Lenny Duncan is a highly controversial pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It should surprise no one that he and his radical message have been embrace by the denomination's leadership and pastors, who are paid by conservative, Bible-believing membership.
A recent article talks about Rev. Duncan and his former church, Jehu's Table, saying, "At Jehu’s Table church in Brooklyn, New York, Duncan proclaims his gratitude during Communion for African American role models ranging from transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson to Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X to civil rights minister Martin Luther King Jr." (See here)
Below you can read what Pastor Duncan is about and what he is saying. You will also see that the ELCA has embraced Rev. Lenny Duncan all the way up to the highest of ELCA leaders.
- The official ELCA magazine published an article written by Rev. Duncan where he says,
"I believe that the call of the church in the 21st century is to dismantle white supremacy; that the way of the cross for the entire church is to lay down our lives, resources, buildings and endowments to this cause. That our entire future as a church and as a credible, viable Lutheran witness in the 21st century and beyond is balanced on this alone."
"Our church is the place to have hard and loving conversations that call us to repentance and reparations..." (See Living Lutheran article here)
Rev. Duncan then says implementing his vision for the ELCA will bring about church vitality, that sanctuaries will swell.
- “You can't have reconciliation without repentance. Until the ELCA recognizes the way that it's treated persons of color, specifically black folks, and until they realize their style of church is inherently racist and repent from that, until they talk about reparations to the children of pastors who were never paid full salaries, then I don't think there can be reconciliation.” - Lenny Duncan (See here)
- As a form of reparations, Rev. Duncan also advocates for, "..all straight white males in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to remove their names from ballots for bishop." (See here)
- Fortress Press, Rev. Lenny Duncan's publisher, describes Rev. Duncan's book saying, "It is time for the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice. Duncan gives a blueprint for the way forward and urges us to follow in the revolutionary path of Jesus." (See here)
(See above article http://www.outsmartmagazine.com/2019/07/queer-lutheran-preacher-calls-on-church-to-end-white-supremacy/
- At this time Lenny Duncan was the pastor at Jehu's Table:
- From ELCA Bishop Patricia Davenport, of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod.
- Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton appeared in a film made by Lenny Duncan.
- Kristen Kuempel, ELCA bishop of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod is promoting Rev. Lenny Duncan and says about his book "I know several of our church leaders are reading" it.
- Rev. Duncan now has a new job as the Mission Developer Pastor an ELCA church, Messiah Lutheran Church and Preschool in Vancouver, Washington.
Currently, Rev. Duncan is writing blogs calling for the ELCA to pay reparations. (See the first of four, so far, here) Pastor Duncan is throwing ELCA higher ups under the bus and making things difficult for the ELCA with his anger, race baiting and demands. This should be no surprise to those who know history.
In a sermon given on July 12, 2020, Rev. Mark Knutson, a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), makes an egregious statement:
“…how can you preach about joy when the administration of this land is so out of touch? How can you preach about joy when a president is a racist and white supremacist…” (see video here starting at 36:25)
It shouldn't surprise us that a radical, Bible-twisting denomination like the ELCA has pastors who call our president a racist and white supremacist, but it is certainly disturbing, none-the-less.
Rev. Knutson continued on by saying the president “goes after Bubba Wallace...”, a black NASCAR driver who made news last month with the what-proved-to-be false claim that someone put a noose in his NASCAR garage. Pastor Mark Knutson then repeats that false claim, that someone placed a noose in Wallace's garage stall, despite it having been proven to be false, weeks ago.
This same pastor made news recently for prominently applauding speakers at a highly controversial rally, according to Gateway Pundit news site. See here and here. According to the article, one rally speaker called for the abolition of the United States and another advocated for violent protests.
If you are a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, you need to know that your money supports radical pastors and policies and extremely liberal political viewpoints.
ELCA pastor W. J. Mark Knutson was also the subject of this post and article:
In an ugly display of anti-Semitism, the ELCA, which continually demonizes Israel, came out with a series of articles and news releases against Israel for what the ELCA views as the annexation of Palestinian land. The ELCA writes that they want "liberation not annexation." In truth, Israel is "extend(ing) its rightful sovereignty over Judea and Samaria." (Quote from here)
But the ELCA showed their anti-Semitic cards, in plain sight, when in a news article the ELCA tried to point to Israel as a reason George Floyd died:
"The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director of ELCA Global Mission, said that one should be aware of the connection between the Israeli government’s repressive tactics against Palestinians and those taking place against people of color in a number of localities around the United States.
'As it has been reported, the kind of police tactics used to kill George Floyd are among those taught to a number of police departments that have taken part in training by Israeli police and military forces,” Malpica Padilla said. “For example, 100 Minneapolis police officers received counterterrorism training from Israelis at a conference held in 2012.'” (Read here)
It is disgusting that the ELCA is trying to capitalize on the wrongful death of George Floyd and the anger this has generated, to try to infuriate people against the only Jewish country. How can anyone stay, support and pay the salaries of people who would do such a thing? Read more about the ELCA's demonization of Israel here.
Kathryn Mary Lohre, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA and Executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations & Theological Discernment,
writes on the ELCA website about this action of Israel, calling Israel racist toward "Palestinians." She also tries to connect George Floyd and racism in America to what is happening with Israel toward "Palestinians" in a biased advocacy letter, she says:
"The racism that has kneeled on the necks of Black Americans for 400 years is part of the same global pandemic as the racism that has been kneeling on the necks of Palestinians for 53 years of military occupation, and that has been even more suffocating under Israel’s nation state law, adopted in 2018." (See here)
ELCA's top bishop Elizabeth Eaton is so passionate about advocating against Israel that she took to her official Twitter account to display more of her biased understand of the Israeli situation:
The Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities publishes a magazine called "Intersections." The Fall 2019 edition of the magazine highlighted "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion."
Here are the titles of the articles in the Fall 2019 issue:
This is the state of "learning" in the ELCA.
There are 26 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America colleges.
St. Olaf College
Grand View University
Augsburg University (College) [in Minneapolis]
Augustana College (Illinois)
Bethany College (Kansas)
California Lutheran University
Concordia College (Moorhead, Minnesota)
Gustavus Adolphus College
Pacific Lutheran University
Texas Lutheran University
After Uproar Over Posting a Bible Verse, ELCA Apologizes 'that the language in this post has caused harm'
The first person to post a critical comment wrote, "Please consider the racial implications of what you are saying here. There is no darkness in him- really??? I assume exclusion (from God) is not your intent, but that is the impact. Please apologize and remove this post."
Another wrote, "Please don't ever again pretend to be confused about why we're 97% white. This post tells me so much about how my church is in relationship to my dark skin."
A ELCA pastor also replied, "Just because it’s a bible verse does not mean it can’t be used to inflict harm on our siblings of color and perpetuate systemic racism in a church that is 98% white. The bible has been used to silence women, oppress LGBTQIA+ persons, and justify slavery. We need to choose our imagery carefully. We need to do better and not (unintentionally or not) alienate our fellow siblings in the body of Christ."
And they went on blast mode from there, so much so that the ELCA had to edit their Bible verse image post with an addition:
"Dear siblings in Christ,
We have been paying very close attention to the conversation created by this post. Thank you all who have voiced your experiences and concerns regarding the language used.
The verse shared here comes from last week’s lectionary readings. As themes of darkness and light will appear again in lectionary readings later in Lent, we have chosen to leave this post and its discussion here so that it can inspire deeper conversation and reflection as we prepare for the season ahead.
We apologize that the language in this post has caused harm, and we recognize that this image can be a painful reminder of the harmful power dynamics, racism and inequity that exist in this church. It is our responsibility to be intentional in our use of images and language. We are committed to this work, and we are committed to learning from our mistakes." See the ELCA Facebook post here or below.
So, not only are ELCAites upset and viewing this Bible verse as racial, but the ELCA responds by apologizing for the pain people may feel from quoting it.
Who wants to support the ELCA and worship in a denomination that does that? The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America apologized for quoting God's Word, for saying "God is Light, in Him there is no darkness at all." Shame on them and shame on anyone who remains in this denomination.
Not surprising, the ELCA went on to say this,
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