(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
The Toledo Blade newspaper wrote an article about Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see here) To quote the article:
"The work of the Church, Bishop Eaton said, is not so much saving souls. 'That's God's work, and if God loves God's creation, you're part of God's creation; you're going to be loved.' But there is work to do with others, missional work."
Two things strike me. First, the Bible teaches the Church is ALL about saving souls. Yes, God alone can ultimately convert anyone, but He has given that saving work into the hands of the Church. Jesus’ last words on earth were “Go ye therefore and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). The Apostle Paul wrote “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (I Corinthians 9:22). The Apostle Paul knew that he, and all Christians, are all about saving souls.
Sadly, when we read the news coming out of the ELCA (see elca.org news items), it seems ELCA leadership is often speaking out on climate change, immigration reform, defending Muslims, Palestine, etc. Meanwhile, the number of missionaries in the ELCA has gone down dramatically. Such is the result of replacing “saving souls” with politics, however well meaning those politics might be. And sadly, when it comes to the politics of protecting the unborn, one never hears a word from an ELCA leader on issues like the horrors happening at Planned Parenthood. Just once it would be nice to read an ELCA news article that an ELCA bishop wants to see Planned Parenthood defunded, or partial birth abortion outlawed or Roe vs. Wade overturned.
The second thing that struck me (see the quote in the first paragraph above) is how tortured the language is which Bishop Eaton uses to refer to God. Its all “God…God…God” in order to avoid the masculine pronoun “He” for the Almighty. This is also true in the ELCA hymnal which has de-sexed all of the Psalms to get rid of masculine references for God.
May you and I be busy this day doing the work of God, HE has called us to join in HIS work of SAVING SOULS,
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
It's classic ELCA false teaching coming from the halls of the ELCA’s Wartburg Theological Seminary. Longtime professor Duane Priebe’s basic message to the seminary students at the October 1, 2015, chapel service? The law no longer applies, sins are okay because Jesus loves. (listen here)
Dr. Priebe begins his sermon by saying “This is one of those passages, when I first looked at this text, the only thing I could think of was, 'Sh*t!'” (The passage was Luke 16:14-18.)
Wartburg Theological Seminary posted the link to this sermon on their Facebook page. (see here)
And here is what is happening at Luther Seminary, the ELCA's largest seminary:
A bit of good news.
ELCA membership numbers from an October 2015, ELCA news story:
“Membership of the ELCA is 3,765,403 million, a decline of 2.53 percent from the previous year.” (see here)
The woman who works for and writes the tweets for the Northern TX-Northern LA Mission Area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, according to the synod's twitter page (see here), describes herself as an “angry feminist, former teacher, former blogger. Mom to 1 son and 4 cats.” (see here)
This women has written 2 or 3 dozen tweets and retweets this week supporting abortion. Below is one tweet she wrote, in response to someone else who tweeted this, "Abortions aren't 'cool' nor anything to be proud of. I'm disgusted that #ShoutYourAbortion is even a thing. Where is Jesus in our world?" -
Kristin Berkley-Abbott is a frequent writer for the ELCA's website Living Lutheran - see here. (Exposing the ELCA just posted a blog about one of her articles - see here). The following paragraphs by Berkley-Abbott will give you a little insight into the type person (with terrible theology) the ELCA is comfortable having write for their website.
"I don't really want to unpack my pastor's idea this morning--it's a little too close to troubling aspects of atonement theology, with which I don't agree. I think that Jesus died on the cross not to save us from our sins, but because he was a threat to the established social order, and crucifixion was the punishment for people who posed that threat to Empire. Enough of that unpacking.
But the idea of reconciliation appeals to me. I agree with theologians like Marcus Borg who says that Jesus came to show us what is possible for a human life. And reconciliation is one of our chief tasks." (read here)
The Rev. Lamont Wells is in the position of Director for Evangelical Mission/Assistant to the Bishop of the ELCA's Metropolitan New York Synod. If you go to his Twitter page, see here, you will find that every day Rev. Wells tweets his (I assume) horoscope. Most of his Twitter page is filled with these horoscopes. God's Word warns us to stay away from fortune telling and astrology. (see here) Yet here is a high-level leader in the ELCA doing just that.
The ELCA's Trinity Lutheran Seminary will host extreme liberal Brian McLaren. Trinity Seminary's website announced -
“This year’s Trinity Days will take place on September 24 and 25. Brian McLaren, named by Time magazine as one of America’s top 25 evangelicals, will be the keynote speaker. Brian McLaren is an author, speaker, pastor and networker among innovative Christian leaders, thinkers, and activists. He will speak on the theme 'Christian Identity and Mission Tomorrow.'” (see here)
Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (WELCA) went on Twitter and Facebook this week claiming the Son of God made errors.
God's Word says,
If this isn't proof enough that the ELCA has a false view of Scripture and God Himself, I don't know what it will take to convince you.
(Update: It looks like WELCA deleted the tweet I originally posted. It was the same as above except it included this comment "Today is the 15th Sunday after Pentecost. Jesus corrected his errors; how will you do the same?" They have not remove this comment from Pinterest yet, you can see it here or I have taken a screenshot of it and posted at the end of this article).
This teaching is widely taught in the ELCA and widely accepted by ELCA leadership.
Just a few days ago ELCA Pastor Cindy Muse of Calvary Lutheran Church, West Chester, PA begins this video asking, "Was Jesus a racist?" Please view this video. Later, after claiming she is "Shocked" by Jesus' words she says "Jesus just uttered a racial slur."
Here is a blog from a couple months ago with two more ELCA leaders (a seminary professor and a pastor) making similar claims.
ELCA.org published a post by ELCA pastor Bob Chell, Sioux Falls, SD, on this same topic and he writes “Jesus is being rude and dismissive to the woman he encounters. That is the simplest and, I believe, best explanation.” (see here)
WELCA's Pinterest post -
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
Frederic and Mary Anne Brussat write a monthly column for the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is a United Church of Christ pastor and she is an interfaith minister, ordained by the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. If that sounds kind of New Age and "all religions are fine", that's the way their website looks. Through the years the Brussats regularly commend liberal books and media to their readers. Here is how their July 2015 article begins as they recommend a book by liberal theologian Harvey Cox:
"Many mainline Protestant congregations have been split apart by biblical literalists who say there is only one way to read the Bible. Harvey Cox, who has taught at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., since 1965, can be counted on to help read and study the Bible with an open heart and mind."
So there it is, if you have a conservative view of Scripture, you split churches apart. If you're liberal, you have an open heart and mind.
The truth is that the liberal view of Scripture has caused division in ELCA churches where some ELCA pastors promote universalism, abortion rights, and homosexual behavior. Some ELCA seminary professors deny various miracles in the Bible like the Virgin Birth of Christ, some teach we should worship "God the Mother", and a number teach that all people will go to heaven, whether they believe in Jesus or not.
So who is "splitting apart" the Church? Not those who believe in traditional Christian doctrine, but those who deny it. It is the reason that liberal, mainline denominations have shrunk in the last 40 years.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
Exposing the ELCA has written extensively about the dangerous and non-Biblical belief and acceptance of the teaching of universalism ("a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved") within in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Just last week well known ELCA pastor/author and highly sought after speaker, Nadia Bolz-Weber revealed that she believes all people will be saved.
Rev. Bolz-Weber was interviewed by the online journal Religion & Politics:
“R&P: Would you consider yourself a universalist? Does everyone get saved in the end?
Universalism is a dangerous teaching. (Read here) But once again we see a leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America professing it. (not to mention ELCA websites and publications that do the same)
Check out what ELCA pastor Bolz-Weber then says when asked “Do you think the future of the Church involves synthesis with other faiths?”
“Syncretism has always been part of Christianity. There’s a reason why the Virgin of Guadalupe is huge in Mexico, and it has to do with the goddess religion that existed before that. I don’t think it’s something to fear. I think it’s the way that Christianity has survived. It lends itself in a sense towards it. And that’s why it can exist in so many different places in so many different forms.”
Adhering to other religions (which are false) or mixing other religions with Christianity is not a problem to people like Bolz-Weber because their understanding is that everyone will go to heaven anyway, according to their universalistic belief.
All this being said, (and all that we have reported on Nadia Bolz-Weber in the past – see here and scrolled down) Rev. Bolz-Weber still calls herself “orthodox.” From this article, Rev. Bolz-Weber says “I’m this really orthodox Lutheran theologian.” Oxforddictionaries.com defines “orthodox” as “Following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or beliefs of a religion, philosophy, or practice.” I, for one, wouldn’t call Nadia Bolz-Weber orthodox.
Clint Schnekloth is one of the most prominent and influential pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and his voice carries a lot of weight in the denomination. He is an author and blogger; he launched and facilitates the ELCA Clergy Facebook Group that has over 5800 members. And Pastor Schnekloth himself tells us that he -
In a letter posted on his blog he writes -
“This is why I'd like to say here what I often say to LGBT families in our congregation. Not only are you welcome. Not only are you tolerated. You are beautiful. Your same-gender partnership is attractive and a witness in our church. We want to learn from you.” (read here)
Again on the ELCA Clergy Facebook page, Rev. Schnekloth writes -
“Here is what I want to know. It seems popular these days to go with the Gnostic notion that Jesus was married. But this seems to fall right into the hands of heteronormativity. If Jesus wasn't single, it's pretty clear to me he was in a committed relationship with the beloved disciple, another man. Why do we assume he was attracted to women?” (posted here)
How sad that this man's view, this man's theology, is whole-heartedly accepted in the ELCA.
After reading Pastor Schnekloth's defaming of Christ and celebration of sexual sin, it is with gladness that I can tell you there was a massive split in the church (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Fayetteville, AR) that Rev. Schnekloth leads. Last month Rev. Schnekloth wrote -
“I'm doing a 'state of the church' sermon tomorrow. My plan is to name the reality of the new church that has broken off from us...” - (read here and for a news article of the new church read here)
It is almost unbelievable that anyone chose to remain under the leadership of this vocal, extremely liberal pastor. It is equally unbelievable that 3.8 million people have chosen to remain under the teaching of the satanically-inspired theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
One of the ELCA's favorite theologians, Marcus Borg, died a couple of weeks ago. Exposing the ELCA has written about the heretical teachings of Marcus Borg and his extensive connection with the ELCA in the past. (see here) Here is just one quote from Borg, an example of the heresy taught by this “teacher's teacher.” “I learned from my professors and the readings they assigned that Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world."
As you might imagine, many ELCA leaders were saddened to hear of Borg's death. A thread on an ELCA clergy facebook page contained the following comments -
Link to the closed group ELCA clergy page here.
The following is a comment that was posted on a previous Exposing the ELCA blog from a student at St. Olaf College, an ELCA school. It is truly a disturbing account of what the students are being taught and is a warning to all Bible believing parents considering sending their students to an ELCA college.
As a St Olaf student and full Christian Bible believer, I have found that St Olaf has increasing hatred towards me and what I believe. We are taught in our "religion" classes that Christians are hateful, hypocritical, sexist, and racist. We are taught that Christian beliefs were responsible for the Holocaust and the extermination of Native Americans. They tell us that much of the Bible is fiction; in particular, they teach that Ezekiel and Paul were mentally insane, Exodus never happened, and Matthew, Mark, and John never actually were followers of Jesus. It's incredible that this college still says it is a "Christian" college. The hatred I've received from students because of my beliefs is more than I've ever had before. Please pray that the actions of this college will come to light.
Anonymous St. Olaf Student
By Pastor Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Please follow/like Pastor Brock on Facebook by going here and twitter users here.
Back in 1979 I graduated from what is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Luther Theological Seminary. It was moderate to liberal back then, it has become much more liberal now. A person I know who has taught at Luther told me he believes much less than half of the Luther faculty believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ. I just looked at the upcoming chapel preachers who will speak to the seminarians. One is a practicing lesbian pastor. Another is the Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop who spoke at the Minnesota State Fair opposing the marriage amendment which would have kept marriage as one man and one woman. Yes, she spoke against that, and now we have homosexual marriage in Minnesota. Another chapel speaker is Reverend Peter Marty who writes articles in the ELCA’s official magazine “The Lutheran”. He poo-poos the idea of hell and teaches that one does not need to believe in Jesus to be saved. And he endorses the homosexual movement in the ELCA.
Since the ECLA’s 2009 decision to ordain practicing homosexuals, Luther has had to cut many faculty. Both money and enrollment have gone down at Luther Seminary. The old saying “You reap what you sow” is slowly but surely being played out in liberal, mainline denominations and their seminaries. The good news is that denominations and seminaries that uphold the authority of Scriptures tend to grow and flourish.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
"The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and Heaven without Hell." - William Booth
So it is with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
A recent article by long time ELCA seminary professor, author, speaker and current ELCA president of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), Rev. Dr. David J. Lose, is proof to William Booth's point. Addressing the concept of hell, Rev. Lose tries to dismiss the belief by saying “as you read the rest of the New Testament there are very few references to hell (outside similar parables) and in the Old Testament next to nothing.” (read here)
Truth be told, “hell” is specifically addressed fifty-five times in Scripture (King James Version, see here) and that does not include other references to it or the use of different words and phrases for “hell” like “lake of fire” and “everlasting punishment.”
Hell is a major problem for the liberal leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America because it stands contrary to their belief and teaching that all people will be saved (universalism).
The ELCA seminary president goes on, in his article, to say “For the last few decades at least, you see, 'hell' has stopped being a particularly lively or compelling topic in mainline preaching and conversation. Given it’s relatively scant place in Scripture, that may be a far more faithful treatment of the topic than many on the far right of the religious spectrum would guess. But while many of us have a harder and harder time imagining the God we know in Jesus consigning someone to a place of eternal torment and therefore applaud this development, I have wondered from time to time if we’ve figured out exactly what is a good substitute for hell.
What, that is, is the motivation for our gathering, our giving, our serving and volunteering? At least things were pretty clear when you had heaven as the carrot and hellfire as the stick. But what now? Even heaven seems increasingly difficult to talk about, as we perhaps too narrowly defined it as, well, the opposite of hell. So if we don’t have the mother-of-all reward-and-punishment schemes to fall back on, have we figured out exactly what we’re offering people.”
Rev. Lose then states, “I don’t miss hell...”
The Son of God, Jesus the Christ, spoke of hell more than anyone else in Scripture. So Rev. Lose and the ELCA's attempt to deny the existence of hell is blatantly a satanic lead assault on truth, Scripture and salvation.
“The friendly preacher who fails to warn of the reality of Hell, betrays the Son of God with a kiss.” - Ray Comfort
ELCA's Most Popular Pastor Decides What Parts of the Bible are NOT the Word of God, Calls Some of Paul's Writings 'Wretched' and Just 'His Snotty Opinions'
She hangs out with ELCA bishops, she speaks on the biggest ELCA stages, she is more popular and revered than Martin Luther in the denomination, but her theology is poison. Its ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. Exposing the ELCA has exposed Bolz-Weber's teaching in detail (scroll down page here) and in a recent interview we hear more of her heretical thoughts concerning Scripture.
At the 16 minute mark of Nadia Bolz-Weber's profanity-laced interview she says, “I had this weird realization about Paul, the apostle Paul . . . There's stuff in Paul's letters that is like so incredibly beautiful its like you almost tear up reading it, right? At where you're like that is the Gospel. Like when he is good he is unbeatable, right? When he is bad he is wretched. Right? So in Paul's letters its like at one point he is just going off about his opinions about on how you should do church and what this person should do and don't do that and this isn't okay and blah blah blah and then he speaks theologically and it's like beautiful, right? . . . there's a difference in me in what I say as a speaker and what I say as a preacher.”
Bolz-Weber goes on to describe that when she is speaking to people, she has some authority to speak on the topics but a lot of what she says are her own “snotty opinions.” According to Bolz-Weber, preaching is different.
“. . . Preaching hopefully in some way is the word of God, speaking is not. So I thought, I wonder, we can look at Paul that way. You know like sometimes he was just going off on his snotty opinions, he has some authority to speak on it but that’s not necessarily the Word of God.” (listen here)
You read that right, Nadia Bolz-Weber believes that the parts of the Bible she likes are the “Word of God.” However, the parts of Scripture that she doesn't like are not the “Word of God” but rather they are just the author's snotty opinions.
Bolz-Weber is dangerously wrong. ALL of Scripture is God's Word! Paul, the man who wrote 13 books of the New Testament, says this about the Bible -
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Paul writes, all Scripture is God-breathed, but ELCA superstar Nadia Bolz-Weber disagrees. She even believes that her preaching is more of the Word of God than the segments of the Bible she doesn't like.
Why are some of you staying in the ELCA when such heresy is lifted up?
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) is an ELCA seminary that is charged with the responsibility of teaching and preparing the future leaders and pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bible-believing Christians should be outraged at what is being taught at LTSP.
Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney is an associate professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at LTSP, and she has some very non-Biblical and heretical thoughts and teachings which she imparts to her students. Dr. Wil Gafney writes -
“Jesus said to a woman kneeling at his feet begging for help for her child, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” Did Jesus just call that woman a b----? I know this is Jesus and we’ve been trained to read him and hear him religiously, more than religiously, divinely, incarnationally. But where I come from you cannot call a child a dog without calling her mama a dog and you cannot call a woman a dog without calling her a b----.”
“And I’m standing up to Jesus, talking to and about women like me using language like that.”
“Apparently even Jesus needed a little help”
“How human, how divine is your Jesus? Is he human enough to be bigoted and biased? Or does your preconceived notion of the divinity of Jesus mean that whatever he said was holy.”
This ELCA seminary teacher is posing the thought that not everything the Son of God said was right, true and holy. At the same time she is presenting to future ELCA pastors that Jesus was bigoted and biased. (read here)
An additional quote from the seminary professor is this, ''The image of God is old, young, strong, weak, pregnant, infertile, nursing, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, straight and crooked, saint and sinner.” (read here)
Let's be clear: there is no sin in God. Sin is not an element of God's nature, yet this ELCA professor is stating that it is. She is saying God is a sinner, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered. Humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) but our sinful ways are not part of God.
“False,” “dangerous” and “heretical” are words that describe the teachings of the Jesus Seminar. Those are also words that describe many of the teachings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. So it will come as no surprise to many of you to learn that the Northwestern Minnesota ELCA Synod is promoting a conference by the Jesus Seminar. (see here) The seminar will be hosted this month by the ELCA's Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Ministry Center at the University of North Dakota.
A writer from the Institute on Religion & Democracy attended a recent Jesus Seminar gathering and reports of the heretical utterings made by the seminar speaker:
The Jesus Seminar is teaching “doctrines of demons” and the ELCA is accountable for encouraging people to sit under this teaching.
Universalism, the belief that all people will be saved, is prevalent in the ELCA. But an article in the ELCA's official publication, The Lutheran, shows us that universalism has gone from “a” belief, to “the” belief of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA has announced to its readers that the universalism is the doctrine the denomination is now built on.
The ELCA article “Who Gets Saved?” is written by pastor Peter W. Marty and he writes:
Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock responded to The Lutheran article on Facebook saying, “If anyone doubts that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pushes the heresy of universalism--the teaching that all people will be saved whether they believe in Jesus or not--see the article...from The Lutheran, the ELCA's official magazine. Tragic what the writer does with John 14:6, turning the teaching of Jesus on its ear. The author's point is that you don't really need faith in Christ to be saved. John 14:6, Acts 4:12 and 16:31 teach otherwise. No wonder the number of missionaries the ELCA sends out has gone down. If everyone is saved, no need to send missionaries.”
The other day a came across another ELCA pastor publicly proclaiming universalism. ELCA pastor Scot Ruffatto in Mukwonago, Wisconsin (former missionary of the ELCA to the Central African Republic) writes this on his church's blog:
People will be going to hell for eternity because the ELCA has embraced the teaching of universalism and as a result are not proclaiming the Truth of God's Word which says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” - John 3:16-18
See more documentation of the ELCA teaching universalism. (here and here)
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