ELCA national magazine: Offering tobacco and food to ancestors, Mother God and embracing a Native American creation story
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
This month's Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, highlights women in ministry. One such person is Prairie Rose Seminole, American Indian Alaska Native program director for the ELCA. She writes: "...As the sun rises, I also rise. I put out water, tobacco or food for my ancestors. I offer gratitude...for being able to witness to that which moves all things--God, Great Mystery, Chief Who Sits Above, Mother, Creator, the blood in my veins, the hurricane crashing to shore, earth moving--that power of which we are all a part...I come from the Sahnish/Arikiara tribe...Our creation story is different from what is in the Bible. Is it our place to say that is wrong? No....My faith is influenced by millennia upon millennia of indigenous roots in this land, 2,000 years of Christianity, 500 years of the Lutheran church, and more than 500 years of genocide and policies to wipe out the first people of our country."
Sadly, what we have here is a program director for the ELCA who is trying to combine pagan, non-Christian religion with Christianity. Pantheism teaches that God is everything and everything is God (the mountains, the hurricanes, everything is God). But Christians reject pantheism and teach that God is separate from His creation, God is the Creator, not the created. Christians believe in God the Father, nowhere did Jesus teach us to pray to God as "Mother." And the Biblical account of creation is the one Christians believe, not stories from other religions.
I am German. My ancestors worshiped Thor and Odin. I am not at all offended that I cannot worship these old gods along with the Holy Trinity, neither do I want to. We are all called upon, regardless of our heritage, to reject the false gods of our ancestors and worship the Trinity alone. Sadly, this article from the national magazine of the ELCA appears to teach otherwise.
In Jesus the only Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Read the Living Lutheran article here.)
chapel service or church should not happen. Religions other than the Judeo-Christian faith are false, but it gets worse.
At the St. Olaf service, Fardosa Hasson spoke of how Muslim students at Augsburg University asked her to help them hold Friday prayers on campus. She said,
“The Director of Ministry, Pastor Sonya (Hagander), says, ‘Oh it would be great if we can actually have it in the Chapel.’ And I remember the conversation, as we go on, and now that I see every Friday, on campus, we have Friday services, inside the Chapel…it is reaffirming of diversity and inclusion to actually have it in a space where we all worship that one god. And remember, our chapel is not like here, where there are so many pictures of Jesus and Mary…” (see here)
So Muslim prayer services, to Allah, who is NOT the God of the Bible, are happening every Friday at Hoversten Chapel at Augsburg University. This is happening, as the speaker said, at the initiative of ELCA Pastor Sonja M. Hagander, University Pastor and Director of Ministries and Associate Director at Augsburg University (see here), and obviously with the approval of Augsburg University itself.
Using a house of God to worship other gods is a violation of the first commandment. God’s Word in Exodus 20:2,3 tells us, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
Here are some similar verses - https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Do-Not-Have-Other-Gods
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its colleges, like Augsburg University and St. Olaf College, cannot and should not be trusted with the responsibility of teaching and guiding you or your family’s faith development.
In the wake of the recent New York City terrorist attack where a Muslim man drove a pickup truck into pedestrians yelling "Allahu Akbar" (which is common with Islamist attacks) we have this, from ELCA pastor Lura Groen:
USA Today recently featured two articles highlighting an ELCA pastor who invited Muslims to use his church to hold their prayer services. Apparently, being very proud of this the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America posted about it on social media a number of times. (see below)
ELCA pastor Fred Schenker and Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Pittsburg, Pennsylvania area opened their church building up for Muslim worship starting in 2007, up until Pastor Schenker's recent retirement. Pastor Schenker said, "There was a group of Muslims, a congregation, and they were trying to find a space to pray. They had been to different churches, trying to find a space just for Friday, and they got nos. And they came to Trinity, and I said well sure. Christ tells us to love all people, and these guys want to pray? Wonderful." (see here and here is the second article)
Is it the lack of Biblical knowledge, lack of common sense, the placing of ones own values over that of Scripture or succumbing to Satan's influence that causes a pastor of a Christian church to allow people who worship a deity other than the One True God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to use their building, their worship space, to worship this false god? The same question can be asked of ELCA leadership who lift it up as praiseworthy.
Pastor Schenker goes on to say, "In our church family, loving our Muslim neighbors and inviting them to use our church facilities for Friday prayers and activities, sends a strong message that Christians and Muslims not only can tolerate one another, but they can love and respect one another."
Loving your neighbor is helping him or her know the Truth. It is not "loving your neighbor" to provide your church building, a place dedicated to the things of the One True God, so people can worship false gods. Should a church allow prostitutes to use their building to have sex with their customers? Should drug dealers be invited to sell and store their drugs in a church in the name of "love your neighbor?" What this church is doing is wicked, harmful and blasphemous.
There is but one way to heaven, through Jesus Christ, who is revealed to us in the Bible. Other religions are highways to hell. It is eternally destructive for people to worship other gods. Additionally, it is strike in the face to God to have His building used to worship "any other god."
Below are three different posts by official pages of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America about this issue:
As of Friday afternoon the above post by the ELCA has garnered 766 “likes” and 133 people/churches have "shared" it. You should read the comments and shares, and you will find all kinds of praise of this action from readers. Some of them include:
- "Thank-you for doing the right thing."
- "It's all about loving our neighbors as ourselves."
- "Yes!!! This why I love being a Lutheran."
- "My church in South Texas did the same before their mosque was built." (see here)
How can people applaud this? Where are the true ministers of God who will inform people that this is wrong? Obviously not in the ELCA. They are failing, and most of them are wolves in sheep's clothing.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) recently held its 54th annual convention, and of course, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was well-represented.
We will begin with the ELCA's Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. She was given the ISNA Excellence In Interfaith Award (see here) and spoke to the assembly -
Then we have Kathryn Lohre. According to her Twitter account, she is the "ELCA Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations, and Immediate Past President of the National Council of Churches." (see here) Below she tweets about Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, the National Director for the Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances for the Islamic Society of North America.
The ELCA's Northern Illinois Synod posted this on their Facebook page:
Additionally, Shoulder-to-Shoulder, an interfaith organization which says it is dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace, of which the ELCA is a part, tweeted this:
Here is some information about the ISNA, with whom the ELCA works:
(For more information about the ISNA, including their close association with the ELCA, see http://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/the-elca-muslim-brotherhood and
If you have been watching or reading honest and fair news outlets, you probably heard of this recent ISNA convention. It made waves when popular Muslim activist, Linda Sarsour, the keynote speaker at the gathering, "told her Muslim audience at the July 1-3 ISNA convention that they should remain constantly in a state of 'rage' against Trump. She encouraged them not to assimilate into American society…”
Then she said, “I hope, that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad.” And “That we are struggling against tyrants and rulers, not only abroad in the Middle East or on the other side of the world, but here in these United States of America."
“You have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House." (see here. This article also includes more disturbing information about Linda Sarsour)
Did you hear that? She encouraged listeners to not assimilate into America society, talked about "jihad" and called our leaders "fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes."
Why are you part of the ELCA, a denomination that attended this event of the ISNA and boasted on social media about it?
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.)
On the cover of its June issue, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's "Living Lutheran" magazine highlights the below 15-year-old Lutheran who won a Google contest by drawing a picture of people of all religions, LGBT pride people, and gender non-conforming people with their arms around each other. "Diversity is a beautiful thing", she said.
Not too long ago the Lutheran Church encouraged teenagers to follow the Bible's teaching on sexuality. Today, the ELCA highlights those who endorse a lifestyle that the Bible says will exclude people from the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Back in 2009, when the ELCA decided to ordain practicing homosexuals, they also agreed to allow everyone--liberals and conservatives--to follow their "bound conscience" on the issue. But since 2009, I have not seen one "Living Lutheran" article giving the conservative viewpoint on this issue. But there have been numerous articles promoting the liberal viewpoint. It is most tragic, however, when teenagers are enlisted to support the cause.
Pastor Tom Brock
The ELCA has a responsibility to know who they hire and pay to work for the denomination. As a claimed "Christian" denomination it is not acceptable to have people employed (paid by ELCA members financial gifts to the denomination) who are involved in other religious practices that go against Christian belief.
Inez Torres Davis is a lady who “retired as the core racial justice/anti-racism trainer of Women of the ELCA (WELCA) after 20 years. She is also rostered Word & Service lay professional of the ELCA…and she sits on the ELCA’s Theological Discernment table.” She is also a blog writer for WELCA. In a recent article by Inez Torres Davis, that was posted by a Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago webpage, we find out that she is a "Reiki master." (see here)
I didn't know what a Reiki master was so I looked it up and found:
"Although Reiki claims to be an 'ancient healing practice that Buddha (and Jesus) used,' all records of it were lost. It was allegedly rediscovered by Mikao Usui, a Zen Buddhist monk, in the mid-1800s 'during a psychic experience.' Additionally, it is claimed that details about lost aspects of the practice have 'been revealed through channeling.' Channeling is the New Age term for mediumship and involves contact with, and usually possession by, 'spirit guides.'...a second-degree Reiki practitioner 'learns about spirit guides and how to contact and use them in healing sessions.'... third degree Reiki masters give 'complete control of healing sessions to their spirit guides.' Healing sessions appear to be based on the use of 'life-energy' (i.e. ki, chi, or prana), which is sent from the practitioner into the patient’s body. The greatest concern would seem to be the identity of the 'spirit guides.' Since they are typically contacted in ways expressly forbidden in Scripture, and since they advocate unbiblical ideas and practices, it is honestly quite difficult to view them as anything other than the biblical demons."
“Reiki is antithetical to biblical Christianity. Channeling is a way of communicating with spirits to obtain information not otherwise accessible. It is denounced in the Bible as sorcery, mediumship, and spiritism (Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:6; Deut. 18:9-14…).” (see here)
This is wicked, evil, dangerous stuff and the ELCA has employed someone who considers herself a "Reiki master." They have placed her in leadership positions and given her the opportunity to influence hundreds of thousands of members through her writing and the positions she has held.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is responsible to qualify leaders for service in the denomination. Given this example and the multitude of questionable ELCA leaders I've highlighted over the years (and the ELCA's terrible record on Biblical Truth,) the ELCA should not be trusted for finding Godly, Bible-believing pastors to lead congregations and ministries.
See more Exposing the ELCA articles about Inez Torres Davis here.
Mike Housholder, Pastor of the Nation’s Largest ELCA Church, Wants More Refugees Brought Into America
Mike Housholder is the senior pastor of the ELCA’s largest church, Lutheran Church of Hope, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Last week Lutheran Church of Hope hosted the ELCA’s Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly where Pastor Housholder was one of five sponsors of a resolution which seeks to bring more refugees into the United States. Here are the main parts of Housholder’s resolution:
“RESOLVED that the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly of the ELCA, encourage its bishop, pastors, and congregations to engage in a process of education, conversation, and prayerful discernment regarding the ongoing refugee crisis;
RESOLVED that the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly encourage members of the Southeastern Iowa Synod to live out our biblical mandate to welcome the stranger by advocating to their elected officials for an increase, rather than a decrease, in refugee arrivals to our nation and communities;”
“Respectfully Submitted by:
Luis Arredondo, Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines
Rev. Minna Bothwell, Capitol Hill Lutheran Church, Des Moines
Rev. Mike Housholder, Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines
Rev. Chris Olkiewicz, Windsor Heights Lutheran Church, Windsor Heights
Rev. Sarah Trone Garriott, Faith Lutheran Church, Clive”
The resolution was “adopted.” (see here and then click "Resolution 2." That link will take you to a document that must be downloaded to view)
As is noted in the resolution, this is about the "ongoing refugee crisis." Given recent world events and the current political climate (i.e. "the Muslim ban" discussion and legal battle), it’s troubling that Mike Housholder and the SE Iowa Synod are asking the U.S. government to bring more refugees into the United States of America. A major concern is that a vast majority of people leaving their homelands and considered “refugees” today are from pre-dominantly Muslim countries where Muslim radical groups continually advocate for death to Christians or Americans. (here is an article about the world's refugees)
The ideology of Islam, which many Muslims embrace, is that of its founder and the writer of the Islamic holy book, the Quran. What did the founder teach and practice? Forced submission to the Islamic faith, persecution or death. This is not just a former characteristic of this ideology, but we are seeing extremists of the Muslim faith continuing this all over the world today, most recently in Manchester, England where teenagers and parents were targeted at a concert attracting thousands of young people.
Knowing this, we have an ELCA pastor in Mike Housholder, whose church is growing so much that they have opened up satellite ELCA churches in nearby towns, advocating that the United States bring more refugees in our country--some whose religion teaches to persecute and kill Christians if they do not convert, treat women as cattle, kill homosexuals, hate Jews, celebrate the murder of “infidels,” perform female genital mutilation on young girls, arrange for child brides, advocate the hatred of dogs and practice and enforce sharia law over the law of the United States.
Look at all of the terrorist acts being committed in the world today and who is taking responsibility for them? Muslim extremists groups. And Pastor Mike Housholder wants to bring more refugees into the U.S. from countries that sponsor and harbor Muslim extremists? Have you seen the problems and crimes, including rapes and terrorism, happening by Muslim refugees in European countries? Check out the videos in this link regarding what is happening, in Germany alone, by Muslim "refugees."
And who will pay for all these refugees to come here, to live here? Mike Housholder and the SE Iowa Synod wants you, the U.S. taxpayer, to foot the bill by asking the U.S. government to accept more refugees. That will fall on you, the taxpayer to fund this endeavor.
Mike Housholder and the SE Iowa Synod are advocating for a policy that could put YOU and your family in danger, AND they want you to pay for it.
I recommend every member of Lutheran Church of Hope let Mike Housholder and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America know, in writing and in person, that they vehemently disagree with their refugee resolution (and the ELCA’s LGBTQ policies, transgender policies, pro-abortion policies, Anti-Israel policies, universalist beliefs, anti-biblical teachings and agenda of gender-neutral language for God, among others), and let them know you will not be part of their church and denomination any longer.
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This is the time of year when many seniors in high school are finalizing their decisions on where they will go to college. It is an important decision that will shape and influence the rest of their lives in many ways. Most importantly, it will influence students' Christian faith.
Parents need to ask and investigate how the prospective college will influence their child's Christian faith and belief.
To help parents and students in their investigation I have written the following about Gustavus Adolphus College.
Gustavus Adolphus College is a school of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) located in Saint Peter, Minnesota. One would think this Lutheran college would be an excellent place to grow in your Christian faith, to encourage you in your faith and to deepen your understanding of Scripture and God’s will for you. It is not. I repeat, it is not. As you will read below, Gustavus Adolphus College is openly encouraging thoughts and behaviors that go against the will of God, thereby leading students away from Christ Jesus and the Truth of God’s Word.
--- The Gustavus Adolphus Department of Theatre/Dance performed the play “In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play.” On the Gustavus Adolphus website, announcing this production, is the warning, “If you are offended by beautiful naked people and/or consenting adults having frank conversations about physical pleasure please, do not come to see this play.” (see here)
--- Gustavus Adolphus’ made news when freshman orientation activities were filmed and posted online in 2010. The article linked below describes the school's orientation gathering as a “series of sexually suggestive skits explaining to incoming students such things as where to get free condoms on campus, how to signal to your roommate that you are busy having sex (so he waits until later to come in), and how to tell your roommate you're gay (as well as the appropriate response you ought (to) take when receiving such information).” (see report here)
Here is a video of the Gustavus Adolphus College freshman orientation activity.
The second Gustavus Adolphus College freshmen orientation video post below is equally disturbing.
--- Last month, a Safer Sex Carnival was held at Gustavus Adolphus. The college’s website reports “The Carnival will include resources and information about having safer sex and overall healthier, more satisfying relationships.” The Safer Sex Carnival is sponsored by Title IX, the Dean of Students Office, and the Sexual Education and Decision Committee. (see here)
--- On the Gustavus Adolphus website you can find a section from a book called “Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex.” One line from the excerpt says “Child or teen sex can be moral or immoral.” (see here)
--- The college paper, Gustavus Weekly, tells us, “Gustavus library finalizes plans for gender-neutral bathrooms.” (see below)
--- The College newspaper published another piece called “Legalize Sex Work” where the author encourages the legalization of prostitution. (see here)
--- Gustavus Adolphus’ Women’s Awareness Center held an event to talk about “orgasms, safe sex decisions and the importance of respecting our bodies.” (see here)
--- The Gustavus Day of Fasting-A Ramadan Celebration in honor of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan was sponsored by the Chaplains’ Office. (see here)
--- Last year the Chaplains’ Office and Diversity Center sponsored a webinar called Campus Responses to Islamophobia (see here)
--- Office of the Chaplains’, Siri Erickson, Brian Konkol and Ailya Vajid released a statement saying “we are deeply grieved by the rise of Islamophobia in our nation…we stand against hate, ignorance, and bigotry wherever they occur and together work to promote dignity, inclusion, and equity.” (see here)
--- The ELCA Lutheran school has a multifaith center. “The Center is the new home for a number of student organizations, including Gustavus’ Muslim Student Association, Gustavus Meditation, Gustavus Interfaith Lodge, and the Multifaith Leadership Council.” (see here and the screenshot below)
--- “Diwali Festival of Lights, a traditional Hindu celebration, will be observed at Gustavus Adolphus College at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 in Alumni Hall, in O.J. Johnson Student Union.” (see here)
--- What about Buddhism at Gustavus Adolphus? Yep. “Gustavus community will have the opportunity to participate in a cultural event not normally seen in this part of the world. Students and faculty are invited to join in the celebration of the annual Buddhist festival of Vesak…” (see here)
--- The Chaplins’ Office section on the college website has a list of small groups and programs one can attend. Among them is Feminist Bible Study, Muslim Student Association and Gustavus Meditation. On the Chaplins’ Office webpage we are told that Gustavus’ “Meditation is lead (sic) by a local Buddhist monk, Prof. John Cha, and Cody Kirk and is followed by discussion. The purpose of this organization is to provide a weekly meditation classes for the entire Gustavus campus.” (see here)
--- Department of Theatre/Dance at Gustavus presented a performance of The Ragamala Dance’s 1,001 Buddhas: Journey of the Gods. This performance was “inspired by twenty-eight Hindu deities that guard the 1,001 Buddhist statues of the Sanjusangendo temple in Kyoto, Japan.” And illustrated “the myriad histories and energies of these gods and goddesses and to bring to the modern stage a vision that traverses the scope of spiritual experience, from the intimate to the infinite.” (see here)
--- Yes, Gustavus Adolphus College observes “Coming Out” week. It is run by the group “Queers & Allies.” There is an article about it in the school paper, The Gustavian Weekly, titled “Importance of Coming Out Week…” (see here)
--- On the Gustavus Adolphus College website it has a Latina/o resource page on ‘coming out,” LGBT issues, “Transgender Resources and Immigration Law and Policy” (one resource shared is information on the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) (see here)
--- The college website also has a LGBTQ resources page. (see here)
--- Another Department of Theatre/Dance performance was “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” a play about a 1980’s gay community. (see here)
--- A gay comedian/actress was on campus pushing her causes. The school paper writes, “Orange is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria speaks in Christ Chapel May 13, 2016 – Star of the popular Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, actress Lea DeLaria visited Gustavus on May 10. DeLaria is also known for being the first openly gay comic to take the stage on many late-night talkshows. She is also a prominent figure in the LGBT community. DeLaria entertained the audience through humor and song, while discussing important topics on gender identity and equity.” (see here and see the Exposing the ELCA blog about DeLaria’s performance here)
--- Historian and professor Kevin Mumford came to Gustavus Adolphus College and gave a lecture on black gay history. (see here)
--- The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus performed at Gustavus Adolphus. (see here)
--- And when a Christian musician who “used to identify himself as a homosexual but now identifies himself as heterosexual” performed on the Gustavus Adolphus campus with his band, they were protested because the “band spoke about the possibility that homosexuals could be ‘cured…’” (see here)
--- Like so many ELCA colleges, Gustavus Adolphus holds a drag show (see here and here)
--- The Gustavus Adolphus website has an article blasting abstinence-only sex education and the article is produced by Planned Parenthood. (see here)
--- The Gustavus Adolphus College website has a webpage called “Sex & Relationships.” The page provides a link to Planned Parenthood (see here)
--- The Gustavian Weekly posted a one-sided, pro-Planned Parenthood article. (see here) Another article that discusses the same event tells how students "all over campus sported pink attire to support Planned Parenthood. (read here)
--- Professor John Cha, Associate Professor in Religion and Japanese Studies at Gustavus Adolphus, is a Buddhist monk and a meditation teacher/guide for the group Gustavus Meditation. Those who attend Gustavus Meditation “experience Buddhist mettā bhāvanā (loving-kindness meditation) and ānāpānasati (breathing meditation).”(see here) Professor Cha’s “teaching and research interests include Buddhist philosophy, Indian intellectual history, comparative philosophy, and inter-religious dialogue (primarily Buddhist/Christian dialogue).” (see here)
--- Fuad S. Naeem is an assistant professor who teaches Islam and World Religions at Gustavus Adolphus College: “His interests include Islamic intellectual traditions in South Asia, Muslim encounters with religious others, Islam and modernity, the Qur'an and its exegesis, and Islamic philosophy, theology, and esoteric traditions.” (see here)
--- “Professors at Gustavus Adolphus College make on average $108,181 per year. This is $44,715 more than the average liberal arts college professor's annual salary ($63,466).” (see here)
--- Just this spring (2017), the “Diversity Leadership Council” did something that had many media outlets talking. They posted racially offensive posters (FAKE racist posters) around Gustavus Adolphus’ campus (see here)
--- The Gustavus Adolphus student newspaper published a piece called “Mein Trump,” mimicking the name of a book written by Adolph Hitler. A Gustavus Adolphus writer expressed the following, “Trump is quickly and not so quietly building a coalition of white supremacists and closet racists alike.” (see here)
--- The Gustavus College Republicans decided to leave the The Diversity Leadership Council “implying that their opinions have been disregarded.” (see here)
--- A Gustavus Adolphus College woman wearing a “make America great again” hat was allegedly assaulted on campus. (see here)
--- Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock recounts what he saw and experienced while visiting Gustavus Adolphus College writing, “I visited the campus today and walked past the chaplains' offices and the offices of the religion professors, wondering what I would see on their doors. A picture of Jesus or a Bible verse? None of that. Instead I saw signs saying 'Gay safe zone' and 'Hate free zone'. One religion prof showed a rainbow sticker and a sign 'My Karma ran over your dogma'. One door had a posting for feminist theology, another door or two displayed images from Eastern religions. As I was perusing the doors, an Asian religion professor was talking to a student about the different kinds of meditation. Nothing of Jesus." (see here)
Students who grew up believing God’s Word, believing in biblical marriage (one man, one woman) and that you shall have no other gods before Him, are having their beliefs trampled on at Gustavus Adolphus. Gustavus Adolphus College is not a faithful, Bible-believing college.
This is a series of investigations into the colleges of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Below are links to the first two installments.
--- What to Expect if You Attend Luther College (see here)
--- Beware of the ELCA’s Grand View University (see here)
The work required to run this website is extensive. Please prayerfully consider supporting the ministry of Exposing the ELCA. Click here to find out how.
It is wrong to incorporate the rituals of false religions into our lives and Christian worship. Unfortunately that is what the ELCA's Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon, is doing in multiple ways.
Augustana Lutheran holds a weekly service that includes "smudging." The church website tells us "Open Circle is held at 5 pm on Sunday, in the Fellowship Hall on the lower level of the church building. This service is led by Native American worship leaders and incorporates Native traditions including smudging, flute and drums..." (see here or below)
What is smudging?
“Smudging is the ritualistic burning of herbs and plant resins in a shell or clay bowl while prayers of gratitude and wellbeing are said aloud. The smoke is traditionally fanned using the hand or a feather (eagle feathers are treasured for this) and directed over a person or throughout a living space. The purpose is to wash away impurities, sadness, anxieties, dark thoughts and any unwanted energies or emotions that may be clinging to a space or individual.” (see here)
Is smudging wrong?
"There is nothing inherently wrong with burning incense or using herbs to beautify the fragrance of one’s home, but that is not what smudging is about. As with all New Age teachings, there is no biblical basis for belief in smudge sticks, auras, vibes, or household energy. The Bible tells us that God protects His children from evil (2 Thessalonians 3:3). We have no need to smudge; in fact, smudging is sin. We do not trust in pagan rituals but in God our Savior. God is the source of life, of all that is good and true. God promises, 'The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore' (Psalm 121:7–8). He will provide the strength and peace we need to make it through any test.
The devil cannot be made to flee with smoldering sage; our refuge is the Lord alone (Proverbs 18:10). God provides us with powerful tools to fend off the enemy’s spiritual attacks (Ephesians 6:10–17). Smudging is not one of those tools." (see here)
This same Evangelical Lutheran Church in America church also has “Taize Meditation" that "meets monthly for prayer, meditation and singing.” (see here)
“(A) Taizé worship service is an unbiblical attempt to connect with God. Scripture says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), yet the Taizé model dispenses with preaching. Rather, it relies on idolatrous images, repetitive chants, and mystical experience to manufacture a sense of unity and peace.” (see here)
Additionally, “Tai Chi Classes meet twice a week to provide meditative exercise for people of all ages.” (see here)
“Tai Chi is more specifically called Tai Chi Chuan, which can be translated as 'supreme ultimate force.' Tai Chi is a martial art, though it’s often called a 'moving meditation' since the movements are done slowly and deliberately, and it is taught more as a meditative and health-enhancing practice than as a martial art. Though its origins are unclear, the foundation of Tai Chi is the Taoist belief in a universal energy called chi (also spelled qi or ki depending on the language of origin). Chi is believed to be the binding life force in the universe, existing both externally and internally, moving through invisible channels in the body called meridians.
Taoism teaches that strengthening and reinforcing one’s inner chi will bring good health and long life as well as spiritual benefits. Certain breathing techniques, meditations, and bodily movements are taught to cultivate and enhance the chi. This belief is the basis of Tai Chi. There is no supreme God or Creator in Taoism; all originated from the Tao, which is an impersonal principle or source of creation.…Doing Tai Chi, even for physical purposes, is paying homage to a spiritual belief system at odds with God’s Word.” (see here)
Augustana Lutheran also has “Acupuncture Clinics" that "are administered twice a week by a certified acupuncturist.” (see here)
Is acupuncture wrong?
"If the practice of acupuncture can be separated from the philosophy/worldview behind acupuncture, perhaps acupuncture is something a Christian can consider. Again, though, extreme caution must be taken to avoid the spiritual aspects behind acupuncture. Most acupuncture practitioners genuinely believe in the Tao/ying-yang philosophy that is at the origin of acupuncture. A Christian should have nothing whatsoever to do with Taoism." (see here)
The Pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church
What kind of person is leading Augustana Lutheran Church into these false-religion teachings and rituals? His name is Mark Knutson. On the church's website, Rev. Knutson is asked, “What is your biggest challenge?” He replies, “Discerning what the cutting edge issues of justice, peace, diversity, equity, reconciliation and inclusion are going to be and helping to position the church to be ready and relevant to be proactive with others as a voice of conscience and a movement in action always ready to step out in faith to do what is right.” (see here) If that isn’t the most telling answer explaining the state of this ELCA church, I don’t know what is.
Please prayerfully consider supporting the ministry of Exposing the ELCA. Click here to find out how.
(The following article was written a few days ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)
"Celebrating our Oneness in the Divine, an Interfaith Evening of Peace" will be held April 30th at Advent Lutheran Church in Osseo, Minnesota, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The pastor at Advent Lutheran gives this invitation: " Are you growing weary of all the "us/them" rhetoric going on? Are you discouraged by all the division, lack of respect, even hatred?...There's a reason for that! Your soul (the real you) bears the image of its Creator God; the One source that flows in and through everything and everyone. When your soul encounters division rooted in fear its energy is lowered and diminished. You can feel this within you. It responds this way because it...intuitively knows that we are all one. I have the perfect antidote for you! Love yourself and do yourself a favor by attending...The following local communities will be gathering...: The Ja'afari Islamic Center, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Noble Academy,...the Hindu Temple of Minnesota, and Advent and Westwood Lutheran Churches. Each community will offer music and spoken word from their traditions celebrating our Oneness... "
1. The Apostle Paul teaches that heathen gods are not the same as the one true God, they are "demons" (I Corinthians 10:20). To imply that Krishna, Vishnu, Allah, are "one" with Jesus Christ is blasphemy.
2. Christians, as opposed to Hindus, are not pantheists. Pantheism teaches that everything is God and God is everything, therefore pantheists worship everything. The above smacks of pantheism in saying God flows in and through everything and everyone. No, God does not flow through the devil or through pagan gods. Christians believe in a transcendent God who is separate from His creation. Romans 1:25 condemns religions which worship "the creature rather than the Creator."
I had the misfortune of visiting Advent Lutheran Church a few years ago (it is near my house) and was grieved when the above pastor during a sermon put a picture of Meher Baba on the screen and quoted him. Meher Baba was an Indian spiritual master who said he was the Avatar, God in human form.
Please pray about the above event. My prayer is that many parishioners at Advent Lutheran will say "Pastor, what are you doing? What about the First Commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods? What harmony has Christ with Belial? What agreement has the temple of God with idols (2 Corinthians 6:15-16)?
Well, tomorrow we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Buddha did not rise, Mohammed did not rise. Only one religion worships a living Savior. May you have a wonderful day worshipping Him!
In our risen Lord Jesus,
Pastor Tom Brock
Being a Christian does not mean we have to import refugees to live in our country. The Good Samaritan did not bring the injured man to his own house. The Philistines were not invited into the Israelite camp. But Christians can help refugees in many God-honoring ways, like helping refugees in their homeland, or creating a safe zone in their country of origin, which is in turmoil. We can send food, medical support and missionaries to them. These are all acts of Christian love.
But the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America does not see this. They continually call on the importation of refugees into the United States. The ELCA was at it again recently when they went to Washington D.C. to lobby government leaders about refugees.
Last month Presiding Bishop of the ELCA Elizabeth Eaton signed a letter saying the ELCA, "stand(s) up for the long established policies that welcome migrants and refugees." (see here) These kinds of letters are meant to influence politicians as well as ELCA members.
A different letter by the ELCA partner Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service says they "...adamantly opposes the Trump Administration’s new executive order that temporarily suspends the refugee resettlement program for four months and continues the travel ban previously imposed on individuals from Syria, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen...this executive order is still a poorly disguised effort to ban refugees from majority Muslim countries." (see here)
It should be noted that the ELCA partner Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) receives a great deal of federal money for placing refugees in American communities. They have skin in the game.
Using money meant for God, from ELCA members, to seek the importation of Muslim refugees in the United States is dangerous and evil. Europe shows us the dangers of importing massive numbers of Muslims (refugees and those posing as refugees) into the United States. Europe has experienced increased terrorism, violence, crime and financial problems for doing so. Let's not be stupid. Not all thoughts are equal and good. The refugees the ELCA is lobbying for are for the most part followers of Islam. Who is creating 99% of the terrorism in this world? Followers of Islam.
The Muslim ideology of convert or die, treating women as property, killing homosexuals, hatred for Jews, and the sexual abuse of children is EVIL. Why would anyone invite holders of this ideology into their country or home to live?
Please prayerfully consider supporting the ministry of Exposing the ELCA. Click here to find out how.
Luther College is a small liberal arts college in Decorah, Iowa. Taking its name from reformer Martin Luther and being a school of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), one would think Luther College would be a place to send your children for a good Christian education. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Luther College, much like the ELCA, hides behind its “Christian” persona, bringing students and financial gifts from committed Lutherans, while in reality pushes secularism, false religions and faux Christianity.
My research on Luther College turned up a plethora of information. So much so that I finally cut it short because I had too much. Here is what I found:
Sexuality and Secularism
The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin and people should turn from/repent of the sin. At Luther College homosexuality is promoted.
--- Luther College is a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation. (see here) Which, in essence, means they view LGBT behaviors as normal and not sinful.
--- Naturally, Luther College has a LGBT student organization which is called PRIDE. Recently it was highlighted prominently by Luther College Chips, the student newspaper.
--- Luther College is having a "Royal Drag Ball." It is sponsored by the Student Senate. It is also being promoted by Luther College Ministries. What kind of Christian college ministries support this kind of thing?
--- Luther College offers a course called “James Baldwin and Black LGBT History.” The course is taught by assistant professor Lauren L. Anderson. (see here)
--- The college has a page on their website with information geared toward people with same-sex attraction. (see here)
--- On Luther College’s website they have a page called “Internship Opportunities.” Planned Parenthood is among the places listed. Luther College also provides a link to Planned Parenthood for anyone interested in having an internship there. (see here)
--- Luther College provides gender-neutral housing. So a male student who says he is a transgender female can live with a female student. (see here)
--- The student newspaper writes about Luther College’s Visual and Performing Arts’ rendition of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” saying, “Because of these two casts, some women played men, and some men played women. This opened up a discussion for gender fluidity.” (read here)
--- The student newspaper wrote that they commend “…the Target Corporation for promoting what we believe to be true family values in the face of adversarial claims.” This is in reference to Target allowing those who say they are transgender to use the opposite sex bathrooms. (see here)
--- Luther College put on a performance of Vagina Monologues (see here). The monologues display a variety of female experiences on topics such as sex, childbirth, masturbation, love, menstruation, rape, etc.
Liberal Speakers and Causes
--- “Eight students and two pastors from Luther College attended Decolonizing Lutheranism at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago…” (see here)
--- Notorious ELCA pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber spoke at a recent Luther College conference called Liberating Grace. (see here)
One breakout session during the conference is called, “For the Sheer Joy of It: Luther's Theology of the Body.” Here is how the breakout is described, “Martin Luther's writings about embodiment and human sexuality as intrinsic parts of God's creation connect to current movements in the Lutheran church related to sexuality and gender. We will explore Luther's theology of the body and its modern day implications from academic and activist perspectives.” Amalia Vagts is one of the presenters of this breakout. She is the executive director of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, “a social ministry that believes the public ministry of publicly-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people demonstrates God's extraordinary love for all people.” (see here)
Another breakout session is called “Tolerance and Religious Pluralism in the Age of Reformation: The Religious 'Other' Then and Now.”
--- Luther College has also hosted LGBT advocate Donna Red Wing. The school’s website writes, “Donna Red Wing joins us from One Iowa where she serves as Executive Director to support full equality for LGBT individuals living in Iowa.” (read here)
Did you know this supposed “Christian” college celebrates other religions?
--- I wrote about one of Luther’s celebrations titled “ELCA Celebrating Muslim Festival of Abraham's Willingness to Sacrifice His Promised Son, Ishmael.” (see here)
Here is what Luther College’s website says about this false religion gathering, “Eid al Adha is a Muslim festival that marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. ‘The festival celebrates Abraham's faithfulness and obedience to God. Abraham is an example of faith for Jews, Christians and Muslims throughout the world,’ said David Vasquez, Luther campus pastor.” This event will take place at Luther College and is “sponsored by College Ministries, the Diversity Center, the Muslim Student Association and the Interfaith Student Association…” (see here)
--- Luther College also celebrated a Hindu festival. A news article reads, “Luther College; a college of the Lutheran Church affiliated to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a Christian denomination; will celebrate Hindu festival of lights Diwali on October 26.
The Diwali program will be followed by refreshments and ‘a time for conversation’.
Applauding Luther College for Diwali celebration, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described it as a ‘remarkable interfaith gesture’ and ‘a step in the right direction’ . . . According to Zed, Diwali, most popular Hindu festival, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil." (see here)
--- Did you know that “Silent Meditation in the Zen Buddhist Tradition” is happening at Luther College? We learn from their website that “Silent Meditation takes place each Tuesday of the academic year at 5:15 p.m. in the Melanchthon Interfaith Room (CFL-205). Sittings are led by Professors Gereon Kopf, Scott Hurley, or Professor emeritus, Lee Zook.” (see here)
--- Kwanzaa is celebrated too. (see here)
--- Look what these Luther College students are purposing - 'Concerned students' want free shuttle to mosque.
What kind of teachers does this ELCA college have instructing students? Ask yourself if you want your children to get their instruction on religion from these professors.
--- Associate Professor of Religion, Sean D. Burke’s research interests are listed on Luther College’s website: “Sex in sacred texts; queer theory; sacred texts & religious diversity.” (see here)
--- The Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Buddhist Philosophy is Gereon Kopf, a professor of religion at Luther College. (see here)
--- Rev. Dr. Guy Nave, a professor of religion at Luther College is also a writer at Sojourners, a liberal publication of Jim Wallis (see here)
--- Another professor of religion at Luther College is Robert Shedinger. He is well known by Exposing the ELCA for his book, Was Jesus a Muslim? Questioning Categories in the Study of Religion. (see here and here) On page 10 of his book he writes, “‘Was Jesus a Muslim?’ I will answer with a very qualified yes.”
--- Finally, Luther College doesn’t sound like a very welcoming institution for those who are conservative politically. Check out this article, “I am a woman and I voted for Trump.” (read here)
It doesn't take much effort to find heretical and controversial things happening in ELCA churches. So let me show you just a few things I've found.
Would you like to be part of the “Feminine Sacred Circle” at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, CA? Here's what that's about:
Or you could be part of a Queer Virtue lecture taking place at ELCA pastor Clint Schnekloth's Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, Arkansas.
On the “Queer Virtue” book website it tells us “Authentic Christianity is and must be queer.” And one of the book reviews on the website is by Emily M.D. Scott, an ELCA pastor, who was a main speaker at the 2015 ELCA National Youth Gathering. She writes:
“A breath of fresh, queer, air…With vivacious smarts and a wicked sense of humor, Edman compels her readers to fully embrace our gloriously multifaceted God-given identities. If you’ve wondered if you can be fully queer and fully Christian, the answer is a resounding “yes,” and Edman will show you the way.'
—Emily M.D. Scott, Pastor, St. Lydia's -- A Dinner Church, Brooklyn, NY”
Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN devotes a page on their website to Black Lives Matter.
And of course you have ELCA churches trumpeting their encouragement of sin.
Augustana Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE
St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, CA, the church that has the “Feminine Sacred Circle,” also has a vast LGBTQ Ministry (see 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