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?
ELCA members, liberal and conservative, really seem to love ELCA World Hunger. That is the response I always get when ELCA World Hunger is brought up. I’m not a big fan of them myself, you see, I know some of the money they receive helps to employ ELCA leadership and helps this wayward denomination lead so many away from the truth of God’s Word and salvation in Christ. In my view there are much better Christ-following organizations that help the poor and downtrodden, in which we can financially support.
Case in point, the other day I read an article on an ELCA website written by former male, transgender lesbian, ELCA pastor Megan Rohrer. Pastor Rohrer writes:
“So I’m excited to announce that because of generous support from the ELCA’s World Hunger program, over the next year I’ll be posting stories of the congregations I visit and Do-It-Yourself Guides that have worked in Lutheran congregations on an interactive website of one of my congregations called ‘Just Lutheran.’” (read here)
When I looked up Megan Rohrer’s website “Just Lutheran,” it lists the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's World Hunger Project as a financial supporter. (see here)
Money from ELCA World Hunger is going to this transgender pastor, a pastor who is an outspoken supporter of living out sexual desires that God calls us to repent of.
I can find better places to send tithes and offerings.
_One would think, with the financial struggles the ELCA is having, that they would at least try to be wise with the gifts and tithes to God that they receive from people. However, much like the United States government, they love to spend on their agenda.
For example, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America wants you to come to “Ecumenical Advocacy Days.” (March 23-26) At this gathering you "will explore economy, livelihoods, and our national priorities . . . hear from theologians and policy experts, equip ourselves to speak confidently on key policy issues, and take our message to our elected officials in Congress." But wait, is "(m)oney tight? We understand, and to help more people attend EAD, the ELCA is providing scholarships." (read here)
"ELCA scholarships for Ecumenical Advocacy Days cover the conference registration fee, hotel costs, and travel expenses to Washington D.C. (either flight or mileage reimbursement)." (read here)
Isn’t that nice? Your tithe is going to train people to be lobbyists and political activists, and you can be sure the training will be centered around the ELCA’s political priorities.
That’s not all. You know the money you sent to ELCA World Hunger? It is being used to send lobbyists to the Iowa State capital. Called "Lutheran Day on the Hill," "passionate advocates" will be going to lobby state legislators. "This opportunity is offered at no cost to attendees." Lunch is provided and you also get a t-shirt.
"This event has been made possible through a grant from ELCA World Hunger. We are proud to be a partner in Lutheran Day on the Hill with the three Iowa Synods of the ELCA." (read here)
And lastly, another example of how our denomination is quick to spend God’s money on their ideology. "Lutheran School of Theology Chicago Offers LC/NA Course Free For CEU's." This ELCA seminary is offering free Continuing Education Units for a course called "Transformation + Action = Oxygen." The course "is designed to empower, equip, inspire, and activate participants to have life-giving, well-timed, appropriately-framed conversations with their congregants regarding the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities." (read here)
This course comes from Lutherans Concerned / North America, whose purpose is "to unite gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters within the Lutheran churches." (read here)
And it’s free at this ELCA seminary!
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