The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues to wade into politics, spending ELCA member money to advocate for their liberal agenda. And why not, when you are universalists, believing all people are saved and will go to heaven, there is no need to evangelize or tell people about Christ and that one must be born again. So they spend their time and your money on whatever tickles their fancy. This last week we heard from the ELCA advocacy arm, calling for action regarding their view of "equal access" at the ballot box. Here is a tweet they sent out:
The liberal mindset tells them that making voters show their identification to vote is "voter suppression." It really is a ridiculous view considering people need an ID to do some of the most basic things in life, as the Washington Examiner outlines here, such as purchasing alcohol and cigarettes, opening a bank account, applying for food stamps, welfare, Medicaid-Social Security, unemployment, buying or renting a house, applying for a mortgage, driving/buying or renting a car, flying on an airplane, getting married, purchasing a gun, adopting a pet, renting a hotel room, applying for a hunting or fishing license, buying a cell phone, visiting a casino, picking up a prescription, holding a rally or protest, donating blood, buying an "M" rated video game or purchasing certain cold medicines. Requiring an ID to vote is common sense and has nothing to do with trying to keep any segment of the U.S. population that is legal from voting.
Below are a couple screenshots from the ELCA, using alarmist language and deceitful rhetoric, calling on ELCA members to "Urge Congress to Restore Voting Rights Now!"
The vast majority of the leaders in the ELCA are liberal, left-wing democrats who use your offering dollars to push their political and social agenda. They are strong proponents of abortion but are against capital punishment for the worst violent offenders. They want more restrictive gun laws but can not make the connection between terrorist actions and Islam. They push for LGBT causes, including making unrepentant practitioners leaders in the church, but they are against laws that protect the first amendment rights of Bible-believing business persons to not participate in the celebration of sinful actions. They are against the state of Israel, a haven of freedom, and they side with the "Palestinian" people who celebrate the murder of Jewish children, naming streets after the perpetrators of evil. They sound the alarm of "climate change," "white privilege" and embrace the "BlackLivesMatter" movement (see here).
These are liberals, no doubt. Is this what you want out of your Biblical teachers? (we won't even get into the multitude of ways they are in opposition to Scripture).
Recently Pew Research Center came out with findings showing the 43% of ELCA members lean toward or identify with the Republican Party. (see here)
If you want a clue to what the ELCA leadership thinks of people who are conservative and/or Republican, take a look at what Josh Evans, who describes himself on Twitter as a "Seminarian at @LSTChicago. Gay, sarcastic, introverted, justice-seeking Lutheran" (go to Josh's twitter comment here) says:
Many Evangelical Lutheran Church in America members have figured out the liberal, anti-Biblical ways of their church leadership and the numbers make it apparent. The once 5 million member denomination is now 3.7 million and growing smaller every month. I've highlighted the financial troubles of the ELCA over the last six years and here are two more statements that underscore the financial crisis the ELCA is facing:
“Over the past 18 years, annual offerings have dropped by more than 50 percent—from $3.6 million in 1997 to $1.7 million in 2014” - Women of the ELCA (WELCA) reports on their finances (see here - page 4).
H. Julian Gordy, bishop of the ELCA's Southeastern Synod reveals this about his synod:
"The percent of giving from congregations to mission support has declined for at least the past three decades. Over the past seven years, we have addressed the decline with severe cuts in our synodical programming budget and in support of committees and task forces. We have significantly cut our support of our synod's agencies and institutions, and we have cut salaries and staff positions in the synod office." (see here)
(The following article was written a couple weeks ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Today's ELCA "Prayer of the Day" went like this:
"O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, you are the city that shelters us, the mother who comforts us..."
I know of no verse that calls God our "city". There are a few feminine metaphors for God in the Bible (like Isaiah 66:13) but nowhere does the Bible encourage us to pray to God as our mother. Later in the service a prayer addressed God as "Gentle grower". Again, there is no verse that calls God our "Gentle grower."
What is going on? I think perhaps this is part of the "Reimagining God" mindset. Feminists from around the country years ago came to Minneapolis for the "Reimagining God" Conference. The conference encouraged the Church to rid itself of oppressive, patriarchal, and exclusively masculine images for God. Instead, we are free to invent and imagine new images for God. So instead of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" we get "Mother, City, Gentle Grower."
And, as always, ELCA prayers were made today for the well-being of the environment. But I am still waiting for one prayer in the ELCA's "Prayers of the Church" to mention the salvation of the lost. When prayers for the environment are weekly and prayers for the salvation of the lost are non-existent, something has gone very, very wrong.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
Clint Schnekloth, a well-known ELCA pastor, author, writer, speaker and administrator of a couple ELCA Facebook pages wrote a blog this March titled “Queering Christianity” where he writes, “Because the truth is, I don't think being queer is a sin. I think your orientation and gender identity is part of who you are, created in the image of God, and God says of God's creation, this is very good.”
And, “This is to say, we don't just tolerate queer people in our community. Nor do we live as progressive Christians and fully welcome them. No, we are being transformed by the virtues they share with us. Our Christianity is queer…it is traditional Christianity that has been conformed to the binary, oppressive understandings of sexuality, race, and many other things, and needs to be transformed by the queerness of Christ.” (see here)
On Twitter, ELCA pastor Schnekloth writes,
With all the craziness happening in our world, it should be no surprise that “Christian” denominations, like the ELCA, have leaders talking about the “queerness of Christ,” that True Christianity is ‘queer,’ that homosexuality is not a sin and that God makes people queer.
Then we have a recent letter by Bishop Rick Jaech of the ELCA’s Southwestern Washington Synod, saying,
“I have heard again and again from LGBTQ friends that their pain and shock comes not only from the 49 lives lost, but also from a sense of violation that the shooting occurred at a gay club. What they explained to me is that an LGBTQ club is the one place where they have felt safe and welcomed. Surrounded by LGBTQ friends, it is often the only place where they can be fully and openly themselves. Within the sanctuary of that place, they don’t have to hide from being who God made them to be, but can actually dance and celebrate their identity.” (see here)
God did not ‘make’ people gay. God did not form certain individuals to be attracted to the same-sex. A strong Biblical case can be made that God did NOT create or instill same-sex attraction into some people. And dwelling upon and engaging in same-sex behavior is sinful.
Read more about ELCA pastor Clint Schnekloth here.
Exposed Blog about Interim Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the ELCA's Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and her "Queer Jesus" blog. (see here)
It is a good thing we have ELCA leadership (the whitest denomination in the United States, see here) around to enlighten its membership on how racists they are. The Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) posted a list on their Facebook page describing the "10 Ways You Can Actively Reject Your White Privilege." Number 10 on the list tells white people, "Recognize that you're still racist. No matter what."
The Gulf Coast Synod's Facebook post received hundreds of comments, many of them were critical of the list, but they have miraculously disappeared. (see the list on the Synod's FB page here) The United Church of Christ, who also posted this list received over 2000 comments. Here are a few:
- "To consider just white people as racist is in fact itself racist."
- "#10, in my opinion, is designed to cause whites to be ashamed and feel guilt for who they are and what their ancestors allegedly did. Of course, no one else is asked to account for their own ancestors' misdeeds.
I also don't think anyone needs to 'actively reject their white privilege', for the reasons I outline below. White Americans made a country that millions of 'POCs' have thrived in. Some groups are still behind in various areas. I don't believe that is because of 'white privilege', and the theory that it IS responsible is not helping anyone or anything.
I am a so-called 'POC.'
I reject this list."
If you have time, you can read some more of the comments to the UCC here.
Here is an article about the list/infographic that the United Church of Christ posted.
If that wasn't enough, a blog affiliated with the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago posted a 'White Privilege' speech by the Rev. Dr. Ray Tiemann Bishop, Southwestern Texas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Here is some of what Bishop Tiemann had to say:
“I’m certainly not an expert on the complexity of white privilege, but one thing I have learned is that white privilege and racial discrimination are opposite sides of the same coin. One does not exist without the other. So, as much as I may be tempted to deny it exists, both white privilege and racial discrimination are a part of my life and yours as well.”
“I am part of a system that gives me advantage because of the color of my skin.”
“I have to stop being afraid and remaining silent. In wanting to avoid conflict, too often I don’t speak up when God gives me the opportunity. This sin of omission can be as great as a sin of commission, because when I don’t speak up, others assume I am agreeing with them. So, the nasty, loud voices continue unchecked.
As I said earlier, learning to address my white privilege is a life-long process.” (see here)
The Northern Texas – Northern Louisiana (NT-NL) Mission Area (Synod) of the ELCA and ReconcilingWorks, the widely embraced LGBT advocacy Lutheran group, do not want you to use the words "brothers & sisters" anymore. I guess they believe they are not very "welcoming." See the tweets below.
Isn't it interesting that the ELCA seems to think they know better than Jesus, who Himself used the words "brother" and "sister" referring to His followers. That is par for the course with the ELCA.
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