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.
Some ELCA members and churches believe they are not and will not be affected by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s decision to go against God by “unsinning” homosexuality. Those members are living in a dream world. Consider the youth. ELCA leadership knows that they themselves have great influence to change the attitudes, thoughts and beliefs of youth, and that is what’s happening.
The ELCA has gone out of their way to put homosexuality in the face of the youth and to present it as normal and “good.” The ELCA leadership at the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering brought a proudly homosexual speaker to the Gathering to speak to the youth about his life. This speaker had a movie made about him by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yes, the same extreme organization that declares a number of Christian organizations (like the Family Research Council), who believe in traditional, Biblical marriage to be “hate groups.”
The speaker, Jamie Nabozny began his speech to 30,000 ELCA youth by saying, “Good evening. I am honored to be here today and even more honored that the ELCA invited me here as an openly gay man and an anti-bullying activist.” (which was followed by very loud applause) Mr. Nabozny spoke for nearly 10 minutes. (see here)
As Exposing the ELCA has already reported, a chaperone at the ELCA’s 2012 National Youth Gathering said, “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.” (read here)
Here is another example of the ELCA referencing homosexuality at the National Youth Gathering. (see here)
Let me be clear, bullying is wrong no matter who it is done to or why, but the ELCA is using the subject of “bullying” to promote their belief about homosexuality and to “normalize” it to young people. In the ELCA’s world, homosexual attraction is God-made and something that should be embraced. What a wicked world that is.
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 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 ELCA 2012 National Youth Gathering is going on as we speak. Over 30,000 youth are estimated to be in attendance. After reading some disturbing reports by a number of orthodox Lutheran pastors about opening night keynote speaker Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber’s message (read about her here) I went to the ELCA’s website to view it myself.
Here are some quotes from Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address and some comments:
Rev. Bolz-Weber starts out mocking the “fundamentalist” church that she grew up in, at one point saying, “They thought they were the only Christians.”
She told the youth that as a teenager she hated Christianity. “I hated it. I hated the smallness. I hated that fact that we had to reject everyone that was not just like us. I hated the narrow-mindedness. That was the only form of Christianity I knew existed and I knew I didn’t like it.”
The main subject of Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address was herself. Of course there were the obligatory mentions of “gay” persons and even “transgender kids.”
Throughout the message there was a lot of bragging about being “Lutheran.” Bolz-Weber said, “Here is what you need to know about this thing you have, this Lutheran liturgy and this Lutheran theology, and this whole tradition. It is a feast, and it is a feast to be shared, and I’m here to tell you, people are hungry. People are hungry. And you have a feast entrusted to you, and they are ready for it.” And “That’s what it looks like to be a Lutheran!”
I have to ask, do we Lutherans worship Martin Luther or Christ? We are to lift up Christ and not our church.
Near the end of her speech she said, “. . . some of your parents and some of your pastors were really upset that I was your speaker tonight. They felt like I was somebody who should not be allowed to talk to tens of thousands of teenagers. And you know what I have to say to that? They are absolutely right . . . I should not be allowed to be here talking to you. But you know what? That’s the God we’re dealing with, people.”
Rev. Bolz-Weber referenced Jesus, saying, "Who from the cross did not even lift a finger to condemn the enemy, but instead said, 'I would rather die than be in the sin-accounting business.'"
Fact is, orthodox theology is clear that Jesus is all about the sin-accounting business. His death on the cross was exactly that. Jesus dying to account for our sins. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:8-9. Additionally, we know with confidence, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16
The very heart of the gospel was not spoken to the youth listening. Our young people need to know that if they do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, their sins are not forgiven, and if they do not receive Jesus their eternal salvation at risk.
I don’t remember hearing anything in Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address about repentance, turning from sin or forgiveness. But she did tell the youth, “I swear like a truck driver.”
The kids at the ELCA National Youth Gathering 2012 got a big dose of the “gospel of affirmation” in the Rev. Bolz-Weber’s keynote address. It is a false gospel.
Dennis E. Marks explains “gospel of affirmation” as: “instead of changing people, God simply affirms people how He finds them.” (read here) Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (Richfield, WI) explains it this way, “This teaching suggests that the good news is that God loves and affirms everyone, regardless of their faith, life style choices, etc. There never is a need for real repentance because God is never angry with us.” (read here)
Based on the video of Bolz-Weber’s address (see here click Wednesday) and on her husband’s blog (see here), the youth ate it up.
“Doesn’t Matter If You’re Straight or Gay.”
So says a song played at the ELCA’s 2012 Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Extravaganza is “. . .the annual gathering of adults (professional and volunteers) who work with children and youth in ELCA congregations around the country.” (see here)
This performance was recorded on video and placed on youtube by the “ELCA Youth Ministry Network,” which makes me think they are happy with this portrayal of the denomination, a song that encourages people to live in sin. (What about repentance ELCA leaders?)
The song is called “Party in the ELCA” (it is a parody of a Miley Cyrus song “Party in the USA.”)
The chorus goes:
"We don’t put our hands up when we’re singing to God…
Traditional is how we praise
Nodding our head? No way!
Stand and sit on repeat all day!
We’re coming as we are (sinners and saints)
Doesn’t matter if you’re straight or gay
YEAH! It’s a party in the ELCA!
YEAH! It’s a party in the ELCA!"
In the comments section of a different video of the song, (see here) someone who claims to be the singer in this video says that he will be recording this song with another singer who goes by the name, Agape. (see Agape collaborate on "Party in the ELCA" here, at the 3 min. mark)
What makes that of interest is that Agape is scheduled to perform at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. (see here) I wonder if this song will make an appearance there? After all, they are already singing it for a gathering of the ELCA youth's leaders.
Also during a difference performance of the song and we find out “that the bishop of the ELCA is in the house.”
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.
We really need to start a series called, “Are ELCA colleges Christian?” I say that because it seems to me, more and more, worldly values and morals are taking precedent within ELCA colleges.St. Olaf College is affiliated with the ELCA. On St. Olaf's official website we learn of an event called the “Wellness Olympics” and are told this, “Back by popular demand, the Wellness Center is hosting a team-based competition that tests students’ knowledge of sexual health, reproductive anatomy, and STI statistics. It all culminates in an intense relay race to properly put on a condom while wearing ‘beer goggles.’ Come and bring your friends!” (see here)
On St. Olaf College Wellness Center’s Facebook page we are told of this event, but they call it “Condom Olympics!” The Wellness Center apparently invited 399 Facebook members, who in all likelihood are St. Olaf College students with Facebook accounts, to this “Condom Olympics.” Twenty seven people responded saying they were “Going” to the event and 32 people said they “maybe” going. (see here)
St. Olaf’s Student Government Association’s website announced the event this way, “An interactive competition with the purpose of social norming and learning all about condoms. Ahhhhh yeeeah.” (see here - probably wont be on their webpage for long)
Here is one person’s rude comments about the event - http://locallygrownnorthfield.org/post/25173/
So lets get this straight, an event held at St. Olaf College teaches students how to put on condoms while intoxicated, which is what “beer goggles” are to simulate. People who support St. Olaf College need to know about this.
ELCA pastor, the Rev. Andrena Ingram, will be a keynote speaker at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. (see here)
This is the same Rev. Ingram who recently wrote:
“This is my body, given for you. … this is a condom, given for you. Use it!” (read here)
First, what a disgusting and irreverent use of God’s words. That is unacceptable. Secondly, as you can read, this ELCA leader is big on condom use. So much so that she passed out condoms during a HIV Testing Event/“community meal” held at her church. She writes that she, “Went inside our hall, found a cute little african basket and filled it with condoms . . . and proceeded to place them on each table (about 7 of them), as people were eating.”
Rev. Ingram also said, “I am not going to get into the ‘religious right’ about having sexual relations. Of course I would hope that you are in a committed relationship, and even then, that both of you have been tested every six months for at least a year, before you trust yourselves with each other’s bodies without a condom.” (read here)
So this pastor, who was chosen by ELCA leadership to speak to our youth at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering, passes out condoms within her church (with the intention to continuing this practice), mocks the words of Christ and does not hold or advocate that sex be reserved for those who are married.
Jesus said, "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.” - Mark 9:42
If you know of a group attending the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering, and a church supporting our young people hearing from leaders such as this, I think it’s time you communicate your concern.
"‘This is my body, given for you?’ Condoms?…” - Rev. Andrena Ingram, keynote speaker for the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering.
A Lutheran pro-homosexuality organization reports that an ELCA bishop, the third one Exposing the ELCA has highlighted this year, is advocating for gay marriage. LCNA says, “Richard Graham, ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, will be attending the rally in favor of marriage equality . . .” The bishop was reported to be attending a rally and conducting “lobbying visits to legislators in support of marriage equality bill in Maryland.” (see here)
(see the other ELCA bishops advocacy actions here and here)
In the same vain, a keynote speaker at this summer’s 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering (see here) went to her state legislature (CO) to speak in support of “civil unions for GLBTQ couples.” (see here) This is the same person (ELCA pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber) who recently performed a transgender renaming service at her ELCA church. (see here)
So to all those ELCA members who think that the actions and policies of the ELCA will not affect you, what to you think now? To those of you sending your kids to the ELCA Youth Gathering, do you realize you are sending them into the lion's den? To those of you who think the actions of the ELCA leadership go against God Almighty’s will, how do you justify your contentment continuing to be part of this denomination?