ELCA pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber is held in high esteem among the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is asked to speak at many large denominational gatherings and high-profile ELCA services indicating how she is revered in the denomination. The ELCA's Metropolitan New York Synod posted on Facebook that “Pastor Nadia is the closest thing the ELCA has to a rock star.”
Rev. Bolz-Weber was involved in Wicca before going to an ELCA seminary to become a pastor.
On a Bolz-Weber book publicity tour, Nadia read to the audience from her memoir about this time of her life saying, “I had never stopped believing in God, not really. But I did have to go hang out with His aunt for awhile. She is called the goddess. My first experience with Wicca . . .”
The ELCA 'rock star' goes on -
“The goddess we spoke of never felt to me like a substitute for God but simply another aspect of the divine, like God's aunt or something. When I tell other Christians of my time with the goddess I think they expect me to characterize it as a period in my life when I was misguided and that now thankfully I have come back to both Jesus and my senses. But it's not like that. I can't imagine that the God of the universe is limited to our ideas of God. I can't image that God doesn't reveal Godself in countless ways outside of the simple system of Christianity. And in a way I need a god who is bigger and more nimble and more mysterious than what I could understand or contrive.”
“In fact, I felt guided by god the whole time I sojourned outside of the church. The divine source of my life and my identity perhaps knew that I needed to bask in the female face of god for a good long while outside the church before I could ever return to it whole and able to see the divine feminine in my own traditional.” (see here)
Wicca is a religion of witches, witchcraft and pentagrams. The Christian Bible is not God's Word, according to this idolatrous religion, and they do not worship the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Wiccan deity is completely different from the God of the Bible. Yet the ELCA's “rock star” believes that the goddess worshipped by witches is just another dimension or persona of the God of the Bible. The female side of Him. Christians know Jesus as God's Son, but according to Bolz-Weber, the Wiccan goddess is his close relative. Another aspect of God. Like the forth member of the Trinity?
This is heresy.
Bolz-Weber is a heretic. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lifts up this pastor as a leading teacher in the denomination. How could they do this? It's easy really, this is an acceptable teaching in the ELCA. The current issue of the official magazine of the ELCA, The Lutheran, states this clearly:
“And sometimes we’d wonder just what God was up to in this religiously plural world. Perhaps — here’s a specifically Christian way of putting it — our learning from our neighbors of other faiths might just be giving us glimpses into dimensions of Christ’s lordship, and the saving activity of God the Trinity, that we hadn’t been expecting.” (read here)
Read more about the life and teachings of ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber (click here and scroll down).
The Director of Justice for Women of the ELCA (WELCA), Inez Torres Davis, doesn't like abstinence education. In a WELCA blog posted on their website she states, “there has been no evidence that abstinence-only sex education is effective for much of anything but making girls feel badly about themselves.” The studies show that she is wrong (see here).
Then, in complete disregard for what God has said, Inez Torres Davis writes: “I have no quarrel with the idea we should encourage our children to abstain from sexual activity until they reach a certain age or marriage. . .” Notice she says abstain “until they reach a certain age.” Really? Is that what the ELCA is teaching? Sex before marriage is okay? It wouldn't surprise me since the ELCA is fine with homosexual couples engaging in sex. Question: when was the last time you heard an ELCA leader say it is a sin for non-married individuals to be sexually active?
Inez Torres Davis goes on to say, “that is how I raised my two daughters. They also received good sex education in their public school. But, I did not teach them that their remaining virgins would define their worth as a young woman. I did not teach them that keeping their virginity was more important than using their heads as well as their hearts.”
Inez Torres Davis ends with this, “I believe we should all just say no! We should all just say no to abstinence-only sex education as it does nothing to protect the health of youth. On the contrary, it attacks the mental health of our youth and sends an oppressive message to both young women and men. Just say no!” (see here)
In other words, WELCA is telling people, and at the very least endorsing the message, to “just say no” to God and His teaching.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 - For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
Here are two more blogs by Exposing the ELCA featuring Inez Torres Davis (here and here).
God tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). He also tells us, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:11).
With that in mind, listen to the disturbing and defiling things ELCA leaders are saying. Note: I have edited the foul language with asterisks (*). The ELCA leaders did not edit their words.
“Job took his precious handful of seeds to God and God – there’s no delicate way to say this – God s**ts on him,” spoken by Rev. Wil Gafney during her sermon given at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's chapel service (ELCA) where she teaches. The seminary website and Rev. Gafney's website later posted the sermon. (see here and here)
Rev. Gafney's sermon also included this crude remark in reference to Job, “Then when he loses every thing he has including the skin he is in, it is because God gambles with his life and the lives of his children, consigning them to death to prove a point and win a bet with a character who is a satan but not the devil, (yet). And Job has the – I have to say it because the text calls for it – Job has the balls to sue God over what he knows was an injustice done to him . . . ”
ELCA Pastor Ericc Clapp, serving Immanuel Lutheran Church in Camanche, Iowa writes in his blog -
“If you are constantly negative or acting like an a*s, you will be banned.” (see here) And,
“We need to call bulls**t...” (see here)
“I won’t lie, the only words that ran through my head when I put this book down after finishing it were, 'Holy s**t.'” (see here)
ELCA New England Synod bishop Jim Hazelwood recommended in his blog that people should “Form a WTHIGOAU group. This stands for What the H*ll is Going On Around Us.”(see here)
The queen of foul language, the popular ELCA pastor, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, has so many examples to choose from, here are just a few -
Breaking the second commandment, Bolz-Weber says, “Oh my god, are you people whiny.” (see here)
Here are some snippets from Rev. Bolz-Weber's new book. “'S**t,' I thought to myself,” and “It's a f**king fairy tale,” and “What the h*ll am I'm doing?” and “Jesus gathered with some real f**k-ups, held up bread and said take and eat . . .” (see Bolz-Weber's book Pastrix, in the section “Fall 2005” here)
These are ELCA leaders proudly, with intent, saying these things. This kind of talk is not Christ-like. Granted, these people serve in a denomination with a track record which shows little regard for what the Bible says. Scripture is arbitrary to them. But one would think this kind of talk would be something of which these “Christian” leaders would be embarrassed and try to refrain. That is not the case; these ELCA leaders are proud of the foul words they use.
ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber defends her foul language, “I swear like a truck driver . . . I refuse to pretend I’m somebody I’m not . . . I speak like other people.” And “I have not said the ‘F-word’ in a sermon. When I swear it’s really for emphasis or humor, not to be mean or to be foul toward someone. Just colorful and funny speech that is effective.” (read here)
Additionally she comments, “Some people think pastors shouldn't swear. I think pastors shouldn't pretend to be people they're not.” (see here)
ELCA leadership, this is what God tells us in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
In James 3:10, God says, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."
I see prideful church leaders who have no interest in conforming their speech to be more like Christ. It is no surprise. It is clear that it is not only speech that is affected by stubborn unwillingness to conform to God's ways, leadership and teaching. This translates to encouragement toward other blatantly sinful choices and ways of living. Leaders lead . . . one question is, to where are they leading those who will follow?
--- Updates: ELCA pastor Martin W. Eldred of Joy Lutheran Church in Eagle River, AK commented on an ELCA facebook page saying "Now THATS f**king offensive." (find here)
ELCA pastor Eric Clapp, referenced and quoted above tweeted this:
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Berlin, Pennsylvania held their first vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America last Sunday. It passed 132-12. The 2nd vote is scheduled for March, 2014.
Please keep the congregation in your prayers.
The Roman solders mocked Jesus the day they crucified Him (Mark 15:16-20). Today we have an ELCA seminary professor, and the institution which employs her, doing the same.
The Rev. Wil Gafney is an Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, an ELCA seminary. Incredulously, Rev. Gafney has a habit of mocking and insulting Jesus (see past blog here). It seems Rev. Gafney revels in it. This time the ELCA seminary professor placed an image on her website of the “Last Supper” where Jesus and His disciples are depicted as women. (see here)
We all know that calling a person of one gender, the opposite gender, is extremely insulting. Rev. Gafney, a professor and educator of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, whose job is to instruct future leaders and pastors in the denomination, continues to intentionally insult the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.
More on Rev. Gafney next week...
(Written by Pastor Tom Brock about a visit he took to Gustavus Adolphus college in September) -
“A Lutheran college loses its religion....
If you go to youtube and type in 'Freshman Orientation at Gustavus' you will find two five minute videos showing the vile sex skits to which Gustavus Adolphus College Freshman are exposed at orientation. Gustavus is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the most liberal branch of American Lutheranism. I visited the campus today and walked past the chaplains' offices and the offices of the religion professors, wondering what I would see on their doors. A picture of Jesus or a Bible verse? None of that. Instead I saw signs saying 'Gay safe zone' and 'Hate free zone'. One religion prof showed a rainbow sticker and a sign 'My Karma ran over your dogma'. One door had a posting for feminist theology, another door or two displayed images from Eastern religions. As I was perusing the doors, an Asian religion professor was talking to a student about the different kinds of meditation. Nothing of Jesus. This is a Lutheran college of the ELCA. Please pray.
Pastor Tom Brock”
Last month Antje Jackelén was elected the new archbishop of the Church of Sweden. Antje Jackelén use to teach in the United States at an ELCA seminary. She was a professor at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. “From 2001-2007, Dr. Jackelén taught systematic theology and religion and science...and was director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science.” (see here)
Due to the election process in Sweden, we have the privilege of learning more about this former ELCA seminary professor, including what she believes.
Here is what has been reported:
- “During her questioning in Uppsala, the new archbishop also said that the Church of Sweden has more in common with other religions than with other Christian churches, that the Virgin Birth must be understood metaphorically, that hell doesn’t exist and that the Biblical texts should not be taken as truth.” (see here)
- Antje Jackelén “objected to making belief in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ a benchmark of the Christian faith. 'It is strange that the question of the virgin birth has become something of a faith test,' she told Kyrkans Tidning, adding the Bible had been interpreted in different ways across time and cultures and that many different cultures had made use of a virgin birth as a way to show a particular person's self-importance.” (see here)
- Dispatch International writes “Like kings, all bishops have their own motto and Jackelén chose 'God is greater'. If that sounds familiar, it may be due to the fact that an Arabic translation renders it as 'Allahu akbar'. There are those who believe that her choice is far from random – but very deliberate. Many have been taken aback by the theological opinions Jackelén revealed during a questioning in Uppsala on October 1. The candidates for the highest position in the Swedish church were asked if they thought Jesus presented a truer picture of God than Muhammed. With her evasive answer Jackelén suddenly emerged as the bishop who couldn’t choose between Jesus and Muhammed. This provoked strong reactions on some editorial pages. Kyrkans Tidning thought that the bishop’s answer might indicate that Christ is being relegated to the margins of the Church of Sweden and Dagens Nyheter encouraged the candidates to show some theological backbone. The editorial writer at the newspaper Dagen wrote that it is time to accept the idea of a split within the church – between Christians and those who think all religions are equally good.” (see here)
While a professor of the ELCA, Antje Jackelén signed a letter declaring her support of evolution and rejecting the Biblical account of creation and Noah's ark. (see here) Promoting evolution is something she is known for in Sweden (read here)
I know it will not surprise anyone to also learn that former ELCA seminary professor Jackelén rejects the Biblical authority on homosexuality. She said this during a sermon she gave at the seminary (LSTC):
“Nevertheless, talking bodies and sex is difficult, especially in churches. We need to find holistic ways of talking about sexuality in church – that was one of the take-home messages from an LSTC leadership conference a couple of years ago. 'The church can't deal with homosexuality because we can't deal with sexuality,' claimed Rev. Jeremiah Wright nine months ago standing at this same lectern. He said so at a workshop for medical and religious professionals on HIV/AIDS.” Dr. Jackelén continues, “The incapacity of dealing with sexual love is not a marginal problem. It costs lives. When homosexual men are forced into heterosexual marriages, they are likely to spread a potential HIV infection to their wives. This happens in the Christian family, with fatal consequences. How can a church proclaim love of God and love of neighbor as the greatest commandments and at the same time sacrifice lives on the altar of the hypocrisy of so-called Christian morality?” (see here)
Rev. Paul T. McCain, made this comment following an article regarding the newly-elected archbishop Antje Jackelén:
“This is absolutely gut wrenching stuff. When I first read all this I just felt sick to my stomach. I have friends in Sweden who have been fighting for years against the apostasy that has overtaken the state church.
In some ways, the election of a person who is so openly apostate makes their task 'easier' simply in the sense that the issues are so starkly put on display for all to see.
Oh, and by the way, she has taught at the ELCA seminary in Chicago.
She frankly is simply saying what most every mainline protestant liberal church actually believes. The only 'secret' is that a huge number of laypersons simply are still kept in the dark about the degree to which outright apostasy has overtaken their churches.
Back when I was serving a parish in Iowa, in the early 1990s, a new ELCA pastor moved in and we paid a courtesy visit and as things happened, it was a very cordial chat so a fellow LCMS pastor and I asked her, 'Hey, what do you teach your folks about this?' And we pointed out to the cemetery next to her churches and the rows of tombstones.
She said, 'Oh, the resurrection? It's a wonderful story and so inspiring. Of course, I don't believe in a bodily resurrection of Jesus, but I preach about it, because that's what the people believe.'
We both just stood there in stunned silence for a few moments." (read here)
(I received this the other day. It's written by Pastor Tom Brock) - Today I walked through my old alma mater, Luther Theological Seminary in St Paul, Mn. It is known as probably the most conservative of the ELCA seminaries. You wouldn’t know it from the number of gay/lesbian bumper stickers in the parking lot. Upon entering the main building a sign was up promoting a new book at Luther’s Bookstore, “Pastrix” by ELCA Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. She was a favorite speaker at the ELCA Youth Assembly and a few months ago spoke at the historic Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis—using the “f” word in her speech. I flipped through her new book and she repeatedly uses the “f” word, referring to the 12 disciples as a “bunch of “f” ups”. Former ELCA Head Bishop Mark Hanson praises the book on the dustcover. Even more disturbing is that Bolz-Weber in a sermon on Christ the King Sunday denied that Christ died in our place to pay for our sins. To quote:
And just to be clear: The cross is not about God as divine child abuser sadly sending his little boy off to be killed because we were bad and well, somebody had to pay.
Can someone deny the things of “first importance” as Paul puts it in I Corinthians 15:3, and still be a Christian? Yet she is a favorite speaker at ELCA events.
This attack on Christ’s substitutionary atonement is also going on at the ELCA’s Wartburg Seminary. Professor of New Testament David Lull wrote this:
" . . .I can’t get past the idea that God had a thirst for innocent blood that had to be quenched, or that God’s justice required a death-penalty for sinners until Jesus’ death satisfied God’s wrath. Even if Bible passages can be made to support these ideas, I can’t get past the idea that God had been unforgiving before Jesus died. That’s not the God I find in the Bible."
“Even if” the Bible teaches it, Professor Lull rejects it.
So now the day has come that the ELCA allows pastors and professors to deny the central teaching of the Christian faith: that sinless Jesus Christ died in our place to pay for our sins so that we could receive the forgiveness of God.
Like I said, a very sad day walking through Luther Seminary.
The following information comes from a report on the ELCA Conference of Bishops held October 2013 -
(ELCA Secretary David) “Swartling also presented information about the number of congregations disaffiliating from the ELCA, reporting that 951 congregations have taken a total of 1,030 first votes; 717 first votes passed; 313 first votes failed; 693 second votes have been take; 658 second votes passed; 35 second votes failed. A total of 647 congregations have been officially removed from the roster of congregations of the ELCA.”
“Heard a report from the Rev. Linda Norman, ELCA treasurer, who shared that the ELCA churchwide organization had income in excess of expense of $2.5 million for the seven-month period ending Aug. 31, an unfavorable variance $0.6 million compared to last year at this time and favorable to the period budget by $5.6 million. Expenses during the previous seven months have increased by $2.9 million or 8.2 percent from the previous year. Income from congregations shared with synods and the churchwide organization in the form of Mission Support for the previous seven months was $26.7 million, a decrease of $0.5 million or 2 percent compared to this period last year. The revised annual Mission Support budget for 2013 is $49.4 million, about $0.4 million or 0.95 percent lower than the amount received in 2012. Norman said the churchwide organization is monitoring Mission Support trends, looking into 'the ecology of our giving.'” (read here)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America promotes that everyone, worldwide, is saved by grace. This theological position flies in the face of sound Biblical teaching. That's why you will not hear ELCA leadership respond to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” with a Biblical answer like “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31) or “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).
This false understanding of salvation for all plays out clearly through the ELCA's policy for the very small number of missionaries that they send out. ELCA missionary Rev. Angela Zimmann lets everyone know what her job is NOT as a missionary of the church. She writes,
“My job as a missionary in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is not to convert anyone to anything. The 'accompaniment model' for missionary work, to which we subscribe, is defined as walking together in solidarity, practicing interdependence and mutuality.” (read here)
Jesus said, "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 27:19). Yet in complete opposition to the Prince of Peace, an official website of the ELCA churchwide published an article whose author clearly states,
“I usually associate evangelism with an effort to convert nonbelievers to Christianity, something that makes me very uncomfortable. Too often the desire to bring about conversions grows out of a belief that nonbelievers need to be 'saved' from eternal damnation by adopting the Christian faith.
To the extent that evangelism is about 'saving souls,' I want nothing to do with it.
I approach matters of faith and belief with humility, unwilling to assert the superiority of my own religious beliefs over those of others.” (read here)
Can it be true? The ELCA and its missionaries do not seek to bring anyone to knowledge of God and faith in Jesus? There is no doubt. The ELCA once again admits it on their website Living Lutheran -
“Today, missionaries with the ELCA serve in 48 countries. . .Most missionaries from Europe and North America are now lay people with special expertise, rather than clergy intent on conversion.” (read here)
I imagine that the enemy of God is very happy that the ELCA does not seek to save anyone who does not know Christ as Lord and Savior. So if ELCA missionaries and ELCA leaders are not interested in bringing the lost to Jesus, then what is the point?