I don't ever recall an ELCA publication or ELCA leader talking about witnessing to someone, who then calls on the name of the Lord and is saved (Rom. 10:13 and Acts 2). Maybe that's because they are busy doing other things, like this class that is being promoted in the electronic newsletter of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):
“Register Now for Islamic Literature Course in Evanston
Registration is open for 'Islamic Literature: From Sufi Poetry to Egyptian Feminism,' a four-week discussion series” (see here)
Or how about going to a lecture by a Muslim speaker at an ELCA seminary? The Southeastern Iowa Synod E-News mailing announced this:
“Free Lecture by Eboo Patel Kicks off
Two-Day Interfaith Conference at LSTC”
“On Sunday, March 10 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Eboo Patel will give a free lecture based on his recent book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. with a free concert by The Salaam Shalom Music Project, made up of members of Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and distinguished artists from the Chicago Arabic music community.” (see here and read more about Eboo Patel here)
I bet a lot of money and paid ELCA staff and seminary employees worked long hours putting this gathering together.
Christ Lutheran Church, Melrose Park, IL is closing. (see here)
Thank you to all who have prayed and given financially in support of Exposing the ELCA. We greatly appreciated all of you. For anyone else who is called to give to this ministry, please click here to find out how you can partner with us.
ELCA leaders worship the god of Muslims. At least that is the logical conclusion most would come to when they look into what ELCA leaders are saying.
The magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran, ran an article in the January 2013 issue about Muslims. The article was another attempt by ELCA leadership to indoctrinate its members into believing a heretical, blasphemous idea. The article included an argument supporting the claim that the God we Christians worship is the same god Muslims worship. Liberal heretics have been saying this for awhile now, and we will address this lie shortly, but lets first look at what The Lutheran had to say.
The magazine presented this statement to two ELCA experts: “Some people say 'Allah' is the name of a pagan moon god and isn't the same as the 'God' of the Bible.”
David D. Grafton, ELCA missionary serving as the coordinator for graduate studies at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt replied: “This is a very old claim. It's similar to an old Christian argument about the 'God of the Old Testament' being distinct from the 'God of the New.' That, of course, was declared a heresy long ago.”
Michael Shelley, dean and vice president for academic affairs at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, answered by saying that “Allah” was one of many gods in Arabia, before the Koran was written, and was considered “the creator.” Prof. Shelley then says, “Are Allah and the God of the Bible the same? Certainly the Quran contends they are. It says to Jews and Christians, 'Our God and your God is one' (Quran 29:46) . . . we are likely to have a more constructive conversation with our Muslim neighbors if we proceed on the assumption that we are talking about the same divine being.” (see here)
So The Lutheran tells its readers that we worship the same god as the Muslims. The ELCA's Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson has said the same thing in a letter to Muslims saying “(t)he one God whom we worship is a God not only of judgment, but of mercy and peace." (see here)
There are a number of reasons the ELCA does this. One reason, I believe, is because of the ELCA's acceptance of universal salvation, that all people will go to heaven no matter what they believe, who they worship or if they've placed their faith in Christ. The ELCA has walked away from leading people to a saving relationship with Christ which makes “working together” with “all people” the focus of why the ELCA exists.
Now there are a number of reasons we can say with confidence that the God of the Bible and the Muslim god are not the same god. I will give you three:
If you haven't read my blog “The ELCA is No Longer a Christian Denomination” you should. It could just as easily been titled “The God of the Bible and the God of the ELCA are not the same.”
ELCA magazine, The Lutheran, published an article titled, “Interreligious explorations.” The article advised its readers to “Consider visiting different religious services from time to time as a way to keep learning more about other traditions.”
Any religion other than Christianity is the worship of false gods and demons. Why in the world would a Christian magazine recommend this? (see here)
Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mark Hanson, is now on twitter. He announced this at last week’s ELCA Youth Gathering. If you so desire, you can follow him by going here.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Bishop Hanson advised everyone on how to follow Exposing the ELCA on twitter in his next press release?
If anyone has concerns about what they heard while watching or attending the ELCA's 2012 National Youth Gathering and would care to write a blog about what troubled them, I would be happy to look it over and possibly post it.
Augustana College, one of the 26 ELCA colleges in the United States has these statements on their Religion, Philosophy, Classics webpage:
“Have you ever wondered: Does life have purpose? Does God exist?” and “While our department teaches from within the Christian tradition, we’re never afraid to question dogma and learn from others.” (see here)
Is this noteworthy? Some would say “no,” some would say “yes.” Either way, it is something to think about.
The ELCA’s The Lutheran magazine published a story recently called “Finding a common word: Virginia dialogue pairs Lutherans and Muslims” (see here).
In the article we learn of a group composed of mostly Lutherans and Muslims who gather for dialog. The group meets twice-a-month on Saturday mornings and begin their dialogue “with ‘Al Fatiha,’ the opening prayer of the Quran” and end the meeting with the Lord's Prayer.
Not only that, we are also told, “Group leader Dan Jungkuntz is a pastoral counselor and ELCA pastor. ‘I am so touched by what I have learned about Islam,’ he said. Each week, he now joins the Muslims' Friday prayer at a local mosque.”
What are ELCA leaders doing? Why is praying to a god that is not the Father, Son and Holy Spirit okay? Has the ELCA leadership decided that the 1st Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3), is not to be followed anymore? And it is down right evil for the ELCA to publish and promote what this pastor is doing. They know they are influencing their members to do the same and to be accepting of it, something that is in complete opposition to what God tells us in Scripture.
At Luther College (ELCA) there is a teaching professor who claims Jesus was a Muslim. The professor is Robert F. Shedinger, an Associate Professor of Religion and Department Head at Luther. (see here) Professor Shedinger wrote a book to promote his view titled, Was Jesus A Muslim? in which he writes:
Professor Shedinger went on to say that the purpose of his book “is a call for Muslims and Christians to learn how to work together for social justice.”
Later he says, “And I think that is who Jesus was in the first century so I conclude Jesus is more like a Muslim than the Christianized Jesus that is more a spiritual savior and not as interested in issues of social justice.”
During a different interview with Professor Shedinger regarding his book he said, “Muslim readers really like the book and don’t find the idea of Jesus being a Muslim at all controversial . . . What does surprise them is seeing such an idea coming from someone who identifies as a Christian. But overall Muslim readers have embraced the book . . .The Christian reaction has been mostly silence . . .” (read here)
So while the Luther College website boasts that professor Shedinger, "has been a regular speaker in mosques and Islamic Centers around the country," (see here) Bible-believing Christians everywhere should let the leadership in the ELCA and Luther College know that they disapprove of anti-Christian teaching happening in their church supported and congregational supported denomination’s schools. Let us not be found silent.
Luther College is an ELCA affiliated school. (see here)
Shedinger, Robert (2009). Was Jesus A Muslim? Questioning categories in the study of religion. Fortress Press, Minneapolis. ISBN 978-0-8006-6325-4
As the saying goes, “Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Who are the bedfellows of the ELCA? In a past blog, Exposing the ELCA revealed the close ties and similar ideologies the ELCA has with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. (read here)
Now we find that the ELCA is also very close with an organization called the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Here is some information about the ISNA:
So with that information about the ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood, let's look at the relationship the ELCA has with the ISNA:
The ELCA leadership is working with and partnering with the ISNA, an organization that is said to have very close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. If this doesn't make ELCA members question what kind of denomination they are members of, I don't know what will.
What kind of ELCA leader would openly object to a state governor calling for a day of prayer? The Bishop Michael Rinehart of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod and other local Houston ELCA pastors, that’s who. The bishop and pastors signed a statement which said, “we express our concern that Governor Rick Perry has called for a full day of exclusionary prayer on August 6, 2011. This religious event is not open to all faiths, as its statement of beliefs does not represent religious diversity.” (read here)
Here we have supposed Christian pastors upset that this is a Christian prayer event. If that doesn’t tell you something about the ELCA, I don’t know what will.
The ELCA signers of this letter are: Bishop Michael Rinehart of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod; Rev. Bradley Fuerst, Houston Lutheran Campus Minister; Rev. Lura N. Groen, Pastor, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Robert G. Moore, Senior Pastor, Christ the King Lutheran Church; R. Marcus Otterstad, Senior Pastor, House of Prayer Lutheran Church; The Rev. David A. Roschke, Senior Pastor, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church; Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Stein, Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Rev. Rich Wolf, New Hope Lutheran Church
The letter also speaks of the principle of separation of church and state saying, “Governor Perry is expressing an official message of endorsement of one faith over all others; thereby sending an official message of religious exclusion and preference to all Texans who do not share that faith. We believe our religious freedom is threatened when a government official promotes religion.”
I guess these leaders do not know their history. “There have been 136 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789-2010).” (see here)
Two ELCA synods, the Western Iowa Synod and the Southeastern Iowa Synod, have decided to co-sponsor, what has all the indications of, an anti-Israeli conference October 14-15, 2011. (see here)
Interestingly enough, the conference that the ELCA “Christian” synods are co-sponsoring includes a Muslim prayer service. (read here)
The conference is called “US Policy in Palestine-Israel: Engaging Faith Communities in Pursuit of a Just Peace.”
When I look at the program for the conference, maybe it is just me, but I don’t think this gathering is all that interested in making sure Israel gets a “just peace.”
Notice some of the topics they will cover:
- Challenging US Military Aid to Israel
- Divesting from Israeli Occupation
- Palestinian Christians & the Kairos document (read about the Kairos document here)
- Debunking Myths About Islam
- Muslim Contributions to Knowledge
- Peace by Piece
- Organizing Within the Churches
- Fair Trade – Canaan
- Ethical Travel to Palestine
- Inside Gaza Today
- Christian Zionism
- Organizing on Campuses
- Youth travels in Palestine
One of the scheduled workshops is titled “BDS - MN Break the Bonds.” (see here) I looked up “BDS” and found a description on the organization's website outlining who they are and what they are about. It said, “(t)he global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights was initiated by Palestinian civil society in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007.” (see here)
A few other things I noted about this conference:
- Phyllis Bennis, a keynote speaker, was a founder and remains on the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation.
- The speakers seem to be Americans and Muslims who have the same political/Middle East view point.
- It is worth taking a look at who the other conference co-sponsors are. (see here)
- The conference information pages use bias language and Palestinian talking points which are decidedly intended to put the Palestinian cause and positions in the best possible light while at the same time vilifying the Israelis. (see here)
If these people want to hold a conference, they certainly have every right to do so, but why are these two Evangelical Lutheran Church in America synods supporting a Muslim prayer service and an Israeli-bashing symposium? Do you as ELCA members want your denomination to be associated with this kind of thing?
So in an effort to set the record straight on the quest for peace in the Middle East, please watch this six minute video.
Israel Palestinian Conflict: The Truth About the Peace Process
The 2011 ELCA Churchwide Assembly is now over. No doubt reports will be coming out about the happenings. Here is the ELCA’s summery of what took place (click here)
A few items which I find interesting:
- An Islamic leader spoke to the assembly and received three standing ovations.
- The assembly passed a resolution which calls for congregations to protest against immigration laws like those in Arizona and Alabama. (read here)
- Veiled comments were spoken and a memorial was approved which is founded in anti-Semitism.
- The genetics social statement was adopted.
- My understanding is that the assembly did vote in regards to proposed changes for congregations who want to leave the ELCA, it may have been brought forward in conjunction with other motions which I have not yet uncovered.
- Many words were spoken which professed overwhelming pride for and the greatness of the ELCA.
So in honor of the self-promoting and self-love which was so evident at the 2011 Churchwide Assembly, I give to you a video made at an ELCA National Youth Gathering:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has immersed itself, and promoted involvement of its members, in interfaith relations. A search of “interfaith” on elca.org confirms this. (see here) But when you look at all the interfaith work the ELCA is so heavily involved with, very little is about sharing the Good News of what Christ has done and the gift of eternal life that is available for those that believe. That is a huge problem and ELCA members should be asking themselves why this is so.
The ELCA’s May/June 2011 edition of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics focuses on helping to “inform and inspire encounters with our multi-religious neighbors.” In one article the Journal’s Associate Editor, Victor Thasiah, tells of one of his experiences. “Shortly after getting to know some young Muslim men from Malindi while traveling in Kenya in 2009, they invited me to join them for prayer — to observe and participate as I wished. Outside of the mosque, after removing my shoes, they welcomed me to wash my hands, feet, face, ears, and mouth — to purify myself from the evil I had thought, done, seen, heard, and spoken. On my knees . . .I cupped water with my hands to cover my ears. . .” The story ends with Victor saying, “I can say that one day in Nairobi I was baptized by a Muslim.” (read here)
In 2010 during an ELCA “Sharing the Gospel” event, the conference welcomed Muslim and Buddhist prayers and those in attendance were invited to participate with them if they wished. (read here)
The ELCA failing to tell people of other religions about salvation in Christ for those that believe is bad enough. But as the examples above show the ELCA seems to be moving toward the acceptance of prayers and worship to gods other than the one true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (see here and here for more examples)
What is going on in our denomination? Would Jesus participate in a prayer and cutting ceremony with the prophets of Baal? In Scripture God told His people to remove the temples and alters of other gods in the land of Israel, not to worship with these false religions. Solomon’s sin was that he worshipped the false gods of his wives. Yet the ELCA invites this.
When you combine the universalism teaching that is going on in the ELCA (teaching that all people will go to heaven - see more here) with the “Interfaithism” preached by this denomination, it is easy to see why the ELCA is not actively sharing the good news of forgiveness of sin and salvation in Christ for those that believe. (John 3:16) It is also easy to see how the ELCA will fall in line, lock, stock and barrel, with the end times one world government that the Bible talks about.
Pray that the ELCA repents of its ways.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America likes to tout how “welcoming” they are. Apparently “welcoming” people is more important than being obedient to God. Read below about an ELCA church which allows people of a different religion, who worship a different god, to use their church facilities to do so. I can’t imagine, or see Biblical justification, that God would be pleased by this.
“(T)he Islamic Center of North Pittsburgh is conducting its daily prayers and Friday Jumm'ah in the Parish Hall at the neighboring Trinity Lutheran Church while its new building is under construction.” (read here - from article on elca.org)
On May 6-7, 2011 a conference called “I Am My Brother's Keeper: Confronting Islamophobia” was held in Seattle, WA. (see here) One of the sponsors of this event was the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see here)
If you had been at the conference you would have heard:
"Hatred of Islam was wrapped up in devotion to a far-right brand of nationalism."
"After 9-11, the Republican Party discovered there was gold in them there hills in Islamophobia."
“All of the major groups who are involved in promoting Islamophobia are interlinked in many cases; they are the same people in one group or another. . . They are Christian fundamentalists, Christian Zionists, Tea Partiers, Israeli supporters, and a lot of this Islamophobia comes from Israel but it also comes from Israeli supporters.”
“The Israel lobby is very important in policymaking. . . Who do you think it is who writes legislation having to do with Israel in Congress? Who is it who makes campaign contributions that prevent congressmen and senators from criticizing Israel?”
“The Christian right is awful, I agree with you. . .But the Israel lobby has been around longer than the Christian right.”
“The discourse in this country at the moment is very Islamophobic.”
“anti-Muslim discourse, (was driven by) pressure from the pro-Israel lobby and Islamophobia lobby.”
"What Muslims overseas see is that the U.S. is against Islam because we renounce shari'a."
“Politicians are all afraid of opposing Israel publicly for fear of losing campaign funds.”
“We enable all international law violations that Israel is committing.”
“The problem is that Israel has peace right now – there is very little terrorism and has been very little terrorism for several years. . .What we need to fight for is justice, not peace.”
This is what our denomination supports.
Quotes are from here and here.
As many of you know, the ELCA is heavily involved in inter-faith work with other religions. Here’s the problem: I do not see the ELCA sharing the truth of salvation in Jesus with these people. The ELCA needs to love people enough to want them to be in heaven. Sadly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is falling short in loving their “lost“ neighbors. In these situations, the ELCA is failing as a church and has become a social club that simply does “good” works.
If you believe in the ministry of Exposing the ELCA, would you partner with us? Please pray for our work. We are on the front lines of a battle, and Satan is not happy that we are carrying out God’s calling in this critical time. Satan wants people to remain in this denomination that has left the truth of God’s Word. We passionately believe that God wants Exposing the ELCA to inform and warn people as to the actions, decisions and teachings of the ELCA.
Would you also prayerfully consider financially supporting the ministry of Exposing the ELCA? We would greatly appreciate your helping us to continue this ministry. (you can find “donate” buttons on www.exposingtheelca.com)
I would like to invite you to check out a new website called The Lutheran Life (www.thelutheranlife.com). This new website focuses on Christ, Lutherans, faith and life.
Grace University Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, regularly opens its doors to Muslims so they can meet together for Muslim prayers. ELCA pastor, Mary Halvorson, says it’s a “wonderful way to support each other . . . We’re delighted that we can be a place of hospitality.” (read here)
God says in Exodus 20: 3-5 “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.”
During the summer of 2010, the ELCA held a “Sharing the Gospel” Conference in which Muslim and Buddhist prayers were prayed. (see here)
It is unwise and wrong for Christians to invite the worship and prayers to gods other than the Father/Son/Holy Spirit, into the “house of God.”
But this is okay with the ELCA. It seems our denomination is doing everything possible to walk in opposition to what God tells us in Scripture.
It seems that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will collaborate with anyone, as long as it works to further their political and social justice agenda.
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) is not a Christian denomination. They describe themselves this way, "Unitarian Universalism is a caring, open-minded religion that encourages seekers to find their own spiritual path. Our faith draws on many religious sources, welcoming people with different beliefs." (see here)
With that in mind, let’s look at the strong connection and relationship the ELCA has with the Unitarian Universalist Association by looking at some of the organizations and causes that the ELCA and the UUA are members of or associated with.
As you can see, the ELCA and the Unitarian Universalist Association have very similar agendas and find themselves working together on so many issues. This is not a coincidence. The ELCA has become a liberal, non-orthodox, non-traditional, non-Bible believing denomination which finds itself working and associating most often with likeminded denominations and religions.
When you throw out the clear Truth of Scripture as the ELCA and UUA have done, when you cast the Great Commission out the window, you have to invest your time and energies in “works” which are elevated into the reason for the church’s existence. And when you are all about “works” it doesn’t matter who is helping you, as long as you accomplish your political and social justice driven goals.
The Bible says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” - 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Some people may ask, “What fellowship can the ELCA have with Unitarian Universalists?” The real question should be, “What fellowship can Bible believing Lutheran Christians have with the ELCA?”
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