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.
As the liberal, anti-Christian outrage grows in the United States, we see it manifesting everywhere in our society. Last week, national liberal media joined in by crucifying Chick-fil-A because the company president believes in the traditional Biblical view of marriage and because the company supports Christian organizations which speak up for traditional marriage. The homosexual community labels those organizations “hate groups.”
We are now living in a society where standing up for God’s Truth brings hateful name-calling and persecution. One would think that Christians could at least find solidarity from those claiming to be Christ followers. But that is not the case with most mainline Christian denominations. In what is really an act of hate, not love, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is one of those denominations pushing the homosexual agenda in their vast array of entities.
Last year the ELCA churchwide, as well as over two dozen of ELCA synods, passed a resolution encouraging “new partnerships” with a gay rights organization. (see here and here) The Lutheran, the most popular publication of the ELCA, feels the need to inform its readers of the latest happenings with that gay organization. (see here)
One chaperone at the ELCA 2012 National Youth Gathering reported that “At every level, at the mass events in the dome, there was a reference to homosexuality. Every speaker, every skit. Frequently this was tied to anti-bullying.” (see here)
In 2012, a host of ELCA synods passed resolutions in favor of gay marriage. (see here)And honestly, the list goes on and on. (see here and here - scroll down linked pages)
This is the society we live in and we have “Christians” perpetuating and promoting sin.
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” - Matt. 15:8-9
Sadly, these verses embody the leadership of the ELCA.
The ELCA online publication (likely the print magazine also) The Lutheran published another article highlighting some of the actions taken by ELCA synods this year at their synod assemblies. (see Exposing the ELCA’s blog containing The Lutheran’s first report here) Below are the most troubling, pertinent, non-Biblical, disappointing and liberal actions taken by the ELCA’s leadership from my point of view:
The Grand Canyon Synod,
- “Concluded that the Arizona SB 1070 Immigration Law is inconsistent with collective Christian beliefs and is harmful to the needs of Arizona, exhorting members to advocate for immigration reform that is ‘comprehensive, fair, humane, compassionate, and which safeguards the unity of families.’"
The Lower Susquehanna Synod,
- “Commended the Peace Not Walls Campaign, an ELCA churchwide strategy focused on contributing to peace with justice in the Middle East. Suggested that congregations study the issues in the Middle East; pray and reach out to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land; and, if pilgrimages are being arranged, to visit biblical sites, meet with both Israelis and Palestinians, and learn from Lutherans living in that land today.”
The Delaware-Maryland Synod,
- “Encouraged its congregations to study the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which extends legal protection for civil marriage to all couples in Maryland. Asked the synod to offer forums so members can study the issues involved in light of the ELCA social statement ‘Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust.’"
- “Called upon Congress and U.S. President Barack Obama to support the Uniting American Families Act, which would enact ‘inclusive, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that ends the long-standing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender immigrant families.’"
The Southwest California Synod,
- “Encouraged its congregations and members to contact their elected officials, urging them to give ‘moral priority to programs that protect the life and dignity of poor and vulnerable people’ and to ‘review and consider tax revenues, military spending and entitlements in the search for reduced deficits but not at the expense of vulnerable poor people.’"
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod,
- “Supported the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act; called upon its congregations and members to welcome, care for and support same-gender couples and their families and to advocate for their legal protection.”
- “Recommended that a task force be created to examine the synod's financial dealings with area banking institutions with regard to social justice and corporate social responsibility concerns.”
The East Central Synod of Wisconsin,
- “Sought greater participation in the Peace Not Walls Campaign to help bring peace to the Middle East.”
The Northeastern Ohio Synod,
- “Directed its council to establish a Creation Care Task Force to help congregations deal with issues of climate change.”
The Southeastern Synod,
- “Affirmed the work of the ELCA Washington Office and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service regarding immigration reform.”
- “Requested that the legislative bodies of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee place an immediate moratorium on the administration of the death penalty until such time that it can be fully prohibited by law in those states.”
The Southwestern Minnesota Synod,
- “Indefinitely postponed voting on a resolution to express grave concern regarding a proposed Minnesota state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as ‘only a union of one man and one woman.’"
The Virginia Synod,
- “Opposed asking the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to make constitutional changes to allow a ‘new category of congregation membership for those members who disagree by faith or conscience with decisions of the churchwide organization.’"
The Southern Ohio Synod,
- “Voted to ask the ELCA presiding bishop and Church Council to contact President Barack Obama and Congress, urging the U.S. and its allies to work with the leaders of Iran for a peaceful resolution to the conflict over nuclear proliferation.”
The Upper Susquehanna Synod,
- “Voted to create a task force to discuss the justice issues surrounding the natural gas industry and to make available resources to address the complexities of horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing; memorialized the 2013 Churchwide Assembly to create its own task force on this subject.”
(see article here)
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.