ELCA pastor Lura N. Groen has been highlighted on Exposing the ELCA many times. She is one of the most radical and heretical ELCA pastors I have come across. (See here and below for a number of things she has been saying. Some of it is blasphemous and vile.)
With that said, Pastor Lura N. Groen has been endorsed and placed into postions of influence and leadership by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Below are some writings and social media content from Rev. Groen. Sorry for the shocking and odious content. How can the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leadership allow someone, who speaks and believes as this pastor does, to rise in their leadership ranks? How can they allow Rev. Groen and many ELCA pastors like her, to mock the One True God?
The ELCA is culpable and responsible for this. They allow it and give it a platform in their midst.
The true God of Scripture is not the God the ELCA serves. The Holy Spirit does not dwell in it.
Continuing from Rev. Lura N. Groen's article posted above "I Hope You Have Only Good Sex" (see the complete article here), she writes, "This is, for me, an open expression of a deeply faith based sexual ethic. My Christian way of saying the same thing is to hope that each of you has sex in way, and only in a way, that is set free to love God, self, and neighbor. And that every time you have sex you respect the image of God in yourself and in your partner(s). That you treat yourself and every other body involved as holy, a temple, beloved by God, created beautifully, fearsomely and awesomely made."
Some of Rev. Groen's comments get even worse:
In the next post Rev. Lura Groen shared an article titled "What Promiscuity Taught Me About God's Love." The article was from QueerTheology.com.
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(The following article was written last year by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Bishop Herbert Chilstrom was my bishop for years before he became the first presiding bishop of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America back in 1988. My heart sank back then when he became head bishop because I knew of his liberal views. He later became a champion for the acceptance of homosexual relationships in the ELCA. And his view won the day in 2009 when the ELCA voted to ordain practicing homosexuals and to allow gay "weddings". Near where I live is an ELCA church where the male Lutheran homosexual pastor has a "husband" who is an United Church of Christ pastor. This is the new world of the ELCA.
This month Living Lutheran, the ELCA's national magazine, is presenting a five-part series by Chilstrom on the authority of the Bible. His first article says this:
"If the Spirit of God is alive and at work in the church in every age, should we not expect that new insights into our understanding of the Bible will emerge in our own generation—or from the experience of believers in the world?"
These words remind me of a conversation I had years ago with a liberal Lutheran pastor on the subject of homosexuality. I pointed out the clear teaching of Romans chapter 1 forbidding homosexual behavior. His response: "The Holy Spirit is leading us to a higher consciousness on this issue than the Apostle Paul had in the First Century." In other words, the Holy Spirit today is contradicting what He inspired the Apostle Paul to write in the First Century.
The most liberal Protestant denomination is the United Church of Christ whose motto is: God is still speaking. I'm afraid this means "Yes, God spoke against certain things in the Bible long ago, but God is saying new things to the Church today." This understanding of Scripture allows you to get around any Bible verse that you don't like. And it is tragic, perhaps near blasphemy, to say that the Holy Spirit is the one leading the liberal, mainline Protestant denominations to embrace the world and reinterpret Scripture.
The answer to all this, of course, is to remember the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible and He will not contradict Himself 2000 years later. The Lutheran Reformation was founded upon the Latin phrase "Sola Scripture" which means "the Bible alone" has the final authority. Would that liberal Protestant leaders remember that and not try to imagine a Holy Spirit who contradicts the very book He has inspired.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
See the article quoted above here.
Jessica Davis is an ELCA leader. She is a chaplain for the #decolonizeLutheranism group, an organization formed of mostly ELCA leaders, and a signer of the "Naked & Unashamed Statement" which was also written by ELCA leaders. Jessica Davis was also part of a discussion panel that included the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see here)
If there is any doubt that the devil is alive and well in the ELCA, read the following from a blog written by Jessica Davis:
“All it did was remind me that the spirit of G-d is a slut. She gives exactly no shits about respectability, about who she’s supposed to be with, about the right time and place and manner in which to make an appearance. She comes and crashes the party, when and how she wills, in whatever body she chooses, and most of the time, she helps you come too.
And it is from all her heavenly thotery that revolution is born. She opens her legs and invites us in, there to dwell in the house of the Lord. And today, it is enough.” (see here)
That is vile, blasphemous and demonic.
Jessica Davis is an example of the type of leadership that is enveloping the ELCA and embraced by them. It is truly disturbing.
Below we see the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America disseminating a video of Jessica Davis on the ELCA-administrated "ELCA Reformation 500" Facebook page.
The time to flee the ELCA is now.
The "Spirit" Led the ELCA to Endorse Homosexuality, Bashing the President, and Turning Ezra on Its Ear...All in One Article
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
The below article is from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's national magazine. Note how the author thinks the Bible was wrong in forbidding foreign marriage in the book of Ezra. Even more tragic, note how he believes the Holy Spirit is responsible for the ELCA's 2009 decision to affirm homosexuality.
The darkness and rebellion in the ELCA is becoming greater and greater.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
(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)
If you are an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America member who believes Scripture, that homosexuality is a sin and that marriage is only to be between one man and one woman, then you are at odds with your denomination. You are the target of a propaganda effort by ELCA leadership to push their pro-homosexuality viewpoint on you and your family. The ELCA, by way of their institutions, publications and social media (among others) are bombarding people with their false, anti-scriptural, pro-LGBTQ view. Let me show you some examples.
The ELCA magazine Living Lutheran wrote an article titled, "Equal participants in the body of Christ: LGBTQ members find spiritual home in ELCA congregations." In the article you will find three pro-homosexual stories and one pro-transgender story. (see here)
The ELCA, through Living Lutheran, also published this pro-homosexual article titled, "A dad’s concern." (see here) It is written by an ELCA pastor.
The ELCA Gulf Coast Synod tweeted that "LGBTQIA people are good & holy & made in the image of God.” See below.
Another article from the ELCA’s Living Lutheran website says, “We want to ensure that LGBT individuals are in the fabric of our church and that it is never questioned.” (see here)
The ELCA's Metropolitan New York Synod published an article on their website about two of their synod churches participating in gay pride marches. They title the article "Pride: conversations and connections." (see here)
The ELCA synod's article claims falsely, as so many in the denomination do, that the ELCA's social statement, "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust," is “grounded in scripture and Lutheran theology.”
The article also says that a resolution was brought to the “. . . 2017 Synod Assembly that asks us to have deeper conversations with one another ‘that will seek to cultivate and nurture listening to one another’s stories, concerns, and fears, especially concerning issues of human sexuality and the call for full inclusion of all on the gender spectrum.’" (here is the link to this resolution)
One month ago the presiding bishop in the ELCA wrote this moral and political social media post:
Then the ELCA Facebook page followed up with this today:
And here we have the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at the Metro D.C. Synod Assembly with a rainbow banner, a symbol of support for homosexuality, front and center:
The ELCA Young Adults' Facebook page chimes in:
The cover page of the June 2017 issue of Living Lutheran highlighted a teenager who won a contest with a doodle of "eight diverse teenagers lined up in an over-the-shoulder embrace. On their shirts were symbols of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, LGBT pride, gender nonconformity and disability rights." (see here, front page and page 17)
(Former) ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson made a video (below) where he talks about bullying of gay people for "being the people God created them to be."
The shot below sat on top of the page of an ELCA Facebook group that has almost 14,000 members:
The red sign in the above picture declares, "Queer Saints."
The founder and moderator of this 14,000 member ELCA Facebook group, Rev. Clint Schnekloth, wrote an article for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette saying,
“June is Gay Pride month, and I'm taking a moment to proclaim loudly and proudly how thankful I am for the increasing number of Christian faith communities who celebrate LGBTQ+ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer] lives, and who partner with them to deepen our shared Christian walk of discipleship.”
He goes on, “LGBTQ+ people are leaders in our congregation, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, and in our wider denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They serve on council, teach our Sunday school classes, are called as pastors and much more.” (see here)
Just a couple of weeks ago the ELCA's Lower Susquehanna Synod posted a page on their website detailing their becoming an RIC synod, which means they are accepting and supporting homosexuality, as well as LGBT participation in church leadership. The page included a number of videos and additional information in support of their message. (see here)
Below is a social media post by the ELCA's Sierra Pacific Synod in support of people marching in Gay Pride events:
Another Living Lutheran magazine article by the ELCA tells us:
"The (sic) can also be said of same-sex couples who are seeking acceptance in a congregational setting. All congregations are supposed to be welcoming, but there’s a difference between lip-service and genuine acceptance and hospitality. Eight years ago the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted in support of LGBTQIA folks both as rostered leaders and members within the church body, yet how many of our congregations make a point of posting visible signs of welcome to this community? Better yet, how many congregations are willing to have a Pride Sunday in addition to Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations?" (see here)
The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a seminary of the ELCA, posted this on their Facebook page:
Below is a response to an Exposing the ELCA post from Mike Rinehart, bishop of the ELCA's Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. Notice his view of those with an accurate historical and biblical view of this issue.
Here are a number of other Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Living Lutheran articles presenting homosexuality in a positive light:
Here is another pro-homosexual article from the ELCA magazine Living Lutheran. As you can see below it was shared by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Living Lutheran Facebook pages:
Friend to Exposing the ELCA, Rev. Tom Brock, recently wrote about the above ELCA article and shared his concern over the ELCA's pro-homosexual agenda. Here is what Pastor Brock wrote:
No surprise here: Yet another ELCA article promoting gay pride.
Gus Barnes, Jr., a seminarian of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, writes a June 25th article for the Living Lutheran website, the official magazine of the ELCA. He writes:
"I am now back at Wartburg (Seminary); will marry my spouse, Steve, this summer; and will finish school by the first week of February. My faith is strong, knowing the challenges I may face in the future. My inner pride is carrying me through the journey to ordination....This pride flows through me, a gay man in an interracial relationship. This pride keeps me grounded in my faith daily..."
There has not been one article with a conservative viewpoint on homosexuality in "Living Lutheran", but there have been an abundance of articles like the above painting transgenderism and homosexuality in a positive light. In 2009 the ELCA agreement was to respect both conservatives and liberals on this issue. Living Lutheran has given no space to the traditional, Biblical point of view. The abundance of pro-gay and pro-transgender articles shows that Living Lutheran's leadership has an agenda and the powers that be in the ELCA are allowing them to push their agenda through the ELCA's national magazine.
Yet one more example of why members of the ELCA should leave this erring denomination and join a more biblical branch of Lutheranism. ELCA offering dollars help support Living Lutheran.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
(See Pastor Brock's article here)
Pastor Tom Brock had this to say in another blog:
“Around the country, ELCA churches are often found marching in some of these lewd parades. The ELCA has a practicing homosexual bishop in southwest California who has a 'husband' And last year the ELCA's executive for worship (a 'married' homosexual pastor) came out with official materials so that ELCA pastors can perform gay 'weddings.' The ELCA materials declare this blasphemy: 'God joins this celebration, pouring out the Holy Spirit to bless your marriage...' ELCA presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton called the materials ‘faithful.'" (see here)
Below is a small taste of all the pro-gay messages happening from individual ELCA pastors and churches:
Here is another:
Next is the popular ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber's church:
This ELCA Pastor tweets:
Then you can read this newspaper article about a tiny ELCA church which mentions them being an RIC church here.
Lots of ELCA Lutherans marching in this Gay Pride parade:
This ELCA church makes a public witness by marching in a gay pride parade and posting their pictures for the world to see. (see here and below)
How sad and evil that ELCA members, both straight and those struggling with same-sex desires, are being deceived and bombarded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, pushing their pro-LGBT agenda. An agenda that stands in direct opposition to God and His Word.
(The following article was written a number of months ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Today I walked inside the Philadelphia Convention Center where back in 1997 I watched the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America convention vote to pay for abortion, for any reason, with offering dollars in its healthcare plan for pastors and their families. Some of us tried to change this abhorrent practice and we lost the vote by a two-thirds majority. This ELCA policy remains the same today, your offering dollars can go to kill unborn babies.
At the same convention the ELCA voted to interchange clergy with the very liberal United Church of Christ. Before the vote a delegate publicly asked the UCC President "Why does the UCC ordain practicing homosexuals?" The UCC President replied that "the Holy Spirit" led them to do this. I went up to him afterward and wondered if he had perhaps blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I believe a spirit led the UCC to do what they did, but it wasn't the Holy Spirit. He said he would have to think about that. Today in 2015, the ELCA, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church in America, and the Disciples of Christ and have decided to follow the UCC in its decision to ordain practicing homosexuals. They follow the world, not the Word.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
(The following two articles were written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Pastor Lee Hallstrom is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He preached a coming out sermon to his Minnesota church saying:
“In this journey, its been amazing to see the grace of God at work. One such example is in having someone special in my life. His name is Dennis. Actually it's the Reverend Dr. Dennis… (another pastor)…I was trying to help a _friend find a partner and amazingly I'm the one who receives a partner. I believe the only thing wrong with Dennis is he is not Lutheran!… Dennis thinks I'm far too “Christo” centered (Can’t help being a Lutheran)….I’ve come to see these givens as an amazing display to us of God’s creativity. We have a God who happens to love diversity! Again, please know that no one would choose being gay.”
I personally know what this struggle with same sex attraction is about (see my article “My struggle with same sex attraction” at pastorsstudy.org). I also know the Bible is clear that homosexual behavior is a sin. We may not choose our temptations in life but we do choose what we do with them. Deciding to get a partner and engage in homosexual behavior is indeed a choice.
Now 80 percent of Pastor Lee’s congregation has voted to allow homosexual “weddings” at the church. Pastor Hallstron was interviewed by the local newspaper and defended his position. From the article:
“Hallstrom responded to some of the arguments against the church’s position.
“We, as an ELCA church, take the Bible very seriously,” Hallstrom said. “It’s our authority for faith and life. We realize those five to seven references to homosexuality in the Bible don’t speak of homosexual orientation. They don’t speak of two people wanting to love each other in a committed relationship.”
Another argument Hallstrom has heard suggests the ELCA, and the local congregation, is “caving in to culture” or “whitewashing the Gospel.”
“No, we’re saying, ‘What does the Gospel say to us through the power of the Holy Spirit today through God’s Word?’” Hallstrom said. “That’s very important to me because I don’t want people to think we’re irresponsible with the Bible.”
Instead, he suggests interpreting the Bible contextually and asking, “What would Jesus do?” “Jesus said absolutely nothing about this issue in the Bible, so it leaves us with Jesus’ life,” Hallstrom said. “He spent his earthly ministry largely including the excluded of the day.”
My response: Those “seven references” to homosexuality happen to be God’s Word on the subject. It is not true that these verses do not speak of two people wanting a loving, committed relationship. There were many homosexual relationships in the ancient Roman world and the Apostle Paul condemns them all as “shameless acts” in Romans 1:26-28, saying they are “against nature.” He doesn’t add “But its okay if you love each other.” (see here)
Hailstorm brings in “the Holy Spirit today” in his defense of homosexuality. It is common for liberal pastors to say that the Holy Spirit is saying “something new” to the Church about homosexuality. But for that to be true the Holy Spirit would have to contradict Himself since He is the one who inspired the writing of the Bible. And did Jesus say “absolutely nothing” about this issue? Read Matthew 19:4-6 where Jesus refers to marriage as between one man and one woman. It is true Jesus never explicitly addressed homosexuality, but He never addressed rape or incest either. We are not to interpret His silence as approval. Jesus was a Jew who believed in the Old Testament teachings on such issues.
So what we have now in the ELCA is a Lutheran pastor in the pulpit who preaches to his church about his homosexual partner and defends homosexual behavior in the local newspaper. I will say it again, this ain’t my grandmother’s Lutheran church. If you are a member of the ELCA I highly encourage you to take you time, talent, and money and join a denomination which honors Christ and the Scriptures.
If you or someone you love struggles with homosexuality, please go to restoredhopenetwork.com and see if there is help in your area. You can also view TV shows I have done on my struggle with same sex attraction at pastorsstudy.org
Sincerely in Christ,
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.)
Another “don’t miss” according to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s website is a blog from Kristin Berkey-Abbott, a lifelong Lutheran and college professor. It is entitled “Reforming our metaphors for God.” In recent years it has become “enlightened” to get rid of the Bible’s “offensive” metaphors for God. For some this means getting rid of the “sexist” language of God as Father. Some would also like to get rid of any military language the Bible uses for God. Berkey-Abbot has written about getting rid of God as “mighty fortress” found seven times in the Bible (Psalms 18:2, Psalms 16:1-3, 2 Samuel 22:2, etc.). It is also found in Luther’s most famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress”.
She writes of the Bible’s “problems”:
"Earlier this August, our congregation’s sending hymn was “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”…The imagery is fierce and militant. While some might find that comforting, I wonder if it’s the best metaphor for God. I know the history of the time period in which Luther lived, work and wrote. I know that God as fortress, as bulwark (to use the older language), as sword and shield might have been remarkably effective for those listeners.
But I am weary of wars of all sorts. I’m weary of the horrific images from wars fought in other countries….I’d like different imagery.
I realize that the Bible is full of rich imagery, but it has problems, too. I think of all the agricultural metaphors and bread metaphors. Do they speak to people who have never made a loaf of yeasted bread? …If I were to write a hymn or a poem or a parable to explain my understanding of God to a person who has yet to meet God, what metaphors would I use?…
A quilt would make an obvious metaphor for both God and the church. I like the idea of a crafter taking scraps of cloth and making them into a larger item that has both beauty and utility. The God I know would combine fabrics into new patterns. The God I know would delight in bits of lace, ribbon and some interesting buttons as adornments."
Berkley-Abbott lists other metaphors that she would like to use for God and concludes with this:
"I could go on and on, but let me stop here. It’s a fun exercise to do alone, and I imagine it would be an even more interesting exercise to do in a group. It’s a different way to talk about God, and if the metaphors work, it’s a different way to know God."
My response: Since when are we free to invent new metaphors for God? God has revealed Himself in the Bible as “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” and also as “Redeemer, Rock, Fortress, etc.” If we do not like these metaphors for God, it is not that something is wrong with the Bible, it is that something is wrong with us. We would be putting our own opinions and imaginations above the authoritative truth of Scripture. I love worshipping God as my Father and Fortress. I have no desire to worship God as my quilt.
Pastor Tom Brock
(read the ELCA article here)
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
The official website of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has listed some “Don’t miss” stories for its readers. The first listed is the story of Bishop Kevin Kanouse, Bishop of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod of the ELCA, who announced his homosexuality to teenagers at the ELCA’s national youth assembly this summer. He has stated that “the Holy Spirit” led him to do this. He told the teens that earlier in his life when he was struggling with God’s call, God said to him “You a**hole, why aren’t you listening to me?”
What has happened since his coming out? “The support …and love I have received have been amazing…Perhaps 98% of emails, letters, texts, notes, phone calls, and conversations have been positive. Some have told how their mind has changed as a result of my courage in coming out…”
What an indictment of the ELCA, that 98% of those writing him have rejected the Bible’s teaching regarding homosexual behavior to embrace the bishop’s “courage.” No, Bishop Kanouse, it would have been courageous of you to say “I have this temptation, but I believe this behavior is contrary to God’s Word.” But the bishop didn’t say that. Instead he encouraged young people to embrace homosexuality.
The bishop writes “the majority of teen suicides are caused by depression and fear over issues around gender identity and rejection.” He cites no study to support this statement, but even if it is true, could not the culprit be not “society’s condemnation” but that there is something inherently depressing and destructive about homosexual acts themselves? Given the liberal climate of the ELCA, it would have been courageous for the bishop to encourage teens to abstain from homosexual behavior, but he didn’t do that.
The bishop writes “Among the first comments I heard when I sat down after delivering my sermon at the Youth Gathering where I came out was: “You saved some lives today.” That brought tears.”
No, bishop, perhaps your sermon damned some lives that day since I Corinthians 6:9-11 states that those who continue to live in impenitent sin, including the sin of homosexual behavior, will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
The bishop continues to share the results of his coming out sermon: “Soon another pastor said: “One of my girls came up to me and asked if I would mind if she talked to our youth group tonight about her own sexuality. She has never told anyone that she is a lesbian.” So the bishop’s message of accepting homosexuality is spreading to ELCA youth groups.
The bishop writes of more results of his coming out:
“Said one pastor: “…my bible study group (made up mostly of people over 70) spent the entire hour telling stories of people we knew or to whom we were related who were gay or lesbian. We talked about how times have changed. We laughed together and we cried together and in the end they wanted me to tell you (bishop) that you are always welcome to come to our church …”. That kind of heartening response has been repeated over and over again.”
Next the bishop writes:
“A mother and father pulled me aside… with tears in her eyes (the mother) told me of her daughter…who had come out to her as a lesbian… She said: “I have prayed every night: ‘God change her. God change her.’ Then I read your (bishop’s) letter and subsequent story about your experience and I picked up the phone and called her right away. I apologized to her and reassured her that I love her.” Their daughter had pretty much dropped out of church some years before, perhaps because of this reality in her life, but the following Sunday they were in church, all three of them.”
So the point appears to be “Lets get people back in church by telling them their sin is okay.” The truth is that liberal churches which do this are shrinking and conservative churches which uphold the Bible’s teaching are growing. And where is the bishop’s concern for people’s eternal salvation? There are more important things than pleasing people and getting them to attend an heretical church.
Lastly, the bishop states “if God can and does love us as we have been created, with all our uniqueness and individuality, how can we as a church reject anyone? Indeed, how can we continue to live with self-hatred, doubt, and rejection? Since God loves us as we are, created in God’s own image, we indeed are freed in Christ to love ourselves unconditionally. That is a new acceptance of grace for me and from me toward others who are LBGT.”
My response: Yes, God deeply loves us sinners, but wait a minute, bishop, what about original sin? The Bible (Romans 5:12, 15-19) and the Lutheran Church teach we are born in sin and need to be redeemed from sin. This bishop seems to say we are all born wonderful and have no need to repent of whatever “uniqueness” we have. No, bishop, we are to do what the Apostle Paul writes “If you are living according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13). Tragically it appears the bishop is using his influence to teach that homosexual sin is not really sin, so no need to repent. Again, if I Corinthians 6:9-11 is true, what the bishop is doing is not loving, but damning.
I know what this struggle with homosexual temptation is about. I encourage people to read my story entitled “My struggle with same sex attraction” at pastorsstudy.org Also read my article there “What does the Bible teach about homosexuality?” The difference between my position and the bishop’s is the difference between the Bible and the world, truth and falsehood, light and darkness.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
(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 following is by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.
The April issue of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's official magazine, The Lutheran, has on its cover "Helping Save the Earth". The articles inside are about saving the planet. Yes, we should be good stewards of the environment, but I got to thinking: When is the last time The Lutheran had a cover article "Saving lost human souls through the Gospel of Christ"? I have never seen such a cover. Maybe because the ELCA doesn't know if it believes people are really lost without Christ. The Lutheran has printed a number of articles espousing universalism, the heresy that faith in Christ is not necessary for salvation (ultimately everyone universally will be saved, Christian or not). Where in the ELCA is the zeal for saving lost human souls? Tragically, I believe it has been replaced with concern for saving the planet, changing immigration laws, Middle East politics, gay advocacy, etc. etc. Just go to ELCA.org and look at its "News releases". Its mainly liberal politics. Perhaps the reason the number of ELCA missionaries has dropped dramatically since the ELCA's founding in 1988 is because many in ELCA leadership do not believe in Hell anymore. And in the ELCA's hymnal, the line in the Apostle's Creed that Jesus "descended into hell" has been left out.
Years ago when I was still in the ELCA, some conservative pastors and I went to our Minneapolis Area Synod conventions every year and raised questions like: Why does the ELCA pay for abortion with offering dollars in its healthcare plan? Why is the ELCA promoting homosexuality? Why are we changing the Biblical "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" language for feminine images of God? One year we even had a resolution reaffirming the Bible's teaching that Jesus is the only way of salvation (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). It lost.
What did pass one year was a resolution that we go back to our churches and encourage that we drink coffee out of ceramic cups because styrofoam cups are dangerous to the environment. I could take it no more and got to the microphone: "If we cared half as much about the dangers of hell as we do about the dangers of the styrofoam cup, there might be hope for this synod."
Well, in three days we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, when He triumphed over sin, death and Hell for us. And yes, according to the Bible and Jesus Christ Himself, Hell really does exists.
In the love of our Risen Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
Over the past day I've been getting a number of comments in support of Dr. Wil Gafney, an Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, an ELCA Seminary. The people writing recently found a blog I wrote back in May regarding a blog written by Dr. Gafney where she posted a picture of Jesus as a female. (read my blog here) Those who commented thought the picture was great. They expressed that Dr. Gafney is a wonderful professor and attempted to justify what she did and wrote. Many of them justified the female Jesus picture by pointing to the verse where Jesus says, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” - Matt. 23:37. Somehow, because Jesus referenced a female chicken, these people think Jesus was a woman.
Some of the comments I received:
From an ELCA pastor – Dr. Gafney's “. . . teaching and preaching build up the faith and instill a deep interest in knowing more about our Scriptures, something you sadly know nothing about. Go and educate yourself.”
From another ELCA pastor - “Do you honestly have so little imagination that you cannot see that God is greater than gender, color or race? Your God is too small, too white and too male as far as I can tell.”
“I am so glad that ELCA pastors in training are being taught by Dr. Gafney. Too few seminarians are learning robust feminist and womanist theologies . . .”
“I think Dr. Gafney is one of our most gifted and prophetic voices in our church.”
“It troubles me that my beloved church may actually have paid for your education which you are now abusing in order to propagate such flawed and hateful statements. Shame shame on you.”
“Clearly the author of this reflection is at best novice and at worst ignorant of how social realities impact theological reflection. Please spend time doing something more productive than objecting to the scholastic innovation that comes from Dr. Gafney.”
“I think the Christa image is beautiful and thought-provoking.”
“The Rev. Dr. Gafney opens up, by her meticulous scholarship, access to images of God that are not only scriptural but deeply needed in a world that is increasingly polarized by racist, sexist and homophobic agendas.”
Most of the people who support Dr. Gafney's female Jesus picture are liberals who warp Christianity and Scripture to their own liking so much so that many of them do not even worship the God of the Bible anymore. In their lost-ness, they would likely still sing Dr. Gafney's praises even in view of the professor's belief that Asherah, a Canaanite goddess, is the Holy Spirit. (see here) I'm not joking. As you can see, that is what she believes. Is this thinking and foundation for teaching “scholastic innovation” and “meticulous scholarship?” No. It's heresy! People in the ELCA need to know what is happening in their church and what their leaders are teaching.
I'm sure you all know by now, The Rev. R. Guy Erwin was elected last week by the Southwest California Synod to be their bishop. He is the first openly gay bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The denomination and liberal press are so proud. The Southwest California Synod quickly sent a press release that announced, "The bishop-elect is a partnered gay man whose participation in the leadership of this church was limited before the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly decision. Only since 2009 has the church allowed LGBT persons in committed partnered relationships onto the ordained roster of the ELCA." (see here)
Bishop Jim Gonia of Rocky Mountain Synod was so excited, he starting blogging about the election while he was sitting in the Southwest CA assembly after watching it take place. You should read what he says. I am greatly disturbed by it. ELCA bishop Jim Gonia credited the Holy Spirit for Rev. Erwin's election victory. He said, "When the final vote was taken amid the Scripture readings and prayer that accompanied each round, there was no doubt in my mind that the Assembly as a whole was making its choice. . . based on the leading of the Spirit who was helping to identify the right person for this role in this part of the church at this time." Bishop Gonia also said, "I will continue to give thanks to the Spirit for leading our brothers and sisters in Southwest California to choose the right person for this chapter of their life and for the sake of our shared witness in the world." (see here)
It is blasphemous to claim the Holy Spirit inspired the vote of someone who is openly and unrepentantly living in sin.
God tells us in His Word, "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." - 1 Timothy 3:1-7
The ELCA continues to place their thoughts above God's thoughts, their ways above God's ways.
Below are some articles about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America electing their first openly homosexual bishop:
I thought the ELCA was supposed to respect it's members who have taken the Biblical position that homosexuality is a sin and practicing homosexual pastors should not be ordained. They have not. (please look around this website for proof that the high church continually promotes the homosexual agenda) Now read this, in the May 2013 issue of the ELCA magazine Gather, under an article with a section titled “The Spirit Guides New Visions” the author, speaking about a specific ELCA congregation, wrote “That same congregation...trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit...became known for supporting people in same-sex commitments and even agreeing that it would consider calling a pastor in a committed same-sex relationship before it was officially sanctioned by the churchwide assembly of the ELCA in 2009. Some congregations have Spirit-led mission baked into their DNA!” (Winds of Change, by The Rev. Dennis Bushkofsky, page 15)
If the mentioned ELCA congregation was being led by the Holy Spirit in their homosexual stance, as the ELCA magazine states, doesn't that mean that those who disagree with them are not being lead by the Holy Spirit? How do you like that orthodox ELCA members? Your denomination is saying you are acting in opposition to God if you do not believe like they do.
It must also be noted that the ELCA magazine is taking the position that homosexuality is good. This message is sent right into the living-rooms of ELCA members across the nation. That is not respecting the “bound conscious” of many ELCA members and congregations who disagree. Remember how the ELCA said that the 2009 decision who not effect you? The ELCA is using all its resources to promote their belief that homosexuality is God given and good.
Please pray for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Berlin, PA. On June 2 the congregation will be voting on their church affiliation.
Pray for Bethel Lutheran Church in Holdrege, Nebraska. On June 4th at 1:30 pm Bethel will go to court to defend itself from a lawsuit brought by supporters of the ELCA. (see here for background information)
An ELCA church is bringing in notorious heretics to speak in November and the ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod is promoting it -
"Dr. Marcus Borg & Dr. John Dominic Crossan
at Messiah Community Church, ELCA, Denver (see here)"
Read about Dr. Borg here and Dr. Crossan here.
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