Shared by an ELCA member who wishes to remain anonymous
Just as Bishop Eaton likes to make social statements on every single progressive partisan issue she can find, I find myself in the position needing to make my own statement about the recent published documents about the need for more DEI indoctrination within the church, and the inevitable decisions that will be made at the next Churchwide Assembly that will complete the ELCA’s transition from a Mainline Protestant denomination into a partisan social justice activist group…
Honestly, out of all the things you’ve ever posted on here, those 2 documents scare me the most. (links to the two ELCA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility documents here and here) When I see the ridiculous articles about “Brazenly Queer” pastors, the absurd partisan statements from Bishop Eaton, churches hosting drag shows and reciting the Sparkle Creed, it’s easy to think “how will this affect my congregation?” and stay put.
But if all of this stuff passes, then the ELCA’s partisan agenda WILL indeed affect my individual home congregation. DEI sessions will become mandated as part of regular worship, sermons will increasingly talk about social justice issues instead of the week’s gospel lesson, and we’ll have to do joint worship services with another congregation just because their majority skin color happens to be different from ours.
What the ELCA is doing here is nothing short of indoctrination, the kind that people like Ron DeSantis are trying so hard to push back against. The church, as we all know, is governed by a far-left overhead, and yet through the years they’ve had a very hard time pushing their ideology into individual congregations. So now, they’ve had enough, and think the only way they can spread their partisan agenda is to FORCE congregations to indoctrinate their congregants. They know these are partisan political issues, but they think if they use the Bible to back up their positions that people will just magically buy in. The thing is, as I said yesterday, the Bible verses they have picked do little to support their leftist agenda. I think this will be eye-opening for the hundreds of thousands of congregants within the ELCA that are more conservative and moderate. They will realize that those Bible verses have nothing to do with DEI. They will finally be forced to make a choice - continue being ELCA members or go somewhere else and worship God. Pastors and, ahem, “Pastrixes” will no longer be able to do “safe sermons” that don’t touch on hot button political issues, as most still do now. I also think a lot of clergy will end up leaving because of this whole mess, even more moderate/liberal clergy that would prefer to preach the Bible and not indoctrinate on humanism/socialism.
When I tell my liberal friends about stuff like this, they will claim I’m the racist, that I’ve haven’t done enough research and education regarding the inequities in society between men and women, whites and blacks. The thing is, I have. I know that black communities remain disproportionately poor. I know that women face sexual harassment in the workplace much more than men do. But, in my opinion, these are not church issues. As a church, we are to help the poor every chance that we can, including communities of color. As a church, we must stress that both men and women are made in God’s image and deserve equal rights and respect. As a church, we must teach that sin is sin but also to “love the sinner” and refrain from judgment (I have several gay friends). This is not an excuse, however, to indoctrinate congregants on Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Gender Theory, etc. The whole notion that the US is an “inherently racist country” and that “we need to completely dismantle our legal systems to prevent racism” is not only not true, but is directly at odds with the Bible and has no place being taught in the Church. I’ve seen many ELCA pastors, including one of my own, give money towards reparations for black people. Do you think Jesus would hand out money to people based on skin color? We all know the answer to that.
Black people and white people are equally sacred and holy. The way to move away from our racist past is not to force black congregations to merge with white congregations. The way to move away from our racist past is not to divide us into categories based on race. If Martin Luther King, Jr were alive today he would be a staunch conservative. He wanted a society where people would be judged based on the content of their CHARACTER, not based on skin color, which is precisely what Critical Race Theory does. The ELCA is the most white denomination in the country, and national clergy hate this with a burning passion. Instead of just blindly stating “we’re a racist church,” they should take a step back and try to understand why this is. First of all, Lutheranism came to America through German and Scandinavian immigrants, and many congregations today are made up of the descendants of those immigrants. Secondly, if you take a look at the kind of churches that are popular with the black community, none of them are nearly as socially progressive as the ELCA. Many blacks, especially in the South and Midwest, are very socially conservative. It’s just that nobody realizes this since most of them still vote for Democratic politicians because they view the Republican Party as being a bunch of white supremacists. I don’t think the ELCA’s current brand of “toxic positivity” toward contemporary social issues appeals to many in the black community.
It is so hard for me to make a decision here. I love my congregation and I’ve been employed at ELCA-affiliated institutions. There are many wonderful people within the organization. But if all of this passes and congregations become essentially chapters of the ACLU with some Bible verses thrown in for good measure, then I will be out the door. I will probably go to the Catholic church, as it’s become the new mainline church, one that truly does respect those on both sides of the political spectrum. Pope Francis may be progressive by Catholic standards, but when comparing him to Elizabeth Eaton and countless others within the ELCA (and the PCUSA, and the Episcopal Church, and the UCC, and the Unitarian Universalists), he is a true moderate. I have Catholic friends and relatives that are waiting for me over there. It may be sad to leave the church I’ve always called home, but (it) may also be necessary.
'Hell, Yes' Says Preacher at a Seminary of the Shrinking ELCA, and Another Prayer to 'Father/Mother God'
(The following article was written 4 years ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Reverend Jules Erickson spoke recently at Luther Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is senior pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, whose website states "Pastor Jules and her beloved, Beth, live in Hastings with two bouncing Goldendoodle dogs." The ELCA began ordaining practicing homosexuals in 2009 and has been shrinking in numbers ever since.
In the below sermon (minute 18:35) Pastor Erickson has the congregation say "Hell, yes" more than once. What is wrong with this? Eternal Hell is a real place and we should not trivialize the word by using it as profanity. But, sadly, many liberal ELCA pastors and seminary professors no longer believe in Hell. Universalism, the teaching that all people will be saved regardless of faith in Christ, is so prevalent that even head ELCA bishop Elizabeth Eaton told a Chicago newspaper that, if Hell exists, "I think it is empty."
One of the things Reverend Erickson thinks we should say "Hell yes" to is the waning numbers going on in churches "if that means our Empire building days are over, maybe that's a good thing."
I agree that the shrinking numbers of the ELCA, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church USA are a good thing. People are getting fed up with the unbiblical heresy they are hearing in these denominations and are heading for more faithful churches.
In prior posts I have written of prayers to God the "Mother" being offered at Luther Seminary chapel. At the end of this service below (minute 23:33), you will hear yet another instance of this as the congregation prays a new version of the Lord's Prayer to the "Father and Mother of us all.”
Earlier this year Bishop Elizabeth Eaton asked this about the ELCA's declining numbers: "What is to be done? Our congregations are growing older and smaller. At least 40 percent of our congregations have an average weekly worship attendance of 50 or less. ELCA membership decreases by 70,000 people a year...There is a dearth of people in their 20s and 30s in our pews. How do we change this?"
I have an answer: Get back to the Bible, believe in Heaven and Hell and that Jesus is the only Savior (John 14:6, Acts 4:12), stop paying for abortion with offering dollars in the ELCA's healthcare plan, and stop the promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism in ELCA publications. I see no sign of any of that happening, and so I believe the ELCA will continue to shrink, and it should.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
See the false blanket statement below made by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA is deceiving people. Not everyone is a child of God. God tells us in His Word:
“To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” - 1 John 3:10
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