“(P)ostmodern readers should strive to envision Christ as gender queer. . .” so says ordained Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor Megan Rohrer. Rev. Rohrer is “The first openly transgender Lutheran pastor ordained in the United States” (see here).
The pastor says this in an essay “she” authored titled “Male Brides of the Mother Christ.” Here are some of the “her” more egregious comments:
“When queer readers name Christ as a gender queer mother/father it is not done out of fear of linking Christ to a queer sexual orientation. If Christ is both male and female, then it is impossible for a Christ to have an opposite-sex relationship. And if it is true as Paul writes in Galatians 3:28 that in Christ we too are no longer male or female, then it is also impossible for any Christians to have an opposite-sex relationship.”
“Bernard of Clairvaux uses female/mother imagery for Jesus, Moses, Peter, Paul, prelates and abbots when he writes extensively about how their wombs nurture, conceive and shelter while their breasts pour out instructions like breast milk.”
“Postmodern readers who strive to free themselves from dualistic and binary assumptions of male and female may relate to the language of Christ as mother/father. However, instead of believing that the physical and metaphoric motherhood/femaleness of Christ enhances the fatherhood/maleness of Christ, postmodern readers should strive to envision Christ as gender queer. If we were able to see Christ as truly gender queer then the femaleness of Christ would not negate her maleness of Christ, just as the maleness of Christ does not negate his femaleness.” (read here)
For the past three years Rev. Rohrer has been a contributing blogger for the ELCA website Living Lutheran (see here). Also, Rev. Rohrer “has been the Executive Director of The Welcome since June of 2002 and has been called to this ministry by a joint call from herchurch (Ebenezer Lutheran), Christ Church Lutheran, St. Fracis Lutheran and Sts. Mary and Martha Lutheran. Megan is rostered and overseen by both the local Lutheran and Episcopal bishops. Megan is also called to serve as an Associate Pastor at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church.” All churches are in the San Francisco Bay area. (see here)
Any God-fearing denomination should find these comments heretical and incompatible with their teaching and take action against the pastor who made them. But the ELCA will take no action. They have proven to be accepting of these kind of teachings in the past (just look around this website) and Rev. Rohrer's teachings are well known by her superiors.
The ELCA is responsible for the professors they hire. Today we are going to look at an ELCA professor who teaches at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Her name is Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, and she is an Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament. Dr. Gafney, in her blog about a young actress, posted a picture of Jesus as a woman and said this, “And the world that lynched a Jewish single mother's child simply can't handle God in black female body. (See Janet McKenzie's iconic image of Jesus using a black woman as Christ/a.)” (see image and quote here)
How many ways can an ELCA Seminary Professor be wrong in just one sentence? And, how is it okay to post a purposely false representation of God the Son? What kind of teacher would do that? Jesus was male and presenting Him as female is blaspheming Jesus and dishonoring God and the Truth. Not surprisingly the ELCA seems to be perfectly fine with this. It has been reported that Dr. Mary Streufert, the ELCA Director for Justice for Women, from the Office of the Presiding Bishop did the same thing. (see here)
Let's now go back and analyze what else Dr. Gafney said in the sentence quoted above. She said that Jesus was “lynched.” That is not true. She said Mary was “single.” That is false, Mary in all likelihood was a widow, not single at the time of Jesus crucifixion. Do I even need to address the Professor calling Jesus “Christa?” Someone wrote this comment to Dr. Gafney upon reading her article, “Thank you for an image of Jesus that will help me to continue in my studies to be a pastor in a church that still believes Jesus was white and God is a Father. Highly respected theologian Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. had this to say about seminaries, “Theological education is a deadly serious business. The stakes are so high. A theological seminary that serves faithfully will be a source of health and life for the church, but an unfaithful seminary will set loose a torrent of trouble, untruth, and sickness upon Christ’s people. Inevitably, the seminaries are the incubators of the church’s future. The teaching imparted to seminarians will shortly be inflicted upon congregations, where the result will be either fruitfulness or barrenness, vitality or lethargy, advance or decline, spiritual life, or spiritual death.” (read here)
Read these articles to see what other sickness and untruth the unfaithful ELCA seminaries are setting loose upon God's people. (here)
Why would a Christian denomination pay a lecturer to speak at their events who does not believe Jesus physically rose from the dead? Why would the same denomination recommend and use that lecturer's teaching resources when he doesn't even believe God exist? Those are good questions every lay person should be asking the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The lecturer I am referring to is John Dominic Crossan, co-founder of the Jesus Seminar (read about it here) and popular New Testament scholar. Let me first show you the multitude of ways the ELCA has sought Crossan and provided access to his teachings, then we will document some specifics of what this man teaches and believes.
- The Southwest California Synod promotes Crossan's lecture in their “Synnouncements” mailing. They write “John Dominic Crossan Lectures in Solvang. Bethania Lutheran Church. . .Solvang, CA. . .will have the honor of hosting Dr. John Dominic Crossan at our Farstrup-Mortensen Lecture Series from February 22-24, 2013. The theme for the lectures is: 'Jesus and the Kingdom of God.'" (see here)
- This event was promoted by the ELCA's East Central Synod of Wisconsin. They wrote, “Wisconsin Council of Churches presents their 2014 Winter Forum at Wisconsin Dells. This year’s Inaugural Winter Forum Lecture Series is The ABBA Prayer of Jesus: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord’s Prayer Dr. John Dominic Crossan.” (see here)
- Here we have the ELCA website promoting a book written by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. (see here)
- The official ELCA website promoting video series presented by Crossan - “First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God" (see here)
- ELCA website recommending a Crossan study guide. (see here)
- Advertisement for Crossan DVD series in the ELCA's Lutheran-Partners magazine. (see here)
- The ELCA's Seeds recommended a Crossan work for the Lenten season. They wrote, “Several of our pastors recommend The Last Week: A Day by Day Account of Jesus’ Final Week in Jerusalem by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. . .Peter Gomes, Brian McLaren, Barbara Brown Taylor and others say this is a ‘must read’ for clergy and lay leaders alike.” (read here)
- ELCA's ministry of publishing is selling a book featuring Crossan. (see here)
- Many ELCA churches are conducting studies using Crossan's materials. This is just a few of them. (see here, here, here and here)
- Crossan speaks at Lutheran Professors and Graduate Students Breakfast Sponsored by Augsburg Fortress (ELCA publishing company). (see here)
- A search of just one ELCA Synod (the Eastern North Dakota Synod) found them offering 8 different resources from Crossan. (see here)
- Crossan lecture at First Lutheran Church, Greensboro, NC - 2006. (see here)
- Four lectures at St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wauwatosa, WI, 2008. (see here)
What does John Dominic Crossan teach and believe?
- Four lectures, sermon, and Adult Education at Messiah Community Church Denver, CO 2009. (see here)
“Crossan says Jesus was an exploited 'peasant with an attitude' who didn't perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity's sins.
Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan” (read here).
The following are quotes by John Dominic Crossan from his book Who Is Jesus? (found here) "Do I personally believe in an afterlife? No, but to be honest, I do not find it a particularly important question one way or the other."
"Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."
"Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets.' Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."
"In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life." “The second coming will not be literal. The second coming is what will happen when we Christians accept that there was only one coming and get with the program.” (see here)
During this debate, we find out Crossan doesn't even believe in the actual existence of God -
“(Dr. William Lane) Craig: But surely that’s not a meaningless question. It’s a factual question. Was there a being who was the Creator and Sustainer of the universe during the period of time when no human beings existed? It seems to me that in your view you’d have to say no.
Crossan: Well, I would probably prefer to say no because what you’re doing is trying to put yourself in the position of God and ask, 'How is God apart from revelation? How is God apart from faith?'” (see here)
More Crossan quotes - “In conclusion, what is the historicity of the burial account [of Jesus]? From Roman expectations, the body of Jesus and of any others crucified with him would have been left on the cross as carrion [dead and putrefying flesh] for the crows and the dogs. From Jewish expectations, would not Deuteronomy 21:22-23 have been followed? Maybe, but only the barest maybe…
But, even if it was, the soldiers who crucified Jesus probably would have done it, speedily and indifferently, in a necessary shallow and mounded grave rather than a rock-hewn tomb. That would mean lime, at best, and the dogs again, at worst.” (Who Killed Jesus?, 187, 188) by John Dominic Crossan
“The tales of entombment and resurrection were latter-day wishful thinking. Instead, Jesus’ corpse went the way of all abandoned criminals bodies: it was probably barely covered with dirt, vulnerable to the wild dogs that roamed the wasteland of the execution grounds.” John Dominic Crossan as quoted in Richard N. Ostling, “Jesus Christ, Plain and Simple,” Time, 10 January 1994.
What others say about John Dominic Crossan
- Hank Hanegraaff, Christian radio host says this about Crossan - "Jesus Seminar cofounder John Dominic Crossan claims that there were dozens of virgin birth stories circulating in Greek and Roman mythology during the first century. Says Crossan, 'They’re all over Greek and Roman mythology, so what do I do? Do I believe all of those stories, or do I say all of those stories are lies except for our Christian story?'" “The truth of the matter is that historical evidence for the veracity of extrabiblical virgin birth stories is nil.” (read here).
- Dennis Ingolfsland writes this of Crossan -
“Jesus was a 'peasant Jewish Cynic,' who never thought of Himself as the Jewish Messiah, much less the Son of God or the Savior of the world. This is the view held by John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar, reputed to be one of the world’s leading experts on the historical study of Jesus. According to Crossan and others who share his view, Jesus was simply an itinerant preacher who taught that the kingdom of God had to do with how the world would be run if God sat on Caesar’s throne. Jesus’ ministry had nothing to do with helping people find God, salvation, or heaven.” (see here)
- Father Robert Barron, writing about Crossan says -
“How does Crossan explain the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead? They are, he says, essentially 'parables,' figurative representations of the disciples’ conviction that Jesus’ way was more powerful than the Roman way. They were never meant to be taken literally but rather as poetic inspirations for the succeeding generations of Jesus’ followers.
How does he explain the church’s dogma of Jesus’ divinity? It is, essentially, a misleading overlay that effectively obscures the dangerous truth of who Jesus really was: a threat to the cultural, religious and political status quo.” (see here)
- Video of Dr. William Lane Craig answering a question about John Dominic Crossan's view on the resurrection of Jesus. (only 5 min. long)
- Here is a review of Crossan's book JESUS - A Revolutionary Biography by KIRKUS REVIEW
“Here, we get a politically correct Christ stripped of all mythology, a revolutionary social leader who taught 'radical egalitarianism' but performed no miracles, except that of awakening social consciousness (Crossan reads Jesus' casting out of demons as a blow against colonialism). This is, then, the Jesus of liberation theology, not of the Christian scholarly mainstream (up to now, Crossan has been best known for another unconventional and little-accepted theory, positing the existence of a 'cross gospel' that predates the passion narratives of the canonical texts). As usual, Crossan's scholarship is good, with a command of cultural anthropology, Greco-Roman history, and textual analysis. Eyebrows will rise often, though, as he goes beyond facts into conjecture: Jesus `did not and could not cure...disease' despite his laying-on-of-hands; Jesus never met Pilate or Caiaphas; the Barabbas tale is fiction (a dismissal based largely on Crossan's subjective reading of Pilate's personality), as are the Last Supper, the Raising of Lazarus, the Virgin Birth, etc. Moreover, at his most extreme, Crossan suggests that Jesus' body, far from being resurrected, was probably buried in a shallow grave and eaten by dogs.” (see here)
- Mark Allan Powell writes -
“Most Christians are aware that Jesus does many things in the New Testament that fulfill prophecies of the Old Testament. Skeptical scholars suggest that, in some instances, the Gospel writers are creating facts about Jesus in order to have him fulfill the prophecies. Thus, they invented the story of the virgin birth because Isaiah 7:14 speaks of a virgin bearing a son, and they decided to say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because Micah 5:2 indicates the Messiah will be born there. While a number of scholars may allow that such influences come into play here or there, John Dominic Crossan thinks that much (most?) of the Gospel accounts of Jesus came about this way--including everything in his last week of life.
According to Crossan, all the Gospel writers knew about that last week was that Jesus got grabbed by the Romans and crucified (possibly, according to Crossan, he was just caught up in a mob of Jewish rabble that got crucified for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Gospel writers, Crossan thinks, made up the rest--the stories about Jesus’ trial before Pilate, about the release of Barabbas, about Simon of Cyrene, the thief on the cross, the centurion’s confession, the burial in a garden, and of course the resurrection--the Gospel writers made it all up out of nothing to show that Jesus had fulfilled a bunch of Old Testament prophecies.” (see here)
There we have it. ELCA leaders seek out this kind of teacher (and others who think similarly, like Marcus Borg – see here). Is it any wonder the ELCA leadership has abandoned Biblical truth for their own “truth” or is this just a result of it? Heretics have control of the ELCA leadership and they teach in their seminaries. Pray for them and also for the people sitting in ELCA pews who they are trying to influence and bring toward their heretical beliefs.
Bible-believing Lutherans were upset a few years ago when they learned of numerous heretical and unorthodox articles from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They were posted on the ELCA's official website under a section meant to explain the ELCA's beliefs and teachings, called “Dig Deeper.” The ELCA leadership took a great deal of well deserved heat for what the articles said and even though they never repudiated the articles or the teaching, with no apology, they removed them from elca.org.
Now with the help of a website which archives old web pages you can view the articles as they looked in 2009.
- Propagating the idea of Universalism (that all people go to heaven) is the ELCA article titled “Salvation” - See here.
- The ELCA questions the “Virgin Birth” in this informational page – See here.
- The ELCA's “The Bible” page (see here) has a section in which they say “Because Biblical writers, editors and compilers were limited by their times and world views, even as we are, the Bible contains material wedded to those times and places. It also means that writers sometimes provide differing and even contradictory views of God’s word, ways and will.”
The page also tells a few of the forms of study (biblical criticism) which the ELCA uses when studying Scripture. The article describes Redaction Criticism in this way, “understanding how writers creatively shaped material they inherit and how, perhaps, they brought nuances from their own context and culture.”
Here is a better description from a Christian apologetics website -
“Redaction Criticism of the Bible is the theory that different copyists and commentators of the early biblical writings embellished and altered the biblical texts throughout early Jewish and Christian history to make them appear more miraculous, inspirational, and legitimate. An example of redaction theory would be the claim that Old Testament prophecies were modified by redactors after the fact to make them appear as miraculous prophecies. Redaction criticism reduces the quality of the biblical record, casts strong doubt on its inspiration, and implies that the Bible is not trustworthy as a historical document." (read here)
- The ELCA's “The Resurrection” page promotes universalism and doubt about Christ's physical resurrection. See here.
Gnesio, an online magazine of Lutheran theology, addresses the ELCA's “The Resurrection” page saying:
“The resurrection for the ELCA does not necessarily have to be a historic event, but something of faith. From their website: 'All of this has led some scholars to write that the risen Jesus (and apparitions of the risen Jesus) is a supernatural reality which does not belong to this world and cannot be the object of historic investigation. Rather, Jesus’ resurrection is an object of faith.
Accordingly, ELCA members believe that what history does is to demonstrate the disciples’ faith in the resurrection. Their witness and testimony to Jesus’ post-death appearances make it abundantly clear that the resurrection was a primary object of the apostolic proclamation from Christianity’s very beginning.'
This view then means that it is not important whether Jesus is still dead in a tomb or not, just that you believe that He rose." (see here)
- The ELCA's page on “Satan” tells us that believing or not believing in Satan is a-okay. See here.
The ELCA took down these teaching webpages, but Exposing the ELCA has extensive evidence which shows that the ELCA leadership continues to believe, teach and allow these same heretical beliefs.
Rarely am I surprised when I read or hear stories of what the ELCA is teaching or things that are happening in the church, but I was with this one. Not long ago I received an email from Jill Weber. She was concerned by what she heard and experienced while visiting an ELCA church. This is what the Jill wrote -
I recently attended Shepherd Of The Hills Church in Flagstaff, AZ. The senor pastor is Susan Swanson and the teaching pastor is her husband Tim Swanson. I attended the church service on Dec. 9, 2012 and also the Bible study taught by Tim. I was grieved in my spirit when I asked him a direct question if he believed if Jesus is God? His response was “that's a hard question." He also told this class that "it wasn't important that Jesus was born of a virgin." I responded "Yes it is important that Jesus was born of a virgin and it does matter, because Jesus came to fulfill all the prophecies!" He said he didn't want to argue. I told him he would be arguing with the Word of God. He also cited the gnostic gospels (the gospel of Thomas) as if it were Gospel! Galatians 1:4-9. The senor pastor, his wife was also listening to the conversation and jokingly warned her husband "you better be careful you might lose your job" (I say he should!). The adults in the Bible study laughed. I wanted to stand up and face the people and say "are you really paying them to teach you heresies? That isn't funny because the joke is on you!" The next Sunday I attended the service and then the Christmas program showing how other people celebrated Christmas in different parts of the world; including Befana from Italy, who is a witch. Befana was visited by the wise men and they asked her if she wanted to go and search for baby Jesus and she told them no but after they left she decided that she would, so she flew on her broomstick from house to house in search of Jesus but never did find him. A little girl about 9yrs. was dressed up like Befana including broomstick and all! Wow, I never knew that did you? I think Jesus referred to such teachers as "a brood of vipers!" This program was put together by the Rev. Susan Swanson.
For those that may be wondering, Befana the witch is an old European story that was made into a book called, The Legend of Old Befana. Barnes and Noble's overview of the book says this, "The celebration of Befana, who flies across the sky on Twelfth Night, leaving cakes and cookies for children as they sleep, is a beloved story in Europe. It is timeworn only by its many versions, and Tomie dePaola's retelling is unique in its resplendent settings and carefully researched detail. His story also broadens the character of the eccentric old recluse of the small Italian village, who is always sweeping. While Befana is sometimes called a witch. . ." (see here)
So let me recap this. According to an eye witness, in an ELCA church where a pastor apparently finds it hard to confirm the Bible's testimony that Jesus is God and that Jesus was born of a virgin, there was a Christmas program that included a child playing a broom-flying witch. This is what happens people, when our faith leaders do not hold Scripture as being from God and Truth. This is what happens when ELCA leadership makes themselves the arbitrators of what is true and what isn't. Also notice that this church's members seem to go along with the false teaching, like sheep being led to the slaughter.
I pray that God would open the eyes of all ELCA members so they could see that they are being led astray, led away from God, some slowly and some in extremely dramatic ways, by the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
ELCA leaders worship the god of Muslims. At least that is the logical conclusion most would come to when they look into what ELCA leaders are saying.
The magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran, ran an article in the January 2013 issue about Muslims. The article was another attempt by ELCA leadership to indoctrinate its members into believing a heretical, blasphemous idea. The article included an argument supporting the claim that the God we Christians worship is the same god Muslims worship. Liberal heretics have been saying this for awhile now, and we will address this lie shortly, but lets first look at what The Lutheran had to say.
The magazine presented this statement to two ELCA experts: “Some people say 'Allah' is the name of a pagan moon god and isn't the same as the 'God' of the Bible.”
David D. Grafton, ELCA missionary serving as the coordinator for graduate studies at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt replied: “This is a very old claim. It's similar to an old Christian argument about the 'God of the Old Testament' being distinct from the 'God of the New.' That, of course, was declared a heresy long ago.”
Michael Shelley, dean and vice president for academic affairs at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, answered by saying that “Allah” was one of many gods in Arabia, before the Koran was written, and was considered “the creator.” Prof. Shelley then says, “Are Allah and the God of the Bible the same? Certainly the Quran contends they are. It says to Jews and Christians, 'Our God and your God is one' (Quran 29:46) . . . we are likely to have a more constructive conversation with our Muslim neighbors if we proceed on the assumption that we are talking about the same divine being.” (see here)
So The Lutheran tells its readers that we worship the same god as the Muslims. The ELCA's Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson has said the same thing in a letter to Muslims saying “(t)he one God whom we worship is a God not only of judgment, but of mercy and peace." (see here)
There are a number of reasons the ELCA does this. One reason, I believe, is because of the ELCA's acceptance of universal salvation, that all people will go to heaven no matter what they believe, who they worship or if they've placed their faith in Christ. The ELCA has walked away from leading people to a saving relationship with Christ which makes “working together” with “all people” the focus of why the ELCA exists.
Now there are a number of reasons we can say with confidence that the God of the Bible and the Muslim god are not the same god. I will give you three:
The ELCA's thinking and teaching is evil, and it blasphemes God. It is a teaching that comes from the pit of hell. I don't know how much longer God will allow the ELCA to mock Him.
- Muslims claim the teachings of their most holy book, the Koran, came from an angel. The Koran denies Jesus is the son of God. In Galatians 1 it indicates that gospels other than the gospel of the Bible are not from (our) God even if “an angel from heaven” preaches it.
- The Bible and the Koran contradict each other on major theological issues. If they were the same god there would not be these huge contradictions.
- The Bible and the Koran also portray very different and contradictory attributes of God. This again is a strong evidence that they are not the same God. (see here)
If you haven't read my blog “The ELCA is No Longer a Christian Denomination” you should. It could just as easily been titled “The God of the Bible and the God of the ELCA are not the same.”
Once again an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leader publically denies Jesus’ virgin birth and Scripture’s nativity accounts, and ELCA leadership allows it. Because of this, I sadly tell you that the ELCA is no longer a Christian denomination.
David Lose, a professor and the director of the Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary (ELCA) recently authored an article titled, “Is the Christmas Story trustworthy?” In the article, Professor Lose writes, “I would argue that . . . the gospel writers undoubtedly play fast and loose with the various stories, sayings, and incidents they inherited. . .” (see here) Lose goes on to say how the gospel writers “craft” their stories and should be viewed “more as artists than as historians.” Lose wants us to believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John made up their gospel accounts, that the gospel writers lied in order to share some “bigger” spiritual truth.
Prof. Lose isn’t the first ELCA leader to recently say this. Just a few weeks ago Exposing the ELCA reported on Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, an Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, who stated, “I think that the stories are made up. (I’m retiring at the end of May anyway so don’t waste time with the heresy accusations.) They are myth” and later he advises, “tell the old mythic story in a way that that it is heard anew.”
Highly controversial scholar Marcus Borg, who has made a nice living speaking at ELCA events and writing for ELCA publications, audaciously says, “The stories of Jesus' birth are myths”. (see here) The ELCA’s official website even encouraged debate and questioned the truth of Christ’s Virgin Birth. (see here) The ELCA has the power to stop this heretical teaching in its churches and in its seminaries. Yet they do not. There is a “crime” being committed against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the ELCA is driving the get-away car. They are an accomplice; allowing this teaching is an endorsement of the teaching.
What are we to think of all this? Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of Southern Seminary had this to say regarding the Virgin Birth, “Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible’s teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no . . . We cannot claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and then turn around and cast suspicion on its teaching.
Millard Erickson states this well: ‘If we do not hold to the virgin birth despite the fact that the Bible asserts it, then we have compromised the authority of the Bible and there is in principle no reason why we should hold to its other teachings. Thus, rejecting the virgin birth has implications reaching far beyond the doctrine itself.’
Implications, indeed. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, who was His father? There is no answer that will leave the Gospel intact. The Virgin Birth explains how Christ could be both God and man, how He was without sin, and that the entire work of salvation is God’s gracious act. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, He had a human father. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Bible teaches a lie.”
“This much we know: All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.” (read here) Dr. Mohler, in a different article says, “The presence of theologians and pastors who deny the virgin birth in the theological seminaries and pulpits of the land is evidence of the sweeping tide of unbelief that marks so many
institutions and churches in our time. . .Anyone who claims that the virgin birth can be discarded even as the deity of Christ is affirmed is either intellectually dishonest or theological(ly) incompetent.”
“Christians must face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as the Christ. The Savior who died for our sins was none other than the baby who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin. The virgin birth does not stand alone as a biblical doctrine, it is an irreducible part of the biblical revelation about the person and work of Jesus Christ. With it, the Gospel stands or falls.”
“No true Christian can deny the virgin birth.” (read here) So with that said, where does that leave a denomination that teaches and/or is accepting of the teaching that the Christmas story and the Virgin Birth are not actually true?
If what Dr. Mohler said is true for an individual, it is also true for an institution.
The ELCA is no longer Christian.
At Luther College (ELCA) there is a teaching professor who claims Jesus was a Muslim. The professor is Robert F. Shedinger, an Associate Professor of Religion and Department Head at Luther. (see here) Professor Shedinger wrote a book to promote his view titled, Was Jesus A Muslim? in which he writes:
- “‘Was Jesus a Muslim?’ I will answer with a very qualified yes.” (page 10)
- “. . . I firmly believe that the life and work of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels resonate more with particular interpretations of the nature and essence of the Islamic tradition than with common Western articulations of the nature and essence of Christianity. It is in this hermeneutical sense that I conclude that Jesus was really a Muslim.” (page 12)
- “. . .the world is in dire need of a movement of Christian-Muslim solidarity . . . Positioning Jesus as a point of commonality between Muslims and Christians may be a first step toward this goal, and this book seeks to accomplish just that.” (page 12)
- “It is necessary to conclude that the historical figure of Jesus outlined here accords better with a Muslim than with a Western Christian worldview. Jesus really was a Muslim in the sense that his mission stands outside the discourse of sui generis religion.” (page 136)
In a video interview Professor Shedinger tells how he came to this view saying a student challenged the way he taught Islam and it led him “. . .over eight years to completely rethink the whole way that I think about Islam and the whole concept of religion which culminated in me asking the question 'Was Jesus a Muslim?' and answering it 'Yes,' even as a Christian I still have to say 'yes' to that.” (Laughter by Professor Shedinger) Be sure to watch this video because the professor’s answer and laughter speaks volumes.
- “And the world has the most to gain when Christians and Muslims work together and demand that global political, economic, and social institutions be reconfigured to promote justice and the dignity of every human being. Jesus may really have been a Muslim. Let the dialogue begin.” (page 170)
Professor Shedinger went on to say that the purpose of his book “is a call for Muslims and Christians to learn how to work together for social justice.”
Later he says, “And I think that is who Jesus was in the first century so I conclude Jesus is more like a Muslim than the Christianized Jesus that is more a spiritual savior and not as interested in issues of social justice.”During a different interview with Professor Shedinger regarding his book he said, “Muslim readers really like the book and don’t find the idea of Jesus being a Muslim at all controversial . . . What does surprise them is seeing such an idea coming from someone who identifies as a Christian. But overall Muslim readers have embraced the book . . .The Christian reaction has been mostly silence . . .” (read here)
So while the Luther College website boasts that professor Shedinger, "has been a regular speaker in mosques and Islamic Centers around the country," (see here) Bible-believing Christians everywhere should let the leadership in the ELCA and Luther College know that they disapprove of anti-Christian teaching happening in their church supported and congregational supported denomination’s schools. Let us not be found silent.
Luther College is an ELCA affiliated school. (see here)
Shedinger, Robert (2009). Was Jesus A Muslim? Questioning categories in the study of religion. Fortress Press, Minneapolis. ISBN 978-0-8006-6325-4
New video by Exposing the ELCA
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I just came across a recap of the happenings at the now famous ELCA and worshippers of Isis conference, officially called “The 5th Annual Faith and Feminism – Womanist – Mujerista Conference,” that was held at the ELCA’s Ebenezer Lutheran church (herchurch) in San Francisco. (See the previous blog here). The synopsis of the conference provided some extremely important information. Dr. Mary Streufert, the ELCA Director for Justice for Women, from the Office of the Presiding Bishop (see here) was a keynote speaker at the conference. During her teaching titled, "Jesus Christ Beyond the Divide: A Christian Feminist Proposal," she presented images of a female Jesus to the gathering. This comes from the account of Dr. Aldredge-Clanton, which was posted on Ebenezer Lutheran's website. I think it is reasonable to assume they are giving a truthful account of what happened. Here is what Dr. Aldredge-Clanton said exactly, “. . . I experience Dr. Mary Streufert’s erudite and engaging presentation that includes female images of Jesus Christ, providing a bridge for feminism to move into traditional Christianity.” (read here)
On an older Ebenezer Lutheran church webpage, which detailed the then upcoming conference, a preview is given of Dr. Streufert’s talk. At the end of the preview it says, “(y)ou can expect some interesting images!” (see here)
I find it very troubling that a leader in my denomination, straight from the headquarters of the ELCA and Office of the ELCA's Presiding Bishop, is mocking our Lord and Savior like this. How fitting that Dr. Streufert does this at a conference at which many of the teachers and speakers are priestesses of Isis or of other goddesses. Maybe even more troubling than Dr. Streufert’s blaspheme is the fact that the ELCA is allowing this.
I have to believe that showing images of a female Jesus is nothing new to Dr. Streufert. In Dr. Streufert’s book, Transformative Lutheran Theologies: Feminist, Womanist, and Mujerista Perspectives, she writes a chapter titled, “The Person of Christ from a Feminist Perspective: Human and Divine, Male and Female.” (see here)
Propagating a female Jesus is blasphemous. Changing Christ into a god of your own fashion and design, in opposition to the testimony of Scripture, is in reality, creating a new god. This female Jesus, which feminists in the denomination love to call “Sophia,” is not The Son, Jesus. It is a false god. The ELCA is promoting and involving itself in idolatry.