And now, the email -
. . .I did not know your position on the issue but figured if you agree "great," if not I'd like to hear your thoughts as someone I respect. I find some of your thoughts helpful, and thank you for them. You may not find my site helpful, but the real intent behind it is to inform the regular ELCA members (like my grandmother) about the truth - what the denomination is teaching and doing, as well as to encourage them to take a stand for their churches.
(To answer your points)
I disagree with your statement on the August decision. The fact is the ELCA has allowed churches to ordain practicing homosexuals and bless their unions. That is an endorsement by the ELCA no matter how you look at it. They wouldn't allow it if they disagreed with it. The synod offices and positions will be allowing it, will they not?
I have a different idea about where authority should be, with God and his Holy word. But as you know, if you have read my links, that is the issue (the ELCA view on the Bible.)
1) I like and agree with your thought that I should claim authorship of the website by putting my name on it.
2) (concerning information on the tornado at the ELCA August meetings and if God caused it) The truth is that God does, at times, speak and use nature for his purposes. Think of Noah, the Red Sea, darkness during Jesus crucifixion, Jonah and the storm, etc. So it is possible God was doing the same here. The storm did not injure anyone, so I don't see any suffering because of it. If the ELCA doesn't take heed to God's Word and Will (that is stated so clearly in the Bible on homosexuality), or with conservative pastors' pleas not to vote for it, I don't think it is too far fetched to think He may use a less than F1 tornado to shake the voting ELCA representatives and as a way to try and convince them to obey His word. I don't believe all disasters are warnings from God, but some are. Isaiah 45:7, "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster, I the Lord do all these things". Also, Matt. 16: 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."
3) I do have a problem with the ELCA's stance on the Israel/Palestine issue. We both know Israel has a longer claim on the land. They have had a continuous presence for over 3000 years there. They also won that land when the arab world attacked them. As Yusef Diya al-Khadidi, Mayor of Jerusalem (1899) said, "Who can challenge the rights of the Jews in Palestine? Good Lord, historically it is really your country." There are 56 Islamic countries and just 1 Jewish country. In 1870, Jews were the majority population in Jerusalem.
The ELCA attacks Israel for its security fence and wants it taken down. The fence was built to prevent suicide bombers from walking into Jewish populations and blowing up innocent men, women and children. Many countries have fences and walls. The U.S., Turkey, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands, India, Spain, Thailand, Yemen, etc.
The ELCA states it wants Israel to give up Judia, Samaria, and half of Jerusalem. God gave that land to Isaac and Jacob. The Bible says its for their descendants. (here is another point where the ELCA puts their will above what the Bible says.) Have you seen what Gaza is like with the terrorists in leadership? The same will happen in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. If the ELCA cares so much about the issue lets ask one of the arab states to parcel off some of their land and create a Palestinian state away from Israel. That would be a more peaceful solution. After all, Hamas' charter says, "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." I encourage you to read my articles listed about Israel and the ELCA. If those in Gaza are suffering greatly, it is because of the radical muslims there, for the most part, not the Israelis.
The ELCA uses bias terms such as "occupied" territory. Where are the calls for Palestinians to change their ways, to lay down their weapons, to stop teaching their children to hate the Jews, to put in their charter that Israel has a right to live there, to form a true democratic government (like Israel), to allow Jews to live in Gaza if they choose?
I am glad we all care about the Palestinians. Absolutely God loves them. But the way the ELCA has chosen to "care" for them is really to blame Israel. I don't see the ELCA confronting those countries that keep "Palestinian Refugees" in poverty and refugee camps and denied them citizenship, since 1948. Do they really care about them or does the Israel angle fit their agenda? I don't see the ELCA demanding Hamas stop using the billions in international money they get to buy weapons and benefit the few.
(concerning the ELCA using "mother" as a reference for God)
4) On "mother" God. I don't think most ELCA members would approve, and I want them to know about the ELCA's stance. Wasn't Jesus, God Himself, a man? Did Jesus ever call God "mother?" Did the disciples? Did anyone in the Bible? Why do we think we know better and understand more about God then them? If Jesus called God "Father" that is the term we should use, in my opinion. It seems to me the ELCA thinks they are so intellectual, they are so wise, and they know so much more than the authors of the Bible (God included) that they can decide what is true and what is not. What is real and what is not. What Jesus said and what he didn't. They can dismiss thousands of verses that talk about prophecy and things that will happen because they "know" it's not possible for someone to know the future even if it is God speaking through them. They have put their view above God's Word, which He is said to "inspire." If the ELCA's view of the Bible was right, don't you think Jesus would have said that? If it wasn't from God and true, don't you think Jesus would have said, "Hey everyone, the scriptures are just human's writings. They're not from God. And prophecy? It's a bunch of hogwash." The fact is, Jesus didn't say that and He read and viewed the writing as true and as God's Word.
Good connecting with you. If you have more comments and thoughts, I'd love talk with you about them.