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)
Betty Rendon is an ELCA Synodically Authorized Lay Minister at an ELCA church and received her Masters of Divinity from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). A few days ago, she and some family members were arrested by ICE, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
So far we do not have many details about the incident, except what ELCA entities are saying. It all started with a one-sided account from Betty Rendon's church. You can read it here.
Then the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's presiding bishop began tweeting about the situation.
A letter about the situation was posted by the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) from President James Nieman, Dean of Student Services Scott Chalmers and Pastor to the Community Erik Christensen.
In the letter they call the United States' immigration policy "racist." Here is the quote (see below also), "This incident brings into painful focus the ongoing need to reform this country’s racist, violent, and inhumane immigration system."
Of course, ELCA Advocacy had something to say. Below is part of an email they sent (see the full email here):
ELCA partner, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service commented:
"This is absolutely heartbreaking and shameful behavior on behalf of ICE officers. LIRS will pray for and advocate for the just treatment of Pastor Rendón and all those who find themselves in her position."
Some of the readers of the LIRS Facebook post commented saying, "We are becoming like a Hitler state..." "I am ashamed of our country..." "ICE equals deliberate cruelty." "ICE has no humanity....this is like the Nazi era." "We are very close to becoming a communist nation, Trumps SS is ICE. The time is near for all Americans to March on Washington!" "Abolish ICE." "Our government is looking more and more like murderous criminals." "ICE is disgraceful."
A newspaper article titled ICE allegedly arrests Racine student pastor; Vigil planned for Wednesday can be seen here.
A seminary classmate of Betty Rendon added his 2 cents:
Benjamin Stewart, a Professor & Director of Advanced Studies at LSTC tweeted that the "family was terrorized & separated":
ELCA pastor Chad McKenna writes "#AbolishICE":
From ELCA Pastor Paul Eldred:
The DE-MD Synod tweeted:
Matthew Short, the Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission at Greater Milwaukee Synod, was part of a gathering outside Betty Rendon's detention center. Below is his Facebook post about it:
More from the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago:
And from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The New Yorker magazine wrote a feature story on Rev. Bolz-Weber this week, titled "The Lutheran Pastor Calling for a Sexual Reformation," which provides a window into the life, thoughts and vile nature of this beloved ELCA pastor, which I will highlight. The most important revelation came from Nadia's bishop, Rev. Jim Gonia, of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He begins by comparing Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber to Martin Luther, "He talked about farting and drinking and he was kind of like Nadia.” The feature writer continues, "Gonia summed up Luther’s idea like this: 'Now that we don’t need to worry that we’re good enough for God, how do we direct our attention to our neighbor?'”
Then we have the ELCA leadership's public approval of Nadia, who wants to undo Biblical teaching reserving sexual relations to one man and one woman within marriage. Here is the whole paragraph from the article to give you context:
"Bolz-Weber argues that this idea should be extended to sex. For millennia, the Church has taught Christians to deny their physical selves, and to consider carnal urges sinful. 'We keep looking for a set of laws that will save us,' Bolz-Weber told me. 'Relying on grace can feel shaky. If it’s free it must be worthless.' As a result, both men and women lead fractured lives, believing that their sexuality is at odds with their spirituality. 'This idea that salvation comes through sexual repression,' Bolz-Weber said, 'that shit comes out sideways.' In “Shameless,” she sets out to build a sexual ethic around human flourishing rather than around rules encoded by men centuries ago. This begins by recognizing that with sex, as with everything else, 'it’s not about being good—it’s about grace.' This, she argues, is actually just the natural extension of classical Lutheranism. 'She’s the most classical Lutheran preacher you’ll ever meet,' Gonia said, adding that the reformation she’s calling for is long overdue. 'We have so intellectualized our faith—there’s a need to bring head, heart, and body into the forefront of our lives, for the future of the Christian tradition.'"
People of the ELCA, the leadership approves of what Nadia Bolz-Weber is preaching. This is public confirmation, along with ELCA leadership having her speak to 31,000 ELCA youth this summer as they assembled for the church-wide gathering. They are on board with these harmful sexual ethics she and many others preach that clearly go against God's will for people. Why are you still part of this vile denomination?
Here is a run down concerning things from The New Yorker article (in which I am quoted):
- Nadia Bolz-Weber and her two children recently went to a sexually explicit exhibition called "Au Natural" that included casts of penises, nudity, and a sculpture that is masturbating. It also presented a sculpture of Jesus made from cigarettes.
- "When she was twenty, she joined Vox Femina, a feminist performance-art group whose acts, she told me, weren’t so different from Lucas’s egg massage." (referring to one of the art exhibition performances)
- She use to be a call-center psychic.
- She had an abortion, saying she could not afford a child. And she does not think abortion is wrong.
- She divorced her husband and loves having sex with her boyfriend, which has caused her to feel closer to God.
- Her son is gay, and at 16 years old Nadia bought him condoms when she heard he had a new boyfriend.
- She calls the belief, that homosexuality is wrong, "bigotry."
- Bolz-Weber was once a counselor at a Unitarian summer camp where some campers would sunbathe nude.
As you can see below, ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber is publicizing The New Yorker piece as if she is happy with what it says.
The ELCA church's Facebook post gives you a little more information about the pageant.
(See more photos of the pageant here.)
I probably do not need to explain to you how this is blasphemous, a mockery of Christ's birth and an encouragement of sinful and harmful living.
Dreams and Visions is a newly formed ELCA church run by well-known ELCA pastor, Emily Scott, who was a main stage speaker at the ELCA’s 2015 National Youth Gathering. The church formed in conjunction with the ELCA's Delaware-Maryland Synod. The synod was mentioned in the Queer Christmas Pageant 'Thank You' section. (See here)
Dreams and Visions' website explains the church's beginnings and vision saying, "Our Bishop Bill Gohl (as well as his predecessor) had dreamed of a new spiritual community taking root in Lauraville. Emily Scott, now our pastor, dreamed of a congregation that was fresh, joyful, and justice oriented, where LGBTQ+ folks were part of the DNA of the community. It turned out God shared that dream, and brought together Emily, the Delaware-Maryland Synod, and bunch of leaders, supporters, and congregants to imagine something new together."
The church website goes on to say "The ELCA is a denomination that supports the lives and ministries of LGBTQ people and, does incredible work with refugees and immigrants. The local expression of our denomination called the Delaware-Maryland Synod. Bishop Bill Gohl, Dr. Amsalu Geleta, and the Synod Council have all worked together so that Dreams and Visions might come into being!" (see here)
If you have any doubt that God is calling you to leave the ELCA, continue reading and then reread this article. The ELCA has abandoned God, Truth, Love and God's Word. You have no excuse to remain in this apostate denomination.
The Southwest California Synod of the ELCA sent out an email today titled, "Two ways to support migrants and refugees." In the email is a picture of a young boy peering through a wire fence. The ELCA synod is promoting a "Sunday Of Solidarity with Refugee Families!" event.
Later in the email the Southwest California Synod tells of another event where "100 faith leaders from all over the country will take part in a nonviolent direct action the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California. The event will kick off a week of actions in communities across the U.S., demanding an end to border militarization and calling for humane immigration policies that respect the rights and dignity of all people."
While churches who love Jesus and His Word seek to bring people to Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is at work, funded by members' offering dollars, trying to implement their liberal extreme views on society.
If you disagree with that which the ELCA advocates, why are you funding them? Find a church that uses your money to do things that God actually tells us to do.
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here. I have added some additional information at the end)
Perhaps you have read that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission which lost its Supreme Court case trying to force a Christian baker to make a wedding cake for a homosexual "wedding" is going at him again, again bringing charges. You would think that a Christian pastor would defend the Christian baker for not violating Scripture and his conscience. But in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, it is in vogue to promote homosexuality and transgenderism. This was done last month by the speakers at the ELCA's Teen Gathering as they spoke to 31,000 teens. If you don't condone homosexuality, some say, then you are not being loving.
Here is what a Minneapolis Lutheran pastor said recently in his sermon "All You Need is Love":
"What would be so bad about baking the cake for the gay couple, not because you agree with their marital status, but because you recognize this is, in fact, who they are: broken people like you and me, trying to find companionship and love in this world and be whole and contributing human beings. And now you have a chance to make a symbolic gesture encouraging them in their relationship or to discourage them by essentially saying you want nothing to do with them. Well, if we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves, this means that regardless of compromises you think they’re making, it’s better for them to have a good life together in a stable, committed relationship than in a painful, fractured one. That it’s better for society if their relationship makes it than it is if it breaks apart...For an increasing number of people in our society, when they think of Christians, they do not think of love. What they think of is self-righteous, unyielding people who seem more angry and hateful than loving."
My problem with the above sermon is that the pastor is not, in fact, being loving. I Corinthians 6:9-11 teaches that people who live in impenitent sin, including the sin of homosexual behavior, will not inherit the Kingdom of God. So, if we are truly loving and care about where people spend eternity, we will not bake the cake. We will urge people to repent of sin and put their trust in Christ for forgiveness and salvation. We will not do as the pastor does in the above sermon, namely, preach compromise to make people feel good about their sin and to feel good about us "hateful" Christians.
Please pray the Lord grants the Christian baker in Colorado the strength to endure another attack and to again find victory in the courts. And pray that God give will Christian pastors the courage to side with the Word and not with the world.
In Christ our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
Here is a link to the ELCA pastor's sermon.
ELCA Bishop Bill Gafkjen of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod also seems to believe Christians should bake cakes for gay weddings or lend their services to the celebrations, as you can see in his Facebook post below and in his sharing an article, with his comments, that says:
"My 'sincerely held religious belief' should not allow me to discriminate against others on the basis of things they cannot change. No workaround to the First Amendment and existing law is needed to solve this "problem," because it should not be a problem if we follow the Golden Rule." (Here is the article Bishop Gafkjen shared)
ELCA Magazine Highlights Lutheran Pastor Who Has Changed From Female to Male—With Her Bishop’s Approval
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
In yet another article affirming transgenderism, the April edition of Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, tells the story of Pastor Rose who has become Pastor Peter in a “renaming ceremony to reflect his transition from female to male.”
The article states: “He (my note: the article calls this woman “he” throughout the article) had openly self-identified as queer for many years…the congregation was fully accepting, which, given its reputation as a radically welcoming place, didn’t surprise him.”
Did the ELCA bishop do anything to discipline this pastor and congregation? No, quite the contrary, the ELCA bishop of New Jersey was present at the re-naming ceremony and called the pastor a “faithful, joyful servant of Christ”. According to the article, the bishop “believes the renaming ceremony was important for the church and for her to be part of it. “I felt it was appropriate and important for me to stand with Pastor Beeson and the people of St. Matthew Trinity. We have been providing education and events for congregations to learn about becoming safer and more welcoming places for LGBTQ youth. Standing with this congregation and their pastor seemed a logical way to demonstrate what we have been teaching.”” (NOTE: Head bishop of the ELCA Elizabeth Eaton has also taken a stand for transgenderism telling a Chicago newspaper “When we take a look a people’s sexual orientation or gender identity, it’s not completely binary. Everybody isn’t male or everybody isn’t female. There’s a whole spectrum to that. I think that’s something that’s new for a lot of our people to think about, but it’s the truth…”)
The article concludes: “Beeson…isn’t that different from other ELCA pastors, ministering out in the world…at a congregation that he said is dominated by a “deep commitment to God’s grace.”
Here again we see God’s grace being used as an excuse to sin. I couldn’t help but think of the warning of Jude 4 regarding “certain persons (who) have crept in unnoticed…ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” And also Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
May the Lord have mercy on this confused and rebellious denomination that is encouraging people to live in sin,
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Here is the referenced article in the ELCA's Living Lutheran.)
(Updated March 2018 - Original blog was written March, 2011)
One would think that ELCA pastors, bishops and teachers would believe Scripture. However all one has to do is read, “The Clergy Letter - from American Christian clergy: An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science,” to find that most do not.
Over 2400 ELCA leaders signed this letter which states,
“the overwhelming majority (of Christians) do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth.”
Make no mistake, what these Christian leaders are saying is that they do not believe what the Bible actually says. They are calling the story about creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s ark, lies. These ELCA leaders think they know better than Jesus, the Old and New Testament writers, and 2000 years of Christians, who knew these stories to be true. (read more here)
The letter goes on to say, “We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as ‘one theory among others’ is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”
Really? So those that believe God’s account of creation, are “ignorant?” Maybe these religious elites should read from the following website of the many scientists who are skeptical of Darwinism. (read here and download the list of scientists who signed "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.")
The Clergy letter also says, “We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris.”
Let me get this straight, now these “Christian” leaders, who say that the Biblical account of creation is not true, are now telling us that if we believe God’s account of creation we are REJECTING God’s Will?
Finally the letter says, “We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge.” (read here)
Here are “Christian” leaders urging school boards to have the teaching of evolution be a “core component of HUMAN knowledge.” These are the people teaching us and our children about Jesus and the Bible?
Someone may ask, “What’s the big deal?” “Who cares if ELCA leaders and pastors don’t believe what the Bible says about creation?”
Here are a few quotes that highlight why we should care:
"More cases of loss of religious faith can be traced to the theory of evolution--- than anything else." - Martin Lings, quoted in Christian Century July, 1982
“Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.” - Noted evolutionist, Professor Will Provine, in “Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life.”
"Any creationist lawyer who got me on the stand could instantly win over the jury simply by asking me: 'Has your knowledge of evolution influenced you in the direction of becoming an atheist?' I would have to answer yes and, at one stroke, I would have lost the jury." - Noted evolutionist, Dr. Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion (2008) p. 93
While I was studying at an ELCA seminary, the Dean of Students told me that not one ELCA seminary professor in the United States believes Adam and Eve were real people. I have no doubt that statement is true. Sadly, seminary professors’ beliefs are being picked up by their students, who are the current and future ELCA pastors.
Linked at the end of this blog is the list of current and retired ELCA pastors, ELCA seminary professors, ELCA college professors, ELCA seminary presidents and ELCA Bishops who agree with this letter and signed it. Some of the notable signers are: Bishop Tom Aitken (Northeastern Minnesota Synod), The Rev. Hans R. Arnesen (Associate to the Bishop of the New England Synod), Bishop Allan Bjornberg (ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod), Bishop Paul J. Blom - Houston, Texas, Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, The Rev. Stacy Boorn (herchurch), The Rev. Michael Cooper-White, D.D., (President - Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA), The Rev. Jean DeVoll-Donaldson (Assistant to the Bishop/Director for Evangelical Mission Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod), Bishop Ralph W. Dunkin (West Virginia -Western Maryland Synod), The Rev. James Kenneth Echols, Ph.D. (President - Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), The Rev. Paul W. Egertson, Ph.D. (Bishop Emeritus - Southwest California Synod), The Rev. Jim Hazelwood (Bishop of the New England Synod), The Rev. Anita C. Hill, The Rev. B. Penrose Hoover (Bishop - Lower Susquehanna Synod), The Rev. Robert L. Isaksen, (Retired ELCA Pastor and Bishop of the New England Synod), The Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, Kevin S. Kanouse, (Bishop Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod), Paul R. Landahl (Bishop Metropolitan Chicago Synod), Bishop April Ulring Larson (La Crosse Area Synod), The Rev. Duane H. Larson, PhD., (President - Wartburg Theological Seminary), The Rev. Felipe Lozada-Montanez (Bishop of the Caribbean Synod of the ELCA), Bishop Brian D.Maas (Nebraska Synod - ELCA), Bishop John S. Macholz (Upstate New York Synod - ELCA), The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Mansholt (Bishop Central States Synod), The Rev. Robert W. Mattheis (Bishop Emeritus, Sierra Pacific Synod), The Rev. George Paul Mocko (Bishop Emeritus, Delaware-Maryland Synod), Bishop David G. Mullen (Sierra Pacific Synod), Bishop Dean W. Nelson (Southwest California Synod), Bishop Margaret G. Payne (New England Synod), The Rev. Dr. Ted Peters (Interim President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), The Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Schmalenberger (Retired President - Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), Rev. Robin J. Steinke, Ph.D. (President Luther Seminary), Bishop David R. Strobel (Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod), The Rev. Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde (President - St. Olaf College), Bishop Ron Warren (ELCA Southeastern Synod), The Rev. Dr. Howard E. Wennes (Retired Bishop ELCA), The Rev. Paul M. Werger, (Bishop Emeritus - Southeastern Iowa Synod), The Rev. Eric G. Wolf(Assistant to the Bishop of the South Carolina Synod, ELCA), The Rev. Dr. Herman Yoos (Bishop - South Carolina Synod) and Bishop David B. Zellmer (South Dakota Synod).
More than 14500 American pastors signed this letter and over 2400 of them are Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leaders.
Here is a list of all the ELCA leaders who signed the Clergy letter.
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Guns. They are a hot topic of conversation and debate these days. The ELCA Conference of Bishops jumped into the fray with a news release stating their support of the gun focused March for Our Lives. The Bishop’s statement was clear:
“The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in solidarity with our children and youth…offer our support, partnership and prayers for the March for Our Lives, its satellite city events, and our children and youth who are leading us forward as peacemakers.” (see here)
The ELCA's presiding bishop and 62 synod bishops signed the statement.
The March for Our Lives calls for
- "A law to ban the sale of assault weapons..."
- "Prohibiting the sale of high-capacity magazines..."
- "Closing the loophole in our background check law that allows dangerous people...(to) buy guns online or at gun shows." (see here)
Some of you may agree with that stance, some of you may not. I present this information for those ELCA members who disagree with the March for Our Lives' demands. They have a right to know what their denomination is supporting.
An recent email by ELCA Advocacy gives further details of what the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America wants to happen regarding guns, at least for the time being:
"We have resolved as a church to work for the passage and strict enforcement of laws that control the manufacture and sale of weapons not used for hunting and sport, or for use other than law enforcement and military purposes." (See here)
Below are some more gun related thoughts of ELCA leaders and entities,
- ELCA Pastor Sue Seiffert writes this about the NRA,
- The tweet below is from the ELCA's Southeastern Minnesota Synod,
- Clergy and faith leaders in Oklahoma, including 5 from the ELCA, signed a letter that said,
"we raise our voices again today, to call once more for change and to make the moral claim that our dedication to guns and to violence is, in religious terms, idolatry. We appear to be willing to sacrifice even our own children to this warped ideology, wrapped in the second amendment as if it were Holy Scripture."
These "Christian" pastors even say prayers are "...meaningless if they do not change us and our actions." Seriously? They should be defrocked if they think prayers are meaningless. (see here)
- WELCA wades into the gun debate,
- The Rocky Mountain Synod posted this on their Facebook page,
- And here is Rocky Mountain Synod ELCA Bishop Jim Gonia marching,
- Finally, ELCA Advocacy and the ELCA's Metro D.C. synod will participate in the March For Our Lives -
Read more about the ELCA's stance on guns here (scroll to the bottom of the page).
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