Check out what Lord of the Mountain Lutheran Church (ELCA church located in Dillon, Colorado) has to say on their website,
"LOTM MISSION STATEMENT
In the spirit of the Reformation, Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church continually seeks meaningful ways
of expressing our commitment to the life and teaching of Jesus.
We do this by...
*welcoming all people to full participation in our community of faith.
*Recognizing there are other ways to God than just our way."
If you didn't catch that, Lord of the Mountain's Pastor, Joseph Holub says this on his own website,
"1. I affirm that Jesus Christ is the emergence of God's ongoing gracious presence in the world, and that through Jesus relationship with God is experienced. Jesus is a doorway into the mystery of God." (find here - click on "Joe.")
"Jesus is A doorway." "There are other ways to God."
So the belief that all paths lead to God is OK according to the ELCA? We see the ELCA teaching universal salvation, which has a very similar result. (read here) Allowance of this teaching means acceptance, in my view.
For what it's worth, I also found these statements by Lord of the Mountain's Pastor, noteworthy.
"Since The Enlightenment especially, but even long before that Christianity has been preoccupied with doctrine – faith defined as a set of right beliefs. Christianity is spoiled, grossly distorted and loses its heart when it is turned into a set of correct doctrines that I must accept or else. I mean read the Apostle's Creed. There's nothing much there that really stirs the soul and lights a fire in one's heart. There's nothing there about loving one's neighbor or enemy or anybody else. Doctrines and correct beliefs don’t make disciples but eventually turn us into narrow and intolerant fanatics. Jesus is not a doctrine. He is the expression of compassion and radical inclusive love who invites us to follow him on an adventure called discipleship that just may cost us our lives as we give ourselves away in the pursuit of love, compassion and justice. He calls us beyond the narrow boundaries behind which we protect and isolate ourselves from others. What Jesus asks for is our faith defined as trust and commitment in his way of loving and living. Unfortunately somewhere along the line being Christian came to mean accepting beliefs about Jesus rather than actually following Jesus." (read here, click on "blog" and go about 3/4 down the page to a heading called "The Deficiency of Doctrine.")
Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church is an ELCA church that has some interesting, non-orthodox beliefs. This is of no surprise though because they are much like the beliefs that the ELCA leadership hold.
Holy Redeemer's website says -
"By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who:
1. Proclaim Jesus Christ as our Gate to the realm of God
2. Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the gateway to God's realm" (read here)
Elsewhere on Holy Redeemer's website they say this about the "New" church, which they claim they are part of,
"The 'New' Church is ...
Steeped in Theology
This is the "new" progressive ELCA church. Coming to a church near you, if it isn't there already.
- Doesn't adhere to a simplistic and literalistic version of scripture that doesn't make sense
- View scripture as true, and sometimes factual" (read here)
Exposing the ELCA asked it's readership to reply to this statement. "The ELCA should not be teaching universal salvation."
92% (243 people) answered "True" to the statement.
8% (22 people) answered "False" to the statement.
Thanks to all for participating.
No need to believe in Jesus. Believe whatever you want! ELCA seminary professor, David J. Lull, says you are going to heaven no matter what.
This is Part 2 (see Part 1) of an examination of Dr. David J. Lull, Professor of New Testament at Wartburg Theological Seminary series of lectures in January 2010 titled, "Preaching Lent and Easter."
The following are quotes from Dr. Lull's lectures -
"For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom [lytron] for many (Mk 10.45) - The term 'many' is not restrictive, as if it meant 'to give his life as a ‘ransom’ for some but not all'; rather, it is equivalent to 'all': 'to give his life as a ‘ransom’ for all.' And we know that 'all means all': not just Christians, or believers, or good people, but all people." (pages 6-7)
"We need to pause a moment to consider another reason why I’m skipping over the important ecumenical discussion of 'the doctrine of justification.' I have come to believe that, as important as that Reformation doctrine is, along with the partial rapprochement between Lutherans and Roman Catholics on that doctrine—to which the Methodists have added their affirmation—that doctrine’s vision of salvation is too limited. It isn’t big enough to encompass those who are sinned against: the innocent poor, especially the poorest among the poor; the innocent victims of violence in their homes, communities; innocent victims of war; innocent
victims of genetic malfunctions and disease; innocent victims of ordinary accidents; and innocent creatures who are victims of ecological injustice. The list could go on. These innocent victims do not need forgiveness for their plight!" (page 3-4)
"God’s salvation is for 'all.' The problem is that Paul wrote that 'if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.' Doesn’t that mean salvation is only for confessing Christians? But Paul also quoted Isa 28.16: 'No one who believes in him [that is, God] will be put to shame.'
And Joel 2.32: 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [that is, God] shall be saved.' Also, remember that this section of Romans begins with 'the righteousness that
comes from faith says…' (Rom 10.6). For Paul, a monotheistic Jew, that means faith in God." (page 12)
"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." (page 9)
Dr. Lull teaches the future pastors of the ELCA, and has been for many years. If the students believe this teaching of universal salvation then when they are pastors they will not be telling anyone about the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ. The lost will remain lost, just as the devil wants.
The leadership and seminaries of the ELCA are teaching and believing heresy. I wish all ELCA members would come to knowledge that their/our denomination believes in Universal Salvation. Below is an interesting blog on the topic. (There is more to come on this topic also, as I am researching and putting together a blog on it, which should be ready in a week or two.)
Pastor Harrison's Convention Report
View the document.
The first part of the document is the church's Confession of Faith. And later is the reasoning behind leaving the ELCA.
"For many years, learned people, clergy and lay, have warned that the ELCA is in dangerous theological waters. It has been increasingly clear in recent months that not only is the ELCA in dangerous waters but is also a sinking ship as it relates to the true expression of Christ’s church.
The reality is that the ELCA is not the church the average Lutheran person in the pew thinks it is. For many, the church is what they see every Sunday and what they participate in during the week in church related activities. However, in giving dollars to the ELCA by way of benevolences is actually promoting a non-Lutheran and even a non-Christian understanding of salvation and the role of Christ’s church in this world. . ."
Read the rest of the article
This speaker will be teaching at a youth conference organized and hosted by an ELCA seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC).
From the a LSTC website -
Sacred Stories: Youth Faith Formation in an Interfaith World The 2010 Youth in Mission Conference for Youth Ministry Workers - April 12-13, 2010
Keynote Speaker: Hannah McConnaughay, Program Associate in the Outreach Education and Training Department of the Interfaith Youth Core
Saveelca.blogspot.com reports more details of the keynote speaker.
"Hannah McConnaughay of the Interfaith Youth Core, will present Youth Ministry in the 21st Century: Navigating Religious Diversity and Identity." McConnaughay's work in the Outreach Education and Training Department of the Interfaith Youth Core takes her to college campuses and conferences to promote religious pluralism and offer skills trainings. She is developing a nationwide interfaith curriculum for youth in the Unitarian Universalist Association and is a former site coordinator of Inspired to Serve, the first federally funded interfaith service program. McConnaughay is a Christian committed to the call to work for justice. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies and Economics from the University of Chicago and has worked in the fields of rape crisis, social work, and educational enrichment programming."This individual is working for the Unitarian Universalist Association. For those that don't know, this is not a Christian denomination. They describe themselves this way, "Unitarian Universalism is a caring, open-minded religion that encourages seekers to find their own spiritual path. Our faith draws on many religious sources, welcoming people with different beliefs." (see here)
They go on to say "Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse religion in which members support one another in our search for truth and meaning. We have historic roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, but today individual Unitarian Universalists may identify as Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Humanist, Pagan, or with other philosophical or religious traditions. We promote reason and tolerance in our communities and embrace a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. As members of a non-creedal religious tradition, we Unitarian Universalists are encouraged to discern our own beliefs about different spiritual topics."
The ELCA is going the way of universal salvation and now they are letting people who develop youth curriculum for an Association that believes "all paths lead to God" mentor the youth leaders that teach our kids. This is a serious thing. There is only one way to heaven, and it is through Jesus Christ. This is about people's souls. Don't let the ELCA drag your children to hell with their false universal salvation teachings.
In my last blog I asked the question, "How many times in the last 2 years have you heard your ELCA pastor explain, during a sermon, class or any time, how someone becomes a Christian?"
I know there are a lot of good, Bible-believing ELCA pastors who do not believe in Universal Salvation. Thank God for them. But the fact is, the ELCA seminaries are producing pastors every year and they are taught that all people are saved. If you believe otherwise you're one of the minority in this denomination. As the seminaries go, so goes the church.
But who cares? Right? Well, we all should. This is a dangerous belief. The pastors are playing with people's souls. What if only those who have Jesus as their Lord and Savior are going to heaven? (and that's true) It means a lot of people are NOT going to heaven. And the ELCA is responsible for those they didn't tell. The enemy is winning here. He has God's Church believing a lie and being silent. I heard a stat that says the ELCA is sending out 60% less missionaries than they were 20 years ago. I should be shocked, but the reality is, if the ELCA thinks everyone is saved anyway, why send out missionaries?
Universal Salvation is a lie and a huge risk. Hell is a reality. Nobody wishes their worst enemy be sent there. The Bible says those that don't know Jesus will go there. When ELCA pastors are taught to disregard the Bible, in so many ways, salvation in Jesus can be discarded too, because it feels better to say "everyone will be saved." They say this even though there are hundreds of Bible verses about people going to hell. I guess the Universal Salvation teaching seminaries disregard those verses too.