The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
When New York State passed a law affirming abortion up to the day of delivery, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said nothing, even though the ELCA's abortion statement speaks against late-term abortion. But now that some conservative states have passed restrictive abortion laws, Eaton has decided to speak (see letter below). She reminds us that "...we must remember that this church supports ongoing access to legal abortion as well as access to abortion services and reproductive health care that is not restricted by economic factors."
The ELCA'a 1990 abortion statement is a confused document. On one page it sounds pro-life, the next page sounds pro-choice. In a nutshell, the ELCA statement opposes abortion except in the cases of "clear threat to the life of the woman", "extreme fetal abnormality" incompatible with life, and in cases of rape and incest. Beyond these cases "this church neither supports nor opposes" other abortion-restricting legislation.
At the ELCA's 1997 assembly, some of us offered a resolution to restrict ELCA funding of abortion to the three cases stated above. The resolution was rejected 70% to 30%. The upshot is that the ELCA continues to pay for abortion for any reason (and no reason) in the church's health care plan for pastors which is funded by offering dollars. That's right, your offering dollars at work, killing unborn children for any reason in the ELCA.
Eaton's statement of the ELCA's support for abortion access makes it tragically clear that some secular states are more Christian than the ELCA in their desire to defend unborn human life.
If you are still in the ELCA, this is one more reason to take your money, time and talents and join a denomination which celebrates God's gift of life and which will not kill unborn children with your offering dollars.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Letter on abortion from Bishop Eaton (see here)
Newly Elected ELCA Bishop Encouraged Congregation to Imagine God as 'Mother' When Praying
Rev. Laurie Larson Caesar was elected bishop of the ELCA's Oregon Synod, May 11, 2019. (See here)
A simple google search of "Rev. Laurie Larson Caesar" turned up a sermon given by Bishop-elect Laurie Larson Caesar titled, "Is God Male?" In the sermon the soon-to-be ELCA synod bishop had this to say about God:
Lent is “…also a time to stretch, stretch our souls, stretch our theological imagination, stretch our sense of the chasms that God can build bridges over.
So I just want to talk a little bit about the face of God as 'Mother.' How many of you grew up with God is 'Father' in your ordinary lives, in your day-to-day living? Yes. How many of you have encountered in not just in intellectual weapon in a prayerful way, in a soul changing way of praying with Mother God or writing a hymn with Mother God? Just a few. It's one of the gifts of going to seminary that we're forced to stress whether we like or not and we encounter theologian who stretch and pull us in ways… I am really fortunate to have been loved well by some amazing women. And so God as a woman comes easily to me. God has female. As one more metaphor. As one more name.” (See at the 11:30 minute mark)
Bishop-elect Laurie Larson Caesar also called God “Grandmother God.” (16:50)
Later, Rev. Larson Caesar says:
“If you've never prayed with an image of God as Mother find one and try, just try, move from the head...What does it feel like to pray to a Mother God who supports us and holds us?” (22:24)
“God is here and all around you. Thank you for your ministry. She loves you in an embarrassing way huge way.” (23:13)
ELCA Goddess Worship: Honoring, Celebrating and Singing a Hymn to Inanna / Ishtar
Goddess worship is and has been occurring in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Ebenezer Lutheran Church, otherwise known as "Herchurch," in San Francisco, has long been known for goddess worship and is a church in good-standing with the ELCA. (See goddess worshiping articles here)
In February 2019, Herchurch held a Sunday worship service that they describe this way (also see below), "we honor and celebrate Sister Wisdom who comes to guide us and Inanna (Ancient Queen of Heaven and Earth). The Liturgy provides a sacred time and space in which the community and individual encounters and responds to the loving, creative, challenging, empowering, prophetic wisdom and word of the divine feminine." At this service they will have an "original Hymn to Inanna" with a "Sacred Dance."
Wikipedia tells us "Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power. She was originally worshipped in Sumer and was later worshipped by the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians under the name Ishtar. She was known as the 'Queen of Heaven'" (See here)
The One True God tells us in His Word:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
- Exodus 20:2, 3
Why are you part of a denomination that has given its approval to goddess worship?
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) came out last week in support of the so-called "Equality Act" bill. The bill "would place nearly all Christian ministries, religious organizations, and faith-based companies in the cross-hairs of discrimination lawsuits" according to Craig Parshall, General Counsel for National Religious Broadcasters. (See here)
Mr. Parshall went on to say "The law adds sexual orientation and transgender identity as protected categories and then wildly expands the list of activities and organizations impacted by the civil rights law to include any public 'gathering,' 'exhibition,' or 'display,' or anything involving the provision of goods or 'any service, or program.' During one House subcommittee hearing, employment law expert Lawrence Lorber flatly acknowledged that the bill would apply to 'churches' and 'houses of worship.'"
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Advocacy department publicly posted their support of The Equality Act last week. (See below) Director of ELCA Advocacy, Pastor Amy E. Reumann announced "We applaud this historic legislation..." (See here)
You can read more about the ELCA supported bill and its implications here.
Betty Rendon is an ELCA Synodically Authorized Lay Minister at an ELCA church and received her Masters of Divinity from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). A few days ago, she and some family members were arrested by ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
So far we do not have many details about the incident, except what ELCA entities are saying. It all started with a one-sided account from Betty Rendon's church. You can read it here.
Then the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's presiding bishop began tweeting about the situation.
A letter about the situation was posted by the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) from President James Nieman, Dean of Student Services Scott Chalmers and Pastor to the Community Erik Christensen.
In the letter they call the United States' immigration policy "racist." Here is the quote (see below also), "This incident brings into painful focus the ongoing need to reform this country’s racist, violent, and inhumane immigration system."
Of course, ELCA Advocacy had something to say. Below is part of an email they sent (see the full email here):
ELCA partner, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service commented:
"This is absolutely heartbreaking and shameful behavior on behalf of ICE officers. LIRS will pray for and advocate for the just treatment of Pastor Rendón and all those who find themselves in her position."
Some of the readers of the LIRS Facebook post commented saying, "We are becoming like a Hitler state..." "I am ashamed of our country..." "ICE equals deliberate cruelty." "ICE has no humanity....this is like the Nazi era." "We are very close to becoming a communist nation, Trumps SS is ICE. The time is near for all Americans to March on Washington!" "Abolish ICE." "Our government is looking more and more like murderous criminals." "ICE is disgraceful."
A newspaper article titled ICE allegedly arrests Racine student pastor; Vigil planned for Wednesday can be seen here.
A seminary classmate of Betty Rendon added his 2 cents:
Benjamin Stewart, a Professor & Director of Advanced Studies at LSTC tweeted that the "family was terrorized & separated":
ELCA pastor Chad McKenna writes "#AbolishICE":
From ELCA Pastor Paul Eldred:
The DE-MD Synod tweeted:
Matthew Short, the Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission at Greater Milwaukee Synod, was part of a gathering outside Betty Rendon's detention center. Below is his Facebook post about it:
More from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
And from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
'There Simply Will Not Be Any Place For' Traditional Pastoral Candidates in the ELCA
Interesting take on the future for traditional believing pastors in the ELCA by Ryan Cordle, a student at Luther Seminary.
Luther Seminary Chapel Again Bemoans Methodists' Rejection of Homosexuality as ELCA Allows Only Pro-gay View
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
A few weeks ago after the United Methodist Church voted against ordaining practicing homosexual pastors and against performing gay "weddings", the main chapel speaker at Luther Seminary shared he was "heart-broken" because Jesus calls us to "dismantle heterosexism." A few days ago, Luther Seminary brought in another pastor, a Methodist, who talked about his anger and suffering caused because of the Methodists' rejection of homosexuality (see video below at minute 8:52).
It appears from Luther's chapel services that it is now assumed that almost all are on board with homosexuality and transgenderism. Luther chapel has observed National Coming Out Day and also the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Luther chapel has had homosexual and transgender preachers. To my knowledge Luther chapel has never had one speaker who preached that homosexual behavior is sinful, even though that is the teaching of Scripture (see my article "What does the Bible say about homosexuality?" at pastorsstudy.org).
Back in 2009 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to start ordaining practicing homosexuals. Prior to the vote, conservatives were assured that if the pro-gay resolution went through, their voice would be still be honored and heard along with the more liberal view. Where is the traditional viewpoint heard today in ELCA institutions? Why are seminary students only given the liberal point of view? Why won't the national ELCA magazine "Living Lutheran" allow the conservative viewpoint on homosexuality? Why did the ELCA bishops recently recommend that homosexual clergy must marry their partners? Whatever happened to allowing the traditional, Biblical view in the ELCA? I think the liberal take-over of the ELCA is pretty much complete. Yes, individual pastors and congregations might still hold a conservative view, but good luck finding that view in the ELCA's hierarchy, media, colleges, and seminaries.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America produced a new video that tells people to "Talk about climate change with your families, friends, colleagues and local congregations."
"Studies have shown that congregations where pastors talk about climate change have people who are more likely to engage in taking care of creation and to advocate for climate solutions." See the video below.
It is good to care about the Earth, but there is a great deal of debate about climate change and if it is caused by humans. The ELCA has decided it is.
But beyond that, why isn't the ELCA encouraging people to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins? You don't hear that message, and it is of utmost importance. Life on Earth is certainly important, but this is how we have true life now and eternal life in heaven.
Here is an environment page on ELCA.org where the video can also be found.
The ELCA’s Commitment to Feminism and Abortion: “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Mother of us all”
Today at a chapel service of Luther Seminary, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the closing benediction was given “..in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Mother of us all” (see minute 45:52 below). The problem with this is that Jesus never prayed to God as “Mother” but only as “Father.” So why this change in God language at Luther seminary? Because the ELCA is bowing the knee to feminism rather than to God’s Word. The ELCA hymn book has eliminated all masculine pronouns for God in the Psalms, and contains the hymn “Mothering God, you gave me birth…”
The ELCA is so committed to feminism that it even pays for abortion for any reason in the church’s health care plan. And this healthcare plan is funded by offering dollars. That’s right, your ELCA offering dollars can be used to kill unborn children. Head bishop Elizabeth Eaton said nothing about New York State’s radical law to allow abortion up to the day of delivery, but she makes numerous comments in favor of liberal political causes.
The ELCA has lost many members and much financial support since it voted to ordain practicing homosexuals in 2009. As the Bible says “You reap what you sow”.
In Jesus our 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