(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.
Chris Brown is an ELCA pastor in Solvang, CA. On Twitter, Pastor Brown responded to a gentleman who listed seven statements of which he believes. Pastor Brown disagreed. The dialogue is quite interesting:
(or see here)
Most ELCA pastors would agree with Pastor Chris Brown in his denial of Biblical inerrancy. And the ELCA constitution does not claim that the Bible is inerrant.
The ELCA Presiding Bishop made a similar claim, as Pastor Brown, concerning hell, last year saying if there is a hell she believes it is empty. (see here)
And as we have seen over the last decade, the vast majority of ELCA pastors do not view homosexuality as sin or sinful.
This is the disturbing reality of the ELCA. Their view of God's Word allows them to pick and choose what parts they believe. Sins, of which people should repent, are celebrated as God-honoring. And their belief about hell, which ties to the belief that all people will be saved, results in no evangelism, no seeking to save souls. (See more on the ELCA's view on hell here and universalism here and here)
To shed some more light on ELCA Pastor Chris Brown, his Twitter page is mostly filled with angry tweets about Republicans, President Trump and those who support him. (See here)
ELCA Synod Posts 'The Christian Life is Not About Believing...What We Need to Believe...So That We Can Be Saved'
The Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA posted on Facebook a quote by noted liberal theologian Marcus Borg. The quote, below, says what one believes is not important for salvation. Of course, this is false. The Bible tells us, many times, that belief in Christ is needed for salvation. (See Romans 10:9-10 and Acts 16:31)
The Christian church should be helping people believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's presiding bishop thinks all will go to heaven, and universal salvation is widely accepted in the denomination. I fear, for all listening to them, who will wind up in hell.
More and more ELCA pastors are coming out of the closet and admitting they are universalists. Universalism is the belief “that all human beings will eventually be saved.” (See here)
Below is a recent Facebook post by prominent Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) pastor, Clint Schnekloth. Schnekloth is a pastor, author and blogger; he created and facilitates the ELCA Clergy Facebook Group that has over 5800 members.
This is a false teaching that is dangerous, risking the eternal lives of people who put their trust in it. The Bible, which is God’s Word, teaches that some people will be saved and go to heaven when they die and some people will go to hell with they die. "...Universalism and universal salvation are unbiblical beliefs. Universalism directly contradicts what Scripture teaches…To say that those who reject God’s provision of salvation through His Son will be saved is to belittle the holiness and justice of God and negate the need of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf.” (See here)
Rev. Schnekloth is one of the growing number of ELCA pastors that espouse this belief. The most renowned pastor in the ELCA, Nadia Bolz-Weber, is a universalist. (See here) Rev Bolz-Weber will be a keynote speaker at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. Around 30,000 youth typically attend the event.
There are still ELCA pastors who will not admit to the label “universalist,” most likely because they understand that it is viewed as heresy, but they do openly teach the principles of universalism. For example, the leader of the ELCA, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, in an interview last year was asked, “Is there a hell?” She replied, “There may be, but I think it is empty.” (See here) That is universalism, plain and simple. If hell is empty, all people will go to heaven. Presiding Bishop Eaton is a universalist.
There are many more examples of the ELCA propagating universalism. They do it in their seminaries, in their publications, on social media and in their churches. If the growth of universalism is a concern to you, please go to the following links, here (and scroll down the page) and here, to find just how prevalent this teaching is in the ELCA.
Latest Edition of the ELCA's National Magazine Promotes the LGBTQ+ Agenda--Again (and) The Bible is "Biased, Contradicts Itself and Can Get Real Weird...(A) Mess" Says Lutheran/Episcopal Ministry
(The following two articles were written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Back in 2009, when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to allow practicing homosexual clergy, the agreement was that both liberal and conservative voices would be honored in the ELCA on this issue. For years, Living Lutheran, the national ELCA magazine, in numerous articles has promoted only one point of view, the liberal one. Numerous articles are like this one from the January 2018 issue:
"Elizabeth Rawlings (is) the ELCA pastor of The Sanctuary, the Lutheran/Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Washington, Seattle...Many of the students identify as LGBTQ+, and Rawlings, who is bisexual, knows that to lead such conversations for those who are in a critical stage of their faith development means "being real and...being open about when and how I struggle."
At The Sanctuary's website, the Episcopal priest is also "out queer". The website reads:
"Together, we worship, play, pray, dance, do yoga, hike, eat, meditate, make art, conversate and much more. We are a Q Center Safe Zone and a Reconciling In Christ ministry (a designation given to ELCA ministries who are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community). We engage in interfaith conversation and relationship. We do our best to live out the radical, gracious love of God in Jesus Christ." (see here)
For years now I have been waiting--and waiting and waiting--for one article in Living Lutheran to express a conservative view on homosexuality. Churches and groups around the country are helping people out of homosexual behavior (see restoredhopenetwork.org), but such a story has never made it into Living Lutheran. Given how left of center the ELCA has become, I am guessing such a story never will. So much for "diversity" in the ELCA.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Here is the Living Lutheran article. Below is Rev. Brock's second blog)
The Bible is "biased, contradicts itself and can get real weird...(a) mess" says Lutheran/Episcopal Ministry
In my previous post, I shared about The Sanctuary, the Lutheran/Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Washington, Seattle, which was mentioned in an article in Living Lutheran Magazine, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ministry fully supports the LBGTQ+ agenda. The Episcopal priest is "out queer" and the Lutheran pastor is bisexual.
How does a "Christian" ministry get to the point where it celebrates behaviors that the Bible condemns? This is done by getting rid of the authority of Scripture. Below is the ministry's statement on what the Bible is all about.
"What is the Bible?
The Bible is one of the resources we use to guide our lives of faith. As Lutheran & Episcopalian Christians, we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. It is a collection of stories of God's people and how they saw God acting in their lives and the lives of others. As it was written, edited, compiled and translated by humans who were products of their time and place and likely had their own agendas, there is bias, sometimes it contradicts itself, and it can get real weird. When we read the Bible, we consider the context of those involved in passing the stories down to us when we apply Biblical teaching to our own lives. Even with the mess, the contradiction and the weirdness, God is present in the Bible and is present with us when we read scripture. The Bible is one of the tools we use to understand who God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are, how they have acted in history, and how they are still active in the world (and our lives) today." (see here)
Martin Luther, who taught the Bible alone is the highest authority in the Christian life, would ask to have his name removed from the Lutheran/Episcopal campus ministry in Seattle.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
An incredibly disturbing article was written a few days ago about Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cary, North Carolina. But even more disturbing than the content of the article, was the fact that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America proudly shared this article (multiple times) to all of their followers on Twitter and Facebook.
The article is titled “Amid decline, one Lutheran church strives to live up to its namesake’s spirit.” (See here)
The article begins by telling of a Bible study taught by ELCA pastor Daniel Pugh where he is “telling members of Christ the King Lutheran Church that one way to interpret the story of Adam and Eve is as a coming-of-age allegory about a pair of carefree teens caught red-handed having sex…In this, alternative reading of The Fall, the ‘forbidden fruit’ offered to Eve in Chapter 3 may be a metaphor for sex, he said, and the ‘serpent’ may be a metaphor for a penis.”
This is outrageous. And it is indicative of the warped, foolish and evil way the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America views Scripture. See below how the ELCA itself is sharing this news article. Why would anyone stay in a denomination that teaches this perverted way of viewing God’s account of creation? They treat God's Word with contempt.
Later in the article you learn that:
- Christ the King Lutheran Church’s senior pastor is Wolfgang Herz-Lane, the former ELCA Delaware-Maryland Synod Bishop.
- Pastor “Herz-Lane notified the church council that he planned to officiate at a same-sex marriage in Charlotte. Pugh, an associate pastor, performed one such marriage before coming on board…Herz-Lane now wants the church to declare itself a ‘reconciling’ congregation, meaning that it is welcoming and accepting of LGBTQ people.”
- The newly appointed minister for contemporary music is a gay man.
- “(C)hurch leaders want the congregation to take on more of an advocacy role…they want to start a local chapter of a national community-organizing network, the Industrial Areas Foundation, which could advocate for such things as health care, green energy, criminal justice or immigrant rights.”
- “Herz-Lane hopes members gain a deeper appreciation for Luther’s willingness to break the mold and try new things.” Rev. Herz-Lane concludes “We’re here for the sake of the world, not to preserve some silly tradition.”
Most Bible-believing Christians would be appalled by the anti-Biblical teaching, actions and “social justice” agenda of this church but the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is not. They proudly posted this article on their Facebook page.
And on Twitter:
And again, on the ELCA News account:
Below are some ELCA Synods posting and sharing this article:
Long ago Satan began sowing doubt and disbelief regarding the Word of God. Today we have the ELCA doing the same thing. God’s directives are often twisted and dismissed, while many historical happenings in Scripture are considered myths. A recent interview with the presiding bishop of the ELCA confirms the ELCA’s Scriptural maleficence when she said there may be a hell “but I think it is empty.” (see here) Other examples can be seen here, here and here.
Today we get another example of this. The official magazine of the ELCA recently published an article where the author, an ELCA pastor, tells how he was challenged by a friend concerning the miracles of the Bible and those of Jesus saying, “Do you really believe these stories…Water into wine? A sea parting? Feeding thousands with so little? Come on…(t)he Bible is expecting a little much from anyone who has a brain.”
You would expect a minister of Christ to say, “Yes, I believe the miracles of Jesus (and those in all of Scripture) really happened.” But no, the author does not. Instead the author presents a couple of ridiculous explanations for the miracles, explanations that the author then dismisses.
Then the author goes to an old ELCA standby, he “spiritualizes” the miracles. He tells the readers that another question is needed, the question “why,” “(W)hy were these stories told in the early church?” His answer? “Jesus brings abundance. He brings ferment, fullness and lavish plenty.”
Later the author tells us,
“These stories won’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.”
“Did the stories really happen this way? For me, this is the wrong question. The stories are meant to illumine the abundant life right here, right now. So perhaps the right question becomes: Are the stories really happening?” (see here)
The ELCA hosted and posted this article. Doesn’t the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America believe the account of Scripture? Do they not believe Jesus actually performed these miracles? They put forth an article that will not answer or confirm that these miraculous events by Jesus actually happened historically.
Do you really want people who do not believe God’s Word teaching you about God and His Word?
(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.
A recently passed resolution by the New England Synod Assembly says the following:
"Be it resolved that the New England Synod memorialize the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to initiate a process to amend the phrase 'bring all people to faith in Christ' in C4.02b and its constitutional parallels in order to achieve greater consonance with both our understanding of Christian witness and sensitivity to our interfaith contexts." (see here)
They want "to amend the phase 'bring all people to faith in Christ...'" What kind of true Christian denomination and Christ-following church leadership would want that? None.
A resolution like this is the result of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's radical rejection of the truth of Scripture. When leaders in the ELCA teach universalism, that there is no hell, and their missionaries do not seek to convert the lost, why not remove the phrase “bring all people to faith in Christ” and all similar words from ELCA official documents? Watch to see if this comes up in upcoming ELCA churchwide assemblies and other synod assemblies and if the resolution passes.
Additionally, at this year's Oregon Synod Assembly, there was the “Adoption of a bylaw allowing congregations to send additional Voting Members to Assemblies who can speak to us about concerns of the LGBTQIA community.” (see here)
Is this like stacking the deck? They are allowing churches to bringing additional voting members specifically because of their supportive view on LGBTQIA issues. I wonder what pro-homosexual, pro-transgender initiatives will result from future Oregon Synod assemblies? As if they were not liberal enough. The same people who passed this resolution would throw a fit if someone presented a resolution saying the synod should also allow congregations to send additional voting members to assemblies who hold traditional views of marriage and can speak to heterosexual concerns.
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
The Bible teaches, and the Church has always believed, that Jesus died in our place for our sins. But some liberals in the Church today are saying "No, that would be divine child abuse." They teach that God is love and God doesn't need to punish sin, and God did not punish Jesus for our sins. However, Jesus Himself said "The Son of Man came to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45) and other verses in the Old Testament (Isaiah 53:5) and New Testament agree (Romans 5:8-10, 2 Corinthians 5:21, I Peter 2:24, 3:18).
In the tragic article below, a president of an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America seminary denies Christ died in our place to pay for our sins. Because the ELCA is shrinking, his seminary is now merging with another ELCA seminary and Dr. Lose is no longer president of the newly formed seminary. But, sadly, his new position will be the senior pastor of one of the largest ELCA churches in the country, Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
It is tragic enough that the ELCA allows this kind of false teaching, but to put it at the forefront of a seminary and now one of its largest churches, is incredibly sad. The Bible--and Martin Luther's writings--have no trouble proclaiming the basic truth that Jesus died in our place for our sins. In fact, the Apostle Paul goes so far as to say "Christ died for our sins" is the most important teaching of the Christian Church (I Corinthians 15: 3).
It is this attack on basic Christian doctrine that is causing the ELCA and other liberal mainline denominations to shrink in numbers and financial giving, as true believers take their membership and money to more evangelical churches which joyfully proclaim the Gospel message: Jesus died for our sins.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Here is the article)
It’s almost Christmas and time for the regular attack from ELCA leaders on what Scripture tells us about Christ’s birth.
Emily Scott is an ELCA pastor at St. Lydia's, a Dinner Church in Brooklyn, NY and was a main speaker at the 2015 ELCA National Youth Gathering. In a recent blog, Pastor Scott encourages her readers to take a fresh look at the Mother of Jesus.
Here is some of what she wrote:
“We might also notice that the word often translated 'virgin' in the bible,
in fact only means, 'young girl.'
A maid. A girl who is not yet married.
In the next 2,000 years, the church will get really obsessed
with Mary’s vagina.
They will claim that not only was she a virgin when Jesus was conceived,
but that she remained a virgin the rest of her life.
Because how could the son of GOD be born
from something so ordinary
as a woman’s vagina.
So in order to make this story make sense for the men who told it,
they sanitized away Mary’s sexuality.
They neutered her.” (see here)
Seriously? We are to take ELCA Pastor Scott's, and likely many mainline pastors, word for it when it goes against God’s Word and thousands of Christian scholars, teachers and translators? See what they say about Pastor Scott’s claims here and here.
Pastor Scott then goes on a craze-filled, inappropriate rant about Mary’s private parts while also attacking men and the church. That should tell you a little about her mindset.
Then we have ELCA pastor Clint Schnekloth sharing his half-baked opinion about the Christmas account, which he states, as if it is fact, “I am reminded that there is a good deal of myth in the birth narratives of the Christ.” (see here)
Michael Rinehart is the bishop of the ELCA's Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. Just this week he cast doubt on the truth of the virgin birth in his blog, writing, "Of course the first person to doubt the virgin birth was Joseph himself. This is why he decided to divorce her, quietly. An angel visits him in a dream, and in the end he decides not to divorce Mary, and to adopt her child as his own.Whatever the world may think about a literal virgin birth, no one questions that Jesus was adopted, and Joseph was an adoptive parent." (see here)
Don’t forget that a few years ago the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in their official website, argued against the virgin birth. (see here)
See more ELCA attacks on the virgin birth here. (scroll down the page)
Our friend, Pastor Tom Brock wrote about the virgin birth problem within the ELCA in January of 2016 when he penned this, “I graduated from Luther Seminary back in 1979. I would guesstimate that back then only a few professors denied the Virgin Birth of Christ. Some years ago I asked a faculty member at Luther ‘Do you think half of the professors at Luther still believe in the Virgin Birth?’ The response: ‘Oh no, way less than half.’" (see here)
ELCA members should ask their pastors what they believe about the virgin birth.
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
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a dying denomination. People have been leaving in droves. In 1989, the ELCA had 5,251,534 baptized members. At the end of 2015, the ELCA had 3,668,034 baptized members. (see here) Members who actually go to their churches number much less than that.
A new study, "Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy," seems to confirm my belief, and that of countless other Bible-believing Lutherans, as to the reasons for the downfall of the ELCA. The study’s lead researcher, David Haskell, reports that growing churches "held more firmly to the traditional beliefs of Christianity and were more diligent in things like prayer and Bible reading," compared to churches where membership is in decline.
Additionally, Mr. Haskell states that “conservative believers, relying on a fairly literal interpretation of scripture, are 'sure' that those who are not converted to Christianity will miss their chance for eternal life. Because they are profoundly convinced of (the) life-saving, life-altering benefits that only their faith can provide. They are motivated by emotions of compassion and concern to recruit family, friends, and acquaintances into their faith and into their church." (read here)
Most ELCA congregations, their pastors and upcoming ELCA seminarians are in accord with the liberal stand on Scripture and Bible-twisting theology that the ELCA champions. (I provide proof of this throughout this website.)
Below is a different survey from Pew Research Center showing how infrequently Mainline Lutherans (ELCA) read scripture. Over half of the respondents said they “seldom/never” read the Bible.
The next chart shows that only 17% of Mainline Lutherans (ELCA) say Holy Scripture should be taken literally. Thirty-two percent say Holy Scripture is “not the Word of God,” and 10% say "other/don't know."
The ELCA has a Bible problem. When you teach and treat Scripture the way of the ELCA, it is not a surprise that people who know differently will leave congregations, and a pastor will be left with people who hold Scripture in low regard, all thanks to the ELCA pastors' poor teaching.
The Bible is God’s Word. It is true, it is right, it is accurate, it is without error, it is God-breathed. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a denomination that constantly denies Scripture, throwing its truth out the window in favor of their own thoughts, beliefs and feelings.
God’s Word tells us that Christ "'himself bore our sins' in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 'by his wounds you have been healed'" (1 Peter 2:24, NIV). This idea is found throughout the Bible in such places like Isaiah 53:5, 1 Corinthians 15:3, Colossians 2:14, Hebrews 9:28 and Romans 4:25.
So what do we find being taught by an ELCA seminary president?
“(T)he cross is not about punishment for sin either. Not for Jesus’ sin, certainly, but also not for ours.” So says David Lose, President of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. David Lose, who previously was a professor at the ELCA’s Luther Seminary goes on to say:
“That is, of course, a tradition interpretation of the cross: that because God is just, God has to punish sin, and because God is loving, God beats up on Jesus instead of us. But I have a hunch that this understanding of the cross says more about our inadequate understanding of justice than it says about God. In contrast to this theory, I’d suggest that the cross is not about punishment but is instead about identification, solidarity, and love.” (read here)
This is against the witness of Scripture.
And please take note who seminary president David Lose is addressing as he writes. He begins his blog with “Dear Working Preacher,”
“Dear Partner, what might we say to people this Sunday?”
“That’s what we can tell our people, Dear Partner, and this, at last, is all promise. Thanks for sounding that message.”
President Lose is instructing pastors into this teaching and telling them to preach accordingly, indoctrinating the people in their congregations. That is scary. He is teaching something against God’s Word, to ELCA pastors who will take that false-teaching to the pulpit. Is there any wonder why so many Bible-believing Christians are calling on ELCA members to leave the denomination?
A couple of people challenged Lose in the comments section of this article saying,
“’The cross is not about punishment.’ Really? Then what of ‘sacrifice,’ ‘scapegoat,’ ‘passover lamb,’ and ‘without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’?”
“…biblical writers’ clear use of the model of the sacrifice of lambs (John 1:29; Hebrews 9, etc.). Paul employs often the substitution concept, to stand in our place under the law, to take the punishment we deserve (Galatians 4:4, Romans 3:21-26), and of course the familiar “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Christ came to take our place, to take unto himself our guilt, sin, and death, to give his li(f)e as a ransom (Mark 10).”
Because of those comments, Lose wrote another article where he says,
“I found our exchange in the comments last week kind of fascinating. You probably don’t read the comments, so I’ll recap briefly. The exchange centered on how we understand the cross and was prompted by a statement I made that ‘the cross is not about punishment for sin.’ Several folks questioned that, referencing Anselm’s substitutionary theory of atonement and the attendant Scriptural passages associated with it…Anselm’s view – echoed later by Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Reformed theologians in North America – is one of the primary ways the Church, particularly in the West, has understood the cross and, indeed, is perhaps the dominant view today.
And yet all that notwithstanding, I have to say I find it utterly unconvincing and, indeed, rather off-putting and out of character with the God I know in Jesus.” (read here)
The most popular and beloved liberal ELCA pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber has a similar belief saying, “And just to be clear: The cross is not about God as divine child abuser sadly sending his little boy off to be killed because we were bad and well, somebody had to pay." (read here)
ELCA leaders continually walk in opposition to God’s Word.
Find out more about substitutionary atonement and why it is Biblically correct here.
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Alicia Vargas, a seminary professor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has written an article on the Lord's Prayer. She writes we can "expand" the Lord's Prayer to include God "the Mother". She writes:
"Today, when both fatherly and motherly roles are lifted up as social patterns of responsibility and authority for their family in many parts of the world, we can expand the image for the addressee of this prayer to 'Our Father/Our Mother.'"
Is this not sinful arrogance to say that we in the position to correct Jesus Christ's model prayer? No, we do not know more than Jesus Christ. We are not in the position of correcting or "expanding" His prayer.
Pastor Tom Brock
(see The Lutheran article 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