Its spring, which means ELCA synod assemblies are beginning. These annual, boring, waste-of-money gatherings usually include a wide variety of attacks on God's Word and the ever popular anti-Semitic based attacks on Israel. The ELCA's Rocky Mountain Synod has already gone on record at their assembly last weekend passing a resolution called “Accompaniment, Awareness-Raising, & Advocacy For The People Of The Holy Land.” (see here)
In the Resolution the Assembly resolved to “affirm our support for sisters and brothers in the ELCJHL as they remain faithful to the Gospel amid the oppression of Israeli military occupation”. Saying Israel is oppressing people and occupying land is a fallacy which is often repeated by those who are anti-Semitic.
The Assembly then encouraged people to use the ELCA Peace Not Walls resources claiming that it has “reliable information about the situation” (in Israel). In no way is the ELCA a reliable source for what is happening in Israel.
The passed resolution also seeks a congressional investigation into Israel's use of U.S. aid. The ELCA's aim in that request is to cut or end aid to Israel so as to hurt the Jewish nation. Remember, the ELCA views Israel as oppressors and occupiers of land that they think the Arabs should have. Stopping U.S. aid to Israel would increase the chances of that happening.
And finally, the Assembly resolved, “that this assembly urges members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to consider investing their retirement and other funds in a manner consistent with the Peace Not Walls campaign.” This is another attempt to hurt Israel financially by cutting personally financial investments going to Israeli companies. The ELCA would rather have those investments go to entities within the terrorist controlled Gaza strip.
The Rocky Mountain Synod also had a workshop during the assembly called, “Peace Not Walls: Why are we involved in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? Faces of the Occupation” (see here).
Satan's desire, shown throughout history, has always been to destroy God's chosen people, the Jews. Today he is using the ELCA, who claims to follow Christ, to try to accomplish that purpose.
Inez Torres Davis, the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (WELCA) Director for Justice, is a regular writer for WELCA's website. She made this statement in her latest contribution to that website:
“I pray to discover Sofia’s guidance so that I may identify and then take actions that carry God’s promises.” (see here)
I don't know how Inez Davis defines “Sofia,” whether it is some gnostic, feminist feminizing of God or if it is the pagan deity
. But neither is right and it should be rejected by Bible-believing Christians.
The ELCA's North Carolina Synod had this announcement in their latest e-newsletter:
LGBT Couples Retreat--Saturday, May 11
Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in Fairview, NC, will host an LGBT Couples Retreat on Saturday, May 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This one-day retreat offers a time apart for LGBT couples to work on their communication skills and meet other couples who value spirituality as an important part of their relationship. There will be time for worship, relationship building, Bible study, and fellowship. The cost of this retreat is $40 per couple which includes a light breakfast and lunch.
The retreat is made possible by a grant Abiding Savior received from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. "This is an area of ministry with the LGBT community that our congregation thought was missing," says the Rev. David Eck, pastor of Abiding Savior. To download the brochure and register for this event, please go to the Abiding Savior website.
(see here) This is the ELCA. And Bible-believing members are having it forced upon them.
The ELCA's Southwest California Synod recently wrote this on their Facebook page:
“If you and your spouse/partner are Portico Benefits members, please complete the survey before April 30 and save the synod’s congregations and ministries money!”
The ELCA 1991 Social Statement on the Death Penalty declared “we oppose the death penalty.” (see here)
The ELCA's Rocky Mountain Synod is publicly advocating the repeal of the death penalty. Their March e-newsletter said this:
Abolition Sunday - Focusing on Repealing the Death Penalty
Lutheran Advocacy Ministry - CO has been involved with a coalition working to repeal the death penalty in Colorado for many years. This year is the year! We ask everyone to get involved to support the repeal of the death penalty. As Christians, we are called to be committed to justice and oppose the death penalty. "Executions harm society by mirroring and reinforcing existing injustice. The death penalty distracts us from our work toward a just society. It deforms our response to violence at the individual, familial, institutional, and systemic levels. It perpetuates cycles of violence" (ELCA Social Statement).
One way you can take part is participating in Abolition Sunday. During Abolition Sunday, you can host a guest speaker, watch a movie on the death penalty, gather facts sheets and petitions, and contact your Representative and Senator to support the repeal of the death penalty.
(See here) So the ELCA believes the Bible is supportive of homosexual relations and abortions but is against the death penalty? They must be living in a Bizzaro World where right is wrong, up is down and wisdom is foolishness.
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.
The Lutheran, an ELCA magazine, published a story this month under their section “Deeper understandings” and the topic was “Faith and science.” In a previous Exposed blog we dealt with this article's offensive comments and non-Biblical support of evolution. (see here) The same ELCA article also had some strong words on man-made global warming and a message for people who do not believe global warming is true.
ELCA Professor Gilson A.C. Waldkoenig of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.) referenced new scientific evidence for global warming in the article and stated, “human beings warm the atmosphere through relentless burning of fossil fuels and consumption of earth's habitat.”
Prof. Waldkoenig also commented:
“Many Christians look at findings about global warming as real and present reasons to repent and change behavior, and an invitation to walk humbly in God's shadow rather than proudly in front.”
Then addressing those who do not believe global warming is happening or that man is responsible for it, Professor Waldkoenig said “If you don't like some scientific finding you can re-test based upon more data, but data and scientific findings don't care if you believe them or not. . . When we waste our belief on other things besides God, it is what the Bible called idolatry, and Jesus also called foolishness. Likewise, disbelief of some things that are not God can be foolish and even idolatrous, on par with misdirected belief.
For example, if 'disbelief' of global warming protects arrogance that humankind has a right to destroy anything that exists, it is a kind of idolatry standing in the way of true belief and devotion to God, as well as a foolish approach to God's creation.” (see here)
Two thoughts; 1) the ELCA is using the inherent respect and trust given to religious leaders, by its members, to influence them toward the denomination's liberal positions and 2) even if you believe in man-made global warming, it is not right for a denomination to falsely call people foolish and idolaters because they don't hold to the liberal view of the denomination.
Over 500 Pastors signed a document from “Minnesota Pastors for Marriage.” (see here) “These 500+ Christian faith leaders joined together to state that their love for God, His Word, and their neighbor lead them to vote YES on Amendment 1.” (read here) The Minnesota Marriage Amendment (Amendment 1), which will be voted upon next week, seeks “to place the traditional definition of marriage – one man and one woman – into (the Minnesota) state constitution.” (read here)
Of the over 500+ pastors who signed this letter, I did not find one ELCA pastor on the list. There were many pastors from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, but NONE from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
What does that tell you about today’s ELCA leaders?
Minnesota’s Saint Paul Area Synod Bishop Peter Rogness (ELCA) continues to push for gay marriage and make attempts to thwart voter ID laws in his state. Minnesota has two state amendments up for vote, one that declares marriage is between one man and one woman, the other amendment says people have to present photo identification in order to vote in elections. This week, Bishop Rogness sent out an email saying, “It's time to be reminded that our synod assembly encouraged the people of this synod to recognize the reasons to oppose both of the proposed constitutional amendments.” (see here) He then writes a paragraph on each amendment touching on why his readers should not support the amendments.
Additionally, Bishop Rogness’ synod sent out a Facebook message saying, "The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), of which the Saint Paul Area Synod is a member, announced its opposition to the voter identification amendment at a press conference on Oct. 16. Bishop Peter Rogness, as president of the organization, delivered a statement outlining the decisions why the MCC took this step.” (see here)
All six Minnesota ELCA synods are members of the MCC, of which Bishop Rogness is the president. (see here)
The ELCA synods in Minnesota are making every effort to stop these amendments. I wish they would put this kind of effort into bringing the message of salvation to the lost, but to most ELCA leaders that isn’t necessary. This is typical ELCA leadership. They proudly stand against God when it comes to marriage and many leaders have no desire to protect the voting process by stopping voter fraud. (strange how everyone must show your ID to fly, to take the ACT and SAT and even to attend Michelle Obama’s book signings) (see here), yet the ELCA doesn’t want voters to prove they are eligible voters.
Exposing the ELCA readers, let me show you what real and faithful Christian leadership looks like.
“On November 6, the day before my 94th birthday, our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.” - Reverend Billy Graham
It comes as a surprise to many when anti-Semitism is propagated by people and denominations operating under the banner of Christianity. The latest incident comes from a letter sent to the United States Congress by the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Mark S. Hanson, and his liberal church cohorts telling the Congress to investigate Israel and consider halting military aid to them.
That letter was broadcast far and wide by the ELCA News Service, with the subtitle “ELCA, other churches call for investigation of military aid to Israel.” So make no mistake, this is a call by the ELCA, not just the act of the presiding bishop.
The letter has its foundation in anti-Semitism. One way this is apparent is when one considers that the US government gives military and/or financial aid to many countries which are, in fact, ruthlessly oppressive and violent. There are Muslim countries that brutalize Christian citizens, women, non-Muslims and homosexuals. Countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Lebanon to name a few. Yet, where is the letter asking for an investigation into military aid or financial aid to these countries? Countries which HATE America. Countries which keep “Palestinians” in slums. Countries and governments which will kill you for having a Bible. The silence from the ELCA concerning these countries is deafening.
The constant call for Israel to give in to the demands of Muslims makes the their motivation obvious. That call is the call of Hamas. It is the call of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the call of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
I have decide not to link to the bishop’s propaganda piece. If someone really wants to read it, a simple and quick Google search will be able to produce it. For more information on the ELCA’s positions and actions against Israel see here.
The Lutheran, which bills itself as “The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” has an article in the September 2012 issue on the topic of social justice. The article is posted in their “Deeper Understandings” column and is written by ELCA seminary professors James Childs and Katie Day. From this magazine, which continually pushes the ELCA's liberal agenda to it's subscribers, we read about “social justice” and find this statement by Professor Day, “In order to fairly distribute resources, we have to nurture and protect just relations in society. Where there is injustice, community has been broken — many ‘have nots’ means there are too many ‘haves’ with too much.” (read here)
Opining for the redistribution of wealth is not a surprise, coming from our current president of the United States, but here we find the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America professor and magazine calling for it.
In the comments section after this article is an interesting response, “‘Many have nots means there are too many haves with too much.’ That statement by Professor Day reveals her false notion that the wealth of the world is a zero sum game. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Sam Walton aren't billionaires at some one else's expense. They have created wealth for all of us out of thin air. The world is not a better place today because we have smarter theologians (obviously) but because we have PRACTCAL scientist and inventors and business people. Creation of jobs is vastly more beneficial for society then is using that same dollar, laundered through the government to just a few cents, to perhaps help some one in need. At our church we are starting to stress and pray for our employers not only our poor.
Do you, Dr. Day, think that it would be better for you to borrow $50,000 to redo your kitchen or to give that money to the government for them to spend? Where would more jobs be created? I would think that a professors compensation package ( I suspect it is north of $150,000) qualifies them as an Obama millionaire or billionaire.
I am generous with my giving and I resent those who twist the Bible and theology to read that it is a collective obligation of some to take money through the government from others to give to somebody else. Not only that, but not all of us are Christians but we are Americans and we have a constitutional right to our property. It is our Christian obligation and privilege to be generous.” (read here)
It has been the opinion of many concerned Lutherans that social justice is the main focus and mission of the ELCA, and nowhere to be found in the denomination is the desire to follow Christ’s directive to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” - Matthew 28:19,20. When any human commission, in this case, social justice, replaces the Great Commission, it is time to leave the denomination.
Did you know that the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is not fond of the border fence between the United States and Mexico, a fence which effectively diminishes the amount of illegal aliens entering our country? Here is what the ELCA leadership has said about it:
“Finally, the ELCA calls for a moratorium on and a comprehensive assessment of fence building along the United States-Mexican border.” Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - November 2009. (read here)
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson told 30,000 kids at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering “. . . I didn’t want us (the ELCA) to be associated with people that are building up the walls that separate immigrants and migrants, for we are a church committed to working toward fair and just immigration reform.” (see here, Sunday video)
In 1998, the ELCA said, “. . . we have serious doubts about the rightness and effectiveness of current policy to erect imposing barriers between the United States and Mexico.” (read here)
The ELCA’s magazine, The Lutheran reported in 2005, that “Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service opposed the REAL ID Act, a bill to regulate state security standards for driver’s licenses, prevent terrorists from abusing asylum laws and to ensure a security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.” (read here)
The Lutheran magazine wrote in 2007, “Extending this U.S.-Mexican border wall the full 2,000 miles will require an estimated $8 billion. Kim Erno, an ELCA pastor and program director of the Lutheran Center in Mexico City, asked participants of an ELCA conference on walls whether that money would be better invested in the lives of the poor.” (read here)
If you are an ELCA member who does not support the U.S-Mexico border fence, then this should make you happy. But if you do support the border fence, I believe it is your right to know that your denomination is against it and working to prevent its completion.
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.