ELCA churches love to post on their church websites how “welcoming” they are. It's especially directed to people in the homosexual community. One ELCA church said it this way, “As a Christian community, we invite all people to join us as we work to better understand the meaning of grace for our lives. We welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities into the life and mission of our congregation.” (see here)
Another ELCA church says,
“We are all a part of God’s family and all are welcomed here:
Welcoming, rightly defined, is a good thing, but the ELCA errors in its definition. They've turned “welcoming” into “embracing” people's sinful homosexual ways. They invite people to live out their homosexual lifestyle with full approval of the church.
God's Word tells us homosexuality is sin, yet the ELCA says it is not. The ELCA will not proclaim God's power to free people from sin, and they will not talk about repentance or turning from sexual sins. People struggling with same-sex attraction are in bondage to their sin, and the ELCA “ministers of Christ” tell them to stop struggling and to embrace and indulge in it. The ELCA declares that what they are doing is “loving,” but the truth of the matter is that it is harmful and evil.
Not only does the ELCA harm those trapped in this sin, it also harms the faith of others in their congregations. The ELCA invites homosexual relationships to be on display in the church for all to see (including the children of the church). Paul would have given these churches a stern and heavy warning for permitting this, because it is clearly declared to be wrong in Scripture.
Would a church allow an alcoholic to drink a 12 pack of beer during the sermon? Would they allow the sex addict to view pornographic magazines while worshiping? No. And yet the ELCA allows and encourages the homosexual lifestyle to be celebrated.
Sinners are welcome in worship, if not, no one should be there, but blatant sinful behavior should not be. It's wrong, and subjecting children and all those in the congregation to a sinful lifestyle is in opposition to God.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” - Mark 9:42
A lenten blessing from the ELCA worship planning resource Sundays and Seasons includes this gem (monstrosity):
“God our Father bless you and shield you.
Christ our Mother shelter you and carry you.
God the Holy Spirit guide your journey
+ both now and forever.
Seriously? “Christ our Mother?” The publishing company for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Augsburg Fortess) is suggesting ELCA churches use this blessing? The track record for this denomination shows that this is not an anomaly. The ELCA Director for Justice for Women, from the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA showed pictures of a female Jesus to a conference in 2011 (see here) Additionally, the ELCA has embraced calling God “mother” and eliminating the use of male pronouns for God as well as Christ's favorite name for God “Father.” (see here and here)
As far as Sunday and Seasons goes check out what else they have said in their liturgical resources here and here.
Members of the ELCA, do you really want to be taught, led and discipled by this denomination?
The Lutheran, an ELCA magazine, published a story this month under their section “Deeper understandings” and the topic was “Faith and science.” In a previous Exposed blog we dealt with this article's offensive comments and non-Biblical support of evolution. (see here) The same ELCA article also had some strong words on man-made global warming and a message for people who do not believe global warming is true.
ELCA Professor Gilson A.C. Waldkoenig of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.) referenced new scientific evidence for global warming in the article and stated, “human beings warm the atmosphere through relentless burning of fossil fuels and consumption of earth's habitat.”
Prof. Waldkoenig also commented:
“Many Christians look at findings about global warming as real and present reasons to repent and change behavior, and an invitation to walk humbly in God's shadow rather than proudly in front.”
Then addressing those who do not believe global warming is happening or that man is responsible for it, Professor Waldkoenig said “If you don't like some scientific finding you can re-test based upon more data, but data and scientific findings don't care if you believe them or not. . . When we waste our belief on other things besides God, it is what the Bible called idolatry, and Jesus also called foolishness. Likewise, disbelief of some things that are not God can be foolish and even idolatrous, on par with misdirected belief.
For example, if 'disbelief' of global warming protects arrogance that humankind has a right to destroy anything that exists, it is a kind of idolatry standing in the way of true belief and devotion to God, as well as a foolish approach to God's creation.” (see here)
Two thoughts; 1) the ELCA is using the inherent respect and trust given to religious leaders, by its members, to influence them toward the denomination's liberal positions and 2) even if you believe in man-made global warming, it is not right for a denomination to falsely call people foolish and idolaters because they don't hold to the liberal view of the denomination.
You are an animal, so says the leadership of the ELCA. This belief results from the rejection of the historical account of creation told in the Bible. Instead they believe in and teach the theory of evolution as truth. The February 2013 edition of the official magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran, contains an article where we are told that:
“the scientific evidence for evolution inspires some Christians to celebrate God's ongoing and oft-surprising creativity, but it deeply offends others.”
This was written by ELCA seminary professor Gilson A.C. Waldkoenig of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.) and published by the leadership of the denomination in their official magazine.
So lets review what they are saying. We are animals. If you believe the Bible and not evolution, you are foolish, lacking in humility, and idolatrous. That seems backward (and evil) to me, and it should to anyone else whose eyes are not blinded by the enemy.
The stream of faithful followers of Christ leaving the ELCA continues and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is feeling it, in the pocket book.
“The Delaware-Maryland Synod Council met on January 12, 2013, at New Hope Lutheran Church, Columbia. Faced with a decrease in mission support of $138,000 over last year, the Council voted to cap 2013 expenses at 90% for all budget items that are not fixed (such as rent). This includes grants to ministry partners and staffing. In order to reduce staffing costs by ten percent without layoffs, the Council voted to rescind a 3% cost-of-living increase that had been part of the approved 2013 budget. Other savings will be achieved by shifting health insurance costs and continuing one of the administrative assistant positions part-time.” (see here)
Also, the Saint Paul Area Synod Council is making a recommendation that the synod increase its take of the money sent to the synod, by its congregations, and decrease the amount of money given to the ELCA churchwide. The Synod Council is recommending that they receive a 2.5% increase while the money sent on to the ELCA churchwide is decreased by 2.5%. The recommendation will be brought to the synod assembly for consideration.
(see the motion Adjustment of Proportionate Share Between the Saint Paul Area here.
The linked document also contains other recommended budget cuts.
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