The Rev. Dr. Kristin Johnston Largen, Interim Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the ELCA's Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, (see here)
titles one of her blogs, “The Power of 'Story-truth' for Understanding the Bible.”
The ELCA seminary dean/professor writes, “Read this little piece, from a great website you should be reading regularly.” She then provides a link to the article “Fiction Is Best Way to Tell God’s Story.” Here we go again with ELCA leadership teaching and believing the Bible is composed of a bunch of made up stories.
The author of the article which Rev. Dr. Largen tells us to read “suspects” the Biblical writers are “adding and subtracting, making up a few things to get at the real truth.”
“By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened . . . and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help to clarify and explain.” (see here)
After encouraging readers to read this article ELCA Dean/Professor Largen writes “. . . think more deeply and creatively about what it means when we say something is 'true' in the context of our faith! [More Christians should think about this when reading Scripture!!]” (read here)
Don't we call people “liars” who make up stories while trying to pass them off as actual events?
The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook (here) and twitter (here.)
On April 9th the “Sex, Gender and the Old Testament” class put on the chapel service at the largest (though shrinking) seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can watch the service under “chapel archives” at luthersem.edu.
The service begins with the reading of a Psalm: “…God my Savior, she is the God who avenges me…she gives her great victories…she shows her unfailing love…”
Thus the Old Testament Scripture was changed from the correct reading “he” to read “she” for God. Then came the sermon. It was about the slave Hagar being told by the angel of the Lord to return to Sarah and Abraham.
“This text troubled us…who is this God who sends this abused woman back and tells her to submit…why would God send Hagar back into oppression?…I don’t know what kind of God doesn’t deliver her from oppression…”
But the preacher ended the sermon teaching that God is nevertheless present in human suffering.
The service concluded with the benediction. No “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” blessing here. Instead the worshippers were blessed in the name of the “Creator, Savior, and Sanctifier”. God the Father was nowhere mentioned in the service.
I’m afraid it may get worse on April 23 when Luther seminary chapel will be led by students in the “Feminist, Womanist, Mujerista Theolasian, and African Women’s Theology” class.
This kind of thing has been happening for quite a while at Luther. Thirteen years ago I attended a Luther chapel service when a male quartet got up to sing the 23rd Psalm. They sang “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, she maketh me line down in green pastures, she leadeth me beside the still waters, she restoreth my soul…”
So, sadly, it appears people are free to change the Bible if they don’t like how it reads at Luther Seminary.
You may remember Exposing the ELCA's blog discussing ELCA Pastor Clint Schnekloth. (read here) He pastors Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, AR, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). On April 7, 2015, Good Shepherd Lutheran made an announcement on their Facebook page:
“JOURNEY TOGETHER FAITHFULLY, our congregational study of issues related to faith and human sexuality, continues Sunday, April 12 at 10:00 am in the Fellowship Hall with a Transgender Panel open to the public. GSLC will welcome (two transgender persons) to share their personal stories and how they reconcile being a trans person and a Christian. Please join us for this informative panel and Q&A session. Reservations are not required.” (see here and here)
Following the Sunday morning transgender panel at Good Shepherd Lutheran, this post was made by Pastor Schnekloth on the ELCA Clergy Facebook page:
“Our transgender and Christian forum today was crowded and incredible. Lots to ponder, including the comparison between being born again and transitioning, and in general how much transition is tied into Christian faith. Amazing morning!” (see here)
Clint Schnekloth's church split a few months ago and shortly thereafter Pastor Schnekloth is presenting to his congregation the similarities of being born again and transitioning from one gender to the other. Just another example of the ELCA and its congregations celebrating sin instead of leading people to the cross for repentance and forgiveness. Grace cannot be fully experienced when sin is not acknowledged.
The following article was written April 4, 2015 by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook (here) and twitter (here.)
I looked at the upcoming chapel services for April at my alma mater Luther Seminary, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Some ELCA churches now incorporate "goddess" or "God the Mother" worship (see herchurch.org for some of the worst heresy in the ELCA). But it looks like this kind of thinking is perhaps making its way into the largest (though shrinking) ELCA seminary. Here are two of the chapel services for April listed on Luther Seminary's website:
- Service lead by students in "Sex, Gender, and the Old Testament" Class
- Service lead by students in "Feminist, Womanist, Mujerista Theolasian, And African Women's Theology" Class
As I mentioned in an earlier posting, the ELCA's newest hymnal has de-sexed all of the Psalms to get rid of masculine references for God and includes the hymn "Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth".
May you experience the blessing of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as you celebrate Christ's resurrection tomorrow!
Pastor Tom Brock
ELCA pastor Lynnae Sorensen made this stunning statement when giving her Easter sermon:
“It doesn't matter to me if you believe in the physical or a spiritual resurrection. It doesn't matter to me if you believe in an apparition or a vision or some other kind of mystery. What matters to me is if your belief is lived out in your faith.” (see video below)
Lynnae Sorensen is the senior pastor at Abiding Love Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. Her seminary schooling was through “The Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, an extension program of the ELCA’s Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Wartburg Theological Seminary.” Before becoming an ELCA pastor Lynnae, “worked in youth ministry, campus ministry and as an ELCA missionary in Slovakia for five years.” (read here)
What does your ELCA educated pastor believe about Jesus' resurrection and why is Rev. Sorensen's thinking on the resurrection allowed in the ELCA and its seminaries?
An Exposing the ELCA poll asked readers this question:
Should those who are not Christian be given Communion?
The results were:
- 79.14% of voters responded "No." (406 votes)
- 20.86% of voters responded "Yes." (107 votes)
Total Votes: 513
The evidence accumulating against the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America teaching universalism (that all people are saved) is overwhelming (see here and scroll down here). Sadly, there are many ELCA members who are in denial, ignorant of this fact or do not know that the teaching is non-biblical. That is why I continue to compile evidence in hopes that God will open the eyes of these members so that they will see the dangerous false teaching coming from their denomination.
Today I'd like to share with you three more instances of the ELCA teaching universalism. The first is from the self-promoting ELCA preacher/author/speaker Nadia Bolz-Weber. During a sermon given October 2014, the stench of universalism filled the sanctuary when Bolz-Weber preached, “So I believe with all my being that those who leave this world, even by their own hand, are held in the same pure love of God from which they were born. If they could not feel the truth of God’s love in life, they are surrounded by it in the life everlasting.” (see here)
The second comes from Rev. Scot D. Ruffatto of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Mukwonago, WI (ELCA) who writes:
“Just a thought, if there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus does that also include God’s apparent favoritism in the Bible? Or even the condition of having to believe?” (see here)
And lastly, from Matthew Frost, a Ph.D student at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
“I make no secret of the fact that I am a universalist, and a very particular one. I believe that the whole creation is in fact redeemed in Christ, without concern for moral change, ontological change, or 'regeneration.'" (see here)
The following is by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.
The April issue of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's official magazine, The Lutheran, has on its cover "Helping Save the Earth". The articles inside are about saving the planet. Yes, we should be good stewards of the environment, but I got to thinking: When is the last time The Lutheran had a cover article "Saving lost human souls through the Gospel of Christ"? I have never seen such a cover. Maybe because the ELCA doesn't know if it believes people are really lost without Christ. The Lutheran has printed a number of articles espousing universalism, the heresy that faith in Christ is not necessary for salvation (ultimately everyone universally will be saved, Christian or not). Where in the ELCA is the zeal for saving lost human souls? Tragically, I believe it has been replaced with concern for saving the planet, changing immigration laws, Middle East politics, gay advocacy, etc. etc. Just go to ELCA.org and look at its "News releases". Its mainly liberal politics. Perhaps the reason the number of ELCA missionaries has dropped dramatically since the ELCA's founding in 1988 is because many in ELCA leadership do not believe in Hell anymore. And in the ELCA's hymnal, the line in the Apostle's Creed that Jesus "descended into hell" has been left out.
Years ago when I was still in the ELCA, some conservative pastors and I went to our Minneapolis Area Synod conventions every year and raised questions like: Why does the ELCA pay for abortion with offering dollars in its healthcare plan? Why is the ELCA promoting homosexuality? Why are we changing the Biblical "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" language for feminine images of God? One year we even had a resolution reaffirming the Bible's teaching that Jesus is the only way of salvation (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). It lost.
What did pass one year was a resolution that we go back to our churches and encourage that we drink coffee out of ceramic cups because styrofoam cups are dangerous to the environment. I could take it no more and got to the microphone: "If we cared half as much about the dangers of hell as we do about the dangers of the styrofoam cup, there might be hope for this synod."
Well, in three days we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, when He triumphed over sin, death and Hell for us. And yes, according to the Bible and Jesus Christ Himself, Hell really does exists.
In the love of our Risen Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
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