(The following article was written a couple years ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here. At the end of his article, you will find a few additional comments by me.)
Adam Philips is pastor at Christ Church in Portland. He says he is an evangelical and proud of it. He wrote in the Huffington Post that he believes the Holy Spirit led the nation to affirm gay marriage and the Church should do the same. He writes "I...leaned into prayer, I heard the Holy Spirit's call loud and clear: I am doing a new thing in your midst. Come. Taste and see."
That is much too close to the unforgivable sin, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible which says that homosexual behavior is a sin (for all the verses see my article "What does the Bible say about homosexuality?" at pastorsstudy.org). The Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself. But this pastor thinks the Holy Spirit told him something new.
I remember years ago when I was still in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 1997 the ELCA voted to interchange pastors with the United Church of Christ. Before the vote a pastor publicly asked President Thomas of the UCC "Why does the UCC ordain practicing homosexuals?" He responded that the Holy Spirit led them to do this. I went up to President Thomas afterward and said that I wondered if that wasn't the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Yes, a "spirit" led them to do that, but it wasn't the Holy Spirit.
The Good News is that Pastor Philips' denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, has severed ties with Pastor Philips and his church. The Bad News is that his view can be preached and taught in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church in America and the United Church of Christ. And all these denominations are shrinking.
Pastor Tom Brock
Here is an example of it being taught in the ELCA. From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's official magazine it says:
“In 2009, we in the ELCA, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, found ourselves at a kairos moment to recognize more of God’s people under a bigger tent and a larger table when we adopted “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” the ELCA’s 10th social statement, with editorial amendments, at part of our churchwide assembly… The LGBTQIA community had always been part of God’s chosen people, and the Holy Spirit finally gave us the temerity to stand with them through our public proclamation.” (see here)
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here. At the end of his article, you will find a few additional comments by me.)
Elizabeth Eaton, the head Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said in an interview that there may be a Hell, but she thinks it is empty. Contrast that to the teaching of Jesus, who said in a number of places that there is a Hell and there will be people going there (Luke 16:19-31, for example). Bishop Eaton is tragically wrong. Is it any wonder that Bishop Eaton spends time talking about transgender rights, racism, immigration, etc. but to my knowledge has never talked about the need to believe in Jesus to be saved from Hell. Some time ago she was quoted to say that it is not the business of the Church to save souls, that is God's job. Yes, Bishop Eaton, but Jesus has given that job to the Church in His last words on earth (Matthew 28:19) to "Go ye therefore and make disciples".
As long as liberal Protestant leaders like Eaton disbelieve Jesus' words on Hell, liberal mainline denominations will be all about political causes, and will neglect the main thing Christians are called to do: preach the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation (Acts 16:30-31).
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Here is the response from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton when she was asked, "Is there a hell?" -
Eaton: “There may be, but I think it is empty.”
Interviewer: "Why is that?"
Eaton: “Well, Jesus was clear in John chapter 3 that when He is raised up he will draw all people to himself. And if we take a look at salvation history, ever since we got booted out of the garden, it has been God’s relentless pursuit to bring His people to God. Now, people wonder “can you say no?” I imagine you can say “no” to God. I don’t think God is going to give up on us. And if God has eternity, than God can certainly keep working on those folks. So that might be a little bit of a heresy along the lines of Origen, but no, I don’t think God gives up.”
If you doubt that the ELCA teaches universalism, here is the ELCA's presiding bishop making it clear. If hell is empty, all people are saved. That is universalism. It is a dangerous heresy, a false teaching, which puts individuals' eternal destiny at risk: faith in Christ is not needed. Live it up, worship other gods, reject Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will still go to heaven according to the ELCA's top bishop.
Of course, the Bible directly says this is not so. Heaven and hell are real and people and angels will populate both. It is time to flee this false-teaching denomination. They are playing with people's eternal lives. They are not telling them the truth of how to be saved. This could not be more serious. Tell your friends and family so they are not led astray either. Share this and pray they will read it and see the truth.
ELCA Pastor Lashes Out in Sermon at Exposing the ELCA, Calls Us “Lutheran Version of the WestBoro Baptist Church”
Taking a page out of the liberal extremists’ playbook, an ELCA pastor in a sermon to her congregation said that Exposing the ELCA was the Lutheran version of the hateful, deranged WestBoro Baptist Church. You know, the people that are famous for carrying awful signs and protesting at military funerals.
Here is the back story. A couple weeks ago, Exposing the ELCA posted a blog titled, “The Most Bizarre Sermon I Have Ever Heard: An ELCA Pastor Celebrates Transgenderism.” (see here) It highlighted a sermon given by ELCA pastor Andrea Roske-Metcalfe.
Days later Rev. Roske-Metcalft took to the pulpit of Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley, MN saying,
“Our congregation was featured this week on the blog of Exposing the ELCA. This group has been around for several years. They’re basically the Lutheran version of the WestBoro Baptist Church because they really only exist to hate other people. In this case, they exist, in particular, to hate the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is our denomination. Because we love too many people. Because our understanding of God is too expansive. You know, because we don’t think the LGBTQ people are sinning simply because of who they are. Because we celebrate all manor of gender identity and expression. Because we are interested in interfaith conversations. Because sometimes we call God “she.” Because Jesus wasn’t white. And because we believe that Black Lives Matter. Because we believe that, in order to, take the Bible seriously, we can’t possibly take it literally. Because not all of our pastors are heterosexual cisgender men…” (listen here)
Grace Lutheran Church also took to Facebook with this post:
(If you have Facebook you can view the church's post, "likes," and comments here.)
This is certainly malicious rhetoric by the ELCA pastor, but much of what Rev. Roske-Metcalfe said is an indictment on the ELCA. What this all comes down to is that far-left radicals control the ELCA. They twist Scripture and ignore the rest. They advocate positions that go against God's Word and are harmful to the people they think they are supporting.
What you need to understand is that ELCA leadership does not respect conservative, Bible-believing Christians/members; in fact they loathe you. They put up with conservatives for their financial backing, for the power and influence a larger membership gives the ELCA and for your family and children that they hope to influence toward their worldly, anti-Biblical values and viewpoints.
If you are tired of the ELCA leftists:
- demonizing you for holding to the truth
- calling you homophobes, bigots, Islamophobes, haters, transphobic, racist, white supremacists, xenophobes and misogynists
- lying about you
- destroying people’s faith and
- encouraging people to live out sinful, harmful lifestyles,
it is time to get your family out of their churches, stop funding them and stop giving them a larger voice in this world. Leave and find a God-honoring church.
As you can see, Exposing the ELCA is on the front lines. Please pray for this ministry, that Exposing the ELCA will continue to make a difference in God's Kingdom.
And if you would like to help Exposing the ELCA continue to reach people with the truth of God’s Word and the ways the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is misleading people and mocking God with their false-teaching, gifts to Exposing the ELCA can be made here.
USA Today recently featured two articles highlighting an ELCA pastor who invited Muslims to use his church to hold their prayer services. Apparently, being very proud of this the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America posted about it on social media a number of times. (see below)
ELCA pastor Fred Schenker and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Pittsburg, Pennsylvania area opened their church building up for Muslim worship starting in 2007, up until Pastor Schenker's recent retirement. Pastor Schenker said, "There was a group of Muslims, a congregation, and they were trying to find a space to pray. They had been to different churches, trying to find a space just for Friday, and they got nos. And they came to Trinity, and I said well sure. Christ tells us to love all people, and these guys want to pray? Wonderful." (see here and here is the second article)
Is it the lack of Biblical knowledge, lack of common sense, the placing of ones own values over that of Scripture or succumbing to Satan's influence that causes a pastor of a Christian church to allow people who worship a deity other than the One True God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to use their building, their worship space, to worship this false god? The same question can be asked of ELCA leadership who lift it up as praiseworthy.
Pastor Schenker goes on to say, "In our church family, loving our Muslim neighbors and inviting them to use our church facilities for Friday prayers and activities, sends a strong message that Christians and Muslims not only can tolerate one another, but they can love and respect one another."
Loving your neighbor is helping him or her know the Truth. It is not "loving your neighbor" to provide your church building, a place dedicated to the things of the One True God, so people can worship false gods. Should a church allow prostitutes to use their building to have sex with their customers? Should drug dealers be invited to sell and store their drugs in a church in the name of "love your neighbor?" What this church is doing is wicked, harmful and blasphemous.
There is but one way to heaven, through Jesus Christ, who is revealed to us in the Bible. Other religions are highways to hell. It is eternally destructive for people to worship other gods. Additionally, it is strike in the face to God to have His building used to worship "any other god."
Below are three different posts by official pages of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America about this issue:
As of Friday afternoon the above post by the ELCA has garnered 766 “likes” and 133 people/churches have "shared" it. You should read the comments and shares, and you will find all kinds of praise of this action from readers. Some of them include:
- "Thank-you for doing the right thing."
- "It's all about loving our neighbors as ourselves."
- "Yes!!! This why I love being a Lutheran."
- "My church in South Texas did the same before their mosque was built." (see here)
How can people applaud this? Where are the true ministers of God who will inform people that this is wrong? Obviously not in the ELCA. They are failing, and most of them are wolves in sheep's clothing.
ELCA pastor Lura Groen is seeking to start a new worship community named “St. Jezebel's Church.” A webpage speaking of this church says that part of the pastor’s vision for St. Jezebel's is for it to be a place “…where sex, drugs, and rock and roll aren't sins, but being a d**k kinda is.” (see below) One has to ask why pastor Groen picked the name "Jezebel" for her church. The most high profile Jezebel in history is from Scripture and she was an extremely wicked person.
Here is a recent tweet by ELCA Rev. Groen (and see here for additional information about this ELCA pastor):
Speaking to members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lenny Duncan wrote an article called "Dear Church: You Would Rather Hang Me from a Tree. A Reflection on the Execution of #PhilandoCastile" and it was hosted on a Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago website. In the article Mr. Duncan reiterated that same message saying,
“Many of you would rather see me hung from a tree…” Lenny Duncan is a Vicar who is in his second year of internship at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, an ELCA church in Conshohoken, PA. (see here and see more about Mr. Duncan here)
Restating a false claim that is often used by ELCA leaders, ELCA pastor Scott Kramer writes, “Now, over the centuries Sodom and Gomorrah have been associated by Christian with immoral behavior, or as an excuse to condemn homosexuality. But many of us have learned over the years to take a closer look at the story and to see that it’s not really about sex or sexuality. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah fundamentally was the failure of God’s people to provide hospitality, to treat strangers with contempt. This is why Jesus uses this story in his teaching on hospitality. It turns out that Christians have felt more comfortable talking about sex than looking in the mirror to discern the ways in which we have committed the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah: the sin of failing to provide God’s welcome to the stranger when we have opportunity.” – (see here)
Wrong! Check God’s Word, Scott, specifically Jude 1:6-7 which says, “And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” Also see Genesis 19:1-13 and 2 Peter 2:6-9
After reading the above quote, you will not be surprised to see ELCA pastor Scott Kramer and his Facebook posts below:
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley, Minnesota, is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In the below sermon, Pastor Roske-Metcalfe preaches about a woman in her congregation who is now a "man" named Reggie. The pastor says this woman's "authentic self" is now as a male. The pastor goes on--and on and on--about how to refer to this person. Reggie does not want to be referred to as "she" or "he". Reggie wants to be referred to as "they" and "them."
The ELCA voted in 2009 to ordain practicing homosexuals. They did not vote to ordain transgender pastors, but the ELCA leadership is doing it anyway.
Prior to this sermon, the strangest--and saddest--sermon I had ever read was sent to me by a woman at an ELCA congregation in northern Minnesota. It was her pastor's "coming out" sermon in which he told the church how God had led him to his homosexual partner. But the below is even worse. Prepare for 12 minutes of the strangest sermon you will ever hear.
Let us lovingly deal with people who experience gender confusion, life can really mess people up. But let us not add to their confusion by lying to them and telling them they are whatever they think they are. If God made you a male, you are a male, even if you think God made a mistake. Jesus said "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female?" (Matthew 19:4). Jesus does not add "or transgender, or bisexual, or lesbian or homosexual."
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
(My apologies for the vulgar quotes, references, that I have to report this and that the ELCA allows this kind of thing from their leaders.)
The following article is so startling that I need to share it with you, to write about it here and not just post the article itself on the homepage.
The article is about a woman who is “getting ordained with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.” The article is in ELLE magazine and is titled, “How The ‘Pussy Pastor’ Is Bringing Sex and Christianity Together.” You can read the whole article here.
Some “noteworthy” parts of the article include:
- "'Jesus had a penis. And wet dreams.’ This was the philosophy that inspired Heidi Johnson to found the Pussy Club, a sex-positive group at Duke Divinity School where Christian female students would discuss, among other things, masturbation as a spiritual practice, in 2014. They also gathered to buy sex toys to explore this newfound sexuality. And so, Johnson earned herself the nickname the ‘Pussy Pastor.’"
- Heidi Johnson described “the Pussy Club gatherings…as ‘loud, drunken, emotional mess[es] with tons of laughs, stories shared, and tears shed for the ways the religious community abuses and suppresses women's sexuality by labeling it as evil and sinful and temptation.’"
- This September she will begin as an intern pastor in Oregon.
- She discusses her “masturbation routine” a couple of places in the article.
- She talks about “hooking up with classmates and enjoying her sexuality…”
- The article speaks of a fellow student of Heidi’s saying, “After leaving his church because he thought it was incompatible with his queerness, Heidi taught him "’a faith that uses the word of God to help with identity exploration, as opposed to identity suppression.’"
- Heidi Johnson “continues to host Pussy Club meetups and online discussions…”
If you are thinking “this is just one anomaly” in the church, you have not been paying attention to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
See the following blog about similar thinking persons, leaders and pastors in the ELCA here.
Also consider how the ELCA continues to push the boundaries, God set, in regard to sex by marrying those in same-sex relationships, ordaining pastors in same-sex relationships, pushing LGBT ideology, supporting LGBT causes/lifestyle in their publications and social media, paying for sex-change operations and hormone therapy in the ELCA health insurance, as well as ordaining transgender individuals. The ELCA is obsessed with sex, pushing sinful sexual practices and trying to influence the minds of its members to view it all as “good.”
Mike Housholder, Pastor of the Nation’s Largest ELCA Church, Wants More Refugees Brought Into America
Mike Housholder is the senior pastor of the ELCA’s largest church, Lutheran Church of Hope, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Last week Lutheran Church of Hope hosted the ELCA’s Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly where Pastor Housholder was one of five sponsors of a resolution which seeks to bring more refugees into the United States. Here are the main parts of Housholder’s resolution:
“RESOLVED that the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly of the ELCA, encourage its bishop, pastors, and congregations to engage in a process of education, conversation, and prayerful discernment regarding the ongoing refugee crisis;
RESOLVED that the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly encourage members of the Southeastern Iowa Synod to live out our biblical mandate to welcome the stranger by advocating to their elected officials for an increase, rather than a decrease, in refugee arrivals to our nation and communities;”
“Respectfully Submitted by:
Luis Arredondo, Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines
Rev. Minna Bothwell, Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, Des Moines
Rev. Mike Housholder, Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines
Rev. Chris Olkiewicz, Windsor Heights Lutheran Church, Windsor Heights
Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott, Faith Lutheran Church, Clive”
The resolution was “adopted.” (see here and then click "Resolution 2." That link will take you to a document that must be downloaded to view)
As is noted in the resolution, this is about the "ongoing refugee crisis." Given recent world events and the current political climate (i.e. "the Muslim ban" discussion and legal battle), it’s troubling that Mike Housholder and the SE Iowa Synod are asking the U.S. government to bring more refugees into the United States of America. A major concern is that a vast majority of people leaving their homelands and considered “refugees” today are from pre-dominantly Muslim countries where Muslim radical groups continually advocate for death to Christians or Americans. (here is an article about the world's refugees)
The ideology of Islam, which many Muslims embrace, is that of its founder and the writer of the Islamic holy book, the Quran. What did the founder teach and practice? Forced submission to the Islamic faith, persecution or death. This is not just a former characteristic of this ideology, but we are seeing extremists of the Muslim faith continuing this all over the world today, most recently in Manchester, England where teenagers and parents were targeted at a concert attracting thousands of young people.
Knowing this, we have an ELCA pastor in Mike Housholder, whose church is growing so much that they have opened up satellite ELCA churches in nearby towns, advocating that the United States bring more refugees in our country--some whose religion teaches to persecute and kill Christians if they do not convert, treat women as cattle, kill homosexuals, hate Jews, celebrate the murder of “infidels,” perform female genital mutilation on young girls, arrange for child brides, advocate the hatred of dogs and practice and enforce sharia law over the law of the United States.
Look at all of the terrorist acts being committed in the world today and who is taking responsibility for them? Muslim extremists groups. And Pastor Mike Housholder wants to bring more refugees into the U.S. from countries that sponsor and harbor Muslim extremists? Have you seen the problems and crimes, including rapes and terrorism, happening by Muslim refugees in European countries? Check out the videos in this link regarding what is happening, in Germany alone, by Muslim "refugees."
And who will pay for all these refugees to come here, to live here? Mike Housholder and the SE Iowa Synod wants you, the U.S. taxpayer, to foot the bill by asking the U.S. government to accept more refugees. That will fall on you, the taxpayer to fund this endeavor.
Mike Housholder and the SE Iowa Synod are advocating for a policy that could put YOU and your family in danger, AND they want you to pay for it.
I recommend every member of Lutheran Church of Hope let Mike Housholder and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America know, in writing and in person, that they vehemently disagree with their refugee resolution (and the ELCA’s LGBTQ policies, transgender policies, pro-abortion policies, Anti-Israel policies, universalist beliefs, anti-biblical teachings and agenda of gender-neutral language for God, among others), and let them know you will not be part of their church and denomination any longer.
Your gift helps this ministry continue to warn of the heretical teachings and troubling direction of the ELCA.
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It is wrong to incorporate the rituals of false religions into our lives and Christian worship. Unfortunately that is what the ELCA's Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon, is doing in multiple ways.
Augustana Lutheran holds a weekly service that includes "smudging." The church website tells us "Open Circle is held at 5 pm on Sunday, in the Fellowship Hall on the lower level of the church building. This service is led by Native American worship leaders and incorporates Native traditions including smudging, flute and drums..." (see here or below)
What is smudging?
“Smudging is the ritualistic burning of herbs and plant resins in a shell or clay bowl while prayers of gratitude and wellbeing are said aloud. The smoke is traditionally fanned using the hand or a feather (eagle feathers are treasured for this) and directed over a person or throughout a living space. The purpose is to wash away impurities, sadness, anxieties, dark thoughts and any unwanted energies or emotions that may be clinging to a space or individual.” (see here)
Is smudging wrong?
"There is nothing inherently wrong with burning incense or using herbs to beautify the fragrance of one’s home, but that is not what smudging is about. As with all New Age teachings, there is no biblical basis for belief in smudge sticks, auras, vibes, or household energy. The Bible tells us that God protects His children from evil (2 Thessalonians 3:3). We have no need to smudge; in fact, smudging is sin. We do not trust in pagan rituals but in God our Savior. God is the source of life, of all that is good and true. God promises, 'The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore' (Psalm 121:7–8). He will provide the strength and peace we need to make it through any test.
The devil cannot be made to flee with smoldering sage; our refuge is the Lord alone (Proverbs 18:10). God provides us with powerful tools to fend off the enemy’s spiritual attacks (Ephesians 6:10–17). Smudging is not one of those tools." (see here)
This same Evangelical Lutheran Church in America church also has “Taize Meditation" that "meets monthly for prayer, meditation and singing.” (see here)
“(A) Taizé worship service is an unbiblical attempt to connect with God. Scripture says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), yet the Taizé model dispenses with preaching. Rather, it relies on idolatrous images, repetitive chants, and mystical experience to manufacture a sense of unity and peace.” (see here)
Additionally, “Tai Chi Classes meet twice a week to provide meditative exercise for people of all ages.” (see here)
“Tai Chi is more specifically called Tai Chi Chuan, which can be translated as 'supreme ultimate force.' Tai Chi is a martial art, though it’s often called a 'moving meditation' since the movements are done slowly and deliberately, and it is taught more as a meditative and health-enhancing practice than as a martial art. Though its origins are unclear, the foundation of Tai Chi is the Taoist belief in a universal energy called chi (also spelled qi or ki depending on the language of origin). Chi is believed to be the binding life force in the universe, existing both externally and internally, moving through invisible channels in the body called meridians.
Taoism teaches that strengthening and reinforcing one’s inner chi will bring good health and long life as well as spiritual benefits. Certain breathing techniques, meditations, and bodily movements are taught to cultivate and enhance the chi. This belief is the basis of Tai Chi. There is no supreme God or Creator in Taoism; all originated from the Tao, which is an impersonal principle or source of creation.…Doing Tai Chi, even for physical purposes, is paying homage to a spiritual belief system at odds with God’s Word.” (see here)
Augustana Lutheran also has “Acupuncture Clinics" that "are administered twice a week by a certified acupuncturist.” (see here)
Is acupuncture wrong?
"If the practice of acupuncture can be separated from the philosophy/worldview behind acupuncture, perhaps acupuncture is something a Christian can consider. Again, though, extreme caution must be taken to avoid the spiritual aspects behind acupuncture. Most acupuncture practitioners genuinely believe in the Tao/ying-yang philosophy that is at the origin of acupuncture. A Christian should have nothing whatsoever to do with Taoism." (see here)
The Pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church
What kind of person is leading Augustana Lutheran Church into these false-religion teachings and rituals? His name is Mark Knutson. On the church's website, Rev. Knutson is asked, “What is your biggest challenge?” He replies, “Discerning what the cutting edge issues of justice, peace, diversity, equity, reconciliation and inclusion are going to be and helping to position the church to be ready and relevant to be proactive with others as a voice of conscience and a movement in action always ready to step out in faith to do what is right.” (see here) If that isn’t the most telling answer explaining the state of this ELCA church, I don’t know what is.
Please prayerfully consider supporting the ministry of Exposing the ELCA. Click here to find out how.
Sexual intimacy being reserved for marriage is so old school, at least according to the LSTC Gender and Sexuality Coalition, a group of ELCA leaders. They have written a statement on relationality/sexuality in the ELCA:
“We are ELCA Lutherans…The plethora of stories we hear in our conversations demonstrate that life and liberty are being oppressed in the pressure for church leaders to be in marital relationships, or otherwise abstain from all sexual intimacy. The common good of both parishioners and church leaders would benefit from the freedom to be in a variety of healthy relationships…” (see here)
Additionally, “We call for a moral deliberation and discernment process as described in CS initiated in the ELCA where V&E, DGD, and HS are evaluated based on an expanded theology and ethic of Christian relationality. Specific changes we would like to see include:
- No longer privileging marriage as the only acceptable form of sexual relationality
- Updating ELCA policies to reflect marriage equality in the United States
- Editing out language that perpetuates heteronormativity and sexual oppression” (see here)
A number of high profile ELCA leaders have signed this statement, people such as Nadia Bolz-Weber, transgender Rev. Asher O’Callaghan, Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, Pastor Jason Chesnut, Francisco Herrera, Rev. Kwame Pitts and Pastor Emily Scott. (see complete list below)
This group of ELCA leaders also has a website (Naked and Unashamed), with supporters of the group writing and sharing their story. (content warning)
One Ph.D student shared her story and titled it, “How My Clitoris Keeps My Faith Alive.” It is just as bad as you can image. Here is one quote from the story, “My praise comes from between my legs, and right now that is enough.” (see here)
A male ELCA youth leader writes, “Church for me happens at night—in a kiss, on the dance floor, in the company of drag queens, my chipped nail polish, smudged eyeliner and all.” (see here)
Instead of filling this blog with all the raunchy and personal sex stories which permeate the Naked and Unashamed website (which is frightening to think that the ELCA leaders think this is a godly endeavor), next are some quotes of those wanting change in the way pre-marital sex is viewed. One person details a personal viewpoint:
“It’s time that the church look itself in the mirror and acknowledge: a very large percentage of our denomination’s members, clergy, and candidates have sexual relationships before marriage. And many of these relationships are healthy, holy, and whole. This is nothing new. It has been the case for many years now. But we’ve all been too ashamed of our own sexuality to admit it.
I am a human made in God’s image. Created with the glorious capacity to give and receive pleasure. A capacity to love and be loved. A capacity to discern together with my partner what sort of legal commitments are right for us. My current sexual relationship is holy and whole right now without marriage. I will not be ashamed.” (see here)
“The plethora of stories we hear in our conversations demonstrate that life and liberty are being oppressed in the pressure for church leaders to be in marital relationships, or otherwise abstain from all sexual intimacy.” (see here)
“This experience is the opposite of grace, of being freed by baptism to serve the neighbor, of the Lutheran assertion of an embodied incarnational God. The ELCA needs to repent of this oppression and change the way we teach people about sex and marriage.” (see here)
The far left ELCA group Decolonize Lutheranism showed their support tweeting:
Here are the ELCA leaders who signed the Naked and Unashamed summary statement:
"Iren Raye, PhD Student, Naked & Unashamed co-founder
Malina Keaton, Seminarian, Naked & Unashamed co-founder
Elle Dowd, Seminarian
Rev. Asher O’Callaghan, Pastor
Christian Scharen, ELCA Pastor, Vice President of Applied Research, The Center for the Study of Theological Education
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rev.
Amalia Vagts, Lay Leader
Jason Chesnut, Pastor/ Mission Developer
Francisco Herrera, Convener #decolonizeLutheranism
Rev. Kwame Pitts, Pastor
Shane R Brinegar, M.Div., STM, Advanced Studies Student, LSTC
Andrew Baumgartner, Seminarian
Andrew Tobias Nelson, Pastor
Rachel Slough-Johnson, Lay Member
Courtenay Reedman Parker, Associate Pastor
Zsófi Schmiedge, Pastor – ELCIC
Aneeta, Intern pastor
Laura Gomez, Congregation Member
Hannah Podshadley, Director of Youth Ministry
Jaeymes Childers, Diaconal Ministry Candidate
Amy Asendorf, MDiv Candidate
Beth Ann, Off the Roster Pastor
The Rev. Fr. Ángel Marrero Ayala, Priest
Erin Coleman Branchaud, Seminarian
Emily Scott, Pastor
Joshua Warfield-May, Youth Minister
Jessica Obrecht, Seminarian
Analyse Triolo, Vicar
Charles H. Featherstone, Pastor & Counselor, Psalm 10 Ministries
Sherianne Molzahn Caldwell, Congregation Member
Kim Triplett, Pastor
Lenny Duncan, Seminarian
Maria Anderson-Lippert, Pastor
Lianna Branham, Former Member
Michelle, Former Member
Kiah Shaw, Congregation Member
Carol van Deelen, Congregation Member
Deborah Ahl, Lay Leader
Mark Hernes, Congregation Member
Mary See Kennedy, Member
Alice Connor, Campus Minister
Anonymous, Youth Ministry Leader
Joan Braun, Congregation Member
Rachael, Congregation Member
Rene Paquin, Administration
Libby Denton, Congregation Member/ Future Seminarian
Elyssa Salinas, PhD Student
Allison Westerhoff, Congregation Member
Tyler Freckmann, Lay Person
Amanda Hancer, Congregation Member
Shelby Harrah-Ferguson, Member
Catherine Slabaugh, Student-California Lutheran University
Anonymous, Youth Minister
The Rev. Rachel K. Anderson, Pastor
Patricia Kuehner, Congregation Member
Kali Hill, Congregation Member
Dennis Bux, Retired Pastor
Scott Maxwell-Doherty, University Pastor
Tori Dahl, Congregation Member
Christina Montgomery, Seminarian
Jeff R. Johnson, Rev.
Christina Espegren, Lay Person
Rebecca Deming Rumpf, Congregation Member and Choir Member
Sierra Ronning, Lay Person
Eric Renn, Congregation Member
Steven Rizzo, Director of Ministry
Kristen Lee, Seminarian
Casey Kloehn, Rev.
Sarah Kretschmann, Seminarian
Emily Miller, Lay Leader
Leandra Rizzo, Congregation Member, Former ELCA Missionary
Melissa Melnick, Rev.
Rev. Matthew Stainz, Pastor
Craig Johnson, Synod Vice President
Day Hefner, Seminarian
Ryan Muralt, ELCA Member
Zac Baker, Churchwide Assembly Nominating Committee
Nathan Graham, Congregation Member
Rachel Johnson, Congregation Member
Alexandra E.H. Smith, Seminarian
Jess Meibeyer, Congregation Member
Edwina Rockman Baethge, Mdiv. Pulpit Supply Preacher
Jenna Pulkowski, Rev.
Kayla, Congregation Member
Sarah Coen-Tuff, Seminarian
Kevin Beebe, Seminarian- PLTS
Joelle Dahl, Customer Professional
Jo Hobbs, Church Council Secretary
Carolyn Carpenter, Congregation Member
Peder Hinderlie, Pastor
Paul Carlson, Pastor
Elizabeth Clark, Seminarian
Sarah Derrick, Seminarian
Pamela Shea, Congregation Member
Mathew Berger, Seminarian
Moose Flores, M. Div, Youth Director
Mary Dungy-Akenji, Congregation Member
Ray Gentry, Worship Director
Cole McGlynn, Incoming Seminarian
Julie M. Merrill, Lutheran
Sharon Janot, Pastor
Kate Wulff, Lay Leader
Nikoli Falenschek, Rev.
Anonymous, Candidate, CSS and Seminarian
Catherine Tietjen, Congregation Member
Anonymous, Pastor (on leave from call)
Ben Hogue, Seminarian- PLTS
JD Mechelke, HS Youth Minister
Tuhina Rasche, Rev.
Andrés Albertsen, PhD Candidate
Christine Therriault-Merkel, Pastor
John M. Brett, Seminarian
Reed Fowler, Congregation Member/ Future Seminarian
Christephor Gilbert, Seminarian and ELCA Candidate
Gary Schaeffer, Executive Director, Deacon
Jessica Davis, Christian Educator
Margaret Grimes, Congregation Member
Keith Walbolt, Pastor
Debbie Ahl, Lay Leader
Jane Garvey, Congregation Member
Amy Kumm-Hanson, Rev.
Chelsey Olson, Seminarian
Barbara Denton, Congregation Member, Church Council Steward
Anna Hurley, Congregation Member
Charlotte Trent, Congregation Member, Future Seminarian
Samantha Markman, Congregation Member
Maria Markman, Seminarian
Christine Hitt, Director of Worship and Music
Devin, Praise Band Director
Lou Ann Wischnewski, Congregation Member
Shelby Denton, Congregation Member
Bethany Ringdal, Candidate for Ordained Ministry, Seminarian
Lainey Wolff, Cradle Lutheran
Anders Nelson, Seminarian
Karl Anliker, Seminarian
Makayla Marinack, Seminarian
Fanya Berry, Seminarian
Michelle Steiner, Seminary Graduate, MAPL"
ELCA pastor Alex Raabe shared a similar pro-premarital sex sentiment to the Naked and Unashamed crowd tweeting:
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The ELCA’s Western Iowa Synod is publicizing a "White Privilege Conference" to synod members, saying, "All are encouraged to participate." (see below) The conference is sponsored in part by the Transgender Training Institute. (see here)
Ron Havick is an ELCA pastor at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Chula Vista, California. In one of his Facebook posts, he seems to be advocating for women to be able to walk around topless in public and chiding Christians for not agreeing. Here is his post and more of his comments below. Here is the news article Pastor Havick posted.
The vast majority of Pastor Ron Hovick's Facebook posts contain anger at Republicans and President Trump. However, once in a while, he posts something nonpolitical like this
quote from heretic, John Dominic Crossan, about Bible stories being symbolic. What?!?! An ELCA pastor who doesn't believe the accounts of Scripture actually happened? Unbelievable!
It's hard to come across a raging liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor without finding that they also demonize Israel. Pastor Hovick is no exception. The post below shows his support of an extremely biased report which calls Israel an apartheid state.
And finally, here is ELCA Pastor Hovick swearing and name-calling.
(The following article was written a few days ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Today I spoke to a man whose wife is a popular staff member at a Protestant church whose church council recently voted to affirm homosexual marriage. A lesbian couple recently joined the church and he and his wife are wondering if she should resign. The pastor is more conservative but unwilling to make a bold stand. So I encouraged them to leave politely but loudly. I shared that if they leave quietly no one will know why they left. They need to create a good problem of forcing the liberal leadership to deal with its unbiblical decision. Letting everyone know why they left might encourage others to leave for a more Biblical church.
Some time ago I received a letter from an ELCA Lutheran in northern Minnesota. She sent me her pastor's "coming out" sermon in which he announced to all--children included--that God had led him into a relationship with another man. He shared how overjoyed he was that God provided this partner.
These are very strange days for the Church. If you are in an unbiblical church and are considering leaving, pray about it of course, but I encourage you if you leave, leave politely and loudly. You may be the means God uses to wake other people up.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
Alex Raabe is a vocal and brash homosexual pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is ultra liberal and uses filthy language with no shame. Please be warned of the vulgarity reported here:
- Pastor Raabe, who recently changed his name on Facebook to Alex Darling-Raabe after "marrying" his "husband," wrote, in what seems to be a supportive post, about a movement called "Cocks and Glocks."
I can not imagine Jesus posting on such a topic. It is not acceptable for a supposed minister of God's word to do so.
Check out this statement Rev. Darling-Raabe writes on Facebook about police.
So the lives of police do not matter, Rev. Darling-Raabe? How can this person have any members in his congregation after saying "racist pig police."
The following Facebook post shows Rev. Darling-Raabe sharing someone else's post comparing what is happening politically in the U.S. with Germany and then Darling-Raabe comments right afterward, which seems to be referencing people being rounded up and sent to concentration camps.
Later in this thread you can find Pastor Raabe comment "...that the GOP and the GOP nominee are actually exhibiting the same characteristics of 1930's German leadership...." (see here)
ELCA pastor Raabe liked this picture so much he made it his cover photo on Facebook.
Here Pastor Darling-Raabe posts about hanging out at a gay bar, dancing and swearing with his church.
According to the next post by Alex Darling-Raabe, if one doesn't like the new president of the United States, "fantasizing about burning (Sh!@) down" is on the list of things that are okay to do.
The church Pastor Raabe leads also likes to use foul language on its Facebook page. Here are two examples, one and two.
Augsburg Fortress lists Pastor Raabe as one of their writers in the 2017 publication of Sundays and Seasons. (see here, page 7)
Pastor Alex Raabe is an example of the ever-increasing type of pastor the ELCA is graduating from their seminaries and/or placing in congregations. They put the ELCA stamp of approval on them. All churches remaining in the ELCA should be very wary of what kind of pastor they will next be sent.
Almost all that is wrong in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America results from their rejection of God’s Word. We see an example of this today in an area that Exposing the ELCA has not highlighted before (but will again in the near future).
Stephanie Vos is an ELCA pastor. She along with Nathan Roberts, who is the Director of Community Engagement at an ELCA church, says he is a pastor (see here) and has a Masters of Divinity from the ELCA’s Luther Seminary (see here), wrote a blog titled “4 Reasons to Have Premarital Sex with Your Evangelical College Sweetheart.”
Yes, they try to make a case for having sex before marriage. See the quotes below and notice some of the authors twisted logic regarding Scripture.
- “The prohibition against Pre-Marital Sex is a hallmark of Christianity, but it’s been problematic from the start. First of all, it’s not exactly Biblical – Paul warns against ‘sexuality immorality’ but doesn’t give us the down and dirty on what he means by that. It’s also worth noting that Jesus doesn’t mention it. At all.”
- “Sexuality is meant to be a healthy, beautiful, nourishing part of our relationships with our closest partners…”
- “So…consider a few of our reasons to move Pre-Marital Sex with your college sweetheart from the ‘sexual immorality’ column to ‘healthy Christian sexuality’ (yes, that exists).”
- “Whenever we read the writings of the Bible we have to ask if a biblical law or mandate fits into the category of ‘For the First Century’ or ‘For Forever.’”
- “We would argue that the ban against Premarital Sex is NOT a forever command.”
- “we are banishing the ban on premarital sex to the theological history books.”
- “Because waiting to have sex messes with your mind. Love and Sexuality are connected and they have a way of speeding things along.”
- “Trust me and millions of others when we say, ‘If you have sex, you may be able to think a little clearer about whether or not you actually want to get married as an unemployed 21 year old two months after you graduate.’”
- “Just as sleeping with someone you just met can be unbalanced, so is marrying (and committing to a life-long sexually intimate relationship with) someone you’ve never been intimate with.”
- “So go ahead. Have some amazing premarital sex with your Christian College sweetheart.”
- “…there are Christian reasons for premarital sex. But ultimately YOU GET TO DECIDE – not your pastor, not your discipleship small group, and not a bunch of theologians peddling a 2000 year old interpretation of the Bible.” (see here)
Writing in a different blog titled “When MTV Called Me about Christian Alternatives to Abstinence” Rev. Stephanie Vos says, “I know that I’m not the only one that thinks there are healthy and faithful expressions of Christian sexuality outside of abstinence. I know that I’m not the only one that thinks bodies are incredible and meant to be celebrated and enjoyed. I know that I’m not the only one that thinks diverse sexuality and attraction are important to lift up in the cultural conversation.” (see here)
Jesus tells us when and with whom sex is appropriate. In Matthew 19:4-5 He says, "Have you not read," says Jesus, "that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?'"
But what God says in His Word is of little consequence to the ELCA. To them Scripture is arbitrary. They want to indulge their sinful desires. Is this the kind of denomination to which you want to belong?
(Below is an article written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. At the end of Pastor Brock's article I have posted some additional comments and information. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Francisco Herrera, a graduate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's seminary, Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, doesn't like that John 3:36 teaches that those who reject Christ will be lost. So, in an obscenity-laden "Advent devotional", he says this to the Apostle John:
"...if the God that we serve would condemn such gorgeous souls to eternal torment, let that God stand accursed — and you with him!"
You heard right, this ELCA leader curses John--and God – for teaching that those who reject Christ are lost.
I have read many heresies, but this is one of the worst. Please pray for this man's soul. He is one more reason people should leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for a more biblical denomination.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Read Francisco Herrera's words here. This was all part of an advent devotional put out by two ELCA pastors, Tuhina Verma Rasche and Jason Chesnut. Note: Language Warning. The advent devotional's title is below).
(If there was any doubt how horrific and vile these devotionals are, take a look at the headings of the following days "devotionals.")
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