Ken Ham, founder and CEO of Creation in Genesis, the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, is a well known defender of God's Word and Christian speaker.
Ken Ham has spoken about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's departure from Biblical Truth in the past and this week he addressed it further on Facebook and Twitter when sharing an article titled "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Distributes Handbook on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity."
After Uproar Over Posting a Bible Verse, ELCA Apologizes 'that the language in this post has caused harm'
The first person to post a critical comment wrote, "Please consider the racial implications of what you are saying here. There is no darkness in him- really??? I assume exclusion (from God) is not your intent, but that is the impact. Please apologize and remove this post."
Another wrote, "Please don't ever again pretend to be confused about why we're 97% white. This post tells me so much about how my church is in relationship to my dark skin."
A ELCA pastor also replied, "Just because it’s a bible verse does not mean it can’t be used to inflict harm on our siblings of color and perpetuate systemic racism in a church that is 98% white. The bible has been used to silence women, oppress LGBTQIA+ persons, and justify slavery. We need to choose our imagery carefully. We need to do better and not (unintentionally or not) alienate our fellow siblings in the body of Christ."
And they went on blast mode from there, so much so that the ELCA had to edit their Bible verse image post with an addition:
"Dear siblings in Christ,
We have been paying very close attention to the conversation created by this post. Thank you all who have voiced your experiences and concerns regarding the language used.
The verse shared here comes from last week’s lectionary readings. As themes of darkness and light will appear again in lectionary readings later in Lent, we have chosen to leave this post and its discussion here so that it can inspire deeper conversation and reflection as we prepare for the season ahead.
We apologize that the language in this post has caused harm, and we recognize that this image can be a painful reminder of the harmful power dynamics, racism and inequity that exist in this church. It is our responsibility to be intentional in our use of images and language. We are committed to this work, and we are committed to learning from our mistakes." See the ELCA Facebook post here or below.
So, not only are ELCAites upset and viewing this Bible verse as racial, but the ELCA responds by apologizing for the pain people may feel from quoting it.
Who wants to support the ELCA and worship in a denomination that does that? The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America apologized for quoting God's Word, for saying "God is Light, in Him there is no darkness at all." Shame on them and shame on anyone who remains in this denomination.
Not surprising, the ELCA went on to say this,
(The following article was written last year by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Bishop Herbert Chilstrom was my bishop for years before he became the first presiding bishop of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America back in 1988. My heart sank back then when he became head bishop because I knew of his liberal views. He later became a champion for the acceptance of homosexual relationships in the ELCA. And his view won the day in 2009 when the ELCA voted to ordain practicing homosexuals and to allow gay "weddings". Near where I live is an ELCA church where the male Lutheran homosexual pastor has a "husband" who is an United Church of Christ pastor. This is the new world of the ELCA.
This month Living Lutheran, the ELCA's national magazine, is presenting a five-part series by Chilstrom on the authority of the Bible. His first article says this:
"If the Spirit of God is alive and at work in the church in every age, should we not expect that new insights into our understanding of the Bible will emerge in our own generation—or from the experience of believers in the world?"
These words remind me of a conversation I had years ago with a liberal Lutheran pastor on the subject of homosexuality. I pointed out the clear teaching of Romans chapter 1 forbidding homosexual behavior. His response: "The Holy Spirit is leading us to a higher consciousness on this issue than the Apostle Paul had in the First Century." In other words, the Holy Spirit today is contradicting what He inspired the Apostle Paul to write in the First Century.
The most liberal Protestant denomination is the United Church of Christ whose motto is: God is still speaking. I'm afraid this means "Yes, God spoke against certain things in the Bible long ago, but God is saying new things to the Church today." This understanding of Scripture allows you to get around any Bible verse that you don't like. And it is tragic, perhaps near blasphemy, to say that the Holy Spirit is the one leading the liberal, mainline Protestant denominations to embrace the world and reinterpret Scripture.
The answer to all this, of course, is to remember the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible and He will not contradict Himself 2000 years later. The Lutheran Reformation was founded upon the Latin phrase "Sola Scripture" which means "the Bible alone" has the final authority. Would that liberal Protestant leaders remember that and not try to imagine a Holy Spirit who contradicts the very book He has inspired.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
See the article quoted above here.
ELCA Bishop Makes Gay Pride Video Saying 'Join Me in Thanksgiving to God for the Open Minds and Open Hearts that Have Helped our Churches Let Go of Ancient Prejudices'
ELCA bishop, Guy Erwin, who is himself gay, recently filmed a video in honor of Pride Month 2019.
In the video, Bishop Erwin shares his twisted view of Scripture and the Christian view of homosexuality saying:
"...the main purpose of the bible (is) bringing us the message of God's love for all humankind, shown in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we resist efforts to use it as a prop for prejudice and hate."
"We oppose all efforts to use our ancient scriptures as a tool to condemn others or separate them from us. We believe God calls us to resist such prejudice, even when it comes from 'religious people' or claims the name of Christianity. And so we support the LGBT+ community as it observes Pride month this month and every month and every June."
"My husband and I give thanks to God for the changes that have led us finally to be able to marry."
"My church, both nationally and here in Southern California, celebrates its LGBT+ members."
"The election of a second gay bishop in the ELCA this summer...is cause for joy for me and the whole church."
"I invite you, whoever you are, to join me in thanksgiving to God for the open minds and open hearts that have helped our churches let go of ancient prejudices. To see the grace of God unfolding in new places."
It seems that the ELCA bishop is saying:
- If you hold to the Biblical teaching that homosexuality is wrong/a sin, you hold to "ancient prejudices" and to "hate."
- And the national church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, celebrates LGBT+ members. That is similar to saying one celebrates its lying members, drunk members, adulterous members. It is good that all are members, but the church should not be celebrating members' sins and their gatherings aimed at celebrating sin.
Chris Brown is an ELCA pastor in Solvang, CA. On Twitter, Pastor Brown responded to a gentleman who listed seven statements of which he believes. Pastor Brown disagreed. The dialogue is quite interesting:
(or see here)
Most ELCA pastors would agree with Pastor Chris Brown in his denial of Biblical inerrancy. And the ELCA constitution does not claim that the Bible is inerrant.
The ELCA Presiding Bishop made a similar claim, as Pastor Brown, concerning hell, last year saying if there is a hell she believes it is empty. (see here)
And as we have seen over the last decade, the vast majority of ELCA pastors do not view homosexuality as sin or sinful.
This is the disturbing reality of the ELCA. Their view of God's Word allows them to pick and choose what parts they believe. Sins, of which people should repent, are celebrated as God-honoring. And their belief about hell, which ties to the belief that all people will be saved, results in no evangelism, no seeking to save souls. (See more on the ELCA's view on hell here and universalism here and here)
To shed some more light on ELCA Pastor Chris Brown, his Twitter page is mostly filled with angry tweets about Republicans, President Trump and those who support him. (See here)
What you are about to read, by the most famous and sought after pastor in the ELCA, goes completely against Scripture. Run away from this denomination as soon as you can.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and is highly revered in the denomination and with ELCA leadership. That, despite the heretical and controversial things she has said and done and keeps saying and doing. (See a list here, here and here)
Recently, Rev. Bolz-Weber appeared on a podcast by Kevin Garcia that was titled "Making Sex Shameless, w/ Nadia Bolz-Weber."
The content that follows shows you what the ELCA is becoming. This is what ELCA seminaries produced and are producing. Nadia Bolz-Weber is not some outlier. She is one of many the ELCA has elevated to a position of power and great influence, speaking throughout the ELCA and even to multiple ELCA Youth Gatherings.
During the interview the host asked Nadia to give a little synopsis of her new book, "Shameless." Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber replied (language warning):
“. . . it came out of my own experience, I was raised, obviously very very fundamentalist Christian, with all the crazy shit about gender roles and sex and extramarital sex and all that, but it was before the purity movement you know, but I was raised with all that, rejected it, led this very different life.
But then I discovered the Lutheran Church, and the ELCA is one of the most progressive denominations in the country and yet, there is a document you have to sign when you’re ordained called “Visions and Expectations” that says you would be faithful in marriage, or I think its 'celibate or chaste in singleness.'
Well, the origin of this document was it was originally sorta' forged through the denomination by a group that was trying to keep the homosexuals out of the pulpit. It was a way, it really was a way, of keeping the homos down. Because you would have to be celibate in your singleness, and gay people couldn’t get married – and that shifted, and they were like, 'oh shit,' right? And everybody had to sign this. And it’s insane because what happens is that there are all these people who get married right out of seminary, because they can’t afford to live separately, you know, they need to live in intern housing, and so they get married sooner than they should. Or they have sexual relationships that they are forced to keep secret or not be honest about. Or they are completely repressed, and we have single, grown-assed adults who don’t have, who are not flourishing in their sexual lives because the church says they shouldn’t.
So none of those things are great, really. And so you know, (Nadia then talks about her ex-husband)...we never connected, like there was no intimacy in our marriage, and for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen for us. And so, you know, people are like, ‘Wow, you don’t do cross-fit any more?’ And I’m like, ‘I was doing cross-fit because I wasn’t having sex!' You know what I mean, it was just a way of like managing. And now I’m like all soft, and I got long hair, and I’m so much happier.
So what happened was, I get divorced, like the most amicable divorce you can imagine. No lawyers, no acrimony. It was great, right, it was like actually really lovely. But I get together with my boyfriend and start having sex and it was like 'holy shit,' I was like, it felt like an exfoliation of my whole spirit. I'm like 'This is so good for my brain chemistry, and my body, and my heart. And I’m like fuck man, why in the world would the Church say ‘Don’t do this?’ Like I could tell it was what I needed, and it was so good. And then 10 days later, after we get together...I have to go to Europe for 3 1/2 weeks on a book tour, because the U.K and the German edition of my book came out...3 ½ weeks after years of sexlessness and 10 days of having sex, right, my mind was like swirling, I was like ‘What the fuck is happening?!’"
"I’m walking down a street in London...we (a friend) just cried and ate, we had both just gotten divorced, and we were like insane. So for 10 days we trampsed around England and Scotland, and eating and crying...I as like ‘Wait a minute, why did the Church make me sign that thing? How is it better for my church if I’m not getting laid?’ Look, the church will entrust me with the care of souls and will not entrust me with my own grown-ass woman sexuality, to make good decisions for myself? Like don’t fuck the flock, clearly, I get that part... I’m like, “what the fuck.” So I messaged, I whatsapped Eric, my boyfriend… and granted, this was with an unwarranted urgency, and I’m going, and he gets on Skype, and he’s not Christian, he’s never a Christian, and I go ‘Why do you think the Church has tried to control sex for so long?’ and without skipping a beat, my beloved said, ‘Umm...I guess I always assumed that the Church saw sex as its competition'…I was like, I’m writing a book."
Nadia continues, "Here’s the harm that these teachings have directly caused myself and these people (who Nadia interviewed), and if the teachings of the Church are harming people, we need to rethink these teachings. We should never be more loyal to an idea or a doctrine or an interpretation of a Bible verse than we are to people. So that’s the premise of the book.”
(Listen here. Starting at 22:20 minute mark.)
Continuing on, “I want people to have better sex too. I want people to feel uninhibited with their lover and to lose themselves in that. And uhm, you know, I think Christianity has led to a lot of really bad sex. And a lot of people shut down and not connected to their bodies. And terrified to talk about sex with their partner, even.” (Listen here. Starting at 41:40)
What ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber is saying, pushing for a new teaching on sex to replace the Biblical and traditional view of where sexual relations are to take place, is evil. It is from the pit of hell. It is against God's will and God's Word.
Let's recap what Rev. Bolz-Weber said (and apparently what she says in her new book):
- She calls the ELCA document that pastors sign, reserving sex to marriage, "insane."
- She calls fundamentalist thought on extramarital sex "crazy shit."
- She says she is having sex with her boyfriend, (hence, sex outside of marriage. This is in violation of "Vision and Expectations," an ELCA document for pastors that she signed.)
- She questions why the Church would not allow sex outside of marriage.
- She calls the Biblical teaching on sex "harmful."
- She says "people" should come before God's Word, if God's Word causes "harm" to some people.
As I said earlier, this is not one crazy ELCA pastor talking. This is a belief held by many ELCA pastors, leaders and future ELCA pastors. See below the social media post by ELCA pastor, Javen Swanson, and my blog about "Naked and Unashamed" (here).
Below is Pastor Swanson's tweets with active links.
Many in Christendom including most Lutheran denominations believe the Bible, written by God, is inerrant, or "free from error." Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. says, "The affirmation of biblical inerrancy means nothing more, and nothing less, than this: When the Bible speaks, God speaks.” That is not the case with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Why not? And what does the ELCA believe about the Bible?
“We believe that the Scripture are the inspired word of God. But they are not inerrant because human beings are in error. You ever read one part of Scripture and then read something else and they don’t match?” (listen here, at the 58:10 minute mark)
At the same meeting, Rev. Craig Miller, Assistant to the Bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod, gave the following disturbing responses to questions from St. Luke Lutheran Church members:
Question: “Do you believe that the writers of the Bible were so controlled by the Holy Spirit that they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write?”
Rev. Craig Miller: “No. No.”
Question: “You don’t believe that the writers of the Bible wrote what God wanted them to write?”
Rev. Craig Miller: “Letter by letter? In the form that we have it? No. These have been copied over and over again and there have been mistakes that have been made.”
Question: “So the Bible is full of mistakes and contradictions?”
Rev. Craig Miller: “Certainly, there have been copy errors and yes, if you are only reading the Bible literally, then yes there are contradictions.” (listen at the 1:05:25 minute mark here)
The ELCA states the following about the Bible, "This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life" (Art. 2.03 of the Constitution of the ELCA). The ELCA does not call Scriptures inerrant.
ELCA Rev. Jay Thorson said this, in the ELCA magazine Living Lutheran, about God's Word, "I was reclaiming the view that the Bible isn’t an inerrant oracle dropped from heaven but more like a messy, earthen vessel holding the treasure of the saving gospel message. That’s what most ELCA professors and pastors teach, and I realized that was where I belonged." (See here)
ELCA pastor Jerry O'Neal similarly writes, "To those who say, 'But you don’t believe in the Bible?' No, I don’t. As our former presiding bishop, Mark Hanson, once said, 'I don’t believe in the Bible – I believe in the God revealed in the Bible.' The Bible is NOT inerrant. It contains clear contradictions in places (e.g. 2 creation stories in Gen. 1—3 that do not agree), and it has been open to interpretation from the beginning." (see here)
Popular and helpful website gotquestions.org writes this about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, "It claims to hold to the authority of Scripture, but it rejects inerrancy." (See here)
The ELCA's belief about Scripture is a major problem. It has allowed heresy to take hold in the denomination. (As I document on this website).
The most popular ELCA pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber, whom the ELCA adores and had as a keynote speaker to address 31,000 ELCA teenagers this summer, says the following about God's Word:
- “We should never be more loyal to an idea or an interpretation of a Bible verse than we are to people..." (See here)
- "This is where it’s very convenient to be a Lutheran, because Lutherans very admittedly have a canon within the canon. So not all Scripture is the same to us. The Gospel of Jesus, the good news of who Jesus is, whether those texts are found in the Old Testament or the New, is at the very center of our understanding of why the Bible even exists. The Bible is the cradle that holds Christ. The cradle’s not Christ. If you understand that that is the importance of the Bible, then suddenly Scripture is read in concentric circles around what it is at its center. Sometimes you read Paul, and it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read. I actually can feel it in my body. I’ll read something gorgeous from Paul, and just be like, 'That’s breathtaking. That is the word of God. That is the word of God. There’s something eternal about what he’s saying.' And then other times you read Paul and you’re like, 'Good lord, what is that?'" - (See here)
- “The Bible is not God. The Bible is simply the cradle that holds Christ. Anything in the Bible that doesn't hold up to the gospel of Jesus Christ simply doesn't have the same authority.” (See here. Video looks to be removed)
- “...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 to the audio posted here)
- "The Bible’s not clear about shit!" (see here) (apologies for the language)
This view, as you have read, is much different than how of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ viewed Scripture. He view it as authoritative, as truth, as from God. (See here)
The namesake of Lutherans, Martin Luther, also stands against the ELCA belief about Scripture, saying the following about the Bible,
“Over against all the statements of the fathers and of all men, yes, over against words of angels and devils, I place the scriptures” (p. 80)
“I have learned to ascribe the honor of infallibility only to those books that are accepted as canonical. I am profoundly convinced that none of these writers have erred” (p. 78). A review of Luther and the Bible, by Willem Jan Kooiman, translated by John Schmidt (Muhlenberg Press. 1961.)
What one believes about the Bible is significant. The ELCA conducted a study in 1991, and one of its findings was that pastors who believe the Bible is inerrant were less likely to support abortion, homosexuality, and the belief that "men keep women down because most men benefit from having more power." (See here)
How do you think the ELCA's view of God's Word has affected the ELCA's stance on transgenderism, sexual morals, the state of Israel, the reality of hell, salvation, seeking converts, the validity of other religions, miracles in the Bible and God's account of creation?
That quote is from Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, the most famous pastor, author and speaker in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Nadia Bolz-Weber is a major leader in the ELCA, and she is telling people that it is okay to view pornography. That, of course, is against Scripture. God tells us, and in the words of Jesus, "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." - Matthew 5:28
This is what the ELCA has become.
Many ELCA leaders, members and unchurched people fawn over Rev. Bolz-Weber. She was even picked to speak to 31,000 ELCA teenagers at last summer's ELCA youth gathering despite the high volume of heretical statements she has made in the past. (see here and here)
ELCA Pastor Bolz-Weber went on in the same article to say:
"If we took shame out of the fact that people like to view erotic imagery, the compulsive behavior around consuming pornography would decrease."
"The church is saying that the Creator of the Universe, God in the heavens above, knows if you’re masturbating, and God is super disappointed. How ridiculous. That causes harm because these teachings are done in God’s name."
"The Bible’s not clear about shit!"
"If the teachings of the church are harming people, then we need to rethink those teachings."
The last two quotes are a good description of what the ELCA believes about God's Word. This is false teaching and people need to get out from under their leadership. If you will not do it in honor of God, do it for your children.
And things are even going to get worse. With the approaching release of Nadia's new book, you can be assured that this is just the beginning of troubling and Bible-defying teaching ELCA leaders and members will consume.
Luther Seminary has a website that provides advice and help for pastors writing sermons. An article on the ELCA seminary website shows you how far the denomination has departed from Scripture and how the secular world mindset has taken over the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The article's authors edited the following Bible verse to say: “They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and Ze delivered them from their distress; Ze brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart” - Psalm 107:13-14.
The article's ELCA affiliated authors replaced two pronouns for "He," used to refer to God in the verses, with the recently invented word "Ze." According to the Cambridge Dictionary, 'ze' is "a pronoun sometimes used instead of 'he' or 'she' because it does not show a particular gender." (see here)
This is all part of the gender fluidity lie, transgenderism embrace, rejection of calling God "Father" and rewriting of God's Word that is dominating the culture.
Again, this is an article for pastors posted by a website of Luther Seminary, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America institution. (see here)
The article was co-authored by Rev. Jennifer Chrien and Jessica Davis.
Jennifer Chrien is the senior pastor at the ELCA's Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Simi Valley, CA. Jessica Davis is a chaplain for #decolonizeLutheranism, an organization formed of mostly ELCA leaders, and a signer of the "Naked & Unashamed Statement" which was also written by ELCA leaders. Interestingly, last year Jessica Davis was part of a discussion panel that included the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and is obviously in a position of influence in the ELCA.
Yes, this is an ELCA church. Turning a symbol the represents Christianity into a symbol that represents evolution, mocks Christianity and God's Word.
The vast majority of pastors and leaders in the ELCA hold the viewpoint that God's account of creation is historically wrong. They reject it, as they do with many other parts of Scripture. Over 2400 ELCA leaders signed a Clergy letter in support of evolution and rejecting the Biblical account of creation told in the book of Genesis. (see here)
When I posted the article of the 2400 ELCA leaders, on an ELCA clergy Facebook page, Rev. Mark Molter, an ELCA pastor, responded saying: (language warning)
A year and a half ago ELCA pastors Matthew Pensinger and Brian Beissel took part in a conversation that was hosted by the Lehigh Valley Humanists (PA). It was called "Humanist/Lutheran Dialogue," and they posted the video on YouTube.
What follows is an intriguing view into the mind-set, thoughts, understandings and beliefs of two ELCA pastors. Their words are quite disturbing in what they believe but also in what they reveal about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America itself.
Discussing the interpretation of Scripture, Interviewer Jason Brocious asks, “What would it take to push things too far and get in trouble (with the ELCA)?”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel said, “I think to say you don't believe in Jesus or the divinity of Jesus. I think that would probably be the breaking point I think.”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “Maybe.”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel: “Maybe. I don’t know.”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “It depends on, you know, who complains about it and who they complain about it to.” (see video below, at around the 15 minute mark)
The ELCA pastors continued, next sharing their thoughts on the authority of Scripture.
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel stated, “Let me say something about the authority of Scripture…in the Lutheran tradition, Martin Luther himself, well first of all when he put together his own Bible, the Luther Bible, he put the books of Revelation and Hebrews at the end of Bible and didn't number them, which tells you what he thought of those specific books, you know. Also he said, I believe this is a Luther quote, that Scripture is like the cradle or where the baby Jesus is placed. Meaning, does scripture reveal to us something about the essence of Christ? Yes. But does that mean everything in Scripture is, you know, is all of it inspired? Well yes, but I'm inspired by God too but and when I'm inspired by God I don't always do great things, you know, I mess up…”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “Some of it (Scripture) is a box covered with animal dung, is what is the point of that quote.”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel: “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes”
So the ELCA teaches that God's Word is just a dirty, disgusting, smelly vessel that talks about Jesus? It is no wonder the ELCA rejects, twists and ignores many Biblical accounts and instruction.
Later in the video the interviewer mentioned a tragic situation and asked the pastors, “how do you look at prayer and how that fits into, can it help these situations and in what way can it?”
ELCA Rev. Brian Beissel replied, “I'm going to say something that if my congregants watch this on YouTube, sorry. Prayer without action is meaningless. I'm sorry, I'm sorry but it is. When you pray for something and ‘oh I’m a good person because I prayed for this’ and you don't put it in action it's just words.”
ELCA Rev. Matthew Pensinger: “…to me prayer is about centering oneself. It's about clearing, you know, the clutter from the mind and from the spirit. It's about prioritizing or re-prioritizing you know the things and so.”
What a warped view of prayer. One says prayer is meaningless without human action? The other says it is for one's self. They both went on and said their god is not a wish-granting fairy or genie. It sounded as if they do not believe in a God who answers prayers, performs miracles or takes part in believers' lives. This is the kind of pastor the ELCA has trained and ordained. They are in a place of authority. They are influencing the faith of their congregations.
If you are sitting under the teaching of an ELCA pastor, I highly recommend leaving.
(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.
To read more about creation, intelligent design or evolution see:
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Latest Edition of the ELCA's National Magazine Promotes the LGBTQ+ Agenda--Again (and) The Bible is "Biased, Contradicts Itself and Can Get Real Weird...(A) Mess" Says Lutheran/Episcopal Ministry
(The following two articles were written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Back in 2009, when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to allow practicing homosexual clergy, the agreement was that both liberal and conservative voices would be honored in the ELCA on this issue. For years, Living Lutheran, the national ELCA magazine, in numerous articles has promoted only one point of view, the liberal one. Numerous articles are like this one from the January 2018 issue:
"Elizabeth Rawlings (is) the ELCA pastor of The Sanctuary, the Lutheran/Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Washington, Seattle...Many of the students identify as LGBTQ+, and Rawlings, who is bisexual, knows that to lead such conversations for those who are in a critical stage of their faith development means "being real and...being open about when and how I struggle."
At The Sanctuary's website, the Episcopal priest is also "out queer". The website reads:
"Together, we worship, play, pray, dance, do yoga, hike, eat, meditate, make art, conversate and much more. We are a Q Center Safe Zone and a Reconciling In Christ ministry (a designation given to ELCA ministries who are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community). We engage in interfaith conversation and relationship. We do our best to live out the radical, gracious love of God in Jesus Christ." (see here)
For years now I have been waiting--and waiting and waiting--for one article in Living Lutheran to express a conservative view on homosexuality. Churches and groups around the country are helping people out of homosexual behavior (see restoredhopenetwork.org), but such a story has never made it into Living Lutheran. Given how left of center the ELCA has become, I am guessing such a story never will. So much for "diversity" in the ELCA.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Here is the Living Lutheran article. Below is Rev. Brock's second blog)
The Bible is "biased, contradicts itself and can get real weird...(a) mess" says Lutheran/Episcopal Ministry
In my previous post, I shared about The Sanctuary, the Lutheran/Episcopal campus ministry at the University of Washington, Seattle, which was mentioned in an article in Living Lutheran Magazine, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The ministry fully supports the LBGTQ+ agenda. The Episcopal priest is "out queer" and the Lutheran pastor is bisexual.
How does a "Christian" ministry get to the point where it celebrates behaviors that the Bible condemns? This is done by getting rid of the authority of Scripture. Below is the ministry's statement on what the Bible is all about.
"What is the Bible?
The Bible is one of the resources we use to guide our lives of faith. As Lutheran & Episcopalian Christians, we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. It is a collection of stories of God's people and how they saw God acting in their lives and the lives of others. As it was written, edited, compiled and translated by humans who were products of their time and place and likely had their own agendas, there is bias, sometimes it contradicts itself, and it can get real weird. When we read the Bible, we consider the context of those involved in passing the stories down to us when we apply Biblical teaching to our own lives. Even with the mess, the contradiction and the weirdness, God is present in the Bible and is present with us when we read scripture. The Bible is one of the tools we use to understand who God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are, how they have acted in history, and how they are still active in the world (and our lives) today." (see here)
Martin Luther, who taught the Bible alone is the highest authority in the Christian life, would ask to have his name removed from the Lutheran/Episcopal campus ministry in Seattle.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
The "Spirit" Led the ELCA to Endorse Homosexuality, Bashing the President, and Turning Ezra on Its Ear...All in One Article
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
The below article is from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's national magazine. Note how the author thinks the Bible was wrong in forbidding foreign marriage in the book of Ezra. Even more tragic, note how he believes the Holy Spirit is responsible for the ELCA's 2009 decision to affirm homosexuality.
The darkness and rebellion in the ELCA is becoming greater and greater.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
Long ago Satan began sowing doubt and disbelief regarding the Word of God. Today we have the ELCA doing the same thing. God’s directives are often twisted and dismissed, while many historical happenings in Scripture are considered myths. A recent interview with the presiding bishop of the ELCA confirms the ELCA’s Scriptural maleficence when she said there may be a hell “but I think it is empty.” (see here) Other examples can be seen here, here and here.
Today we get another example of this. The official magazine of the ELCA recently published an article where the author, an ELCA pastor, tells how he was challenged by a friend concerning the miracles of the Bible and those of Jesus saying, “Do you really believe these stories…Water into wine? A sea parting? Feeding thousands with so little? Come on…(t)he Bible is expecting a little much from anyone who has a brain.”
You would expect a minister of Christ to say, “Yes, I believe the miracles of Jesus (and those in all of Scripture) really happened.” But no, the author does not. Instead the author presents a couple of ridiculous explanations for the miracles, explanations that the author then dismisses.
Then the author goes to an old ELCA standby, he “spiritualizes” the miracles. He tells the readers that another question is needed, the question “why,” “(W)hy were these stories told in the early church?” His answer? “Jesus brings abundance. He brings ferment, fullness and lavish plenty.”
Later the author tells us,
“These stories won’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.”
“Did the stories really happen this way? For me, this is the wrong question. The stories are meant to illumine the abundant life right here, right now. So perhaps the right question becomes: Are the stories really happening?” (see here)
The ELCA hosted and posted this article. Doesn’t the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America believe the account of Scripture? Do they not believe Jesus actually performed these miracles? They put forth an article that will not answer or confirm that these miraculous events by Jesus actually happened historically.
Do you really want people who do not believe God’s Word teaching you about God and His Word?
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