Last week the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America installed Rev. Guy Erwin as Bishop of the Southwest California Synod. Rev. Erwin is the first practicing homosexual to be a bishop in the ELCA. The ELCA's Living Lutheran website reported that there were at least 10 ELCA bishops in attendance. (see here) Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, the highest ranking ELCA leader, delivered the sermon at the installation. Bishop Hanson's sermon made it clear that there is no more debate in the denomination about whether homosexuality is sinful or godly. He then proclaimed the ELCA's repentance for once holding the Biblical position that homosexuality is sinful.
Below are some quotes and my thoughts from the ELCA leader's sermon.
In the opening moments Bishop Hanson expressed his overwhelming gratitude to those that were there saying,
“on behalf of this whole church, I want to say a deep and heartfelt thank you to everyone here and everyone watching the live stream and those that have gone on to glory that have worked so tirelessly, fervently, prayerfully, prophetically, educationally, so that we could come to this day as a church, when Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin, in the presence of his husband Rob, could be installed in the office of bishop in Christ's church. Thank you.” (see video below)
Translation: Homosexuality is good, it is from God, thank you for your role in unsinning homosexuality in our denomination. We are so happy to encourage it and have church leaders who practice it.
Moments later Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said,
“There is weeping for joy this day, because for too long many of you have wept tears of bitterness from the experience of being rebuked. Rebuked for believing that God could call you to the ministry of word and sacrament and to the vocation of marriage with your beloved Rob.”
Translation: People who believe and speak the truth about the Biblical position on same gender sex are evil “rebukers.” ...And all you wanted was to have sinful deviant sex and be a leader in the church.
Then Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson said,
“Rev. Erwin, in your call to serve the gospel in the office of bishop, we as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are saying again and saying publicly and forthrightly, such rebuking shall not be what we as a church will be saying quite openly any longer.”
Translation: The ELCA is for homosexual sex and you will never hear the denomination preach contrary to that. Let that be a warning to any ELCA leader who thinks otherwise.
He then proclaimed,
“But let our public resounding 'no' to such shaming and bullying and rebuking also become our public repentance. Our being turned from that dead end path of rebuking to live differently, speak differently, openly preserving the dignity of all. May our public repentance be both an act of confession and an act of reconciliation with all that who have been rebuked.” (the ELCA confessed to this invented sin before – see here)
Translation: We, the ELCA repent of our sin. We repent for once holding the Biblical position that homosexuality is wrong/sinful. We will no longer say that. We are sorry for those church fathers before us who spoke the truth in love to you. They sinned, we sinned and anyone who still holds that position has sinned because of it.
Remember, this is what the ELCA said in their 2009 Social Statement - Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, “faithful people can and will come to different conclusions about the meaning of Scripture and about what constitutes responsible action. We further believe that this church, on the basis of 'the bound conscience,' will include these different understandings and practices within its life as it seeks to live out its mission and ministry in the world.” (see here)
How does that jibe with what the ELCA's leader is now saying?
Presiding Bishop Hanson's sermon makes it clear, if it wasn't already, that the Biblical position on homosexuality will not be allowed, respected or tolerated anymore. It is full speed ahead and every ELCA entity will be (has been) pushing, justifying and indoctrinating its membership into their worldly view on homosexuality.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is inundated with pastors who preach universalism.
Below you will find commentary by Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon, an associate professor of New Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, explaining how universalism is not Biblical. (the information below comes from Dr. Gagnon's facebook page - see here) Read it and then try to explain how any ELCA leader in their right mind could teach that everyone will be saved.
Tea Party supporters have come to expect liberals to call them names, denigrate them and try to weaken their influence. The mainstream media has been doing it for years. The scandal involving the IRS targeting Tea Party organizations grows bigger every week. Yet you wouldn't expect church leaders, who are supposed to be followers of Christ, to do this. But it happened just yesterday. A large synod in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) let the “cat out of the bag” and very clearly revealed just how it feels about the Tea Party.
The Northern Texas - Northern Louisiana Mission Area, an ELCA synod representing 108 ELCA churches wrote this on their official synod Twitter account:
Below is my reply and the ELCA synod's next tweet:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been growing more and more liberal over the last decade. They have been moving away for the truth of Scripture and adopting the liberal agenda as their gospel. Even so, there are still hundreds of thousands of conservative members in the denomination and no doubt many supporters of the Tea Party. So the ELCA has had to, very slyly, implement their liberal agenda, much like a lion sneaking up on its prey, so as not to chase away their Bible-believing conservative members, who give quite generously to the church.
So in a refreshingly rare moment, out of anger toward my ministry, Exposing the ELCA, this synod of the ELCA jumped up and declared what they believe and feel about the Tea Party. The ELCA synod even said “don't we stand for everything they're against?”
Tea Party supporters and conservatives within the almost 4 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, do you want to be a part of a denomination that thinks this way about you? A denomination that stands against everything you believe in?
(See additional information since 2013 here)
Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber is a troubled Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor who has grown in popularity within the ELCA ranks. She is highly sought after by ELCA leadership to speak at conferences and gatherings, and to preach to their leaders, members and youth. (see here) Just last week an ELCA website published a letter she had written praising Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson for his leadership.
But there are problems with Rev. Bolz-Weber, big problems. The problems I'm referring to rest in two areas, her teaching/theology, which is non-Biblical in many important areas, and moral issues that she seems to take pride in and actively flaunts.
God tells us what an appointed church leader should look like; He says the leader “must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Tell me if that sounds like Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber as we examine an interview she recently gave -
I guess Rev. Bolz-Weber can blame Jesus for that.
Let's be clear, this stance is not Biblical, but it is espousing universalism, the very dangerous belief that all people will be saved. The Bible says there will be judgment for those who deny Christ or do not have faith in Christ. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.”
As you can read from this interview, Bolz-Weber's “sailor's mouth” is on full display; and I'm not listing all of what she said. (see video here)
Rev. Bolz-Weber is dangerously wrong regarding very important Biblical doctrine and Biblical Truth. (see here, here and here for some more examples) Additionally, this ELCA pastor has a toxic tongue. There is no repentance or evident desire to tame her month. Paul tells us in the truth of scripture, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” - Ephesians 5:4
Here are two snipits from Rev. Bolz-Weber's Facebook page that show her worldly and bankrupt spiritual state:
What is really telling, with this exposition on Nadia Bolt-Weber, is that this is someone the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has elevated to a place of leadership and authority.
Most ELCA leaders believe in evolution. Over 1500 of them even signed a document saying so (see here and here).
In fact, last month a group of ELCA pastors stumbled upon my article with the list of 1500+ ELCA leaders who support evolution and a number of them wrote me, one pastor said, “Being an ELCA clergy person, and not being on the list I can assure you that there will be at least one more (me)-- thank you for bringing this to my attention.” Another ELCA pastor wrote, “Thank you for bringing this letter to my attention...I look forward to signing it myself as soon as possible.” Yet another ELCA leader commented, “I am so disappointed that I did not make your 'heretic' list. I do indeed believe what was in that letter that 1,500 of my fellow ELCA clergy signed.” Finally another ELCA pastor stated “I'm happy my name is on your list...”
ELCA leaders are proud of their denial of clear Biblical teaching. They claim they believe “science.” What they truly believe are lies and foolishness. Evolution is not fact as it is not provable, and there is little evidence for it. That's why it continues to be called the “theory of evolution.”
Here is a 30-minute video that everyone should watch; it is changing thousands of people's minds who have previously believed in the theory of evolution -
Evolution vs. God (the video currently has 675,000 views)
A recent Exposing the ELCA poll asked:
"How did you find Exposing the ELCA?"
Here are the results:
Total Votes: 273
Honestly, I'd like to write about something different, but I can't. When the ELCA continually presents false information, encourages destructive sins and makes hateful resolutions, it must be exposed. So here I am writing about homosexuality again. I've written about the ELCA and homosexuality so many times this summer it seems almost constant. But the truth is that the ELCA is obsessed with homosexuality and the ELCA glowingly writes about it and talks about it and forces their opinion of it down their membership's throats. (see here, here, here and here)
The September 2013 issue of The Lutheran, the official magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, had a big article on homosexuality again, which presented this false justification for homosexuality to their ELCA readership, “There is no Greek or Hebrew word that corresponds exactly to our word 'homosexual.' You may have participated in a Bible study where the term was used. But that's a modern application of the word. The category or classification that we may refer to as homosexuality did not exist in biblical times. The few scriptural references to lusting or exploitative sexual behaviors between same- or differently gendered people have nothing to do with the abiding personal companionship, enduring love, shared intimacy, and trusting commitment of gay and straight couples who cherish such qualities in our day.” (read here)
The ELCA hopes if they say homosexuality is “good” enough times, people will start to believe them instead of God's Word. The ELCA wants to indoctrinate church members into believing that the homosexual lifestyle is perfectly fine, that it is normal and the way God made those individuals to be. How else can you explain the ELCA's obsession with declaring to their members that homosexuality is to be considered normal? This plan has worked, to a great extent. When trusted pastors explain to their congregations that same-sex relationships are fine, people are going to believe them, especially those who have little Biblical knowledge. And when synod bishops say it, ELCA assemblies declare it, ELCA pastors claim it, ELCA seminaries and colleges teach it and ELCA publications expound on it, church members are going to start to believe it.
Maybe not all members believe it immediately. There are some who have stayed with their ELCA congregation who know what God says in Scripture about same-sex relationships. They thought it wouldn't affect them or their local church, but they are constantly being fed this line of cow dung by the denomination. A majority of these members will succumb to the lie and will eventually view homosexuality as good.
Sadly, many of the people have made an informed choice to stay in the denomination. They have known of the ELCA's departure from God's Word, but they have placed their lifelong loyalty, to a church building or friends, over what they know is true. They stay in churches despite knowing that the ELCA is teaching in opposition to Scripture. They justify it in their minds and they begrudgingly go down the path of acceptance because, after all, their parents and grandparents belonged to their church and are buried in the church cemetery. They can't leave their church, no matter what they are being taught. Whether we like it or not, followers end up emulating their leaders. Spiritual leaders have a great deal of influence. I do hope that people are willing to recognize how they are being influenced and take a stand for Truth, standing to their feet and walking out for the sake of what is far more important than tradition or generational loyalty, but instead out of obedience and allegiance to God.
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