Click to read the Exposing the ELCA Fall 2012 newsletter here.
The ELCA has a well documented history of siding with the Palestinians and Muslims when it comes to issues concerning Israel. (see here) They try to cloak it with “politically correct” verbiage, but it is obvious, to anyone paying attention, where the ELCA stands. Every once in a while, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America can not help itself and does or says something that clearly reveals, with out a doubt, their anti-Semitism and the reality that they’re siding with God’s enemy.
One of these incidents happened three years ago when the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, along with 39 other ELCA bishops, went to Israel. (see here)
During the trip the ELCA delegation stopped at the tomb of noted notorious terrorist Yasser Arafat to honor and show respect for him by placing a wreath at his tomb. This was revealed by the ELCA’s official website. (see here) Just six years earlier, ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson and other ELCA leaders had a personal meeting with Yasser Arafat. (see here)
For those readers who may not know, let me tell you about Yasser Arafat. “Arafat is known to many as the ‘father of modern terrorism.’” “In order to report on Arafat's history objectively, one must include his decades-long involvement in terror, his goal of destroying Israel, and his siphoning of hundreds of millions of dollars from money donated to help the Palestinian people that went instead into his own private accounts.” (see here)
Arafat was the leader of a number of terrorist organizations. “(G)roups under Arafat's direct or indirect command – including Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – were responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations and other attacks, including the 1972 murder of 11 of Israel's Olympic athletes in Munich, the 1973 murder of the American ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel, and the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruiseship (resulting in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer).” (see here)
So the ELCA honors a man who destroyed the lives of thousands of men, women and children. (see long list here) Showing respect to this man is tantamount to laying flowers at Hitler’s grave. Yet the ELCA did it.
What kind of “Christian” leaders would do such a thing? People who dislike Israel so much that they will side with the devil. The fact that they did this must make everyone question the ELCA’s policy and view of what should happen in the Middle East.
The question every ELCA member should ask is, why would you follow and trust leaders like this?
Here are some quotes from Yasser Arafat, the man the ELCA honored:
"'When we stopped the Intifada we did not stop the Jihad [Islamic holy war] to establish Palestine with Jerusalem as our capital.... We know only one word: Jihad, Jihad, Jihad.... We are in a conflict with the Zionist movement, the Balfour Declaration, and all imperialist activity....'
--- Yasser Arafat, in a speech at the Dehaishe refugee camp near Bethlehem, 22 October 1996 (Yediot Aharonot, 23 October 1996). The Balfour Declaration was Britain's 1917 statement of support for a Jewish national home in the land of Israel." (see here)
"'Yes, we are proud of the Palestinian girl, the Palestinian woman and the Palestinian child who fulfilled these miracles. The Palestinian woman participated in the Palestinian revolution. The Palestinian girl participated in the Palestinian revolution. Abir al-Wahidi, commander of the central region [al-Wahidi participated in the murder of Israeli Zvi Klein in December 1991] and Dalal al-Maghrabi, Martyr of Palestine [al-Maghrabi took part in the Coastal Road Massacre in March 1978, in which 37 Israelis were killed]. I bow in respect and admiration to the Palestinian woman who receives her martyred son with joyful cheering. The soul and blood for you, O Palestine!'
--- P.L.O. Chairman Yasser Arafat, in a speech given on 3 September 1995 at the al-Fatah girls school in Gaza to mark the opening of the school year (Israel Channel Two Television, 19 September 1995)" (see here)
"'The commitment still stands and the oath is still valid: that we will continue this long jihad, this difficult jihad... via deaths, via sacrifices.'
--- P.L.O. Chairman Yasser Arafat, in a speech given at Al-Azhar University in Gaza on 19 June 1995 (The Jerusalem Post, 3 August 1995)"
"'All of us are willing to be martyrs along the way, until our flag flies over Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. Let no one think they can scare us with weapons, for we have mightier weapons - the weapon of faith, the weapon of martyrdom, the weapon of jihad.'
--- P.L.O. Chairman Yasser Arafat, in a speech given to Palestinian laborers in Gaza in January 1995 (Parade Magazine, New York Newsday, 25 June 1995)" (see here)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America officially allows homosexual marriages, so says the “number two man” in the denomination, David Swartling. At the 2012 Southwestern Washington Synod Assembly it has been reported that, “(I)n response to a query from the floor of the assembly, Secretary of the ELCA David Swartling, at the assembly as the representative of the national church, said that the marriage of same-gender couples in states where that was legal was neither endorsed nor precluded by ELCA policy. Marriage in those circumstances was at the discretion of pastors and congregations.” (read here)
One of the duties of the Secretary of the ELCA is to “prepare interpretations, as necessary, of the Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” (read here) So the Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, David Swartling, is the highest authority in the ELCA when it come to interpreting ELCA policy. He says the ELCA allows the performing of homosexual marriages.
An Executive Director of a gay rights advocacy organization responded to Secretary Swartling's statement this way, “The clarification by Secretary of the ELCA Swartling is a benchmark of the position that ELCA policy takes nationally on the subject of pastors and congregations marrying same-gender couples where that is legal." (see here) What the Executive Director says is true. There should be no doubt that this is the ELCA's official stance. Do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise.
The media even confirms this. The Santa Fe New Mexican news site reported, in an article this summer, “Today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allows ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships. Blessings of same-sex marriages — and marriages in states where they are legally permitted — are performed.” (read here)
This is important information because people continue to be given conflicting messages about the ELCA's position on gay marriage. One reader shared with me his concern about leaders trying to lessen or diminish the impact of the ELCA’s 2009 actions, stating, “ . . . ELCA bishops continue to tell congregations that the ELCA has not approved gay marriage taking place in its congregations.”
Do not be fooled. ELCA policy allows gay marriages in states where it is legal.
The Rev. Benjamin Larzelere III is retiring. He has been a pastor at the ELCA-affiliated Christ Lutheran Church in Santa Fe, NM, for 37 years. According to this news story, (see here) he is passionate about “inclusiveness.” So much so, that Christ Lutheran marched in the Santa Fe 2012 gay pride parade. (see here) Additionally, “The doormat outside the main entrance to Christ Lutheran promises ‘all are welcome.’ A rainbow flag hangs in the common room and on a nearby table are neon orange fliers asking, ‘What did Jesus say about homosexuality?’ — and the answer, ‘That’s right. Nothing!’”
From that statement alone you can see that this pastor has a very unorthodox view of God’s Word. Or to be blunt, a false and warped view of Scripture.
The news article about Rev. Larzelere goes on to tell us, “He sees the Bible not as the literal word of God but as ‘a collection of stories, history and poems. It is not a talking book. It doesn’t tell me what to do.’”
This man, who has been teaching and preaching for 37 years, has a view of Scripture that is in complete opposition to the way Christ viewed Scripture. (see here) Jesus viewed it as God’s Word, inspired and true. It’s quite clear how Rev. Larzelere views Scripture. Much like an astounding number of others in his denomination (ELCA) unfortunately.
Looking around at Christ Lutheran’s website I came across the last sermon given by Rev. Larzelere before his retirement (September 9, 2012). It seems that Rev. Larzelere doesn’t believe Jesus and the writers of Scripture, when they talk about demons. He wrote this when describing a story in the gospel of Mark, “a woman whose daughter was ill (‘had an unclean spirit’ writes Mark in 1st Century understanding of what could be just about anything from depression on up). . .” (read here)
Why is it so hard for ELCA pastors to believe what the Bible says?
Have you ever had someone tell you that Jesus didn’t understand some of the things going on and happening around Him? Or that our Lord and Savior was in need of correction? Have you had a pastor tell you that the One who said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), needed help figuring out God’s will? That is what Rev. Delmer Chilton, an assistant to the bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA, wrote in an article that was posted by the ELCA’s Living Lutheran website.
Rev. Chilton, in discussing Mark 7:24-37, wrote, “What if Jesus was the one who did not fully understand and needed some help interpreting God’s will and way in this case? Maybe Jesus needed to have his vision cleared and his worldview adjusted so that he could see just exactly how large God’s love is.”
Later he states, “(Jesus) has failed to remember” God’s promise.
Rev. Chilton goes on to say, “. . . Jesus stands corrected . . .the woman has helped Jesus to understand a difficult part of the Scripture and a difficult part of his call. The further Jesus goes in his ministry the deeper his understanding of his mission becomes. And this deeper understanding is a result of his encounters with people who aren’t afraid to confront him with hard and difficult truths.”
Finally he states, “The good news of God’s grace and love changes people. It heals them, changes their relationships, changes the way they see right and wrong, rich and poor, us and them. It even changed Jesus and the way he saw the world and the way he saw himself in it.” (see here)
This is not true and not Biblical. It is incredibly wrong that a high leader in the ELCA publicly teaches this, let alone thinks it.
A gentlemen going by the name “Davey” commented on Rev. Chilton’s article saying, “I have never considered before that Jesus did anything by accident. I have never thought of Jesus learning anything from any one. Jesus knew answers before questions were asked. He told people where they have been, where they were going, and healed their sickness without being told of the symptoms. He spoke and the elements obeyed. Why would Jesus need to find out how large God’s love is when Jesus demonstrated that He is in fact…God?
Driving a wedge between God the Father and God the Son seems an inadequate and un-Biblical way to define Jesus. Jesus was not on a fact finding mission to take notes from earthlings so He could better understand how God the Father wanted Him to act. Is this yet another new theology coming from the leadership of the church?” (read here)
Exposing the ELCA Poll
Exposing the ELCA readers were presenting with this statement, "My ELCA church never talked about the troubling issues going on with the denomination."
Here are the results:
262 voters (66.33%) responded "True"
105 voters (26.58%) responded "False"
28 voters (7.09%) responded "The question does not apply to me"
Total Votes: 395
ELCA magazine, The Lutheran had an article about the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering in their September 2012 issue. They report that “Philip Ciulla, an adult chaperone from Saddle Creek, N.J., said he and his congregation's youth were pleased that the gathering addressed concerns such as the environment. ‘I think it's becoming more progressive,’ he said. ‘Our kids ... are pretty much on board with this stuff.’
Other young people highlighted the ELCA's stance on acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as a positive change.” (read here)
The article also points out that yoga was offered as an activity for the youth at the gathering. Yoga is controversial. Many believe this is not an activity Christians should participate in because of its eastern religion origins and because it is a pagan religious practice that taps into the spiritual realm. (Read here and here)
How often do we have to see and hear the ways the ELCA is indoctrinating the youth before more parents will protect their kids and get them out of the denomination? And it’s not just the youth. Almost every issue of The Lutheran contains articles and reports that are meant to sway the reader’s viewpoint to a progressive, non-Biblical worldview.
Want some more evidence? The Lutheran printed an article by Rev. Andrena Ingram (see here), which lifts her up as a leader in the ELCA on the issue of AIDS/HIV. What the article does not tell you is that Rev. Ingram passed out condoms during a HIV Testing Event/“community meal” held at her church, or that Rev. Ingram wrote, “This is my body, given for you. … this is a condom, given for you. Use it!” (see here) Rev. Ingram was also a keynote speaker at the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering.
I don't know about you but "progressive" may be one of the nicest ways to describe the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Redistribution of Wealth
The Lutheran, which bills itself as “The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” has an article in the September 2012 issue on the topic of social justice. The article is posted in their “Deeper Understandings” column and is written by ELCA seminary professors James Childs and Katie Day. From this magazine, which continually pushes the ELCA's liberal agenda to it's subscribers, we read about “social justice” and find this statement by Professor Day, “In order to fairly distribute resources, we have to nurture and protect just relations in society. Where there is injustice, community has been broken — many ‘have nots’ means there are too many ‘haves’ with too much.” (read here)
Opining for the redistribution of wealth is not a surprise, coming from our current president of the United States, but here we find the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America professor and magazine calling for it.
In the comments section after this article is an interesting response, “‘Many have nots means there are too many haves with too much.’ That statement by Professor Day reveals her false notion that the wealth of the world is a zero sum game. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Sam Walton aren't billionaires at some one else's expense. They have created wealth for all of us out of thin air. The world is not a better place today because we have smarter theologians (obviously) but because we have PRACTCAL scientist and inventors and business people. Creation of jobs is vastly more beneficial for society then is using that same dollar, laundered through the government to just a few cents, to perhaps help some one in need. At our church we are starting to stress and pray for our employers not only our poor.
Do you, Dr. Day, think that it would be better for you to borrow $50,000 to redo your kitchen or to give that money to the government for them to spend? Where would more jobs be created? I would think that a professors compensation package ( I suspect it is north of $150,000) qualifies them as an Obama millionaire or billionaire.
I am generous with my giving and I resent those who twist the Bible and theology to read that it is a collective obligation of some to take money through the government from others to give to somebody else. Not only that, but not all of us are Christians but we are Americans and we have a constitutional right to our property. It is our Christian obligation and privilege to be generous.” (read here)
It has been the opinion of many concerned Lutherans that social justice is the main focus and mission of the ELCA, and nowhere to be found in the denomination is the desire to follow Christ’s directive to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” - Matthew 28:19,20. When any human commission, in this case, social justice, replaces the Great Commission, it is time to leave the denomination.
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