ELCA Bishop Makes Gay Pride Video Saying 'Join Me in Thanksgiving to God for the Open Minds and Open Hearts that Have Helped our Churches Let Go of Ancient Prejudices'
ELCA bishop, Guy Erwin, who is himself gay, recently filmed a video in honor of Pride Month 2019.
In the video, Bishop Erwin shares his twisted view of Scripture and the Christian view of homosexuality saying:
"...the main purpose of the bible (is) bringing us the message of God's love for all humankind, shown in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we resist efforts to use it as a prop for prejudice and hate."
"We oppose all efforts to use our ancient scriptures as a tool to condemn others or separate them from us. We believe God calls us to resist such prejudice, even when it comes from 'religious people' or claims the name of Christianity. And so we support the LGBT+ community as it observes Pride month this month and every month and every June."
"My husband and I give thanks to God for the changes that have led us finally to be able to marry."
"My church, both nationally and here in Southern California, celebrates its LGBT+ members."
"The election of a second gay bishop in the ELCA this summer...is cause for joy for me and the whole church."
"I invite you, whoever you are, to join me in thanksgiving to God for the open minds and open hearts that have helped our churches let go of ancient prejudices. To see the grace of God unfolding in new places."
It seems that the ELCA bishop is saying:
- If you hold to the Biblical teaching that homosexuality is wrong/a sin, you hold to "ancient prejudices" and to "hate."
- And the national church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, celebrates LGBT+ members. That is similar to saying one celebrates its lying members, drunk members, adulterous members. It is good that all are members, but the church should not be celebrating members' sins and their gatherings aimed at celebrating sin.
The North Carolina Synod of the ELCA sent out their newsletter March 5, 2019. It reveals a lot about the synod and where it stands on LGBTQ issues.
One section of the synod newsletter announced Reconciling Sexuality Week, which will be held at the ELCA's Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS). See below.
Additionally, the North Carolina synod shared an article titled, "In this to the end," which speaks to the recent vote by the Methodist Church on gay marriage. The synod email reprinted part of the article which states, "'We're in this to the end,' sang LGBTQ United Methodists and their allies. They prayed. They hugged. They pulled out more chairs as people packed a worship service hosted by the LGBTQ-affirming Love Your Neighbor Coalition on Wednesday morning (Feb. 27) in a meeting room at the Holiday Inn, a day after a three-year-long push to make their church more inclusive had been blocked. Many at the worship service committed to staying in a denomination that voted Tuesday (Feb. 26) to reiterate language in the Book of Discipline, its rulebook, saying LGBTQ people could not marry or be ordained in its churches."
The synod also gave this invitation, "Join us for Theology on Tap weekend" for a "weekend of craft brews."
Previously, Rev. Kevin L. Strickland was the Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA and Executive for Worship. He is married to another man.
Bishop-elect Strickland was recently featured in an article by ReconcilingWorks, a LGBT organization where he recounts:
"For many years, I felt like I was 'broken' as I fought the internal struggle to come out and say that I was gay and to not only do that but then to continue being able to serve as a pastor in this church. I felt shame, brokenness, sense of not being right. Then a dear friend and pastor, reminded me, I was exactly what God created and even in what may feel broken to me, God calls it beautiful. I now can claim that I am a beautifully and wonderfully created child of God who is gay. Being broken-open means I now live free as the person that God created me to be. In that broken-openness, there is such beauty." (See here)
In the ELCA, and world, it is common for people to say that "God made me gay." This is a lie. It diminishes who God is. God does not call sin beautiful. What is beautiful is God's grace and forgiveness in view of our sin.
The ELCA is in rapid descent into darkness, and this becomes more and more evident every week. They brazenly place their own view over that of God and His Word. God is calling His people out of this depraved denomination; if you are remaining, will you heed His call?
Before Rev. Strickland was elected Bishop of the Southeastern Synod, the ELCA's first homosexual bishop, Guy Erwin, tweeted:
ELCA Synod Bishop Kevin Kanouse came out as a homosexual while he was bishop.
Below is Rev. Tom Brock's response to the ELCA election of Kevin Strickland:
ELCA’s New Proposed Standards for Pastors: Bishops Apologize for Offending LGBTQIA Community, Straight and Gay Pastors Should Marry their Partners, Cohabitation is Forbidden, but is Sex Outside of Marriage?
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and speaker at the ELCA Youth Gathering, has stated publicly that she enjoys having sex outside of marriage with her boyfriend. She signed a statement by a group of ELCA leaders called “Naked and Unashamed” which wants to overthrow the old 1990 ELCA rules that said pastors should not have sex outside of marriage.
The ELCA bishops are presently working on a new set of standards for ELCA clergy to reflect the fact that the ELCA now ordains practicing homosexuals. The bishops state::
“We express our profound grief and deep regret for the times when Vision and Expectations (the 1990 rules) has been misused to single out, marginalize, and block people seeking to be leaders in this church when their peers were not always held to the same vision and expectations. This has caused considerable pain that has disproportionately been borne by those who have been historically marginalized or excluded from leadership in the church because of their gender, sexuality, race, or status. We apologize to those whose treatment under this document has made them feel targeted and less than the beloved children of God that they are.”
I think this means, in part, that the bishops feel bad for not supporting practicing homosexual pastors and their partners in the past. That all changed in 2009 when the ELCA voted to allow non-celibate homosexual pastors.
The proposed new statement reads that “Those who serve as (ELCA) pastors and deacons reflect a variety of sexual orientations and diverse gender identities…the greatest sexual intimacies should be matched with marriage. Pastors and deacons, as public witnesses to this church’s respect for marriage, are therefore to live in accordance with the understanding that deepening degrees of sexual intimacy are aligned with deepening levels of commitment to one another and the relationship. Such relationships are to be exclusive, monogamous, consensual, and in the ELCA, require marriage before cohabitation for those serving as pastors and deacons.”
Thus, in this new statement, cohabitation (living together) is forbidden for ELCA pastors. I believe this means that a homosexual pastor living with a partner in a sexual relationship now needs to get “married”. This is tragic. What if the homosexual pastor gets “married” and then later comes to realize that homosexual behavior is sin? But now the pastor has been saddled with a “marriage” at the insistence of the bishops of the Church. This is the strange new world of the ELCA.
And what about a heterosexual pastor like Bolz-Weber who engages in sex with her boyfriend, presumably in a “loving, monogamous relationship”? Since only cohabitation is explicitly forbidden by the proposed statement, is she allowed to continue to be sexually active and face no discipline?
The statement is in its rough draft form and hopefully the language will eventually make it clear that both cohabitation and fornication are forbidden. But we shall see. I believe the greatest error of the statement is telling homosexual pastors they must “marry” their sexual partners.
Back in 2009 the ELCA agreed that the conservative view regarding homosexual behavior would be honored alongside the liberal view. Where is the conservative view being honored in the ELCA today? What if an ELCA bishop were to say “I hold to the conservative view and I refuse to ordain a practising homosexual”? Would such a bishop be allowed in the ELCA?
You can read the entire proposed new statement in the link below at the very bottom. And I hope it will make you consider leaving the ELCA if you are still a member.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
PS If you want to read what ELCA Pastor Bolz-Weber said in a podcast about how great sex is with her boyfriend, I have edited out her foul language below. As you read it, keep in mind she is an ELCA pastor in good standing with the denomination and spoke to 31,000 ELCA teens last summer:
Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber: “But I get together with my boyfriend and start having sex and it was like 'holy s___,’ I was like, it felt like an exfoliation of my whole spirit. I'm like 'This is so good for my brain chemistry, and my body, and my heart. And I’m like f___ man, why in the world would the Church say ‘Don’t do this?’ Like I could tell it was what I needed, and it was so good.”
For new proposed standards for ELCA pastors:
ELCA Pastors Prayed for the Decision of 'Full Inclusion' In The United Methodist Church: Bishop Eaton+ Respond to the Decision
The United Methodist Church (UMC) met this week in what is called their General Conference. On the docket for this week was a vote to allow practicing homosexual pastors and gay marriage. Below are some social media posts by Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastors posting their support for homosexual Methodists and for the same-sex marriage.
The vote failed. Methodists from many countries voted overwhelmingly to stand with God's Word, which calls homosexuality a sin and something of which one should repent.
In response to the UMC vote, ELCA Presiding Bishop Eaton issued a statement where she talked about the ELCA's 2009 vote to "opened the way" for same-sex marriage and practicing homosexual pastors saying, "though a controversial decision at the time, our 2009 action has brought strength and blessings for our life and mission beyond what we could have imagined a decade ago. This church treasures the faithful ministries of those rostered leaders who help us witness to God's love and invitation for all people. Their ministries are integral to who we are as this church." (See here)
Before the Vote
After the Vote
An ELCA seminary:
An ELCA church:
Savanna Sullivan, an ELCA employee and the Director of @ELCAYoungAdults -
ELCA Pastor Melissa Bills -
Dan Glamann, Retired Assistant to the Bishop, Central States Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) -
An ELCA church:
ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber -
ELCA Pastor Norma Cook Everist, "Distinguished Professor of Church and Ministry emerita," Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. -
Published Jan. 31, 2019 in the Lake Mills Graphic
This letter is in response to the discussions happening over having same-sex marriages performed at Salem Lutheran Church, as there are two gentlemen seeking to be married there. God loves these two men immensely. That is 100% true. And He loves everyone reading this. We are undeserving of His love. Jesus Christ came to offer us all salvation and forgiveness of sin. We all need that forgiveness.
Sadly, the people encouraging same-sex marriages are encouraging people to embrace something God does not desire for them. God speaks specifically in the Bible, saying to not engage in same sex relationships. It is one of a host of sins of which God has lovingly warned us to refrain and from which to repent. That doesn’t mean He hates people with same-sex attraction, just the opposite; out of love He wants the best for them and that is not found in homosexual love.
Christ defined marriage to be between one man and one woman. God’s Word also says sex should not be between people of the same gender. He has defined what is good and what is not, for our good. When we sin, as all do, He says, “Turn away from your sins, because the Kingdom of heaven is near!” (Matthew 4:17) Repentance is “turning from sin.” I don’t know why some have same sex attraction and some are susceptible to other sins, but God desires to give people the power to refrain from it and wants us to help one another do so.
When we sin, there is forgiveness with repentance. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32), and in the New Testament book of Acts we read, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19). As Christians, we should not enable or bless sinful behavior but lovingly encourage people to repent, to turn away from sin.
One of the foundational questions in this conversation is “What is the loving thing to do?” Love leads people to the Lord where we receive truth, promises, a relationship with Him, freedom and so much more. Love invites people to repent, of any sin, so as the verse from Acts above says, “our sins may be wiped out,” and we will be refreshed. That is love. That is grace. Those are promises that invite us to truly live.
It is out of love for the people of Lake Mills and of the LGBT community that I write this. Sadly, and discouragingly, those who share this Biblical understanding are often labeled as “not loving” and worse. I care about these two gentlemen, and it would not be right of me, Salem Lutheran Church or anyone else to bless or encourage people to embrace something God says not to do.
(See letter here)
A bit of background information:
- I know one of these gentlemen who is seeking the same-sex wedding. When the two men posted a video on Facebook talking about their hope to have a wedding at this ELCA church in which one of them grew up, it seemed that everyone who responded, encouraged them, and I wrote to them saying much of what was in this letter to the editor.
- I grew up in this town and went to this church for a few years before moving.
- The church, Salem Lutheran, has had a hard 10 years. After the ELCA's 2009 votes allowing homosexual weddings and pastors who are practicing homosexuals, this church voted to not allow gay weddings. But the church stayed in the ELCA. Now after a decade of turmoil, the church is revisiting the issue. In fact, I've been told by a couple people that the congregation recently voted to allow gay weddings.
- Let this be a warning to all ELCA churches who think they can ignore the heresy and false teaching in the denomination, believing that it will not affect them.
Rev. Steven P. Sabin was, up until a week ago, the pastor at Christ Church Lutheran in San Francisco, CA.
(See below and here)
In 1998, ELCA Rev. Steven P. Sabin was “removed from the ELCA clergy roster for being in a committed, same-sex relationship while serving as pastor at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Ames, Iowa.”
In 2010, Rev. Steven P. Sabin was "welcomed back" into the ELCA and to the ELCA clergy roster. This happened because of the ELCA's 2009 decision allowing practicing homosexuals to be pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
When reinstated, Rev. Sabin said, "For two decades, many have been grieved and alienated by the ELCA's exclusion of gay and lesbian pastors blessed with loving spouses. I hope and pray that they can, like me, lay aside the hurts and take hope from the gracious power of God to renew and direct the church into evermore faithful and effective proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that this will be the beginning of a new period of evangelical outreach for the ELCA aided by our new witness to the forgiveness and grace of God truly being for all people...Like the psalmist, I can only observe with awe and gratitude: 'This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.'" (see here)
Pastor Sabin served as one of the primary ordaining clergy in the ELCA's first ordination of a transgender pastor. See video below. Also participating in that ordination is the pastor of the ELCA's goddess worshiping church, herchurch.
Latest Living Lutheran magazine: Prayer can include coloring mandalas…and how to be a gay-friendly church
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
The most recent edition of Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has an article about “Seeking the Spirit Within”. It states “Prayer can include coloring mandalas, using beads, meditating over a piece of Scripture, walking a labyrinth or repeating a name or phrase.” A mandala is a ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe, which is used for the purpose of meditation and trance induction. So why is the ELCA promoting this? Repeating a name or phrase over and over is also part of Buddhist meditation (think “Om”), but where does Jesus ever teach us to say a word over and over in order to meditate?
This is called syncretism, taking non-Christian practices and beliefs and mixing them together with Christianity. It is what got the ancient Jews in trouble when they tried to mix Baal worship with the worship of Jehovah. The ELCA needs to remember the words of the First Commandment regarding syncretism: Thou shalt have no other gods.
June is gay pride month and Living Lutheran devotes a whole article to ways your church can be gay-friendly. Don’t talk in Sunday school materials about mom and dad since we need to “remember your same-gendered-married couples.” Get a gender-neutral bathroom in your church. Celebrate gender identity and transition (changing one's sex) in your fellow Christians. Don’t say Christian “brothers and sisters” since this excludes non-binary and transgender people.
It appears the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has swallowed the GLBT agenda whole. Living Lutheran no longer allows the conservative view on homosexuality to be even heard.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
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.
(The following article was written a couple years ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here. At the end of his article, you will find a few additional comments by me.)
Adam Philips is pastor at Christ Church in Portland. He says he is an evangelical and proud of it. He wrote in the Huffington Post that he believes the Holy Spirit led the nation to affirm gay marriage and the Church should do the same. He writes "I...leaned into prayer, I heard the Holy Spirit's call loud and clear: I am doing a new thing in your midst. Come. Taste and see."
That is much too close to the unforgivable sin, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible which says that homosexual behavior is a sin (for all the verses see my article "What does the Bible say about homosexuality?" at pastorsstudy.org). The Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself. But this pastor thinks the Holy Spirit told him something new.
I remember years ago when I was still in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 1997 the ELCA voted to interchange pastors with the United Church of Christ. Before the vote a pastor publicly asked President Thomas of the UCC "Why does the UCC ordain practicing homosexuals?" He responded that the Holy Spirit led them to do this. I went up to President Thomas afterward and said that I wondered if that wasn't the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Yes, a "spirit" led them to do that, but it wasn't the Holy Spirit.
The Good News is that Pastor Philips' denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, has severed ties with Pastor Philips and his church. The Bad News is that his view can be preached and taught in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church in America and the United Church of Christ. And all these denominations are shrinking.
Pastor Tom Brock
Here is an example of it being taught in the ELCA. From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's official magazine it says:
“In 2009, we in the ELCA, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, found ourselves at a kairos moment to recognize more of God’s people under a bigger tent and a larger table when we adopted “Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust,” the ELCA’s 10th social statement, with editorial amendments, at part of our churchwide assembly… The LGBTQIA community had always been part of God’s chosen people, and the Holy Spirit finally gave us the temerity to stand with them through our public proclamation.” (see here)
Last week hundreds of Christian leaders signed a statement that stood in accord with Biblical sexual guidelines, the “Nashville Statement.” (see here) The “Christian” left threw a fit. They do not agree with Biblical standards on sexuality and gender.
Enter the darling of the ELCA, beloved by bishops and highly sought after speaker, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. She quickly reacted with a counter statement, called the “Denver Statement,” that outlines how far the ELCA has slipped from God and His truth.
In the statement Pastor Bolz-Weber writes:
- “WE DENY that God intends marriage as a gift only to be enjoyed by those who happen to be heterosexual, cis-gendered and fertile.”
- “WE DENY that the only type of sexual expression that can be considered holy is between a cis-gendered, heterosexual, married couple who waited to have sex until they were married.”
The popular ELCA pastor seems to be saying homosexual sex and heterosexual premarital sex can be holy.
She goes on:
- “WE AFFIRM that the glorious variety of gender and sexual expression is a reflection of God’s original creation design and are aspects of human flourishing.”
So according to Nadia Bolz-Weber, God made people homosexual and a host of different (made-up) genders.
- “WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is outside the natural goodness of God’s original creation…”
- “WE DENY that it is sinful to approve of queer identities and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.” (see here)
After reading Nadia’s “Denver Statement” a signer of the “Nashville Statement” wrote,
“It is always good to see what someone who has little ability to understand Scripture in its historical and literary context has to say about God's will. (I say this seriously, not sarcastically.) It gives us a window into her own theology divorced from the witness of Jesus and the apostles.”
Another person commented,
“I knew exactly what I was getting into when I saw it was Nadia Bolz-Weber. The unabashed way in which her statements discard even the semblance of Biblical alignment, and merely package regressive humanism, is still pretty bracing.
I find the Luciferian (and I use that word advisedly) manner in which she recasts and perverts the Biblical perspective to be quite brazen. It's one thing to hold an incorrect and confused view, but to stand up and make a declaration like that... plainly rewriting truth before your eyes... stunning. And lest anyone think I overstate the case, her Luciferian alignment is proudly displayed in para 1 of her rewritten preamble where she expresses agreement with the spirit of this age - clearly flaunting it before the scripturally literate by putting herself on the other side of 2 Cor 4:4.”
Not one ELCA leader signed the Bible-abiding Nashville Statement.
A recently passed resolution by the New England Synod Assembly says the following:
"Be it resolved that the New England Synod memorialize the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to initiate a process to amend the phrase 'bring all people to faith in Christ' in C4.02b and its constitutional parallels in order to achieve greater consonance with both our understanding of Christian witness and sensitivity to our interfaith contexts." (see here)
They want "to amend the phase 'bring all people to faith in Christ...'" What kind of true Christian denomination and Christ-following church leadership would want that? None.
A resolution like this is the result of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's radical rejection of the truth of Scripture. When leaders in the ELCA teach universalism, that there is no hell, and their missionaries do not seek to convert the lost, why not remove the phrase “bring all people to faith in Christ” and all similar words from ELCA official documents? Watch to see if this comes up in upcoming ELCA churchwide assemblies and other synod assemblies and if the resolution passes.
Additionally, at this year's Oregon Synod Assembly, there was the “Adoption of a bylaw allowing congregations to send additional Voting Members to Assemblies who can speak to us about concerns of the LGBTQIA community.” (see here)
Is this like stacking the deck? They are allowing churches to bringing additional voting members specifically because of their supportive view on LGBTQIA issues. I wonder what pro-homosexual, pro-transgender initiatives will result from future Oregon Synod assemblies? As if they were not liberal enough. The same people who passed this resolution would throw a fit if someone presented a resolution saying the synod should also allow congregations to send additional voting members to assemblies who hold traditional views of marriage and can speak to heterosexual concerns.
(The following article was written a few days ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Today I spoke to a man whose wife is a popular staff member at a Protestant church whose church council recently voted to affirm homosexual marriage. A lesbian couple recently joined the church and he and his wife are wondering if she should resign. The pastor is more conservative but unwilling to make a bold stand. So I encouraged them to leave politely but loudly. I shared that if they leave quietly no one will know why they left. They need to create a good problem of forcing the liberal leadership to deal with its unbiblical decision. Letting everyone know why they left might encourage others to leave for a more Biblical church.
Some time ago I received a letter from an ELCA Lutheran in northern Minnesota. She sent me her pastor's "coming out" sermon in which he announced to all--children included--that God had led him into a relationship with another man. He shared how overjoyed he was that God provided this partner.
These are very strange days for the Church. If you are in an unbiblical church and are considering leaving, pray about it of course, but I encourage you if you leave, leave politely and loudly. You may be the means God uses to wake other people up.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
As in the past, the current February 2017 issue of "Living Lutheran" of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues to attempt to normalize homosexual behavior and transgenderism in the Church. One article "I'm a Lutheran" highlights a Lutheran choir director who talks about his "husband". Another article is entitled "Equal participants in the body of Christ: LGBTQ members find home in ELCA congregations". It talks about a homosexual man with a "husband", how they encountered homophobia, and how they found acceptance in an ELCA congregation. The article also highlights the ELCA's first officially ordained transgender pastor. She is a woman, who has "transitioned" and whom the article refers to as "he".
Back in 2009 when the ELCA decided to ordain practicing homosexuals, it made no such decision to ordain transsexual pastors. But that has not stopped the ELCA leadership from doing so. Also, the 2009 decision acknowledged that there is a difference of opinion among ELCA Lutherans, some believe homosexual behavior is sinful, and some do not. Both views are to be allowed in the ELCA. But the view that homosexual behavior is sinful, to my knowledge, has never received print in "Living Lutheran". The conservatives who are left in the ELCA--which are fewer and fewer--need to request a balance. How about articles sharing how conservative congregations deal with loving people with same-sex attraction while still maintaining the Bible's teaching homosexual behavior is wrong?
And the ELCA continues to decline. The current issue also talks about the state of ELCA's seminaries, which are facing declining enrollment, financial problems, layoffs and the need to merge to stay alive. The seminaries' problems have become more acute since the ELCA's 2009 homosexual decision. More and more people are leaving the ELCA, with their money.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Over the past year I have been come across a number of comments by ELCA pastors who are calling the 2009 ELCA policy on homosexual pastors “discrimination” for allowing congregations to refrain from calling or considering a practicing homosexual pastor for their position. The same ELCA leaders also view the congregation's decision to not consider a sexually active gay pastor to be discriminatory. Read the following comment/question to ELCA Bishop Bill Gohl by ELCA Pastor and moderator for the ELCA Clergy Facebook page, Clint Schnekloth:
“…the current policy established in 2009 would allow congregations from excluding candidates who are in committed, same-gender relationships. Are you saying that you won't allow congregations in your synod to exercise that form of discrimination, even though it is enshrined in our current polity?
If so, I commend you, but I wonder, will you also work to change the discriminatory policies we adopted in 2009, and work for full parity for all rostered leaders?” (see comment section of the Bishop’s blog here)
Another ELCA leader, Libby Howe, responded to Rev. Schnekloth saying:
“Thank you for this question. As one responsible for the mobility process in my synod, I am troubled by the way that the 2009 decisions permit, in fact encourage, congregations to codify discrimination. Not only that but they also require pastors to disclose their sexual orientation to the synod office (who is bound to honor the discrimination of congregations) whether or not a pastor wants to.”
And Pastor Jason Churchill said:
“To name the exclusion of any candidate based on race, color, gender, or sexuality by the church is nothing less than to name it one of the greatest sins we have committed against the Creator.”
So according to many ELCA leaders a church is “discriminating” against homosexuals if they do not want an unrepentant practicing homosexual as their pastor. I don’t see how anyone who believes Scripture, that homosexual activity is sinful, can feel welcome or safe in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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