The evidence accumulating against the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America teaching universalism (that all people are saved) is overwhelming (see here and scroll down here). Sadly, there are many ELCA members who are in denial, ignorant of this fact or do not know that the teaching is non-biblical. That is why I continue to compile evidence in hopes that God will open the eyes of these members so that they will see the dangerous false teaching coming from their denomination.
Today I'd like to share with you three more instances of the ELCA teaching universalism. The first is from the self-promoting ELCA preacher/author/speaker Nadia Bolz-Weber. During a sermon given October 2014, the stench of universalism filled the sanctuary when Bolz-Weber preached, “So I believe with all my being that those who leave this world, even by their own hand, are held in the same pure love of God from which they were born. If they could not feel the truth of God’s love in life, they are surrounded by it in the life everlasting.” (see here)
The second comes from Rev. Scot D. Ruffatto of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Mukwonago, WI (ELCA) who writes:
“Just a thought, if there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus does that also include God’s apparent favoritism in the Bible? Or even the condition of having to believe?” (see here)
And lastly, from Matthew Frost, a Ph.D student at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
“I make no secret of the fact that I am a universalist, and a very particular one. I believe that the whole creation is in fact redeemed in Christ, without concern for moral change, ontological change, or 'regeneration.'" (see here)
By Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Follow Pastor Brock on Facebook (here) and twitter (here.)
Today I took another nostalgic walk through Luther Theological Seminary from which I graduated in 1979. Back then it was a mixed bag of liberal, moderate, and some conservative professors. Back then it was well attended, parking spots could be hard to find, and chapel was fairly full.
Things have changed. A person who worked there told me some years ago that now "much less than half" of the professors at Luther believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ. Then came the 2009 ELCA decision to affirm homosexual behavior for pastors and things really began to shrink in the ELCA and this seminary. Today, Luther Seminary brings in speakers like the popular ELCA Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, who uses the "f" word in her books and speaking. She also denies the substitutionary atonement of Christ, believing that for God the Father to punish Jesus for our sins would be divine child abuse. And not long ago, a practicing lesbian pastor spoke at Luther's chapel service.
So what did I find today? First thing I noticed was how easy it was to find a parking space. I also noticed the "pro-gay" bumper stickers. I attended chapel and counted 40 people. I walked around the halls and it kind of felt like a ghost town, very few people walking around.
I couldn't help but think of the Bible verse "You reap what you sow."
Pastor Tom Brock
Causing Youth To Stumble: The Liberal ELCA Youth Leadership Asks Us To Trust Them
By Pastor Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Facebook users can follow Pastor Brock by going here and twitter users here.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the most liberal of the Lutheran denominations, has a history of inviting radical speakers to its ELCA's youth conventions. As they prepare for the 2015 youth convention they tell us this:
We will announce speakers as contracts are finalized, but probably not ...before registration opens this fall. At this time, we ask you to trust the track record of the planning teams who have brought you speakers including: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, President Jimmy Carter, the Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo...
Jimmy Carter has written that Jesus is not the only way of salvation. Desmond Tutu also believes many roads lead to God, and he endorses homosexuality. He has said "I would not worship a God who is homophobic...I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven.... I mean I would much rather go to the other place." Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber uses the "f" word in her speeches and in her most recent book. More tragically, she denies the substitutionary atonement, namely, that Jesus died in our place to pay for our sins so that God's holy wrath could be satisfied and we could be forgiven. She thinks this makes God "some kind of divine child abuser." She also held a "re-naming service" in which a transgendered person received the blessing of God in changing to another sex.
Given their track record, I encourage anyone who has youth in the ELCA (and who believes in Mark 9:32) stay away, far away, from the 2015 youth convention. And tell your friends. And please say a prayer for these youth and the ELCA.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
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?
Exposing the ELCA has documented for you, numerous times, the false teachings of high profile ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. Scroll through the articles here to read about it. Even with this information so readily available and apparent, the ELCA continues to lift up this pastor.
The Northeastern Iowa Synod (ELCA) has given a grant to fund the appearance of Rev. Bolz-Weber this month in Iowa, and they are promoting her appearance in the synod's newsletter. (see here – page 5) They are spending your money to fund someone who believes the goddess of Wicca is just another aspect of our God (see here). I would not be happy if I was in the Northeastern Iowa Synod.
And just a few days ago the Southeastern Synod ELCA posted this on their Facebook page -
“Happy New Year! Over the Christmas holiday, I read Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint, by Nadia Bolz-Weber. It was a quick and thought-provoking read. Quick because I couldn't put it down and thought-provoking because Nadia's honesty and straight talk about grace and her experience in the church (throughout her life) gives me hope for Christ's church. She paints a picture of resurrection and of God's promise of faithfulness to all of God's children that so many need to hear. Definitely a book to share, not to put on the shelf! If you read this book, share your thoughts. What good books have you read lately?
Michelle Angalet, AIM
Assistant to the Bishop
Southeastern Synod ELCA”
One ELCA pastor responding to the Facebook message said “Many in my congregation have read it as well after I mentioned it in a sermon,” while another ELCA pastor writes, “Read Pastrix over Christmas as well... highly recommend it. I've gifted it to several folks.”
If you want to read the latest publicity surrounding Bolz-Weber, an article by NPR talks about the ELCA pastor officiating at civil union ceremonies and the beloved pastor displays her foul language for all to observe. (see here)
ELCA 'Star,' Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, Believes and Teaches Wiccan Goddess is Another 'Aspect' of Christian God
ELCA pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber is held in high esteem among the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is asked to speak at many large denominational gatherings and high-profile ELCA services indicating how she is revered in the denomination. The ELCA's Metropolitan New York Synod posted on Facebook that “Pastor Nadia is the closest thing the ELCA has to a rock star.”
Rev. Bolz-Weber was involved in Wicca before going to an ELCA seminary to become a pastor.
On a Bolz-Weber book publicity tour, Nadia read to the audience from her memoir about this time of her life saying, “I had never stopped believing in God, not really. But I did have to go hang out with His aunt for awhile. She is called the goddess. My first experience with Wicca . . .”
The ELCA 'rock star' goes on -
“The goddess we spoke of never felt to me like a substitute for God but simply another aspect of the divine, like God's aunt or something. When I tell other Christians of my time with the goddess I think they expect me to characterize it as a period in my life when I was misguided and that now thankfully I have come back to both Jesus and my senses. But it's not like that. I can't imagine that the God of the universe is limited to our ideas of God. I can't image that God doesn't reveal Godself in countless ways outside of the simple system of Christianity. And in a way I need a god who is bigger and more nimble and more mysterious than what I could understand or contrive.”
“In fact, I felt guided by god the whole time I sojourned outside of the church. The divine source of my life and my identity perhaps knew that I needed to bask in the female face of god for a good long while outside the church before I could ever return to it whole and able to see the divine feminine in my own traditional.” (see here)
Wicca is a religion of witches, witchcraft and pentagrams. The Christian Bible is not God's Word, according to this idolatrous religion, and they do not worship the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Wiccan deity is completely different from the God of the Bible. Yet the ELCA's “rock star” believes that the goddess worshipped by witches is just another dimension or persona of the God of the Bible. The female side of Him. Christians know Jesus as God's Son, but according to Bolz-Weber, the Wiccan goddess is his close relative. Another aspect of God. Like the fourth member of the Trinity?
This is heresy.
Bolz-Weber is a heretic. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lifts up this pastor as a leading teacher in the denomination. How could they do this? It's easy really; this is an acceptable teaching in the ELCA. The current issue of the official magazine of the ELCA, The Lutheran, states this clearly:
“And sometimes we’d wonder just what God was up to in this religiously plural world. Perhaps — here’s a specifically Christian way of putting it — our learning from our neighbors of other faiths might just be giving us glimpses into dimensions of Christ’s lordship, and the saving activity of God the Trinity, that we hadn’t been expecting.” (read here)
Read more about the life and teachings of ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber (click here and scroll down).
God tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). He also tells us, “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:11).
With that in mind, listen to the disturbing and defiling things ELCA leaders are saying. Note: I have edited the foul language with asterisks (*). The ELCA leaders did not edit their words.
“Job took his precious handful of seeds to God and God – there’s no delicate way to say this – God s**ts on him,” spoken by Rev. Wil Gafney during her sermon given at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's chapel service (ELCA) where she teaches. The seminary website and Rev. Gafney's website later posted the sermon. (see here and here)
Rev. Gafney's sermon also included this crude remark in reference to Job, “Then when he loses every thing he has including the skin he is in, it is because God gambles with his life and the lives of his children, consigning them to death to prove a point and win a bet with a character who is a satan but not the devil, (yet). And Job has the – I have to say it because the text calls for it – Job has the balls to sue God over what he knows was an injustice done to him . . . ”
ELCA Pastor Ericc Clapp, serving Immanuel Lutheran Church in Camanche, Iowa writes in his blog -
“If you are constantly negative or acting like an a*s, you will be banned.” (see here)
“We need to call bulls**t...” (see here)
“I won’t lie, the only words that ran through my head when I put this book down after finishing it were, 'Holy s**t.'” (see here)
ELCA New England Synod bishop Jim Hazelwood recommended in his blog that people should “Form a WTHIGOAU group. This stands for What the H*ll is Going On Around Us.”(see here)
The queen of foul language, the popular ELCA pastor, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, has so many examples to choose from, here are just a few -
Breaking the second commandment, Bolz-Weber says, “Oh my god, are you people whiny.” (see here)
Here are some snippets from Rev. Bolz-Weber's new book. “'S**t,' I thought to myself,” and “It's a f**king fairy tale,” and “What the h*ll am I'm doing?” and “Jesus gathered with some real f**k-ups, held up bread and said take and eat . . .” (see Bolz-Weber's book Pastrix, in the section “Fall 2005” here)
These are ELCA leaders proudly, with intent, saying these things. This kind of talk is not Christ-like. Granted, these people serve in a denomination with a track record which shows little regard for what the Bible says. Scripture is arbitrary to them. But one would think this kind of talk would be something of which these “Christian” leaders would be embarrassed and try to refrain. That is not the case; these ELCA leaders are proud of the foul words they use.
ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber defends her foul language, “I swear like a truck driver . . . I refuse to pretend I’m somebody I’m not . . . I speak like other people.” And “I have not said the ‘F-word’ in a sermon. When I swear it’s really for emphasis or humor, not to be mean or to be foul toward someone. Just colorful and funny speech that is effective.” (read here)
Additionally she comments, “Some people think pastors shouldn't swear. I think pastors shouldn't pretend to be people they're not.” (see here)
ELCA leadership, this is what God tells us in Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
In James 3:10, God says, "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."
I see prideful church leaders who have no interest in conforming their speech to be more like Christ. It is no surprise. It is clear that it is not only speech that is affected by stubborn unwillingness to conform to God's ways, leadership and teaching. This translates to encouragement toward other blatantly sinful choices and ways of living. Leaders lead . . . one question is, to where are they leading those who will follow?
ELCA pastor Martin W. Eldred of Joy Lutheran Church in Eagle River, AK commented on an ELCA facebook page saying "Now THATS f**king offensive." (find here)
ELCA pastor Eric Clapp, referenced and quoted above tweeted this:
A Sad Walk Through An ELCA Seminary
(I received this the other day. It's written by Pastor Tom Brock) -
Today I walked through my old alma mater, Luther Theological Seminary in St Paul, Mn. It is known as probably the most conservative of the ELCA seminaries. You wouldn’t know it from the number of gay/lesbian bumper stickers in the parking lot. Upon entering the main building a sign was up promoting a new book at Luther’s Bookstore, “Pastrix” by ELCA Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. She was a favorite speaker at the ELCA Youth Assembly and a few months ago spoke at the historic Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis—using the “f” word in her speech. I flipped through her new book and she repeatedly uses the “f” word, referring to the 12 disciples as a “bunch of “f” ups”. Former ELCA Head Bishop Mark Hanson praises the book on the dustcover. Even more disturbing is that Bolz-Weber in a sermon on Christ the King Sunday denied that Christ died in our place to pay for our sins. To quote:
And just to be clear: The cross is not about God as divine child abuser sadly sending his little boy off to be killed because we were bad and well, somebody had to pay.
Can someone deny the things of “first importance” as Paul puts it in I Corinthians 15:3, and still be a Christian? Yet she is a favorite speaker at ELCA events.
This attack on Christ’s substitutionary atonement is also going on at the ELCA’s Wartburg Seminary. Professor of New Testament David Lull wrote this:
" . . .I can’t get past the idea that God had a thirst for innocent blood that had to be quenched, or that God’s justice required a death-penalty for sinners until Jesus’ death satisfied God’s wrath. Even if Bible passages can be made to support these ideas, I can’t get past the idea that God had been unforgiving before Jesus died. That’s not the God I find in the Bible."
“Even if” the Bible teaches it, Professor Lull rejects it.
So now the day has come that the ELCA allows pastors and professors to deny the central teaching of the Christian faith: that sinless Jesus Christ died in our place to pay for our sins so that we could receive the forgiveness of God.
Like I said, a very sad day walking through Luther Seminary.
Exposing Nadia Bolz-Weber
(See additional information since 2013 here)
Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber is a troubled Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor who has grown in popularity within the ELCA ranks. She is highly sought after by ELCA leadership to speak at conferences and gatherings, and to preach to their leaders, members and youth. (see here) Just last week an ELCA website published a letter she had written praising Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson for his leadership.
But there are problems with Rev. Bolz-Weber, big problems. The problems I'm referring to rest in two areas, her teaching/theology, which is non-Biblical in many important areas, and moral issues that she seems to take pride in and actively flaunts.
God tells us what an appointed church leader should look like; He says the leader “must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Tell me if that sounds like Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber as we examine an interview she recently gave -
I guess Rev. Bolz-Weber can blame Jesus for that.
Let's be clear, this stance is not Biblical, but it is espousing universalism, the very dangerous belief that all people will be saved. The Bible says there will be judgment for those who deny Christ or do not have faith in Christ. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.”
As you can read from this interview, Bolz-Weber's “sailor's mouth” is on full display; and I'm not listing all of what she said. (see video here)
Rev. Bolz-Weber is dangerously wrong regarding very important Biblical doctrine and Biblical Truth. (see here, here and here for some more examples) Additionally, this ELCA pastor has a toxic tongue. There is no repentance or evident desire to tame her month. Paul tells us in the truth of scripture, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” - Ephesians 5:4
Here are two snipits from Rev. Bolz-Weber's Facebook page that show her worldly and bankrupt spiritual state:
What is really telling, with this exposition on Nadia Bolt-Weber, is that this is someone the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has elevated to a place of leadership and authority.
The ELCA is doing its best to raise up the denomination’s youth in their own image. For years, the ELCA has gone out of its way to undermine Israel and those who support it. (see here) At the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering we see the most recent examples:
The ELCA’s official website posted pictures taken at the youth gathering of a Palestine exhibit. One part of the exhibit asked the youth to write how they felt after viewing the information contained in the exhibit. Here are some of the statements they wrote: “erase hate,” “keep fighting,” “outraged this happens,” “we are free, so why can’t they be,” “free Palestine.” (see here)
The Palestine exhibit also had an area for youth to write their congressmen to complain about Israel. (see here)
Of course, Bishop Mark Hanson had to get into the fray, filling the youth full of Palestinian propaganda saying:
“And then in my mind I went to that wall, that huge wall that separates Israelis from Palestinians. A wall that for Israelis means security from violence but for Palestinians it, we have Palestinians’ youths that have been with us and they’ve been in the convention center and they have been talking to us about what that wall means for Palestinian people. It’s a wall of occupation, it’s a wall of separation. It separates Palestinians from each other and from their olive groves. There is no chance, as long as that wall continues, for Palestinians to have a land in which to be citizens. And I knew we’re a church that committed to working for a just two state solution between Palestinians and Israelis. That’s who we are.” (see here - Sunday video)
We also have this gem from the Wednesday night keynote speaker, Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber:
“This is a God whose loving desire to be known overflowed the heavens and became manifest in the rapidly dividing cells inside the womb of an insignificant peasant girl in first century Palestine.” (see here - Wednesday video)
Israel was not called “Palestine” in the days Jesus was born. Using the term Palestine “is specifically employed to avoid the use of the name Israel, and must be considered an anti-Israel term. . .In the New Testament, the term Palestine is never used.” says Thomas S. McCall, Th.D
God Himself calls the land, “Israel,” “saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.’ Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.”
Thomas S. McCall tells us, “. . .the term Palestine is the cornerstone of the propaganda war against Israel and the Jewish people,” and “It appears that Bible-believing Christians have either knowingly or unwittingly followed the world, pagans and haters of Israel in calling Israel by the anti-Israel term Palestine.” (see here)
The youth of the ELCA are being set up by their leadership (in more ways than one). It seems clear to me that this is a case of indoctrination.
The ELCA 2012 National Youth Gathering is going on as we speak. Over 30,000 youth are estimated to be in attendance. After reading some disturbing reports by a number of orthodox Lutheran pastors about opening night keynote speaker Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber’s message (read about her here) I went to the ELCA’s website to view it myself.
Here are some quotes from Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address and some comments:
Rev. Bolz-Weber starts out mocking the “fundamentalist” church that she grew up in, at one point saying, “They thought they were the only Christians.”
She told the youth that as a teenager she hated Christianity. “I hated it. I hated the smallness. I hated that fact that we had to reject everyone that was not just like us. I hated the narrow-mindedness. That was the only form of Christianity I knew existed and I knew I didn’t like it.”
The main subject of Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address was herself.
Of course there were the obligatory mentions of “gay” persons and even “transgender kids.”
Throughout the message there was a lot of bragging about being “Lutheran.” Bolz-Weber said, “Here is what you need to know about this thing you have, this Lutheran liturgy and this Lutheran theology, and this whole tradition. It is a feast, and it is a feast to be shared, and I’m here to tell you, people are hungry. People are hungry. And you have a feast entrusted to you, and they are ready for it.” And “That’s what it looks like to be a Lutheran!”
I have to ask, do we Lutherans worship Martin Luther or Christ? We are to lift up Christ and not our church.
Near the end of her speech she said, “. . . some of your parents and some of your pastors were really upset that I was your speaker tonight. They felt like I was somebody who should not be allowed to talk to tens of thousands of teenagers. And you know what I have to say to that? They are absolutely right . . . I should not be allowed to be here talking to you. But you know what? That’s the God we’re dealing with, people.”
Rev. Bolz-Weber referenced Jesus, saying, "Who from the cross did not even lift a finger to condemn the enemy, but instead said, 'I would rather die than be in the sin-accounting business.'"
Fact is, orthodox theology is clear that Jesus is all about the sin-accounting business. His death on the cross was exactly that. Jesus dying to account for our sins. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:8-9. Additionally, we know with confidence, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16
The very heart of the gospel was not spoken to the youth listening. Our young people need to know that if they do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, their sins are not forgiven, and if they do not receive Jesus their eternal salvation at risk.
I don’t remember hearing anything in Rev. Bolz-Weber’s address about repentance, turning from sin or forgiveness. But she did tell the youth, “I swear like a truck driver.”
The kids at the ELCA National Youth Gathering 2012 got a big dose of the “gospel of affirmation” in the Rev. Bolz-Weber’s keynote address. It is a false gospel.
Dennis E. Marks explains “gospel of affirmation” as: “instead of changing people, God simply affirms people how He finds them.” (read here) Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (Richfield, WI) explains it this way, “This teaching suggests that the good news is that God loves and affirms everyone, regardless of their faith, life style choices, etc. There never is a need for real repentance because God is never angry with us.” (read here)
Based on the video of Bolz-Weber’s address (see here click Wednesday) and on her husband’s blog (see here), the youth ate it up.
The 2012 ELCA Nation Youth Gathering recently posted that Shane Claiborne would be one of their main conference speakers. (see here) He is a controversial speaker, same as the other 2012 Youth Gathering speakers Exposing the ELCA has highlighted. (Nadia Bolz-Weber here and Rev. Andrena Ingram here)
Shane Claiborne is loved by the liberal, progressive, emergent church. So it is no surprise that the liberal progressives running the ELCA have chosen him to speak to the youth of our denomination.
So let’s dive in, here is what we know about Shane Claiborne:
Nine churches objected to Claiborne speaking at the US Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference. An article published in the Christian Leader says Claiborne has “universalist tendencies” and that he “distorts the gospel.” (read here)
Claiborne had this to say when another of his speaking engagements at Cedarville University was cancelled. -
“A university must believe its students are able to 'test the spirits' and work out their salvation ‘with fear and trembling.’ We are not talking about junior high kids, but young adults who are capable of discerning truth from fiction, and who need to be trusted with and exposed to diverse perspectives.” (read here)
Based on Mr. Claiborne’s quote, it should be pointed out that the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering is recommended for kids ages 14 to 18.
This is what Shane Claiborne had to say about revered Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler:
“I think even Bonhoeffer was wrong. There’s an interview with Hitler’s secretary in a movie called Blind Spot, and she tells about when the assassination attempt failed, and Hitler was very interestingly protected from the bomb, he was convinced at that point, more than ever before, that God was protecting him and his mission, and he went forward with renewed vigilence like ever before. So I would say on the day that Bonhoeffer did that, the cross lost, and that violence just perpetuated.” (see here)
Mark Tooley in the Weekly Standard writes:
“Shane Claiborne is a Christian counter-culturalist and pacifist who went to Baghdad in 2003 to express solidarity with Iraq when the first U.S. and Allied missiles landed.”
“CBS News asked him whether he was a traitor:
If this bloody, counterfeit liberation is American .??.??. I am proud to be un-American. If depleted uranium is American .??.??. I am proud to be un-American. If the imposed 'peace' of Pax Americana is American, I am proud to be un-American.”
“In Jesus for President Claiborne wants Christians to disavow their country and all civil governance in favor of exclusive allegiance to a nonviolent Jesus whose chief mission is resisting ‘empire.’ But Claiborne's interpretation of Jesus, his few selective quotations from early church fathers notwithstanding, is largely divorced from the universal church's understanding of the Savior. Instead, Claiborne insists on a narrowly reinterpreted Jesus as distilled by Yoder and several others in 20th-century America for whom Jesus is more social critic than Resurrected Redeemer.” (see here)
Barton Gingerich of the Institute on Religion & Democracy writes:
“Claiborne often touts radical political themes. His 2008 book Jesus for President likened American to the Third Reich and the biblical Whore of Babylon . . . Claiborne has also praised Occupy Wall Street and recently called for an ‘excorcism’ of Wall Street.” (see here)
Claiborne told gatherers at a retreat for Indiana United Methodist clergy, “The crisis in our faith today is not right believing, but right living.”
“Claiborne also demanded liberalized immigration policies for the U.S. through a story about Christians sharing communion over a southern border fence.” (see here)
Another article tells us how “Shane Claiborne has publicly announced his withholding 30 percent of his taxes to protest all U.S. defense spending.” (see here)
The same website reveals this statement by Mr. Claiborne, “If someone’s hungry, while someone else has food, then they’re a thief if they don’t share it.” (see here)
Claiborne also said this, “To be pro-life, when you live in a neighborhood like mine… means we have to figure out what to do when a 14 year old girl gets pregnant. . .That then becomes everybody’s responsibility. So if we’re really going to be pro-life, then we’d better have some foster kids and we’d better have some teenage mothers living in our homes to show for it.” (see here)
Claiborne was a speaker at the very controversial 2012 “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference. Mark Tooley, President of The Institute on Religion & Democracy wrote that “Christ at the Checkpoint is primarily a public relations scheme to dissuade American evangelicals from pro-Israel views.” (see here)
“Shane Claiborne. . . warned on July 4 that ‘patriotism can be a dangerous thing if it leads to amnesia about the dark patches of our nation’s history.’ He proposed that instead of Independence Day, Americans celebrate ‘Interdependence Day,’ to recognize that ‘we are part of a global neighborhood.’" (see here)
In an Interview with Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne said, "One of the barriers [between religions] seems to be the assumption that we have the truth and folks who experience things differently will all go to Hell. How do we unashamedly maintain a healthy desire for others to experience the love of God as we have experienced it without condemning others who experience God differently?" (see here)
Here is another quote by Claiborne, “When we truly discover how to love our neighbor as our self, Capitalism will not be possible and Marxism will not be necessary.” (see here)
Author Dave Hunt sums up Shane Claiborne’s teaching this way, “Some of Claiborne's agenda toward the poor is commendable and may be well suited to social welfare programs such as the Peace Corps or UNESCO, but it does a terrible disservice to the biblical gospel. ‘Biblical’ needs to be underscored here because the gospel has specific content that can only be derived from the Bible. The gospel is what the Bible is all about. It is God's way of salvation. . .Since the gospel has an eternal objective (e.g., it is a person's only means for spending eternity with God), there is nothing of temporal significance that should be given priority over it.
The history of the social works-oriented gospel, of which so-called progressive Christians Wallis and Claiborne are only two of the latest representatives, is a testimony to what may have begun with sincere intentions or even ‘in the Spirit’ (Galatians 3:1-3) but has degenerated into various forms of works-salvation, which constitutes ‘another gospel’ (Galatians 1:6-9) - a gospel, of course, that can save no one. When ‘good works’ take priority over the clear proclamation of the gospel by preaching and teaching, they become a leaven that ultimately subverts the gospel. Good works can only result from salvation - they are the cart that follows the horse. When the cart leads, the horse is in serious trouble.” (see here)
This is what our youth will be subject to at the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. It seems to me that the ELCA leadership is intent on making the youth of the ELCA into carbon copies of their liberal, progressive, Bible-doubting selves.
A Lutheran pro-homosexuality organization reports that an ELCA bishop, the third one Exposing the ELCA has highlighted this year, is advocating for gay marriage. LCNA says, “Richard Graham, ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, will be attending the rally in favor of marriage equality . . .” The bishop was reported to be attending a rally and conducting “lobbying visits to legislators in support of marriage equality bill in Maryland.” (see here)
(see the other ELCA bishops advocacy actions here and here)
In the same vain, a keynote speaker at this summer’s 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering (see here) went to her state legislature (CO) to speak in support of “civil unions for GLBTQ couples.” (see here) This is the same person (ELCA pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber) who recently performed a transgender renaming service at her ELCA church. (see here)
So to all those ELCA members who think that the actions and policies of the ELCA will not affect you, what to you think now? To those of you sending your kids to the ELCA Youth Gathering, do you realize you are sending them into the lion's den? To those of you who think the actions of the ELCA leadership go against God Almighty’s will, how do you justify your contentment continuing to be part of this denomination?
_The ELCA leadership loves ELCA Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. She is the face and voice of today’s ELCA. Bolz-Weber pastors a church whose website states it is “queer inclusive,” “social justice oriented” and “irreverent.” (see here) The ELCA leadership reveres this tattoo covered pastor (see here) so much she is constantly being brought in to speak at major ELCA gatherings, such as the "Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World" conference at ELCA headquarters (see here), ELCA seminaries (see here and here), ELCA synod conferences (see here), seven homosexual ELCA pastors Rite of Reception service (see here) and “Extravaganza” a ELCA conference of “500-750 adults who work with youth in congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” (see here)
The youth of the ELCA will even get to hear Pastor Bolz-Weber because she is going to be the opening night speaker for the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering which will likely have 35,000 to 40,000 youth and adults attending. (see here and here)
And today we learn that Rev. Bolz-Weber presided over a re-naming liturgical rite for one of her transgender church members.
Here is how the rite went:
“(Prayers of the People)
Holy One of Blessing, in baptism you bring us to new life in Jesus Christ and you name us Beloved. We give you thanks for the renewal of that life and love in Mary Christine Callahan, who now takes on a new name. Strengthen and uphold him as he grows in power, and authority, and meaning of this name: we pray in the Name above names, Jesus, your Son, whom with you and the Holy Spirit, the Triune God, we adore. Amen
(Lindsey) A reading from the letter of Paul to the Galatians.
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all are one in Christ Jesus
The word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
(Laying on of hands)
Let us pray:
We pray for your servant Asher, with thanks for the journey and awakening that have brought him to this moment, for his place amongst your people, and for his gifts and calling to serve you. O God, in renaming your servants Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Peter, and Paul, you gave them new lives and new tasks, new love and new hope.
We now hold before you our companion. Bless him with a new measure of grace as he takes this new name. Write him again in your heart and on your palm. And grant that we all be worthy to call ourselves Christians, for the sake of your Christ whose name is Love, and in whom, with you and the Spirit, we pray. Amen
The Giving of the name
Pr. Nadia: By what name shall you be known?
Kate: The name shall be Asher
Asher: My name is Asher
The community may respond by repeating
Your name shall be Asher
Pr. Nadia: Bear this name in the Name of Christ. Share it in the name of Mercy. Offer it in the name of Justice.
Christ is among us making peace right here right now. The peace of Christ be with you all. And also with you.” (see here)
On a side note, the said transgender member had this to say, “I’m currently pursuing candidacy towards ordained ministry in the ELCA.” (see here)
Many of you know the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently added seven pastors who are gay, bisexual or transgender, to its clergy roster. This occurred at a Rite of Reception service.
Here are a few things you may not have heard concerning this.
1) During the "festival Eucharist celebrating the reception and reinstatement of pastors," (p 4) the congregation recited the “Our Mother who is within us” prayer taken from the Goddess Rosary (read more about the Goddess Rosary here). The prayer goes like this -
"Our Mother who is within us
we celebrate your many names.
Your wisdom come,
your will be done,
unfolding from the depths
Each day you give us all that we need.
You remind us of our limits
and we let go.
You support us in our power
and we act in courage.
For you are the dwelling place within us,
the empowerment around us,
and the celebration among us,
now and forever. Amen"
"The paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer, 'Our Mother
who is within us . . .' is a part of the Goddess Rosary
offered at University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley (ELCA)."
2) The sermon for this "celebration" was delivered by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, who is a "Featured Speaker" at the publicized ELCA "Sharing the Gospel in a 2.0 World" event on August 11-14, 2010. (read here)
3) Much like item 1), they included a number of other prayers (listed below) to a god they call "Mother." (note that the Bible never calls God this name)
"O Sophia, Wisdom and Mother of us all, you are One with many names and images. May we see in all who are gathered here today your multiplicity of blessings. Today we honor your unlocking systems and practices that devalued and demeaned us for so many years and by putting your way of honoring people in its place. Most Holy One."
"Life-giving Mother, you make a home for us in the midst of our fear…
…that we may share your gifts with a hungry world:"
View and read the Rite of Reception service here.
One should also take note that there were a number of ELCA bishops involved in this Rite of Reception, as well as many ELCA pastors.
This kind of thing would not be happening if the ELCA did not support it.
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