A couple days ago, I saw a sign at a small demonstration against ISIS stating, “There is a humanitarian crisis in Kurdistan but nobody cares because they can't blame Israel.”
If the shoe fits.
|Exposing the ELCA||
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has been in the news continuously over the last few weeks due to their barbaric and systematic executions of Christians. ISIS, or ISIL, has demanded that Christians convert to Islam or be killed. Christians have been shot in the head, hung, crucified and beheaded. Many Christian women have been raped and some forced to become sex slaves. There are reports that children too are being raped and beheaded. This is pure evil. It is genocide. Christians need to stand up against this evil and pray for God's deliverance of His people - and many Christian denominations and organizations have been doing just that. Meanwhile the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is often quick to respond to world events, still has not issued any statement condemning the actions of this Muslim terrorist group. Nothing. Just sickening silence . . . but the ELCA has issued two press releases regarding the Israeli-Gaza hostilities. (see here) I find that telling.
A couple days ago, I saw a sign at a small demonstration against ISIS stating, “There is a humanitarian crisis in Kurdistan but nobody cares because they can't blame Israel.”
If the shoe fits.
It's human nature. When somebody, an organization or political party one supports, does something vile, people tend to ignore it or justify it. But when somebody, organization or political party one does not support, does something wrong, condemnation comes quickly.
That is true with Christian denominations and federations too. It's plain to see when you look at the words and actions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran World Federation. They must really admire the Palestinians, and moreover, really dislike the Jews (Israel).
Since the beginning of the year, and increasingly more in the month of July, thousands of rockets have been shot at civilian populations from the Palestinians in Gaza into Israel. Not surprisingly, there has not been a word of condemnation said in regard to this by the ELCA and LWF. Three Israeli teens were recently kidnapped and murdered by the Palestinians and still no condemnation from these two Christian bodies.
But look what happens when Israel finally decided to take action against the constant rocket attacks against their citizens. Immediately both the ELCA and the LWF write letters/press releases calling for a ceasefire, an end to the hostility. (see here and here) It is only when Israel defends itself that the liberal Lutherans start shouting to end the fighting. The ELCA and LWF are showing their true colors.
One has to really not like a country or a nationality to be silent when that group is being attacked, but then immediately calls for the hostilities to stop once the nation begins to defend itself.
If you would like more evidence documenting the ELCA and LWF's adversarial actions and position concerning Israel see http://www.exposingtheelca.com/on-israel.html
Exposing the ELCA asked its readers their response to this question:
"The ELCA advocates that Israel give its land to the Palestinians. Do you believe Christians are better off living in Israel or a newly created Muslim country?"
89.53% (248 votes) said "Better off living in Israel."
10.47% (29 votes) said "Better off living in a newly created Muslim country."
Total Votes: 277
Check out what these ELCA Synods are bolstering:
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is proudly promoting in their synod newsletter:
The Rocky Mountain Synod's newsletter from a few months ago promoted:
Three ELCA synods in Illinois and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois promote Lutheran Advocacy—Illinois, a justice ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Among the issues they advocate for are:
The 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly elected William Chris Boerger the new secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Rev. Boerger is the former bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod, a position he held for 12 years. He made a name for himself, over those twelve years, showing himself to be a vocal gay rights, liberal activist. So let me tell you more about the man the ELCA has voted to hold the second most powerful position in the denomination.
The Homosexual Rights Activist:
Here is a statement made by Bishop Boerger to the Washington state Senate Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee:
"Mr. Chairman, I am Chris Boerger, the bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Church in America . . . In 2009, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to commit itself to find ways to allow congregations who choose to do so, to support and hold publicly accountable lifelong monogamous same gender relationships . . .One of the people who had questions about our doing this said, "Bishop, isn't that marriage?" And my response is, "Well, in everything but name." The reality is, the Lutheran church has always held that it is the state that defines what marriage is; it's the church that then blesses people who enter into that relationship. We have now stated our desire to bless those who are publicly accountable in lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships. We can't call it marriage, you can . . . we ask for that freedom." (see here, beginning at the 1:12:20 mark)
The Lutheran LGBT rights organization ReconcilingWorks celebrated the election of Rev. Boerger to his new office and Executive Director, Emily Eastwood said, “Pr. Chris Boerger has been an ally for full participation for many years. His prophetic witness in favor of civil marriage equality for same-gender couples before the Washington State legislature was remarkable in its clarity. Chris ordained our own regional director, Pr. Kari Lipke, and has been an avid supporter of clergy in same-gender relationships as their bishop...We applaud his election and look forward to the ways in which we may partner with him in the years ahead.” (read here)
ReconcilingWorks also reports that in 2012 “Bishop Chris Boerger said in his remarks closing the synod assembly that he pledged to continue speaking in favor of civil marriage equality until it became the law of the land in Washington State.” (read here)
At a retirement party/roast for Bishop Boerger “Jan Nesse said that in this unique time to be the church she and the Bishop had more talks about sex than in all the years she taught sex education.” (read here)
The Anti-Israel Activist:
Bishop Boerger and Presiding Bishop-elect Elizabeth E. Eaton were two of 58 ELCA bishops who signed a letter to President Obama in 2009 concerning Israel and Palestinians. In the letter it was written, “We express profound concern at the stalemate that persists and at the fading hopes for a two-state solution due to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” And “We urge the U.S. to insist upon an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land...” and “ The ELCA has long called for a halt to settlements, and we reiterate that call now with a deep sense of urgency.” (read here)
The Environmental Activist:
“ELCA Bishop Chris Boerger (NW WA) stated that it 'is “blatant sin” for human beings to fail to protect creation' (ELCA News Release 11/23/2010). Boerger represented ELCA bishops as leaders from 56 denominations and faith-based organizations called on the US Senate to leave intact the power of the US Environmental Protection Agency to regulate pollutants.” (read here)
“Chris Boerger, who serves as bishop for the Northwest Washington Synod, came to Washington, D.C., as part of a delegation of senior religious leaders to speak to members of Congress and to Obama administration officials about a proposed gold and copper mine, which threatens the world’s largest wild salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska.” (read here)
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:
Here are some of the pro-homosexuality resolutions:
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)
Its spring, which means ELCA synod assemblies are beginning. These annual, boring, waste-of-money gatherings usually include a wide variety of attacks on God's Word and the ever popular anti-Semitic based attacks on Israel. The ELCA's Rocky Mountain Synod has already gone on record at their assembly last weekend passing a resolution called “Accompaniment, Awareness-Raising, & Advocacy For The People Of The Holy Land.” (see here)
In the Resolution the Assembly resolved to “affirm our support for sisters and brothers in the ELCJHL as they remain faithful to the Gospel amid the oppression of Israeli military occupation”. Saying Israel is oppressing people and occupying land is a fallacy which is often repeated by those who are anti-Semitic.
The Assembly then encouraged people to use the ELCA Peace Not Walls resources claiming that it has “reliable information about the situation” (in Israel). In no way is the ELCA a reliable source for what is happening in Israel.
The passed resolution also seeks a congressional investigation into Israel's use of U.S. aid. The ELCA's aim in that request is to cut or end aid to Israel so as to hurt the Jewish nation. Remember, the ELCA views Israel as oppressors and occupiers of land that they think the Arabs should have. Stopping U.S. aid to Israel would increase the chances of that happening.
And finally, the Assembly resolved, “that this assembly urges members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to consider investing their retirement and other funds in a manner consistent with the Peace Not Walls campaign.” This is another attempt to hurt Israel financially by cutting personally financial investments going to Israeli companies. The ELCA would rather have those investments go to entities within the terrorist controlled Gaza strip.
The Rocky Mountain Synod also had a workshop during the assembly called, “Peace Not Walls: Why are we involved in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? Faces of the Occupation” (see here).
Satan's desire, shown throughout history, has always been to destroy God's chosen people, the Jews. Today he is using the ELCA, who claims to follow Christ, to try to accomplish that purpose.
A news release by the ELCA News Service details the happenings at the recent ELCA Conference of Bishops. The news service reports that -
“David Swartling, ELCA secretary, who announced that he would not seek another term as secretary at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. In an earlier communication sent to the Conference of Bishops, (Presiding Bishop Mark) Hanson indicated his willingness to be available for another term.”
We also are told that ELCA treasurer, Rev. Linda Norman, announced “Financial contributions from congregations for the work of synods and the churchwide organization in the form of Mission Support for the first seven months in 2012 was $27.3 million, a decrease of $0.4 million or 1.3 percent from the previous year.”
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson also reported to the Council of Bishops at this time. In that report Hanson said, "If we lose our deep rootedness in Scripture, in the Lutheran Confessions, in the church and in Christ, we will lose confidence in the Holy Spirit. We will lose faith." (read here)
I don't disagree with Bishop Hanson's statement, but the irony in the ELCA leader’s words is the fact that the ELCA has already “los(t) our deep rootedness in Scripture” and continues to walk farther away from God’s Word. He is culpable and responsible for that happening.
The ELCA is not rooted in Scripture (or “in the Lutheran Confessions, in the church and in Christ.”) Sadly, Bishop Hanson doesn’t realize it. He needs to open his eyes and see the truth of the situation the ELCA is in and that they already have lost confidence in the Holy Spirit and have lost faith.
Bishop Hanson also made this statement. "We also have the opportunity and responsibility to ask, what does it mean to be deeply rooted in Christ and always being made new as we live in communities of increasing religious pluralism?" "With the recent increase in anti-Muslim incidents, the deadly shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and demonstrations and violence in the Middle East, we all need to be asking, what is a faithful, Lutheran evangelical witness in such a context?”
I find it perplexing that Bishop Hanson would highlight the incredibly rare problem of “anti-Muslim” incidents in his report. The statistics show this:
In the United States, “There were 107 hate crimes recorded against Muslims in 2009, compared to 931 anti-semitic hate crimes.” (read here)
“Law enforcement agencies reported 1,376 hate crimes motivated by religious bias. A breakdown of biases for these offenses showed:
70.1 percent were anti-Jewish.
9.3 percent were anti-Islamic.”
2009 statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice— Federal Bureau of Investigation (read here)
Here are some statistics from New York state:
“Anti-Semitic incidents, which made up 37 percent of the reported hate crimes, were up 15 percent in one year, from 219 in 2008 to 251 in 2009.”
“Crimes motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment rose from eight to 11.” (read here)
The ELCA has a Muslim fetish and an anti-Jewish spirit that continues to manifest itself just like it did days ago in the ELCA’s attack letter to the United States Congress against Israel. (read here)
As reported by Exposing the ELCA in a previous blog (read here) the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mark Hanson, and his liberal religious leader friends wrote a letter to the U.S. Congress seeking to stop military aid to Israel. Proud of their work, the church leaders publicized their letter on the newswire. Well, what do you know? Jewish leaders found out about Hanson’s letter and are not at all pleased.
Here are some snippets from recent news articles addressing the situation:
“The letter, signed by 15 Christian leaders, including representatives from the National Council of Churches and a number of mainline Protestant denominations, provoked angry and articulate responses from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Rabbis (RA). The JCPA was spot-on when it said the letter represents an escalation in anti-Israel activity.” (read here)
"When religious liberty and safety of Christians across the Middle East are threatened by the repercussions of the Arab Spring, these Christian leaders have chosen to initiate a polemic against Israel, a country that protects religious freedom and expression for Christians, Muslims and others." (read here)
“The letter calling for hearings and reassessment was issued without outreach to longtime partners in public advocacy within the Jewish community. It was released on the eve of Shabbat, just before a long weekend of Jewish and American holidays. And it was distributed at a time when Congress is out of session, in the midst of the general election campaign.
We find these tactics to be disrespectful of channels of communication that have been constructed over decades, and an essential declaration of separation from the endeavor of interfaith consultation on matters of deep concern to the Jewish community. Indeed, we find this breach of trust to be so egregious that we wonder if it may not warrant an examination on the part of the Jewish community at large of these partnerships and relationships that we understood ourselves to be working diligently to preserve and protect.”
“. . .to selectively invoke the representations of a Jewish organization for their own purposes is reprehensible." (read here)
“It is outrageous that mere days after the Iranian president repeated his call for Israel’s elimination, these American Protestant leaders would launch a biased attack against the Jewish state by calling on Congress to investigate Israel’s use of foreign aid. In its clear bias against Israel, it is striking that their letter fails to also call for an investigation of Palestinian use of U.S. foreign aid, thus once again placing the blame entirely on Israel."
“ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, ‘These church leaders are basically saying that Israel should be bullied by financial pressure into concessions to the unreconstructed, terror-supporting Palestinian Authority (PA), which does not accept Israel as a Jewish state and has not fulfilled its 19-year old commitments under the signed Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, dismantle terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. In fact, the PA refuses to negotiate at all and has not done so for several years. Indeed, it is shocking that, despite all these things, these church leaders have not criticized the $600 million in U.S. aid to the PA or called for the PA to fulfill its signed commitments.
At a time when Americans are being assaulted in countries across the Middle East (other than Israel) and at a time when Egypt, the most populous Arab state, has fallen under the domination of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, whose leaders have spoken with gusto about the coming demise of America, these church leaders are obsessed with penalizing and pressuring one country – Israel. Their preoccupation with and animus against the Jewish state seems boundless and is not disguised with pompous and insincere talk about their ‘moral responsibility’ to call for restricting aid to Israel.’”(see here)
“Their letter to Congress contains a brief appendix elucidating why they think conditions are deteriorating. There we learn of restrictions on movement in the West Bank, though not of the many ways in which the Netanyahu government in recent years has loosened those restrictions. There is no mention, for example, of the recent steps by the government of Israel to assist the Palestinian Authority as it faces a financial crisis. We learn of Israel’s 'comprehensive blockade' on Gaza but not that Gaza has a border with Egypt — or that it is still not fully open. We are told that Israel killed thousands of unarmed Palestinian civilians but not that the churches rely for this information on data provided by anti-Israel NGOs or left-wing Israeli groups.
Those statistics show that a suspicious preponderance of the casualties are young males, hardly a cross-section of the unarmed Palestinian population. This too is an old story: NGOs claim a high number of civilian casualties, while the government of Israel claims that a high percentage of those wounded or killed were combatants. In one famous example, Hamas after the 2008–9 Gaza conflict admitted to numbers far closer to Israel’s official figures than to those of the NGOs. Of this issue the churches’ letter says nothing, simply accepting the numbers that critics of Israel supply.” (read here)
“you realize that there is essentially nothing that Israel has ever done to defend itself that these people have approved. They object to
• the security fence;
• travel checkpoints, even into Israel from the Palestinian territories;
• targeted attacks on terrorists;
• demolitions of homes known to be used by terrorists;
• any military presence by IDF forces in the West Bank;
• sea blockade of ships seeking to smuggle weapons into Gaza;
• air strikes in any form;
• ground incursions into the West Bank or Gaza.” (see here)
“. . .the letter will affect cooperation between the signatory organizations and the Jewish community, as the reactions of major American Jewish organizations already demonstrate.” (read here)
The ELCA has once again shown itself to be an enemy of the people of Israel and now the Jewish people know it.
It comes as a surprise to many when anti-Semitism is propagated by people and denominations operating under the banner of Christianity. The latest incident comes from a letter sent to the United States Congress by the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Mark S. Hanson, and his liberal church cohorts telling the Congress to investigate Israel and consider halting military aid to them.
That letter was broadcast far and wide by the ELCA News Service, with the subtitle “ELCA, other churches call for investigation of military aid to Israel.” So make no mistake, this is a call by the ELCA, not just the act of the presiding bishop.
The letter has its foundation in anti-Semitism. One way this is apparent is when one considers that the US government gives military and/or financial aid to many countries which are, in fact, ruthlessly oppressive and violent. There are Muslim countries that brutalize Christian citizens, women, non-Muslims and homosexuals. Countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Lebanon to name a few. Yet, where is the letter asking for an investigation into military aid or financial aid to these countries? Countries which HATE America. Countries which keep “Palestinians” in slums. Countries and governments which will kill you for having a Bible. The silence from the ELCA concerning these countries is deafening.
The constant call for Israel to give in to the demands of Muslims makes the their motivation obvious. That call is the call of Hamas. It is the call of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the call of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
I have decide not to link to the bishop’s propaganda piece. If someone really wants to read it, a simple and quick Google search will be able to produce it. For more information on the ELCA’s positions and actions against Israel see here.