The Lutheran, an ELCA magazine, published a story this month under their section “Deeper understandings” and the topic was “Faith and science.” In a previous Exposed blog we dealt with this article's offensive comments and non-Biblical support of evolution. (see here) The same ELCA article also had some strong words on man-made global warming and a message for people who do not believe global warming is true.
ELCA Professor Gilson A.C. Waldkoenig of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.) referenced new scientific evidence for global warming in the article and stated, “human beings warm the atmosphere through relentless burning of fossil fuels and consumption of earth's habitat.”
Prof. Waldkoenig also commented:
“Many Christians look at findings about global warming as real and present reasons to repent and change behavior, and an invitation to walk humbly in God's shadow rather than proudly in front.”
Then addressing those who do not believe global warming is happening or that man is responsible for it, Professor Waldkoenig said “If you don't like some scientific finding you can re-test based upon more data, but data and scientific findings don't care if you believe them or not. . . When we waste our belief on other things besides God, it is what the Bible called idolatry, and Jesus also called foolishness. Likewise, disbelief of some things that are not God can be foolish and even idolatrous, on par with misdirected belief.
For example, if 'disbelief' of global warming protects arrogance that humankind has a right to destroy anything that exists, it is a kind of idolatry standing in the way of true belief and devotion to God, as well as a foolish approach to God's creation.” (see here)
Two thoughts; 1) the ELCA is using the inherent respect and trust given to religious leaders, by its members, to influence them toward the denomination's liberal positions and 2) even if you believe in man-made global warming, it is not right for a denomination to falsely call people foolish and idolaters because they don't hold to the liberal view of the denomination.
The ELCA seems to love doing anything and everything that is not evangelism and sharing the good news of salvation in Christ with those who desperately need to hear. The ELCA's leaders do what they think is of utmost importance and mostly disregard what Jesus commanded them to do, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” - Matthew 28:29-30
Here are three examples of how the ELCA is “majoring in the minors” of environmentalism and climate change:
- Last month, a letter entitled, “A Statement by Religious Leaders in Iowa on Global Climate Change” was published and was signed by two synodical bishops of the ELCA.
The letter starts off saying, “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today . . .” and later states, “As people of faith, we are called to take responsible precautionary action to limit global climate change to the fullest extent possible and to prepare now for the climate impacts that are unavoidable. “ (see here)
- Also happening last month, “GreenFaith and Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) announced a collaboration to enroll Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations nationwide in the GreenFaith Certification Program.”
“The GreenFaith Certification Program requires participating churches to ‘green’ their buildings and grounds, develop relationships with environmental justice advocacy organizations and interfaith partners, and to integrate creation care into education and worship.” (see here)
"Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) is a grassroots movement promoting care for creation in the life and mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). . .”
- Below are a couple of videos along with information about a 2009 “Climate Action Festival” held at the ELCA’s Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (see here) and a 2010 "Earthfest" held at the ELCA's Gettysburg College.
“And know that Mother Earth, our great and good planet, will appreciate your interest. Please be there!”
An ELCA e-Advocacy Network email was sent out recently calling on us to “Ask President Obama to Act on Climate Change.”
Here is an excerpt of this email:
“What are we asking him to do?. . .
- Ensure adequate assistance to poor countries that are already suffering most from the impacts of climate change.
- Guarantee climate justice for all: a transparent, participatory agreement that ensures the voices and interests of all are addressed.”
“Join other people of faith in asking President Obama and other leaders to commit to an agreement that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect the most vulnerable from the impacts of a changing climate that we can no longer avoid.”
Does the ELCA really want to encourage the sleeping with someone to whom you are not married? ELCA publication, The Lutheran, under “Staff Blogs” has a story by the Web Manager / Associate Art Director, in which she says “Last month, my fiancé James and I went on vacation in Isle Royale National Park. One night we camped at South Lake Desor… I awoke at midnight to the sound of branches breaking. I woke James and said: ‘I think there's something outside our tent.’ I often wake James when I hear noises, which usually turn out to be birds or squirrels. ‘You're imagining things again,’ he said and went back to sleep.”
“Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.” (see here) Seems that Yoga is popular with staff at ELCA headquarters in Chicago. “Two days a week, churchwide employees carry yoga mats for Lunchtime Yoga at the Lutheran Center.” (see here)
Alcohol is being sold by an ELCA church. Pastor Gretchen Mertes "works as one of the bartenders."“When you belly up to the bar. . . You wont find a Bible.” “Oh heaven’s, no!” (see here)
Don’t miss out on their “wine specials.” (watch here)Luther's Table, the bar/cafe, is a mission start of the ELCA (see here)Pastor Mertes "salary is funded for the most part by grants from the ELCA and NW WA Synod." (see here)
Here is a link for "A Policy Agenda for The New Administration: From Communities of Faith." (see here)
This document was put together by eleven national faith communities and institutions, including the ELCA. It can be found on the official ELCA website. (see here)
The document is filled with global poverty and world conflict policy recommendations for the President of the United States.
Section number 7 on Climate Change says,
"It is vital that the U.S. joins the rest of the global family and take effective, cooperative, and just action on climate change, making the critical linkages with global poverty. To this end, U.S. policy must recognize our responsibility for creating a disproportionate share of greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that those who are bearing a disproportionate share of the consequences are impoverished, marginalized communities in low income nations.
The gravity of climate change, the nature of its ramifications, and the scope of strategies required to
effectively address it require a re-examination of all aspects of U.S. foreign policy. Climate change will not only exacerbate demands on existing programs such as emergency/disaster relief, immigration, hunger and food aid, global health, and women’s and girls’ empowerment, but also require fresh strategies to address economic development, trade, debt relief, and global security.
Specifically, we urge the next Administration to:
- Provide a U.S. fair share of adaptation funding, directing it to the countries which are most vulnerable to climate change. This funding should be above and beyond current foreign assistance levels and be seen as compensation for harm done, not as an optional act of goodwill.
- -- The primary focus of adaptation funding must be to: build resilience and adaptive capacity in vulnerable, local communities; address magnified disaster assistance and relief needs; and to include climate change in development planning.
- -- Adaptation funding should be provided through channels that are transparent, accountable,
and fully responsive to the needs of affected communities in developing countries, ensuring
that the interests and needs of women and girls are included.
- Couple U.S. adaptation funding with a thorough reassessment of the economic and military premises which serve as the foundations of our foreign policy."
Many people question whether climate change is happening and if so, if its caused by man. I find it premature and careless for our denominations to recommend that the citizens of the United States make "adaptation" payments to other countries for "damage" done to them because of global warming that the United States supposedly caused.
The Climate Change policy recommendation is just one part of 19 pages worth of recommendations to the US President.
Throughout the document, the eleven religious institutions suggest the United States fund a multitude of programs, as well as "(f)ully finance, by pressing for Congressional appropriations, the world’s existing debt cancellation mechanisms."
It's easy to spend other people's money, I guess. I wonder when the ELCA and it's mainline denominational friends will write the president and lobby congress asking them to not spend money they do not have.
Look over the rest of the document and see what policies you, as a member of the ELCA, are advocating for.