The ELCA is doing its best to raise up the denomination’s youth in their own image. For years, the ELCA has gone out of its way to undermine Israel and those who support it. (see here) At the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering we see the most recent examples:
The ELCA’s official website posted pictures taken at the youth gathering of a Palestine exhibit. One part of the exhibit asked the youth to write how they felt after viewing the information contained in the exhibit. Here are some of the statements they wrote: “erase hate,” “keep fighting,” “outraged this happens,” “we are free, so why can’t they be,” “free Palestine.” (see here)
The Palestine exhibit also had an area for youth to write their congressmen to complain about Israel. (see here)
Of course, Bishop Mark Hanson had to get into the fray, filling the youth full of Palestinian propaganda saying:
“And then in my mind I went to that wall, that huge wall that separates Israelis from Palestinians. A wall that for Israelis means security from violence but for Palestinians it, we have Palestinians’ youths that have been with us and they’ve been in the convention center and they have been talking to us about what that wall means for Palestinian people. It’s a wall of occupation, it’s a wall of separation. It separates Palestinians from each other and from their olive groves. There is no chance, as long as that wall continues, for Palestinians to have a land in which to be citizens. And I knew we’re a church that committed to working for a just two state solution between Palestinians and Israelis. That’s who we are.” (see here - Sunday video)
We also have this gem from the Wednesday night keynote speaker, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber:
“This is a God whose loving desire to be known overflowed the heavens and became manifest in the rapidly dividing cells inside the womb of an insignificant peasant girl in first century Palestine.” (see here - Wednesday video)
Israel was not called “Palestine” in the days Jesus was born. Using the term Palestine “is specifically employed to avoid the use of the name Israel, and must be considered an anti-Israel term. . .In the New Testament, the term Palestine is never used.” says Thomas S. McCall, Th.D
God Himself calls the land, “Israel,” “saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.’ Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.”
Thomas S. McCall tells us, “. . .the term Palestine is the cornerstone of the propaganda war against Israel and the Jewish people,” and “It appears that Bible-believing Christians have either knowingly or unwittingly followed the world, pagans and haters of Israel in calling Israel by the anti-Israel term Palestine.” (see here)
The youth of the ELCA are being set up by their leadership (in more ways than one). It seems clear to me that this is a case of indoctrination.
The 2012 ELCA Nation Youth Gathering recently posted that Shane Claiborne would be one of their main conference speakers. (see here) He is a controversial speaker, same as the other 2012 Youth Gathering speakers Exposing the ELCA has highlighted. (Nadia Bolz-Weber here and Rev. Andrena Ingram here)
Shane Claiborne is loved by the liberal, progressive, emergent church. So it is no surprise that the liberal progressives running the ELCA have chosen him to speak to the youth of our denomination.
So let’s dive in, here is what we know about Shane Claiborne:
Nine churches objected to Claiborne speaking at the US Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference. An article published in the Christian Leader says Claiborne has “universalist tendencies” and that he “distorts the gospel.” (read here)
Claiborne had this to say when another of his speaking engagements at Cedarville University was cancelled. -
“A university must believe its students are able to 'test the spirits' and work out their salvation ‘with fear and trembling.’ We are not talking about junior high kids, but young adults who are capable of discerning truth from fiction, and who need to be trusted with and exposed to diverse perspectives.” (read here)
Based on Mr. Claiborne’s quote, it should be pointed out that the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering is recommended for kids ages 14 to 18.
This is what Shane Claiborne had to say about revered Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler:
“I think even Bonhoeffer was wrong. There’s an interview with Hitler’s secretary in a movie called Blind Spot, and she tells about when the assassination attempt failed, and Hitler was very interestingly protected from the bomb, he was convinced at that point, more than ever before, that God was protecting him and his mission, and he went forward with renewed vigilence like ever before. So I would say on the day that Bonhoeffer did that, the cross lost, and that violence just perpetuated.” (see here)
Mark Tooley in the Weekly Standard writes:
“Shane Claiborne is a Christian counter-culturalist and pacifist who went to Baghdad in 2003 to express solidarity with Iraq when the first U.S. and Allied missiles landed.”
“CBS News asked him whether he was a traitor:
If this bloody, counterfeit liberation is American .??.??. I am proud to be un-American. If depleted uranium is American .??.??. I am proud to be un-American. If the imposed 'peace' of Pax Americana is American, I am proud to be un-American.”
“In Jesus for President Claiborne wants Christians to disavow their country and all civil governance in favor of exclusive allegiance to a nonviolent Jesus whose chief mission is resisting ‘empire.’ But Claiborne's interpretation of Jesus, his few selective quotations from early church fathers notwithstanding, is largely divorced from the universal church's understanding of the Savior. Instead, Claiborne insists on a narrowly reinterpreted Jesus as distilled by Yoder and several others in 20th-century America for whom Jesus is more social critic than Resurrected Redeemer.” (see here)
Barton Gingerich of the Institute on Religion & Democracy writes:
“Claiborne often touts radical political themes. His 2008 book Jesus for President likened American to the Third Reich and the biblical Whore of Babylon . . . Claiborne has also praised Occupy Wall Street and recently called for an ‘excorcism’ of Wall Street.” (see here)
Claiborne told gatherers at a retreat for Indiana United Methodist clergy, “The crisis in our faith today is not right believing, but right living.”
“Claiborne also demanded liberalized immigration policies for the U.S. through a story about Christians sharing communion over a southern border fence.” (see here)
Another article tells us how “Shane Claiborne has publicly announced his withholding 30 percent of his taxes to protest all U.S. defense spending.” (see here)
The same website reveals this statement by Mr. Claiborne, “If someone’s hungry, while someone else has food, then they’re a thief if they don’t share it.” (see here)
Claiborne also said this, “To be pro-life, when you live in a neighborhood like mine… means we have to figure out what to do when a 14 year old girl gets pregnant. . .That then becomes everybody’s responsibility. So if we’re really going to be pro-life, then we’d better have some foster kids and we’d better have some teenage mothers living in our homes to show for it.” (see here)
Claiborne was a speaker at the very controversial 2012 “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference. Mark Tooley, President of The Institute on Religion & Democracy wrote that “Christ at the Checkpoint is primarily a public relations scheme to dissuade American evangelicals from pro-Israel views.” (see here)
“Shane Claiborne. . . warned on July 4 that ‘patriotism can be a dangerous thing if it leads to amnesia about the dark patches of our nation’s history.’ He proposed that instead of Independence Day, Americans celebrate ‘Interdependence Day,’ to recognize that ‘we are part of a global neighborhood.’" (see here)
In an Interview with Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne said, "One of the barriers [between religions] seems to be the assumption that we have the truth and folks who experience things differently will all go to Hell. How do we unashamedly maintain a healthy desire for others to experience the love of God as we have experienced it without condemning others who experience God differently?" (see here)
Here is another quote by Claiborne, “When we truly discover how to love our neighbor as our self, Capitalism will not be possible and Marxism will not be necessary.” (see here)
Author Dave Hunt sums up Shane Claiborne’s teaching this way, “Some of Claiborne's agenda toward the poor is commendable and may be well suited to social welfare programs such as the Peace Corps or UNESCO, but it does a terrible disservice to the biblical gospel. ‘Biblical’ needs to be underscored here because the gospel has specific content that can only be derived from the Bible. The gospel is what the Bible is all about. It is God's way of salvation. . .Since the gospel has an eternal objective (e.g., it is a person's only means for spending eternity with God), there is nothing of temporal significance that should be given priority over it.
The history of the social works-oriented gospel, of which so-called progressive Christians Wallis and Claiborne are only two of the latest representatives, is a testimony to what may have begun with sincere intentions or even ‘in the Spirit’ (Galatians 3:1-3) but has degenerated into various forms of works-salvation, which constitutes ‘another gospel’ (Galatians 1:6-9) - a gospel, of course, that can save no one. When ‘good works’ take priority over the clear proclamation of the gospel by preaching and teaching, they become a leaven that ultimately subverts the gospel. Good works can only result from salvation - they are the cart that follows the horse. When the cart leads, the horse is in serious trouble.” (see here)
This is what our youth will be subject to at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. It seems to me that the ELCA leadership is intent on making the youth of the ELCA into carbon copies of their liberal, progressive, Bible-doubting selves.
The ELCA leadership loves ELCA Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. She is the face and voice of today’s ELCA. Bolz-Weber pastors a church whose website states it is “queer inclusive,” “social justice oriented” and “irreverent.” (see here) The ELCA leadership reveres this tattoo covered pastor (see here) so much she is constantly being brought in to speak at major ELCA gatherings, such as the "Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World" conference at ELCA headquarters (see here), ELCA seminaries (see here and here), ELCA synod conferences (see here), seven homosexual ELCA pastors Rite of Reception service (see here) and “Extravaganza” a ELCA conference of “500-750 adults who work with youth in congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” (see here)
The youth of the ELCA will even get to hear Pastor Bolz-Weber because she is going to be the opening night speaker for the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering which will likely have 35,000 to 40,000 youth and adults attending. (see here and here)
And today we learn that Rev. Bolz-Weber presided over a re-naming liturgical rite for one of her transgender church members.
Here is how the rite went:
“(Prayers of the People)
Holy One of Blessing, in baptism you bring us to new life in Jesus Christ and you name us Beloved. We give you thanks for the renewal of that life and love in Mary Christine Callahan, who now takes on a new name. Strengthen and uphold him as he grows in power, and authority, and meaning of this name: we pray in the Name above names, Jesus, your Son, whom with you and the Holy Spirit, the Triune God, we adore. Amen
(Lindsey) A reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians.
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all are one in Christ Jesus
The word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
(Laying on of hands)
Let us pray:
We pray for your servant Asher, with thanks for the journey and awakening that have brought him to this moment, for his place amongst your people, and for his gifts and calling to serve you. O God, in renaming your servants Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Peter, and Paul, you gave them new lives and new tasks, new love and new hope.
We now hold before you our companion. Bless him with a new measure of grace as he takes this new name. Write him again in your heart and on your palm. And grant that we all be worthy to call ourselves Christians, for the sake of your Christ whose name is Love, and in whom, with you and the Spirit, we pray. Amen
The Giving of the name
Pr. Nadia: By what name shall you be known?
Kate: The name shall be Asher
Asher: My name is Asher
The community may respond by repeating
Your name shall be Asher
Pr. Nadia: Bear this name in the Name of Christ. Share it in the name of Mercy. Offer it in the name of Justice.
Christ is among us making peace right here right now. The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.” (see here)
On a side note, the said transgender member had this to say, “I’m currently pursuing candidacy towards ordained ministry in the ELCA.” (see here)
Many of you know the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently added seven pastors who are gay, bisexual or transgender, to its clergy roster. This occurred at a Rite of Reception service.
Here are a few things you may not have heard concerning this.
1) During the "festival Eucharist celebrating the reception and reinstatement of pastors," (p 4) the congregation recited the “Our Mother who is within us” prayer taken from the Goddess Rosary (read more about the Goddess Rosary here). The prayer goes like this -
"Our Mother who is within us
we celebrate your many names.
Your wisdom come,
your will be done,
unfolding from the depths
Each day you give us all that we need.
You remind us of our limits
and we let go.
You support us in our power
and we act in courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us,
now and forever. Amen"
"The paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer, 'Our Mother
who is within us . . .' is a part of the Goddess Rosary
offered at University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley (ELCA)."
2) The sermon for this "celebration" was delivered by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, who is a "Featured Speaker" at the publicized ELCA "Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World" event on August 11-14, 2010. (read here)
3) Much like item 1), they included a number of other prayers (listed below) to a god they call "Mother." (note that the Bible never calls God this name)
"O Sophia, Wisdom and Mother of us all, you are One with many names and images. May we see in all who are gathered here today your multiplicity of blessings. Today we honor your unlocking systems and practices that devalued and demeaned us for so many years and by putting your way of honoring people in its place. Most Holy One."
"Life-giving Mother, you make a home for us in the midst of our fear…
…that we may share your gifts with a hungry world:"
View and read the Rite of Reception service here.
One should also take note that there were a number of ELCA bishops involved in this Rite of Reception, as well as many ELCA pastors.
This kind of thing would not be happening if the ELCA did not support it.
August 11-14, 2010, the ELCA will be holding an event called "Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World."
First off, I pray the ELCA is going to be teaching attendees to tell the lost about salvation from sin and death in Christ alone. Sadly, I highly doubt that John 3:16 (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life) or Romans 10:9 (That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved we) will be preached.
We don't hear and see that message from ELCA leadership now so why would that change? (you hear a lot about universal salvation from the the ELCA though)
For those lucky few that will attend this event you get to hear about "Sharing the Gospel" from a . . . Muslim! Now isn't that special. The speaker is Eboo Patel, a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and author of the book called "Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation." (read here)
Featured speaker Patel made news on July 20, 2010 when it was reported that he had close ties with the controversial imam "who wants to build a 13-story Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero." The report also said that the "two have been documented together discussing America as 'the ideal place for a renewal of Islam.'" (read here)
I highly doubt the ELCA's goal is to share with the Muslim speaker the message of salvation in Jesus. So why is he speaking at a "Sharing the Gospel . . ." gathering?
Other featured speakers at the ELCA event will be the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, pastor of the progressive ELCA church which boasts to be social justice oriented and queer inclusive. (read here)
Michael Organ, who was Director of Internet Advertising for President Obama's presidential campaign. Note he is the second person with personal connection to the president.
A Muslim and theologically liberal individuals are the ELCA's event featured speakers. Where are the orthodox, conservative, Bible believing speakers? That's right. The ELCA wants you to stay in denomination but your views will not have a place, because the ELCA is moving full steam ahead with its universal salvation, social justice and Biblical revisionism ways.