Some of our more extreme members of society are calling to abolish and defund police in the United States. Not surprisingly, ELCA pastors have been joined in, voicing this radical and dangerous idea. Below is a sampling.
ELCA pastor, Elle Dowd, posts continually on this topic. Last week she shared an article that is seeking to "Defund Police," "Remove Police from Schools," and "Free People from Jails and Prisons."
Here Rev. Elle Dowd is posting information about abolishing the police.
ELCA Rev. Emily Scott has been active on social media encouraging the defunding of police:
Marching in a protest, ELCA pastor, Adam Dowd writes "#abolishThePolice."
On another post, Rev. Adam Dowd writes, "This is why we need #AbolitionNow #veteransforpeace #NoGoodCops" (see here)
Infamous ELCA pastor, Lura Groen, wants to abolish police:
Atticus Zavaletta, an ELCA trans vicar, wants to defund the police:
See link here.
Then we have ELCA Rev. Clint Schnekloth posting an article about the police abolition movement:
ELCA seminary student, Amy Courts, posted this article about abolition of the police:
Amy Courts goes on:
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Joelle Colville-Hanson, Director for Evangelical Mission, Northeastern Iowa Synod of the ELCA posted this:
A Top ELCA Leader Calls Updated Travel Ban 'Racist and Xenophobic' and the ELCA Posts This on Their Social Media
President Trump's updated immigration policy, which applies heavy restrictions on immigration from certain countries, is being branded as racist by a top Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leader. A recent ELCA Facebook post shares an article written by Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Kathryn Lohre and highlights the quote,
"We are denouncing this policy not only as anti-Muslim, but also as racist and xenophobic..."
The updated policy added the following countries to the United States immigration restriction list: Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania.
The ELCA has always been against the "travel ban," but they cheapen real racism and xenophobia by trying to brand this policy as such.
The fact that one of the top leaders in the ELCA wrote this, and the ELCA chose to share and highlight this quote in their social media, should be concerning to all.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America cares about this planet, and that is admirable. But all too often this platform results in extreme measures and calling for policies based on questionable-science and conclusions. In an article from the ELCA's Living Lutheran website, Amy Reumann, Director of ELCA Advocacy, states,
"Climate change is the result of human sinfulness, as we in the U.S. consume more than our fair share of natural resources through unsustainable lifestyles and energy use while those who contribute least to greenhouse gas emissions are suffering its impacts the most.” (See here)
Ruth Ivory-Moore, the ELCA Program Director for Environment and Corporate Responsibility, similarly states,
“All of creation is experiencing the impact of global warming. These extreme weather patterns result in unprecedented floods, droughts and wildfires, and rising sea levels that are leading to the degradation of the earth. And the consequences are not being borne equally. The most vulnerable among us are paying a higher price; that is, they are disproportionately impacted with extraordinary losses and damages. We are truly in a dire situation, but there is hope—both spiritually and scientifically.”
These are highly questionable statements. Offering dollars given to the ELCA go to pay for this kind of advocacy.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, through its advocacy office, celebrated gay Pride Month this past June.
In most cases, some money given to ELCA churches makes its way to ELCA synods, which in turn distributes some of that money to ELCA Churchwide. ELCA Churchwide uses some of the money received to promote and advocate for things they believe in, decisions headed by the ELCA Advocacy division.
Therefore money given by individuals pays for the ELCA's extreme and often unBiblical policies, beliefs, pastors and leadership.
Just days ago, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) displayed their support for "climate justice" by posting an article on Facebook titled "As Climate Summit begins, Churches Call for Action Now!"
The ELCA Facebook post quoted the article saying, "As people of faith, we call on the nations gathered at this summit to act ambitiously to address the impact of climate change.”
ELCA Advocacy also chimed in on climate change with this post:
From the Southwestern Texas Synod of the ELCA:
More on climate change from ELCA Advocacy:
The ELCA also offered a webinar called "Moving Forward: A Guide to Climate Action For Your Congregation and Community." More can be found on the ELCA website on their "environment" page.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met last month for their 2019 Churchwide Assembly. One event scheduled was a march to an ICE building in support of migrants, immigrants and illegal immigrants. Below are social media entries of the event from the ELCA, ELCA participants and observers:
The spring and summer of 2019 saw synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America holding their assemblies. It is a time when the liberal of liberals, the radical of radicals put down their keyboards and take a pause from their social media rantings to go to their ELCA synod assembly in order to vote for their favorite causes and elect their leaders.
Some of this year's attendees and happenings are contained below:
Homosexual bishop, Guy Erwin was re-elected to another 6-year term by the Southwest California Synod. The synod Facebook page shared the news and a picture from SoCal Lutherans, which says they are "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Allied Lutheran Christians in Southern California."
During the Delaware-Maryland (DE-MD) Synod Assembly one of the most vile pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was elected to the synod Discipline Committee, Rev. Lura Groen. (Read about her here)
Pastor Tamika Jay claims she is part of the DE-MD Synod and she wants attendees to know that "...not 'agreeing' about the rights and welcome of all of G-d's people is not about unity. That is bigotry."
Pastor Jay goes on to say that she is "proud of us" (the DE-MA Synod) for voting be a RIC (LGBT approving) Synod.
An article from the ELCA magazine Living Lutheran reports the Northeastern Minnesota synod passed resolutions on "polices that welcome migrants, opposing conversion therapy and calling for a commitment toward gender justice":
(See page 36 here)
A Pacifica Synod of the ELCA resolution was approved for "full participation of rostered ministers in equality, diversity and anti-racism training." Another resolution passed calling for "the use of inclusive and expansive language for humankind and God." (See page 38 here)
I do not know exactly what this Tweet and the list of "Questions for Candidates" by the Upstate New York Synod means, but it doesn't sound good.
The Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly passed Resolution 2019-4 Regarding a Social Statement on Gender Identity and Gender Expression. It said:
"RESOLVED that the Sierra Pacific Synod memorialize the 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to commission a study leading to a social statement on gender identity, gender expression and human sexuality; and be it further
RESOLVED that this study should facilitate education among our members so as to build awareness of the broad varieties of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation among God's people, as well as provide pastoral care insights regarding concerns and issues of the transgender experience and gender non-conformity." (See here)
ELCA Pastor Emily Scott, a past speaker at the ELCA Youth Gathering, wrote to those attending the Delaware-Maryland Synod assembly encouraging people to write on their name tag which pronouns people should use when addressing them.
Someone at the Oregon Synod Assembly of the ELCA Tweeted:
The ELCA's Saint Paul Area Synod Assembly's action:
At the Metropolitan New York Synod they "set the agenda for the Synod's strategic plan for the upcoming year, including major initiatives surrounding ecumenical efforts, inclusion of immigrants, and programming celebrating LGBTQIA+ congregants. The group also passed a resolution for consideration to the ELCA National Church Assembly in August, to declare itself as a "Sanctuary" Denomination, ready to seek justice and protection for refugees and undocumented people; and a resolution to endorse the Poor People's Campaign and encourage its members to participate where appropriate in the organizing, advocacy, and actions of the campaign." (See here)
Also the Metro New York Synod:
The Northwest Washington Synod passed the following resolutions:
The South-Central of Wisconsin ELCA synod passed resolutions "in support of immigration reform and refugee resettlement" and "human rights of Palestinian children." (see page 38 here)
A workshop called "Transgender 101" was held at the Southwest California Synod Assembly.
Below is a bunch of news from the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America:
Finally, the Metro D. C. Synod of the ELCA passed a memorial about the "process around revising" Vision and Expectations:
Below are comments by our friend, Rev. Tom Brock about resolutions and ELCA assemblies:
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Fox News ran a 5-minute panel discussion last Sunday about the ELCA's decision to be a sanctuary church body. (See video here) That video was no doubt seen by more people than my website has reached in 10 years. Because of the ELCA's actions and publicity they garnered this week, the ELCA has managed to upset hundreds of thousands (probably more) of their members. ELCA bishops are getting an earful from these members and appear to be in panic mode, writing and disseminating letters to try to undo the damage this decision and this publicity has caused. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here for just a few examples.)
One concerned, former member sent me a letter that the person sent to the ELCA:
"What the ELCA has done regarding its 'sanctuary' designation this week is another sign of a culture committing suicide.
I'm no theologian, but I know that Jesus exhorted his followers to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"; meaning that in the civil sphere you follow the law.
I think if Christians want to try to alleviate the suffering of poor people, they should go directly to where the poor people are in person - or send private donations.
The ELCA - the church I grew up in, by the way - is wrong to encourage law breaking that affects our American compatriots outside of the ELCA.
My old church now is taking a stance that will worsen the quality of education for Americans in the public schools, and put great pressure on municipal, state and federal budgets for education, health, infrastructure, pensions and so on. The ELCA's stance also will tend to drive up housing costs for everyone. Further, it will drive down wages for the poorest and most vulnerable Americans.
As I see it, going forward the ELCA owes us all financial compensation. Unfortunately, the resources of the ELCA almost certainly don't amount to even one percent of the costs its irresponsible and wanton promotion of illegality will impose on American society.
The ELCA is no longer so much a mainstream Lutheran denomination as a bunch of radical and myopic economic terrorists hellbent on eroding the rule of law and foundation of order and prosperity in our still-great country that millions have sacrificed so much to build and protect.
I am saddened that an important aspect of my upbringing - the ELCA - no longer makes me feel happy and proud but ashamed and anxious."
The day the ELCA declared itself a sanctuary church body, many ELCA leaders celebrated. Below are some social media reactions from ELCA leadership and supporters who celebrate the decision:
Radicals are in charge of the ELCA. A few days ago, the ELCA came out on social media stating, "As ELCA Ammparo and ELCA Advocacy we encourage you to stand in solidarity with our immigrant neighbors. Therefore, we urge you to contact local leaders in your jurisdiction and urge sheriff and police not to participate in raids or cooperate with ICE in sharing information about immigrants at risk. (... and do urge police non-cooperation with ICE in the anticipated terrifying raids upon our neighbors)."
The ELCA, by way of their departments named here, tell people to contact various Local Governments and Law Enforcement, urging them to not cooperate with other law enforcement agencies that are working to enforce the laws of our land. They are equipping people with scripts to aid in communication and dissemination of their agenda. The various scripts say similar things. Here is a quote from an ELCA-provided script, "...in light of the Trump Administration’s recent threats of mass arrests of immigrants next week, I want to make sure the XXX government does everything in its power to protect our residents. That means: 1) absolutely no coordination between XXX law enforcement and ICE;...3) the XXX jail must end its policy of notifying ICE when an inmate with an immigration detainer is released; and 4) no detention beds may be made available to ICE, even temporarily. Thank you." (See here)
Below is ELCA pastor Jayne Thompson who tweets to a U.S. Senator "...Please go to Clint, TX or Homestead, FL or any ICE detention center/prison and visit the children incarcerated and abused the hands of the/our/your/my government. Sincerely, your new constituent, ELCA Pastor Jayne M Thompson"
"As most of you are well aware, many states have passed or are considering legislation to restrict access to legal abortion."
This letter from the ELCA was written in response to pro-life legislation, like the ones passed in Georgia and Louisiana, the Alabama Human Life Protection Act and the Missouri bill banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy (see here), among others. Presiding Bishop Eaton and the ELCA wrote the letter to show their opposition to these laws and legislation.
Note the ELCA and its leader did NOT write a letter in opposition to the New York abortion law which passed in January 2019, allowing abortion up to birth. (See here). Nor did the ELCA write a letter about the Virginia legislation, that would loosen the laws on third trimester abortions. (See here)
In the letter that was written ELCA Presiding Bishop reveals the truth about the denomination's stance on abortion:
"Amid the legislative challenges to access to abortion, we must remember that this church supports ongoing access to legal abortion as well as access to abortion services and reproductive health care that is not restricted by economic factors." (See here)
As you can read, the ELCA supports abortion. You should not be fooled when the ELCA claims otherwise, as the presiding bishop tried to do in her letter by saying, "this church seeks to travel a moderating path by supporting abortion as a last resort."
Hear the presiding bishop's words again where she says, "this church supports ongoing access to legal abortion as well as access to abortion services..." Combine that with the fact that the ELCA pays for employee abortions and then notice how you never see the ELCA supporting pro-life causes.
At the end of the Presiding Bishop's letter she implores the denomination:
"I urge each of us to read, to study, to listen, to discern, and to discuss as church together. See the full statement here." There was no direction to pray for the Lord's guidance or look to God's Word.
Every pro-life ELCA member should walk out of his or her ELCA church, never to return.
The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
When New York State passed a law affirming abortion up to the day of delivery, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America said nothing, even though the ELCA's abortion statement speaks against late-term abortion. But now that some conservative states have passed restrictive abortion laws, Eaton has decided to speak (see letter below). She reminds us that "...we must remember that this church supports ongoing access to legal abortion as well as access to abortion services and reproductive health care that is not restricted by economic factors."
The ELCA'a 1990 abortion statement is a confused document. On one page it sounds pro-life, the next page sounds pro-choice. In a nutshell, the ELCA statement opposes abortion except in the cases of "clear threat to the life of the woman", "extreme fetal abnormality" incompatible with life, and in cases of rape and incest. Beyond these cases "this church neither supports nor opposes" other abortion-restricting legislation.
At the ELCA's 1997 assembly, some of us offered a resolution to restrict ELCA funding of abortion to the three cases stated above. The resolution was rejected 70% to 30%. The upshot is that the ELCA continues to pay for abortion for any reason (and no reason) in the church's health care plan for pastors which is funded by offering dollars. That's right, your offering dollars at work, killing unborn children for any reason in the ELCA.
Eaton's statement of the ELCA's support for abortion access makes it tragically clear that some secular states are more Christian than the ELCA in their desire to defend unborn human life.
If you are still in the ELCA, this is one more reason to take your money, time and talents and join a denomination which celebrates God's gift of life and which will not kill unborn children with your offering dollars.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Letter on abortion from Bishop Eaton (see here)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) came out last week in support of the so-called "Equality Act" bill. The bill "would place nearly all Christian ministries, religious organizations, and faith-based companies in the cross-hairs of discrimination lawsuits" according to Craig Parshall, General Counsel for National Religious Broadcasters. (See here)
Mr. Parshall went on to say "The law adds sexual orientation and transgender identity as protected categories and then wildly expands the list of activities and organizations impacted by the civil rights law to include any public 'gathering,' 'exhibition,' or 'display,' or anything involving the provision of goods or 'any service, or program.' During one House subcommittee hearing, employment law expert Lawrence Lorber flatly acknowledged that the bill would apply to 'churches' and 'houses of worship.'"
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Advocacy department publicly posted their support of The Equality Act last week. (See below) Director of ELCA Advocacy, Pastor Amy E. Reumann announced "We applaud this historic legislation..." (See here)
You can read more about the ELCA supported bill and its implications here.
Betty Rendon is an ELCA Synodically Authorized Lay Minister at an ELCA church and received her Masters of Divinity from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). A few days ago, she and some family members were arrested by ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
So far we do not have many details about the incident, except what ELCA entities are saying. It all started with a one-sided account from Betty Rendon's church. You can read it here.
Then the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's presiding bishop began tweeting about the situation.
A letter about the situation was posted by the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) from President James Nieman, Dean of Student Services Scott Chalmers and Pastor to the Community Erik Christensen.
In the letter they call the United States' immigration policy "racist." Here is the quote (see below also), "This incident brings into painful focus the ongoing need to reform this country’s racist, violent, and inhumane immigration system."
Of course, ELCA Advocacy had something to say. Below is part of an email they sent (see the full email here):
ELCA partner, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service commented:
"This is absolutely heartbreaking and shameful behavior on behalf of ICE officers. LIRS will pray for and advocate for the just treatment of Pastor Rendón and all those who find themselves in her position."
Some of the readers of the LIRS Facebook post commented saying, "We are becoming like a Hitler state..." "I am ashamed of our country..." "ICE equals deliberate cruelty." "ICE has no humanity....this is like the Nazi era." "We are very close to becoming a communist nation, Trumps SS is ICE. The time is near for all Americans to March on Washington!" "Abolish ICE." "Our government is looking more and more like murderous criminals." "ICE is disgraceful."
A newspaper article titled ICE allegedly arrests Racine student pastor; Vigil planned for Wednesday can be seen here.
A seminary classmate of Betty Rendon added his 2 cents:
Benjamin Stewart, a Professor & Director of Advanced Studies at LSTC tweeted that the "family was terrorized & separated":
ELCA pastor Chad McKenna writes "#AbolishICE":
From ELCA Pastor Paul Eldred:
The DE-MD Synod tweeted:
Matthew Short, the Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission at Greater Milwaukee Synod, was part of a gathering outside Betty Rendon's detention center. Below is his Facebook post about it:
More from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
And from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America produced a new video that tells people to "Talk about climate change with your families, friends, colleagues and local congregations."
"Studies have shown that congregations where pastors talk about climate change have people who are more likely to engage in taking care of creation and to advocate for climate solutions." See the video below.
It is good to care about the Earth, but there is a great deal of debate about climate change and if it is caused by humans. The ELCA has decided it is.
But beyond that, why isn't the ELCA encouraging people to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins? You don't hear that message, and it is of utmost importance. Life on Earth is certainly important, but this is how we have true life now and eternal life in heaven.
Here is an environment page on ELCA.org where the video can also be found.
The Golan Heights, Jerusalem Holy Sites and the Gaza March of Return: The ELCA Stands Against Israel Again
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), along with a number of mainline denominations, released a statement last week "rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights." (see here and an article by the PC(USA) titled "Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and other denominations oppose Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights" here)
Israel won the Golan Heights, along with additional land, in 1967, against countries that wanted to destroy the Jewish state. But true to form, the ELCA has sided with many Jew-hating countries and individuals who use the Golan Heights acquisition as an instrument to attack Israel.
The ELCA has a long list of examples, as well as history, of taking positions in opposition to Israel. (see here)
Last month the ELCA made another of the endless calls for action against Israel, this time wanting people to pressure Congress to urge Israel to allow access to the city holy sites. Because of violence, Israel temporarily denied access to the sites, but the ELCA doesn't say that. They pressure Israel, use bias words, and in the below statement, inflate sentiment to their own viewpoints benefit. For instance, saying "the international community's insistence that East Jerusalem is an occupied area." Many in the international community to do not agree with that. And then the ELCA saying "U.S. churches have consistently supported a shared Jerusalem as capital for Israel and as a capital for a Palestinian state..." I'm pretty sure more U.S. churches do not support dividing Jerusalem making East Jerusalem a Palestinian capital. But most ELCA leaders do.
Finally, the post below shows the ELCA advocating for people to attend the anniversary events of "Gaza's March of Return." The idea is that people whose relatives once lived in Israel have a right to return to live in Israel. The "march" has been happening for over a year, with Palestinians gathering on Israel's border, rioting, rushing the boarder fence, and perpetrating violent acts. I believe this link shows the "congressional briefing" the ELCA is wanting U.S. senators and congressional representatives to attend. Of course, the anniversary events are supportive of "Gaza's March of Return."
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