Marcus Borg is not a name many laypersons would know, but he is very popular with the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Mr. Borg has spoken at many ELCA functions and his books are well read throughout the denomination. But who is Marcus Borg?
Borg’s own website says, “Marcus J. Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar. . .” (see here) He is the author of nineteen books. Mr. Borg is also a member of the Jesus Seminar, which has been described as “. . . a self-promoting, pretentious attempt to popularize a historical Jesus, which is more culturally appealing. While claiming to represent the mainstream of critical New Testament scholarship, the Seminar might be likened to a sideshow rather than the center-ring attraction.” (see here)
Marcus Borg is wildly popular with ELCA leadership, (which I will show you a little later in this blog) but first you should know what this man teaches and believes. The best way to do that is by hearing it from the man himself. Mr. Borg says:
“I let go of the notion that the Bible is a divine product. I learned that it is a human cultural product . . . As such, it contained their understandings and affirmations, not statements coming directly or somewhat directly from God"
"Seminary also introduced me to the historical study of Jesus and Christian origins. I learned from my professors and the readings they assigned that Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world"
"I cannot believe that God could have stopped the Holocaust but chose not to, just as I cannot believe that God responds to some prayers for healing and protection and not others...It is difficult to believe in such a God"
"The pre-Easter Jesus is the historical Jesus...The post-Easter Jesus is what Jesus became after his death. More specifically, the post-Easter Jesus is the Jesus of Christian tradition and experience..."
"Was the pre-Easter Jesus divine? NO...Is the post-Easter Jesus divine? Yes--the post-Easter Jesus of Christian experience and fully developed Christian doctrine is divine"
"As such, myths can be both true and powerful, even though they are symbolic narratives and not straightforward historical reports. Though not literally true, they can be really true; though not factually true, they can be actually true. The stories of Jesus' birth are myths in this sense. Along with most mainline scholars, I do not think these stories report what happened. The virginal conception, the star, the wise men, the birth in Bethlehem where there was no room in the inn, and so forth are not facts of history. But I think these stories are powerfully true...The stories of Jesus' death and resurrection contain a mixture of historical memory and mythical narration."
Wow!! It’s hard to believe that a leader in mainline Christianity can hold these beliefs. But amazingly, the same things Borg says in these quotes are beliefs that are growing by leaps and bounds in the ELCA.
Pastor John Bent and Pastor Ralph Boyer have this to say about Borg and the Jesus Seminar, in which he is part of:
“Marcus Borg, the professor referred to in Bishop Hanson’s Report . . . was a primary member of the Jesus Seminar. The Jesus Seminar was the group of scholars who concluded that only 18% of the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels were probably spoken by him. Things like the miracles of Jesus and the physical reality of Christ’s resurrection are dismissed as the words of ancient people who misunderstood what happened.
Scholars like Marcus Borg would say that they take the Bible seriously, but they do so in a very different way than Christians have for 2000 years, ways that discount many of the basic beliefs of Christianity and the life of Christ. Once you do that, questions of sexuality (and whatever issues come next) are no longer decided on the basis of Scripture, but on the basis of the powerful voices of the culture around us.” (read here)
This man, Marcus Borg, whose views are about as heretical as you can get, is a very respected scholar and highly sought after speaker by the ELCA leadership. Let me show you:
ELCA publication “Lutheran Partners” reviews Living the Questions 2.0 video series in which Marcus Borg is one of the contributors. (see here)
To which a letter to the editor responded:
“Geoffrey Scott's recent review and implied recommendation of the Living the Questions 2.0 education materials greatly alarms me. Once more I am left wondering if the ordained and lay leaders of the ELCA truly have any real partnership in the gospel together.
The Living the Questions curriculum is linked to the so-called "progressive Christianity" movement. The eight primary tenets of this ecumenical, loose affiliation of mainline Protestant congregations include the belief that all faiths lead to God apart from the unique atoning work of Jesus Christ in his life, death, and resurrection; that the unbaptized should be admitted to communion; and that the historic, biblical doctrines of Christianity are, in large part, no longer helpful or necessary. This "progressive Christianity" therefore stands in direct opposition to apostolic Christianity.
Moreover, among the authors of the Living the Questions materials are John Spong, Marcus Borg, and John Crossan. All three deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus and denounce many of the basic, creedal core beliefs of Lutheran Christianity and historic Christianity in general. Living the Questions presents a different gospel than the gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaimed in Scripture.
What then are we to make of the endorsement Lutheran Partners gives to this curriculum — indeed, to this heretical teaching? It leaves me to surmise that the key leaders of the ELCA would have local pastors and educators incorporate these materials into their teaching and education ministries. I can think of hardly anything worse.
As the Lord says to us, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:15). Living the Questions is another example of that wolf. And such a wolf, if left unchecked, will eventually consume the whole flock.” (see here)
Why is Marcus Borg allowed to speak and teach at so many ELCA functions? Why are his books being used and promoted in the ELCA? It is because Marcus Borg’s teachings resonate with the leadership of the ELCA.
What kind of ELCA leader would openly object to a state governor calling for a day of prayer? The Bishop Michael Rinehart of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod and other local Houston ELCA pastors, that’s who. The bishop and pastors signed a statement which said, “we express our concern that Governor Rick Perry has called for a full day of exclusionary prayer on August 6, 2011. This religious event is not open to all faiths, as its statement of beliefs does not represent religious diversity.” (read here)
Here we have supposed Christian pastors upset that this is a Christian prayer event. If that doesn’t tell you something about the ELCA, I don’t know what will.
The ELCA signers of this letter are: Bishop Michael Rinehart of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod; Rev. Bradley Fuerst, Houston Lutheran Campus Minister; Rev. Lura N. Groen, Pastor, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Robert G. Moore, Senior Pastor, Christ the King Lutheran Church; R. Marcus Otterstad, Senior Pastor, House of Prayer Lutheran Church; The Rev. David A. Roschke, Senior Pastor, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Stein, Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Rev. Rich Wolf, New Hope Lutheran Church
The letter also speaks of the principle of separation of church and state saying, “Governor Perry is expressing an official message of endorsement of one faith over all others; thereby sending an official message of religious exclusion and preference to all Texans who do not share that faith. We believe our religious freedom is threatened when a government official promotes religion.”
I guess these leaders do not know their history. “There have been 136 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789-2010).” (see here)
(the following article was originally printed in Exposing the ELCA's fall 2011 e-newsletter)
I'd like to share with you two emails I received this month. The first -
I am a junior who recently transferred to an ELCA affiliated college. I stumbled across your website after sitting through a particularly awful religion class - in my first of two religion courses that are required to fulfill the general core here - trying to fight back the disgust I felt for having to study such nonsense. I was brought up in a strong Bible-based Lutheran church body, and I couldn't believe what I was being told was "truth" and "fact" in class. I wanted to see how the professor could possibly believe the things he was telling us - obviously I didn't realize how far astray the ELCA really was from God. This website has given me so much comfort and reassurance, and it's become a habit to come back to it after each class and reaffirm that God's word is certainly pure and living and true. Thank you so much for helping me to stand under all the falsehoods I have to endure in this class. You have given form to my frustrations and answers to my incredulity. I pray that God continue to bless your efforts. Thank you!
The second email . . .
I found your site through a friend. Thank God someone has stepped forward with the truth. I left elca in 2009 in disgust. It wasn't just the direction they were headed, but that they've been headed that way all along and have been deceptive about it. The people I left behind are good folks, but either asleep or not willing to rock the boat. Bless you for taking a stand.
I hope, by reading these two emails, you will see the vital role God has given Exposing the ELCA and those who support this ministry in helping those hurt, deceived and abandoned by the ELCA's departure from God's truth.
People need this ministry. Thank you for being part of it.
Your prayers, support and financial gifts are very much appreciated. You can give by following this link, help Exposing the ELCA.
Thank you and God bless you in Jesus' name!
What is Bishop Hanson's Motivation?
ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson continually calls on Israel to divide its land. He wants Israel to give the “Palestinians” large amounts of Israeli territory and half of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. One of the reasons Bishop Hanson gives for constantly belaboring this position is the ELCA’s “commitment to our companions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land." (read here) Bishop Hanson must feel that the Lutherans living in the “Holy Land” would be better off if that land was controlled by followers of Islam rather than a democratic Jewish society.
Now I’m sure Bishop Hanson cares about Lutheran Christians in Israel and Jordan, but Hanson’s demands are not in the best interest of any Christian living in Israel. Does the bishop not know that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country where the Christian population has grown in the last half-century? Doesn’t he know how Christians are treated under Muslim law? If he knew this, why would he want these Lutheran Christians to leave the safety of Israel and become part of a new “Palestinian” country which will be controlled by followers of Islam?
When you look at the ideology and theology of the Arabs, who are in leadership of Gaza and the West Bank, it is inconceivable to think that the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America would push this plan, a plan that would put Christians in grave danger. But that is what he is doing.
Look at what has happened to the Christian population living in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled city of Bethlehem. “According to a report by the Jerusalem Institute for Global Jewish Affairs, the Muslim Fatah-controlled PA is encouraging a ‘sharp demographic shift’ in Bethlehem, where the Christian population went from a 60 percent majority in 1990 to a 40 percent minority in 2000, to about 15 percent of the city's total population in 2008. (read here - the article also talks about the persecution Christians have experienced in this city)
Presiding Bishop Hanson certainly knows it is dangerous for Christians to live in Islamic countries, and he knows that Christians are leaving these Middle Eastern countries in droves. So why in the world would this be the position of Bishop Hanson? What is the real reason?
On November 8, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's presiding bishop went to The White House to discuss his opinions on the state of Israel.
Bishop Hanson and his likeminded faith leader friends blamed Israel's construction of homes, many of them in the capital of Israel, for the lack of discussions on peace between the Jewish state and "Palestinians."
A statement released by the faith leaders said, "‘The position of the Palestinian Christian community is precarious . . . There are constant problems of obtaining visas for clergy who must travel outside Jerusalem and the West Bank. Restriction on movement between Bethlehem and Jerusalem is a problem that undermines Christian life. Church leaders are humiliated at check points.’"(read here)
Issues at check points? Seriously? This is a reason they want Christians to reside in a newly created, Muslim-dominated “Palestine”?
There would be no need for check points if people in the Middle East would treat the Jewish people as children of God and if the "Palestinians" would stop blowing themselves up next to innocent Jewish men, women and children. Oh, but the poor church leaders don’t like security check points. It all makes sense to me now, Bishop Hanson.
I wish Bishop Hanson took the Great Commission seriously and put half the effort into leading people to Christ as he does trying to lead people against the Jewish nation.
There is an interesting teaching series that the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, an ELCA seminary, is promoting on their seminary run Web of Creation website. The resource is called “The Earth Bible.”
Here is a description of this resource:
“The Earth Bible has been developed by a team of scholars from Adelaide, South Australia. In this significant new series, writers from around the world read the Bible from the perspective of justice for Earth. Ecojustice principles are used as guidelines as they ask questions of the text: Does a given text value or de-value Earth? Is the voice of Earth heard or suppressed? Are humans portrayed as 'rulers' over Earth or kin with Earth? Does Earth suffer unjustly?” (read here)
I think most would agree that it is good to treat God’s creation well, but this is taking things a few steps too far. Christ is the focus of Scripture not “the Earth.” Here we have an ELCA seminary, running a website with financial support from the ELCA (see here), promoting the reading of God’s Word with ecojustice as its main focus.
Exposing the ELCA - Poll 16
Exposing the ELCA asked it’s readers this question: Do you agree with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin?
81.45% of the people answered "Yes" (303 votes)
18.55% answered "No" (69 votes)
372 people voted
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leadership is at it again. Pushing and pressuring our government to spend money we don’t have on the ELCA’s leftist, radical agenda. This time, the ELCA is asking its members to help pressure our government to give the Palestinians $340 million dollars. (read here) The ELCA leadership knows that the Palestinians ruling party in Gaza is a U.S. government-recognized terrorist organization (Hamas), which the Palestinians voted into power, and that the Palestinian rulers in the West Bank are not much better.
So as the ELCA pushes for tax payers’ money to go to terrorist organizations, we find out what the Palestinian leadership spends their money on in this next story.
“Fresh off reports that Hamas lavished cash and free luxury hotel rooms on terrorists released last month from Israeli prison, it appears the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by President Mahmoud Abbas is offering them even more financial perks.
Hamas gave a $2,000 golden parachute to the freed prisoners in Gaza. Now, President Abbas is more than doubling that amount – to a $5,000 grant. The U.S. gives annual aid to the Palestinian Authority – about $600 million just last year – raising the question: are American tax dollars funding handouts to convicted terrorists?”
“A Palestinian Media Watch study found that the Palestinian Authority spends more than $5 million per month in salaries for 5,500 convicted terrorists and other Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons.” (read here)
There has been a lot of talk and publicity on the idolatry and goddess worship happening at the ELCA church, Ebenezer Lutheran, in San Francisco (otherwise known as “herchurch”). If you haven't seen it yet please check out what is happening at their November conference (see here and here). Of great importance is the fact that the ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop is being represented at the conference and that person will be speaking. Since this is an important topic, I thought I would share with you some more information about this conference and the ELCA pastor responsible for it.
First, I came across a blog discussing “herchurch’s” 2009 conference. This comes from the perspective of one of the conference speakers. She says:
“I was very, very surprised at the feeling of singing words of love and praise to the Sacred Feminine in hymn tunes which were already familiar.”
“A rich and wonderful conference such as this with the title ‘Marys, Madonnas, Goddess-with-Us’ wouldn’t be complete without small group workshops for integrating sacred feminine spirituality through creative artwork or conversations with presenters, or more meditation and chanting. . . I kept seeing people walking around with Goddess dolls, wands really, that were magical and potent and strong in color and feeling. It turned out they were from a workshop given by the artist Linda Roberts. They were personal creations that each creator seemed to be in love with, and I’m sure they will grace many home altars.”
“Once we understand that Mary Magdalene is the voice of the Goddess Herself in Christianity, it becomes very interesting to learn her symbolic language so we can hear her better in our own dreamworld and artwork.”
“It was a very full weekend; full of love, full of respect for Rev. Stacy Boorn and her courage within Christianity, and full of secret hopes for the religious changes we need to support ‘the New Creation’ we all want.” (see here)
Now let’s hear from the woman who is responsible for this yearly conference, “herchurch” pastor Stacy Boorn (ELCA).
Toward the beginning of the interview Pastor Boorn talked about the people’s reaction to her church’s name, “herchurch”:
“. . . when we posted that on the front of the church, people would drive by and then identified the congregation as “herchurch,” knowing what we meant the deity was “her.”
The interviewer, soon after, asked about referring to goddess as “holy other.” Rev. Boorn, in her response said, “ . . . but ‘holy other’ also gives a sense of tie, I think with many religions’ traditions.”
Here are some more statements made by Rev. Boorn from that interview:
“. . . but way beyond the writing of those scriptures (the Bible) the wonderful work that we’ve tied into was Maria (inadible) Buddhist and others who showed us that for tens, and tens, and tens of thousands of years that there have been women leading societies, and goddess the head of that, and they produced peace communities . . .”
“For example, you know we have a Wednesday evening goddess rosary which is a ritual that we’ve developed . . . in a very similar way to a ritual of the Anglican or the Roman Catholic prayer beads but with a more intentional liberation connectiveness to the holy mother, goddess of us all. And so for some, people will pray prayers envisioning an actual in the womb or the Earth as the body of the 'holy other' or the cosmos as the mother so it is wide open and I think that is the important part of it. On this journey with ‘she who is,’ there are many voices in the feminist religious world who have various takes, and I think it is important in what we do in this ritual community is to listen and use them all for our richness.”
“. . . we have in our communion at the goddess rosary, some persons who, when we talk about ‘mother, maiden, crone,” as a symbol or metaphor for the 'holy other,' there will be some in our community who will actually name three goddess, Isis and others . . .”
“The day is coming, I hope, when the patriarchal religious traditions are totally dismantled and something new comes forth and I think the feminists are going to make that happen.”
“Hopefully our congregation will not be just one but one of many. And when we can be a model for others we are grateful to do that.” (listen here)
This goddess worshipping church, supported by the ELCA leadership wants to be a model for other churches. Their pastor wants to see feminist goddess worship dismantle and replace historical Christianity worldwide.
We cannot say “well this is just one church.” Not when this church has been supported and protected for years by the ELCA leadership. Not when the ELCA Office of the Presiding Bishop is represented at their goddess worshipping conference. The ELCA leadership is moving the denomination in this same direction. I know I do not want to be part of a denomination that encourages the worship of demons and pagan gods.
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