Yesterday I followed "Church rummage sale" signs, not quite knowing where I was going. First, I arrived at a United Church of Christ congregation in Minneapolis. The gay pride rainbow symbols were prevalent outside and inside the church. Most of the people running the sale were elderly. I noticed a younger man dressed as a woman. I picked up an informational brochure on the church and found the heresy one has come to expect from the UCC. First, there is an Adult Sunday School class based on "The Phoenix Affirmations". These are 12 affirmations put together by progressive Christians, the first of which says they are "Walking fully in the path of Jesus without denying the legitimacy of other paths that God may provide for humanity." In other words, Jesus is our path but He is not the only path. That, of course, is not "walking fully" in the path of Jesus since it denies His words in John 14:6 of being the only way. On Saturdays the church hosts the GLBTQAIP peer support group. I know what Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Allies are, I don't know what the I and P stand for (letters keep get added). On Saturday night the church hosts "Slutwalk Minneapolis", whatever that is. On Sunday one can join the "Sunday Spirit Circle" to "deepen connections to spirit and community...we will lean into the natural rhythms of the seasons with meditation, art, ceremony..." On Tuesday is a group for transgender individuals. There is also a group called BS that offers Bible study, though I didn't appreciate it being referred to as "BS".
I followed another rummage sale sign and ended up at an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in Minneapolis. I noticed at their book sale table there were a number of homosexual themed books with titles such as "Lesbian Ethics". It turns out the senior pastor is a homosexual man with a "husband" and son. The pastor has been a leader in various pro-homosexual groups and is the founder of a teen camp that helps youth accept their homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism.
I'll say it again, this isn't my grandma's Lutheran Church. It used to be that the United Church of Christ was more liberal than the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This is still somewhat true. For instance, one can now deny the Trinity and the deity of Christ and be a pastor in the UCC, whereas the ELCA still requires belief in the Trinity. On moral issues like abortion and homosexuality, however, it is hard to find any difference between the UCC and ELCA.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock