The ELCA church's Facebook post gives you a little more information about the pageant.
(See more photos of the pageant here.)
I probably do not need to explain to you how this is blasphemous, a mockery of Christ's birth and an encouragement of sinful and harmful living.
Dreams and Visions is a newly formed ELCA church run by well-known ELCA pastor, Emily Scott, who was a main stage speaker at the ELCA’s 2015 National Youth Gathering. The church formed in conjunction with the ELCA's Delaware-Maryland Synod. The synod was mentioned in the Queer Christmas Pageant 'Thank You' section. (See here)
Dreams and Visions' website explains the church's beginnings and vision saying, "Our Bishop Bill Gohl (as well as his predecessor) had dreamed of a new spiritual community taking root in Lauraville. Emily Scott, now our pastor, dreamed of a congregation that was fresh, joyful, and justice oriented, where LGBTQ+ folks were part of the DNA of the community. It turned out God shared that dream, and brought together Emily, the Delaware-Maryland Synod, and bunch of leaders, supporters, and congregants to imagine something new together."
The church website goes on to say "The ELCA is a denomination that supports the lives and ministries of LGBTQ people and, does incredible work with refugees and immigrants. The local expression of our denomination called the Delaware-Maryland Synod. Bishop Bill Gohl, Dr. Amsalu Geleta, and the Synod Council have all worked together so that Dreams and Visions might come into being!" (see here)
If you have any doubt that God is calling you to leave the ELCA, continue reading and then reread this article. The ELCA has abandoned God, Truth, Love and God's Word. You have no excuse to remain in this apostate denomination.
Preaching about your pet causes and infusing them into your sermon is typical of ELCA pastors. It is hard to find anyone in the denomination preaching the Good news of Christ's sacrifice and payment of sins for those that believe He is the Son of God. Below is an egregious example of this from an ELCA seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Where is the news and proclamation of God coming to Earth as a baby and that "he will save his people from their sins?" Matt. 1:21b
This Christmas, and the years to follow, are you going to entrust your soul, your faith and that of your loves ones to the pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?
Additionally, below is the type of person this ELCA seminary, LSTC, is placing in leadership of the future pastors studying at the school, the people who will lead ELCA churches for years to come:
“The Rev. Erik Christensen has accepted a call to serve as pastor to the community and director of worship at LSTC.” “He served as co-chair of the board of directors of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and is a member of Proclaim, a Lutheran community of LGBTQ+ rostered ministers, seminarians and candidates for ministry.” (See here, on page 2)
The Northeast Iowa Synod recently shared on Facebook a blog they wrote in 2016 which encouraged people to NOT support certain (un-named) Christian charities, but instead give to ELCA-related organizations. (see here) And who might these Christian charities be? The synod says, “non-ELCA organization programs that involve putting small gifts and trinkets wrapped in boxes for children in other countries.”
This truly was an ugly, shallow, uncharitable, self-serving piece by the Northeast Iowa Synod, which gives highly questionable “reasons” to not work with such organizations. The synod blog, written by Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson, said things such as:
“The cheap toys that people are encouraged to buy and put in the box may be made by exploited or even slave labor. Some are even made by children. Remember that we want to help children and make their lives better. Exploiting children or families is the opposite of what people want to do when they are looking for Christmas giving projects. Even if the toys are ethically produced, many of them are not culturally appropriate.”
“Some of these organizations will add pamphlets with religious messages contrary to how we understand the Gospel. Many of them also have images with racist, sexist and culturally insensitive stereotypes.”
“If we support organizations that contradict what we say about the Gospel, this can be confusing and even damaging to people’s faith.”
It is true that Samaritan’s Purse has a different view of the Gospel than most leaders in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Samaritan’s Purse wants to share the love and truth of Christ, dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead three days later, having victory over death so that those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior (by grace through faith) will have eternal life. Whereas, the ELCA does not do this because the ELCA consensus is that “all will be saved” no matter what they believe. (see more on the ELCA’s universalism here) That is truly a dangerous and false belief, putting individuals' eternal life at risk if they believe that and do not believe in Christ.
Yes, there is a different Gospel shared by Samaritan’s Purse than that of the ELCA. Which message do you agree with and what organization do you want to support?
It’s almost Christmas and time for the regular attack from ELCA leaders on what Scripture tells us about Christ’s birth.
Emily Scott is an ELCA pastor at St. Lydia's, a Dinner Church in Brooklyn, NY and was a main speaker at the 2015 ELCA National Youth Gathering. In a recent blog, Pastor Scott encourages her readers to take a fresh look at the Mother of Jesus.
Here is some of what she wrote:
“We might also notice that the word often translated 'virgin' in the bible,
in fact only means, 'young girl.'
A maid. A girl who is not yet married.
In the next 2,000 years, the church will get really obsessed
with Mary’s vagina.
They will claim that not only was she a virgin when Jesus was conceived,
but that she remained a virgin the rest of her life.
Because how could the son of GOD be born
from something so ordinary
as a woman’s vagina.
So in order to make this story make sense for the men who told it,
they sanitized away Mary’s sexuality.
They neutered her.” (see here)
Seriously? We are to take ELCA Pastor Scott's, and likely many mainline pastors, word for it when it goes against God’s Word and thousands of Christian scholars, teachers and translators? See what they say about Pastor Scott’s claims here and here.
Pastor Scott then goes on a craze-filled, inappropriate rant about Mary’s private parts while also attacking men and the church. That should tell you a little about her mindset.
Then we have ELCA pastor Clint Schnekloth sharing his half-baked opinion about the Christmas account, which he states, as if it is fact, “I am reminded that there is a good deal of myth in the birth narratives of the Christ.” (see here)
Michael Rinehart is the bishop of the ELCA's Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. Just this week he cast doubt on the truth of the virgin birth in his blog, writing, "Of course the first person to doubt the virgin birth was Joseph himself. This is why he decided to divorce her, quietly. An angel visits him in a dream, and in the end he decides not to divorce Mary, and to adopt her child as his own.Whatever the world may think about a literal virgin birth, no one questions that Jesus was adopted, and Joseph was an adoptive parent." (see here)
Don’t forget that a few years ago the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in their official website, argued against the virgin birth. (see here)
See more ELCA attacks on the virgin birth here. (scroll down the page)
Our friend, Pastor Tom Brock wrote about the virgin birth problem within the ELCA in January of 2016 when he penned this, “I graduated from Luther Seminary back in 1979. I would guesstimate that back then only a few professors denied the Virgin Birth of Christ. Some years ago I asked a faculty member at Luther ‘Do you think half of the professors at Luther still believe in the Virgin Birth?’ The response: ‘Oh no, way less than half.’" (see here)
ELCA members should ask their pastors what they believe about the virgin birth.
Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco, better known as "herchurch," is a goddess worshiping church that is operating in good standing and with the full knowledge of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The ELCA has placed their stamp of approval on the worship of false gods by their knowledgeable allowance of it. Here is what herchurch has been up to lately.
What is better for Christmas than a prayer to the goddess Sophia, posted on their church Facebook page? -
Next month herchurch will be offering an opportunity to partake in the Spring Equinox Women’s Ritual called "Animal Medicine." Herchurch describes this three-hour ritual saying, "In the silence of the quiet mind, we create the sacred fertility in which we receive the messages of Spirit. The Equinox is a time to honor and balance polarities – female/male, dark/light, body/spirit, below/above. Through the Earth and Sky Animal Medicine Spread, each participant will connect with specific aspects of animal spirit guides to interweave her own polarities and create greater balance within, and in the world as a whole." (see here or view screenshot below)
Asking ELCA members to connect with "animal spirit guides" is really an invitation to connect with demonic spirits. Leviticus 19:31 says "You are to consult neither mediums nor familiar spirits. You are never to seek them—you'll just be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God." And God's Word tells us in 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” What are the leaders of this church and the ELCA doing, allowing this kind of evil in the denomination?
How about another prayer? This time to a creepy looking Irish goddess. Here are a couple of excerpts from the herchurch Facebook post:
Finally, herchurch has a list of books on the church website that they offer as "Recommended Reading." Here are a number of them:
Rebirth of the Goddess by Carol P. Christ.
Living in the Lap of the Goddess by Cynthia Eller
She Who Changes, Re-Imagining the Divine in the World by Carol Christ
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess by Leonard Shlain
Mary Magdalene – Beyond the Myth by Esther De Boer
The Creation of Feminist Consciousness by Gerde Lerna
Return of the Great Goddess by Burleigh Muten
The Heart of Christianity by Marcus J. Borg
When God Was A Woman by Merlin Stone
Saving Jesus From Those Who Are Right by Carter Heyward
In Search of the Christa-Sophia by Jann Aldredge-Clanton
This is crazy stuff.
The ELCA must worship a God that has no power. A God that can not do miracles. A God that has to make up a birth story of His Son to make people believe He is special. A God that can not create a child in the womb of a virgin. That is the powerless, lying god of the ELCA.
Here is what the ELCA and many ELCA leaders are saying about the details of the birth of Christ -
A Pew Research Poll this week reports that "Roughly three-quarters of adults (73%) say they believe Jesus was born of a virgin.” (read here)
But the people who are suppose to disciple us do not believe what God tells us in the Bible? Something is wrong here folks!
Denying Scripture is not just an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America problem, just look to the ELCA's liberal Lutheran twin to the north. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) pastor Dawn Hutchings has this to say about the Nativity account,
"For this story is a parable and like all parable’s it represents a truth that cannot be fully expressed in words. Like all good parables the truth is not to be found in the details, but rather in the Spirit of God that breathed life into the parable. " (read here)
Not believing the virgin birth account, Pastor Hutchings speculates that Jesus was the result of Mary being raped. She writes,
“Some say the evidence is clear, if you’re willing to see it. After all there was a large cohort of Roman soldiers encamped near Nazareth. The people of Nazareth had participated in an uprising against their oppressors and the Roman’s had raided Nazareth in retaliation. There are numerous Jewish accounts of Roman raids that include details of strategic rapes. Could our young heroine be the victim of such a rape?” (read here)
This Christmas (and beyond) please, please stay clear of these Bible-denying Lutheran denominations.
Rarely am I surprised when I read or hear stories of what the ELCA is teaching or things that are happening in the church, but I was with this one. Not long ago I received an email from Jill Weber. She was concerned by what she heard and experienced while visiting an ELCA church. This is what the Jill wrote -
I recently attended Shepherd Of The Hills Church in Flagstaff, AZ. The senor pastor is Susan Swanson and the teaching pastor is her husband Tim Swanson. I attended the church service on Dec. 9, 2012 and also the Bible study taught by Tim. I was grieved in my spirit when I asked him a direct question if he believed if Jesus is God? His response was “that's a hard question." He also told this class that "it wasn't important that Jesus was born of a virgin." I responded "Yes it is important that Jesus was born of a virgin and it does matter, because Jesus came to fulfill all the prophecies!" He said he didn't want to argue. I told him he would be arguing with the Word of God. He also cited the gnostic gospels (the gospel of Thomas) as if it were Gospel! Galatians 1:4-9. The senor pastor, his wife was also listening to the conversation and jokingly warned her husband "you better be careful you might lose your job" (I say he should!). The adults in the Bible study laughed. I wanted to stand up and face the people and say "are you really paying them to teach you heresies? That isn't funny because the joke is on you!" The next Sunday I attended the service and then the Christmas program showing how other people celebrated Christmas in different parts of the world; including Befana from Italy, who is a witch. Befana was visited by the wise men and they asked her if she wanted to go and search for baby Jesus and she told them no but after they left she decided that she would, so she flew on her broomstick from house to house in search of Jesus but never did find him. A little girl about 9yrs. was dressed up like Befana including broomstick and all! Wow, I never knew that did you? I think Jesus referred to such teachers as "a brood of vipers!" This program was put together by the Rev. Susan Swanson.
For those that may be wondering, Befana the witch is an old European story that was made into a book called, The Legend of Old Befana. Barnes and Noble's overview of the book says this, "The celebration of Befana, who flies across the sky on Twelfth Night, leaving cakes and cookies for children as they sleep, is a beloved story in Europe. It is timeworn only by its many versions, and Tomie dePaola's retelling is unique in its resplendent settings and carefully researched detail. His story also broadens the character of the eccentric old recluse of the small Italian village, who is always sweeping. While Befana is sometimes called a witch. . ." (see here)
So let me recap this. According to an eye witness, in an ELCA church where a pastor apparently finds it hard to confirm the Bible's testimony that Jesus is God and that Jesus was born of a virgin, there was a Christmas program that included a child playing a broom-flying witch. This is what happens people, when our faith leaders do not hold Scripture as being from God and Truth. This is what happens when ELCA leadership makes themselves the arbitrators of what is true and what isn't. Also notice that this church's members seem to go along with the false teaching, like sheep being led to the slaughter.
I pray that God would open the eyes of all ELCA members so they could see that they are being led astray, led away from God, some slowly and some in extremely dramatic ways, by the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Once again an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leader publically denies Jesus’ virgin birth and Scripture’s nativity accounts, and ELCA leadership allows it. Because of this, I sadly tell you that the ELCA is no longer a Christian denomination.
David Lose, a professor and the director of the Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary (ELCA) recently authored an article titled, “Is the Christmas Story trustworthy?” In the article, Professor Lose writes, “I would argue that . . . the gospel writers undoubtedly play fast and loose with the various stories, sayings, and incidents they inherited. . .” (see here) Lose goes on to say how the gospel writers “craft” their stories and should be viewed “more as artists than as historians.” Lose wants us to believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John made up their gospel accounts, that the gospel writers lied in order to share some “bigger” spiritual truth.
Prof. Lose isn’t the first ELCA leader to recently say this. Just a few weeks ago Exposing the ELCA reported on Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, an Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, who stated, “I think that the stories are made up. (I’m retiring at the end of May anyway so don’t waste time with the heresy accusations.) They are myth” and later he advises, “tell the old mythic story in a way that that it is heard anew.”
Highly controversial scholar Marcus Borg, who has made a nice living speaking at ELCA events and writing for ELCA publications, audaciously says, “The stories of Jesus' birth are myths”. (see here)
The ELCA’s official website even encouraged debate and questioned the truth of Christ’s Virgin Birth. (see here)
The ELCA has the power to stop this heretical teaching in its churches and in its seminaries. Yet they do not. There is a “crime” being committed against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the ELCA is driving the get-away car. They are an accomplice; allowing this teaching is an endorsement of the teaching.
What are we to think of all this? Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of Southern Seminary had this to say regarding the Virgin Birth, “Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible’s teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no . . . We cannot claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and then turn around and cast suspicion on its teaching.
Millard Erickson states this well: ‘If we do not hold to the virgin birth despite the fact that the Bible asserts it, then we have compromised the authority of the Bible and there is in principle no reason why we should hold to its other teachings. Thus, rejecting the virgin birth has implications reaching far beyond the doctrine itself.’
Implications, indeed. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, who was His father? There is no answer that will leave the Gospel intact. The Virgin Birth explains how Christ could be both God and man, how He was without sin, and that the entire work of salvation is God’s gracious act. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, He had a human father. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Bible teaches a lie.”
“This much we know: All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.” (read here)
Dr. Mohler, in a different article says, “The presence of theologians and pastors who deny the virgin birth in the theological seminaries and pulpits of the land is evidence of the sweeping tide of unbelief that marks so many
institutions and churches in our time. . .Anyone who claims that the virgin birth can be discarded even as the deity of Christ is affirmed is either intellectually dishonest or theological(ly) incompetent.”
“Christians must face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as the Christ. The Savior who died for our sins was none other than the baby who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin. The virgin birth does not stand alone as a biblical doctrine, it is an irreducible part of the biblical revelation about the person and work of Jesus Christ. With it, the Gospel stands or falls.”
“No true Christian can deny the virgin birth.” (read here)
So with that said, where does that leave a denomination that teaches and/or is accepting of the teaching that the Christmas story and the Virgin Birth are not actually true?
If what Dr. Mohler said is true for an individual, it is also true for an institution.
The ELCA is no longer Christian.
What do you know . . . An ELCA leader doesn’t believe what the Bible says; this time its about Jesus’ birth. Surprise and Merry Christmas! (Do they celebrate Christmas in the ELCA any longer?)
Here is what was said by Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, concerning the two accounts of Jesus’ birth in the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke:
“They are very different stories which are quite incompatible with one another. . .I certainly do not believe they are ‘historical’ in any modern understanding of historicity. . .I think that the stories are made up. (I’m retiring at the end of May anyway so don’t waste time with the heresy accusations.) They are myth” (read here).
Here is what Rev. Carlson had to say about Christ being born of a virgin:
“Focusing on the virgin birth issue, we need to remember that accounts of virgin or miraculous births were not uncommon antiquity. However, we also need to remember that such accounts were intended to express something about the character of the person born. They were a ‘character reference’ or ‘credentials.’ They were not intended to explain where the individual got 23 of his or her chromosomes. An understanding of fertilization and pregnancy in antiquity was, let’s say, ‘agrarian’ at best.” (read in the same article linked above)
Toward the end of his blog/article Rev. Carlson gives this advice to pastors: “tell the old mythic story in a way that. . . it is heard anew”. In order to prove his points in the blog, the Assistant to the Bishop recommends a discussion of the birth narratives by the controversial Marcus Borg. (find out more about him here)
Pastor Steve Shipman, director of LutheranCORE addresses those who teach like Rev. Carlson. Rev. Shipman wrote:
“If a person chooses not to believe the Virgin Birth, they are free to do so. But they have no right then to claim to be a teacher or believer in Christianity. The faith once delivered to the saints is not a cafeteria from which we can pick and choose what pleases us.
If Jesus were born in the usual way, then what does it mean that He is 'the Word made flesh'? How can God be his Father in the way the Church has always proclaimed, if he is biologically the child of both Mary and Joseph (or even, as certain blasphemous legends suggest, of Mary and some other man)? Some early Christians made arguments for what is called ‘adoptionism,’ which taught that Jesus wasn’t born Son of God but was adopted into that role at his baptism by John. This was quickly rejected as heresy, because then the good news of the Incarnation simply can’t stand.
And it does matter for our salvation that ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.’ It does matter that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’ If Jesus is just a good human being, even a perfect human being, He cannot save us but would only have saved Himself. But because He is God among us, taking our humanity into the life of the Holy Trinity, we have a marvelous hope for this life and the next.” (read here)
What I am reporting isn’t just one ELCA leader preaching heresy. No. Rev. Carlson’s article was posted on the website and blog of Michael Rinehart, bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bishop Rinehart is responsible for the article’s posting on his blog and he is culpable for what it says. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, the ELCA’s Church Council and all high-ranking ELCA leaders are also responsible and culpable for what he (and others) say and/or for allowing theologically false-teaching to be preached. Allowing this heresy is the same as promoting it yourself. They are accomplices and are leading people away from God’s Truth and way from Christ.
People who don’t believe basic Christian truths and historic stories in the Bible are running the ELCA, teaching in the seminaries, preaching in the pulpits and “teaching” you about Christianity. Honestly, I believe Satan has infiltrated the ELCA and placed his people in leadership positions.
Here’s some more information on Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Dr. Don Carlson:
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