We have exposed the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering’s extremely disturbing speakers (see here and here). Today I’d like to tell you about some of the activities, or as they have termed it, “Interactive Learning,” the ELCA has assembled to “educate” those attending the gathering, which takes place June 27 – July 1.
The ELCA describes "Interactive Learning" as "A 'Holy Playground' of sorts, that invites Gathering participants to encounter God through a variety of learning styles and sensory experiences. All 30,000 participants have a dedicated day in the three day program rotation to experience the extensive offerings inside the over 700,000 square feet Interactive Learning space.” (see here)
The “Interactive Learning” takes place in dozens of stations/booths/activity areas and you should be concerned over who the ELCA has decided will speak to and instruct your children, as well as the content that will be communicated.
One option the ELCA offers attendees is hosted by the ELCA church of the extremely troubling, ELCA youth gathering keynote speaker, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. The description provided is ridiculous:
“What I wish I’d known: Lessons on spirituality and sexuality
Take a break in a relaxing space and ask anonymous questions
about sexuality. Participate in learning activities on consent, healthy
relationships, birth-control methods, anatomy, boundaries, sexuality
and spirituality. We are not teaching a particular values system
about sexuality. Rather, this is answering questions with medically
accurate information and helping youth determine how they form
their values regarding sexuality.”
This group answering students questions is described in the ELCA materials:
“HFASS Denver - House for All Sinners and Saints (HFASS)
is a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical, Christo-
centric, social justice-oriented, queer inclusive, incarnational,
contemplative, irreverent, ancient-future church with a progressive
but deeply rooted theological imagination. We are here to explore
healthy and life-giving connections between spirituality and
sexuality and answer teens' questions about sexuality.” (page 20)
Another “Interactive Learning” activity is hosted by an LGBT advocacy group, Reconciling Works. The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering Guide Book tells us about it:
“God adores you!
Come and be part of sharing the news that God adores you just the
way you are! Join in the affirmation and celebration of the diversity of
people. Learn how to extend welcome and inclusion to LGBTQIA+
people in your congregation!
ReconcilingWorks - An independent Lutheran nonprofit that
works for the full welcome, inclusion and celebration of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQIA+) people in the
Lutheran church. It is our vision that the church is a place where
LGBTQ people and their families can worship and thrive, bringing
all their God-given gifts to mission and ministry for the world.” (page 27)
The radical group #decolonizeLutheranism is interacting with the youth at their "Interactive Learning" activity:
“Bracelets of fortune: Identity and intersectionality in Scripture
and beyond.” Here the youth will learn the following:
“Scripture talks about how personal characteristics precious to us (e.g.
gender, age, race, dis/ability) are often despised by others. What’s
more, some of these characteristics overlap, making us even more
beautiful and vulnerable. Explore the lives of Bible characters and find
how these crisscrossing identities impact us and those around us.
Here is the description of the group leading this session:
“#decolonizeLutheranism - We are a group of Lutherans across
the spectrum of race and ethnicities, ages, gender expressions,
sexualities and abilities who have been moved by the Holy Spirit to
make our communities more welcoming of the diversity in them –
be those communities individual congregations or neighborhoods,
cities and nations.” (page 27)
Other “Interactive Learning” experiences for the students include “Refugee integration obstacle course” and “People on the move: A migrant and refugee experience.”
And finally, why not indoctrinate the youth against the Jewish-state? At the falsely titled booth/experience “Peace with justice in the Holy Land” the 30,000 young people will learn:
“What does life under military occupation look like? What is peace
with justice? Hear from Palestinian youth from the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, learn about the
conflict in Israel and Palestine, and learn how you can help make a
It is put on by the ELCA, as a part of their “Peace Not Walls” campaign. (page 26)
Wild. Sad. Concerning. These young people are impressionable. Pray for God to move in the hearts of all who attend that they may discern truth from lies and stand up against falsehoods so that they may boldly follow the Lord Jesus in the face of false teaching and deception.
Here is a link to the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering Guide Book where you can read all the details referenced above.
Luther Seminary has a website that provides advice and help for pastors writing sermons. An article on the ELCA seminary website shows you how far the denomination has departed from Scripture and how the secular world mindset has taken over the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The article's authors edited the following Bible verse to say: “They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and Ze delivered them from their distress; Ze brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart” - Psalm 107:13-14.
The article's ELCA affiliated authors replaced two pronouns for "He," used to refer to God in the verses, with the recently invented word "Ze." According to the Cambridge Dictionary, 'ze' is "a pronoun sometimes used instead of 'he' or 'she' because it does not show a particular gender." (see here)
This is all part of the gender fluidity lie, transgenderism embrace, rejection of calling God "Father" and rewriting of God's Word that is dominating the culture.
Again, this is an article for pastors posted by a website of Luther Seminary, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America institution. (see here)
The article was co-authored by Rev. Jennifer Chrien and Jessica Davis.
Jennifer Chrien is the senior pastor at the ELCA's Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Simi Valley, CA. Jessica Davis is a chaplain for #decolonizeLutheranism, an organization formed of mostly ELCA leaders, and a signer of the "Naked & Unashamed Statement" which was also written by ELCA leaders. Interestingly, last year Jessica Davis was part of a discussion panel that included the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and is obviously in a position of influence in the ELCA.
Jessica Davis is an ELCA leader. She is a chaplain for the #decolonizeLutheranism group, an organization formed of mostly ELCA leaders, and a signer of the "Naked & Unashamed Statement" which was also written by ELCA leaders. Jessica Davis was also part of a discussion panel that included the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see here)
If there is any doubt that the devil is alive and well in the ELCA, read the following from a blog written by Jessica Davis:
“All it did was remind me that the spirit of G-d is a slut. She gives exactly no shits about respectability, about who she’s supposed to be with, about the right time and place and manner in which to make an appearance. She comes and crashes the party, when and how she wills, in whatever body she chooses, and most of the time, she helps you come too.
And it is from all her heavenly thotery that revolution is born. She opens her legs and invites us in, there to dwell in the house of the Lord. And today, it is enough.” (see here)
That is vile, blasphemous and demonic.
Jessica Davis is an example of the type of leadership that is enveloping the ELCA and embraced by them. It is truly disturbing.
Below we see the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America disseminating a video of Jessica Davis on the ELCA-administrated "ELCA Reformation 500" Facebook page.
The time to flee the ELCA is now.
(Warning: Sexuality explicit language)
Elle Dowd is an ELCA seminarian at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) and is also part of the leadership of Decolonize Lutheranism (read about this group here). She recently wrote a blog called “Jesus and Black Lace Lingerie” where we are told:
“…I was at a casting call, auditioning for the chance to model a body-positive line of bras and underwear. The church has a reputation for prudishness about anything having to do with things like desire, bodies, or sex. And so me, a seminarian, a pastor-in-training, showing up ready to strip down to my skivvies for a photoshoot seems to a lot of people like a glaring (or at least interesting) contradiction.”
She then goes into a strange discourse about God having a body, experiences He had with his body (using intentionally provocative words and descriptions of Christ’s birth), and experience she has had with her body. Then she writes:
“Learning about a shockingly embodied God empowered me to reconnect to my own body in a variety of ways through therapy, yoga, running, dancing, sex...Talk about the ways in which sex has been a powerful way not only to reclaim my body and reconnect to my sexuality, but to heal from spiritual abuse perpetuated by the church? It seems unheard of.”
After reading Elle Dowd's blog I believe a main message she is trying to communicate is that we should celebrate our bodies. Unfortunately, that seems to mean “in whatever fashion you want, sinful or not.” And that leads us back to her lingerie photo shoot. The ELCA seminarian writes:
“I felt my black lacy, cheeky shorts rub against my skin underneath my jeans as I sat on that futon and talked with the designer and the photographer about being a faith leader. Then I took off my t-shirt and took some photos in my bra, feeling free and brave, knowing that if anyone found this scandalous, at least I was in good company with my Scandalous, Incarnate God.” (read here)
Elle's blog has been the subject of some conversations with a number of ELCA leaders on Twitter recently. Here are some of the more shocking answers to questions posted by ELCA Deacon Tara L Ulrich, that were inspired by Elle Dowd's blog (notice that Elle retweeted each one):
Naked and Unashamed: ELCA Leaders Call for an End to ‘Oppressive Relational and Sexual Standards’
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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ELCA Leader Says It Is the 'Deepest, Darkest Dreams of So Many' ELCA Members To Kill Black People
If you are an ELCA member who voted for Donald Trump, are not marching with Black Lives Matter, are white, Bible-believing, conservative . . . YOU are the problem, at least in the view of liberal, wacko, Christian-in-name-only ELCA leaders.
Here is a post made last week on the ELCA Facebook group by Francisco Herrera, a Ph. D student at the ELCA's LSTC who is also the "Diversity Blog Manager" at the school (see more information about him here):
(Dylann Roof is an ELCA member who killed nine black people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.)
You may want to reread what Mr. Herrera said. He is stating that many ELCA members want to kill black people, that it is their "deepest, darkest dreams" to do what Dylann Roof did. This is a leader in the ELCA. Did I mention that Mr. Herrera is the Operations and Fundraising Coordinator for #decolonizeLutheranism? This is a group which has gained a huge following within the ELCA leadership.
Anger and hatred for Bible-believing ELCA members is growing strong. The ELCA leadership has done its best to force its liberal, Bible-defying measures upon them. They have even convinced some members that the ELCA is right in declaring homosexual sex "good," that Israel is an evil entity, abortion is "loving," transexuals are correcting God's mistakes, converting non-Christians should not be pursued and the Bible is full of myth and mistakes. But that isn't enough, now many ELCA leaders are telling ELCA members how racist they are, that their Lutheran cultural traditions are discriminatory and that they are the problem.
If you do not assimilate to all of their view points, you are the enemy.
And the election of Donald Trump has greatly elevated their anger toward ELCA members who do not hold to their political, social and religious views. (see more)
Here is more of the discussion from Mr. Herrera's post on the ELCA FB page:
Why be a part of a denomination that treats you, and allows leadership to treat you with such contempt?
A Radical Meeting and Profanity at a Gathering at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago
(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.)
The group "Decolonize Lutheranism" met recently at LSTC to combat racism (good) and to promote the acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism (bad). They had transgender bathrooms and some very liberal speakers. Joelle Colville-Hanson is the Director for Evangelical Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She tweeted this: "Luther walked into this church and said f**k this! This shit is not right."
Using profanity is now in vogue by some of the pastors and leaders of the ELCA, with popular ELCA Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber using it in her speeches and books. I am part of a clergy Facebook page and the profanity used by some ELCA pastors is disturbing.
I believe the Apostle Paul would remind us (Ephesians 4:29):
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear".
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
Dan Skogen writing:
My apologies for the language we have posted from these ELCA leaders. But it is necessary to share with you the extent of their depravity and the rebelliousness of their hearts.
Joelle Colville-Hanson, whom was mentioned in the article above, wrote this about herself, "People who know me know that in private I curse like a sailor.” (see here) Obviously Joelle doesn't just save her cursing for private conversations because in the same blog she uses the words "shit" and "bitch." And in a different blog Joelle wrote,"I used to have a sweatshirt that said:
I'm not a Bitch. I'm THE Bitch. And that's MS. Bitch to YOU!" (see here)
And here is a screenshot from one of the leaders of #decolonizeLutheranism, Francisco Herrera:
Also, did you know that Thrivent Financial helped to fund the #decolonizeLutheranism conference?
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