2012 has shown us ELCA bishop after bishop after bishop put on their gay rights advocacy hat and publicly clamor for gay marriage. (see here, here, here) Yet I can’t come up with one ELCA bishop, of which there are 66 serving in this leadership role, who has publicly stood up for Biblical, one man one woman marriage. More on that later.
The latest gay rights activist bishop is the newly elected Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen of the Minneapolis Area Synod. A few days ago, she was “at the State Fair to rally against the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the November ballot.” (read here) Bishop Svennungsen stood at a microphone during this big public appeal by religious leaders, lending her voice to encouraged the people of Minnesota to vote “no” on the amendment.
An interesting side note about Bishop Svennungsenn is told to us by the Minneapolis’ Star Tribune which states, “After seminary, Svennungsen and her husband served as associate pastors at Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City. There she and the senior pastor's wife, Mary Nilsen, took on the all-male language for God.” (read here) It figures, if you walk in complete contradiction to scripture in one area, you’ll likely do the same in many areas. This happens when one doesn't believe what the Bible clearly says.
Back to my question, why are there NO ELCA bishops standing up and defending traditional marriage? Has the liberal ELCA leadership made it impossible for a Bible believing, conservative bishop to voice his/her opinion? Are they scared? Are there any Bible believing conservative bishops in the ELCA? No matter the answer, the results are the same. There is not one ELCA bishop who is willing to stand up for traditional Biblical truth on sexuality.
Some ELCA members and churches believe they are not and will not be affected by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s decision to go against God by “unsinning” homosexuality. Those members are living in a dream world. Consider the youth. ELCA leadership knows that they themselves have great influence to change the attitudes, thoughts and beliefs of youth, and that is what’s happening.
The ELCA has gone out of their way to put homosexuality in the face of the youth and to present it as normal and “good.” The ELCA leadership at the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering brought a proudly homosexual speaker to the Gathering to speak to the youth about his life. This speaker had a movie made about him by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yes, the same extreme organization that declares a number of Christian organizations (like the Family Research Council), who believe in traditional, Biblical marriage to be “hate groups.”
The speaker, Jamie Nabozny began his speech to 30,000 ELCA youth by saying, “Good evening. I am honored to be here today and even more honored that the ELCA invited me here as an openly gay man and an anti-bullying activist.” (which was followed by very loud applause) Mr. Nabozny spoke for nearly 10 minutes. (see here)
As Exposing the ELCA has already reported, a chaperone at the ELCA’s 2012 National Youth Gathering said, “At every level, at the mass events in the dome, there was a reference to homosexuality. Every speaker, every skit. Frequently this was tied to anti-bullying.” (read here)
Here is another example of the ELCA referencing homosexuality at the National Youth Gathering. (see here)
Let me be clear, bullying is wrong no matter who it is done to or why, but the ELCA is using the subject of “bullying” to promote their belief about homosexuality and to “normalize” it to young people. In the ELCA’s world, homosexual attraction is God-made and something that should be embraced. What a wicked world that is.
An ELCA college student sent me the following letter and gave me permission to share it with you. I praise God for this student and pray God will raise up faithful men and women to stand up with this effort to share God's truth in love.
In first Corinthians 5, Paul writes to God's people concerning sexual immorality, and chastises them for their pride and boasting over something evil. He talks about judgement - not hating or being hypocritical, but keeping those who profess Christ's name accountable to their faith and fellowship. Too often today, Christians that oppose homosexuality and same-sex marriage are too scared to stand up and be a witness for truth, and simply stand back and stay silent. But isn't it amazing how perfectly this chapter of God's Word applies to the current situation in society? I'm tired of waiting for someone to ask me my opinion before being able to voice my opposition. I don't want to be mistaken for a supporter just because I am in an environment where the majority supports this sin. So this year, when my ELCA college puts on its pride week - covering the campus in rainbow flags, putting on presentations and telling stories celebrating one's "coming out," and giving no acknowledgement to the truth of my God's true Word, I want to do more than refuse to participate. I don't want to hate, I want to make a stand. It is something I feel that God has put on my heart, and I write to ask your help in reaching out to those who share my belief in God's Word and want to make a difference to others who may be too scared to reach out and speak the truth in love. I've designed a t-shirt (http://www.customink.com/lab?cid=xak0-000p-trkk#shared) that I plan to wear during my college's "Pride Week" in early October - black for sin and opposite of all the rainbow "love is love" t-shirts the straight-gay alliance on campus will be handing out. I believe that it expresses enough of both the law and gospel to effectively communicate God's opposition and forgiveness without causing offense. I would love to get into contact with anyone else who would be interested in wearing a t-shirt with me, even if it's not the same campus or week or reason. God bless and thank you for reading!
Did you know that the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is not fond of the border fence between the United States and Mexico, a fence which effectively diminishes the amount of illegal aliens entering our country? Here is what the ELCA leadership has said about it:
“Finally, the ELCA calls for a moratorium on and a comprehensive assessment of fence building along the United States-Mexican border.” Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - November 2009. (read here)
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson told 30,000 kids at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering “. . . I didn’t want us (the ELCA) to be associated with people that are building up the walls that separate immigrants and migrants, for we are a church committed to working toward fair and just immigration reform.” (see here, Sunday video)
In 1998, the ELCA said, “. . . we have serious doubts about the rightness and effectiveness of current policy to erect imposing barriers between the United States and Mexico.” (read here)
The ELCA’s magazine, The Lutheran reported in 2005, that “Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service opposed the REAL ID Act, a bill to regulate state security standards for driver’s licenses, prevent terrorists from abusing asylum laws and to ensure a security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.” (read here)
The Lutheran magazine wrote in 2007, “Extending this U.S.-Mexican border wall the full 2,000 miles will require an estimated $8 billion. Kim Erno, an ELCA pastor and program director of the Lutheran Center in Mexico City, asked participants of an ELCA conference on walls whether that money would be better invested in the lives of the poor.” (read here)
If you are an ELCA member who does not support the U.S-Mexico border fence, then this should make you happy. But if you do support the border fence, I believe it is your right to know that your denomination is against it and working to prevent its completion.
“Grace is not your average Lutheran church,” so says the ELCA’s Grace Lutheran Church in a Houston, TX. I say that isn't necessarily so. I believe Grace Lutheran gives us a picture of what many ELCA churches ARE like and what most ELCA churches will be. And it’s time that all the Midwest ELCA churches, rural ELCA churches, head-in-the-sand churches and members everywhere understand what the ELCA has become.
Let me tell you about Grace Lutheran. Their church website recommends giving kids a children’s book about homosexual marriage. The book is called Donovan’s Big Day. One of Grace Lutheran's church bloggers says that this “. . .picture book celebrates gay marriage in a delightful way through the eyes of a young child and would make a wonderful gift for kids and adults alike.” (see here) For those of you that are not concerned about this, one thing you should know (among many things) is that studies show promoting homosexuality to children will result in a greater likelihood of homosexual experimentation. (read here) But that isn't a problem for most ELCA churches because homosexuality is not a sin in the ELCA.
On the “wedding” page for Grace Lutheran we learn “On May 22, 2005, by vote of the congregation of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, the congregation adopted a policy stating that ‘The blessing of same-gender unions may be performed at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. Grace’s wedding guidelines will apply equally to all gender combinations.’” (see here)
Grace Lutheran’s pastor, Lura N. Groen says that a few years ago “the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) would not ordain pastors like me, who were LGBT, and refusing to promise celibacy. So my ordination here at Grace was not recognized by the ELCA.” But “. . .the ELCA voted to change its discriminatory policy!” (read here)
Here is a church picture of an adolescent girl, apparently affiliated with Grace Lutheran, holding a rainbow gay pride flag. (see here)
Grace Lutheran seems to take great pride in participating in gay “pride” parades. Here are some pictures:
- Grace Lutheran representatives - men in skirts. (see here)
- Grace Lutheran pastor and men in skirts. (see here)
- Grace Lutheran participant in drag. (see here)
- In this photo we learn that “Grace Fights 4 Equality,” “Lutherans like beer” and “Lutherans are sexy.” (see here)
- Grace Lutheran parade group picture. Some of the church signs say “Live love be fabulous,” “Grace Lutheran is family.” (see here)
And this is a picture, of which I can only assume, is Grace Lutheran draped in rainbow color streamers. (see here)
At the bottom of the Grace Lutheran Church’s homepage are some tags that the church placed there which helps to describe things about the church and what they are about. Some of the tags include, “gay churches in Houston," “ELCA,” "gay lutheran ministers in church," "lesbian wedding," "gay wedding," "ELCA Homosexuality," "GLBT," "GLBT Church," "LGBTQ," "LGBTQ Church," "LGBT Church," "LGBT," "church in houston that accepts lesbians," "church in houston that accepts gays," "church in houston that accepts bisexuals," "church in houston that accepts transsexuals," "church in houston that accepts transgender people," and "Reconciling in Christ." (go here and highlight the gray box)
Frankly, Grace Lutheran’s description of themselves as “not your average Lutheran church,” is less and less true as each day passes in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
This week ELCA Bishop of the North Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area, Kevin S. Kanouse wrote a blog (see here) calling those who support Chick-fil-A bullies and he blamed “preachers (?)” for people going to show their support for Chick-fil-A. This after the widespread temper tantrum and bullying from liberals and homosexuals against Chick-fil-A’s president for stating he believes in the Biblical view of one man, one woman marriage. Notice, too, that the ELCA bishop disparages the preachers by placing a question mark after referencing them, apparently implying that he questions whether they are true Christian preachers.
ELCA Bishop Kanouse mockingly wrote that the “faithful flocked to the chicken bastion of moral godliness to feast on chicken sandwiches. . .”
Later, Bishop Kanouse said, “In truth our country celebrated a national day of bullying last week.”
And Bishop Kanouse, proving that he doesn’t understand or respect Scripture much at all, made this statement, “. . .the bullied. That's another word, like homosexuality, that Jesus did not utter as recorded in the New Testament. . .” (read here)
One of the main points Bishop Kanouse tried to make was his belief that Jesus “would not have been inside Chick-fil-A. No, he was not about sit-ins and causes.” I say, that statement and thought is not an honest and true portrayal of the Biblical, historic Jesus.
Bishop Kanouse is part of a denomination which calls homosexuality “good.” Because of that, and the ELCA’s twisted view of the Bible, many in the ELCA do not like when Christians hold to Biblical Truth (and apparently when they stand up for one another when the world tries to bully Christians for their beliefs). You are wrong, Bishop Kanouse, if you think Jesus would not have supported the words of the president of Chick-Fil-A and the thousands of people who showed up to support the company who was being bullied for their Christian values. Jesus stood up for what was right. He chased the moneychangers out of the temple, he sternly warned others who were leading people away from God’s truth, and among many other instances, he supported the actions of Mary when her sister Martha complained about her.
Bob Russell said this in a blog he wrote, “Did Jesus condemn John the Baptist for speaking out against a politician? No. Jesus said “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11) (read here)
After reading drivel like Bishop Kanouse’s blog and hundreds of ELCA articles like it, it is easy to see that the ELCA is a extremely liberal church that does not understand and in many ways despises Bible-believing, Christ-following Christians. Unfortunately many ELCA leaders also have a one-dimensional view of Jesus which changes Christ into a social justice leader and not much of a Savior.
As the liberal, anti-Christian outrage grows in the United States, we see it manifesting everywhere in our society. Last week, national liberal media joined in by crucifying Chick-fil-A because the company president believes in the traditional Biblical view of marriage and because the company supports Christian organizations which speak up for traditional marriage. The homosexual community labels those organizations “hate groups.”
We are now living in a society where standing up for God’s Truth brings hateful name-calling and persecution. One would think that Christians could at least find solidarity from those claiming to be Christ followers. But that is not the case with most mainline Christian denominations. In what is really an act of hate, not love, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is one of those denominations pushing the homosexual agenda in their vast array of entities.
Last year the ELCA churchwide, as well as over two dozen of ELCA synods, passed a resolution encouraging “new partnerships” with a gay rights organization. (see here and here) The Lutheran, the most popular publication of the ELCA, feels the need to inform its readers of the latest happenings with that gay organization. (see here)
One chaperone at the ELCA 2012 National Youth Gathering reported that “At every level, at the mass events in the dome, there was a reference to homosexuality. Every speaker, every skit. Frequently this was tied to anti-bullying.” (see here)
In 2012, a host of ELCA synods passed resolutions in favor of gay marriage. (see here)
And honestly, the list goes on and on. (see here and here - scroll down linked pages)
This is the society we live in and we have “Christians” perpetuating and promoting sin.
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” - Matt. 15:8-9
Sadly, these verses embody the leadership of the ELCA.
The ELCA online publication (likely the print magazine also) The Lutheran published another article highlighting some of the actions taken by ELCA synods this year at their synod assemblies. (see Exposing the ELCA’s blog containing The Lutheran’s first report here) Below are the most troubling, pertinent, non-Biblical, disappointing and liberal actions taken by the ELCA’s leadership from my point of view:
The Grand Canyon Synod,
- “Concluded that the Arizona SB 1070 Immigration Law is inconsistent with collective Christian beliefs and is harmful to the needs of Arizona, exhorting members to advocate for immigration reform that is ‘comprehensive, fair, humane, compassionate, and which safeguards the unity of families.’"
The Lower Susquehanna Synod,
- “Commended the Peace Not Walls Campaign, an ELCA churchwide strategy focused on contributing to peace with justice in the Middle East. Suggested that congregations study the issues in the Middle East; pray and reach out to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land; and, if pilgrimages are being arranged, to visit biblical sites, meet with both Israelis and Palestinians, and learn from Lutherans living in that land today.”
The Delaware-Maryland Synod,
- “Encouraged its congregations to study the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which extends legal protection for civil marriage to all couples in Maryland. Asked the synod to offer forums so members can study the issues involved in light of the ELCA social statement ‘Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust.’"
- “Called upon Congress and U.S. President Barack Obama to support the Uniting American Families Act, which would enact ‘inclusive, comprehensive immigration reform legislation that ends the long-standing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender immigrant families.’"
The Southwest California Synod,
- “Encouraged its congregations and members to contact their elected officials, urging them to give ‘moral priority to programs that protect the life and dignity of poor and vulnerable people’ and to ‘review and consider tax revenues, military spending and entitlements in the search for reduced deficits but not at the expense of vulnerable poor people.’"
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod,
- “Supported the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act; called upon its congregations and members to welcome, care for and support same-gender couples and their families and to advocate for their legal protection.”
- “Recommended that a task force be created to examine the synod's financial dealings with area banking institutions with regard to social justice and corporate social responsibility concerns.”
The East Central Synod of Wisconsin,
- “Sought greater participation in the Peace Not Walls Campaign to help bring peace to the Middle East.”
The Northeastern Ohio Synod,
- “Directed its council to establish a Creation Care Task Force to help congregations deal with issues of climate change.”
The Southeastern Synod,
- “Affirmed the work of the ELCA Washington Office and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service regarding immigration reform.”
- “Requested that the legislative bodies of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee place an immediate moratorium on the administration of the death penalty until such time that it can be fully prohibited by law in those states.”
The Southwestern Minnesota Synod,
- “Indefinitely postponed voting on a resolution to express grave concern regarding a proposed Minnesota state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as ‘only a union of one man and one woman.’"
The Virginia Synod,
- “Opposed asking the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to make constitutional changes to allow a ‘new category of congregation membership for those members who disagree by faith or conscience with decisions of the churchwide organization.’"
The Southern Ohio Synod,
- “Voted to ask the ELCA presiding bishop and Church Council to contact President Barack Obama and Congress, urging the U.S. and its allies to work with the leaders of Iran for a peaceful resolution to the conflict over nuclear proliferation.”
The Upper Susquehanna Synod,
- “Voted to create a task force to discuss the justice issues surrounding the natural gas industry and to make available resources to address the complexities of horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing; memorialized the 2013 Churchwide Assembly to create its own task force on this subject.”
(see article here)
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