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.
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.
Lutheran - Episcopal Campus Ministries at Western Michigan University is an ecumenical ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA). Browsing the Campus Ministry's internet page (here) they list only two "ministries" taking place.
Another interesting aspect of this ELCA - ECUSA Campus Ministry is that one of their student staff is a Muslim. His bio states,"Since his conversion to Islam in 2006, he has had the opportunity to study Arabic, Islamic theology, Islamic Jurisprudence, and Islamic spiritual philosophy under the eminent Shaykh, Sharif Ahmed Sahibzada of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has volunteered for several Islamic organizations as well as several charity initiatives, most notable of which being Islamic Relief's 'Day of Dignity.' He currently is the main contact for COEXIST at WMU." (read here)
I wonder what the students are learning about the Biblical Jesus, the Word of God - The Holy Bible, and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus alone? By what I read on their website, not much of anything.
By Pastor Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Facebook users can follow Pastor Brock by going here and twitter users here.
I took another walk today through my alma mater, the ELCA's Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota (for my first sad walk see my Facebook posting from October 8, 2013). Four posters were up promoting a retreat for "Lutheran rostered leaders, seminarians, and candidates who publicly identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trangender, or questioning." One participant called it "a celebration of so many points of queerness in my life." Another said "I get to be myself unapologetically and enthusiastically."
Another poster promoted an event to be held at Hamline University entitled "Becoming Buddhist When Jesus Isn't Enough: A Third Wave Womanist Negotiation of Race, Gender, and Religion." Keep in mind that posters cannot go up at Luther without the approval of the seminary. One wonders why Luther's administration would allow such a blasphemous poster.
I happened to bump into a friend of mine on Luther's staff. He told me he is retiring years early from Luther. He explained that after the ELCA's 2009 decision to ordain practicing homosexuals, financial giving to Luther has gone way down. Attendance is also down.
I couldn't help but think of Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one shows, that will he also reap."
Please pray that many, many will leave the ELCA.
ELCA Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo of the Metropolitan New York Synod announced last week that he will be officiating a same-sex wedding this summer. To my knowledge, Bishop Rimbo will be the first ELCA bishop to do this.
Jesus tells us, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life” (Matt. 7:14). God then warns us of false teachers that teach contrary to God's Word, leading people the wrong way and down the broad road to destruction (Matt. 7 +). Bishop Rimbo and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are acting contrary to Scripture and are leading people into bondage to sin. Bishop Rimbo's actions and words tighten the chains of bondage around people who are embracing their sinful desires and are being affirmed in them with the blessing of clergy and the Church. The ELCA and Bishop Rimbo are those whom Jesus warned us about.
Last week Bishop Rimbo was featured in a Wall Street Journal article, where we learned of his intentions to officiate at a same-sex wedding. It is greatly disappointing to read of the extent to which Bishop Rimbo will go to embrace worldly values which go against God's Word.
Readers of the article also learned a lot more about the high-ranking ELCA leader – like his unique, gospel-less ways to try to “rebuild his flock.”
Here are some highlights from the article:
Throughout the whole article there was not one mention of Jesus or God.
Five years ago Bishop Rimbo was quoted by a reporter saying, "After years of personal struggle, of study, of conversations, I believe that people who are gay are created that way. Who am I to deny something that God has created?” (see here)
Bishop Rimbo's personal belief goes completely against Scripture. Who is he to deny what God has said in His Word?
Pilot Douglas Corrigan, in 1938 filed a flight plan saying he was going to fly to California but he somehow ended up in Ireland. He later said that he must have made a navigational error and flown the “wrong way.” (see here) This incidence earned Douglas Corrigan the nickname “Wrong Way.”
Much like Corrigan, Bishop Rimbo and the ELCA leadership, who are supposed to lead people to Christ, are leading their flock and all those listening to them the wrong way, down a road that is broad but leads to destruction. ELCA Bishop Rimbo and his denomination, in my view have also earned the nickname, “Wrong Way.”
Read more about Wrong Way Rimbo here and here -
By Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Facebook users can follow Rev. Brock by going here or twitter users here.
Today (3/14/2014) I visited Wartburg College in Waverly Iowa, an official college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A poster was up advertising the college’s Lenten services. On the poster was a picture of Jesus taking a “selfie” photo. Another picture showed Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a dinosaur. The caption read “Hey, my name is Jesus. My interests are messing with Pharisees,... riding dinosaurs, hanging out in the Wartburg Chapel during Lent…”
Also on campus were a number of posters advertising Gayla Week and Wartburg’s upcoming Drag Show on March 22nd. The show is promoted on the official Wartburg College website (wartburg.edu) as follows:
“Have you ever seen a guy do a back flip in stiletto heels? Now you will. Wartburg’s annual cabaret/drag show has become a phenomenon…About 700 people attended the performance in 2010. The show brings in professional drag queens and kings from around the state of Iowa… Wartburg is an inclusive community…The (drag show) is meant to educate the campus in a fun way about the history of drag and its importance in the LGBT culture…The Wartburg cabaret/drag show honors how the gay rights movement in the United States first began…
The website makes clear that Wartburg College is supportive of students’ sexual orientations and gender expressions. According to the student newspaper, last year’s drag show brought in over $1600.
Lastly, I stepped into Wartburg’s “Reflection Room” which “provides a quiet place for reflection, prayer or meditation…please respect the diverse traditions that are presented in this space. Enter to listen, learn and receive”. In the room was a table presenting a Bible, a Koran, a Buddha statue, a Dali Lama book and a Mwimbieni Bwana book. I couldn’t help but get the not-so-subtle message that all religions are okay. Nowhere did I see any indication of the Bible’s teaching that Jesus is the only way of salvation (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
Wartburg College was founded in 1875 by George Grossman, who was sent by a Lutheran pastor to establish a teacher training school for German immigrants. The college is named after Wartburg Castle in Germany whereMartin Luther translated the Bible into German. If the founders of Wartburg could see what has become of their college, I believe they would weep.
Universalism, the belief that all people will be saved, is prevalent in the ELCA. But an article in the ELCA's official publication, The Lutheran, shows us that universalism has gone from “a” belief, to “the” belief of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA has announced to its readers that the universalism is the doctrine the denomination is now built on.
The ELCA article “Who Gets Saved?” is written by pastor Peter W. Marty and he writes:
Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock responded to The Lutheran article on Facebook saying, “If anyone doubts that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pushes the heresy of universalism--the teaching that all people will be saved whether they believe in Jesus or not--see the article...from The Lutheran, the ELCA's official magazine. Tragic what the writer does with John 14:6, turning the teaching of Jesus on its ear. The author's point is that you don't really need faith in Christ to be saved. John 14:6, Acts 4:12 and 16:31 teach otherwise. No wonder the number of missionaries the ELCA sends out has gone down. If everyone is saved, no need to send missionaries.”
The other day a came across another ELCA pastor publicly proclaiming universalism. ELCA pastor Scot Ruffatto in Mukwonago, Wisconsin (former missionary of the ELCA to the Central African Republic) writes this on his church's blog:
People will be going to hell for eternity because the ELCA has embraced the teaching of universalism and as a result are not proclaiming the Truth of God's Word which says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” - John 3:16-18
See more documentation of the ELCA teaching universalism. (here and here)
(the following is from Pastor Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org)
The liberal-leaning Metro Lutheran in its March 2014 issue has a glowing, front page article about ELCA Lutheran congregations in Minnesota that let Muslims use their worship space. Here is the response I sent:
It was with sadness that I read your report of Lutheran churches offering their worship space so that Muslims can worship Allah. The rationale given by one of the pastors was "our Christian faith calls us to help our neighbors". But are we loving people by helping them stay Muslims? Jesus taught that He is the only way of salvation (John 14:6) and the Apostles taught the same (Acts 4:12). If we truly love people we will urge them to come to Christ for salvation, not help them worship Allah.
Can you imagine Martin Luther promoting the religion of Islam? Please pray for the ELCA. It's time people leave it for a more Biblical branch of Lutheranism.
Pastor Tom Brock
An ELCA pastor wrote the following on an ELCA facebook page which was discussing the movie "Son of God" -
"Not a great title in this era of increasingly aware inter-faith-sensitive folks who see Christian History as a history of violence done toward peoples of other faiths because Christians believed that their spokesperson or prophet was the Son of God (misunderstood to mean that Jesus was God). Son of God was originally attributed to Ceasar. The Christians wanted all to know that their allegiance was NOT to Ceasar, but to the Holy One to whom this itinerant Rabbi pointed. The One who sent me, Jesus would say. In other words, we need to make a theocentric move here in order to show consideration for our Muslim, Jewish, Hindhu, Buddhist....and all other friends. These kinds of Christocentric obsessive movies just continue to give the rest of us Christians a bad name." (reported by Lutheran CORE here and originally post from a closed ELCA facebook group here)
It is this pastor and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that give Christians a bad name, but worse than that, they are leading people away from Truth, God's Word and Faith in God the Son.
The San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches, ELCA has a disturbing blog detailing their involvement and participation in non-Christian religious activities.
This conference of ten ELCA parishes along with three affiliated outreach ministries celebrated “Pluralism Summer” last year. Here is how they describe it.
“As we approach the final third of our 'Pluralism Summer,' I’m reminded of how much I still have to learn. Our guests have fed us with such a rich banquet of information, personal stories and experiences: from chanted Baha’i prayers to a Wiccan guided meditation to a Sufi’s reflections on Ramadan – and more.
And there’s still good stuff to come: Sufism Reoriented, Hindu, Secular Humanism, Sikh, as well as a woman extraordinarily ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. At the end of the summer, we’ll go off on a congregational retreat to Mercy Center, where one of their specialties is a program of East/West meditation. We’ll get to spend some time with Fr. Greg Mayers, who is both priest and Zen master.
Some people may see this venture as a slippery slope into relativism, but I would heartily disagree.” (see here)
One of the churches involved also hosted a “goddess craft sale” and "goddess Harvest Festival” last fall. Among the many activities was a workshop conducted by Mz Dionne Kohler, Drumming Priestess. Mz Kohler writes -
“I am guided by Gaia and the rhythms of Our Mother Earth. As the Spirit Moves
you...please join us, Nov. 16th & 17th.”
Another workshop was titled, “Energize, Renew and Uncoil Your Divine-ness with Kundalini Yoga” (see here)
Below are the 10 parishes that are part of the The San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches, ELCA
Christ Church Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Steven P. Sabin
Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Stacy Boorn
First United Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Susan M. Strouse
(Dean, San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches)
Pastor Susan’s Blog at http://progressivechurch.wordpress.com/
Grace Lutheran Church, ELCA
Lutheran Church of Our Savior, ELCA
Interim Pastor David Rohrer
St. Francis Lutheran Church, ELCA
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Elizabeth Ekdale
St. Mary and St. Martha Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor: Stacey Siebrasse
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of San Francisco, ELCA
Saint Paulus Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Dan Solberg
ELCA 'Star,' Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, Believes and Teaches Wiccan Goddess is Another 'Aspect' of Christian God
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 fourth 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).
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:
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)
Imagine driving down the road and passing by a beautiful old Christian church. Now imagine that church has a huge painting of a bare breasted women/goddess on it for all to see. Not only that, the mural also includes an eight armed goddess named Kali. Kali is a Hindu goddess. Hard to conceive of, but that is what you will find beginning this November if you drive passed the ELCA's Ebenezer Lutheran Church (also know as herchurch) in San Francisco, CA. The church plans on placing this mural on their church tower for everyone to see.
The ELCA church's website tells us about the mural saying,
“The Goddess mural will rise 64 feet high with four basic symbolic representations of the divine feminine: The Earth Mother, the Black Madonna, the Christ-Sophia, and an androgynous Kali-Kundalini figure whose chakras merge with the phases of the moon and the universe. They will be surrounded by colorful and playful animals, birds, plants and earth’s elements.” (see here)
Here is a link that shows what the mural will look like (on the left hand side of the page).
A fundraising page for herchurch's project has this to say about the mural, “Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran (herchurch) refers to the Divine Presence through many names and metaphors. More than 50,000 years ago the sacred one was called mother. Breaking recent tradtion from male diety, this mural aims to herald the return of the feminine divine in modern Christian, interfaith and feminist spirituality.” (see here)
Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran has been worshiping pagan gods for quite a while now, with the full knowledge and approval of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. I say this because it is a fact that ELCA leadership know what is being taught and what goes on at this church, and they allow it to continue. (see here, here and here) They have the power, authority and responsibility to stop it and they do not. A church leader from the ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop even spoke at a herchurch feminism conference showing the audience pictures of a female Jesus. (see here)
The fundraising page goes on to say the painting will be, “Attached via panels to the East face of the purple herchurch tower, this mural promises to be a focal point in the world famous San Francisco mural collection. . .The dream is to share the beauty to all who pass and prophetically envision our mission of rebirthing the divine feminine in ourselves, the church and the world.”
A Hindu goddess (as well as the other pagan gods) lifted up and worshiped by a Christian church is pure wickedness. They are blatantly breaking the commandment set by God, "You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3) It is offensive, sinful, blasphemous and evil. ELCA members, know this: your leadership allows it!
What kind of God-honoring Christian denomination would do that? And what about the huge painting of a topless woman/goddess being placed on the church tower? Children will see it. Yet, many of you will still support the ELCA.
Think about it. Is this the kind of denomination you want to be part of? Sure it's no fun to leave your ELCA church, the one you have been going to for so long, the one that has so many of your friends attending. But remember, your church is part of the ELCA which allows goddess worship and openly stands against God's Word in so many areas. This is a denomination that has taught YOUR pastor.
So what is more important to you, going to your comfortable church or going to a church that believes the Bible and worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and His Son Jesus Christ? One day you may need to justify your decision to God Almighty.
Sayyid Syeed is the interfaith liaison for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). In 2006 he was recorded saying, “[O]ur job is to change the constitution of America.” (see here) ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson calls Dr. Sayyid Sayeed a close friend and at the 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly Hanson said the ELCA was committed “to walk together” with Syeed's organization, the ISNA. And they have. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a close interfaith partner with the ISNA. (See documentation here).
A recent article in FrontPageMag.com speaks of the ISNA's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and exposes the reasons behind the ISNA's desire for forming interfaith partnerships, like that which they have with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. FrontPageMag.com reports that a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memo,
lays out how the Brotherhood network must 'posses a mastery of the art of "coalitions," the art of "absorption," and the principles of "cooperation.”' It explicitly talks about using the 'hands' of the 'nonbelievers' to advance its agenda.
In light of that information, read what Sayyid Sayeed said while speaking at the ELCA 2011 Churchwide Assembly, “(w)e have worked with your organization and leaders [and] we have seen this tireless leader of yours, who’s been here for hours and hours. But I’ve seen him in the corridors of power speaking the truth about issues … whether it is about peace in the Middle East or anti-Muslim bigotry in America. . . we are working together in shaping the new millennium. . .It is a new millennium – your leadership is critical, your understanding is critical not only for this country but for the entire globe. You have set certain standards of cooperation, of understanding, those are a great asset for us, and it’s with this kind of understanding that we will be moving forward. . .We pray God almighty to bless us and together deliver this mission that is ours.” (see here)
Bishop Hanson said this at the same gathering, “We share a deep commitment to our growing relationship and dialog, but not just in dialog, in our working together to build a more peaceful and just world both in this country and in places of tension throughout the world.” (see here)
Seems like the ELCA is a willing pawn, being used to help establish the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.
I don't ever recall an ELCA publication or ELCA leader talking about witnessing to someone, who then calls on the name of the Lord and is saved (Rom. 10:13 and Acts 2). Maybe that's because they are busy doing other things, like this class that is being promoted in the electronic newsletter of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):
“Register Now for Islamic Literature Course in Evanston
Registration is open for 'Islamic Literature: From Sufi Poetry to Egyptian Feminism,' a four-week discussion series” (see here)
Or how about going to a lecture by a Muslim speaker at an ELCA seminary? The Southeastern Iowa Synod E-News mailing announced this:
“Free Lecture by Eboo Patel Kicks off
Two-Day Interfaith Conference at LSTC”
“On Sunday, March 10 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Eboo Patel will give a free lecture based on his recent book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. with a free concert by The Salaam Shalom Music Project, made up of members of Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and distinguished artists from the Chicago Arabic music community.” (see here and read more about Eboo Patel here)
I bet a lot of money and paid ELCA staff and seminary employees worked long hours putting this gathering together.
Christ Lutheran Church, Melrose Park, IL is closing. (see here)
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Rarely am I surprised when I read or hear stories of what the ELCA is teaching or things that are happening in the church, but I was with this one. Not long ago I received an email from Jill Weber. She was concerned by what she heard and experienced while visiting an ELCA church. This is what the Jill wrote -
I recently attended Shepherd Of The Hills Church in Flagstaff, AZ. The senor pastor is Susan Swanson and the teaching pastor is her husband Tim Swanson. I attended the church service on Dec. 9, 2012 and also the Bible study taught by Tim. I was grieved in my spirit when I asked him a direct question if he believed if Jesus is God? His response was “that's a hard question." He also told this class that "it wasn't important that Jesus was born of a virgin." I responded "Yes it is important that Jesus was born of a virgin and it does matter, because Jesus came to fulfill all the prophecies!" He said he didn't want to argue. I told him he would be arguing with the Word of God. He also cited the gnostic gospels (the gospel of Thomas) as if it were Gospel! Galatians 1:4-9. The senor pastor, his wife was also listening to the conversation and jokingly warned her husband "you better be careful you might lose your job" (I say he should!). The adults in the Bible study laughed. I wanted to stand up and face the people and say "are you really paying them to teach you heresies? That isn't funny because the joke is on you!" The next Sunday I attended the service and then the Christmas program showing how other people celebrated Christmas in different parts of the world; including Befana from Italy, who is a witch. Befana was visited by the wise men and they asked her if she wanted to go and search for baby Jesus and she told them no but after they left she decided that she would, so she flew on her broomstick from house to house in search of Jesus but never did find him. A little girl about 9yrs. was dressed up like Befana including broomstick and all! Wow, I never knew that did you? I think Jesus referred to such teachers as "a brood of vipers!" This program was put together by the Rev. Susan Swanson.
For those that may be wondering, Befana the witch is an old European story that was made into a book called, The Legend of Old Befana. Barnes and Noble's overview of the book says this, "The celebration of Befana, who flies across the sky on Twelfth Night, leaving cakes and cookies for children as they sleep, is a beloved story in Europe. It is timeworn only by its many versions, and Tomie dePaola's retelling is unique in its resplendent settings and carefully researched detail. His story also broadens the character of the eccentric old recluse of the small Italian village, who is always sweeping. While Befana is sometimes called a witch. . ." (see here)
So let me recap this. According to an eye witness, in an ELCA church where a pastor apparently finds it hard to confirm the Bible's testimony that Jesus is God and that Jesus was born of a virgin, there was a Christmas program that included a child playing a broom-flying witch. This is what happens people, when our faith leaders do not hold Scripture as being from God and Truth. This is what happens when ELCA leadership makes themselves the arbitrators of what is true and what isn't. Also notice that this church's members seem to go along with the false teaching, like sheep being led to the slaughter.
I pray that God would open the eyes of all ELCA members so they could see that they are being led astray, led away from God, some slowly and some in extremely dramatic ways, by the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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