Paul Egensteiner, Bishop Elect of the Metropolitan New York Synod (ELCA), recently attended a gay pride parade and shared a heretical message. While giving people "...thumbs up or a handshake or high five or simply a greeting of 'Happy Pride!'" Bishop Elect Egensteiner tells of a specific encounter he had with a young man who asked him "You mean I'm not going to hell?” The ELCA bishop writes:
"I was stunned. 'No,' I said. (Along with Bishop Eaton, I believe there is a hell but it is empty, by the grace of the Father and the love of Jesus.) 'God loves you!' He held my hand a little longer and then said, 'Come here. Give me a hug' As I did so, he repeated his initial question, 'So I’m not going to hell, right?' 'No!' I repeated, maybe a little more emphatically this time. 'God LOVES you!'” (See here)
This statement about hell is wrong on many so many levels.
- It is heretical to believe hell is empty. The Bible clearly speaks of people in hell and warns about going there. (See here) Teaching that hell is empty is universalism, a false teaching that all people will be saved. It is a dangerous belief that risks the eternal life of those who believe it. That is what this Evangelical Lutheran Church in America bishop elect (and many in the ELCA) believes. It is a teaching from hell.
- In this exchange between the young man and the ELCA bishop elect, a false assurance of salvation was given. Nothing was said about faith in Christ, repentance, grace by faith for those who believe, fleeing from sin, forgiveness, God's Word or lovingly helping this man know the healing that God can provide him. Satan could not have done better.
This is a grave teaching of the apostate Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Shame on the ELCA for not preaching that Hell is real, people will be in hell and that salvation is available to all by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
- And then you have ELCA bishops encouraging sinful behavior that separates people from the Lord.
ELCA members, you are hurting people and the Lord God Almighty by supporting this denomination.
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