477 voters said the statement was "True." (72.05%)
185 voters said the statement was "False." (27.95%)
662 people participated in the poll.
|Exposing the ELCA||
An Exposing the ELCA poll presented this statement, "Gay marriage is against the will of God."
477 voters said the statement was "True." (72.05%)
185 voters said the statement was "False." (27.95%)
662 people participated in the poll.
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
Over 500 Pastors signed a document from “Minnesota Pastors for Marriage.” (see here) “These 500+ Christian faith leaders joined together to state that their love for God, His Word, and their neighbor lead them to vote YES on Amendment 1.” (read here) The Minnesota Marriage Amendment (Amendment 1), which will be voted upon next week, seeks “to place the traditional definition of marriage – one man and one woman – into (the Minnesota) state constitution.” (read here)
Of the over 500+ pastors who signed this letter, I did not find one ELCA pastor on the list. There were many pastors from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, but NONE from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
What does that tell you about today’s ELCA leaders?
Since its infancy, Exposing the ELCA has been covering the story of Rebecca Julius, a Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) student who is standing up for Biblical truth in the confines of the liberal pro-homosexual, pro-gay marriage ELCA college.
With Rebecca’s permission, I posted a letter/blog that she wrote explaining her concerns and her idea of how to be, much needed, “salt and light” at Concordia. Here is a link to that blog - Be a Witness for Truth
Since that blog was posted on August 23, 2012, there has been a great deal of media attention given to this situation, allowing Rebecca to be a witness for God’s Truth in the many new reports which have resulted. Here are links to a number of them.
I googled, - rebecca julius sin is sin - and came up with hundreds of articles. (see here) Looking through the first six pages of links you can see that a bunch of them are critical reports from the gay community. Please continue to hold Rebecca up on prayer.
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
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America officially allows homosexual marriages, so says the “number two man” in the denomination, David Swartling. At the 2012 Southwestern Washington Synod Assembly it has been reported that, “(I)n response to a query from the floor of the assembly, Secretary of the ELCA David Swartling, at the assembly as the representative of the national church, said that the marriage of same-gender couples in states where that was legal was neither endorsed nor precluded by ELCA policy. Marriage in those circumstances was at the discretion of pastors and congregations.” (read here)
One of the duties of the Secretary of the ELCA is to “prepare interpretations, as necessary, of the Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” (read here) So the Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, David Swartling, is the highest authority in the ELCA when it come to interpreting ELCA policy. He says the ELCA allows the performing of homosexual marriages.
An Executive Director of a gay rights advocacy organization responded to Secretary Swartling's statement this way, “The clarification by Secretary of the ELCA Swartling is a benchmark of the position that ELCA policy takes nationally on the subject of pastors and congregations marrying same-gender couples where that is legal." (see here) What the Executive Director says is true. There should be no doubt that this is the ELCA's official stance. Do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise.
The media even confirms this. The Santa Fe New Mexican news site reported, in an article this summer, “Today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allows ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships. Blessings of same-sex marriages — and marriages in states where they are legally permitted — are performed.” (read here)
This is important information because people continue to be given conflicting messages about the ELCA's position on gay marriage. One reader shared with me his concern about leaders trying to lessen or diminish the impact of the ELCA’s 2009 actions, stating, “ . . . ELCA bishops continue to tell congregations that the ELCA has not approved gay marriage taking place in its congregations.”
Do not be fooled. ELCA policy allows gay marriages in states where it is legal.
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.
“Grace is not your average Lutheran church,” so says the ELCA’s Grace Lutheran Church in a Houston, TX. I say that isn't necessarily so. I believe Grace Lutheran gives us a picture of what many ELCA churches ARE like and what most ELCA churches will be. And it’s time that all the Midwest ELCA churches, rural ELCA churches, head-in-the-sand churches and members everywhere understand what the ELCA has become.
Let me tell you about Grace Lutheran. Their church website recommends giving kids a children’s book about homosexual marriage. The book is called Donovan’s Big Day. One of Grace Lutheran's church bloggers says that this “. . .picture book celebrates gay marriage in a delightful way through the eyes of a young child and would make a wonderful gift for kids and adults alike.” (see here) For those of you that are not concerned about this, one thing you should know (among many things) is that studies show promoting homosexuality to children will result in a greater likelihood of homosexual experimentation. (read here) But that isn't a problem for most ELCA churches because homosexuality is not a sin in the ELCA.
On the “wedding” page for Grace Lutheran we learn “On May 22, 2005, by vote of the congregation of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, the congregation adopted a policy stating that ‘The blessing of same-gender unions may be performed at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Grace’s wedding guidelines will apply equally to all gender combinations.’” (see here)
Grace Lutheran’s pastor, Lura N. Groen says that a few years ago “the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) would not ordain pastors like me, who were LGBT, and refusing to promise celibacy. So my ordination here at Grace was not recognized by the ELCA.” But “. . .the ELCA voted to change its discriminatory policy!” (read here)
Here is a church picture of an adolescent girl, apparently affiliated with Grace Lutheran, holding a rainbow gay pride flag. (see here)
Grace Lutheran seems to take great pride in participating in gay “pride” parades. Here are some pictures:
- Grace Lutheran representatives - men in skirts. (see here)
- Grace Lutheran pastor and men in skirts. (see here)
- Grace Lutheran participant in drag. (see here)
- In this photo we learn that “Grace Fights 4 Equality,” “Lutherans like beer” and “Lutherans are sexy.” (see here)
- Grace Lutheran parade group picture. Some of the church signs say “Live love be fabulous,” “Grace Lutheran is family.” (see here)
And this is a picture, of which I can only assume, is Grace Lutheran draped in rainbow color streamers. (see here)
At the bottom of the Grace Lutheran Church’s homepage are some tags that the church placed there which helps to describe things about the church and what they are about. Some of the tags include, “gay churches in Houston," “ELCA,” "gay lutheran ministers in church," "lesbian wedding," "gay wedding," "ELCA Homosexuality," "GLBT," "GLBT Church," "LGBTQ," "LGBTQ Church," "LGBT Church," "LGBT," "church in houston that accepts lesbians," "church in houston that accepts gays," "church in houston that accepts bisexuals," "church in houston that accepts transsexuals," "church in houston that accepts transgender people," and "Reconciling in Christ." (go here and highlight the gray box)
Frankly, Grace Lutheran’s description of themselves as “not your average Lutheran church,” is less and less true as each day passes in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
This week ELCA Bishop of the North Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area, Kevin S. Kanouse wrote a blog (see here) calling those who support Chick-fil-A bullies and he blamed “preachers (?)” for people going to show their support for Chick-fil-A. This after the widespread temper tantrum and bullying from liberals and homosexuals against Chick-fil-A’s president for stating he believes in the Biblical view of one man, one woman marriage. Notice, too, that the ELCA bishop disparages the preachers by placing a question mark after referencing them, apparently implying that he questions whether they are true Christian preachers.
ELCA Bishop Kanouse mockingly wrote that the “faithful flocked to the chicken bastion of moral godliness to feast on chicken sandwiches. . .”
Later, Bishop Kanouse said, “In truth our country celebrated a national day of bullying last week.”
And Bishop Kanouse, proving that he doesn’t understand or respect Scripture much at all, made this statement, “. . .the bullied. That's another word, like homosexuality, that Jesus did not utter as recorded in the New Testament. . .” (read here)
One of the main points Bishop Kanouse tried to make was his belief that Jesus “would not have been inside Chick-fil-A. No, he was not about sit-ins and causes.” I say, that statement and thought is not an honest and true portrayal of the Biblical, historic Jesus.
Bishop Kanouse is part of a denomination which calls homosexuality “good.” Because of that, and the ELCA’s twisted view of the Bible, many in the ELCA do not like when Christians hold to Biblical Truth (and apparently when they stand up for one another when the world tries to bully Christians for their beliefs). You are wrong, Bishop Kanouse, if you think Jesus would not have supported the words of the president of Chick-Fil-A and the thousands of people who showed up to support the company who was being bullied for their Christian values. Jesus stood up for what was right. He chased the moneychangers out of the temple, he sternly warned others who were leading people away from God’s truth, and among many other instances, he supported the actions of Mary when her sister Martha complained about her.
Bob Russell said this in a blog he wrote, “Did Jesus condemn John the Baptist for speaking out against a politician? No. Jesus said “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11) (read here)
After reading drivel like Bishop Kanouse’s blog and hundreds of ELCA articles like it, it is easy to see that the ELCA is a extremely liberal church that does not understand and in many ways despises Bible-believing, Christ-following Christians. Unfortunately many ELCA leaders also have a one-dimensional view of Jesus which changes Christ into a social justice leader and not much of a Savior.
As the liberal, anti-Christian outrage grows in the United States, we see it manifesting everywhere in our society. Last week, national liberal media joined in by crucifying Chick-fil-A because the company president believes in the traditional Biblical view of marriage and because the company supports Christian organizations which speak up for traditional marriage. The homosexual community labels those organizations “hate groups.”
We are now living in a society where standing up for God’s Truth brings hateful name-calling and persecution. One would think that Christians could at least find solidarity from those claiming to be Christ followers. But that is not the case with most mainline Christian denominations. In what is really an act of hate, not love, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is one of those denominations pushing the homosexual agenda in their vast array of entities.
Last year the ELCA churchwide, as well as over two dozen of ELCA synods, passed a resolution encouraging “new partnerships” with a gay rights organization. (see here and here) The Lutheran, the most popular publication of the ELCA, feels the need to inform its readers of the latest happenings with that gay organization. (see here)
One chaperone at the ELCA 2012 National Youth Gathering reported that “At every level, at the mass events in the dome, there was a reference to homosexuality. Every speaker, every skit. Frequently this was tied to anti-bullying.” (see here)
In 2012, a host of ELCA synods passed resolutions in favor of gay marriage. (see here)
And honestly, the list goes on and on. (see here and here - scroll down linked pages)
This is the society we live in and we have “Christians” perpetuating and promoting sin.
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” - Matt. 15:8-9
Sadly, these verses embody the leadership of the ELCA.