“(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)
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
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.
The Rev. Benjamin Larzelere III is retiring. He has been a pastor at the ELCA-affiliated Christ Lutheran Church in Santa Fe, NM, for 37 years. According to this news story, (see here) he is passionate about “inclusiveness.” So much so, that Christ Lutheran marched in the Santa Fe 2012 gay pride parade. (see here) Additionally, “The doormat outside the main entrance to Christ Lutheran promises ‘all are welcome.’ A rainbow flag hangs in the common room and on a nearby table are neon orange fliers asking, ‘What did Jesus say about homosexuality?’ — and the answer, ‘That’s right. Nothing!’”
From that statement alone you can see that this pastor has a very unorthodox view of God’s Word. Or to be blunt, a false and warped view of Scripture.
The news article about Rev. Larzelere goes on to tell us, “He sees the Bible not as the literal word of God but as ‘a collection of stories, history and poems. It is not a talking book. It doesn’t tell me what to do.’”
This man, who has been teaching and preaching for 37 years, has a view of Scripture that is in complete opposition to the way Christ viewed Scripture. (see here) Jesus viewed it as God’s Word, inspired and true. It’s quite clear how Rev. Larzelere views Scripture. Much like an astounding number of others in his denomination (ELCA) unfortunately.
Looking around at Christ Lutheran’s website I came across the last sermon given by Rev. Larzelere before his retirement (September 9, 2012). It seems that Rev. Larzelere doesn’t believe Jesus and the writers of Scripture, when they talk about demons. He wrote this when describing a story in the gospel of Mark, “a woman whose daughter was ill (‘had an unclean spirit’ writes Mark in 1st Century understanding of what could be just about anything from depression on up). . .” (read here)
Why is it so hard for ELCA pastors to believe what the Bible says?
Have you ever had someone tell you that Jesus didn’t understand some of the things going on and happening around Him? Or that our Lord and Savior was in need of correction? Have you had a pastor tell you that the One who said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), needed help figuring out God’s will? That is what Rev. Delmer Chilton, an assistant to the bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA, wrote in an article that was posted by the ELCA’s Living Lutheran website.
Rev. Chilton, in discussing Mark 7:24-37, wrote, “What if Jesus was the one who did not fully understand and needed some help interpreting God’s will and way in this case? Maybe Jesus needed to have his vision cleared and his worldview adjusted so that he could see just exactly how large God’s love is.”
Later he states, “(Jesus) has failed to remember” God’s promise.
Rev. Chilton goes on to say, “. . . Jesus stands corrected . . .the woman has helped Jesus to understand a difficult part of the Scripture and a difficult part of his call. The further Jesus goes in his ministry the deeper his understanding of his mission becomes. And this deeper understanding is a result of his encounters with people who aren’t afraid to confront him with hard and difficult truths.”
Finally he states, “The good news of God’s grace and love changes people. It heals them, changes their relationships, changes the way they see right and wrong, rich and poor, us and them. It even changed Jesus and the way he saw the world and the way he saw himself in it.” (see here)
This is not true and not Biblical. It is incredibly wrong that a high leader in the ELCA publicly teaches this, let alone thinks it.
A gentlemen going by the name “Davey” commented on Rev. Chilton’s article saying, “I have never considered before that Jesus did anything by accident. I have never thought of Jesus learning anything from any one. Jesus knew answers before questions were asked. He told people where they have been, where they were going, and healed their sickness without being told of the symptoms. He spoke and the elements obeyed. Why would Jesus need to find out how large God’s love is when Jesus demonstrated that He is in fact…God?
Driving a wedge between God the Father and God the Son seems an inadequate and un-Biblical way to define Jesus. Jesus was not on a fact finding mission to take notes from earthlings so He could better understand how God the Father wanted Him to act. Is this yet another new theology coming from the leadership of the church?” (read here)
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.
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