What ELCA Synods Promote
Check out what these ELCA Synods are bolstering:
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is proudly promoting in their synod newsletter:
The Rocky Mountain Synod's newsletter from a few months ago promoted:
Three ELCA synods in Illinois and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois promote Lutheran Advocacy—Illinois, a justice ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Among the issues they advocate for are:
On Friday, February 14th Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church (LCMC) learned that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against Bethel's Council members, named as defendants, had filed a Notice of Appeal with the Phelps County District Court, appealing the decision of Judge Harder to grant the defendants' Motion to Dismiss. In January 2014, Judge Harder dismissed the lawsuit filed by a small minority of Bethel's members which sought to nullify the current Constitution and Bylaws of Bethel, invalidate Bethel's affiliation with the LCMC, declare Bethel affiliated with another Lutheran denomination, have Pastor Jamie Strickler declared ineligible to serve as Bethel's pastor, and other related actions. Judge Harder determined that she did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the case given the 1st Amendment issues involved on the face of the plaintiffs' complaint.
This matter will now go to appeal before the Nebraska Court of Appeals with a future date for oral arguments to be determined. The appeal is Aldrich v. Nelson, Court of Appeals No: A-14-000143. As developments occur, we will keep Bethel's members, supporters and friends informed.
Please pray for Bethel as we continue to be the church and to do its work in Holdrege. We will not allow this lawsuit, which is contrary to Scripture's instruction that Christians should not sue each other in court, to effect what we are called by the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) to do. Please also pray for the plaintiffs that they may repent of their actions and together they and Bethel may be reconciled, ending rifts between families who have worshiped together for generations. Please also pray that by Bethel standing firm on Scripture, God will allow other congregations to gain their freedom without having to endure the harassment that we have endured here in Holdrege.
More ELCA 'Inclusive' Language
Exposing the ELCA has been documenting for years the ELCA's removal of masculine words for God from their language, publications and teaching. Here are two more examples:
- From an article about ELCA Presiding Bishop Eaton -
"The work of the Church, Bishop Eaton said, is not so much saving souls. 'That's God's work, and if God loves God's creation, you're part of God's creation; you're going to be loved.'" - Read here. (Besides ELCA Presiding Bishop Eaton's obvious choice to not refer to God with male pronouns, I find her statement saying the ELCA is not about saving souls to be a doctrine of the devil.)
- This is a comment from someone on an ELCA clergy page -
“We are struggling with the lack of inclusive language for God in our anthems. Our dir of music ministry is careful not to violate copyright so does not want to change the words to better reflect a nongendered reference to God. What have you found helpful?
Alt music source?
Is it legal to change words intentionally?
I suppose we can ask permission to swap words (not the music) to the copyright holder.
We are not going to 'just do it' so i need concrete ideas please.
I'm eagerly awaiting your collective wisdom. Thanks!”
Does the ELCA Believe in Hell?
(by Pastor Tom Brock)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's official magazine The Lutheran has printed more than one article poo-pooing the idea of hell.
This week on the ELCA's website, they ask two pastors that question. Looks like the first one says "Who knows, but because of grace we probably shouldn't", whereas the second one says "Yes."
Here are their responses:
Monica: .... I don’t know that the ELCA has an “official” theological position on heaven or hell other than the Lutheran church affirms the power of the resurrection for eternal life. We also affirm in the Apostles’ Creed that Jesus himself descended into hell (death) and on the third day he rose and ascended into heaven. Luther’s Small Catechism speaks of Christ’s descent into hell not for the purpose of suffering but to proclaim victory over death and enemies. Christ’s ascent into heaven shows God’s will for life. Not even death by crucifixion can keep God’s love from shining in the darkness of our world.
Brian: I think it's fair to say that the ELCA’s “official” position is that heaven and hell exist. It would be impossible to go much further in articulating any description of either. Even the Bible doesn’t offer a single clear description or definition of either.
Add to this that many professors at ELCA seminaries are universalists (the teaching that all people will be saved, regardless of faith in Christ) and you get a mixed bag. But I think it is safe to say many ELCA professors and pastors do not believe in eternal punishment for those who reject Christ.
The problem is that when one becomes a pastor in the ELCA, one makes an oath to uphold the teaching of the Scriptures, the Creeds and the Lutheran Confessions--all of which teach the reality of hell. Jesus taught hell on a number of occasions, that should settle it. But sadly, not in the ELCA.
(link to the ELCA article here)
Nebraska Church Leaves ELCA
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hastings, NE successfully voted, for the second time, to leave the ELCA and join the LCMC. Their first vote was 68% their second 74%.
The San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches, ELCA has a disturbing blog detailing their involvement and participation in non-Christian religious activities.
This conference of ten ELCA parishes along with three affiliated outreach ministries celebrated “Pluralism Summer” last year. Here is how they describe it.
“As we approach the final third of our 'Pluralism Summer,' I’m reminded of how much I still have to learn. Our guests have fed us with such a rich banquet of information, personal stories and experiences: from chanted Baha’i prayers to a Wiccan guided meditation to a Sufi’s reflections on Ramadan – and more.
And there’s still good stuff to come: Sufism Reoriented, Hindu, Secular Humanism, Sikh, as well as a woman extraordinarily ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. At the end of the summer, we’ll go off on a congregational retreat to Mercy Center, where one of their specialties is a program of East/West meditation. We’ll get to spend some time with Fr. Greg Mayers, who is both priest and Zen master.
Some people may see this venture as a slippery slope into relativism, but I would heartily disagree.” (see here)
One of the churches involved also hosted a “goddess craft sale” and "goddess Harvest Festival” last fall. Among the many activities was a workshop conducted by Mz Dionne Kohler, Drumming Priestess. Mz Kohler writes -
“I am guided by Gaia and the rhythms of Our Mother Earth. As the Spirit Moves
you...please join us, Nov. 16th & 17th.”
Another workshop was titled, “Energize, Renew and Uncoil Your Divine-ness with Kundalini Yoga” (see here)
Below are the 10 parishes that are part of the The San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches, ELCA
Christ Church Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Steven P. Sabin
Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Stacy Boorn
First United Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Susan M. Strouse
(Dean, San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches)
Pastor Susan’s Blog at http://progressivechurch.wordpress.com/
Grace Lutheran Church, ELCA
Lutheran Church of Our Savior, ELCA
Interim Pastor David Rohrer
St. Francis Lutheran Church, ELCA
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Elizabeth Ekdale
St. Mary and St. Martha Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor: Stacey Siebrasse
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of San Francisco, ELCA
Saint Paulus Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Dan Solberg
(This report is by Pastor Tom Brock. Check out his ministry at The Pastor's Study here. The "Jesus, Justice and Jazz" National Youth Gathering of the ELCA was held in 2009).
The ELCA's "Jesus, Justice and Jazz" youth conference gave out Bibles for youth which re-interpret what the Bible says about homosexuality in I Corinthians 6:9-11. For 2,000 years Christians have read two Greek words in that text to refer to homosexuality. Not any more. Here's what the ELCA Bible says (to youth yet):
"Two terms..have been mistranslated from the Greek in all modern versions, and this has caused needless pain in the church....The issue here is violence. Neither term pertains to homosexuality or to the lives of gay and lesbian people."
So "all modern versions"--and all ancient versions for that matter-- are wrong and the ELCA is right.
The truth is that the ELCA's promotion of homosexuality is what will really cause "needless pain in the church" as youth embrace a lifestyle that is physically harmful in this life and eternally harmful in the next.
I urge those who are still members of the ELCA, time to find another church.
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