(The following article was written 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.)
Elizabeth Eaton, the head Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said in an interview that there may be a Hell, but she thinks it is empty. Contrast that to the teaching of Jesus, who said in a number of places that there is a Hell and there will be people going there (Luke 16:19-31, for example). Bishop Eaton is tragically wrong. Is it any wonder that Bishop Eaton spends time talking about transgender rights, racism, immigration, etc. but to my knowledge has never talked about the need to believe in Jesus to be saved from Hell. Some time ago she was quoted to say that it is not the business of the Church to save souls, that is God's job. Yes, Bishop Eaton, but Jesus has given that job to the Church in His last words on earth (Matthew 28:19) to "Go ye therefore and make disciples".
As long as liberal Protestant leaders like Eaton disbelieve Jesus' words on Hell, liberal mainline denominations will be all about political causes, and will neglect the main thing Christians are called to do: preach the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation (Acts 16:30-31).
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Here is the response from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton when she was asked, "Is there a hell?" -
Eaton: “There may be, but I think it is empty.”
Interviewer: "Why is that?"
Eaton: “Well, Jesus was clear in John chapter 3 that when He is raised up he will draw all people to himself. And if we take a look at salvation history, ever since we got booted out of the garden, it has been God’s relentless pursuit to bring His people to God. Now, people wonder “can you say no?” I imagine you can say “no” to God. I don’t think God is going to give up on us. And if God has eternity, than God can certainly keep working on those folks. So that might be a little bit of a heresy along the lines of Origen, but no, I don’t think God gives up.”
If you doubt that the ELCA teaches universalism, here is the ELCA's presiding bishop making it clear. If hell is empty, all people are saved. That is universalism. It is a dangerous heresy, a false teaching, which puts individuals' eternal destiny at risk: faith in Christ is not needed. Live it up, worship other gods, reject Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will still go to heaven according to the ELCA's top bishop.
Of course, the Bible directly says this is not so. Heaven and hell are real and people and angels will populate both. It is time to flee this false-teaching denomination. They are playing with people's eternal lives. They are not telling them the truth of how to be saved. This could not be more serious. Tell your friends and family so they are not led astray either. Share this and pray they will read it and see the truth.
(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.)
Francisco Herrera, a graduate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's seminary, Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, doesn't like that John 3:36 teaches that those who reject Christ will be lost. So, in an obscenity-laden "Advent devotional", he says this to the Apostle John:
"...if the God that we serve would condemn such gorgeous souls to eternal torment, let that God stand accursed — and you with him!"
You heard right, this ELCA leader curses John--and God – for teaching that those who reject Christ are lost.
I have read many heresies, but this is one of the worst. Please pray for this man's soul. He is one more reason people should leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for a more biblical denomination.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Read Francisco Herrera's words here. This was all part of an advent devotional put out by two ELCA pastors, Tuhina Verma Rasche and Jason Chesnut. Note: Language Warning. The advent devotional's title is below).
(If there was any doubt how horrific and vile these devotionals are, take a look at the headings of the following days "devotionals.")
Here is another example of the Scripturally ignorant, false teaching pastors the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has placed in ELCA congregations.
Karen K. Torrez is a pastor in the ELCA. She posted this cartoon on her Facebook page.
There is a lot wrong with the cartoon the ELCA pastor posted. Those reading it could deduct false doctrines:
- all of the "gods" of other religions are equal to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- belief in Christ is not necessary.
- all religious teachings are the same.
- all religions point to the same god.
- "love" is what is most important.
- Mohammad was about "love."
...To name a few.
The ELCA allows pastors who believe this evil garbage to pastor in their denomination.
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him in your house and do not give him a greeting: for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deed. - 2 John 9-11
Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (WELCA) went on Twitter and Facebook this week claiming the Son of God made errors.
God's Word says,
If this isn't proof enough that the ELCA has a false view of Scripture and God Himself, I don't know what it will take to convince you.
(Update: It looks like WELCA deleted the tweet I originally posted. It was the same as above except it included this comment "Today is the 15th Sunday after Pentecost. Jesus corrected his errors; how will you do the same?" They have not remove this comment from Pinterest yet, you can see it here or I have taken a screenshot of it and posted at the end of this article).
This teaching is widely taught in the ELCA and widely accepted by ELCA leadership.
Just a few days ago ELCA Pastor Cindy Muse of Calvary Lutheran Church, West Chester, PA begins this video asking, "Was Jesus a racist?" Please view this video. Later, after claiming she is "Shocked" by Jesus' words she says "Jesus just uttered a racial slur."
Here is a blog from a couple months ago with two more ELCA leaders (a seminary professor and a pastor) making similar claims.
ELCA.org published a post by ELCA pastor Bob Chell, Sioux Falls, SD, on this same topic and he writes “Jesus is being rude and dismissive to the woman he encounters. That is the simplest and, I believe, best explanation.” (see here)
WELCA's Pinterest post -
Exposing the ELCA has written extensively about the dangerous and non-Biblical belief and acceptance of the teaching of universalism ("a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved") within in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Just last week well known ELCA pastor/author and highly sought after speaker, Nadia Bolz-Weber revealed that she believes all people will be saved.
Rev. Bolz-Weber was interviewed by the online journal Religion & Politics:
“R&P: Would you consider yourself a universalist? Does everyone get saved in the end?
Universalism is a dangerous teaching. (Read here) But once again we see a leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America professing it. (not to mention ELCA websites and publications that do the same)
Check out what ELCA pastor Bolz-Weber then says when asked “Do you think the future of the Church involves synthesis with other faiths?”
“Syncretism has always been part of Christianity. There’s a reason why the Virgin of Guadalupe is huge in Mexico, and it has to do with the goddess religion that existed before that. I don’t think it’s something to fear. I think it’s the way that Christianity has survived. It lends itself in a sense towards it. And that’s why it can exist in so many different places in so many different forms.”
Adhering to other religions (which are false) or mixing other religions with Christianity is not a problem to people like Bolz-Weber because their understanding is that everyone will go to heaven anyway, according to their universalistic belief.
All this being said, (and all that we have reported on Nadia Bolz-Weber in the past – see here and scrolled down) Rev. Bolz-Weber still calls herself “orthodox.” From this article, Rev. Bolz-Weber says “I’m this really orthodox Lutheran theologian.” Oxforddictionaries.com defines “orthodox” as “Following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or beliefs of a religion, philosophy, or practice.” I, for one, wouldn’t call Nadia Bolz-Weber orthodox.
(The following articles were written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Tonight I attended a Saturday evening worship service at an Episcopal church. Second only to the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church in America is filled with the worst heresy in American Christendom. Their head Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori has likened the Holy Spirit to White Buffalo Woman in Native American spirituality. In a sermon she chided the Apostle Paul for casting a demon out of a girl in Acts 16, instead Paul should have recognized God within her. And the Episcopal Church has the retired Bishop John Shelby Spong who writes books denying the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the miracles of the Bible, Christ's substitutionary atonement, Christ's bodily ressurrection, etc. etc.
So why did I attend an Episcopal church? Because you can still find good, Biblical Episcopal churches and I love their worship and the fact that they serve Holy Communion weekly. The church I attended tonight is a good church with a Biblical pastor who does not go along with the craziness that has come to characterize American Episcopalianism.
But I was sad tonight. Nowhere in the service did the pastor mention what happened to America this week. Not a sentence in his sermon, not a prayer lifted up acknowledged the fact that America as abandoned the God-ordained institution of heterosexual marriage.
I don't get it. Or maybe I do. Serving a church for 29 years, I know how hard it is to preach against, say, divorce and remarriage, when there are remarried people in the pews. Perhaps the pastor knew of a parent or a grandparent who would be offended for their homosexual child if he took a stand for traditional marriage. I know its hard. But, please, we have to do it. If we love people, we have to preach the truth. And God will hold us accountable if we don't.
So I ask you to pray that your pastor has the boldness to lovingly mention in the services tomorrow what happened to America this week. One reason we now have homosexual "marriage" in America is because good, Biblical Christians have been too quiet. Maybe even send your pastor an email tonight or mention before the service tomorrow "Pastor, could you please pray today about America this week and that we need to repent as a nation?"
One last thing. Did you ever think you would see the White House lit up in the gay pride rainbow colors like it was last night? Such a clear sign that we are asking God to judge us.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
This morning I worshipped at a congregation of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. The Missouri Synod, in contrast to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a good, Biblically-based denomination. The Missouri Synod is strongly pro-life, whereas the ELCA pays for abortion for any reason with offering dollars in the ELCA healthcare plan. The Missouri Synod takes a stand against homosexual marriage and homosexual behavior, whereas the ELCA ordains practicing homosexuals.
So what happened today at this Missouri Synod church? Did the pastor address what the Supreme Court did this week by forcing homosexual "marriage" on all 50 states? Not a word in his sermon. But coming up in the service was the prayer time. I sat in the pew and prayed that he would at least bring it up during the prayers. Again, not a word. I left so sad.
It was a nice service. Nice music, nice message. But I couldn't help but think of what an old white-haired Lutheran pastor said many years ago "We are nicing people right into hell."
I came away affirmed in my belief that one big reason we now have homosexual marriage in the United States is the silence of Biblical pastors who are afraid to offend people. I think of what happened in Minnesota in 2012 when conservative pastors were asked to sign a statement affirming an amendment which would have preserved traditional marriage. Relatively few would sign it.
So now we have what we have. May God have mercy,
Pastor Tom Brock
The evidence accumulating against the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America teaching universalism (that all people are saved) is overwhelming (see here and scroll down here). Sadly, there are many ELCA members who are in denial, ignorant of this fact or do not know that the teaching is non-biblical. That is why I continue to compile evidence in hopes that God will open the eyes of these members so that they will see the dangerous false teaching coming from their denomination.
Today I'd like to share with you three more instances of the ELCA teaching universalism. The first is from the self-promoting ELCA preacher/author/speaker Nadia Bolz-Weber. During a sermon given October 2014, the stench of universalism filled the sanctuary when Bolz-Weber preached, “So I believe with all my being that those who leave this world, even by their own hand, are held in the same pure love of God from which they were born. If they could not feel the truth of God’s love in life, they are surrounded by it in the life everlasting.” (see here)
The second comes from Rev. Scot D. Ruffatto of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Mukwonago, WI (ELCA) who writes:
“Just a thought, if there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus does that also include God’s apparent favoritism in the Bible? Or even the condition of having to believe?” (see here)
And lastly, from Matthew Frost, a Ph.D student at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
“I make no secret of the fact that I am a universalist, and a very particular one. I believe that the whole creation is in fact redeemed in Christ, without concern for moral change, ontological change, or 'regeneration.'" (see here)
Rev. Stephen Bouman, executive director for congregational and synodical mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) recently attended a meeting designed “to maintain religious dialogue and seek action together for peace” between "Iraqi Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Turkmen and Kurdish religious leaders." The ELCA news service reports that at the gathering Rev. Stephen Bouman said “A second tenant [sic] is that no one gathered has special access to God; there is no absolute inside track to God.” (see here) Maybe Rev. Bouman has never read or doesn't believe what Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This was posted on a conservative pan-Lutheran facebook page about an ELCA church in the Portland, OR area.
“Yesterday, I went to a Lutheran church and we said a different 'creed': We believe in God, who is like a good mother or father, near to us, and strong to help us. We believe in Jesus Christ, in whom we see God: He is for us the way of truth and life. We believe in the Holy Spirit, whose life is in us, giving us new life and healing strength for our spirits. We believe our faith is a confident trust in the truth and goodness of God. We believe our hope is a power, to fill the present and the future with deepest meaning. We believe our love is the means by which this faith will be made real in our lives. Glory be to God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
This post received many replies. Here are a few of them:
Later the person who wrote the original post about the church creed replied -
“...I should have realized that it was going to be a different type of service when the first hymn we sang was 'All Creatures, Worship God Most High!' (ELW 835) that included wording such as brother sun, sister moon, brother wind, sister water, brother fire, mother earth, and sister death.”
You read some interesting things when you peruse an ELCA clergy Facebook page. Here are a few dandies from pastors in the ELCA:
(About the Truth of Scripture)
(Again about the Truth of God's Word)
(About what Christ said in Scripture)
(About what God has said in Scripture about creation)
(Again about God's creation account)
The above quotes come from a closed Facebook group and some of them can be viewed at this link (here) if you are a member of the group.
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) is an ELCA seminary that is charged with the responsibility of teaching and preparing the future leaders and pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bible-believing Christians should be outraged at what is being taught at LTSP.
Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney is an associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at LTSP, and she has some very non-Biblical and heretical thoughts and teachings which she imparts to her students. Dr. Wil Gafney writes -
“Jesus said to a woman kneeling at his feet begging for help for her child, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” Did Jesus just call that woman a b----? I know this is Jesus and we’ve been trained to read him and hear him religiously, more than religiously, divinely, incarnationally. But where I come from you cannot call a child a dog without calling her mama a dog and you cannot call a woman a dog without calling her a b----.”
“And I’m standing up to Jesus, talking to and about women like me using language like that.”
“Apparently even Jesus needed a little help”
“How human, how divine is your Jesus? Is he human enough to be bigoted and biased? Or does your preconceived notion of the divinity of Jesus mean that whatever he said was holy.”
This ELCA seminary teacher is posing the thought that not everything the Son of God said was right, true and holy. At the same time she is presenting to future ELCA pastors that Jesus was bigoted and biased. (read here)
An additional quote from the seminary professor is this, ''The image of God is old, young, strong, weak, pregnant, infertile, nursing, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, straight and crooked, saint and sinner.” (read here)
Let's be clear: there is no sin in God. Sin is not an element of God's nature, yet this ELCA professor is stating that it is. She is saying God is a sinner, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered. Humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) but our sinful ways are not part of God.
“False,” “dangerous” and “heretical” are words that describe the teachings of the Jesus Seminar. Those are also words that describe many of the teachings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. So it will come as no surprise to many of you to learn that the Northwestern Minnesota ELCA Synod is promoting a conference by the Jesus Seminar. (see here) The seminar will be hosted this month by the ELCA's Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Ministry Center at the University of North Dakota.
A writer from the Institute on Religion & Democracy attended a recent Jesus Seminar gathering and reports of the heretical utterings made by the seminar speaker:
The Jesus Seminar is teaching “doctrines of demons” and the ELCA is accountable for encouraging people to sit under this teaching.
Universalism, the belief that all people will be saved, is prevalent in the ELCA. But an article in the ELCA's official publication, The Lutheran, shows us that universalism has gone from “a” belief, to “the” belief of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA has announced to its readers that the universalism is the doctrine the denomination is now built on.
The ELCA article “Who Gets Saved?” is written by pastor Peter W. Marty and he writes:
Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock responded to The Lutheran article on Facebook saying, “If anyone doubts that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pushes the heresy of universalism--the teaching that all people will be saved whether they believe in Jesus or not--see the article...from The Lutheran, the ELCA's official magazine. Tragic what the writer does with John 14:6, turning the teaching of Jesus on its ear. The author's point is that you don't really need faith in Christ to be saved. John 14:6, Acts 4:12 and 16:31 teach otherwise. No wonder the number of missionaries the ELCA sends out has gone down. If everyone is saved, no need to send missionaries.”
The other day a came across another ELCA pastor publicly proclaiming universalism. ELCA pastor Scot Ruffatto in Mukwonago, Wisconsin (former missionary of the ELCA to the Central African Republic) writes this on his church's blog:
People will be going to hell for eternity because the ELCA has embraced the teaching of universalism and as a result are not proclaiming the Truth of God's Word which says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” - John 3:16-18
See more documentation of the ELCA teaching universalism. (here and here)
An ELCA pastor wrote the following on an ELCA facebook page which was discussing the movie "Son of God" -
"Not a great title in this era of increasingly aware inter-faith-sensitive folks who see Christian History as a history of violence done toward peoples of other faiths because Christians believed that their spokesperson or prophet was the Son of God (misunderstood to mean that Jesus was God). Son of God was originally attributed to Ceasar. The Christians wanted all to know that their allegiance was NOT to Ceasar, but to the Holy One to whom this itinerant Rabbi pointed. The One who sent me, Jesus would say. In other words, we need to make a theocentric move here in order to show consideration for our Muslim, Jewish, Hindhu, Buddhist....and all other friends. These kinds of Christocentric obsessive movies just continue to give the rest of us Christians a bad name." (reported by Lutheran CORE here and originally post from a closed ELCA facebook group here)
It is this pastor and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that give Christians a bad name, but worse than that, they are leading people away from Truth, God's Word and Faith in God the Son.
The ELCA must worship a God that has no power. A God that can not do miracles. A God that has to make up a birth story of His Son to make people believe He is special. A God that can not create a child in the womb of a virgin. That is the powerless, lying god of the ELCA.
Here is what the ELCA and many ELCA leaders are saying about the details of the birth of Christ -
A Pew Research Poll this week reports that "Roughly three-quarters of adults (73%) say they believe Jesus was born of a virgin.” (read here)
But the people who are suppose to disciple us do not believe what God tells us in the Bible? Something is wrong here folks!
Denying Scripture is not just an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America problem, just look to the ELCA's liberal Lutheran twin to the north. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) pastor Dawn Hutchings has this to say about the Nativity account,
"For this story is a parable and like all parable’s it represents a truth that cannot be fully expressed in words. Like all good parables the truth is not to be found in the details, but rather in the Spirit of God that breathed life into the parable. " (read here)
Not believing the virgin birth account, Pastor Hutchings speculates that Jesus was the result of Mary being raped. She writes,
“Some say the evidence is clear, if you’re willing to see it. After all there was a large cohort of Roman soldiers encamped near Nazareth. The people of Nazareth had participated in an uprising against their oppressors and the Roman’s had raided Nazareth in retaliation. There are numerous Jewish accounts of Roman raids that include details of strategic rapes. Could our young heroine be the victim of such a rape?” (read here)
This Christmas (and beyond) please, please stay clear of these Bible-denying Lutheran denominations.
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