Sayyid Syeed is the interfaith liaison for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). In 2006 he was recorded saying, “[O]ur job is to change the constitution of America.” (see here) ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson calls Dr. Sayyid Sayeed a close friend and at the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly Hanson said the ELCA was committed “to walk together” with Syeed's organization, the ISNA. And they have. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a close interfaith partner with the ISNA. (See documentation here).
A recent article in FrontPageMag.com speaks of the ISNA's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and exposes the reasons behind the ISNA's desire for forming interfaith partnerships, like that which they have with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. FrontPageMag.com reports that a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memo,
lays out how the Brotherhood network must 'posses a mastery of the art of "coalitions," the art of "absorption," and the principles of "cooperation.”' It explicitly talks about using the 'hands' of the 'nonbelievers' to advance its agenda.
The work of ISNA and its allies in forging interfaith partnerships is undoubtedly a fulfillment of this directive. ISNA has used these interfaith relationships to slam its critics as 'Islamophobes.'. . .
Syeed’s preaching is echoed by Muzammil Siddiqi, a member at large of ISNA’s board of directors. He was also the president from 1997 to 2000. He has spoken in support of the long-term implementation of Sharia Law and said in 2001 that Muslims 'should participate in the [democratic] system to safeguard our interest and try to bring gradual change for the right cause, the cause of truth and justice. We must not forget that Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.' (see here)
In light of that information, read what Sayyid Sayeed said while speaking at the ELCA 2011 Churchwide Assembly, “(w)e have worked with your organization and leaders [and] we have seen this tireless leader of yours, who’s been here for hours and hours. But I’ve seen him in the corridors of power speaking the truth about issues … whether it is about peace in the Middle East or anti-Muslim bigotry in America. . . we are working together in shaping the new millennium. . .It is a new millennium – your leadership is critical, your understanding is critical not only for this country but for the entire globe. You have set certain standards of cooperation, of understanding, those are a great asset for us, and it’s with this kind of understanding that we will be moving forward. . .We pray God almighty to bless us and together deliver this mission that is ours.” (see here)
Bishop Hanson said this at the same gathering, “We share a deep commitment to our growing relationship and dialog, but not just in dialog, in our working together to build a more peaceful and just world both in this country and in places of tension throughout the world.” (see here)
Seems like the ELCA is a willing pawn, being used to help establish the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.
I don't ever recall an ELCA publication or ELCA leader talking about witnessing to someone, who then calls on the name of the Lord and is saved (Rom. 10:13 and Acts 2). Maybe that's because they are busy doing other things, like this class that is being promoted in the electronic newsletter of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):
“Register Now for Islamic Literature Course in Evanston
Registration is open for 'Islamic Literature: From Sufi Poetry to Egyptian Feminism,' a four-week discussion series” (see here)
Or how about going to a lecture by a Muslim speaker at an ELCA seminary? The Southeastern Iowa Synod E-News mailing announced this:
“Free Lecture by Eboo Patel Kicks off
Two-Day Interfaith Conference at LSTC”
“On Sunday, March 10 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Eboo Patel will give a free lecture based on his recent book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. with a free concert by The Salaam Shalom Music Project, made up of members of Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and distinguished artists from the Chicago Arabic music community.” (see here and read more about Eboo Patel here)
I bet a lot of money and paid ELCA staff and seminary employees worked long hours putting this gathering together.
Christ Lutheran Church, Melrose Park, IL is closing. (see here)
Thank you to all who have prayed and given financially in support of Exposing the ELCA. We greatly appreciated all of you. For anyone else who is called to give to this ministry, please click here to find out how you can partner with us.
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.”
ELCA magazine, The Lutheran, published an article titled, “Interreligious explorations.” The article advised its readers to “Consider visiting different religious services from time to time as a way to keep learning more about other traditions.”Any religion other than Christianity is the worship of false gods and demons. Why in the world would a Christian magazine recommend this? (see here)
-----Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mark Hanson, is now on twitter. He announced this at last week’s ELCA Youth Gathering. If you so desire, you can follow him by going here.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Bishop Hanson advised everyone on how to follow Exposing the ELCA on twitter in his next press release?
If anyone has concerns about what they heard while watching or attending the ELCA's 2012 National Youth Gathering and would care to write a blog about what troubled them, I would be happy to look it over and possibly post it.
Augustana College, one of the 26 ELCA colleges in the United States has these statements on their Religion, Philosophy, Classics webpage:
“Have you ever wondered: Does life have purpose? Does God exist?” and “While our department teaches from within the Christian tradition, we’re never afraid to question dogma and learn from others.” (see here)
Is this noteworthy? Some would say “no,” some would say “yes.” Either way, it is something to think about.
The ELCA’s The Lutheran magazine published a story recently called “Finding a common word: Virginia dialogue pairs Lutherans and Muslims” (see here).
In the article we learn of a group composed of mostly Lutherans and Muslims who gather for dialog. The group meets twice-a-month on Saturday mornings and begin their dialogue “with ‘Al Fatiha,’ the opening prayer of the Quran” and end the meeting with the Lord's Prayer.
Not only that, we are also told, “Group leader Dan Jungkuntz is a pastoral counselor and ELCA pastor. ‘I am so touched by what I have learned about Islam,’ he said. Each week, he now joins the Muslims' Friday prayer at a local mosque.”
What are ELCA leaders doing? Why is praying to a god that is not the Father, Son and Holy Spirit okay? Has the ELCA leadership decided that the 1st Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3), is not to be followed anymore? And it is down right evil for the ELCA to publish and promote what this pastor is doing. They know they are influencing their members to do the same and to be accepting of it, something that is in complete opposition to what God tells us in Scripture.
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
As the saying goes, “Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Who are the bedfellows of the ELCA? In a past blog, Exposing the ELCA revealed the close ties and similar ideologies the ELCA has with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. (read here)
Now we find that the ELCA is also very close with an organization called the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Here is some information about the ISNA:
- “(T)he United States Department of Justice named ISNA . . . as an unindicted co-conspirator and one of a number of ‘entities who are and/or were members of the US Muslim Brotherhood.’” (see here)
- “According to columnist Rod Dreher's interpretation of court documents, ‘ISNA is an integral part of the [Muslim] Brotherhood's efforts to wage jihad against America through non-violent means.’" (see here)
- “(T)he FBI has uncovered internal Muslim Brotherhood documents naming ISNA as ‘one of our organizations and the organizations of our friends.’” (see here)
(If you would like more details pertaining to the Muslim Brotherhood, what they are and what they stand for, check out this article)
- “ISNA was created by members of the Muslim Brotherhood – a radical Egyptian movement that seeks to spread Shariah law globally – in the U.S. Many of those founders remain in leadership positions with ISNA. (read here)
So with that information about the ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood, let's look at the relationship the ELCA has with the ISNA:
- The national director for the Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) spoke to the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. (see here) The ELCA website quotes the ISNA speaker as saying, “(w)e have worked with your organization and leaders [and] we have seen this tireless leader of yours, who’s been here for hours and hours. But I’ve seen him in the corridors of power speaking the truth about issues … whether it is about peace in the Middle East or anti-Muslim bigotry in America. . . we are working together in shaping the new millennium.” (read here) The ISNA representative received three standing ovations from the ELCA leadership at the Assembly.
- ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said the following at the ELCA 2011 Churchwide Assembly, “I’m very pleased to now welcome an interfaith partner to this assembly. Dr. Sayyid Sayeed, is the National Director for the Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances of the Islamic Society of North America. He has become a close friend. We share a deep commitment to our growing relationship and dialog, but not just in dialog, in our working together to build a more peaceful and just world both in this country and in places of tension throughout the world.” (see here - plenary six)
- Presiding Bishop Hanson turned to the ISNA representative and said, “ . . . I hope you hear both our warm response to your being here, but beneath that, the commitment to walk together.” (see here - plenary six)
- The ELCA official website has the ISNA listed under a section called “Our Partners.” (see here)
- The Islamic Society of North America lists and links to the ELCA on a page entitled “Our Partners.” (you can go to their website and find the link)
- ELCA website links to the ISNA’s website. (see here)
- The Rev. Donald J. McCoid, Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations, represented the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, at an emergency interfaith summit called by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) (see here)
The ELCA leadership is working with and partnering with the ISNA, an organization that is said to have very close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. If this doesn't make ELCA members question what kind of denomination they are members of, I don't know what will.
- Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla, Executive Director of the ELCA's Division for Global Mission and ISNA representative hold a press conference with other faith leaders. (see here)
What kind of ELCA leader would openly object to a state governor calling for a day of prayer? The Bishop Michael Rinehart of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod and other local Houston ELCA pastors, that’s who. The bishop and pastors signed a statement which said, “we express our concern that Governor Rick Perry has called for a full day of exclusionary prayer on August 6, 2011. This religious event is not open to all faiths, as its statement of beliefs does not represent religious diversity.” (read here)
Here we have supposed Christian pastors upset that this is a Christian prayer event. If that doesn’t tell you something about the ELCA, I don’t know what will.
The ELCA signers of this letter are: Bishop Michael Rinehart of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod; Rev. Bradley Fuerst, Houston Lutheran Campus Minister; Rev. Lura N. Groen, Pastor, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Robert G. Moore, Senior Pastor, Christ the King Lutheran Church; R. Marcus Otterstad, Senior Pastor, House of Prayer Lutheran Church; The Rev. David A. Roschke, Senior Pastor, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Stein, Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Rev. Rich Wolf, New Hope Lutheran Church
The letter also speaks of the principle of separation of church and state saying, “Governor Perry is expressing an official message of endorsement of one faith over all others; thereby sending an official message of religious exclusion and preference to all Texans who do not share that faith. We believe our religious freedom is threatened when a government official promotes religion.”
I guess these leaders do not know their history. “There have been 136 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789-2010).” (see here)
Two ELCA synods, the Western Iowa Synod and the Southeastern Iowa Synod, have decided to co-sponsor, what has all the indications of, an anti-Israeli conference October 14-15, 2011. (see here)Interestingly enough, the conference that the ELCA “Christian” synods are co-sponsoring includes a Muslim prayer service. (read here)
The conference is called “US Policy in Palestine-Israel: Engaging Faith Communities in Pursuit of a Just Peace.”
When I look at the program for the conference, maybe it is just me, but I don’t think this gathering is all that interested in making sure Israel gets a “just peace.”
Notice some of the topics they will cover:
- Challenging US Military Aid to Israel
- Divesting from Israeli Occupation
- Palestinian Christians & the Kairos document (read about the Kairos document here)
- Debunking Myths About Islam
- Muslim Contributions to Knowledge
- Peace by Piece
- Organizing Within the Churches
- Fair Trade – Canaan
- Ethical Travel to Palestine
- Inside Gaza Today
- Christian Zionism
- Organizing on Campuses
- Youth travels in Palestine
One of the scheduled workshops is titled “BDS - MN Break the Bonds.” (see here) I looked up “BDS” and found a description on the organization's website outlining who they are and what they are about. It said, “(t)he global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007.” (see here)
A few other things I noted about this conference:
- Phyllis Bennis, a keynote speaker, was a founder and remains on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation.
- The speakers seem to be Americans and Muslims who have the same political/Middle East view point.
- It is worth taking a look at who the other conference co-sponsors are. (see here)
- The conference information pages use bias language and Palestinian talking points which are decidedly intended to put the Palestinian cause and positions in the best possible light while at the same time vilifying the Israelis. (see here)
If these people want to hold a conference, they certainly have every right to do so, but why are these two Evangelical Lutheran Church in America synods supporting a Muslim prayer service and an Israeli-bashing symposium? Do you as ELCA members want your denomination to be associated with this kind of thing?
So in an effort to set the record straight on the quest for peace in the Middle East, please watch this six minute video.
Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the Peace Process
The 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly is now over. No doubt reports will be coming out about the happenings. Here is the ELCA’s summery of what took place (click here)
A few items which I find interesting:
- An Islamic leader spoke to the assembly and received three standing ovations.
- The assembly passed a resolution which calls for congregations to protest against immigration laws like those in Arizona and Alabama. (read here)
- Veiled comments were spoken and a memorial was approved which is founded in anti-Semitism.
- The genetics social statement was adopted.
- My understanding is that the assembly did vote in regards to proposed changes for congregations who want to leave the ELCA, it may have been brought forward in conjunction with other motions which I have not yet uncovered.
- Many words were spoken which professed overwhelming pride for and the greatness of the ELCA.
So in honor of the self-promoting and self-love which was so evident at the 2011 Churchwide Assembly, I give to you a video made at an ELCA National Youth Gathering: