Bible-believing Lutherans were upset a few years ago when they learned of numerous heretical and unorthodox articles from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They were posted on the ELCA's official website under a section meant to explain the ELCA's beliefs and teachings, called “Dig Deeper.” The ELCA leadership took a great deal of well deserved heat for what the articles said and even though they never repudiated the articles or the teaching, with no apology, they removed them from elca.org.
Now with the help of a website which archives old web pages you can view the articles as they looked in 2009.
The ELCA took down these teaching webpages, but Exposing the ELCA has extensive evidence which shows that the ELCA leadership continues to believe, teach and allow these same heretical beliefs.
The March for Life was held today in Washington D.C. “March for Life is an annual pro-life rally protesting abortion . . . (which takes place) on or around the anniversary of the United States Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion in the case Roe v. Wade.” (see here) It is the talk of the town on The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Facebook page (see here). They even posted a picture of Rev. John Bradosky, Bishop of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) and LCMS President Harrison as they participated in the March. (see here)
For an event that had national Lutheran leaders participating, one would think the largest Lutheran denomination would find it newsworthy enough to send their leader, or at least address it; wouldn't you? I haven't seen any pictures or reports of ELCA leaders attending the March, and nothing was even said about it on the ELCA's official website or its Facebook page. NOTHING.
Not only that, this week as Christian denominations, organizations and individuals spoke, wrote and posted about the 40th anniversary of the legalization of abortion (Roe vs. Wade) on Facebook the ELCA and Women of the ELCA (WELCA) posted nothing. However, two days later something of such significance was taking place that WELCA had to address it. What was it you ask? National Handwriting Day. (see here – scroll down the page)
55 million unborn children have been killed in the last 40 years in the United States and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America doesn't even address the evil tragedy. That's because the evil tragedy of abortion is considered “good” in the ELCA. (see here)
News and Notes
This is telling - "Most white evangelical Protestants (73 percent), as well as 55 percent of white Catholics and 53 percent of black Protestants, say it is morally wrong to have an abortion. That compares with 36 percent of white mainline Protestants and just 20 percent of the religiously unaffiliated." (see here)
Most every member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America falls under the heading “white mainline Protestants.”
This comes from the ELCA worship planning resource “SUNDAYS AND SEASONS.” - “Gospel, 1st Advent: God will fulfill God's purposes and, already, hidden signs of that fulfillment abound. On that great day there will be dismay, perplexity, confusion, and terror, but God's people shall be given strength to stand boldly and receive God's promised redemption.”
Where are the pronouns? It seems like the resource is doing everything possible, in this instance, to avoid calling God “He.”
I thought the following video was worth posting. The hosts' answer a woman’s question, “Is it wrong in God's eyes to attend a church that doesn't follow the Bible?”
Here is part of their answer, “Are you born again? Seriously, are you a Christian? . . . Have you repented of your sins? Are you trusting in Jesus alone? Because if you are you will love God's word and you'll never ever support a church that is teaching error.”
Start watching at the 7 minute mark -
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.
The Exposing the ELCA Newsletter for this quarter is posted. You can read it here.
ELCA Leaders Worship Muslim God
ELCA leaders worship the god of Muslims. At least that is the logical conclusion most would come to when they look into what ELCA leaders are saying.
The magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran, ran an article in the January 2013 issue about Muslims. The article was another attempt by ELCA leadership to indoctrinate its members into believing a heretical, blasphemous idea. The article included an argument supporting the claim that the God we Christians worship is the same god Muslims worship. Liberal heretics have been saying this for awhile now, and we will address this lie shortly, but lets first look at what The Lutheran had to say.
The magazine presented this statement to two ELCA experts: “Some people say 'Allah' is the name of a pagan moon god and isn't the same as the 'God' of the Bible.”
David D. Grafton, ELCA missionary serving as the coordinator for graduate studies at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt replied: “This is a very old claim. It's similar to an old Christian argument about the 'God of the Old Testament' being distinct from the 'God of the New.' That, of course, was declared a heresy long ago.”
Michael Shelley, dean and vice president for academic affairs at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, answered by saying that “Allah” was one of many gods in Arabia, before the Koran was written, and was considered “the creator.” Prof. Shelley then says, “Are Allah and the God of the Bible the same? Certainly the Quran contends they are. It says to Jews and Christians, 'Our God and your God is one' (Quran 29:46) . . . we are likely to have a more constructive conversation with our Muslim neighbors if we proceed on the assumption that we are talking about the same divine being.” (see here)
So The Lutheran tells its readers that we worship the same god as the Muslims. The ELCA's Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson has said the same thing in a letter to Muslims saying “(t)he one God whom we worship is a God not only of judgment, but of mercy and peace." (see here)
There are a number of reasons the ELCA does this. One reason, I believe, is because of the ELCA's acceptance of universal salvation, that all people will go to heaven no matter what they believe, who they worship or if they've placed their faith in Christ. The ELCA has walked away from leading people to a saving relationship with Christ which makes “working together” with “all people” the focus of why the ELCA exists.
Now there are a number of reasons we can say with confidence that the God of the Bible and the Muslim god are not the same god. I will give you three:
If you haven't read my blog “The ELCA is No Longer a Christian Denomination” you should. It could just as easily been titled “The God of the Bible and the God of the ELCA are not the same.”
Almost every other month we get another group of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America bishops and pastors publically advocating for same-sex marriage and calling on voters to do that same. This time it is comes from the state of Illinois.
Twenty-seven ELCA pastors and ELCA bishop Wayne Miller, ELCA Metropolitan Chicago Synod, signed a letter, along with 230 other clergy saying, "As people of faith and as citizens of Illinois, we ask you to . . . support the freedom
to marry." (read here)
A newspaper article in The New York Times, "Illinois Clergy Members Support Same-Sex Marriage in Letter Signed by 260" reported that the Illinois legislature is likely to take up legislation on same-sex marriage in January.
Speaking to The New York Times, "The Rev. Kim L. Beckmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who lives in the Chicago area, said she was drawn into the movement 'as my gay and lesbian parishioners were welcomed into our congregation.'
'I have participated in blessings of these unions for longer than we’ve even been talking about marriage,' she said. 'I’m thrilled to take this step.'”
Laurie Higgins, cultural analyst for the Illinois Family Institute, who supports traditional marriage, commented that the clergy letter "is signed quite obviously by faith leaders who have adopted radical, ahistorical, heretical theological views . . . Their views are informed not by careful exegesis, but by personal desire and political convictions.” (read here)
Here is a list of the ELCA leadership who signed the letter -
Bishop Wayne Miller, ELCA Metropolitan Chicago Synod
Rev. Dan Hoeger, Our Saviors Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Paul Carlson, New Life Lutheran Church, ELCA
Dr. Esther Portnoy, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dr. Kim L. Beckmann, ELCA
Pastor Liala Beukema, Lake View Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Erik C. Christensen, St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square, ELCA
Rev. Michael Fick, Ebenezer Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Fred Kinsey, Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Craig Mueller, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. John Roberts, Unity Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Julie Ryan, Christ the Mediator Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Seminarian Kyle Severson, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Michelle Sevig, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Carrie Smith, Bethany Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dr. Robert Smith, Bethany Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Keith Fry, Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Lloyd Kittlaus, University Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Betty Landis, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Jim Honig, Faith Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Patrick McGuire, St. John’s Lutheran Church
Rev. William Veith, Our Lord's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dennis Kelly, Lutheran Church of the Ascension, ELCA
Pastor Kathy Nolte, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Dan Schwick, Lutheran Advocacy of Illinois, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Kenneth Storck, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Stacie Fiedlar, St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, ELCA
Once again an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leader publically denies Jesus’ virgin birth and Scripture’s nativity accounts, and ELCA leadership allows it. Because of this, I sadly tell you that the ELCA is no longer a Christian denomination.
David Lose, a professor and the director of the Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary (ELCA) recently 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. . .” (see here) Lose goes on to say how the gospel writers “craft” their stories and should be viewed “more as artists than as historians.” Lose wants us to believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John made up their gospel accounts, that the gospel writers lied in order to share some “bigger” spiritual truth.
Prof. Lose isn’t the first ELCA leader to recently say this. Just a few weeks ago Exposing the ELCA reported on Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, an Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, who stated, “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.”
Highly controversial scholar Marcus Borg, who has made a nice living speaking at ELCA events and writing for ELCA publications, audaciously says, “The stories of Jesus' birth are myths”. (see here)
The ELCA’s official website even encouraged debate and questioned the truth of Christ’s Virgin Birth. (see here)
The ELCA has the power to stop this heretical teaching in its churches and in its seminaries. Yet they do not. There is a “crime” being committed against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the ELCA is driving the get-away car. They are an accomplice; allowing this teaching is an endorsement of the teaching.
What are we to think of all this? Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of Southern Seminary had this to say regarding the Virgin Birth, “Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible’s teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no . . . We cannot claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and then turn around and cast suspicion on its teaching.
Millard Erickson states this well: ‘If we do not hold to the virgin birth despite the fact that the Bible asserts it, then we have compromised the authority of the Bible and there is in principle no reason why we should hold to its other teachings. Thus, rejecting the virgin birth has implications reaching far beyond the doctrine itself.’
Implications, indeed. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, who was His father? There is no answer that will leave the Gospel intact. The Virgin Birth explains how Christ could be both God and man, how He was without sin, and that the entire work of salvation is God’s gracious act. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, He had a human father. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Bible teaches a lie.”
“This much we know: All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.” (read here)
Dr. Mohler, in a different article says, “The presence of theologians and pastors who deny the virgin birth in the theological seminaries and pulpits of the land is evidence of the sweeping tide of unbelief that marks so many
institutions and churches in our time. . .Anyone who claims that the virgin birth can be discarded even as the deity of Christ is affirmed is either intellectually dishonest or theological(ly) incompetent.”
“Christians must face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as the Christ. The Savior who died for our sins was none other than the baby who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin. The virgin birth does not stand alone as a biblical doctrine, it is an irreducible part of the biblical revelation about the person and work of Jesus Christ. With it, the Gospel stands or falls.”
“No true Christian can deny the virgin birth.” (read here)
So with that said, where does that leave a denomination that teaches and/or is accepting of the teaching that the Christmas story and the Virgin Birth are not actually true?
If what Dr. Mohler said is true for an individual, it is also true for an institution.
The ELCA is no longer Christian.
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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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11