This is telling - "Most white evangelical Protestants (73 percent), as well as 55 percent of white Catholics and 53 percent of black Protestants, say it is morally wrong to have an abortion. That compares with 36 percent of white mainline Protestants and just 20 percent of the religiously unaffiliated." (see here)
Most every member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America falls under the heading “white mainline Protestants.”
- I haven't heard of any ELCA bishops publicly standing against abortion nor have I seen the denomination supporting any pro-life initiatives.
- I had always believed the ELCA leadership to be pro-abortion (read here) but now I see that the majority of ELCA members also support the killing of children in the womb.
- A pro-life supporter worshiping in an ELCA church is a lot like a pro-life supporter working for Planned Parenthood.
This comes from the ELCA worship planning resource “SUNDAYS AND SEASONS.” - “Gospel, 1st Advent: God will fulfill God's purposes and, already, hidden signs of that fulfillment abound. On that great day there will be dismay, perplexity, confusion, and terror, but God's people shall be given strength to stand boldly and receive God's promised redemption.”Where are the pronouns? It seems like the resource is doing everything possible, in this instance, to avoid calling God “He.”
I thought the following video was worth posting. The hosts' answer a woman’s question, “Is it wrong in God's eyes to attend a church that doesn't follow the Bible?”
Here is part of their answer, “Are you born again? Seriously, are you a Christian? . . . Have you repented of your sins? Are you trusting in Jesus alone? Because if you are you will love God's word and you'll never ever support a church that is teaching error.”
Start watching at the 7 minute mark -
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s largest seminary, Luther Seminary in Minnesota, sent shockwaves through the denomination with the recent admittance that they are facing extreme financial difficulties. The president of Luther Seminary abruptly stepped down from his position as a result. Luther Seminary published a report stating, “While we continue to function at a high level, we are facing a difficult combination of challenges, not unlike those faced by many other institutions of higher education. These challenges include deferred maintenance charges related to aging buildings, the costs of delivering a wide variety of educational programs and a nationwide drop in the number of students attending seminaries . . . this transition comes at a time when the financial performance of the seminary has lagged expectations.” (read here)
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Luther Seminary, “announces search for new president after losing nearly $4 million last school year.” The report said, “The president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul has resigned amid rising maintenance costs and declining enrollment . . . Enrollment is down from 822 nearly five years ago to 764 students this year.” Board chairman Jim Lindus said, "We had a lower investment performance than we were expecting, and education costs in general are going up. And we're trying to figure out how do we adjust to that in a church that ... has become smaller." (read here) The article also points out that “Other ELCA seminaries nationwide are also dealing with ‘very challenging times.’"
An ELCA pastor, blogging about the news concerning Luther Seminary said, “the ELCA and many of her associated enterprises - Luther Seminary among them - has taken its eye off the ball. We are told that we are to be missional - but missional about what? A vast cohort of students, faculty, and staff (and therefore pastors, bishops, and synod staff) get more worked up about personal pronouns for God than personal relationships with God. We are taught that to ‘want people to come to church on Sunday morning’ indicates a lack of understanding that God works outside the church. We are taught that the Church, and Word & Sacrament, are nice, you know, but so are justice and advocacy. I spent more time in seminary learning about ‘family systems’ than I did sacramental theology. No, for realz. I was assigned more papers about why we shouldn't evangelize, than about how and why we should.”
This ELCA pastor goes on to say, “certain individuals and departments spend ridiculous amounts of seminary funds on high-end coffee and cookies every day of the week. There are flat-screen TVs in every corner of Northwestern and the OCC. NW and OCC have both recently undergone major asthetic remodels, while the dorms and apartments battle bedbugs and mold year-round.” (read here)
The ELCA is led by self-serving, Bible-denying, and apparently wasteful leaders. Because of their wandering away from the heart of the Gospel, to make disciples, the denomination itself is withering.
Using masculine terms for God seems to be a big deal to the ELCA. What I should really say is, they don’t seem to like using masculine terms for God. A couple of years ago Exposing the ELCA reported (see here) on a page published within the ELCA's official website called, “What is the proper use of language in worship?” (see here) On that page, the ELCA says, "The metaphorical use of the term ‘father’ continues to be used in worship, alongside many other biblical metaphors for God. However, because sin can distort even the fundamental relationships of parents to children, the image of a father may be difficult to comprehend for some who have experienced alienation in their relationship to a human father." They then, in an obvious attempt to get you to stop using male terms in reference to God, offer this, “Titles that suggest the activity of God may be used to address God . . .” Moments later they say, “Second-person pronouns, instead of gender specific and third person pronouns, may be used to address God.” (An example of a second-person pronoun is “you.” An example of a third-person pronoun is “he.”)
The ELCA’s webpage then tries to dismiss the maleness of Jesus saying “the humanness of Jesus has always been viewed as more significant than his male gender.” Continuing they state, “Although the use of male pronouns is appropriate when referring to Jesus, care should be taken to find other ways to speak of Jesus that emphasize humanness rather than maleness.”
Please read the page I’m referring to. It seems clear to me that the ELCA has a problem with using male gender terms to refer to God the Father. They are doing everything they can to steer you away from using male terms for God, except for being straight forward with us and saying, “Don’t use them.” With Jesus, it looks to me like the ELCA wants people to de-emphasize the maleness of Jesus.
On that same ELCA page, strangely enough, the ELCA seems to be pretty supportive of calling the Holy Spirit “she.” I quote, “Throughout the history of the church, feminine pronouns have often been employed in reference to the Spirit. Some see this usage as balancing the masculine Father and Son references.”
Just so you know how seriously the ELCA considers the issue of using gender neutral language for God, check out the ELCA magazine Gather. On their “Writer guidelines” page they give a list of “Requirements.” One of the requirements is to “use inclusive language.” They go on to explain “Generally, avoid using pronouns (he, she, his, her) when referring to God, and words for God that are exclusively masculine should be used only rarely (for example, use ruler, not king).” (see here)
We have seen ELCA leadership attempt to eliminate masculine pronouns when referring to God (see here, here and here).This is confirmed again in a written conversation between three ELCA seminarians:
Person One - posts that he - "(i)s unsure if Wartburg's conversion of me toward a posture of inclusive language about God is a blessing or a curse as I learn songs for VBS!!! I cringe every 4 seconds as I hear masculine pronouns!"
Person Two - "I do the same thing here during bible studies!!!"
Person Three - "YOU TOO!!!!! It's driving me NUTS! Hahahaha...funny thing is I NEVER thought it would."
(Person One is referring to Wartburg Theological Seminary when he says "Wartburg.")It is interesting how removing masculine pronouns for God is called "inclusive."
I ran across an article recently which told a story of a United Methodist Church in a nearby city that had lesbians play Mary and Joseph in a church nativity. I thought this was information more people should know about so I passed the story on to a well known internet news website, WorldNetDaily. They responded within half a day, decided to write an article on it and asked me for some quotes. Here is the article.(Of course the ELCA is in full communion with the United Methodists.)
Time to check out another video from the ELCA church that calls itself “Herchurch.” Be prepared to witness the breaking of the 1st Commandment, among other things. (the video is at the end of this blog)
At the beginning of the video you will hear this -
Congregation: Beloved Mother of wisdom, you are black and beautiful.
ELCA Pastor Stacy Boorn: She is Queen and virgin, women onto herself. She is in violets, she is rising up. She is Mother, Mother of all, Mother of all that is.
Congregation: Beloved Mother of wisdom, you are black and beautiful.
At the 1:48 minute mark you will read that “Herchurch emphasizes dance, music and art as a form of worship to the Divine Feminine.”
At the 2:48 mark you will see a painting of a topless pregnant women.
Also starting at the 2:48 mark Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Pastor Stacy Boorn says, “Today we gather to be in the presence of that which is holy and good. Today we gather also to honor the black Madonnas who throughout history have been a reminder that our first Mother, the Mother of us all, our African Mother, our Mother Earth cries out from the stumps that are too often the remnant of a cut down life of (???).
If you have never heard of this heretical ELCA church before, please check out these links. (see here and here)
The ELCA official website has a webpage entitled, “What is the proper use of language in worship?” (see here)
Here are some of the ELCA’s directives, in that article, related to Jesus:
- “Although the use of male pronouns is appropriate when referring to Jesus, care should be taken to find other ways to speak of Jesus that emphasize humanness rather than maleness.”
- “. . . using nonmasculine imagery should be used along with masculine forms for balance.”
Speaking about inclusive language in music, the ELCA’s article says that if you don’t like what some songs say,
“ . . . new verses reflecting current language sensitivity can be added to old hymns. In some cases, particularly problematic verses can be omitted. In other instances, the traditional weight of certain hymns may necessitate their being kept intact and balanced by other hymns that are more inclusive in language.”
For contemporary songs, “(m)usic that is not. . . sensitive to the use of inclusive language should be avoided.”
Later on in the article the ELCA states, “(t)he metaphorical use of the term ‘father’ continues to be used in worship, alongside many other biblical metaphors for God. However, because sin can distort even the fundamental relationships of parents to children, the image of a father may be difficult to comprehend for some who have experienced alienation in their relationship to a human father.”
This last statement is trying to change a person’s perspective so they lessen the use or discontinue addressing God as, “Father” at the risk of offending those with broken earthly relationships; when, in fact, we ought to be lifting up how God is indeed our perfect heavenly Father, a wonderful truth specifically for those who have had less than positive relationships with their earthly fathers.
This is another example of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America deciding they know better than Scripture.
- Jesus Himself tells us, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven . . .’” (Matthew 6:9)
- Jesus tells his disciples that God is their “Father.” “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:6-8)
- Jesus calls God “Father.” "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)
But because someone in the world might not like calling God “Father,” the ELCA wants us to consider not using that term. This is another assault on God that comes straight from the pit of hell.
(See more evidence of what the ELCA is doing with gender neutral language, inclusive language and changing the names of God.)