Since its infancy, Exposing the ELCA has been covering the story of Rebecca Julius, a Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) student who is standing up for Biblical truth in the confines of the liberal pro-homosexual, pro-gay marriage ELCA college.
With Rebecca’s permission, I posted a letter/blog that she wrote explaining her concerns and her idea of how to be, much needed, “salt and light” at Concordia. Here is a link to that blog - Be a Witness for Truth
Since that blog was posted on August 23, 2012, there has been a great deal of media attention given to this situation, allowing Rebecca to be a witness for God’s Truth in the many new reports which have resulted. Here are links to a number of them.
I googled, - rebecca julius sin is sin - and came up with hundreds of articles. (see here) Looking through the first six pages of links you can see that a bunch of them are critical reports from the gay community. Please continue to hold Rebecca up on prayer.
Voter ID and Marriage Amendments
Minnesota’s Saint Paul Area Synod Bishop Peter Rogness (ELCA) continues to push for gay marriage and make attempts to thwart voter ID laws in his state. Minnesota has two state amendments up for vote, one that declares marriage is between one man and one woman, the other amendment says people have to present photo identification in order to vote in elections. This week, Bishop Rogness sent out an email saying, “It's time to be reminded that our synod assembly encouraged the people of this synod to recognize the reasons to oppose both of the proposed constitutional amendments.” (see here) He then writes a paragraph on each amendment touching on why his readers should not support the amendments.
Additionally, Bishop Rogness’ synod sent out a Facebook message saying, "The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC), of which the Saint Paul Area Synod is a member, announced its opposition to the voter identification amendment at a press conference on Oct. 16. Bishop Peter Rogness, as president of the organization, delivered a statement outlining the decisions why the MCC took this step.” (see here)
All six Minnesota ELCA synods are members of the MCC, of which Bishop Rogness is the president. (see here)
The ELCA synods in Minnesota are making every effort to stop these amendments. I wish they would put this kind of effort into bringing the message of salvation to the lost, but to most ELCA leaders that isn’t necessary. This is typical ELCA leadership. They proudly stand against God when it comes to marriage and many leaders have no desire to protect the voting process by stopping voter fraud. (strange how everyone must show your ID to fly, to take the ACT and SAT and even to attend Michelle Obama’s book signings) (see here), yet the ELCA doesn’t want voters to prove they are eligible voters.
Exposing the ELCA readers, let me show you what real and faithful Christian leadership looks like.
“On November 6, the day before my 94th birthday, our nation will hold one of the most critical elections in my lifetime. We are at a crossroads and there are profound moral issues at stake. I strongly urge you to vote for candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman, protect the sanctity of life, and defend our religious freedoms. The Bible speaks clearly on these crucial issues. Please join me in praying for America, that we will turn our hearts back toward God.” - Reverend Billy Graham
A news release by the ELCA News Service details the happenings at the recent ELCA Conference of Bishops. The news service reports that -
“David Swartling, ELCA secretary, who announced that he would not seek another term as secretary at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. In an earlier communication sent to the Conference of Bishops, (Presiding Bishop Mark) Hanson indicated his willingness to be available for another term.”
We also are told that ELCA treasurer, Rev. Linda Norman, announced “Financial contributions from congregations for the work of synods and the churchwide organization in the form of Mission Support for the first seven months in 2012 was $27.3 million, a decrease of $0.4 million or 1.3 percent from the previous year.”
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson also reported to the Council of Bishops at this time. In that report Hanson said, "If we lose our deep rootedness in Scripture, in the Lutheran Confessions, in the church and in Christ, we will lose confidence in the Holy Spirit. We will lose faith." (read here)
I don't disagree with Bishop Hanson's statement, but the irony in the ELCA leader’s words is the fact that the ELCA has already “los(t) our deep rootedness in Scripture” and continues to walk farther away from God’s Word. He is culpable and responsible for that happening.
The ELCA is not rooted in Scripture (or “in the Lutheran Confessions, in the church and in Christ.”) Sadly, Bishop Hanson doesn’t realize it. He needs to open his eyes and see the truth of the situation the ELCA is in and that they already have lost confidence in the Holy Spirit and have lost faith.
Bishop Hanson also made this statement. "We also have the opportunity and responsibility to ask, what does it mean to be deeply rooted in Christ and always being made new as we live in communities of increasing religious pluralism?" "With the recent increase in anti-Muslim incidents, the deadly shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and demonstrations and violence in the Middle East, we all need to be asking, what is a faithful, Lutheran evangelical witness in such a context?”
I find it perplexing that Bishop Hanson would highlight the incredibly rare problem of “anti-Muslim” incidents in his report. The statistics show this:
In the United States, “There were 107 hate crimes recorded against Muslims in 2009, compared to 931 anti-semitic hate crimes.” (read here)
“Law enforcement agencies reported 1,376 hate crimes motivated by religious bias. A breakdown of biases for these offenses showed:
70.1 percent were anti-Jewish.
9.3 percent were anti-Islamic.”
2009 statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice— Federal Bureau of Investigation (read here)
Here are some statistics from New York state:
“Anti-Semitic incidents, which made up 37 percent of the reported hate crimes, were up 15 percent in one year, from 219 in 2008 to 251 in 2009.”
“Crimes motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment rose from eight to 11.” (read here)
The ELCA has a Muslim fetish and an anti-Jewish spirit that continues to manifest itself just like it did days ago in the ELCA’s attack letter to the United States Congress against Israel. (read here)
Stand Up For the Unborn
Women of the ELCA (WELCA), in a recent blog, made the claim that they are “Advocating for girls’ rights everywhere.” (read here)
Their claim is simply not true. What about girls who are in the womb? Women of the ELCA is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and this denomination certainly does not advocate for the life of unborn girls. They advocate for the destruction of unborn girls and boys. (see here)
It is time every ELCA and WELCA member recognizes what their denomination supports and what they themselves are supporting by being members of the denomination.
So my question to you is this: is God calling you to stand up for the rights of the innocent, the unborn children? Is God calling you to let your brothers and sisters in Christ know the radical pro-abortion position of the ELCA? Here are two resources (fliers/posters) that I encourage you to print off and share with others. 1) The ELCA and Abortion: THE FACTS and 2) Dear ELCA Members: You have the right to know!
As reported by Exposing the ELCA in a previous blog (read here) the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mark Hanson, and his liberal religious leader friends wrote a letter to the U.S. Congress seeking to stop military aid to Israel. Proud of their work, the church leaders publicized their letter on the newswire. Well, what do you know? Jewish leaders found out about Hanson’s letter and are not at all pleased.
Here are some snippets from recent news articles addressing the situation:
“The letter, signed by 15 Christian leaders, including representatives from the National Council of Churches and a number of mainline Protestant denominations, provoked angry and articulate responses from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), and the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Rabbis (RA). The JCPA was spot-on when it said the letter represents an escalation in anti-Israel activity.” (read here)
"When religious liberty and safety of Christians across the Middle East are threatened by the repercussions of the Arab Spring, these Christian leaders have chosen to initiate a polemic against Israel, a country that protects religious freedom and expression for Christians, Muslims and others." (read here)
“The letter calling for hearings and reassessment was issued without outreach to longtime partners in public advocacy within the Jewish community. It was released on the eve of Shabbat, just before a long weekend of Jewish and American holidays. And it was distributed at a time when Congress is out of session, in the midst of the general election campaign.
We find these tactics to be disrespectful of channels of communication that have been constructed over decades, and an essential declaration of separation from the endeavor of interfaith consultation on matters of deep concern to the Jewish community. Indeed, we find this breach of trust to be so egregious that we wonder if it may not warrant an examination on the part of the Jewish community at large of these partnerships and relationships that we understood ourselves to be working diligently to preserve and protect.”
“. . .to selectively invoke the representations of a Jewish organization for their own purposes is reprehensible." (read here)
“It is outrageous that mere days after the Iranian president repeated his call for Israel’s elimination, these American Protestant leaders would launch a biased attack against the Jewish state by calling on Congress to investigate Israel’s use of foreign aid. In its clear bias against Israel, it is striking that their letter fails to also call for an investigation of Palestinian use of U.S. foreign aid, thus once again placing the blame entirely on Israel."
“ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, ‘These church leaders are basically saying that Israel should be bullied by financial pressure into concessions to the unreconstructed, terror-supporting Palestinian Authority (PA), which does not accept Israel as a Jewish state and has not fulfilled its 19-year old commitments under the signed Oslo agreements to arrest terrorists, dismantle terrorist groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. In fact, the PA refuses to negotiate at all and has not done so for several years. Indeed, it is shocking that, despite all these things, these church leaders have not criticized the $600 million in U.S. aid to the PA or called for the PA to fulfill its signed commitments.
At a time when Americans are being assaulted in countries across the Middle East (other than Israel) and at a time when Egypt, the most populous Arab state, has fallen under the domination of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, whose leaders have spoken with gusto about the coming demise of America, these church leaders are obsessed with penalizing and pressuring one country – Israel. Their preoccupation with and animus against the Jewish state seems boundless and is not disguised with pompous and insincere talk about their ‘moral responsibility’ to call for restricting aid to Israel.’”(see here)
“Their letter to Congress contains a brief appendix elucidating why they think conditions are deteriorating. There we learn of restrictions on movement in the West Bank, though not of the many ways in which the Netanyahu government in recent years has loosened those restrictions. There is no mention, for example, of the recent steps by the government of Israel to assist the Palestinian Authority as it faces a financial crisis. We learn of Israel’s 'comprehensive blockade' on Gaza but not that Gaza has a border with Egypt — or that it is still not fully open. We are told that Israel killed thousands of unarmed Palestinian civilians but not that the churches rely for this information on data provided by anti-Israel NGOs or left-wing Israeli groups.
Those statistics show that a suspicious preponderance of the casualties are young males, hardly a cross-section of the unarmed Palestinian population. This too is an old story: NGOs claim a high number of civilian casualties, while the government of Israel claims that a high percentage of those wounded or killed were combatants. In one famous example, Hamas after the 2008–9 Gaza conflict admitted to numbers far closer to Israel’s official figures than to those of the NGOs. Of this issue the churches’ letter says nothing, simply accepting the numbers that critics of Israel supply.” (read here)
“you realize that there is essentially nothing that Israel has ever done to defend itself that these people have approved. They object to
• the security fence;
• travel checkpoints, even into Israel from the Palestinian territories;
• targeted attacks on terrorists;
• demolitions of homes known to be used by terrorists;
• any military presence by IDF forces in the West Bank;
• sea blockade of ships seeking to smuggle weapons into Gaza;
• air strikes in any form;
• ground incursions into the West Bank or Gaza.” (see here)
“. . .the letter will affect cooperation between the signatory organizations and the Jewish community, as the reactions of major American Jewish organizations already demonstrate.” (read here)
The ELCA has once again shown itself to be an enemy of the people of Israel and now the Jewish people know it.
It comes as a surprise to many when anti-Semitism is propagated by people and denominations operating under the banner of Christianity. The latest incident comes from a letter sent to the United States Congress by the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Mark S. Hanson, and his liberal church cohorts telling the Congress to investigate Israel and consider halting military aid to them.
That letter was broadcast far and wide by the ELCA News Service, with the subtitle “ELCA, other churches call for investigation of military aid to Israel.” So make no mistake, this is a call by the ELCA, not just the act of the presiding bishop.
The letter has its foundation in anti-Semitism. One way this is apparent is when one considers that the US government gives military and/or financial aid to many countries which are, in fact, ruthlessly oppressive and violent. There are Muslim countries that brutalize Christian citizens, women, non-Muslims and homosexuals. Countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Lebanon to name a few. Yet, where is the letter asking for an investigation into military aid or financial aid to these countries? Countries which HATE America. Countries which keep “Palestinians” in slums. Countries and governments which will kill you for having a Bible. The silence from the ELCA concerning these countries is deafening.
The constant call for Israel to give in to the demands of Muslims makes the their motivation obvious. That call is the call of Hamas. It is the call of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the call of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
I have decide not to link to the bishop’s propaganda piece. If someone really wants to read it, a simple and quick Google search will be able to produce it. For more information on the ELCA’s positions and actions against Israel see here.
ELCA leadership, for the most part, believes in evolution. (see here) It seems crazy to me that church leaders and pastors who are supposed to shepherd their flock can twist the clear reading of scripture and outright deny what is says. Seems to me God would know better than they on how He made everything. Yet ELCA pastors and seminary professors revel in their “superior” knowledge and belittle those “simpletons” who believe God.
I get the impression ELCA leaders do not like being called out as evolution supporters and creation deniers. Most of them wouldn’t dare get up in the pulpit and tell you that they believe God’s account of creation is false. They should be challenged on their belief.
That brings me to a written dialog I've been having with an ELCA pastor. This ELCA pastor wrote me and evidently was not happy with a blog I wrote called “ELCA Churches Celebrate Evolution Weekend” (see here).
The pastor at one point said “The Bible is not science and to try and make it so just makes us all look ignorant. Don't be afraid sir, as God has created everything even science. If you must believe that the earth was created in 7 days please don't bash those of us who are not afraid to move into the centuries and acknowledge the findings that bear the real truth.”
I responded by email saying, “Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I disagree with your position on creation and believe it is everyone’s right to know what their ELCA pastor or leadership believes on the issue when they have decided to ‘go public’ with it. It is good to know where your pastor is coming from when they are teaching you.
There are thousands of scientists that believe in Biblical creation and a plethora of evidence to prove that evolution is not good science. Here is a list of 'renown scientists in the past and today' who believe in the biblical account of creation. - http://creation.com/creation-scientists#presentsci
I will leave you with this, 'When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.' - Martin Luther, What Martin Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian.
God bless you”
Today the ELCA pastor replied saying “This is not about evolution. It is about common sense.
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Morning Prayer, LBW, pg. 137”
I responded, “It is not common sense but it is your blind faith in evolution/big bang. You just don't like what God said. Something very common in the ELCA.
Two questions you should ask yourself, 1) do you believe your ELCA pastor's view of creation or God's? And 2) do you want to be under leadership who denies something so clearly stated by our Creator?
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