A year and a half ago ELCA pastors Matthew Pensinger and Brian Beissel took part in a conversation that was hosted by the Lehigh Valley Humanists (PA). It was called "Humanist/Lutheran Dialogue," and they posted the video on YouTube.
What follows is an intriguing view into the mind-set, thoughts, understandings and beliefs of two ELCA pastors. Their words are quite disturbing in what they believe but also in what they reveal about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America itself.
Discussing the interpretation of Scripture, Interviewer Jason Brocious asks, “What would it take to push things too far and get in trouble (with the ELCA)?”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel said, “I think to say you don't believe in Jesus or the divinity of Jesus. I think that would probably be the breaking point I think.”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “Maybe.”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel: “Maybe. I don’t know.”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “It depends on, you know, who complains about it and who they complain about it to.” (see video below, at around the 15 minute mark)
The ELCA pastors continued, next sharing their thoughts on the authority of Scripture.
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel stated, “Let me say something about the authority of Scripture…in the Lutheran tradition, Martin Luther himself, well first of all when he put together his own Bible, the Luther Bible, he put the books of Revelation and Hebrews at the end of Bible and didn't number them, which tells you what he thought of those specific books, you know. Also he said, I believe this is a Luther quote, that Scripture is like the cradle or where the baby Jesus is placed. Meaning, does scripture reveal to us something about the essence of Christ? Yes. But does that mean everything in Scripture is, you know, is all of it inspired? Well yes, but I'm inspired by God too but and when I'm inspired by God I don't always do great things, you know, I mess up…”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “Some of it (Scripture) is a box covered with animal dung, is what is the point of that quote.”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel: “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes”
So the ELCA teaches that God's Word is just a dirty, disgusting, smelly vessel that talks about Jesus? It is no wonder the ELCA rejects, twists and ignores many Biblical accounts and instruction.
Later in the video the interviewer mentioned a tragic situation and asked the pastors, “how do you look at prayer and how that fits into, can it help these situations and in what way can it?”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel replied, “I'm going to say something that if my congregants watch this on YouTube, sorry. Prayer without action is meaningless. I'm sorry, I'm sorry but it is. When you pray for something and ‘oh I’m a good person because I prayed for this’ and you don't put it in action it's just words.”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “…to me prayer is about centering oneself. It's about clearing, you know, the clutter from the mind and from the spirit. It's about prioritizing or re-prioritizing you know the things and so.”
What a warped view of prayer. One says prayer is meaningless without human action? The other says it is for one's self. They both went on and said their god is not a wish-granting fairy or genie. It sounded as if they do not believe in a God who answers prayers, performs miracles or takes part in believers' lives. This is the kind of pastor the ELCA has trained and ordained. They are in a place of authority. They are influencing the faith of their congregations.
If you are sitting under the teaching of an ELCA pastor, I highly recommend leaving.
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.
If you have been helped and blessed by Exposing the ELCA's ministry, please help us continue to proclaim the truth of God's Word to ELCA members who need to hear it.
Give online by clicking the "donate" button below:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11