Here is what the ELCA and many ELCA leaders are saying about the details of the birth of Christ -
- “The myths that have grown themselves around the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke (often conflated awkwardly with the first two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew) have created a narrative that theologically resonates, but realistically falls flat.
Angels, traveling Magi, virgin births…it’s all hard to swallow as reality, even for the faithful. It’s a story for children’s books.
And I’d advocate that you need not swallow it all to be Christian. In fact, it sounds like so much myth mostly because it was written to evoke that kind of thought in the reader and that kind of hope in the reader’s heart. You, too, are supposed to see that something unusual, epic, of mythical proportions is taking place in the person of Jesus.” - ELCA pastor Timothy Brown, Luther Memorial Church of Chicago. (see here)
- Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, an Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod states, “I think that the stories are made up. (I’m retiring at the end of May anyway so don’t waste time with the heresy accusations.) They are myth,” and later he advises, “Tell the old mythic story in a way that that it is heard anew.” (read here)
- Michael Rinehart, ELCA Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, in a recent blog continually casts doubt on the virgin birth and then says, “Whatever the world may think about a literal virgin birth, no one questions that Jesus was adopted, and Joseph was an adoptive parent.” (read here)
- Delmer Chilton, former assistant to the bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA writes about the virgin birth in an article for the ELCA website Living Lutheran saying, "But the important thing here is not the virginity of the mother but the divinity of the child." (read here)
- A former ELCA seminary teacher recently was reported to say that the virgin birth must be understood metaphorically. (see here)
- In case you're concerned that I'm just pulling out quotes from a few radical ELCA leaders, note that the ELCA's official website even questioned the “Virgin Birth” in a section intended to reveal the teachings of the denomination. (read here)
- David Lose, a professor and the director of the Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary (ELCA) authored an article titled, “Is the Christmas Story trustworthy?” In the article, Professor Lose writes, “I would argue that . . . the gospel writers undoubtedly play fast and loose with the various stories, sayings, and incidents they inherited. . .” Lose goes on to say how the gospel writers “craft” their stories and should be viewed “more as artists than as historians.” (read here)
A Pew Research Poll this week reports that "Roughly three-quarters of adults (73%) say they believe Jesus was born of a virgin.” (read here)
But the people who are suppose to disciple us do not believe what God tells us in the Bible? Something is wrong here folks!
Denying Scripture is not just an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America problem, just look to the ELCA's liberal Lutheran twin to the north. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) pastor Dawn Hutchings has this to say about the Nativity account,
"For this story is a parable and like all parable’s it represents a truth that cannot be fully expressed in words. Like all good parables the truth is not to be found in the details, but rather in the Spirit of God that breathed life into the parable. " (read here)
Not believing the virgin birth account, Pastor Hutchings speculates that Jesus was the result of Mary being raped. She writes,
“Some say the evidence is clear, if you’re willing to see it. After all there was a large cohort of Roman soldiers encamped near Nazareth. The people of Nazareth had participated in an uprising against their oppressors and the Roman’s had raided Nazareth in retaliation. There are numerous Jewish accounts of Roman raids that include details of strategic rapes. Could our young heroine be the victim of such a rape?” (read here)
This Christmas (and beyond) please, please stay clear of these Bible-denying Lutheran denominations.