By Pastor Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Facebook users can follow Pastor Brock by going here and twitter users here.
Perhaps one of the most radically left-of-center TV commentators is MSNBC's lesbian Rachel Maddow. She is ever vigilant in promoting abortion rights and homosexuality. Former Bishop Mark Hanson, who said the ELCA was publicly "repenting" of "bullying" when he helped install the ELCA's first practicing homosexual bishop Guy Irwin, spoke recently at a workshop at the ELCA's Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod. Someone asked him... his favorite TV show. He responded that one of the programs is Rachel Maddow interviews. Wow. Sadly, to my knowledge, Hanson never spoke once against abortion during his years as bishop. And it was during his years of leadership that the ELCA started to ordain active homosexual pastors. And sadly, the new head ELCA bishop Elizabeth Eaton has stated she too supports the ELCA's decision on homosexual clergy. Once again I must say: Time for everyone to leave the ELCA. And pray!
Calling Out the ELCA
The non-Biblical teachings of the ELCA continue and Biblically knowledgeable readers of the ELCA's official magazine, the Lutheran, are letting the denomination know what they think. Here are some recent letters that were sent to the magazine -
"Peter W. Marty’s advocacy of the old heresy of universalism is heartbreaking (March, page 4). If the editor believed in the doctrines of the church, he would suspend Marty immediately. If the presiding bishop loved her church she would start the process of defrocking him tomorrow. Neither of these will happen. The leaders of the ELCA are so lukewarm and lazy that they will sniff at their critics and pretend that they are not tolerating a debilitating old heresy but are actually breaking new theological ground.
“It appears that Marty accidentally submitted his “Who gets saved?” column to The Lutheran when he surely must have intended it for publication in a Unitarian Universalist periodical. How careless.
The Rev. Elna L. Stratton
“Marty tells us in January (page 3) that God does not answer our prayers, and in March that Christians have no special place with God over any other religion. In between, Erik Heen tells us in “Predestination” (February, page 14) that all will be saved. These articles would be more appropriate in a Unitarian magazine. They do not seem Lutheran to me.
Richard N. Bergesen
West Chester, Pa.”
“I was dismayed to read Marty’s column in March (page 3), which appeared to embrace universal salvation. Christ did, indeed, die for everyone. However, an individual must accept Christ as savior to receive the gift of eternal life. I was born into a Jewish family, circumstances over which I had no control. Although I love my heritage, I was not saved and assured of heaven until I accepted Jesus as the messiah 35 years ago. This is a scriptural fact, not an 'exclusive club' mentality.
“In her April column the presiding bishop mentions German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I am currently reading my fourth book on Bonhoeffer, his Letters from Prison. If Bonhoeffer were alive today, I think he would question the ELCA and the direction taken by our beloved church during the past 20 years. In fact, he would flee in the opposite direction.
Ober J. Anderson
Bonus letter -
“Clearly the ELCA should warmly welcome people of all races (February, page 50). There are also other types of diversity. Wikipedia states that the ELCA is a broad denomination containing socially conservative and liberal factions that emphasize liturgical renewal, confessional Lutheranism, charismatic revivalism, moderate to liberal theology and liberal activism. Divergence (a form of diversity) on gay ordination has led to another Balkanization (a potential result of diversity) of American Lutherans. Politically, surveys indicate that the laity splits evenly between 45 percent Democrat and 43 percent Republican, yet clergy are 69 percent Democrat and 19 percent Republican, revealing another diversity gap within the ELCA.
New York City”
This week a federal judge threw out a 10 year old constitutional amendment, approved by the people of Oregon, banning same-sex marriage. A gleeful ELCA bishop, Dave Brauer-Rieke, went to the newspaper to proclaim his support for the federal judge's action. Bishop Brauer-Rieke of the Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in an obvious attempt to draw in new parishioners and money to the crumbling denomination, writes, “My church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S., has always and unwaveringly supported civil rights for all people. This includes individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender . . . This past weekend, our Assembly of Oregon congregations overwhelmingly affirmed the freedom to marry for same-gender couples in Oregon. Thank you, Judge McShane, for doing the right thing.”
Bishop Brauer-Rieke than writes that the “Assembly of Oregon Lutherans also passed a resolution 'to stand in opposition to any and all attempts to legalize discrimination in the name of religious freedom.'" In other words, if you are a Christian business person, the ELCA synod rejects your right to refuse to participate in a gay wedding or to refuse to hire a transsexual.
Bishop Brauer-Rieke writes, “In the public realm, Christians do not pick and choose.” (read here)
Thank you, Bishop and the Oregon Synod, for letting us know that your denomination stands against and is leading the charge against the religious rights of Bible-believing Christians.
ELCA's Most Popular Pastor Decides What Parts of the Bible are NOT the Word of God, Calls Some of Paul's Writings 'Wretched' and Just 'His Snotty Opinions'
She hangs out with ELCA bishops, she speaks on the biggest ELCA stages, she is more popular and revered than Martin Luther in the denomination, but her theology is poison. Its ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. Exposing the ELCA has exposed Bolz-Weber's teaching in detail (scroll down page here) and in a recent interview we hear more of her heretical thoughts concerning Scripture.
At the 16 minute mark of Nadia Bolz-Weber's profanity-laced interview she says, “I had this weird realization about Paul, the apostle Paul . . . There's stuff in Paul's letters that is like so incredibly beautiful its like you almost tear up reading it, right? At where you're like that is the Gospel. Like when he is good he is unbeatable, right? When he is bad he is wretched. Right? So in Paul's letters its like at one point he is just going off about his opinions about on how you should do church and what this person should do and don't do that and this isn't okay and blah blah blah and then he speaks theologically and it's like beautiful, right? . . . there's a difference in me in what I say as a speaker and what I say as a preacher.”
Bolz-Weber goes on to describe that when she is speaking to people, she has some authority to speak on the topics but a lot of what she says are her own “snotty opinions.” According to Bolz-Weber, preaching is different.
“. . . 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 here)
You read that right, Nadia Bolz-Weber believes that the parts of the Bible she likes are the “Word of God.” However, the parts of Scripture that she doesn't like are not the “Word of God” but rather they are just the author's snotty opinions.
Bolz-Weber is dangerously wrong. ALL of Scripture is God's Word! Paul, the man who wrote 13 books of the New Testament, says this about the Bible -
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Paul writes, all Scripture is God-breathed, but ELCA superstar Nadia Bolz-Weber disagrees. She even believes that her preaching is more of the Word of God than the segments of the Bible she doesn't like.
Why are some of you staying in the ELCA when such heresy is lifted up?
ELCA and Universalism Video
In an effort to reach more people with the truth about what the ELCA teaches regarding salvation, Exposing the ELCA has created this video highlighting universalism being taught by ELCA leadership.
The following is from Lutheran CORE's April, 2014 newsletter. The article is titled "ELCA Witness: Synod assemblies" by Pastor Cori Johnson -
“At the NGLS synod assembly in 2013, a resolution came forward asking for study of the book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. The synod council recommended the resolution for adoption. The book was twelve years old at the time, and the author is an avowed atheist! Ehrenreich was the keynote speaker at the 2005 WELCA Triennial Convention in San Antonio, Texas, where she talked about her atheism during her keynote address. Many women walked out.
(see article here, page 5)
Did you hear the one about a ELCA seminary professor who prayed to (or through) Mary? Or the seminary prof who calls drag queens some of her favorite “critical gender theorists and theologians?” Or the Seminary professor who calls herself a “drag-inspired theological dominatrix?”
If not, then you may not have heard of or met Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney. She is an associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and is someone Exposing the ELCA has written about many times before. (see here, here, here, here and here)
On Twitter Rev. Dr. Gafney calls herself a “drag-inspired theological dominatrix.” (see here) And in a sermon given at her seminary chapel she declared, “I love drag queens. I love the way they make me think about gender, its construction and its performance. Drag queens like RuPaul, Sharon Needles and Latrice Royale are some of my favorite critical gender theorists and theologians.” (see here)
Rev. Dr. Gafney's blog, on the seminary's website, has this prayer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the beginning and conclusion of one of her articles -
“Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death. Amen.”
Rev. Dr. Gafney writes the following trying to justify praying to/through Mary -
“In her office as mother of God, mother of sorrows and some say the first priest of the church to offer the body and blood of Christ to the world, she endures as a shining light in the communion of saints. We believe in the communion of saints. We confess it on a regular basis and live it when we talk to our loved ones after their deaths at their graves or anywhere we feel their spirits.
We pray not so much to the Virgin as through the Virgin, asking her to pray for us now and in the hour of our deaths. We confess the communion of saints and eternal lives of all the holy dead believing that God is not God of the dead, but the God of the living. We ask the saints, prophets, martyrs and Mother of God to pray for us as we ask each other to do the same.” (read here)
Finally, another blog by Rev. Dr. Gafney has her stating that the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 of the New Testament is queer. (see here)
Rev. Dr. Gafney claims that she is not out-of-the-ordinary as far as ELCA seminary professors go -
So have no doubt, as Dr. Gafney professes, this kind of "progressive" teaching permeates the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's seminaries. Teachings that should not be allowed in any Christian institution.
Exposing the ELCA asked its readers their response to this question:
"The ELCA advocates that Israel give its land to the Palestinians. Do you believe Christians are better off living in Israel or a newly created Muslim country?"
89.53% (248 votes) said "Better off living in Israel."
10.47% (29 votes) said "Better off living in a newly created Muslim country."
Total Votes: 277
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