases of loss of religious faith can be traced to the theory of evolution--- than anything else." - Martin Lings, quoted in Christian Century July, 1982
“Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.” - Noted evolutionist, Professor Will Provine, in “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life.”
"Any creationist lawyer who got me on the stand could instantly win over the jury simply by asking me: 'Has your knowledge of evolution influenced you in the direction of becoming an atheist?' I would have to answer yes and, at one stroke, I would have lost the jury." - Noted evolutionist, Dr. Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2008) p. 93
While I was studying at an ELCA seminary, the Dean of Students told me that not one ELCA seminary professor in the United States believes Adam and Eve were real people. I couldn’t believe that this would be true, but after viewing the signatures of the letter, it seems that the Dean’s statement is true. Sadly, seminary professors’ beliefs are being picked up by their students, our ELCA pastors.
Linked at the end of this blog is the list of current and retired ELCA pastors, ELCA seminary professors, ELCA college professors, ELCA seminary presidents and ELCA Bishops who agree with this letter and signed it. Some of the notable signers are: Bishop Allan Bjornberg (ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod), Bishop Paul J. Blom - Houston, Texas, Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, The Rev. Stacy Boorn (herchurch), The Rev. Michael Cooper-White, D.D., (President - Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA), Bishop Ralph W. Dunkin (West Virginia -Western Maryland Synod), The Rev. James Kenneth Echols, Ph.D. (President - Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), The Rev. Paul W. Egertson, Ph.D. (Bishop Emeritus - Southwest California Synod), The Rev. Anita C. Hill, The Rev. B. Penrose Hoover (Bishop - Lower Susquehanna Synod), The Rev. Robert L. Isaksen, (Retired ELCA Pastor and Bishop of the New England Synod), The Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, Kevin S. Kanouse, (Bishop Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod), Paul R. Landahl (Bishop Metropolitan Chicago Synod), Bishop April Ulring Larson (La Crosse Area Synod), The Rev. Duane H. Larson, PhD., (President - Wartburg Theological Seminary), The Rev. Felipe Lozada-Montanez (Bishop of the Caribbean Synod of the ELCA), The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Mansholt (Bishop Central States Synod), The Rev. Robert W. Mattheis (Bishop Emeritus, Sierra Pacific Synod), The Rev. George Paul Mocko (Bishop Emeritus, Delaware-Maryland Synod), Bishop David G. Mullen (Sierra Pacific Synod), Bishop Dean W. Nelson (Southwest California Synod), Bishop Margaret G. Payne (New England Synod), The Rev. Dr. Ted Peters (Interim President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), The Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Schmalenberger (Retired President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), Bishop David R. Strobel (Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod), The Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde (President - St. Olaf College), Bishop Ron Warren (ELCA Southeastern Synod), The Rev. Dr. Howard E. Wennes (Retired Bishop ELCA), The Rev. Paul M. Werger, (Bishop Emeritus - Southeastern Iowa Synod) and The Rev. Dr. Herman Yoos (Bishop - South Carolina Synod).
More than 12,000 American pastors signed this letter and over 1500 of them are Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leaders. By the way, these are just the signers who listed “ELCA” or “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” with their signature (for the most part). There are many more signers who only listed their Lutheran church’s name. I would estimate there are at least 350 Lutheran pastors who did this and most of those would be ELCA pastors, I’d assume.
Check and see if your pastor signed the letter. I’ve linked to it because of the vast space needed to list them all. See the list of ELCA leaders here.
The ELCA’s official website tells us the denomination's position on the topics of creation/evolution/origin of life (it also reveals the ELCA's stance on Scripture.) Their website says, "What is the ELCA official position concerning the origin of life and evolution? The ELCA has not officially taken a position about evolution. The ELCA teaches that the scriptures witness that all of life is a gift of God. However, the scriptures do not say, for example, how God's creating word, "Let there be...," brings creatures into being. Lutheran tradition has respected the work of the natural sciences in investigating phenomena in the natural world and explaining how they work and how they originated." (read here)
Why doesn't the ELCA take an official position on the origin of life? Scripture clearly says that God created everything in a 6 day, 24 hour period.
And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day,' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day. Genesis 1:3-5
Are these verses true or not? It says, "There was evening, and there was morning - the first day." Is God lying to us about that? The ELCA must think so if the denomination cannot agree with this clear statement. Or maybe the ELCA doesn't believe the Bible is from God, but just man’s writings. Either option is unacceptable.
If we look in the New Testament, Jesus statements back up the Genesis/Creation account.
- "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female.'" - Matthew 19:4
- Jesus mentions Adam and Eve's son Abel in Luke 11:51.
- "In John 5:45–47, Jesus says, “Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” In this passage, Jesus makes it clear that one must believe what Moses wrote. And one of the passages in the writings of Moses in Exodus 20:11 states: “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” This, of course, is the basis for our seven-day week—six days of work and one day of rest. Obviously, this passage was meant to be taken as speaking of a total of seven literal days based on the Creation Week of six literal days of work and one literal day of rest." (read here)
If the ELCA believed in the actual, factual truth of the Scripture . . . if the ELCA believed that God did inspire and have His hand on the writing of all the books of the Bible, they would take an official position and say the Genesis account is in fact true. That is what the Bible clearly says, but as we've seen elsewhere, the ELCA likes to deny whatever parts of Scripture that do not fit their world view.
One author describes the ELCA's view this way, "The ELCA allows for the view that God used evolution to create things. This means that the account in Genesis 1 and 2 do not have to be true for the member of the ELCA. The ELCA teaches the historical critical method of interpretation of Scripture, which discounts the accounts as history and treats them more as poetry." (read here)
The ELCA likes to say they adhere to Scripture, but anyone who looks at the teachings, beliefs and policies of the ELCA can see they deny statements of fact in the Bible, place their own view over what Scripture says, and do not believe God had His hand in and inspired all of its writings.
This is just another example of a church made and run by man, following their own desires and paying lip service to the Creator of the Universe.------------------------------
Read more about creation and evolution at the links below:
The ELCA teaches there are errors in the Bible. That leads to the ELCA's "pick and choose" method where you take the parts of the Bible you believe and throw the rest away. Got to love it. Humans decide what is from God and what isn't. We know so much more than those mental lightweights who actual knew Jesus and wrote about him. We can tell what Jesus really said and what he didn't. We know Adam and Eve are not real, even though the Bible says they are and it talks about them in both the OT and NT. Jonah is not a true story, even though the bible says so. And Jesus said so. Look it up. (or read here) I could go on and on. But I will save that for a later blog .