Honestly, I'd like to write about something different, but I can't. When the ELCA continually presents false information, encourages destructive sins and makes hateful resolutions, it must be exposed. So here I am writing about homosexuality again. I've written about the ELCA and homosexuality so many times this summer it seems almost constant. But the truth is that the ELCA is obsessed with homosexuality and the ELCA glowingly writes about it and talks about it and forces their opinion of it down their membership's throats. (see here, here, here and here)
The September 2013 issue of The Lutheran, the official magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, had a big article on homosexuality again, which presented this false justification for homosexuality to their ELCA readership, “There is no Greek or Hebrew word that corresponds exactly to our word 'homosexual.' You may have participated in a Bible study where the term was used. But that's a modern application of the word. The category or classification that we may refer to as homosexuality did not exist in biblical times. The few scriptural references to lusting or exploitative sexual behaviors between same- or differently gendered people have nothing to do with the abiding personal companionship, enduring love, shared intimacy, and trusting commitment of gay and straight couples who cherish such qualities in our day.” (read here)
The ELCA hopes if they say homosexuality is “good” enough times, people will start to believe them instead of God's Word. The ELCA wants to indoctrinate church members into believing that the homosexual lifestyle is perfectly fine, that it is normal and the way God made those individuals to be. How else can you explain the ELCA's obsession with declaring to their members that homosexuality is to be considered normal? This plan has worked, to a great extent. When trusted pastors explain to their congregations that same-sex relationships are fine, people are going to believe them, especially those who have little Biblical knowledge. And when synod bishops say it, ELCA assemblies declare it, ELCA pastors claim it, ELCA seminaries and colleges teach it and ELCA publications expound on it, church members are going to start to believe it.
Maybe not all members believe it immediately. There are some who have stayed with their ELCA congregation who know what God says in Scripture about same-sex relationships. They thought it wouldn't affect them or their local church, but they are constantly being fed this line of cow dung by the denomination. A majority of these members will succumb to the lie and will eventually view homosexuality as good.
Sadly, many of the people have made an informed choice to stay in the denomination. They have known of the ELCA's departure from God's Word, but they have placed their lifelong loyalty, to a church building or friends, over what they know is true. They stay in churches despite knowing that the ELCA is teaching in opposition to Scripture. They justify it in their minds and they begrudgingly go down the path of acceptance because, after all, their parents and grandparents belonged to their church and are buried in the church cemetery. They can't leave their church, no matter what they are being taught. Whether we like it or not, followers end up emulating their leaders. Spiritual leaders have a great deal of influence. I do hope that people are willing to recognize how they are being influenced and take a stand for Truth, standing to their feet and walking out for the sake of what is far more important than tradition or generational loyalty, but instead out of obedience and allegiance to God.
The minutes of the ELCA - Southeastern Synod Council had this comment from Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson:
“We must start talking to our ecumenical partners about shared oversight. For example, we might have more bishops but fewer synods. A specific example might be to have three bishops in the same synod.” (read here on page 18)
Bishop Jessica Crist, current head of the ELCA Conference of Bishops is quoted in the Aug. 2013 The Lutheran commenting on the aftermath of the 2009 homosexuality votes: "Some congregations had been angry for years; and some were still angry about mergers prior to 1988...We are healthier and happy now."
“In some ways, Crist said, the losses were 'analogous to cleaning the rolls' of a congregation. 'We do not have the anger and hostility at synod assemblies that we had before...'”
The Lutheran writes that former Presiding Bishop Chilstrom claimed that bishops are telling him that “'it's a new day, with a more positive, upbeat spirit' as the dissent over the 2009 decision waned with the departure of the congregations opposing the decision.” (see here)
The loudest mouthpiece of the ELCA, The Lutheran magazine, had 5 pieces (articles or news stories) in which homosexuality was a prominent feature. The cover story, which contained the quotes above was one and another was the “My View” article. That was written by Amalia Vagts, executive director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM). ELM describes its mission saying it “expands ministry opportunities for publicly-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people called to leadership in the Lutheran church as ordained pastors and rostered lay leaders.” (quote from here)
You can read her article here.
As evidenced in this last piece, the indoctrination of laypeople continues. For all congregations and people still in the ELCA, is it wise to continue in a denomination which seeks to lead you to affirm what God has called sin? Look at how many members have already succumbed to the ELCA's talking heads and the brainwashing put forth in all their entities.
The ELCA magazine The Lutheran recently reported on the happenings at this spring's ELCA Synod assemblies. It is no surprise that the synods of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who continue to become more liberal and less Biblical, are fixated on promoting homosexuality and denigrating Israel. The Lutheran reported on the 26 synod assemblies that took place in May 2013, highlighting some resolutions brought before those assemblies; it was not a comprehensive list. Of the resolutions highlighted, 22 were focused on and supportive of homosexuality and related issues and 11 dealt with Israel, promoting positions held by anti-Israel supporters. (see here)
Here are some of the anti-Israel resolutions mentioned in The Lutheran:
- “Affirmed support for members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land; asked its congregations to study the issues, work for justice, and call on their elected leaders to hold hearings on whether Israel's use of U.S. financial aid violates the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and Arms Export Control Act.”
- “Affirmed the Peace Not Walls campaign; memorialized the Churchwide Assembly to commit to socially responsible economic practices by encouraging members to invest in Palestinian economic endeavors and avoid products and services from companies that benefit from or support Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.”
- “Sought accompaniment, awareness-raising and advocacy for people of the Holy Land, and socially responsible economic practices that pertain to the Israeli-Palestine conflict.”
- “Recommended study of the Kairos Palestine document and advocacy for a just and peaceful solution in the Holy Land.”
Here are some of the pro-homosexuality resolutions:
- “Asked the Churchwide Assembly to call for legislation prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."
- "Invited conversations regarding ways the church can advocate for equal protections for same-gender couples and their families."
- "Backed the Uniting American Families Act, which would give binational same-sex couples the same immigration rights afforded to heterosexual couples."
- "Asked the Churchwide Assembly to urge all branches of government to recognize the freedom to marry for all people; sought further conversations on this topic.”
- “Commended the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America for changing policy that excluded gay youth from participation; encouraged it to re-examine policy banning homosexual people in leadership roles.”
Also, in a recent news release by the ELCA addressing the upcoming 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh, PA, they summarized the actions that the voting members at the assembly will consider this year saying,
“Proposals (known as memorials) from the ELCA’s 65 synods include topics such as gender identity discrimination, the Uniting American Families Act, community violence, ministering to same-gender couples and their families, immigration reform, hydraulic fracturing, and the Middle East.” (read here)
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.
You are an animal, so says the leadership of the ELCA. This belief results from the rejection of the historical account of creation told in the Bible. Instead they believe in and teach the theory of evolution as truth. The February 2013 edition of the official magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran, contains an article where we are told that:
“the scientific evidence for evolution inspires some Christians to celebrate God's ongoing and oft-surprising creativity, but it deeply offends others.”
“For centuries humans regarded themselves to be distinct and above other animals and the material world. But evolution indicates full embedded-ness in nature. Unless one hears and believes that God is faithfully with us in our created, embedded state, one could sense that we might be abandoned animals cruelly subject to capricious forces.”
“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. . .one's 'disbelief' of evolution can mask resistance to the humility inherent in being a created, finite animal.” (read here)
This was written by ELCA seminary professor Gilson A.C. Waldkoenig of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.) and published by the leadership of the denomination in their official magazine.
So lets review what they are saying. We are animals. If you believe the Bible and not evolution, you are foolish, lacking in humility, and idolatrous. That seems backward (and evil) to me, and it should to anyone else whose eyes are not blinded by the enemy.
The Exposing the ELCA Newsletter for this quarter is posted. You can read it here.
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.”
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.
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.