Its spring, which means ELCA synod assemblies are beginning. These annual, boring, waste-of-money gatherings usually include a wide variety of attacks on God's Word and the ever popular anti-Semitic based attacks on Israel. The ELCA's Rocky Mountain Synod has already gone on record at their assembly last weekend passing a resolution called “Accompaniment, Awareness-Raising, & Advocacy For The People Of The Holy Land.” (see here)
In the Resolution the Assembly resolved to “affirm our support for sisters and brothers in the ELCJHL as they remain faithful to the Gospel amid the oppression of Israeli military occupation”. Saying Israel is oppressing people and occupying land is a fallacy which is often repeated by those who are anti-Semitic.
The Assembly then encouraged people to use the ELCA Peace Not Walls resources claiming that it has “reliable information about the situation” (in Israel). In no way is the ELCA a reliable source for what is happening in Israel.
The passed resolution also seeks a congressional investigation into Israel's use of U.S. aid. The ELCA's aim in that request is to cut or end aid to Israel so as to hurt the Jewish nation. Remember, the ELCA views Israel as oppressors and occupiers of land that they think the Arabs should have. Stopping U.S. aid to Israel would increase the chances of that happening.
And finally, the Assembly resolved, “that this assembly urges members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to consider investing their retirement and other funds in a manner consistent with the Peace Not Walls campaign.” This is another attempt to hurt Israel financially by cutting personally financial investments going to Israeli companies. The ELCA would rather have those investments go to entities within the terrorist controlled Gaza strip.
The Rocky Mountain Synod also had a workshop during the assembly called, “Peace Not Walls: Why are we involved in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? Faces of the Occupation” (see here).
Satan's desire, shown throughout history, has always been to destroy God's chosen people, the Jews. Today he is using the ELCA, who claims to follow Christ, to try to accomplish that purpose.
Almost every other month we get another group of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America bishops and pastors publically advocating for same-sex marriage and calling on voters to do that same. This time it is comes from the state of Illinois.Twenty-seven ELCA pastors and ELCA bishop Wayne Miller, ELCA Metropolitan Chicago Synod, signed a letter, along with 230 other clergy saying, "As people of faith and as citizens of Illinois, we ask you to . . . support the freedom to marry." (read here)A newspaper article in The New York Times, "Illinois Clergy Members Support Same-Sex Marriage in Letter Signed by 260" reported that the Illinois legislature is likely to take up legislation on same-sex marriage in January.Speaking to The New York Times, "The Rev. Kim L. Beckmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who lives in the Chicago area, said she was drawn into the movement 'as my gay and lesbian parishioners were welcomed into our congregation.''I have participated in blessings of these unions for longer than we’ve even been talking about marriage,' she said. 'I’m thrilled to take this step.'” Laurie Higgins, cultural analyst for the Illinois Family Institute, who supports traditional marriage, commented that the clergy letter "is signed quite obviously by faith leaders who have adopted radical, ahistorical, heretical theological views . . . Their views are informed not by careful exegesis, but by personal desire and political convictions.” (read here)
Here is a list of the ELCA leadership who signed the letter - Bishop Wayne Miller, ELCA Metropolitan Chicago Synod Rev. Dan Hoeger, Our Saviors Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Paul Carlson, New Life Lutheran Church, ELCA
Dr. Esther Portnoy, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dr. Kim L. Beckmann, ELCA
Pastor Liala Beukema, Lake View Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Erik C. Christensen, St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square, ELCA
Rev. Michael Fick, Ebenezer Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Fred Kinsey, Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Craig Mueller, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA Rev. John Roberts, Unity Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Julie Ryan, Christ the Mediator Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Seminarian Kyle Severson, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Michelle Sevig, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Carrie Smith, Bethany Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dr. Robert Smith, Bethany Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Keith Fry, Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Lloyd Kittlaus, University Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Betty Landis, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Jim Honig, Faith Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Patrick McGuire, St. John’s Lutheran Church
Rev. William Veith, Our Lord's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dennis Kelly, Lutheran Church of the Ascension, ELCA
Pastor Kathy Nolte, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dan Schwick, Lutheran Advocacy of Illinois, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Kenneth Storck, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Stacie Fiedlar, St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, ELCA
Minnesota’s Saint Paul Area Synod Bishop Peter Rogness (ELCA) continues to push for gay marriage and make attempts to thwart voter ID laws in his state. Minnesota has two state amendments up for vote, one that declares marriage is between one man and one woman, the other amendment says people have to present photo identification in order to vote in elections. This week, Bishop Rogness sent out an email saying, “It's time to be reminded that our synod assembly encouraged the people of this synod to recognize the reasons to oppose both of the proposed constitutional amendments.” (see here) He then writes a paragraph on each amendment touching on why his readers should not support the amendments.
Additionally, Bishop Rogness’ synod sent out a Facebook message saying, "The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), of which the Saint Paul Area Synod is a member, announced its opposition to the voter identification amendment at a press conference on Oct. 16. Bishop Peter Rogness, as president of the organization, delivered a statement outlining the decisions why the MCC took this step.” (see here)
All six Minnesota ELCA synods are members of the MCC, of which Bishop Rogness is the president. (see here)
The ELCA synods in Minnesota are making every effort to stop these amendments. I wish they would put this kind of effort into bringing the message of salvation to the lost, but to most ELCA leaders that isn’t necessary. This is typical ELCA leadership. They proudly stand against God when it comes to marriage and many leaders have no desire to protect the voting process by stopping voter fraud. (strange how everyone must show your ID to fly, to take the ACT and SAT and even to attend Michelle Obama’s book signings) (see here), yet the ELCA doesn’t want voters to prove they are eligible voters.
Exposing the ELCA readers, let me show you what real and faithful Christian leadership looks like.
“On November 6, the day before my 94th birthday, our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.” - Reverend Billy Graham
Women of the ELCA (WELCA), in a recent blog, made the claim that they are “Advocating for girls’ rights everywhere.” (read here)
Their claim is simply not true. What about girls who are in the womb? Women of the ELCA is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and this denomination certainly does not advocate for the life of unborn girls. They advocate for the destruction of unborn girls and boys. (see here)
It is time every ELCA and WELCA member recognizes what their denomination supports and what they themselves are supporting by being members of the denomination.
So my question to you is this: is God calling you to stand up for the rights of the innocent, the unborn children? Is God calling you to let your brothers and sisters in Christ know the radical pro-abortion position of the ELCA? Here are two resources (fliers/posters) that I encourage you to print off and share with others. 1) The ELCA and Abortion: THE FACTS and 2) Dear ELCA Members: You have the right to know!
2012 has shown us ELCA bishop after bishop after bishop put on their gay rights advocacy hat and publicly clamor for gay marriage. (see here, here, here) Yet I can’t come up with one ELCA bishop, of which there are 66 serving in this leadership role, who has publicly stood up for Biblical, one man one woman marriage. More on that later.
The latest gay rights activist bishop is the newly elected Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen of the Minneapolis Area Synod. A few days ago, she was “at the State Fair to rally against the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the November ballot.” (read here) Bishop Svennungsen stood at a microphone during this big public appeal by religious leaders, lending her voice to encouraged the people of Minnesota to vote “no” on the amendment.
An interesting side note about Bishop Svennungsenn is told to us by the Minneapolis’ Star Tribune which states, “After seminary, Svennungsen and her husband served as associate pastors at Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City. There she and the senior pastor's wife, Mary Nilsen, took on the all-male language for God.” (read here) It figures, if you walk in complete contradiction to scripture in one area, you’ll likely do the same in many areas. This happens when one doesn't believe what the Bible clearly says.
Back to my question, why are there NO ELCA bishops standing up and defending traditional marriage? Has the liberal ELCA leadership made it impossible for a Bible believing, conservative bishop to voice his/her opinion? Are they scared? Are there any Bible believing conservative bishops in the ELCA? No matter the answer, the results are the same. There is not one ELCA bishop who is willing to stand up for traditional Biblical truth on sexuality.
Did you know that the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is not fond of the border fence between the United States and Mexico, a fence which effectively diminishes the amount of illegal aliens entering our country? Here is what the ELCA leadership has said about it:
“Finally, the ELCA calls for a moratorium on and a comprehensive assessment of fence building along the United States-Mexican border.” Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - November 2009. (read here)
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson told 30,000 kids at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering “. . . I didn’t want us (the ELCA) to be associated with people that are building up the walls that separate immigrants and migrants, for we are a church committed to working toward fair and just immigration reform.” (see here, Sunday video)
In 1998, the ELCA said, “. . . we have serious doubts about the rightness and effectiveness of current policy to erect imposing barriers between the United States and Mexico.” (read here)
The ELCA’s magazine, The Lutheran reported in 2005, that “Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service opposed the REAL ID Act, a bill to regulate state security standards for driver’s licenses, prevent terrorists from abusing asylum laws and to ensure a security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.” (read here)
The Lutheran magazine wrote in 2007, “Extending this U.S.-Mexican border wall the full 2,000 miles will require an estimated $8 billion. Kim Erno, an ELCA pastor and program director of the Lutheran Center in Mexico City, asked participants of an ELCA conference on walls whether that money would be better invested in the lives of the poor.” (read here)
If you are an ELCA member who does not support the U.S-Mexico border fence, then this should make you happy. But if you do support the border fence, I believe it is your right to know that your denomination is against it and working to prevent its completion.
Here is an interesting list of the resolutions adopted at the Saint Paul Area Synod Assembly. Of course they voted to oppose the Minnesota Marriage Amendment (the MN amendment defines marriage to be only between one man and one woman.
From the Saint Paul Area Synod website. (see here)
- Resolution 2012-1: Native American Reconciliation - Adopted with amendment
- Resolution 2012-2: A Resolution Opposing Voter Identification Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution - Adopted
- Resolution 2012-3: Facilitate Lutheran Discernment Relative to Military Participation - Adopted with amendment
- Resolution 2012-4: A Resolution Opposing Marriage Amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution - Adopted
- Resolution 2012-5: Becoming a Multicultural and Anti-Racist Church - Adopted as amended
The state of Washington passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage which will take effect June 2012. Opponents of this law have started gathering signatures for a petition which would cause the law to be subject to a state-wide voter referendum (Referendum 74). In response to the petition, retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors Donald Heinz, Paul Borg, Don Clinton, Daryl Daugs, Richard Hermstad, Bob Keller, Bob Olmsted, Dick Werner and Lyle Miller wrote a letter published in the Peninsula Gateway, a news publication in Gig Harbor, WA. In the letter, the retired ELCA pastors proclaim their support for same-sex marriage and ask people to not sign what they call the “anti-gay” petition.
Calling the petition “anti-gay” shows me that these ELCA leaders have little respect for people who believe God’s Word on homosexuality. They feel that they sit in a position to judge those in favor of traditional marriage, and to deem them with derogatory terms. I also find it interesting that these are retired ELCA pastors, people who most likely have been leaders in the denomination for many, many years.
The retired ELCA pastors’ letter also states:
“We do not oppose Referendum 74 because we are moral relativists who merely want Christianity to adapt itself to shifting winds. But we do note that all demographic studies make obvious that the anti-gay prejudice will be obsolete by the next generation.”
“. . . the real threats to marriage and family in the United States come from heterosexuals.”
“. . . We are particularly dismayed that the lovely sounding ‘family values’ pitch is, in fact, Christian code for homophobia and historic prejudice.”
“Conservative Christianity, whether evangelical or Catholic, seems preoccupied with the dangerous sexuality of women and the cultural border-crossings of gays.”
“. . . Christians must not simply tolerate but welcome and embrace gays and join in celebrating their life together.” (see here)
As you can read, these retired ELCA leaders are very devoted to the cause of gay marriage and they have little regard for those who disagree with them.
So why are some of you content with being a member in the ELCA?
Last week, the long running television show 60 Minutes broadcast a news report that has been widely criticized for its bias, false statements, and anti-Israel sentiment. (see here and here for examples) Not surprisingly the ELCA has posted the 60 Minutes news segment video on their official elca.org website. (see here). Even before the 60 Minutes news segment aired, the ELCA e-Advocacy Network sent out an email promoting the segment and trying to encourage everyone to watch it.
One issue asserted by the 60 Minutes program was that Israel is to blame for the Christians leaving the Muslim-controlled territories of Israel. This is a popular claim by the anti-Semitic crowd. Highly regarded Pulitzer Prize–winning syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer took on that claim while appearing on Fox News by saying, “. . . the untold story is the story of the Palestinian territories. Bethlehem, for example, has been almost emptied of its Christians and sort of the Orwellian reporting of the West has attributed this somehow to Israel, when in fact it’s been the rise of militant Islam, Hamas and other radical sects within the Palestinian territories that have lead to a large immigration of Christians from the Palestinian territories . . .”
CBN News reported on the plight of Christians in Bethlehem in 2009, and it is nothing like the 60 Minutes report. Here is the video -
The 60 Minutes report also praised the Kairos Palestine document, which is outrageously bias and anti-Israel. (see here and here)
One of the signers of that document, Pastor Mitri Raheb was highlighted on the 60 Minutes news segment. For those of you who may not remember, Pastor Raheb was the focus of another Exposing the ELCA blog (see here) in which the accused anti-Semitic pastor was praised by ELCA’s Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson.
Financial trouble in the liberal Saint Paul Area Synod. Synod Bishop Peter Rogness reports, “after sailing through the first ten months of fiscal 2011 (Feb. 1 to Jan. 31) a healthy four percent ahead of the previous year, we encountered a poor December and January and ended the year 4.1 percent behind last year, the lowest mission support level in what has been a consistent range for 24 years. The synod council in January made some adjustments to the 2012 budget passed last May, and we will present for the 2013 budget a conservative plan that calls for drawing on reserves, and we will plan to conduct a review through the end of this year and hold out the possibility of another adjustment.” (read here)
--------ELCA pastor Grant Stevensen heads the faith department of Minnesotans United for All Families, an organization whose goal is to defeat a Minnesota Marriage Amendment which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. (see here)
Part of Edina Community Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Edina Minnesota’s Easter offering to go to gay advocacy group. The church newsletter tells us,
“This Easter, we lift up our neighbors of all ages by supporting organizations reaching out to the whole family:
Lutherans Concerned/North America and Plymouth Christian Youth Center.
Lutherans Concerned continues to seek full inclusion for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) individuals and families in all ELCA congregations. . . Please supports these organizations by participating in this year’s Easter offering.” (page 2)
This newsletter also has a large graphic telling everyone to “Save the Date” for an upcoming (gay) Pride Parade. (page 10)
And Edina Community Lutheran Church has launched a “Marriage Task Force, formed after the congregational vote to officially oppose the state constitutional amendment on marriage” happening in the state of Minnesota. (page 11) (see here)