(The following article was written last year by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Bishop Herbert Chilstrom was my bishop for years before he became the first presiding bishop of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America back in 1988. My heart sank back then when he became head bishop because I knew of his liberal views. He later became a champion for the acceptance of homosexual relationships in the ELCA. And his view won the day in 2009 when the ELCA voted to ordain practicing homosexuals and to allow gay "weddings". Near where I live is an ELCA church where the male Lutheran homosexual pastor has a "husband" who is an United Church of Christ pastor. This is the new world of the ELCA.
This month Living Lutheran, the ELCA's national magazine, is presenting a five-part series by Chilstrom on the authority of the Bible. His first article says this:
"If the Spirit of God is alive and at work in the church in every age, should we not expect that new insights into our understanding of the Bible will emerge in our own generation—or from the experience of believers in the world?"
These words remind me of a conversation I had years ago with a liberal Lutheran pastor on the subject of homosexuality. I pointed out the clear teaching of Romans chapter 1 forbidding homosexual behavior. His response: "The Holy Spirit is leading us to a higher consciousness on this issue than the Apostle Paul had in the First Century." In other words, the Holy Spirit today is contradicting what He inspired the Apostle Paul to write in the First Century.
The most liberal Protestant denomination is the United Church of Christ whose motto is: God is still speaking. I'm afraid this means "Yes, God spoke against certain things in the Bible long ago, but God is saying new things to the Church today." This understanding of Scripture allows you to get around any Bible verse that you don't like. And it is tragic, perhaps near blasphemy, to say that the Holy Spirit is the one leading the liberal, mainline Protestant denominations to embrace the world and reinterpret Scripture.
The answer to all this, of course, is to remember the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible and He will not contradict Himself 2000 years later. The Lutheran Reformation was founded upon the Latin phrase "Sola Scripture" which means "the Bible alone" has the final authority. Would that liberal Protestant leaders remember that and not try to imagine a Holy Spirit who contradicts the very book He has inspired.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
See the article quoted above here.
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.
If you have been helped and blessed by Exposing the ELCA's ministry, please help us continue to proclaim the truth of God's Word to ELCA members who need to hear it.
Give online by clicking the "donate" button below:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11