It amazes me that so many ELCA pastors reject God’s historic account of how He made the world. (see previous report here) We see it again, just this last week printed in The Seattle Times newspaper. ELCA pastor, Ronald Moe-Lobeda (University Lutheran Church, Seattle, WA) wrote a letter to the editor proudly proclaiming his and his synod’s support for homosexual marriage. Moe-Lobeda declares:
“One of the strongest biblical arguments in favor of marriage between a man and a woman has been that traditional interpretation of the Adam and Eve story in Genesis 2. However, I recently have concluded that the names of Eve and Adam are simply metaphors for Israel and Judah and have nothing to do with being real people, let alone personifications of all women and men,” (see here) Then Rev. Moe-Lobeda points the readers to his book on the subject, “The Mystery of Eve and Adam.”
I looked up Rev. Moe-Lobeda’s book, and this is what the book’s description tells us:
“What if the story of Eve and Adam was not meant to be a story about creation and the origin of life? What if Eve and Adam were not personifications of all women and men? What if the curse on the woman had nothing to do with the physical pain of giving birth? What if working by the sweat of the brow was a description of the slavery that existed under the monarchy? What if being cast out of the garden of Eden was a metaphor for the deportation of people from Judah to Babylon?
The author of this book takes readers on a journey of inquiry leading to the conclusion that the story of Eve and Adam was authored by the theological school of Jeremiah in order to dissuade the Judean people never to reinstate the monarchy after their return from Babylon—a monarchy that previously was responsible for so much infant mortality, subjugation of women, and enslavement of its own people. At the heart of this journey is the discovery that Eve and Adam actually are metaphors for Israel and Judah—two nations that chose to have a king like other nations and suffered the consequences.” (see here)
This kind of teaching reminds me of God’s word that says, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” - 2 Peter 2:1-3
The ELCA makes great effort and invests a lot of money to partner with non-Christian religious entities. Not for the purpose of evangelism or helping others come to salvation only found in Jesus, mind you, but for the purpose of “understanding” each other. (See here, here, here and here)
If you do a search on elca.org for “understanding muslims” you find a plethora of information (over 580 results). Yet there seems to be another effort in the ELCA to demonize fellow Lutherans and Christians. (See here, here, here and here)
A recent newspaper article about a dual-affiliated church (ELCA and LCMC) provides more evidence of this. Bishop Michael Burk of the Southeast Iowa ELCA synod made many non-charitable comments about the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) association:
“Burk said the dual affiliation with the LCMC is ‘becoming a member of two groups that are opposed to each other.’”
Bishop Burk said that the dual-affiliated church’s council, “decided to join that body knowing that’s prohibited in the ELCA” and that dual-rostering isn’t allowed by the ELCA (a statement Burk later contradicts) “especially if the church body you want to join is schismatic body,” (referring to the LCMC).
“(The LCMC) wasn’t just upset with the ELCA and deciding to leave, but they were doing everything they could to disenfranchise the ELCA, to undermine everything that the denomination believes,” Bishop Burk said. (read here)
You should know, the LCMC is fine with churches being affiliated with the ELCA and themselves, but the ELCA is not fine with ELCA churches being affiliated with the LCMC.
What kind of denomination wants to partner with religious groups which boldly worship false gods yet, that same denomination, wants nothing to do with certain Christ-following persons and fellow Lutherans?
Update on the situation with ELCA bishop Steven Ullestad:
As of today, I have not been contacted or received an apology for the false public statement (slander) made against me by the bishop, as requested in my attorney’s letter. (see here) It has been almost two months since he received the certified letter.
The Lutheran Church of Honolulu (ELCA), in complete disregard for what God says in scripture claims that homosexuality is a gift from God. In a FAQ segment listed on the church’s website, they state:
“I know it says on your site that you openly welcome gay and lesbians into your church...and that’s awesome. But do you teach that homosexuality is wrong? Because it does say that in the Bible. They’re sinners and they obviously can’t become a Christian until they give their whole life to God...and that means obeying Him. Which includes turning from the sin of homosexuality. Just wondering.
We don’t teach that homosexuality in and of itself is wrong or a sin. Our sexuality—both homosexuality and heterosexuality—is a gift from God, and how we use it is a response to the overflowing grace of God in Jesus Christ.” (read here)
Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays hosted speaker, Jimmy Creech, at Haven Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Salisbury, NC.
“‘Mr. Creech is a pioneer in issues of LGBT equality, including marriage equality. His commitment and passion has made him an iconic fixture within that community and his experiences have made him a must hear speaker for those of us that hold that struggle dear,’ said Mike Clawson, current president of the local chapter and PFLAG’s North Carolina state coordinator.” (see here)
Mr. Creech is a former Methodist minister who had charges “brought against him for violating the Order and Discipline of the United Methodist Church after he officiated a covenant ceremony for two women. He was acquitted during that church trial, but charges were again filed against him by the Methodist Church in 1999, after he officiated the union of two men in Chapel Hill.”
The ELCA seems to love doing anything and everything that is not evangelism and sharing the good news of salvation in Christ with those who desperately need to hear. The ELCA's leaders do what they think is of utmost importance and mostly disregard what Jesus commanded them to do, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” - Matthew 28:29-30
Here are three examples of how the ELCA is “majoring in the minors” of environmentalism and climate change:
“And know that Mother Earth, our great and good planet, will appreciate your interest. Please be there!”
Here is an interesting list of the resolutions adopted at the Saint Paul Area Synod Assembly. Of course they voted to oppose the Minnesota Marriage Amendment (the MN amendment defines marriage to be only between one man and one woman.
The state of Washington passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage which will take effect June 2012. Opponents of this law have started gathering signatures for a petition which would cause the law to be subject to a state-wide voter referendum (Referendum 74). In response to the petition, retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors Donald Heinz, Paul Borg, Don Clinton, Daryl Daugs, Richard Hermstad, Bob Keller, Bob Olmsted, Dick Werner and Lyle Miller wrote a letter published in the Peninsula Gateway, a news publication in Gig Harbor, WA. In the letter, the retired ELCA pastors proclaim their support for same-sex marriage and ask people to not sign what they call the “anti-gay” petition.
Calling the petition “anti-gay” shows me that these ELCA leaders have little respect for people who believe God’s Word on homosexuality. They feel that they sit in a position to judge those in favor of traditional marriage, and to deem them with derogatory terms. I also find it interesting that these are retired ELCA pastors, people who most likely have been leaders in the denomination for many, many years.
The retired ELCA pastors’ letter also states:
“We do not oppose Referendum 74 because we are moral relativists who merely want Christianity to adapt itself to shifting winds. But we do note that all demographic studies make obvious that the anti-gay prejudice will be obsolete by the next generation.”
“. . . the real threats to marriage and family in the United States come from heterosexuals.”
“. . . We are particularly dismayed that the lovely sounding ‘family values’ pitch is, in fact, Christian code for homophobia and historic prejudice.”
“Conservative Christianity, whether evangelical or Catholic, seems preoccupied with the dangerous sexuality of women and the cultural border-crossings of gays.”
“. . . Christians must not simply tolerate but welcome and embrace gays and join in celebrating their life together.” (see here)
As you can read, these retired ELCA leaders are very devoted to the cause of gay marriage and they have little regard for those who disagree with them.
So why are some of you content with being a member in the ELCA?
Check this out from an extreme ELCA supporter, blogger (I have only seen her identify herself as “Kelly”)
“We are taught early in our Sunday School years that humanity was made in God’s likeness. So if you take that concept to heart, then God is not only our Father, he is our Mother. God is straight and God is gay.” (see here)
This blogger describes herself as “. . . a Reconciling Lutheran. I embrace progressive politics. I believe in reproductive rights, health care reform and support GLBTQ rights. I strongly believe in Social Justice. I am pro-science and believe in evolution.” (see here)
Kelly also says, “. . .I have never been prouder to be raising my daughters to be strong members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” (see here)
At Luther College (ELCA) there is a teaching professor who claims Jesus was a Muslim. The professor is Robert F. Shedinger, an Associate Professor of Religion and Department Head at Luther. (see here) Professor Shedinger wrote a book to promote his view titled, Was Jesus A Muslim? in which he writes:
Professor Shedinger went on to say that the purpose of his book “is a call for Muslims and Christians to learn how to work together for social justice.”
Later he says, “And I think that is who Jesus was in the first century so I conclude Jesus is more like a Muslim than the Christianized Jesus that is more a spiritual savior and not as interested in issues of social justice.”
During a different interview with Professor Shedinger regarding his book he said, “Muslim readers really like the book and don’t find the idea of Jesus being a Muslim at all controversial . . . What does surprise them is seeing such an idea coming from someone who identifies as a Christian. But overall Muslim readers have embraced the book . . .The Christian reaction has been mostly silence . . .” (read here)
So while the Luther College website boasts that professor Shedinger, "has been a regular speaker in mosques and Islamic Centers around the country," (see here) Bible-believing Christians everywhere should let the leadership in the ELCA and Luther College know that they disapprove of anti-Christian teaching happening in their church supported and congregational supported denomination’s schools. Let us not be found silent.
Luther College is an ELCA affiliated school. (see here)
Shedinger, Robert (2009). Was Jesus A Muslim? Questioning categories in the study of religion. Fortress Press, Minneapolis. ISBN 978-0-8006-6325-4
Planned Parenthood is in the business of aborting babies. That is how they make most of their money.
In my opinion, it is a grievous sin to support the abortion factory of Planned Parenthood. Today we highlight Rev. Dr. Paul T. Jersild, an ELCA Professor of Theology and Ethics, Emeritus at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and former dean at the ELCA’s Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. Obviously a man who has trained up and instructed many ELCA pastors and leaders.
Rev. Dr. Paul T. Jersild is listed as being on the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia’s board of directors for 2010. (see here)
Rev. Jersild is listed as a financial donor in the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia 2010 Yearbook (see here)
Rev. Jersild wrote an article entitled, “Response to the accusation that Planned Parenthood is a racist organization” which is listed as a resource on the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia website. (see here)
One more detail about Rev. Jersild, he was one of the early proponents of homosexuality in the ELCA saying, “we need to move away from the kind of rational, universal thinking about human sexuality that coerces everyone into the same heterosexual mold . . .” (see here)
Over a year ago, ELCA Presiding Bishop chose to join forces with Dan Savage and his “It Gets Better” anti-bullying project by making a video aimed toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. (see Exposing the ELCA’s blog about it here) Dan Savage is an author, media pundit, journalist and sex advice columnist. He is also a well know gay activist.
Mr. Savage must have liked Bishop Hanson’s video because he chose to include Bishop Hanson’s transcript from the video in a “It Gets Better” book Mr. Savage was editing. Not only that, but Bishop Hanson must have been proud of this because the ELCA sent out a news release about him being in the book. (see here) And as of today the ELCA is promoting Dan Savage’s work on the ELCA website. (see here)
So lets learn more about this person Bishop Hanson chose to work with.
Not more than a month ago Dan Savage made news for the anti-Christian, Bible-bashing attack speech he gave to a large group of high school journalism students. Below are just a couple of things Dan Savage said there: (warning for foul language)
“We can learn to ignore the b******* in the Bible and what it says about gay people.” (see here)
“It’s funny as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansy-assed people react when you push back.” (read here)
ClitizenLink blogger, Candi Cushman, said this about Savage and his speech, “Using profanity to deride the bible – and then mocking the Christian students after they left the room — is obviously a form of bullying and name-calling.” (read here) Remember that Savage is the founder of the anti-bullying project Bishop Hanson participated in.
Just so you know, Dan Savage has been saying vile things for a long time, things that any God honoring denomination would not want to be part of. In July 16, 2011 Dan Savage was videotaped saying some things that are so vile, hateful and disgusting I can not post them. (Go to the linked reports here and here if you want to read/see it.)
Just for good measure, two more article about Mr. Savage, “‘Face of Progressive Hate?’ Gay Rights Activist Dan Savage Goes on Graphic Rant About Homosexuality & the Pope.” (see here) and
“In 2000, Savage boasted of licking door knobs at then-presidential candidate Gary Bauer's campaign office in an attempt to give Bauer the flu.” (see here)
For someone who talks and acts like Savage, who spews such filth and seems to hate Christians who believe the Bible, I find it disturbing that the ELCA's Presiding Bishop chose to work with him and that the ELCA's website continues to promote his work. Maybe its a case of the ELCA leadership using poor judgement. . .at least I hope that is their reason.
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