What you are about to read, by the most famous and sought after pastor in the ELCA, goes completely against Scripture. Run away from this denomination as soon as you can.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and is highly revered in the denomination and with ELCA leadership. That, despite the heretical and controversial things she has said and done and keeps saying and doing. (See a list here, here and here)
Recently, Rev. Bolz-Weber appeared on a podcast by Kevin Garcia that was titled "Making Sex Shameless, w/ Nadia Bolz-Weber."
The content that follows shows you what the ELCA is becoming. This is what ELCA seminaries produced and are producing. Nadia Bolz-Weber is not some outlier. She is one of many the ELCA has elevated to a position of power and great influence, speaking throughout the ELCA and even to multiple ELCA Youth Gatherings.
During the interview the host asked Nadia to give a little synopsis of her new book, "Shameless." Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber replied (language warning):
“. . . it came out of my own experience, I was raised, obviously very very fundamentalist Christian, with all the crazy shit about gender roles and sex and extramarital sex and all that, but it was before the purity movement you know, but I was raised with all that, rejected it, led this very different life.
But then I discovered the Lutheran Church, and the ELCA is one of the most progressive denominations in the country and yet, there is a document you have to sign when you’re ordained called “Visions and Expectations” that says you would be faithful in marriage, or I think its 'celibate or chaste in singleness.'
Well, the origin of this document was it was originally sorta' forged through the denomination by a group that was trying to keep the homosexuals out of the pulpit. It was a way, it really was a way, of keeping the homos down. Because you would have to be celibate in your singleness, and gay people couldn’t get married – and that shifted, and they were like, 'oh shit,' right? And everybody had to sign this. And it’s insane because what happens is that there are all these people who get married right out of seminary, because they can’t afford to live separately, you know, they need to live in intern housing, and so they get married sooner than they should. Or they have sexual relationships that they are forced to keep secret or not be honest about. Or they are completely repressed, and we have single, grown-assed adults who don’t have, who are not flourishing in their sexual lives because the church says they shouldn’t.
So none of those things are great, really. And so you know, (Nadia then talks about her ex-husband)...we never connected, like there was no intimacy in our marriage, and for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen for us. And so, you know, people are like, ‘Wow, you don’t do cross-fit any more?’ And I’m like, ‘I was doing cross-fit because I wasn’t having sex!' You know what I mean, it was just a way of like managing. And now I’m like all soft, and I got long hair, and I’m so much happier.
So what happened was, I get divorced, like the most amicable divorce you can imagine. No lawyers, no acrimony. It was great, right, it was like actually really lovely. But I get together with my boyfriend and start having sex and it was like 'holy shit,' I was like, it felt like an exfoliation of my whole spirit. I'm like 'This is so good for my brain chemistry, and my body, and my heart. And I’m like fuck man, why in the world would the Church say ‘Don’t do this?’ Like I could tell it was what I needed, and it was so good. And then 10 days later, after we get together...I have to go to Europe for 3 1/2 weeks on a book tour, because the U.K and the German edition of my book came out...3 ½ weeks after years of sexlessness and 10 days of having sex, right, my mind was like swirling, I was like ‘What the fuck is happening?!’"
"I’m walking down a street in London...we (a friend) just cried and ate, we had both just gotten divorced, and we were like insane. So for 10 days we trampsed around England and Scotland, and eating and crying...I as like ‘Wait a minute, why did the Church make me sign that thing? How is it better for my church if I’m not getting laid?’ Look, the church will entrust me with the care of souls and will not entrust me with my own grown-ass woman sexuality, to make good decisions for myself? Like don’t fuck the flock, clearly, I get that part... I’m like, “what the fuck.” So I messaged, I whatsapped Eric, my boyfriend… and granted, this was with an unwarranted urgency, and I’m going, and he gets on Skype, and he’s not Christian, he’s never a Christian, and I go ‘Why do you think the Church has tried to control sex for so long?’ and without skipping a beat, my beloved said, ‘Umm...I guess I always assumed that the Church saw sex as its competition'…I was like, I’m writing a book."
Nadia continues, "Here’s the harm that these teachings have directly caused myself and these people (who Nadia interviewed), and if the teachings of the Church are harming people, we need to rethink these teachings. We should never be more loyal to an idea or a doctrine or an interpretation of a Bible verse than we are to people. So that’s the premise of the book.”
(Listen here. Starting at 22:20 minute mark.)
Continuing on, “I want people to have better sex too. I want people to feel uninhibited with their lover and to lose themselves in that. And uhm, you know, I think Christianity has led to a lot of really bad sex. And a lot of people shut down and not connected to their bodies. And terrified to talk about sex with their partner, even.” (Listen here. Starting at 41:40)
What ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber is saying, pushing for a new teaching on sex to replace the Biblical and traditional view of where sexual relations are to take place, is evil. It is from the pit of hell. It is against God's will and God's Word.
Let's recap what Rev. Bolz-Weber said (and apparently what she says in her new book):
- She calls the ELCA document that pastors sign, reserving sex to marriage, "insane."
- She calls fundamentalist thought on extramarital sex "crazy shit."
- She says she is having sex with her boyfriend, (hence, sex outside of marriage. This is in violation of "Vision and Expectations," an ELCA document for pastors that she signed.)
- She questions why the Church would not allow sex outside of marriage.
- She calls the Biblical teaching on sex "harmful."
- She says "people" should come before God's Word, if God's Word causes "harm" to some people.
As I said earlier, this is not one crazy ELCA pastor talking. This is a belief held by many ELCA pastors, leaders and future ELCA pastors. See below the social media post by ELCA pastor, Javen Swanson, and my blog about "Naked and Unashamed" (here).
Below is Pastor Swanson's tweets with active links.
(Language warning. My apologies for using the vile words of this ELCA Pastor. But with so many teenagers going to this event, people need to know what kind of teacher will be speaking to their children and also what the ELCA leadership finds good and acceptable to place in front of these students as a teacher and role model)
The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering, occurring this summer, recently announced that the ELCA's Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche will be a keynote speaker at their national gathering/conference. Here is their announcement:
Parents sending their teenagers to the ELCA Youth Gathering are entrusting their children to the ELCA, to care for and properly instruct them in Christ-honoring ways and with Christ-honoring content. It is a mistake. The ELCA has proven to be an extremely liberal denomination that twists, ignores and violates God's Word. And the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has proven again that they can not be trusted, by asking Pastor Tuhina Verma Rasche, an outspoken radical and controversial pastor, who gained fame in the ELCA for co-authoring the "Fuck This Shit" devotional, to be a keynote speaker. Here is a screenshot of the devotional written by Rev. Rasche:
- A follow-up Advent devotional, co-authored by Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche, is called #ShutTheHellUp. (see here)
Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche will be speaking to an estimated 30,000 young people who are coming, from all over the United States, to the ELCA Youth Gathering held in Houston, Texas. (Who will each pay around $400 to attend.)
- If that isn't bad enough, ELCA pastor and Youth Gathering speaker, Tuhina Verma Rasche, stood in agreement with a sex-obsessed ELCA group called "Naked and Unashamed" when she signed a statement by the group, which in part said,
“We are ELCA Lutherans…The plethora of stories we hear in our conversations demonstrate that life and liberty are being oppressed in the pressure for church leaders to be in marital relationships, or otherwise abstain from all sexual intimacy. The common good of both parishioners and church leaders would benefit from the freedom to be in a variety of healthy relationships…”
A specific change the group would like to see in ELCA official documents is: "No longer privileging marriage as the only acceptable form of sexual relationality." (see here)
Tuhina Verma Rasche isn't the only ELCA 2018 Youth Gathering keynote speaker who signed the "Naked and Unashamed" statement. ELCA Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber did also. (read more about "Naked and Unashamed" here)
- Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche says she is a "Networker" for another radical ELCA group called #decolonizeLutheranism. (see here)
As you contemplate what you have just read and what you will read below, ask yourself if Pastor Tuhina Verma Rasche is the kind of person you want challenging, instructing and motivating your teenagers. Also ask if you should trust the ELCA with your teenager's spiritual growth. Events like this have potential for enormous impact in the lives of young people. Many make commitments and respond to challenges given. What type of commitments will they be called to make? What kind of messages will they be asked to respond to, in their thinking and actions?
Additionally, the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering will have a transgender child and his trans advocate mother speak. (see here) As well as many extreme, radical groups hosting “Interactive Learning" booths at the Gathering. (see here)
If you are a parent of a teenager scheduled to go to the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering, I recommend you cancel their trip. Additionally, if you know of students attending, call your church leader and recommend the church cancel their plans to go. Choose something that will lead them to know and follow Jesus, an experience that will lead them into a greater understanding of God's Word rather than being influenced by leaders with this type of message:
- In a blog by ELCA Pastor Rasche, she writes,
"I am so fucking furious right now." And,
"The United States, a nation built on white supremacy, decided that it would rather be white than the silly and stupid metaphors of a melting pot and a salad bowl I learned about in my civics classes." (see here)
- Below are tweets by ELCA Pastor Rasche going back to the first of the year. In her tweets you will find lots of anger, demonization of white males, racist comments about white people, liberal politics, gay pride, trans pride and anger at the United States of America.
Jessica Davis is an ELCA leader. She is a chaplain for the #decolonizeLutheranism group, an organization formed of mostly ELCA leaders, and a signer of the "Naked & Unashamed Statement" which was also written by ELCA leaders. Jessica Davis was also part of a discussion panel that included the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see here)
If there is any doubt that the devil is alive and well in the ELCA, read the following from a blog written by Jessica Davis:
“All it did was remind me that the spirit of G-d is a slut. She gives exactly no shits about respectability, about who she’s supposed to be with, about the right time and place and manner in which to make an appearance. She comes and crashes the party, when and how she wills, in whatever body she chooses, and most of the time, she helps you come too.
And it is from all her heavenly thotery that revolution is born. She opens her legs and invites us in, there to dwell in the house of the Lord. And today, it is enough.” (see here)
That is vile, blasphemous and demonic.
Jessica Davis is an example of the type of leadership that is enveloping the ELCA and embraced by them. It is truly disturbing.
Below we see the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America disseminating a video of Jessica Davis on the ELCA-administrated "ELCA Reformation 500" Facebook page.
The time to flee the ELCA is now.
Sexual intimacy being reserved for marriage is so old school, at least according to the LSTC Gender and Sexuality Coalition, a group of ELCA leaders. They have written a statement on relationality/sexuality in the ELCA:
“We are ELCA Lutherans…The plethora of stories we hear in our conversations demonstrate that life and liberty are being oppressed in the pressure for church leaders to be in marital relationships, or otherwise abstain from all sexual intimacy. The common good of both parishioners and church leaders would benefit from the freedom to be in a variety of healthy relationships…” (see here)
Additionally, “We call for a moral deliberation and discernment process as described in CS initiated in the ELCA where V&E, DGD, and HS are evaluated based on an expanded theology and ethic of Christian relationality. Specific changes we would like to see include:
- No longer privileging marriage as the only acceptable form of sexual relationality
- Updating ELCA policies to reflect marriage equality in the United States
- Editing out language that perpetuates heteronormativity and sexual oppression” (see here)
A number of high profile ELCA leaders have signed this statement, people such as Nadia Bolz-Weber, transgender Rev. Asher O’Callaghan, Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, Pastor Jason Chesnut, Francisco Herrera, Rev. Kwame Pitts and Pastor Emily Scott. (see complete list below)
This group of ELCA leaders also has a website (Naked and Unashamed), with supporters of the group writing and sharing their story. (content warning)
One Ph.D student shared her story and titled it, “How My Clitoris Keeps My Faith Alive.” It is just as bad as you can image. Here is one quote from the story, “My praise comes from between my legs, and right now that is enough.” (see here)
A male ELCA youth leader writes, “Church for me happens at night—in a kiss, on the dance floor, in the company of drag queens, my chipped nail polish, smudged eyeliner and all.” (see here)
Instead of filling this blog with all the raunchy and personal sex stories which permeate the Naked and Unashamed website (which is frightening to think that the ELCA leaders think this is a godly endeavor), next are some quotes of those wanting change in the way pre-marital sex is viewed. One person details a personal viewpoint:
“It’s time that the church look itself in the mirror and acknowledge: a very large percentage of our denomination’s members, clergy, and candidates have sexual relationships before marriage. And many of these relationships are healthy, holy, and whole. This is nothing new. It has been the case for many years now. But we’ve all been too ashamed of our own sexuality to admit it.
I am a human made in God’s image. Created with the glorious capacity to give and receive pleasure. A capacity to love and be loved. A capacity to discern together with my partner what sort of legal commitments are right for us. My current sexual relationship is holy and whole right now without marriage. I will not be ashamed.” (see here)
“The plethora of stories we hear in our conversations demonstrate that life and liberty are being oppressed in the pressure for church leaders to be in marital relationships, or otherwise abstain from all sexual intimacy.” (see here)
“This experience is the opposite of grace, of being freed by baptism to serve the neighbor, of the Lutheran assertion of an embodied incarnational God. The ELCA needs to repent of this oppression and change the way we teach people about sex and marriage.” (see here)
The far left ELCA group Decolonize Lutheranism showed their support tweeting:
Here are the ELCA leaders who signed the Naked and Unashamed summary statement:
"Iren Raye, PhD Student, Naked & Unashamed co-founder
Malina Keaton, Seminarian, Naked & Unashamed co-founder
Elle Dowd, Seminarian
Rev. Asher O’Callaghan, Pastor
Christian Scharen, ELCA Pastor, Vice President of Applied Research, The Center for the Study of Theological Education
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rev.
Amalia Vagts, Lay Leader
Jason Chesnut, Pastor/ Mission Developer
Francisco Herrera, Convener #decolonizeLutheranism
Rev. Kwame Pitts, Pastor
Shane R Brinegar, M.Div., STM, Advanced Studies Student, LSTC
Andrew Baumgartner, Seminarian
Andrew Tobias Nelson, Pastor
Rachel Slough-Johnson, Lay Member
Courtenay Reedman Parker, Associate Pastor
Zsófi Schmiedge, Pastor – ELCIC
Aneeta, Intern pastor
Laura Gomez, Congregation Member
Hannah Podshadley, Director of Youth Ministry
Jaeymes Childers, Diaconal Ministry Candidate
Amy Asendorf, MDiv Candidate
Beth Ann, Off the Roster Pastor
The Rev. Fr. Ángel Marrero Ayala, Priest
Erin Coleman Branchaud, Seminarian
Emily Scott, Pastor
Joshua Warfield-May, Youth Minister
Jessica Obrecht, Seminarian
Analyse Triolo, Vicar
Charles H. Featherstone, Pastor & Counselor, Psalm 10 Ministries
Sherianne Molzahn Caldwell, Congregation Member
Kim Triplett, Pastor
Lenny Duncan, Seminarian
Maria Anderson-Lippert, Pastor
Lianna Branham, Former Member
Michelle, Former Member
Kiah Shaw, Congregation Member
Carol van Deelen, Congregation Member
Deborah Ahl, Lay Leader
Mark Hernes, Congregation Member
Mary See Kennedy, Member
Alice Connor, Campus Minister
Anonymous, Youth Ministry Leader
Joan Braun, Congregation Member
Rachael, Congregation Member
Rene Paquin, Administration
Libby Denton, Congregation Member/ Future Seminarian
Elyssa Salinas, PhD Student
Allison Westerhoff, Congregation Member
Tyler Freckmann, Lay Person
Amanda Hancer, Congregation Member
Shelby Harrah-Ferguson, Member
Catherine Slabaugh, Student-California Lutheran University
Anonymous, Youth Minister
The Rev. Rachel K. Anderson, Pastor
Patricia Kuehner, Congregation Member
Kali Hill, Congregation Member
Dennis Bux, Retired Pastor
Scott Maxwell-Doherty, University Pastor
Tori Dahl, Congregation Member
Christina Montgomery, Seminarian
Jeff R. Johnson, Rev.
Christina Espegren, Lay Person
Rebecca Deming Rumpf, Congregation Member and Choir Member
Sierra Ronning, Lay Person
Eric Renn, Congregation Member
Steven Rizzo, Director of Ministry
Kristen Lee, Seminarian
Casey Kloehn, Rev.
Sarah Kretschmann, Seminarian
Emily Miller, Lay Leader
Leandra Rizzo, Congregation Member, Former ELCA Missionary
Melissa Melnick, Rev.
Rev. Matthew Stainz, Pastor
Craig Johnson, Synod Vice President
Day Hefner, Seminarian
Ryan Muralt, ELCA Member
Zac Baker, Churchwide Assembly Nominating Committee
Nathan Graham, Congregation Member
Rachel Johnson, Congregation Member
Alexandra E.H. Smith, Seminarian
Jess Meibeyer, Congregation Member
Edwina Rockman Baethge, Mdiv. Pulpit Supply Preacher
Jenna Pulkowski, Rev.
Kayla, Congregation Member
Sarah Coen-Tuff, Seminarian
Kevin Beebe, Seminarian- PLTS
Joelle Dahl, Customer Professional
Jo Hobbs, Church Council Secretary
Carolyn Carpenter, Congregation Member
Peder Hinderlie, Pastor
Paul Carlson, Pastor
Elizabeth Clark, Seminarian
Sarah Derrick, Seminarian
Pamela Shea, Congregation Member
Mathew Berger, Seminarian
Moose Flores, M. Div, Youth Director
Mary Dungy-Akenji, Congregation Member
Ray Gentry, Worship Director
Cole McGlynn, Incoming Seminarian
Julie M. Merrill, Lutheran
Sharon Janot, Pastor
Kate Wulff, Lay Leader
Nikoli Falenschek, Rev.
Anonymous, Candidate, CSS and Seminarian
Catherine Tietjen, Congregation Member
Anonymous, Pastor (on leave from call)
Ben Hogue, Seminarian- PLTS
JD Mechelke, HS Youth Minister
Tuhina Rasche, Rev.
Andrés Albertsen, PhD Candidate
Christine Therriault-Merkel, Pastor
John M. Brett, Seminarian
Reed Fowler, Congregation Member/ Future Seminarian
Christephor Gilbert, Seminarian and ELCA Candidate
Gary Schaeffer, Executive Director, Deacon
Jessica Davis, Christian Educator
Margaret Grimes, Congregation Member
Keith Walbolt, Pastor
Debbie Ahl, Lay Leader
Jane Garvey, Congregation Member
Amy Kumm-Hanson, Rev.
Chelsey Olson, Seminarian
Barbara Denton, Congregation Member, Church Council Steward
Anna Hurley, Congregation Member
Charlotte Trent, Congregation Member, Future Seminarian
Samantha Markman, Congregation Member
Maria Markman, Seminarian
Christine Hitt, Director of Worship and Music
Devin, Praise Band Director
Lou Ann Wischnewski, Congregation Member
Shelby Denton, Congregation Member
Bethany Ringdal, Candidate for Ordained Ministry, Seminarian
Lainey Wolff, Cradle Lutheran
Anders Nelson, Seminarian
Karl Anliker, Seminarian
Makayla Marinack, Seminarian
Fanya Berry, Seminarian
Michelle Steiner, Seminary Graduate, MAPL"
ELCA pastor Alex Raabe shared a similar pro-premarital sex sentiment to the Naked and Unashamed crowd tweeting:
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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