ELCA leadership has rejected the creation account that God has given us in Scripture (see here and here). Does Lutheran Church of Hope agree with their denominational leaders? We see and hear the answer in a sermon preached at the megachurch when questions from the congregation were answered:
“How can I fit my beliefs in God with physical science, evolution, etc.?”
Senior pastor and founder of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) megachurch, Mike Housholder, answered first, saying “…if you look at the pattern of creation in Scripture and you line that up with scientific views of the order how things happened, there is a lot of alignment and there isn’t nearly as much conflict as a lot of people would suggest” (See video below or here).
Rev. Housholder speaks as if all science agrees on the time-frame and order of creation; they do not. There is a great deal of scientific evidence that shows the Earth to be young (here, here and here are a few).
Claiming that God's creation account lines up with the most popular scientific conclusions like those of the Big Bang Theory and the macro-evolutionary time-frame, is completely false (See here and the Answers in Genesis chart above).
Dr. Caroline Boehnke-Becker, who was part of the team of three Lutheran Church of Hope pastors/leaders answering questions from the congregation, confirmed Pastor Housholder's answer, that evolution and the Bible fit together saying, “...you can not ask the ‘how’ question of the Bible.” “I see no problem…the more I delve into science. It makes so much sense from a faith standpoint. And the more I delve into the Biblical text, it all makes sense and it all comes together.”
So Lutheran Church of Hope is teaching that God, through His Word, is not communicating to people how He made everything, how creation came into being, despite that clear reading of Genesis. God is in fact doing that.
ELCA Pastor Mike Housholder also replied “I've never understood those who turn it into an 'either' 'or.'" Rev. Housholder continued on by lifting up scientist Francis Collins, who is a theistic evolutionist. (Read about Francis Collins here). Francis Collins "founded and served as president of The BioLogos Foundation, which promotes discourse on the relationship between science and religion and advocates the perspective that belief in Christianity can be reconciled with acceptance of evolution and science, especially through the advancement of evolutionary creation" (See here).
Pastor Michael Mechsner viewed the Lutheran Church of Hope sermon, questions and answers and commented, “The problem with 'theistic evolution' is that it allows for DEATH before the fall. Death is the result of sin. That is the real problem for 'theistic evolution.' Jesus CONQUERED death which is what defines mankind's SIN” (See here).
Biblical creation champion Ken Ham addressed the compromise of God's Word on evolution and God's Genesis account, like what you see at Lutheran Church of Hope:
A couple of Christian articles address the pattern this way:
- "there is simply no way to merge theistic evolution with the witness of Scripture as to what actually happened in history. They are incompatible." (See here. “Lesson 4: Adam, Eve, & the First Sin” from the Is Genesis History? Bible Study.)
- "There are major contradictions between a straightforward reading of Scripture and the order claimed by uniformitarian/evolutionary ‘science’." (See here)
Lutheran Church of Hope has embraced the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). This is a denomination that preaches universalism (that all are saved), is pro-abortion, demonizes Israel, encourages homosexual relations even with their pastors, allows goddess worship, pushes liberal policies, ordains transgender individuals, pays for employee sex-change surgery/drugs and abortions, twists and ignores Scripture and rejects God's clear historical account of creation recorded in Genesis.
Members of the ELCA and of Lutheran Church of Hope should be ashamed to be part of this wicked, faith and soul destroying denomination.
Below is the Lutheran Church of Hope sermon. The question on evolution starts at 24:20 minute mark.
Evolution and the Big Bang theories do not fit with God's account of creation. It is ignorant and disingenuous to say they do. Martin Luther tells us:
“The days of creation were ordinary days in length. We must understand that these days were actual days (veros dies), contrary to the opinion of the Holy Fathers. Whenever we observe that the opinions of the Fathers disagree with Scripture, we reverently bear with them and acknowledge them to be our elders. Nevertheless, we do not depart from the authority of Scripture for their sake.” - Martin Luther as cited in E. Plass, What Martin Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1991, 1523.
Luther further commented on this critical topic:
“When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.” - What Luther Says. A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, compiled by Ewald M. Plass, Concordia, p. 93.
A few weeks ago, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s NPR news station posted an article entitled, “The Politics And Ethics Of Pennsylvania's Proposed Down Syndrome Abortion Ban.”
The article’s reporters spoke to several people about the abortion ban. One of those interviewed was Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor Natalie (Gessert) Hall:
“Hall said she doesn’t know if she would be capable of raising a child with Down syndrome, which she said is why she might have considered terminating such a pregnancy.
‘I’m not convinced that I would have the care and support I would need to embark on caring for a child with Down syndrome,’ she said. ‘Or a child with any other significant developmental or physical difficulties.’
...Hall said she’s counseled women who have struggled over whether to have abortions. Ultimately, she said it’s a personal choice that’s made more difficult by a society that’s not very accepting or supportive of people with disabilities.” (see here)
And thus we have another public statement by an ELCA clergy person who is supportive of a woman aborting the baby who is growing and developing in her womb. This is a common position for ELCA leadership and is reason alone for pro-life people to leave the denomination.
But there is more to this blog than Pastor Hall's public statement about abortion. See, I am familiar with her. She “follows” me on Facebook. Rev. Natalie Hall, formally Natalie Gessert, was a part of Lutheran CORE for a time (I am assuming that is no longer the case). In fact, she held a leadership position with Lutheran CORE. Lutheran CORE is a "Network for confessing Lutherans...(and an) advocate for Biblical authority and confessional fidelity among churches of the Lutheran community..." (see here)
A Lutheran CORE publication said:
“Pr. Chavez recognized and
thanked the Lutheran CORE staff, all
but two of whom are part-time…Facebook Moderator Natalie Gessert." (Page 2 of
She was also involved in this project:
“The 2010 Sola/ReClaim Edition* is a faithful word-for-word translation from Luther’s German Catechism.” “By the cooperative effort of Sola Publishing and ReClaim Resources this edition of the Small Catechism was produced in 2010 translators/authors representing Lutheran Core, WordAlone, LCMC, and NALC. The primary translator of the 2010 edition is Rev. Scott Grorud, with Rev. Thomas Jacobson, Rev. Natalie Gessert, and Dr. Gracia Grindal as translational consultants.” (see here)
So what happened to Pastor Natalie (Gessert) Hall? Why is this former leader in Lutheran CORE speaking out for abortion rights. Why is she posting on Facebook her support for homosexual marriage and rights? (see screenshots from her page posted on this blog). I do not know the answer, but I do know it is dangerous to place yourself in toxic cultures and environments. That is what you are doing by staying in the ELCA. It is dangerous and can bring about the compromising of your faith and Scripture. Sometimes when you are around someone long enough you succumb to their beliefs.
This is one reason I encourage people to leave the ELCA, pastors and members alike.
Below are additional interesting Facebook posts by Rev. Hall.
Yes, this is an ELCA church. Turning a symbol the represents Christianity into a symbol that represents evolution, mocks Christianity and God's Word.
The vast majority of pastors and leaders in the ELCA hold the viewpoint that God's account of creation is historically wrong. They reject it, as they do with many other parts of Scripture. Over 2400 ELCA leaders signed a Clergy letter in support of evolution and rejecting the Biblical account of creation told in the book of Genesis. (see here)
When I posted the article of the 2400 ELCA leaders, on an ELCA clergy Facebook page, Rev. Mark Molter, an ELCA pastor, responded saying: (language warning)
(Updated March 2018 - Original blog was written March, 2011)
One would think that ELCA pastors, bishops and teachers would believe Scripture. However all one has to do is read, “The Clergy Letter - from American Christian clergy: An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science,” to find that most do not.
Over 2400 ELCA leaders signed this letter which states,
“the overwhelming majority (of Christians) do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth.”
Make no mistake, what these Christian leaders are saying is that they do not believe what the Bible actually says. They are calling the story about creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark, lies. These ELCA leaders think they know better than Jesus, the Old and New Testament writers, and 2000 years of Christians, who knew these stories to be true. (read more here)
The letter goes on to say, “We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as ‘one theory among others’ is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”
Really? So those that believe God’s account of creation, are “ignorant?” Maybe these religious elites should read from the following website of the many scientists who are skeptical of Darwinism. (read here and download the list of scientists who signed "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.")
The Clergy letter also says, “We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris.”
Let me get this straight, now these “Christian” leaders, who say that the Biblical account of creation is not true, are now telling us that if we believe God’s account of creation we are REJECTING God’s Will?
Finally the letter says, “We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge.” (read here)
Here are “Christian” leaders urging school boards to have the teaching of evolution be a “core component of HUMAN knowledge.” These are the people teaching us and our children about Jesus and the Bible?
Someone may ask, “What’s the big deal?” “Who cares if ELCA leaders and pastors don’t believe what the Bible says about creation?”
Here are a few quotes that highlight why we should care:
"More cases of loss of religious faith can be traced to the theory of evolution--- than anything else." - Martin Lings, quoted in Christian Century July, 1982
“Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.” - Noted evolutionist, Professor Will Provine, in “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life.”
"Any creationist lawyer who got me on the stand could instantly win over the jury simply by asking me: 'Has your knowledge of evolution influenced you in the direction of becoming an atheist?' I would have to answer yes and, at one stroke, I would have lost the jury." - Noted evolutionist, Dr. Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2008) p. 93
While I was studying at an ELCA seminary, the Dean of Students told me that not one ELCA seminary professor in the United States believes Adam and Eve were real people. I have no doubt that statement is true. Sadly, seminary professors’ beliefs are being picked up by their students, who are the current and future ELCA pastors.
Linked at the end of this blog is the list of current and retired ELCA pastors, ELCA seminary professors, ELCA college professors, ELCA seminary presidents and ELCA Bishops who agree with this letter and signed it. Some of the notable signers are: Bishop Tom Aitken (Northeastern Minnesota Synod), The Rev. Hans R. Arnesen (Associate to the Bishop of the New England Synod), Bishop Allan Bjornberg (ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod), Bishop Paul J. Blom - Houston, Texas, Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, The Rev. Stacy Boorn (herchurch), The Rev. Michael Cooper-White, D.D., (President - Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA), The Rev. Jean DeVoll-Donaldson (Assistant to the Bishop/Director for Evangelical Mission Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod), Bishop Ralph W. Dunkin (West Virginia -Western Maryland Synod), The Rev. James Kenneth Echols, Ph.D. (President - Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), The Rev. Paul W. Egertson, Ph.D. (Bishop Emeritus - Southwest California Synod), The Rev. Jim Hazelwood (Bishop of the New England Synod), The Rev. Anita C. Hill, The Rev. B. Penrose Hoover (Bishop - Lower Susquehanna Synod), The Rev. Robert L. Isaksen, (Retired ELCA Pastor and Bishop of the New England Synod), The Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, Kevin S. Kanouse, (Bishop Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod), Paul R. Landahl (Bishop Metropolitan Chicago Synod), Bishop April Ulring Larson (La Crosse Area Synod), The Rev. Duane H. Larson, PhD., (President - Wartburg Theological Seminary), The Rev. Felipe Lozada-Montanez (Bishop of the Caribbean Synod of the ELCA), Bishop Brian D.Maas (Nebraska Synod - ELCA), Bishop John S. Macholz (Upstate New York Synod - ELCA), The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Mansholt (Bishop Central States Synod), The Rev. Robert W. Mattheis (Bishop Emeritus, Sierra Pacific Synod), The Rev. George Paul Mocko (Bishop Emeritus, Delaware-Maryland Synod), Bishop David G. Mullen (Sierra Pacific Synod), Bishop Dean W. Nelson (Southwest California Synod), Bishop Margaret G. Payne (New England Synod), The Rev. Dr. Ted Peters (Interim President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), The Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Schmalenberger (Retired President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), Rev. Robin J. Steinke, Ph.D. (President Luther Seminary), Bishop David R. Strobel (Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod), The Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde (President - St. Olaf College), Bishop Ron Warren (ELCA Southeastern Synod), The Rev. Dr. Howard E. Wennes (Retired Bishop ELCA), The Rev. Paul M. Werger, (Bishop Emeritus - Southeastern Iowa Synod), The Rev. Eric G. Wolf(Assistant to the Bishop of the South Carolina Synod, ELCA), The Rev. Dr. Herman Yoos (Bishop - South Carolina Synod) and Bishop David B. Zellmer (South Dakota Synod).
More than 14500 American pastors signed this letter and over 2400 of them are Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leaders.
Here is a list of all the ELCA leaders who signed the Clergy letter.
To read more about creation, intelligent design or evolution see:
It takes a lot of work to keep this ministry going. Please prayerfully consider supporting the ministry of Exposing the ELCA. Click here to find out how.
Exposing the ELCA has been documenting for years that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's leadership does not believe the Creation account God placed in Scripture. (read about 1500+ ELCA leaders signing a letter in support of evolution here. Also scroll down the page here to find a bunch of ELCA evolution related information)
Let me give you another example from the ELCA's official magazine, The Lutheran -
“It’s hard to believe that any ancient writer would have penned the Genesis story for the sake of recording good science. If that was the author’s intent, he (or they) failed miserably. The early chapters of Genesis make for lousy empirical science. Not that this has kept numbers of Christians from trying to cram every dinosaur jawbone, distant galaxy and Grand Canyon formation into the span of the last 6,000 years.
The Genesis story was never meant to tell us how the world was created. It is rather a masterful treatise for informing us who created this floating orb in its magnificent universe. From the story, we learn that God appreciates beauty, design and order over ugliness, nonsense and chaos. One doesn’t have to tread far into Scripture before discovering that humans were created for relationship with God and one another. These convictions of faith are hardly at the heart of scientific inquiry.” (see here)
The ELCA is trying to discredit the historical account of Genesis in this paragraph because they have decided that God did not, as He said, create the universe in six 24 hour days.
And that brings us to Evolution Weekend! (February 12 - 14, 2016)
The pro-evolution website, "The Clergy Letter Project," which organizes this event says, "Evolution Weekend is an opportunity for serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science."
“Religious people from many diverse faith traditions and locations around the world understand that evolution is quite simply sound science.”
Of course there are ELCA churches participating. They participate "through sermons, discussion groups, meaningful conversations and seminars..." conducted by each individual church.
There are few ELCA pastors that believe the Biblical account of creation (see here). Recently a discussion took place on a facebook page for ELCA clergy that began with an ELCA pastor writing this -
“After teaching introduction to the OT for a group of laypersons in our synod, I was disappointed that one of the ten persons blasted everything I taught about Genesis for her final paper and presentation. It took courage, I think, for her to make her presentation, but she basically said that, if you believe in any form of evolution or if you believe someone other than Moses wrote Genesis or if you believe that the days of Genesis 1 are not literal 24-hour days, you're a godless pagan who goes against scientific principles and sound reasoning. I'm still astonished... and a bit disappointed.”
The comments that followed were revealing:
Last month Antje Jackelén was elected the new archbishop of the Church of Sweden. Antje Jackelén use to teach in the United States at an ELCA seminary. She was a professor at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. “From 2001-2007, Dr. Jackelén taught systematic theology and religion and science...and was director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science.” (see here)
Due to the election process in Sweden, we have the privilege of learning more about this former ELCA seminary professor, including what she believes.
Here is what has been reported:
While a professor of the ELCA, Antje Jackelén signed a letter declaring her support of evolution and rejecting the Biblical account of creation and Noah's ark. (see here) Promoting evolution is something she is known for in Sweden (read here)
I know it will not surprise anyone to also learn that former ELCA seminary professor Jackelén rejects the Biblical authority on homosexuality. She said this during a sermon she gave at the seminary (LSTC):
“Nevertheless, talking bodies and sex is difficult, especially in churches. We need to find holistic ways of talking about sexuality in church – that was one of the take-home messages from an LSTC leadership conference a couple of years ago. 'The church can't deal with homosexuality because we can't deal with sexuality,' claimed Rev. Jeremiah Wright nine months ago standing at this same lectern. He said so at a workshop for medical and religious professionals on HIV/AIDS.” Dr. Jackelén continues, “The incapacity of dealing with sexual love is not a marginal problem. It costs lives. When homosexual men are forced into heterosexual marriages, they are likely to spread a potential HIV infection to their wives. This happens in the Christian family, with fatal consequences. How can a church proclaim love of God and love of neighbor as the greatest commandments and at the same time sacrifice lives on the altar of the hypocrisy of so-called Christian morality?” (see here)
Rev. Paul T. McCain, made this comment following an article regarding the newly-elected archbishop Antje Jackelén:
“This is absolutely gut wrenching stuff. When I first read all this I just felt sick to my stomach. I have friends in Sweden who have been fighting for years against the apostasy that has overtaken the state church.
In some ways, the election of a person who is so openly apostate makes their task 'easier' simply in the sense that the issues are so starkly put on display for all to see.
Oh, and by the way, she has taught at the ELCA seminary in Chicago.
She frankly is simply saying what most every mainline protestant liberal church actually believes. The only 'secret' is that a huge number of laypersons simply are still kept in the dark about the degree to which outright apostasy has overtaken their churches.
Back when I was serving a parish in Iowa, in the early 1990s, a new ELCA pastor moved in and we paid a courtesy visit and as things happened, it was a very cordial chat so a fellow LCMS pastor and I asked her, 'Hey, what do you teach your folks about this?' And we pointed out to the cemetery next to her churches and the rows of tombstones.
She said, 'Oh, the resurrection? It's a wonderful story and so inspiring. Of course, I don't believe in a bodily resurrection of Jesus, but I preach about it, because that's what the people believe.'
We both just stood there in stunned silence for a few moments." (read here)
Most ELCA leaders believe in evolution. Over 1500 of them even signed a document saying so (see here and here).
In fact, last month a group of ELCA pastors stumbled upon my article with the list of 1500+ ELCA leaders who support evolution and a number of them wrote me, one pastor said, “Being an ELCA clergy person, and not being on the list I can assure you that there will be at least one more (me)-- thank you for bringing this to my attention.” Another ELCA pastor wrote, “Thank you for bringing this letter to my attention...I look forward to signing it myself as soon as possible.” Yet another ELCA leader commented, “I am so disappointed that I did not make your 'heretic' list. I do indeed believe what was in that letter that 1,500 of my fellow ELCA clergy signed.” Finally another ELCA pastor stated “I'm happy my name is on your list...”
ELCA leaders are proud of their denial of clear Biblical teaching. They claim they believe “science.” What they truly believe are lies and foolishness. Evolution is not fact as it is not provable, and there is little evidence for it. That's why it continues to be called the “theory of evolution.”
Here is a 30-minute video that everyone should watch; it is changing thousands of people's minds who have previously believed in the theory of evolution -
Evolution vs. God (the video currently has 675,000 views)
You are an animal, so says the leadership of the ELCA. This belief results from the rejection of the historical account of creation told in the Bible. Instead they believe in and teach the theory of evolution as truth. The February 2013 edition of the official magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran, contains an article where we are told that:
“the scientific evidence for evolution inspires some Christians to celebrate God's ongoing and oft-surprising creativity, but it deeply offends others.”
This was written by ELCA seminary professor Gilson A.C. Waldkoenig of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.) and published by the leadership of the denomination in their official magazine.
So lets review what they are saying. We are animals. If you believe the Bible and not evolution, you are foolish, lacking in humility, and idolatrous. That seems backward (and evil) to me, and it should to anyone else whose eyes are not blinded by the enemy.
ELCA leadership, for the most part, believes in evolution. (see here) It seems crazy to me that church leaders and pastors who are supposed to shepherd their flock can twist the clear reading of scripture and outright deny what is says. Seems to me God would know better than they on how He made everything. Yet ELCA pastors and seminary professors revel in their “superior” knowledge and belittle those “simpletons” who believe God.
I get the impression ELCA leaders do not like being called out as evolution supporters and creation deniers. Most of them wouldn’t dare get up in the pulpit and tell you that they believe God’s account of creation is false. They should be challenged on their belief.
That brings me to a written dialog I've been having with an ELCA pastor. This ELCA pastor wrote me and evidently was not happy with a blog I wrote called “ELCA Churches Celebrate Evolution Weekend” (see here).
The pastor at one point said “The Bible is not science and to try and make it so just makes us all look ignorant. Don't be afraid sir, as God has created everything even science. If you must believe that the earth was created in 7 days please don't bash those of us who are not afraid to move into the centuries and acknowledge the findings that bear the real truth.”
I responded by email saying, “Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I disagree with your position on creation and believe it is everyone’s right to know what their ELCA pastor or leadership believes on the issue when they have decided to ‘go public’ with it. It is good to know where your pastor is coming from when they are teaching you.
There are thousands of scientists that believe in Biblical creation and a plethora of evidence to prove that evolution is not good science. Here is a list of 'renown scientists in the past and today' who believe in the biblical account of creation. - http://creation.com/creation-scientists#presentsci
I will leave you with this, 'When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were one day. But, if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.' - Martin Luther, What Martin Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian.
God bless you”
Today the ELCA pastor replied saying “This is not about evolution. It is about common sense.
Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Morning Prayer, LBW, pg. 137”
I responded, “It is not common sense but it is your blind faith in evolution/big bang. You just don't like what God said. Something very common in the ELCA.
Two questions you should ask yourself, 1) do you believe your ELCA pastor's view of creation or God's? And 2) do you want to be under leadership who denies something so clearly stated by our Creator?
The seventh annual celebration of Evolution Weekend took place February 10-12, 2012. It wasn’t an event for a bunch of God-denying atheists. It was an event organized specifically for Christian congregations. Congregations and/or pastors who evidently do not believe God’s account of creation. The Clergy Letter Project, which organizes this annual event, listed over 500 congregations including 50+ ELCA congregations who signed up to participate in Evolution Weekend 2012. The Clergy Letter Project states that “all participating congregations will address the relationship between religion and science, many will focus their attention on the theme selected for this year: an interfaith discussion of religion and science . . . Religious people from many diverse faith traditions and locations around the world understand that evolution is quite simply sound science.” (read here) The Clergy Letter Project is an evolution-supporting, Biblical creation denying group which gathered the signatures of over 1500 ELCA pastors who are in support of evolution. (see here)
The 53 ELCA congregations listed as participants in Evolution Weekend are:
Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church
The Rev. Mary Todd Pendergast
University Lutheran Chapel (ELCA)
The Rev. Jeff R. Johnson
Peace Lutheran Church
Pastor Mark Allert
Lutheran Church of the Incarnation
The Rev. Daniel R. Smith
St. Timothy Lutheran Church
Pastor Clark Brown
Advent Lutheran Church
Morgan Hill, CA
The Rev. Anita R. Warner
First United Lutheran Church
San Francisco, CA
The Rev. Dr. Susan M. Strouse
Living Faith Lutheran Church
Santa Clarita, CA
The Rev. Pamela Challis, Senior Pastor
California Lutheran University
Thousand Oaks, CA
The Rev. Paul W. Egertson
Dr. Jarvis Streeter
Messiah Community Church ELCA
The Rev. Wolfgang Stahlberg
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
The Rev. Paul Carlson
Emanuel Lutheran Church
The Rev. Dr. G. Scott Cady
Lamb of God Church (A Federated Lutheran and Episcopal Congregation)
Fort Meyers, FL
The Rev. Walter Fohs, Senior Pastor
Peace Lutheran Church
Fort Myers, FL
The Rev. Walter C. Still
(see all that Peace Lutheran had scheduled for Evolution Weekend here)
St. Stephen Lutheran Church
The Rev. Russell L. Meyer
Executive Director of the Florida Council of Churches
The Lutheran Church of Our Saviour
The Rev. Jon Keiser
Nativity Lutheran Church
Weeki Wachee, FL
The Rev. Phil Schroeder
Peace Lutheran Church, ELCA
The Rev. S. Blake Duncan
St Paul Lutheran Church
Villa Park, IL
Stephen H. Swanson, Pastor
Indianapolis Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry
The Rev. Dr. Charles W. Allen, Chaplain
Redeemer Lutheran Church
The Rev. Jennifer Owen
St. John Lutheran Church
Pastor David A. Bergstrom
St Paul Lutheran Church
Pastor Dan Kuckuck
St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Rev. Sarah Withers Lewis
Hope Lutheran Church
Farmington Hills, MI
Pastor Brad Gee
Shalom Lutheran Church
The Rev. Rollen Halvorson
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
Bird Island, MN
The Rev. Cynthia M. Hopp
St. John Lutheran Church
Pastor Bob Kaul
Augustana Lutheran Church
Emanuel Lutheran Church
New Brunswick, NJ
Jeffrey C. Eaton, Pastor
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
The Rev. David Rommereim
Grace & St. Paul's Church
New York, NY
The Rev. Martin Hauser, Pastor
Lutheran Care Center
Pastor John Heller
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
The Rev. J. Edward Barrett
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
The Rev. Raymond A. Petrea
Good Shepard Lutheran Church
Pastor Glen Bengson
Hope Lutheran Church
Pastor John Johansen
St. Matthews Lutheran Church
The Rev. Joene Herr, Pastor
First Immanuel Lutheran Church
The Rev. Dr. Melinda J. Wagner
Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Beaver Falls, PA
Pastor Kimberly A. Rapczak
Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village
The Rev. Theodore L. Cockley
St. Peter's Lutheran Church
Pen Argyl, PA
The Rev. C. Frank Terhune
Trinity Lutheran Church
The Rev. Harold Hand
Bethany Lutheran Church
Pastor Michael L. Reist
St. Mark Lutheran Church
The Rev. Sandy Wisco
Redeemer Lutheran Church
The Rev. Dr. Gary Petersen
The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (ELCA)
The Rev. John P. Rosenberg, Lead Pastor
Advent Lutheran Church
The Rev. Dr. Janis Kinens
Our Savior Lutheran Church
The Rev. Catherine A. K. Mode
Cross Lutheran Church
The Rev. Dean Simpson
Trinity Lutheran Church
South Milwaukee, WI
Pastor Bill Mains
Bay Shore Lutheran Church
Whitefish Bay, WI
Pastor Norene Smith
Grace Lutheran Church
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
The Rev. Kent Raddatz
In the 2011 issue of The Lutheran we learn this interesting fact.
“In 2005, the Dover, Pa., school board went to federal court over a conflict about their order to teach ‘intelligent design’ in biology classrooms. Members of the seminary (ELCA’s Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg) faculty were engaged in the controversy, opposing the curriculum.” (see here)
So ELCA faculty members, who teach future pastors the Bible, actively oppose a “theory” of God’s involvement in the forming of this world from being taught in high schools?
People who teach in ELCA seminaries should listen to the words of Jesus, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” John 18:16
The ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod held “Celebrate Earth Day at Bear Creek,” May 1, 2011. During the six hour celebration, the Synod offered an event called “Of Faith and Finches: A Lutheran Appreciation of Charles Darwin.” (see here)
We should ask ourselves, is Charles Darwin a man that our denomination should be elevating? One of the more troubling things about Darwin is that his ideas are based on racism. “The evolutionary ideas of Charles Darwin (1809–1882) destructively influenced many of the Western world’s leaders in the early 20th century. In particular, intellectuals in Germany were among the earliest to embrace Darwinism enthusiastically, and to apply its concept of the survival of the fittest to human society. That is, they applied the subtitle of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859). The most infamous result of this was the Holocaust . . .” (read here)
Why is it that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America appreciates Charles Darwin?
The ELCA’s official website tells us the denomination's position on the topics of creation/evolution/origin of life (it also reveals the ELCA's stance on Scripture.) Their website says,
"What is the ELCA official position concerning the origin of life and evolution? The ELCA has not officially taken a position about evolution. The ELCA teaches that the scriptures witness that all of life is a gift of God. However, the scriptures do not say, for example, how God's creating word, "Let there be...," brings creatures into being. Lutheran tradition has respected the work of the natural sciences in investigating phenomena in the natural world and explaining how they work and how they originated." (read here)
Why doesn't the ELCA take an official position on the origin of life? Scripture clearly says that God created everything in a 6 day, 24 hour period.
And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'day,' and the darkness he called 'night.' And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day. Genesis 1:3-5
Are these verses true or not? It says, "There was evening, and there was morning - the first day." Is God lying to us about that? The ELCA must think so if the denomination cannot agree with this clear statement. Or maybe the ELCA doesn't believe the Bible is from God, but just man’s writings. Either option is unacceptable.
If we look in the New Testament, Jesus statements back up the Genesis/Creation account.
If the ELCA believed in the actual, factual truth of the Scripture . . . if the ELCA believed that God did inspire and have His hand on the writing of all the books of the Bible, they would take an official position and say the Genesis account is in fact true. That is what the Bible clearly says, but as we've seen elsewhere, the ELCA likes to deny whatever parts of Scripture that do not fit their world view.
One author describes the ELCA's view this way, "The ELCA allows for the view that God used evolution to create things. This means that the account in Genesis 1 and 2 do not have to be true for the member of the ELCA. The ELCA teaches the historical critical method of interpretation of Scripture, which discounts the accounts as history and treats them more as poetry." (read here)
The ELCA likes to say they adhere to Scripture, but anyone who looks at the teachings, beliefs and policies of the ELCA can see they deny statements of fact in the Bible, place their own view over what Scripture says, and do not believe God had His hand in and inspired all of its writings.
This is just another example of a church made and run by man, following their own desires and paying lip service to the Creator of the Universe.
Read more about creation and evolution at the links below:
Read more about evolution’s claim to be scientific at:
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