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)
People scoff when conservative Lutherans point to goddess worship happening in the ELCA. The scoffers either do not believe it or think it is very isolated. They are wrong. (see here)
Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, an ELCA Seminary. She is an ordained Episcopal priest who teaches the future leaders and pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see her school bio here) In a Dr. Gafney blog dated February 11, 2013 the seminary professor compiled some questions she would like to ask the prophet Elijah. She said:
“When you killed the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal but not the four hundred prophets of Asherah was it because you really didn’t mind a little goddess worship on the side? Are we feminists right in saying that Asherah was just the Canaanite articulation of the Holy Spirit and not really another God?” (see here)
First, Dr. Gafney doesn't know if the prophets of Asherah were spared by Elijah that day or if they were even present at the referred to gathering. We do know that 1 Kings 19:1 says Elijah “had killed all the prophets with the sword.” So it seems more likely that they were killed with the prophets of Baal if they were there.
Secondly, and the reason for my blog, did you hear professor Gafney reveal that she believes: Asherah is the Holy Spirit, not another god? This is completely false. Yet that is what she publicly proclaims. I can not believe the ELCA would allow a professor who thinks this way to teach their future leaders.
The Bible says this about Asherah:
Here are just a few verses from God's Word speaking about Asherah poles (likely “a sacred tree or pole that stood near Canaanite religious locations to honor the Ugaritic mother-goddess Asherah.” (see here):
- Judges 3:7 - So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs.
- 2 Kings 21: 6, 7 – He (King Manasseh) did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever;"
Clearly the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wanted His people to have nothing to do with Asherah. It is plain to see from these verses that Asherah is not the Holy Spirit, as this ELCA seminary professor is trying to get us to believe. Worshiping Asherah is the worship of a false goddess.
- 1 Kings 14:15 - And the Lord will strike Israel, so that it will be like a reed swaying in the water. He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their ancestors and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they aroused the Lord’s anger by making Asherah poles.
- 2 Chronicles 19:3 - There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.
So, if it's wrong (and it is) why isn't the ELCA leadership stopping it and why are they letting people who believe it be instructors in their seminaries?
Professors at Wartburg Theological Seminary (ELCA) are known to promote and teach universalism. Dr. Duane Priebe, Professor of Systematic Theology at Wartburg wrote this in the first printing of the Augsburg Fortress Lutheran Study Bible, “Jesus includes in salvation people who do not believe in him or ever know about him (5:3-10; 25:31-45).” page 1658. Wartburg professor Dr. David J. Lull, Professor of New Testament, published an article where he said, "Jesus did not have to die as a condition of God’s forgiveness of sins. Mark knew that Jesus knew that God had always forgiven the sins of 'many/all,' and that God would keep on forgiving their sins." (see here)
Today we will look at and quote from a sermon given at Wartburg Theological Seminary, in the chapel, by Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan. Dr. Nessan is the Academic Dean and Professor of Contextual Theology at the ELCA seminary.
On February 27, 2013, during Dr. Nessan's sermon, he went into a strange diatribe on salvation, saying that some people think they know who will be saved. At one point Dr. Nessan, in my view, seemed to be mocking God with a number of statements including this, “God knows who deserves to live and who deserves to die.” This was Dr. Nessan's way of setting up his view of salvation for those listening (future ELCA pastors).
The scripture readings for Dr. Nessan's sermon came from Luke 13:22-31 and 2 Chronicles 20:1-20, to which he called the later “texts of terror.” Luke 13:29 says, “People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.” From this verse Dr. Nessan switches to the 2 Chronicles passage concerning the country of Judah and tells the students that the people to the east, west, north and south are the Ammonites, Philistines, Syrians, and Moabites. This was another step in Dr. Nessan's leading his listeners in his universalist way of thinking, by associating these peoples, who worship false-gods, with those who would inherit salvation.
Completing his plan, teaching and leading the seminarians toward universalism, Dr. Nessan refers to Luke 13:24 where Jesus says, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door . . .” and Dr. Nessan concludes, “It makes me wonder, what is the shape of that narrow door? Who gets in if the narrow door is shaped like the cross? Who gets in if its shaped like the 'loaf?' Who gets in if its shaped like the 'cup?' Who gets in when it is given and shed for you, to the east? And given and shed for you to the west? And given and shed for you to the north and to you to the south? Given and shed for all for the forgiveness of sins?” (listen here)
Dr. Nessan failed to proclaim and uphold God's Truth revealed in Scripture. He taught heresy to future pastors and untold lives will be adversely affected because of this. God clearly tells us his plan for salvation and how one is saved. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.” John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (Also see Romans 10:9-10, Romans 3:21, John 8:24.) God tells us we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), and it is not Dr. Nessan's dangerous false-doctrine of universalism.
After hearing the sermon, one seminarian on Facebook said, “Chapel at WTS messed me all up today. I think that is a good thing.” Responding to the seminarian's comment, an ELCA pastor said tellingly, "Jesus Christ is present in . . . religions."
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 ELCA’s Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio concerning the recent news of Luther Seminary, the denomination’s largest seminary, having extreme financial difficulties.
Here is one section from the interview -
Interviewer: “You are the head of the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination, the ELCA. And as you know, you’ve lost about 600 or so congregations after that controversial decision allowing openly gay and lesbian pastors to service. Is a drop in seminary enrollment a refection of that decision at all?”
Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson: “I don’t, I don’t see that. In fact, many young adults that I encounter, that I am on Twitter with and that I’m constantly in conversation with, in fact see that as a source of hope for this church and something that is drawing them into the life of this church.” (listen here)
Under Mark Hanson’s leadership, perversion was promenaded into the church with joyous celebration. Sinful acts against God have been declared good. When a church turns its back on God, godly men and women will leave and take their tithes with them. But as we read above, the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is living in denial by not seeing that the disregard for God and His Word is the main reason for it being a dying, financially-challenged denomination.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s largest seminary, Luther Seminary in Minnesota, sent shockwaves through the denomination with the recent admittance that they are facing extreme financial difficulties. The president of Luther Seminary abruptly stepped down from his position as a result. Luther Seminary published a report stating, “While we continue to function at a high level, we are facing a difficult combination of challenges, not unlike those faced by many other institutions of higher education. These challenges include deferred maintenance charges related to aging buildings, the costs of delivering a wide variety of educational programs and a nationwide drop in the number of students attending seminaries . . . this transition comes at a time when the financial performance of the seminary has lagged expectations.” (read here)
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Luther Seminary, “announces search for new president after losing nearly $4 million last school year.” The report said, “The president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul has resigned amid rising maintenance costs and declining enrollment . . . Enrollment is down from 822 nearly five years ago to 764 students this year.” Board chairman Jim Lindus said, "We had a lower investment performance than we were expecting, and education costs in general are going up. And we're trying to figure out how do we adjust to that in a church that ... has become smaller." (read here) The article also points out that “Other ELCA seminaries nationwide are also dealing with ‘very challenging times.’"
An ELCA pastor, blogging about the news concerning Luther Seminary said, “the ELCA and many of her associated enterprises - Luther Seminary among them - has taken its eye off the ball. We are told that we are to be missional - but missional about what? A vast cohort of students, faculty, and staff (and therefore pastors, bishops, and synod staff) get more worked up about personal pronouns for God than personal relationships with God. We are taught that to ‘want people to come to church on Sunday morning’ indicates a lack of understanding that God works outside the church. We are taught that the Church, and Word & Sacrament, are nice, you know, but so are justice and advocacy. I spent more time in seminary learning about ‘family systems’ than I did sacramental theology. No, for realz. I was assigned more papers about why we shouldn't evangelize, than about how and why we should.”
This ELCA pastor goes on to say, “certain individuals and departments spend ridiculous amounts of seminary funds on high-end coffee and cookies every day of the week. There are flat-screen TVs in every corner of Northwestern and the OCC. NW and OCC have both recently undergone major asthetic remodels, while the dorms and apartments battle bedbugs and mold year-round.” (read here)
The ELCA is led by self-serving, Bible-denying, and apparently wasteful leaders. Because of their wandering away from the heart of the Gospel, to make disciples, the denomination itself is withering.
Today, Luther Seminary posted on its facebook page that Pastor Andrena Ingram, a pastor known for giving out free condoms at her church, will be preaching at their chapel tomorrow. Here is what the Luther Seminary post said, "This week is HIV/AIDS Awareness Week. The Rev. Andrena Ingram will preach in chapel tomorrow at 11 a.m. Chapel will be followed by a conversation at 11:45 a.m. in the OCC Lecture Room (lower level)." (see here)
You should read the article Exposing the ELCA wrote about Pastor Ingram earlier this spring. (read)
David Lose, an ELCA professor at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN recently wrote an article/blog called “Cross Dressing for the Gospel.” Yes, you read that correctly.
Mr. Lose, in his article, writes an oh-so touching story of a cross dressing man named Stu, and how many of his neighbors decided to show their support for him by cross dressing. Mr. Lose writes that the people “stood in solidarity with Jesus by standing in solidarity with Stu, and unexpectedly gave witness to the love of God by cross-dressing for the gospel.” (see here)
This is what the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has come to. They have succumbed to the evils of the world so much so that they have teachers of their pastors promoting “cross dressing.” How anyone can justify staying in the ELCA is beyond me. Mr. Lose isn’t a reclusive hobbit, living in his dark dungy office writing for publications no one reads. No, Mr. Lose writes and “speaks widely in the United States and abroad on preaching, Christian faith in a postmodern world, and biblical interpretation” (see here) sharing his stunning intellect with all who will listen.
It’s hard to believe that a seminary professor can claim that cross dressing is a godly thing to do. Maybe Mr. Lose’s next article will be “Doing Heroin for the Gospel” or “Aborting Babies for the Gospel.”Read more blogs on Exposing the ELCA about Mr. Lose here and here. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
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.
The ELCA seems to love doing anything and everything that is not evangelism and sharing the good news of salvation in Christ with those who desperately need to hear. The ELCA's leaders do what they think is of utmost importance and mostly disregard what Jesus commanded them to do, “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 28:29-30
Here are three examples of how the ELCA is “majoring in the minors” of environmentalism and climate change:
- Last month, a letter entitled, “A Statement by Religious Leaders in Iowa on Global Climate Change” was published and was signed by two synodical bishops of the ELCA.
The letter starts off saying, “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today . . .” and later states, “As people of faith, we are called to take responsible precautionary action to limit global climate change to the fullest extent possible and to prepare now for the climate impacts that are unavoidable. “ (see here)
- Also happening last month, “GreenFaith and Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) announced a collaboration to enroll Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations nationwide in the GreenFaith Certification Program.”
“The GreenFaith Certification Program requires participating churches to ‘green’ their buildings and grounds, develop relationships with environmental justice advocacy organizations and interfaith partners, and to integrate creation care into education and worship.” (see here)
"Lutherans Restoring Creation (LRC) is a grassroots movement promoting care for creation in the life and mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). . .”
- Below are a couple of videos along with information about a 2009 “Climate Action Festival” held at the ELCA’s Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (see here) and a 2010 "Earthfest" held at the ELCA's Gettysburg College.
“And know that Mother Earth, our great and good planet, will appreciate your interest. Please be there!”