ELCA Bishop Celebrates Gay Pastors and Promotes Training of Lay People to Affirm the LBGTQIA+ Community
(The following article is from Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
10 years ago the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to ordain practicing homosexuals as pastors. This caused the largest church split in American history and the ELCA lost many members and donations. One ELCA seminary building was sold to Muslims, two other seminaries merged, and my alma mater Luther Seminary has had to sell off some of its buildings. Nevertheless, some ELCA bishops celebrate the move to have non-celibate homosexual and transgender pastors.
Here is a statement from Bishop Jim Arends of the La Crosse Area Synod:
"This is the 10th anniversary of the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy and deacons. As we celebrate the work of the gay pastors in our synod we seek to grow in understanding and inclusion. The Synod Council voted this spring to provide training in the issues and realities of the LGBTQIA+ community. As opportunities are offered in the months to come, please take advantage of them." (See here, a little over half way down the page)
So it appears it is not enough that liberals in the church got the ELCA to approve homosexual relationships in 2009, now in 2020 they want to train Lutheran church members to be on board with the LGBTQIA+ movement. Your ELCA offering dollars at work.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
The ELCA's Pennsylvania Synod is promoting "LBGTQ-friendly" books to read to your children. The Facebook post takes you to an article that lists 17 LGBTQ-friendly books. They are stories about "transgender" children, a controversial gay rights leader, supportive books about children whose parents are gay, a child at a parent's gay wedding, a book that talks about "gender fluidity for children and encourages them to explore their identities," a story about a "prince falling in love with a knight" and many same-sex love stories.
The ELCA is trying to influence you and your family. Here they are targeting children with their view on homosexuality, gender fluidity and transgenderism.
Why are you a part of a wayward denomination that preaches lifestyles that go against God's will for people?
Rev. Tom Brock addressed the situation this way -
A Facebook post by the ELCA's Metro DC Synod begins by indicating the hashtags, "#dailybible" and "#loveislove" and is followed by a LGBTQ+ flag. Then the synod shares the Bible verse "The voice said to him again, a second time, 'what god has made clean, you must not call profane" - Acts 10:15.
This pro-LGBTQ+ post, combined with the Bible verse, is deeply disturbing. It claims that God is supportive of sexual relationships that fall outside of those that are heterosexual, between one man and one woman. This post indicates that those relationships are "clean," permissible and good.
This is a proof-texted use of a Bible verse about Peter's vision, as God called him to go to the Gentiles with the Gospel. God revealed to Peter a new understanding of the law as it relates to what was clean and unclean. Context matters. This is a manipulative use of Scripture to deliver an agenda and cause people to blindly follow a new thought that supports that agenda.
Here is another post by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America synod that also uses the LGBTQ+ mantra, "love is love." It seems that the background image of the picture also supports that message.
How do you think ELCA leadership feels about their members who believe God's Word, that homosexuality is sinful and that trying to be a gender you are not, is harmful?
Why would anyone who trusts the Word of God support and be part of one of their churches?
Additionally, as you consider how Bishop Kuempel reacts to those with whom she disagrees, ask yourself, when reading her tweet below, is this the type of language and behavior you want to see from a leader in your church? Why does the ELCA allow this?
Kristen Kuempel is the Northwest Intermountain Synod Bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Nicole Garcia is the latest transgender pastor ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA made the announcement:
"Let it be acclaimed that Nicole Garcia is a called and ordained minister in the church of Christ.
Pastor Nicole has been called by the Rocky Mountain Synod Council to serve as mission developer for Westview, a new worshipping community in Boulder CO.
Christ's Church, Better Together!"
One needs to ask, is Rev Nicole Garcia and the "new worshipping community" being financially supported by the ELCA synod?
In the pictures that follow you will see the Rocky Mountain Synod Bishop Jim Gonia, high-profile ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, and transgender ELCA pastors Megan Rohrer and Asher O'Callaghan.
The Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America held a youth gathering (see here) two weeks ago for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The person chosen to be chaplain for the middle schoolers was transgender ELCA vicar Atticus Zavaletta. (see here and below)
This is another example of how the ELCA continues to lift up transgender confusion and homosexuality to young people.
People of God, please pray for God's will to prevail in the hearts and minds of those still worshiping in the ELCA and for ELCA leaders and those struggling with same-sex attraction and gender confusion to turn from sin and trust God and His Truth.
Below are Facebook posts about the youth event by the Delaware-Maryland Synod, Delaware-Maryland Synod Bishop Bill Gohl and transgender ELCA vicar Atticus Zavaletta.
Jesus did not and would not invite worshipers of Baal into the Temple of God to worship their deity. But the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA proudly reports on one of their ELCA churches that invited Muslims to pray at their church.
A second Facebook post by the ELCA synod has the ELCA church's pastor saying they "Sometimes even pray with them."
When Columbus Day rolls around each year, you can count on one thing: the ELCA will be denouncing it. So it was, yesterday, when Women of the ELCA (WELCA) published an article by an author whom WELCA says "...makes an argument for changing the name Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day in every state." (See here or below)
It seems the ELCA's Northwest Washington Synod would like to rename Columbus Day to "Native American Day." (See below)
If you would like to read a couple of healthy perspectives on the realities of the day and the man who is remembered and celebrated on Columbus Day, check out these articles:
- Christopher Columbus: A Sinner With A Heart for Frontier Missions
- Columbus was Awesome
- Indigenous Peoples Day vs Columbus Day
Below is the WELCA article being shared by the ELCA's Northern Great Lakes Synod:
From a soon-to-be ELCA pastor:
And from an ELCA pastor:
The spring and summer of 2019 saw synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America holding their assemblies. It is a time when the liberal of liberals, the radical of radicals put down their keyboards and take a pause from their social media rantings to go to their ELCA synod assembly in order to vote for their favorite causes and elect their leaders.
Some of this year's attendees and happenings are contained below:
Homosexual bishop, Guy Erwin was re-elected to another 6-year term by the Southwest California Synod. The synod Facebook page shared the news and a picture from SoCal Lutherans, which says they are "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Allied Lutheran Christians in Southern California."
During the Delaware-Maryland (DE-MD) Synod Assembly one of the most vile pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was elected to the synod Discipline Committee, Rev. Lura Groen. (Read about her here)
Pastor Tamika Jay claims she is part of the DE-MD Synod and she wants attendees to know that "...not 'agreeing' about the rights and welcome of all of G-d's people is not about unity. That is bigotry."
Pastor Jay goes on to say that she is "proud of us" (the DE-MA Synod) for voting be a RIC (LGBT approving) Synod.
An article from the ELCA magazine Living Lutheran reports the Northeastern Minnesota synod passed resolutions on "polices that welcome migrants, opposing conversion therapy and calling for a commitment toward gender justice":
(See page 36 here)
A Pacifica Synod of the ELCA resolution was approved for "full participation of rostered ministers in equality, diversity and anti-racism training." Another resolution passed calling for "the use of inclusive and expansive language for humankind and God." (See page 38 here)
I do not know exactly what this Tweet and the list of "Questions for Candidates" by the Upstate New York Synod means, but it doesn't sound good.
The Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly passed Resolution 2019-4 Regarding a Social Statement on Gender Identity and Gender Expression. It said:
"RESOLVED that the Sierra Pacific Synod memorialize the 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to commission a study leading to a social statement on gender identity, gender expression and human sexuality; and be it further
RESOLVED that this study should facilitate education among our members so as to build awareness of the broad varieties of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation among God's people, as well as provide pastoral care insights regarding concerns and issues of the transgender experience and gender non-conformity." (See here)
ELCA Pastor Emily Scott, a past speaker at the ELCA Youth Gathering, wrote to those attending the Delaware-Maryland Synod assembly encouraging people to write on their name tag which pronouns people should use when addressing them.
Someone at the Oregon Synod Assembly of the ELCA Tweeted:
The ELCA's Saint Paul Area Synod Assembly's action:
At the Metropolitan New York Synod they "set the agenda for the Synod's strategic plan for the upcoming year, including major initiatives surrounding ecumenical efforts, inclusion of immigrants, and programming celebrating LGBTQIA+ congregants. The group also passed a resolution for consideration to the ELCA National Church Assembly in August, to declare itself as a "Sanctuary" Denomination, ready to seek justice and protection for refugees and undocumented people; and a resolution to endorse the Poor People's Campaign and encourage its members to participate where appropriate in the organizing, advocacy, and actions of the campaign." (See here)
Also the Metro New York Synod:
The Northwest Washington Synod passed the following resolutions:
The South-Central of Wisconsin ELCA synod passed resolutions "in support of immigration reform and refugee resettlement" and "human rights of Palestinian children." (see page 38 here)
A workshop called "Transgender 101" was held at the Southwest California Synod Assembly.
Below is a bunch of news from the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America:
Finally, the Metro D. C. Synod of the ELCA passed a memorial about the "process around revising" Vision and Expectations:
Below are comments by our friend, Rev. Tom Brock about resolutions and ELCA assemblies:
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God's Word warns us about hell. (See here) Jesus spoke of hell and eternal punishment more than anyone in Scripture. Yet the ELCA seems to show no concern about people going to hell.
Rev. Craig Miller replied, “Is the ELCA concerned about anyone going to hell? I have not heard people express concern...Bishop have you heard of anyone expressing concern about (hell)? Our concern is that people know the gospel message is for them…Short answer is probably no, the ELCA has not expressed any concern that anyone is going to hell. But we wouldn’t know who it would be if it was somebody.” The recording, which has been removed from the website, was here and the statement was made at 1:55:54 on December 9, 2018.
ELCA leaders are not concerned about hell because most do not believe in hell or that anyone will be there. (See here and here. Scroll down the page.)
A couple years ago ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was asked, "Is there a hell?" Bishop Eaton's answered, "There may be, but I think it is empty.” (See here)
This is against the witness of Scripture, against what God has said in His Word.
Is there any wonder why the ELCA is not about bringing people to faith in Christ?
Is there any wonder why many ELCA leaders are preaching universalism, that all people will be saved?
I have no doubt the devil is pleased.
A few days ago a show by Bancroft TV was posted on Youtube titled "Being Polygamous And Christian Is Not A Sin | LOVE DON’T JUDGE."
The show spotlights two women and a man who are a "throuple" - or having a sexual relationship between three people.
Appearing on the show is Leila Ortiz, who was elected this summer as bishop of the ELCA Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod. (Rev. Ortiz was previously Assistant to the Bishop in the same ELCA synod.) Ortiz is interviewed, after we are told by the narrator that the trouple, “Having been asked to leave their Pentecostal church... went in search of a church that would accept their relationship."
ELCA Bishop elect Leila Ortiz then recounted their meeting and her learning about their polygamous relationship:
“There’s still many people who would be scandalized and would even be scandalized by my acceptance of them. And that’s okay, that’s okay. I’m very grounded in my faith.”
This is an ELCA bishop proclaiming support for polygamous relationships. Polygamy is against God's will as He clearly outlined in Scripture. (See here) The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has become so opposed to the Truth of God's Word that threesomes are fine. This is where the ELCA is headed and it will continue to get worse.
The following post is from ELCA pastor Lura N. Groen:
Celebrating sin. That is what we see happening in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Case in point, the bishop of the New England Synod of the ELCA, James Hazelwood, announced that the New England Synod's Churchwide Assembly t-shirt will, in part, say "We Celebrate" and "LGBTQ+." (See below)
The t-shirts are being made by the synod to be worn at the upcoming ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
The North Carolina Synod of the ELCA sent out their newsletter March 5, 2019. It reveals a lot about the synod and where it stands on LGBTQ issues.
One section of the synod newsletter announced Reconciling Sexuality Week, which will be held at the ELCA's Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS). See below.
Additionally, the North Carolina synod shared an article titled, "In this to the end," which speaks to the recent vote by the Methodist Church on gay marriage. The synod email reprinted part of the article which states, "'We're in this to the end,' sang LGBTQ United Methodists and their allies. They prayed. They hugged. They pulled out more chairs as people packed a worship service hosted by the LGBTQ-affirming Love Your Neighbor Coalition on Wednesday morning (Feb. 27) in a meeting room at the Holiday Inn, a day after a three-year-long push to make their church more inclusive had been blocked. Many at the worship service committed to staying in a denomination that voted Tuesday (Feb. 26) to reiterate language in the Book of Discipline, its rulebook, saying LGBTQ people could not marry or be ordained in its churches."
The synod also gave this invitation, "Join us for Theology on Tap weekend" for a "weekend of craft brews."
Previously, Rev. Kevin L. Strickland was the Assistant to the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA and Executive for Worship. He is married to another man.
Bishop-elect Strickland was recently featured in an article by ReconcilingWorks, a LGBT organization where he recounts:
"For many years, I felt like I was 'broken' as I fought the internal struggle to come out and say that I was gay and to not only do that but then to continue being able to serve as a pastor in this church. I felt shame, brokenness, sense of not being right. Then a dear friend and pastor, reminded me, I was exactly what God created and even in what may feel broken to me, God calls it beautiful. I now can claim that I am a beautifully and wonderfully created child of God who is gay. Being broken-open means I now live free as the person that God created me to be. In that broken-openness, there is such beauty." (See here)
In the ELCA, and world, it is common for people to say that "God made me gay." This is a lie. It diminishes who God is. God does not call sin beautiful. What is beautiful is God's grace and forgiveness in view of our sin.
The ELCA is in rapid descent into darkness, and this becomes more and more evident every week. They brazenly place their own view over that of God and His Word. God is calling His people out of this depraved denomination; if you are remaining, will you heed His call?
Before Rev. Strickland was elected Bishop of the Southeastern Synod, the ELCA's first homosexual bishop, Guy Erwin, tweeted:
ELCA Synod Bishop Kevin Kanouse came out as a homosexual while he was bishop.
Below is Rev. Tom Brock's response to the ELCA election of Kevin Strickland:
Rev. Laurie Larson Caesar was elected bishop of the ELCA's Oregon Synod, May 11, 2019. (See here)
A simple google search of "Rev. Laurie Larson Caesar" turned up a sermon given by Bishop-elect Laurie Larson Caesar titled, "Is God Male?" In the sermon the soon-to-be ELCA synod bishop had this to say about God:
Lent is “…also a time to stretch, stretch our souls, stretch our theological imagination, stretch our sense of the chasms that God can build bridges over.
So I just want to talk a little bit about the face of God as 'Mother.' How many of you grew up with God is 'Father' in your ordinary lives, in your day-to-day living? Yes. How many of you have encountered in not just in intellectual weapon in a prayerful way, in a soul changing way of praying with Mother God or writing a hymn with Mother God? Just a few. It's one of the gifts of going to seminary that we're forced to stress whether we like or not and we encounter theologian who stretch and pull us in ways… I am really fortunate to have been loved well by some amazing women. And so God as a woman comes easily to me. God has female. As one more metaphor. As one more name.” (See at the 11:30 minute mark)
Bishop-elect Laurie Larson Caesar also called God “Grandmother God.” (16:50)
Later, Rev. Larson Caesar says:
“If you've never prayed with an image of God as Mother find one and try, just try, move from the head...What does it feel like to pray to a Mother God who supports us and holds us?” (22:24)
“God is here and all around you. Thank you for your ministry. She loves you in an embarrassing way huge way.” (23:13)
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