I wrote an article criticizing Pastor Hiortdahl of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for saying that a homosexual couple will be reunited in heaven. (see here) I Corinthians 6:9-11 and other passages teach that those who live in impenitent sin will not be saved. A private ELCA clergy Facebook page has been taking me to task.
One ELCA pastor (a former classmate of mine) writes:
"I wonder what Tom…says at the funeral of an obese person
(sin of gluttony) or a person who has continued to amass
wealth over the years and not shared with others or any
other sinner who has persisted in impenitent sin? Lord have
My response: I don’t think it is a pastor’s place to necessarily put anyone in heaven or hell at a funeral. Funerals are a time to preach the Gospel. But I would say to anyone, whatever their sin, that living in impenitent sin puts their soul in danger. The Bible warns against the “cheap grace” that Bonhoeffer wrote about. “Shall we continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be!” (Romans 6:1) says the Apostle Paul. And Jesus Himself warned that there will be people on the Last Day who call Him “Lord, Lord” but are lost because they were “workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23). It is wonderfully true that we are saved by grace alone and not by good works. But I heard something at a clergy conference once I will never forget: We are saved by grace alone, but grace never is alone. Grace always changes a human life. Yes, we continue to sin in thought, word and deed, but when we sin we repent, we battle with sin. If there is no fight, no battle, no repentance, the Bible is clear that “the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11). One cannot live in impenitent sin and be saved. And repentance is not a “work” that we do. Repentance itself is a gift of the grace of God (see Acts 11:18, 2 Timothy 2:25-26).
I have been open that I personally struggle with same sex attraction (see my story at pastorsstudy.org). Another person on this Facebook page writes:
"For the fact that he struggles with same sex attraction, that is
particularly uncharitable.Could someone let him know that
having gay sex isn’t going to condemn him to hell? Let alone
loving a man?"
My response: A man having sex with a man is not “loving” him. It is being hurtful to him. The Bible teacher that “gay sex” is a sin (see my article “What does the Bible say about homosexuality?” at pastorsstudy.org).
Another person writes:
"Screw him and screw his hate-filled blathering. He’ll get his
desserts when he is welcomed to heaven by a chorus line of
queer folk singing Broadway show tunes."
Particularly tragic is that a woman who is the Director of Justice for Women at ELCA headquarters praised those words by responding:
"The imagery of your post truly soothes me! Thank you for
your prophetic words!"
Lastly, I received this tweet about my criticism of the pastor:
"(Pastor) Hiortdahl’s gospel-filled ministry beats your crusade
of hate anytime. Jesus must weep to hear you call yourself a
So, if you disagree with the homosexual agenda, you “hate”. Actually, the opposite is true. Those who are approving of homosexual behavior are the ones who are hurting homosexuals. Homosexual behavior can take years off of a person’s life, and then there is eternity.
In Jesus our Savior,
(see comments from ELCA Clergy Facebook group at the bottom of the page)
ELCA pastor says I am an "---hole, picketing funerals"
Because I wrote an article criticizing an ELCA pastor for saying a homosexual couple will be reunited in heaven, another Lutheran pastor is claiming that I am like Westboro Baptist and I am "picketing funerals". He also called me an "---hole." (see below) This is the same pastor who wrote that if Jesus wasn't single, he was in a committed relationship with the disciple John--we shouldn't assume Jesus was attracted to women.
It is tragic to see a Lutheran pastor malign Jesus, spread falsehood, and use profanity. Please pray for him, his congregation, and the ELCA.
Pastor Tom Brock
(Clint Schnekloth is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)