A Top ELCA Leader Calls Updated Travel Ban 'Racist and Xenophobic' and the ELCA Posts This on Their Social Media
President Trump's updated immigration policy, which applies heavy restrictions on immigration from certain countries, is being branded as racist by a top Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leader. A recent ELCA Facebook post shares an article written by Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Kathryn Lohre and highlights the quote,
"We are denouncing this policy not only as anti-Muslim, but also as racist and xenophobic..."
The updated policy added the following countries to the United States immigration restriction list: Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, Sudan and Tanzania.
The ELCA has always been against the "travel ban," but they cheapen real racism and xenophobia by trying to brand this policy as such.
The fact that one of the top leaders in the ELCA wrote this, and the ELCA chose to share and highlight this quote in their social media, should be concerning to all.
(The following is a past article written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
The official magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Living Lutheran, is ever promoting the homosexual agenda. The January 2018 issue talks about “Christ’s radical inclusivity at the table” as a reason some are promoting the LGBT movement. The issue tells us that next month an article will be devoted to Reconcilingworks, the pro-LGBT group which enlists Lutheran congregations around the country to identify as LGBT friendly.
Another article talks about yoga and drumming. It quotes an ELCA pastor who said she “had a deeply profound experience of God’s presence following a yoga class.” She “combines the Hindu practice of yoga with Christian devotions”. Over 35 Twin Cities congregations use her yoga class for “God’s healing presence” through yoga. A yoga class member said “Sometimes I think the whole group is experiencing something at the same time. I believe its the Holy Spirit.”
Another article talked about claiming “our womanist ethic”. Another article on “transformation”—which to me sounded more New Age than Christian—talks of waiting “in stillness and silence” until “your soul will reveal the wounded parts of you that need healing and restoration. Your soul will reveal the false selves you’ve crafted.” The article does not mention transformation through prayer and Bible reading.
And yet another article gives a one-sided view of immigration without exploring that there might be good reasons for upholding immigration laws.
All in all, it was what I have come to expect from the official magazine of the ELCA, which some say really stands for “the Extremely Liberal Church in America”, or, “Every Lutheran Confession Abandoned”, or, “Everything Luther Cautioned Against.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Fox News ran a 5-minute panel discussion last Sunday about the ELCA's decision to be a sanctuary church body. (See video here) That video was no doubt seen by more people than my website has reached in 10 years. Because of the ELCA's actions and publicity they garnered this week, the ELCA has managed to upset hundreds of thousands (probably more) of their members. ELCA bishops are getting an earful from these members and appear to be in panic mode, writing and disseminating letters to try to undo the damage this decision and this publicity has caused. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here for just a few examples.)
One concerned, former member sent me a letter that the person sent to the ELCA:
"What the ELCA has done regarding its 'sanctuary' designation this week is another sign of a culture committing suicide.
I'm no theologian, but I know that Jesus exhorted his followers to "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's"; meaning that in the civil sphere you follow the law.
I think if Christians want to try to alleviate the suffering of poor people, they should go directly to where the poor people are in person - or send private donations.
The ELCA - the church I grew up in, by the way - is wrong to encourage law breaking that affects our American compatriots outside of the ELCA.
My old church now is taking a stance that will worsen the quality of education for Americans in the public schools, and put great pressure on municipal, state and federal budgets for education, health, infrastructure, pensions and so on. The ELCA's stance also will tend to drive up housing costs for everyone. Further, it will drive down wages for the poorest and most vulnerable Americans.
As I see it, going forward the ELCA owes us all financial compensation. Unfortunately, the resources of the ELCA almost certainly don't amount to even one percent of the costs its irresponsible and wanton promotion of illegality will impose on American society.
The ELCA is no longer so much a mainstream Lutheran denomination as a bunch of radical and myopic economic terrorists hellbent on eroding the rule of law and foundation of order and prosperity in our still-great country that millions have sacrificed so much to build and protect.
I am saddened that an important aspect of my upbringing - the ELCA - no longer makes me feel happy and proud but ashamed and anxious."
The day the ELCA declared itself a sanctuary church body, many ELCA leaders celebrated. Below are some social media reactions from ELCA leadership and supporters who celebrate the decision:
Radicals are in charge of the ELCA. A few days ago, the ELCA came out on social media stating, "As ELCA Ammparo and ELCA Advocacy we encourage you to stand in solidarity with our immigrant neighbors. Therefore, we urge you to contact local leaders in your jurisdiction and urge sheriff and police not to participate in raids or cooperate with ICE in sharing information about immigrants at risk. (... and do urge police non-cooperation with ICE in the anticipated terrifying raids upon our neighbors)."
The ELCA, by way of their departments named here, tell people to contact various Local Governments and Law Enforcement, urging them to not cooperate with other law enforcement agencies that are working to enforce the laws of our land. They are equipping people with scripts to aid in communication and dissemination of their agenda. The various scripts say similar things. Here is a quote from an ELCA-provided script, "...in light of the Trump Administration’s recent threats of mass arrests of immigrants next week, I want to make sure the XXX government does everything in its power to protect our residents. That means: 1) absolutely no coordination between XXX law enforcement and ICE;...3) the XXX jail must end its policy of notifying ICE when an inmate with an immigration detainer is released; and 4) no detention beds may be made available to ICE, even temporarily. Thank you." (See here)
Below is ELCA pastor Jayne Thompson who tweets to a U.S. Senator "...Please go to Clint, TX or Homestead, FL or any ICE detention center/prison and visit the children incarcerated and abused the hands of the/our/your/my government. Sincerely, your new constituent, ELCA Pastor Jayne M Thompson"
Betty Rendon is an ELCA Synodically Authorized Lay Minister at an ELCA church and received her Masters of Divinity from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). A few days ago, she and some family members were arrested by ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
So far we do not have many details about the incident, except what ELCA entities are saying. It all started with a one-sided account from Betty Rendon's church. You can read it here.
Then the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's presiding bishop began tweeting about the situation.
A letter about the situation was posted by the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) from President James Nieman, Dean of Student Services Scott Chalmers and Pastor to the Community Erik Christensen.
In the letter they call the United States' immigration policy "racist." Here is the quote (see below also), "This incident brings into painful focus the ongoing need to reform this country’s racist, violent, and inhumane immigration system."
Of course, ELCA Advocacy had something to say. Below is part of an email they sent (see the full email here):
ELCA partner, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service commented:
"This is absolutely heartbreaking and shameful behavior on behalf of ICE officers. LIRS will pray for and advocate for the just treatment of Pastor Rendón and all those who find themselves in her position."
Some of the readers of the LIRS Facebook post commented saying, "We are becoming like a Hitler state..." "I am ashamed of our country..." "ICE equals deliberate cruelty." "ICE has no humanity....this is like the Nazi era." "We are very close to becoming a communist nation, Trumps SS is ICE. The time is near for all Americans to March on Washington!" "Abolish ICE." "Our government is looking more and more like murderous criminals." "ICE is disgraceful."
A newspaper article titled ICE allegedly arrests Racine student pastor; Vigil planned for Wednesday can be seen here.
A seminary classmate of Betty Rendon added his 2 cents:
Benjamin Stewart, a Professor & Director of Advanced Studies at LSTC tweeted that the "family was terrorized & separated":
ELCA pastor Chad McKenna writes "#AbolishICE":
From ELCA Pastor Paul Eldred:
The DE-MD Synod tweeted:
Matthew Short, the Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission at Greater Milwaukee Synod, was part of a gathering outside Betty Rendon's detention center. Below is his Facebook post about it:
More from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
And from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a partner to LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service). (See here) Recently, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah was appointed the President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
ELCA Synod Bishop Michael Rinehart is the LIRS board chairman is quoted as saying, “Krish is exactly the kind of once-in-a-generation leader LIRS needs right now...In the wake of unprecedented challenges to U.S. refugee resettlement and immigration policy, the LIRS mission — to protect, embrace, and empower those we serve — is more crucial now than ever.”
A lot of ELCA money goes to LIRS. Let's learn a little about Krish O'Mara Vignarajah.
She is Hindu and is married to a Catholic. In 2016, they had a Hindu wedding ceremony and a Christian ceremony. (see here)
She worked as a senior advisor under Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry before becoming Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama. (See here)
Krish O’Mara Vignarajah was a Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland in 2018.
The Baltimore Sun newspaper, during the campaign season, said "Vignarajah has many big promises for Maryland spelled out in more than 100 pages of text and nearly 14,000 words on her website: universal pre-kindergarten, free college tuition at community colleges and historically black colleges and universities, more reproductive health centers, paid leave for new parents, expanded use of renewable energy sources and a massive increase in school construction funding." (Read here)
Also on Krish Vignarajah's campaign website is a tab that addresses issues that are important to the candidate. One of those issues was "LGBTQ," where Vignarajah says "My Administration Will Make Maryland The Most Welcoming And Anti-Discriminatory State In The Union."
The website's LGBTQ page then listing "Priorities" where we find the following:
Below are a couple of Facebook posts by Krishanti Vignarajah. She seems like the perfect fit for a partner of the ELCA.
The Southwest California Synod of the ELCA sent out an email today titled, "Two ways to support migrants and refugees." In the email is a picture of a young boy peering through a wire fence. The ELCA synod is promoting a "Sunday Of Solidarity with Refugee Families!" event.
Later in the email the Southwest California Synod tells of another event where "100 faith leaders from all over the country will take part in a nonviolent direct action the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. The event will kick off a week of actions in communities across the U.S., demanding an end to border militarization and calling for humane immigration policies that respect the rights and dignity of all people."
While churches who love Jesus and His Word seek to bring people to Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is at work, funded by members' offering dollars, trying to implement their liberal extreme views on society.
If you disagree with that which the ELCA advocates, why are you funding them? Find a church that uses your money to do things that God actually tells us to do.
You are playing with fire when you send your teenager to an ELCA college. That is definitely true of Augustana University, as you will see below, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Augustana University is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 2015-2016 it had an undergraduate enrollment of 1,563. For Bible-believing followers of Jesus, the stances and activities of Augustana University should be disturbing and alarming.
Here is what my investigation uncovered:
- If you like to look at men dressed up as women, or women dressed as men, you can see it at Augustana University.
- The Augustana Student Association gave $250 "for an 18 plus drag show" to the Gender & Sexuality Alliance. (See here, page one)
Sex and LGBT Related
- Augustana University has a student group called the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) which describes itself in this way, “The Augustana GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) is an organization committed to the representation and advocacy of the Gender/Sexual diverse.” (see here)
- The Augustana Campus Ministry website displays "The Augustana Student Congregation Welcome Statement." It begins this way:
“Come to me,
All who believe, all who wonder,
and all who don’t know what to think;
All who are joyful, all who suffer, and all who are complacent;
All who are homosexual, or heterosexual, or bisexual,
and all who simply don’t know;
All who are male, all who are female, and all who are transgender.” (See here)
- The Augustana University Campus Ministry is also a Reconciling in Christ Congregation which, in essence, means they view LGBT behaviors as normal and not sinful. (See here)
- A lecture by Austen Hartke, a bisexual, transgender man is happening October 29th, 2018 at Augustana University (See here)
More about Campus Ministry
- The Campus Ministry likes to delve into the politics of the day, seen here co-sponsoring a “Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Refugees, Immigrants and Sojourners” with the Muslim Students' Association (MSA), area churches, the South Dakota Synod of the ELCA, and the Muslims Community Center. (See here)
- At Augustana University you will find a student group called the Muslim Students' Association (see here)
- Augustana University has a Interfaith Reflection Room. The university reports that the "space is designed to provide a safe place for people of all religions and non-religious traditions to pray, meditate, worship, reflect, study and practice their faith . . . the room includes sacred texts from a variety of religious traditions . . .” (See here)
- The Augustana Magazine printed an article highlighting the atheist group, Augustana Open Minds. (see here on page 25 and the group page here)
- The university also partnered with a Unitarian Universalist church. (see here)
- Augustana University newspaper, The Augustana Mirror published a 2 page article about two Augustana seniors who practice witchcraft. It is titled "Modern witches: two students find spirituality in Wicca." (See here)
- Augustana University website, "VikingCentral," has this article, see below, titled “4 Acts of Cultural Appropriation You Should Avoid this Cinco de Mayo.” (Also see here)
- This must be an important idea to the university since they posted seven other related articles informing students what they feel is right and what is wrong when it comes to culture and costume. See below and here)
- Flexible housing is offered at Augustana University. This means “that students may select roommates or housemates regardless of gender.” This is available at select university housing. (See here)
Lastly, see how Augustana University was rated by students who attended the school, and what they had to say about their experiences here.
God's Word in Matthew 4:17 tells us that Jesus preached the message, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
You will not hear ELCA leadership preach repentance of sin (unless it has to do with "Global Warming" or lack of being inclusive). They must believe Jesus was naive to think that people needed to repent or that hell awaited those that reject Christ as their Savior. Instead ELCA leaders succumbed to Satan's directives and are preaching their liberal social and political policies. Here are some examples:
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America stands against the Congressional tax cut being voted on this month. They are spewing leftist propaganda saying it is a bill that "benefits corporations and the wealthy over lower and middle-income families." (See here and below.)
- Today the ELCA's Metropolitan New York Synod shared a post from a pro-LGBT organization about the case of the Christian baker from Colorado who was sued by two gay men because the baker would not use his artistic talents to make them a wedding cake. The article features an ELCA pastor condemning the Christian baker's claim of religious freedom (see here and below). In the case of gay men vs. a Bible-believing Christian, it is not a surprise with whom the ELCA synod is siding.
- Next is an article co-written by ELCA bishop William Gohl Jr. of the Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA. It condemns "current immigration policies" of the United States and says the "repeal of DACA would be morally reprehensible." He even says, "If we are to truly live out our faith, then we must...advocate that those who (are in the United States)...through DACA be allowed to stay." (See here)
- Gun regulations and laws are a favorite topic of many ELCA leaders. Here is some of what ELCA bishop Steven L. Ullestad of the Northeastern Iowa Synod is using to fill up his Facebook page:
- News from the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has them adopting the Israel-inspired (anti-Israel) investment screen that was passed at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in 2016. (read the summer blog here)
They also “declined the request for the ELCA to declare itself a sanctuary denomination, yet supported the spirit of the sanctuary movement by encouraging congregations to serve and support the protection of migrants in their communities.” (see here)
- Finally, I will end this with what is truly one of the most morally reprehensible positions held in the ELCA, the support of abortion. After someone posted this abortion-supporting article on an ELCA Clergy Facebook page, some challenged the thought. Then ELCA pastor Russell L. Meyer wrote the comment below:
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