As the ELCA encourages people to sin exuberantly, all the way to hell (oops...I forgot they don't believe in hell), real Christian leaders respond to the recent Supreme Court ruling on homosexuality and marriage.
Living Lutheran is an online publication of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Last month, in the “Ask a Pastor” section of their website this question was posed:
“What happens to people of other faiths? My husband and I try to discuss, but not very successfully, the point that we are saved through Jesus Christ alone. Well, how about people of the Jewish faith, or all our friends or family who do not practice any faith or even my son, who is atheist. Can’t they be saved? I believe in my heart that they can, but I can never explain it.”
This question was asked by Helen, a member of an ELCA congregation in Venice, Florida. The ELCA website chose Rev. Monica M. Villarreal as one of the three pastors to respond to this question. She said,
“Dear Helen and husband, what a deep and relevant question. One of my favorite books on the subject is 'Christ Crucified: A 21st-Century Missiology of the Cross' by Mark W. Thomsen. At the risk of being a heretic and with the hope of reclaiming the profound Lutheran understanding of God’s salvific work on the cross, I contend that God in fact saves the whole world and all peoples through Jesus Christ alone and that this salvation extends to all, including Jews, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, etc. For where there is love, there is God. Scripture says, we cannot love God whom we cannot see if we do not love our neighbors whom we can see (1 John 4). At the core of our Christian faith is love. And at the core of God’s work of salvation is love. I believe in a God who loves all his created beings — regardless of religion, creed or disbelief. So, why be a Christian? Christians/Lutherans have much to offer to this hurting world by building relationships of love — the love that we experience in Jesus.”
The ELCA website offered this information about Rev. Villarreal:
“Monica M. Villarreal is a mission redeveloper and pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Flint, Mich. A 2011 graduate of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and 2007 graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in cultural anthropology and specialization in peace and justice studies, she enjoys practical theology, cultural studies, and is an avid bowler. She is passionate about people, inner-city ministry and social justice. Her congregation will tell you she is always asking, 'What is God up to? What is God calling us to?'” (read the “Ask a Pastor” article here)
That fact that this official ELCA website wanted to include Rev. Vallarreal's answer to Helen's question is proof that the ELCA is “welcoming” of the dangerous, unbiblical belief of universalism. By posting this answer the ELCA is telling their readers that faith and belief in Christ is not necessary. The ELCA is leading people astray and they will be held accountable for any reader's eternal damnation. "If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” - Mark 9:42.
More evidence of the ELCA promoting universalism here and here.
Bethel Lutheran Church in White Rock, South Carolina (see church website) recently held an congregational vote on whether to end their affiliation with the ELCA. The following report was sent to me by a reader. Please keep all in your prayers.
“Bethel lost the vote to withdraw as a church from the ELCA by 7 votes last week. The pro ELCA crowd brought in members who do not participate in Services other to pad their votes. In protest, the entire Church Council, both Parrish Office workers, and the Organist resigned. The Church who is already running with an interim Pastor is now missing it's leaders as well as spiritual direction as the ELCA can only offer damnation. Along with the Council members, every family with children in the junior and senior youth have also pulled out. These members with council intact plan to meet to have Sunday services with Communion this Sunday at a local building and will be meeting with someone from the NALC to help the rebuilding process. Bethel which means house of God was betrayed by the ELCA in it's position to place the world in front of the Word. Please pray for both groups.”
This report is from someone I know very well. I few weeks ago, this person visited a small ELCA church in the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin. The female pastor brought the children forward for the children's sermon. The message for that Sunday was about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At least twice, the pastor mentioned to the children that they could call God, “Mother God.” The person visiting the church was very surprised upon hearing the pastor say this so the person listened intently and heard the pastor say it again a couple minutes later.
What kind of denomination is this that tells children that they can call God “Mother?” That is not a Biblical name of God! This happened in a small, middle of America ELCA church. If it can happen there, it can and will happen in your church sooner or later.
I'm sure you all know by now, The Rev. R. Guy Erwin was elected last week by the Southwest California Synod to be their bishop. He is the first openly gay bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The denomination and liberal press are so proud. The Southwest California Synod quickly sent a press release that announced, "The bishop-elect is a partnered gay man whose participation in the leadership of this church was limited before the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly decision. Only since 2009 has the church allowed LGBT persons in committed partnered relationships onto the ordained roster of the ELCA." (see here)
Bishop Jim Gonia of Rocky Mountain Synod was so excited, he starting blogging about the election while he was sitting in the Southwest CA assembly after watching it take place. You should read what he says. I am greatly disturbed by it. ELCA bishop Jim Gonia credited the Holy Spirit for Rev. Erwin's election victory. He said, "When the final vote was taken amid the Scripture readings and prayer that accompanied each round, there was no doubt in my mind that the Assembly as a whole was making its choice. . . based on the leading of the Spirit who was helping to identify the right person for this role in this part of the church at this time." Bishop Gonia also said, "I will continue to give thanks to the Spirit for leading our brothers and sisters in Southwest California to choose the right person for this chapter of their life and for the sake of our shared witness in the world." (see here)
It is blasphemous to claim the Holy Spirit inspired the vote of someone who is openly and unrepentantly living in sin.
God tells us in His Word, "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." - 1 Timothy 3:1-7
The ELCA continues to place their thoughts above God's thoughts, their ways above God's ways.
Below are some articles about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America electing their first openly homosexual bishop:
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.
If you have been helped and blessed by Exposing the ELCA's ministry, please help us continue to proclaim the truth of God's Word to ELCA members who need to hear it.
Give online by clicking the "donate" button below:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11