Should we remain in unity, (defined as "the state of being one") united with a "Christian" denomination that denies the truth and authority of scripture? What does God want? How should Christians respond to the ELCA and it's departure from God? God's Word tells us:
Colossians 2:8 - See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 - Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
"Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."
2 John 9-11 - Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him in your house and do not give him a greeting: for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deed.
Romans 16:17-18 - I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
Ephesians 5:6-8 - Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
Rev. 18:4 - I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
Titus 1:13 - He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 - Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.
The following was taken from a blog by Rev. Eric Swensson entitled "The Evangelical Church’s health lies in its members proclaiming their praises. An ambiguous faith has nothing to praise, nothing to proclaim." -
". . . I had an enormous task ahead of me in my research for the writing of a thesis and a book for which I felt I was not equal. While it was of sufficient interest to occupy my mind, still I had time to think, and think I did about it seems like everything, especially the things I loved including my congregation and its crisis in regards to leaving its denomination over the loss of sound teaching. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has many teachers of the faith who do not believe the Bible when it speaks of hell. How widespread this belief is was driven home for me when I was at a luncheon with the pastors of my conference. One of them let it drop while at table waiting for our orders that he did not believe there was a hell and another agreed with him. Out of curiosity, I asked if everyone else felt the same way and three quarters quickly agreed. They gave variations of the theme of alienation for their understanding. The result was my alienation from them! With that and the many other opinions I have heard expressed in the 'Journey to Faithfulness' in the ELCA, which was in effect a decade of controversy, I had plenty of time to think about the nature of faith and how we teach it, and this too, of course, drives us to prayer." (read here)
It seems that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will collaborate with anyone, as long as it works to further their political and social justice agenda.
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) is not a Christian denomination. They describe themselves this way, "Unitarian Universalism is a caring, open-minded religion that encourages seekers to find their own spiritual path. Our faith draws on many religious sources, welcoming people with different beliefs." (see here)
With that in mind, let’s look at the strong connection and relationship the ELCA has with the Unitarian Universalist Association by looking at some of the organizations and causes that the ELCA and the UUA are members of or associated with.
As you can see, the ELCA and the Unitarian Universalist Association have very similar agendas and find themselves working together on so many issues. This is not a coincidence. The ELCA has become a liberal, non-orthodox, non-traditional, non-Bible believing denomination which finds itself working and associating most often with likeminded denominations and religions.
When you throw out the clear Truth of Scripture as the ELCA and UUA have done, when you cast the Great Commission out the window, you have to invest your time and energies in “works” which are elevated into the reason for the church’s existence. And when you are all about “works” it doesn’t matter who is helping you, as long as you accomplish your political and social justice driven goals.
The Bible says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” - 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Some people may ask, “What fellowship can the ELCA have with Unitarian Universalists?” The real question should be, “What fellowship can Bible believing Lutheran Christians have with the ELCA?”
Check out this blog about the coming ELCA statement on genetics and the infiltration of the ELCA by the environmental and animal rights movement.
When Faith and Farming Collide: Part 3 (read here)
The ELCA has become a gathering place of social and environmental activists which cloak their extreme views with the use of select and sometimes manipulated verses in Scripture. The intent is to make the Christians, who are still in the ELCA, think that the denomination is doing all these activities for God. Strangely enough, this “Christian” denomination conveniently ignores our main mission, the Great Commission.
Have you ever wondered why there are so few ELCA missionaries, there are only 100 or so of them, (see here) or why these missionaries do not tell people about salvation in Christ? And yet, notice how the ELCA’s leadership and some members (hundreds of thousands of them) are so boisterous about their pet causes?
Another thing to ponder: The ELCA leadership has been pushing the issues related to homosexuality for years, until it was finally passed. In doing so, the ELCA puts their view above God and the majority of ELCA Lutheran’s wishes. This forces Bible-believing Lutherans to accept it or leave. Now the ELCA is going to go after another huge section of ELCA members, rural people/farmers. Do they not realize that a large portion of their membership comes from Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, etc., all hugely agricultural states.
The ELCA leaders do realize this but they don’t care what you think, although they will pretend they do. The ELCA’s viewpoint and agenda appear to come before all else. They will give token lip service to God, and they hope you never realize what is really going on.
When the patients are running the asylum, it’s time to leave the asylum!
The ELCA Advocacy Network on Jan. 18, 2011 sent out an email asking ELCA members to “Tell the President - Support a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements. Tell the President to - Join the international community in reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, are a major obstacle to peace, and should be halted immediately and completely.” (I’ve decided not to link to the ELCA propaganda but it is on the ELCA Advocacy website)
The ELCA has taken the position and talking points of the Arab world in its continued demands for Israel to abide by the Arab version, vision and plan for "peace."
The Muslim world has an everlasting hatred for Israel, and sadly the ELCA is acting as a mouth piece of that hatred. The ELCA leadership is anti-Semitic to the core. David Neff writes that noted theologian Carl Braaten said, “the ELCA is antinomian—it rejects the law of God. . .ELCA leaders sneer at the idea that we can look to a book as our authority—especially a book written by Jews. Antinomianism and anti-Semitism are always found together.” (read here)
To read more information on the ELCA's stance on Israel - see here.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America came out with a social statement in 1999, called “Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All.” In that statement, the ELCA declares their belief that our world has an overpopulation problem.
The ELCA’s social statement says, “We call for . . . support for family planning and enhanced opportunities for women so that population pressures might be eased.” (read here)
Are there “population pressures?” That is debatable. The fact that the ELCA is using “overpopulation” as a reason to have “enhanced” family planning opportunities is troubling. It should also be noted that the ELCA is calling for these opportunities for all women: “For all: especially those living in poverty.”
Knowing that the ELCA is pro-abortion, one should wonder what the ELCA is really saying here (or trying not to say). Is abortion a part of their overpopulation solution? Based on what we know about the ELCA’s support for abortion, (see here) there is little doubt in my mind that it is.
Exposing the ELCA polled its readers asking this: “If you conclude that the ELCA teaches and/or supports the belief that 'everyone will be saved,' is that sufficient grounds to leave the denomination?”
The results of the poll -
90.31% of the readers said “Yes.” (177 votes)
9.69% of the readers said “No.” (19 votes)
There were a total of 196 votes cast.
ELCA Bishops be warned. If you seek to remove pastors who disagree with the direction of the denomination, you will lose. That is what happened in Greenfield, Indiana, recently.
It all began with St. James Lutheran Church’s pastor, Larry Gember. The spiritual leader of the congregation, recommended that they vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (The St. James Church Council also recommend that they leave.) Pastor Gember outlined his thoughts in a letter to the congregation a few weeks before the church’s scheduled November 21, 2010, vote.
In the letter, Pastor Gember outlined troubling issues he saw within the ELCA. He mentioned his concern over the ELCA’s system of decision making and his theological concerns over what was happening in the ELCA, among other things. Near the close of Pastor Gember's letter he said, “I would like to be part of a church body that has relative peace and is joyfully focused on the basics of mission and evangelism. I see those things in both LCMC and the NALC. Therefore I urge you to vote 'yes' to the Council’s recommendation.” (read Pastor Gember’s letter here)
On November 21, the majority of the congregation at St. James Lutheran Church voted to leave the ELCA. Unfortunately the majority was 6% shy of the 67% needed. (87 members voted to leave the ELCA, 54 members voted to stay) (see here, under the “newsletter” link)
Less than a month after the November 21 vote, ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop William O. Gafkjen requested that Pastor Gember resign as an ordained minister in the ELCA. Bishop Gafkjen said he made this request because he did not want someone who is not committed to the ELCA and who, he claimed, is working to undermine the denomination, to be a pastor in the ELCA. (read Bishop Gafkjen’s letter and St. James Lutheran’s response here)
The request by Bishop Gafkjen is very troubling. It tells me that some, maybe most, of the leadership in the ELCA want to eliminate pastors who disagree with the direction the ELCA is taking. Exposing the ELCA has reported on other attempts by ELCA bishops to silence, blackball and remove pastors from the ELCA roster because the pastors would not go along with the ELCA and compromise their historic Christian and Lutheran understandings of God’s Word. (see here and here for examples)
It is evident that the ELCA desires to silence and remove the orthodox voice, which is the historic, worldwide understanding of Scripture. Peter, John, Luke, Paul and Jesus Himself would have been asked or forced to leave the ELCA based on their understanding of God’s Word and for the stand they took toward those who distort Scripture.
Pastor Gember has declined Bishop Gafkjen’s request to resign. On January 2, 2011, in a great show of support for Pastor Gember and Scripture, St. James Lutheran held another vote to leave the ELCA, which passed 172 to 50.
Jesus said, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” Matthew 10:14. That is what St. James Lutheran Church is doing, shaking off the dust. We all should do the same.
If your church leaves the ELCA, the national WELCA office will want the money in the local WELCA account to be sent to them. (see here)
But don’t worry. There is a simple solution to this is. Prior to the second vote of your church to leave the ELCA, give the money in your WELCA account away. One option is to give the money to your congregation and designate it to be given to the local church women’s group. This way you get to decide where the money goes and WELCA’s national organization can not have what is not in the account.
I thank God for those of you that are willing to be on the front line of a battle for God’s Truth. The ELCA has continually defied God and His Holy Word, yet many are not willing to take a stand. Sadly, many more do not want to be part of publicly confronting a wayward denomination.
Exposing the ELCA is a ministry that is passionate with directly confronting the heresy and apostasy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Scripture tells us to, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” - Ephesians 5:11.
John the Baptist called out King Herod. Jesus called out the Pharisees. David called out Goliath. Exposing the ELCA ministry is calling out the ELCA. (It is this ministry's prayer that the ELCA would return to the Truth) Unfortunately, there are some who do not like and will not support a ministry that does this.
Earlier this winter I spoke to a pastor whose congregation had conducted a study of the ELCA. This pastor’s church had produced some documents that I thought would be helpful to other individuals and churches who were looking into leaving the ELCA. These documents were posted on their website, but were going to be removed. I emailed the church asking if there was some way to make them available, by linking to them or uploading them onto Exposing the ELCA’s website, so that they might be helpful to others. The pastor was not interested in keeping the documents online or making them available on Exposing the ELCA, saying, “I choose to not live in an adversarial posture towards the ELCA.”
This pastor’s decision and comment do not make much sense to me. Why are we content with only “saving ourselves” when so many lost, unknowing or complacent members need to be saved from the false teaching that is becoming so prevalent in the ELCA?
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to dialog with a pastor of a large church, which was, until recently, an ELCA congregation. Concerning the Exposing the ELCA ministry he said, “A ministry called ‘Exposing the ELCA’ is not one I would support. It sounds too divisive and condemning. I would rather continue to pray for the leadership of the ELCA and that there would be more unity in the Lord's Church.”
Exposing the ELCA ministry makes no apologies for its name or the call to confront these false teachings in our denomination. Our ministry’s name makes it very clear; we believe there are major theological problems in the ELCA. We are going to share those concerns and facts; this is the place to find information on the ELCA.
Here is how I responded to the second pastor’s comments:
I respect your opinion. For me, I agree with many, including WordAlone Ministries President Clark, who states that the ELCA is teaching a false gospel and a new religion. (Read here) I think it is ‘worth’ exposing these things so that people will not be ignorant as to what the ELCA is doing and so the ELCA will not, God willing, lead more people away from Christ and His truth. God bless you.”
This world needs more people, like you, our loyal readers, who will stand up and expose what the ELCA is doing. Sometimes we need to do what is unpopular. Exposing the ELCA does what it does because we love God and want to save people from the “flames” of deception preached by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Thank you to all who stand by Exposing the ELCA.
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.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11