Imagine driving down the road and passing by a beautiful old Christian church. Now imagine that church has a huge painting of a bare breasted women/goddess on it for all to see. Not only that, the mural also includes an eight armed goddess named Kali. Kali is a Hindu goddess. Hard to conceive of, but that is what you will find beginning this November if you drive passed the ELCA's Ebenezer Lutheran Church (also know as herchurch) in San Francisco, CA. The church plans on placing this mural on their church tower for everyone to see.
The ELCA church's website tells us about the mural saying,
“The Goddess mural will rise 64 feet high with four basic symbolic representations of the divine feminine: The Earth Mother, the Black Madonna, the Christ-Sophia, and an androgynous Kali-Kundalini figure whose chakras merge with the phases of the moon and the universe. They will be surrounded by colorful and playful animals, birds, plants and earth’s elements.” (see here)
Here is a link that shows what the mural will look like (on the left hand side of the page).
A fundraising page for herchurch's project has this to say about the mural, “Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran (herchurch) refers to the Divine Presence through many names and metaphors. More than 50,000 years ago the sacred one was called mother. Breaking recent tradtion from male diety, this mural aims to herald the return of the feminine divine in modern Christian, interfaith and feminist spirituality.” (see here)
Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran has been worshiping pagan gods for quite a while now, with the full knowledge and approval of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. I say this because it is a fact that ELCA leadership know what is being taught and what goes on at this church, and they allow it to continue. (see here, here and here) They have the power, authority and responsibility to stop it and they do not. A church leader from the ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop even spoke at a herchurch feminism conference showing the audience pictures of a female Jesus. (see here)
The fundraising page goes on to say the painting will be, “Attached via panels to the East face of the purple herchurch tower, this mural promises to be a focal point in the world famous San Francisco mural collection. . .The dream is to share the beauty to all who pass and prophetically envision our mission of rebirthing the divine feminine in ourselves, the church and the world.”
A Hindu goddess (as well as the other pagan gods) lifted up and worshiped by a Christian church is pure wickedness. They are blatantly breaking the commandment set by God, "You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3) It is offensive, sinful, blasphemous and evil. ELCA members, know this: your leadership allows it!
What kind of God-honoring Christian denomination would do that? And what about the huge painting of a topless woman/goddess being placed on the church tower? Children will see it. Yet, many of you will still support the ELCA.
Think about it. Is this the kind of denomination you want to be part of? Sure it's no fun to leave your ELCA church, the one you have been going to for so long, the one that has so many of your friends attending. But remember, your church is part of the ELCA which allows goddess worship and openly stands against God's Word in so many areas. This is a denomination that has taught YOUR pastor.
So what is more important to you, going to your comfortable church or going to a church that believes the Bible and worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and His Son Jesus Christ? One day you may need to justify your decision to God Almighty.
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.
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.”
A news release by the ELCA News Service details the happenings at the recent ELCA Conference of Bishops. The news service reports that -
“David Swartling, ELCA secretary, who announced that he would not seek another term as secretary at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. In an earlier communication sent to the Conference of Bishops, (Presiding Bishop Mark) Hanson indicated his willingness to be available for another term.”
We also are told that ELCA treasurer, Rev. Linda Norman, announced “Financial contributions from congregations for the work of synods and the churchwide organization in the form of Mission Support for the first seven months in 2012 was $27.3 million, a decrease of $0.4 million or 1.3 percent from the previous year.”
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson also reported to the Council of Bishops at this time. In that report Hanson said, "If we lose our deep rootedness in Scripture, in the Lutheran Confessions, in the church and in Christ, we will lose confidence in the Holy Spirit. We will lose faith." (read here)
I don't disagree with Bishop Hanson's statement, but the irony in the ELCA leader’s words is the fact that the ELCA has already “los(t) our deep rootedness in Scripture” and continues to walk farther away from God’s Word. He is culpable and responsible for that happening.
The ELCA is not rooted in Scripture (or “in the Lutheran Confessions, in the church and in Christ.”) Sadly, Bishop Hanson doesn’t realize it. He needs to open his eyes and see the truth of the situation the ELCA is in and that they already have lost confidence in the Holy Spirit and have lost faith.
Bishop Hanson also made this statement. "We also have the opportunity and responsibility to ask, what does it mean to be deeply rooted in Christ and always being made new as we live in communities of increasing religious pluralism?" "With the recent increase in anti-Muslim incidents, the deadly shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and demonstrations and violence in the Middle East, we all need to be asking, what is a faithful, Lutheran evangelical witness in such a context?”
I find it perplexing that Bishop Hanson would highlight the incredibly rare problem of “anti-Muslim” incidents in his report. The statistics show this:
In the United States, “There were 107 hate crimes recorded against Muslims in 2009, compared to 931 anti-semitic hate crimes.” (read here)
“Law enforcement agencies reported 1,376 hate crimes motivated by religious bias. A breakdown of biases for these offenses showed:
70.1 percent were anti-Jewish.
9.3 percent were anti-Islamic.”
2009 statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice— Federal Bureau of Investigation (read here)
Here are some statistics from New York state:
“Anti-Semitic incidents, which made up 37 percent of the reported hate crimes, were up 15 percent in one year, from 219 in 2008 to 251 in 2009.”
“Crimes motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment rose from eight to 11.” (read here)
The ELCA has a Muslim fetish and an anti-Jewish spirit that continues to manifest itself just like it did days ago in the ELCA’s attack letter to the United States Congress against Israel. (read here)
ELCA magazine, The Lutheran had an article about the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering in their September 2012 issue. They report that “Philip Ciulla, an adult chaperone from Saddle Creek, N.J., said he and his congregation's youth were pleased that the gathering addressed concerns such as the environment. ‘I think it's becoming more progressive,’ he said. ‘Our kids ... are pretty much on board with this stuff.’
Other young people highlighted the ELCA's stance on acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as a positive change.” (read here)
The article also points out that yoga was offered as an activity for the youth at the gathering. Yoga is controversial. Many believe this is not an activity Christians should participate in because of its eastern religion origins and because it is a pagan religious practice that taps into the spiritual realm. (Read here and here)
How often do we have to see and hear the ways the ELCA is indoctrinating the youth before more parents will protect their kids and get them out of the denomination? And it’s not just the youth. Almost every issue of The Lutheran contains articles and reports that are meant to sway the reader’s viewpoint to a progressive, non-Biblical worldview. Want some more evidence? The Lutheran printed an article by Rev. Andrena Ingram (see here), which lifts her up as a leader in the ELCA on the issue of AIDS/HIV. What the article does not tell you is that Rev. Ingram passed out condoms during a HIV Testing Event/“community meal” held at her church, or that Rev. Ingram wrote, “This is my body, given for you. … this is a condom, given for you. Use it!” (see here) Rev. Ingram was also a keynote speaker at the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering.I don't know about you but "progressive" may be one of the nicest ways to describe the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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 following information is from a speech called "Equipping the Saints for Ministry: ‘These are the times that try our souls’ - by Pastor Gary Jepson from Puyallup, Washington.
Last fall, I wrote an email to our ELCA Bishop, Mark Hanson, asking him if he was aware of the ELCA congregation in San Francisco, Ebenezer Lutheran Church. I was pretty sure that he was aware but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. If you are not aware of this congregation, look it up on the Internet – www.herchurch.org. In short, this is a congregation that has been taken over by a radical feminist element and pastor, and it practices “goddess worship.” It does not confess the Trinity as Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. They confess Mother, Christ Sophia, and Holy Spirit. If you go to their website you will be able to buy a rosary (strange enough in a Lutheran context, but not necessarily bad), a rosary, not with a cross (because that’s a symbol not of divine love, sacrifice, and salvation but of divine child abuse), but a rosary with a goddess figure on it. The goddess is the likeness of a fertility goddess from ancient Baalism. Baalism, of course, isn’t a problem for the leaders of Ebenezer Lutheran Church because all that stuff in the Old Testament condemning the Baal cult and fertility worship is in their view merely patriarchal paranoia in an effort to repress the feminine.Now, I think all of us would agree that they have the right (as individuals and as a group) to believe whatever they want. They can even band together to start their own congregation, denomination, or religion. However, on the basis of their own posted statements, they claim to be an ELCA congregation. But they are in complete violation of the ELCA constitutional faith statement because they are completely at odds with the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions.And the pastor is completely at odds with the ELCA “Visions and Expectations” statement for clergy. How do they justify that? How do they justify hijacking a congregation founded and paid for by Lutherans?So, I wrote Bp. Hanson and asked him what he was going to do about it. He, of course, did not respond to my e-mail (and I did not expect that he would), but his executive secretary did. He wrote something to the effect: “Dear Rev. Jepsen, thank you for sharing your concerns with Bp. Hanson. You are aware, of course, that the ELCA is organized into synods (Duh – I didn’t know that! I’ve only been a pastor for over 30 years!) and that it is therefore the responsibility of the local synod bishop to deal with these sorts of issues in his synod. And, do remember, the ELCA is an inclusive church.”Of course I know the ELCA is organized in synods! What I wanted to know was whether or not Bp. Hanson was going to do anything about this situation to hold this congregation accountable, or to hold the synod bishop of the San Francisco area accountable for his failure to discipline the congregation and its pastor in terms of their violation of the ELCA faith statement and such.
You see, what we have here is a major violation of the fiduciary responsibility of the synod bishop and of Bp. Hanson to fulfill the responsibilities of their offices. And, if he’s going to do that, why on earth did we ever need bishops (overseers) in the first place? And why did we need the historic episcopate when one of the arguments for it was to strengthen the “magisterial” (teaching) office of the church in order to insure orthodoxy?!!?
Can you imagine the Apostle Paul allowing that? Or Martin Luther? Can you imagine Pope Benedict XVI allowing one of his bishops to deal so irresponsibly with a rogue congregation? And then just wash his hands of the matter!!! Frankly that’s not only a violation of Bp. Hanson’s fiduciary responsibility as Bishop, it’s also a violation of his ordination vows to preach and teach in accordance with the Scriptures and the Confessions of the Lutheran Church. Unfortunately, I was so disgusted with that e-mail that I deleted it so I cannot produce it as evidence. You have to trust my memory.
So, on this basis, we have a cynical commentary right out of ELCA headquarters on what ordination vows mean for our church. Little or nothing! What do the words of the ELCA faith statement mean? Little or nothing! Instead, in place of our ordination vows and faith statement we have some fuzzyheaded notion of “tolerance” and “inclusivity”! Because, if what I have described is accurate (and it is), then it appears that in the ELCA you can preach and teach heretical doctrine, thumb your nose at the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, and so on (so long as you do liturgy correctly). Do all that and you will be welcomed in the ELCA with open arms because, after all “we are an inclusive church!” However, if you raise a question about heretical doctrine and improper procedure you will be virtually banished for “intolerance”, and treated as if you don’t exist!
At least the Roman Catholic Church of Luther’s day took him seriously enough to excommunicate him. The ELCA just banishes you, ignores you, and refuses to answer legitimate inquiry.
This is what happens when a church is seduced by the culture of death into cultural agendas and into cynical methods of interpretation when a church is not only in the world, but also too much of the world. Then it fails (by submitting itself to the heretical rubric of “tolerance”) to hold people accountable to its founding documents and statements of faith.
Whether intentionally or not, the very leaders we elected to lead and guide us in accordance with our founding documents have now, in effect, subverted those documents without any clear statement of why or where they are trying to take us.
Does this bewilder you as much as it does me? I am bewildered because I fail to understand the reason or the logic that enables them to justify their actions. In fact, there appears to be an abandonment of reason and rationality when it comes to these practices and trends. I suppose, in their thinking, logic and reason are just a vestige of patriarchy and its repression of the more holistic feminine embrace of feelings and intuition.Read the full speech here.
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.