Many in Christendom including most Lutheran denominations believe the Bible, written by God, is inerrant, or "free from error." Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. says, "The affirmation of biblical inerrancy means nothing more, and nothing less, than this: When the Bible speaks, God speaks.” That is not the case with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Why not? And what does the ELCA believe about the Bible?
“We believe that the Scripture are the inspired word of God. But they are not inerrant because human beings are in error. You ever read one part of Scripture and then read something else and they don’t match?” (listen here, at the 58:10 minute mark)
At the same meeting, Rev. Craig Miller, Assistant to the Bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod, gave the following disturbing responses to questions from St. Luke Lutheran Church members:
Question: “Do you believe that the writers of the Bible were so controlled by the Holy Spirit that they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write?”
Rev. Craig Miller: “No. No.”
Question: “You don’t believe that the writers of the Bible wrote what God wanted them to write?”
Rev. Craig Miller: “Letter by letter? In the form that we have it? No. These have been copied over and over again and there have been mistakes that have been made.”
Question: “So the Bible is full of mistakes and contradictions?”
Rev. Craig Miller: “Certainly, there have been copy errors and yes, if you are only reading the Bible literally, then yes there are contradictions.” (listen at the 1:05:25 minute mark here)
The ELCA states the following about the Bible, "This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life" (Art. 2.03 of the Constitution of the ELCA). The ELCA does not call Scriptures inerrant.
ELCA Rev. Jay Thorson said this, in the ELCA magazine Living Lutheran, about God's Word, "I was reclaiming the view that the Bible isn’t an inerrant oracle dropped from heaven but more like a messy, earthen vessel holding the treasure of the saving gospel message. That’s what most ELCA professors and pastors teach, and I realized that was where I belonged." (See here)
ELCA pastor Jerry O'Neal similarly writes, "To those who say, 'But you don’t believe in the Bible?' No, I don’t. As our former presiding bishop, Mark Hanson, once said, 'I don’t believe in the Bible – I believe in the God revealed in the Bible.' The Bible is NOT inerrant. It contains clear contradictions in places (e.g. 2 creation stories in Gen. 1—3 that do not agree), and it has been open to interpretation from the beginning." (see here)
Popular and helpful website gotquestions.org writes this about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, "It claims to hold to the authority of Scripture, but it rejects inerrancy." (See here)
The ELCA's belief about Scripture is a major problem. It has allowed heresy to take hold in the denomination. (As I document on this website).
The most popular ELCA pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber, whom the ELCA adores and had as a keynote speaker to address 31,000 ELCA teenagers this summer, says the following about God's Word:
- “We should never be more loyal to an idea or an interpretation of a Bible verse than we are to people..." (See here)
- "This is where it’s very convenient to be a Lutheran, because Lutherans very admittedly have a canon within the canon. So not all Scripture is the same to us. The Gospel of Jesus, the good news of who Jesus is, whether those texts are found in the Old Testament or the New, is at the very center of our understanding of why the Bible even exists. The Bible is the cradle that holds Christ. The cradle’s not Christ. If you understand that that is the importance of the Bible, then suddenly Scripture is read in concentric circles around what it is at its center. Sometimes you read Paul, and it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read. I actually can feel it in my body. I’ll read something gorgeous from Paul, and just be like, 'That’s breathtaking. That is the word of God. That is the word of God. There’s something eternal about what he’s saying.' And then other times you read Paul and you’re like, 'Good lord, what is that?'" - (See here)
- “The Bible is not God. The Bible is simply the cradle that holds Christ. Anything in the Bible that doesn't hold up to the gospel of Jesus Christ simply doesn't have the same authority.” (See here. Video looks to be removed)
- “...Preaching hopefully in some way is the word of God, speaking is not. So I thought, I wonder, we can look at Paul that way. You know like sometimes he was just going off on his snotty opinions, he has some authority to speak on it but that’s not necessarily the Word of God.” (Listen to the audio posted here)
- "The Bible’s not clear about shit!" (see here) (apologies for the language)
This view, as you have read, is much different than how of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ viewed Scripture. He view it as authoritative, as truth, as from God. (See here)
The namesake of Lutherans, Martin Luther, also stands against the ELCA belief about Scripture, saying the following about the Bible,
“Over against all the statements of the fathers and of all men, yes, over against words of angels and devils, I place the scriptures” (p. 80)
“I have learned to ascribe the honor of infallibility only to those books that are accepted as canonical. I am profoundly convinced that none of these writers have erred” (p. 78). A review of Luther and the Bible, by Willem Jan Kooiman, translated by John Schmidt (Muhlenberg Press. 1961.)
What one believes about the Bible is significant. The ELCA conducted a study in 1991, and one of its findings was that pastors who believe the Bible is inerrant were less likely to support abortion, homosexuality, and the belief that "men keep women down because most men benefit from having more power." (See here)
How do you think the ELCA's view of God's Word has affected the ELCA's stance on transgenderism, sexual morals, the state of Israel, the reality of hell, salvation, seeking converts, the validity of other religions, miracles in the Bible and God's account of creation?
Karl Runser is an ELCA Pastor at United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. He has been tweeting and retweeting a bunch this week about the Covington Catholic teenagers, being critical of them, even when the full video came out showing the boys were the victims of racism. See his tweets and retweets below and note the dates on each of them.
Following that are tweets by other ELCA pastors following the same narrative.
Below are tweets from ELCA "crazypastor" Jason Chesnut, ELCA Pastor Lenny Duncan, and ELCA Pastor Lura Groen.
Today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America posted the following message about transgender persons. It is another instance of the ELCA siding with the world and against God and His creation, while encouraging harmful lifestyles. Included in the ELCA Facebook post is an article from the ELCA's Living Lutheran (2017) that focused on transgender persons and included this statement, "The call of Christ’s people today is to celebrate the diversity of God’s creative work..."
Problems With Bethany College (Kansas), a School of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Bethany College is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, and boasts that it "is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), owned and operated by the Central States Synod and the Arkansas/Oklahoma Synod of the ELCA" (See here).
If you have looked through the multitude of documented information on Exposing the ELCA, you know that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is shockingly liberal and progressively extreme.
Exposing the ELCA began investigating the colleges of this denomination, and in this installment, we will look at Bethany College (Kansas). It was more difficult, than other ELCA colleges, to unearth material about Bethany, because they do not have as much information online. This is what was found:
- On campus at Bethany College is “The Ally Group." It is "a gay/straight alliance of students, staff and faculty who support gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. The group also works to promote a positive campus environment for GLBTs.” (See here)
- Bethany College provides condoms and Depo Provera birth control shots at the school's nurse office. See the Health & Wellness page here.
- In 2017, the president of Bethany College wrote a letter in favor of DACA saying
"...Jesus did not teach us to deport the stranger, but to take them into our homes and to love them." (See here)
- One of the most vocally liberal ELCA bishops, Michael Rinehart, will be speaking at Bethany College. He is bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. (See here)
- Controversial Pastor Michael Himlie was a speaker at Kansas' Bethany College recently. Pastor Himlie "spoke at chapel, met with local area pastors, and gave a public lecture in the evening." He graduated from Manchester University majoring on peace studies and focusing on "Israel’s occupation of Palestine." (See here)
Rev. Amy Truhe is the Bethany College Campus Pastor. (See here) Below are some posts she has made on her Facebook page and it tells a lot about the type of pastor she is.
Bethany College Campus Pastor Amy Truhe also shared a number of Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber related posts in the last couple months. Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, an ELCA pastor, has very troubling views of God's Word and sex. Read more about Rev. Bolz-Weber here and here.
With that in mind, consider also the pride Bethany College has in being affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as you can again see below. It is hard to imagine any reason to tout that connection unless you align with their ways.
(See information on other colleges affiliated with the ELCA here)
(The following article was written last year by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Luther Seminary, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is advertising the May 2019 Festival of Homiletics with numerous liberal speakers like Brian McClaren, lesbian ELCA Pastor Barbara Lundblad, and ELCA Pastor David Lose who denies that Jesus died in our place to pay for our sins. Last year liberal senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren addressed the Festival participants.
It is also offering yoga for attendees with this description:
"Yogadevotion...is an organic response to a deeply profound experience of God’s Presence following a vinyasa yoga class. The experience of God’s Presence through the practice of yoga... Some call it a time of prayer, some a time of worship, some a time to simply be present to God in a new way, and experience an increased sense of God’s Presence in the midst of busy lives."
As I have noted in previous posts, my alma mater Luther Seminary has embraced radical worship with chapel services featuring homosexual and transgender preachers, "deep breathing" meditation, and womanist/feminist worship, sometimes referring to God as "She" and "Mother". A few months ago President Robin Steinke of Luther Seminary announced that, due to financial problems, Luther is selling off a number of its buildings.
There is no sign that Luther Seminary has learned that unbiblical teaching will not grow a seminary. Sadly, I can recommend my old seminary to no one.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(The dedication, time and effort needed to report the apostasy of the ELCA is immense. This year a typical full-time ELCA pastor earned 90 times the amount Exposing the ELCA was given.
It is time to ask those who have been resourced and blessed by this ministry to support its work. Would you prayerfully consider a gift to this important ministry? Gifts can be given securely by credit card by going to this page on ExposingtheELCA.com and clicking on the "donate" link.)
As apostasy grows, it becomes more apparent. We certainly saw this with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 2018. True Christ followers, people who believe God and His Word, were exposed to eye-opening rejection of God’s Word and vile behavior and teachings by ELCA leaders--more than I have seen in my nine years of following the ELCA's activities. And more people heard about the ELCA's actions because of an unprecedented number of publications who wrote about them.
ExposingtheELCA.com had its most viewed year in the nine years it has been reporting. I believe God is calling His people out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is revealing to His people the extent to which the ELCA has turned its back on Him and embraced a counterfeit truth and an abandonment of Scripture.
Top ELCA News of 2018
If you haven't been paying attention to the ELCA's antics, please read the articles below by clicking on the headline, and you will see the extent to which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has fallen.
Women of the ELCA (WELCA) tweeted a link to a video where God is referred to as "She." The video was made by the theologically liberal "Sojourners." The video is called "My God is ---------." Seven seconds into the video a woman says, "She breaks through stained glass ceilings and brings down walls." The video shows about a dozen people completing the statement "My God is..." (See additional examples of the ELCA referring to God using female terms here and here)
Jesus spoke to God calling him "Father." One needs to ask why the ELCA is going against Jesus' own words. Based on all the ways the ELCA defies Scripture, some would say the ELCA wants a god after their own making.
Other statements in the WELCA shared video include, "My God was a refugee, was an immigrant, and wasn't white," and "My God doesn't care if I don't speak English." The video laced with manipulative statements that hold to the ELCA's and Sojourners social justice beliefs like, "My God heals without worrying about insurance."
This is what the Women of the ELCA is putting forth and sharing on Twitter for all who will listen.
Here is the video.
Below is a picture of the video WELCA shared speaking about God as a woman. And here is a link to the Women of the ELCA's tweet.
ELCA 'Best of' in 2018 Tweet Includes Presiding Bishop's Quote, 'Human Sexuality and Gender Identity is a Beautiful Mystery'
Below is a tweet by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They call it "#bestnine2018." The first picture listed is a statement by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton saying, "No human institution decides who is human, who is visible, who is valued. Human sexuality and gender identity is a beautiful mystery. Trans people, like all people, are beloved by God."
The ELCA is calling this one of their Best Nine of 2018. Also included in their best nine are two pictures (maybe three) of the atrocious ELCA Youth Gathering where teenagers were indoctrinated with leftist anti-Biblical theology and politics, a bunch of "ELCA votes" buttons, three pictures of candles and a cross picture.
Go to ELCA tweet here.
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