The Virgin Birth and the ELCA
It’s almost Christmas and time for the regular attack from ELCA leaders on what Scripture tells us about Christ’s birth.
Emily Scott is an ELCA pastor at St. Lydia's, a Dinner Church in Brooklyn, NY and was a main speaker at the 2015 ELCA National Youth Gathering. In a recent blog, Pastor Scott encourages her readers to take a fresh look at the Mother of Jesus.
Here is some of what she wrote:
“We might also notice that the word often translated 'virgin' in the bible,
in fact only means, 'young girl.'
A maid. A girl who is not yet married.
In the next 2,000 years, the church will get really obsessed
with Mary’s vagina.
They will claim that not only was she a virgin when Jesus was conceived,
but that she remained a virgin the rest of her life.
Because how could the son of GOD be born
from something so ordinary
as a woman’s vagina.
So in order to make this story make sense for the men who told it,
they sanitized away Mary’s sexuality.
They neutered her.” (see here)
Seriously? We are to take ELCA Pastor Scott's, and likely many mainline pastors, word for it when it goes against God’s Word and thousands of Christian scholars, teachers and translators? See what they say about Pastor Scott’s claims here and here.
Pastor Scott then goes on a craze-filled, inappropriate rant about Mary’s private parts while also attacking men and the church. That should tell you a little about her mindset.
Then we have ELCA pastor Clint Schnekloth sharing his half-baked opinion about the Christmas account, which he states, as if it is fact, “I am reminded that there is a good deal of myth in the birth narratives of the Christ.” (see here)
Michael Rinehart is the bishop of the ELCA's Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. Just this week he cast doubt on the truth of the virgin birth in his blog, writing, "Of course the first person to doubt the virgin birth was Joseph himself. This is why he decided to divorce her, quietly. An angel visits him in a dream, and in the end he decides not to divorce Mary, and to adopt her child as his own.Whatever the world may think about a literal virgin birth, no one questions that Jesus was adopted, and Joseph was an adoptive parent." (see here)
Don’t forget that a few years ago the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in their official website, argued against the virgin birth. (see here)
See more ELCA attacks on the virgin birth here. (scroll down the page)
Our friend, Pastor Tom Brock wrote about the virgin birth problem within the ELCA in January of 2016 when he penned this, “I graduated from Luther Seminary back in 1979. I would guesstimate that back then only a few professors denied the Virgin Birth of Christ. Some years ago I asked a faculty member at Luther ‘Do you think half of the professors at Luther still believe in the Virgin Birth?’ The response: ‘Oh no, way less than half.’" (see here)
ELCA members should ask their pastors what they believe about the virgin birth.
By Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Follow Pastor Brock on Facebook (here) and twitter (here.)
Today I took another nostalgic walk through Luther Theological Seminary from which I graduated in 1979. Back then it was a mixed bag of liberal, moderate, and some conservative professors. Back then it was well attended, parking spots could be hard to find, and chapel was fairly full.
Things have changed. A person who worked there told me some years ago that now "much less than half" of the professors at Luther believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ. Then came the 2009 ELCA decision to affirm homosexual behavior for pastors and things really began to shrink in the ELCA and this seminary. Today, Luther Seminary brings in speakers like the popular ELCA Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, who uses the "f" word in her books and speaking. She also denies the substitutionary atonement of Christ, believing that for God the Father to punish Jesus for our sins would be divine child abuse. And not long ago, a practicing lesbian pastor spoke at Luther's chapel service.
So what did I find today? First thing I noticed was how easy it was to find a parking space. I also noticed the "pro-gay" bumper stickers. I attended chapel and counted 40 people. I walked around the halls and it kind of felt like a ghost town, very few people walking around.
I couldn't help but think of the Bible verse "You reap what you sow."
Pastor Tom Brock
By Pastor Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. Please follow/like Pastor Brock on Facebook by going here and twitter users here.
Back in 1979 I graduated from what is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Luther Theological Seminary. It was moderate to liberal back then, it has become much more liberal now. A person I know who has taught at Luther told me he believes much less than half of the Luther faculty believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ. I just looked at the upcoming chapel preachers who will speak to the seminarians. One is a practicing lesbian pastor. Another is the Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop who spoke at the Minnesota State Fair opposing the marriage amendment which would have kept marriage as one man and one woman. Yes, she spoke against that, and now we have homosexual marriage in Minnesota. Another chapel speaker is Reverend Peter Marty who writes articles in the ELCA’s official magazine “The Lutheran”. He poo-poos the idea of hell and teaches that one does not need to believe in Jesus to be saved. And he endorses the homosexual movement in the ELCA.
Since the ECLA’s 2009 decision to ordain practicing homosexuals, Luther has had to cut many faculty. Both money and enrollment have gone down at Luther Seminary. The old saying “You reap what you sow” is slowly but surely being played out in liberal, mainline denominations and their seminaries. The good news is that denominations and seminaries that uphold the authority of Scriptures tend to grow and flourish.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
The ELCA must worship a God that has no power. A God that can not do miracles. A God that has to make up a birth story of His Son to make people believe He is special. A God that can not create a child in the womb of a virgin. That is the powerless, lying god of the ELCA.
Here is what the ELCA and many ELCA leaders are saying about the details of the birth of Christ -
A Pew Research Poll this week reports that "Roughly three-quarters of adults (73%) say they believe Jesus was born of a virgin.” (read here)
But the people who are suppose to disciple us do not believe what God tells us in the Bible? Something is wrong here folks!
Denying Scripture is not just an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America problem, just look to the ELCA's liberal Lutheran twin to the north. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) pastor Dawn Hutchings has this to say about the Nativity account,
"For this story is a parable and like all parable’s it represents a truth that cannot be fully expressed in words. Like all good parables the truth is not to be found in the details, but rather in the Spirit of God that breathed life into the parable. " (read here)
Not believing the virgin birth account, Pastor Hutchings speculates that Jesus was the result of Mary being raped. She writes,
“Some say the evidence is clear, if you’re willing to see it. After all there was a large cohort of Roman soldiers encamped near Nazareth. The people of Nazareth had participated in an uprising against their oppressors and the Roman’s had raided Nazareth in retaliation. There are numerous Jewish accounts of Roman raids that include details of strategic rapes. Could our young heroine be the victim of such a rape?” (read here)
This Christmas (and beyond) please, please stay clear of these Bible-denying Lutheran denominations.
ELCA Seminary False Teacher
Last month Antje Jackelén was elected the new archbishop of the Church of Sweden. Antje Jackelén use to teach in the United States at an ELCA seminary. She was a professor at the ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. “From 2001-2007, Dr. Jackelén taught systematic theology and religion and science...and was director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science.” (see here)
Due to the election process in Sweden, we have the privilege of learning more about this former ELCA seminary professor, including what she believes.
Here is what has been reported:
While a professor of the ELCA, Antje Jackelén signed a letter declaring her support of evolution and rejecting the Biblical account of creation and Noah's ark. (see here) Promoting evolution is something she is known for in Sweden (read here)
I know it will not surprise anyone to also learn that former ELCA seminary professor Jackelén rejects the Biblical authority on homosexuality. She said this during a sermon she gave at the seminary (LSTC):
“Nevertheless, talking bodies and sex is difficult, especially in churches. We need to find holistic ways of talking about sexuality in church – that was one of the take-home messages from an LSTC leadership conference a couple of years ago. 'The church can't deal with homosexuality because we can't deal with sexuality,' claimed Rev. Jeremiah Wright nine months ago standing at this same lectern. He said so at a workshop for medical and religious professionals on HIV/AIDS.” Dr. Jackelén continues, “The incapacity of dealing with sexual love is not a marginal problem. It costs lives. When homosexual men are forced into heterosexual marriages, they are likely to spread a potential HIV infection to their wives. This happens in the Christian family, with fatal consequences. How can a church proclaim love of God and love of neighbor as the greatest commandments and at the same time sacrifice lives on the altar of the hypocrisy of so-called Christian morality?” (see here)
Rev. Paul T. McCain, made this comment following an article regarding the newly-elected archbishop Antje Jackelén:
“This is absolutely gut wrenching stuff. When I first read all this I just felt sick to my stomach. I have friends in Sweden who have been fighting for years against the apostasy that has overtaken the state church.
In some ways, the election of a person who is so openly apostate makes their task 'easier' simply in the sense that the issues are so starkly put on display for all to see.
Oh, and by the way, she has taught at the ELCA seminary in Chicago.
She frankly is simply saying what most every mainline protestant liberal church actually believes. The only 'secret' is that a huge number of laypersons simply are still kept in the dark about the degree to which outright apostasy has overtaken their churches.
Back when I was serving a parish in Iowa, in the early 1990s, a new ELCA pastor moved in and we paid a courtesy visit and as things happened, it was a very cordial chat so a fellow LCMS pastor and I asked her, 'Hey, what do you teach your folks about this?' And we pointed out to the cemetery next to her churches and the rows of tombstones.
She said, 'Oh, the resurrection? It's a wonderful story and so inspiring. Of course, I don't believe in a bodily resurrection of Jesus, but I preach about it, because that's what the people believe.'
We both just stood there in stunned silence for a few moments." (read here)
Exposing the ELCA Poll
An Exposing the ELCA poll presented its readers with this statement, "It is okay for ELCA leadership to reject Christ's Virgin Birth."
The results of the poll were:
75 people answered "True" (16.34%).
384 people answered "False" (83.66%).
There were a total of 459 people who voted.
Bible-believing Lutherans were upset a few years ago when they learned of numerous heretical and unorthodox articles from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. They were posted on the ELCA's official website under a section meant to explain the ELCA's beliefs and teachings, called “Dig Deeper.” The ELCA leadership took a great deal of well deserved heat for what the articles said and even though they never repudiated the articles or the teaching, with no apology, they removed them from elca.org.
Now with the help of a website which archives old web pages you can view the articles as they looked in 2009.
The ELCA took down these teaching webpages, but Exposing the ELCA has extensive evidence which shows that the ELCA leadership continues to believe, teach and allow these same heretical beliefs.
Rarely am I surprised when I read or hear stories of what the ELCA is teaching or things that are happening in the church, but I was with this one. Not long ago I received an email from Jill Weber. She was concerned by what she heard and experienced while visiting an ELCA church. This is what the Jill wrote -
I recently attended Shepherd Of The Hills Church in Flagstaff, AZ. The senor pastor is Susan Swanson and the teaching pastor is her husband Tim Swanson. I attended the church service on Dec. 9, 2012 and also the Bible study taught by Tim. I was grieved in my spirit when I asked him a direct question if he believed if Jesus is God? His response was “that's a hard question." He also told this class that "it wasn't important that Jesus was born of a virgin." I responded "Yes it is important that Jesus was born of a virgin and it does matter, because Jesus came to fulfill all the prophecies!" He said he didn't want to argue. I told him he would be arguing with the Word of God. He also cited the gnostic gospels (the gospel of Thomas) as if it were Gospel! Galatians 1:4-9. The senor pastor, his wife was also listening to the conversation and jokingly warned her husband "you better be careful you might lose your job" (I say he should!). The adults in the Bible study laughed. I wanted to stand up and face the people and say "are you really paying them to teach you heresies? That isn't funny because the joke is on you!" The next Sunday I attended the service and then the Christmas program showing how other people celebrated Christmas in different parts of the world; including Befana from Italy, who is a witch. Befana was visited by the wise men and they asked her if she wanted to go and search for baby Jesus and she told them no but after they left she decided that she would, so she flew on her broomstick from house to house in search of Jesus but never did find him. A little girl about 9yrs. was dressed up like Befana including broomstick and all! Wow, I never knew that did you? I think Jesus referred to such teachers as "a brood of vipers!" This program was put together by the Rev. Susan Swanson.
For those that may be wondering, Befana the witch is an old European story that was made into a book called, The Legend of Old Befana. Barnes and Noble's overview of the book says this, "The celebration of Befana, who flies across the sky on Twelfth Night, leaving cakes and cookies for children as they sleep, is a beloved story in Europe. It is timeworn only by its many versions, and Tomie dePaola's retelling is unique in its resplendent settings and carefully researched detail. His story also broadens the character of the eccentric old recluse of the small Italian village, who is always sweeping. While Befana is sometimes called a witch. . ." (see here)
So let me recap this. According to an eye witness, in an ELCA church where a pastor apparently finds it hard to confirm the Bible's testimony that Jesus is God and that Jesus was born of a virgin, there was a Christmas program that included a child playing a broom-flying witch. This is what happens people, when our faith leaders do not hold Scripture as being from God and Truth. This is what happens when ELCA leadership makes themselves the arbitrators of what is true and what isn't. Also notice that this church's members seem to go along with the false teaching, like sheep being led to the slaughter.
I pray that God would open the eyes of all ELCA members so they could see that they are being led astray, led away from God, some slowly and some in extremely dramatic ways, by the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Once again an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leader publically denies Jesus’ virgin birth and Scripture’s nativity accounts, and ELCA leadership allows it. Because of this, I sadly tell you that the ELCA is no longer a Christian denomination.
David Lose, a professor and the director of the Center for Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary (ELCA) recently authored an article titled, “Is the Christmas Story trustworthy?” In the article, Professor Lose writes, “I would argue that . . . the gospel writers undoubtedly play fast and loose with the various stories, sayings, and incidents they inherited. . .” (see here) Lose goes on to say how the gospel writers “craft” their stories and should be viewed “more as artists than as historians.” Lose wants us to believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John made up their gospel accounts, that the gospel writers lied in order to share some “bigger” spiritual truth.
Prof. Lose isn’t the first ELCA leader to recently say this. Just a few weeks ago Exposing the ELCA reported on Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, an Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, who stated, “I think that the stories are made up. (I’m retiring at the end of May anyway so don’t waste time with the heresy accusations.) They are myth” and later he advises, “tell the old mythic story in a way that that it is heard anew.”
Highly controversial scholar Marcus Borg, who has made a nice living speaking at ELCA events and writing for ELCA publications, audaciously says, “The stories of Jesus' birth are myths”. (see here)
The ELCA’s official website even encouraged debate and questioned the truth of Christ’s Virgin Birth. (see here)
The ELCA has the power to stop this heretical teaching in its churches and in its seminaries. Yet they do not. There is a “crime” being committed against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the ELCA is driving the get-away car. They are an accomplice; allowing this teaching is an endorsement of the teaching.
What are we to think of all this? Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of Southern Seminary had this to say regarding the Virgin Birth, “Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible’s teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no . . . We cannot claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and then turn around and cast suspicion on its teaching.
Millard Erickson states this well: ‘If we do not hold to the virgin birth despite the fact that the Bible asserts it, then we have compromised the authority of the Bible and there is in principle no reason why we should hold to its other teachings. Thus, rejecting the virgin birth has implications reaching far beyond the doctrine itself.’
Implications, indeed. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, who was His father? There is no answer that will leave the Gospel intact. The Virgin Birth explains how Christ could be both God and man, how He was without sin, and that the entire work of salvation is God’s gracious act. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, He had a human father. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Bible teaches a lie.”
“This much we know: All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.” (read here)
Dr. Mohler, in a different article says, “The presence of theologians and pastors who deny the virgin birth in the theological seminaries and pulpits of the land is evidence of the sweeping tide of unbelief that marks so many
institutions and churches in our time. . .Anyone who claims that the virgin birth can be discarded even as the deity of Christ is affirmed is either intellectually dishonest or theological(ly) incompetent.”
“Christians must face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as the Christ. The Savior who died for our sins was none other than the baby who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin. The virgin birth does not stand alone as a biblical doctrine, it is an irreducible part of the biblical revelation about the person and work of Jesus Christ. With it, the Gospel stands or falls.”
“No true Christian can deny the virgin birth.” (read here)
So with that said, where does that leave a denomination that teaches and/or is accepting of the teaching that the Christmas story and the Virgin Birth are not actually true?
If what Dr. Mohler said is true for an individual, it is also true for an institution.
The ELCA is no longer Christian.
Merry Christmas Myth: ELCA Leader Says Virgin Birth and Nativity Story Did Not Happen
What do you know . . . An ELCA leader doesn’t believe what the Bible says; this time its about Jesus’ birth. Surprise and Merry Christmas! (Do they celebrate Christmas in the ELCA any longer?)
Here is what was said by Rev. Dr. Don Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, concerning the two accounts of Jesus’ birth in the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke:
“They are very different stories which are quite incompatible with one another. . .I certainly do not believe they are ‘historical’ in any modern understanding of historicity. . .I think that the stories are made up. (I’m retiring at the end of May anyway so don’t waste time with the heresy accusations.) They are myth” (read here).
Here is what Rev. Carlson had to say about Christ being born of a virgin:
“Focusing on the virgin birth issue, we need to remember that accounts of virgin or miraculous births were not uncommon antiquity. However, we also need to remember that such accounts were intended to express something about the character of the person born. They were a ‘character reference’ or ‘credentials.’ They were not intended to explain where the individual got 23 of his or her chromosomes. An understanding of fertilization and pregnancy in antiquity was, let’s say, ‘agrarian’ at best.” (read in the same article linked above)
Toward the end of his blog/article Rev. Carlson gives this advice to pastors: “tell the old mythic story in a way that. . . it is heard anew”. In order to prove his points in the blog, the Assistant to the Bishop recommends a discussion of the birth narratives by the controversial Marcus Borg. (find out more about him here)
Pastor Steve Shipman, director of LutheranCORE addresses those who teach like Rev. Carlson. Rev. Shipman wrote:
“If a person chooses not to believe the Virgin Birth, they are free to do so. But they have no right then to claim to be a teacher or believer in Christianity. The faith once delivered to the saints is not a cafeteria from which we can pick and choose what pleases us.
If Jesus were born in the usual way, then what does it mean that He is 'the Word made flesh'? How can God be his Father in the way the Church has always proclaimed, if he is biologically the child of both Mary and Joseph (or even, as certain blasphemous legends suggest, of Mary and some other man)? Some early Christians made arguments for what is called ‘adoptionism,’ which taught that Jesus wasn’t born Son of God but was adopted into that role at his baptism by John. This was quickly rejected as heresy, because then the good news of the Incarnation simply can’t stand.
And it does matter for our salvation that ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.’ It does matter that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’ If Jesus is just a good human being, even a perfect human being, He cannot save us but would only have saved Himself. But because He is God among us, taking our humanity into the life of the Holy Trinity, we have a marvelous hope for this life and the next.” (read here)
What I am reporting isn’t just one ELCA leader preaching heresy. No. Rev. Carlson’s article was posted on the website and blog of Michael Rinehart, bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bishop Rinehart is responsible for the article’s posting on his blog and he is culpable for what it says. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, the ELCA’s Church Council and all high-ranking ELCA leaders are also responsible and culpable for what he (and others) say and/or for allowing theologically false-teaching to be preached. Allowing this heresy is the same as promoting it yourself. They are accomplices and are leading people away from God’s Truth and way from Christ.
People who don’t believe basic Christian truths and historic stories in the Bible are running the ELCA, teaching in the seminaries, preaching in the pulpits and “teaching” you about Christianity. Honestly, I believe Satan has infiltrated the ELCA and placed his people in leadership positions.
Here’s some more information on Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Dr. Don Carlson:
Marcus Borg is not a name many laypersons would know, but he is very popular with the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Mr. Borg has spoken at many ELCA functions and his books are well read throughout the denomination. But who is Marcus Borg?
Borg’s own website says, “Marcus J. Borg is Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Internationally known in both academic and church circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar. . .” (see here) He is the author of nineteen books. Mr. Borg is also a member of the Jesus Seminar, which has been described as “. . . a self-promoting, pretentious attempt to popularize a historical Jesus, which is more culturally appealing. While claiming to represent the mainstream of critical New Testament scholarship, the Seminar might be likened to a sideshow rather than the center-ring attraction.” (see here)
Marcus Borg is wildly popular with ELCA leadership, (which I will show you a little later in this blog) but first you should know what this man teaches and believes. The best way to do that is by hearing it from the man himself. Mr. Borg says:
“I let go of the notion that the Bible is a divine product. I learned that it is a human cultural product . . . As such, it contained their understandings and affirmations, not statements coming directly or somewhat directly from God"
"Seminary also introduced me to the historical study of Jesus and Christian origins. I learned from my professors and the readings they assigned that Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world"
"I cannot believe that God could have stopped the Holocaust but chose not to, just as I cannot believe that God responds to some prayers for healing and protection and not others...It is difficult to believe in such a God"
"The pre-Easter Jesus is the historical Jesus...The post-Easter Jesus is what Jesus became after his death. More specifically, the post-Easter Jesus is the Jesus of Christian tradition and experience..."
"Was the pre-Easter Jesus divine? NO...Is the post-Easter Jesus divine? Yes--the post-Easter Jesus of Christian experience and fully developed Christian doctrine is divine"
"As such, myths can be both true and powerful, even though they are symbolic narratives and not straightforward historical reports. Though not literally true, they can be really true; though not factually true, they can be actually true. The stories of Jesus' birth are myths in this sense. Along with most mainline scholars, I do not think these stories report what happened. The virginal conception, the star, the wise men, the birth in Bethlehem where there was no room in the inn, and so forth are not facts of history. But I think these stories are powerfully true...The stories of Jesus' death and resurrection contain a mixture of historical memory and mythical narration."
Wow!! It’s hard to believe that a leader in mainline Christianity can hold these beliefs. But amazingly, the same things Borg says in these quotes are beliefs that are growing by leaps and bounds in the ELCA.
Pastor John Bent and Pastor Ralph Boyer have this to say about Borg and the Jesus Seminar, in which he is part of:
“Marcus Borg, the professor referred to in Bishop Hanson’s Report . . . was a primary member of the Jesus Seminar. The Jesus Seminar was the group of scholars who concluded that only 18% of the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels were probably spoken by him. Things like the miracles of Jesus and the physical reality of Christ’s resurrection are dismissed as the words of ancient people who misunderstood what happened.
Scholars like Marcus Borg would say that they take the Bible seriously, but they do so in a very different way than Christians have for 2000 years, ways that discount many of the basic beliefs of Christianity and the life of Christ. Once you do that, questions of sexuality (and whatever issues come next) are no longer decided on the basis of Scripture, but on the basis of the powerful voices of the culture around us.” (read here)
This man, Marcus Borg, whose views are about as heretical as you can get, is a very respected scholar and highly sought after speaker by the ELCA leadership. Let me show you:
ELCA publication “Lutheran Partners” reviews Living the Questions 2.0 video series in which Marcus Borg is one of the contributors. (see here)
To which a letter to the editor responded:
“Geoffrey Scott's recent review and implied recommendation of the Living the Questions 2.0 education materials greatly alarms me. Once more I am left wondering if the ordained and lay leaders of the ELCA truly have any real partnership in the gospel together.
The Living the Questions curriculum is linked to the so-called "progressive Christianity" movement. The eight primary tenets of this ecumenical, loose affiliation of mainline Protestant congregations include the belief that all faiths lead to God apart from the unique atoning work of Jesus Christ in his life, death, and resurrection; that the unbaptized should be admitted to communion; and that the historic, biblical doctrines of Christianity are, in large part, no longer helpful or necessary. This "progressive Christianity" therefore stands in direct opposition to apostolic Christianity.
Moreover, among the authors of the Living the Questions materials are John Spong, Marcus Borg, and John Crossan. All three deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus and denounce many of the basic, creedal core beliefs of Lutheran Christianity and historic Christianity in general. Living the Questions presents a different gospel than the gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaimed in Scripture.
What then are we to make of the endorsement Lutheran Partners gives to this curriculum — indeed, to this heretical teaching? It leaves me to surmise that the key leaders of the ELCA would have local pastors and educators incorporate these materials into their teaching and education ministries. I can think of hardly anything worse.
As the Lord says to us, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:15). Living the Questions is another example of that wolf. And such a wolf, if left unchecked, will eventually consume the whole flock.” (see here)
Why is Marcus Borg allowed to speak and teach at so many ELCA functions? Why are his books being used and promoted in the ELCA? It is because Marcus Borg’s teachings resonate with the leadership of the ELCA.
The ELCA's official website makes this statement about the Virgin Birth, "(w)hile it remains official and normative for the Evangelical Lutheran Church today, it has not closed the doctrinal debate over Jesus’ conception for many Lutherans, and by inference that includes ELCA members." (read here - The ELCA took down the article but this link goes to a website that archived the article and page as it was, on the ELCA website)
After that ringing endorsement the ELCA goes on the attack and provides a litany of reasons and arguments against the clear scriptural account of Christ's birth. Here are the arguments put forth by the ELCA -
Why are they arguing so hard against the truth of scripture regarding the Virgin Birth? Do they think God is not capable of performing this miracle?
This is another example of the ELCA's disregard for what is written in Scripture. The ELCA's view of the Bible allows humanity to be the authority on what is true, what is right, what is good and what is not.
The ELCA is a denomination that believes they know better about God than the book God claims He had a hand in writing. Are you going to follow God's Word or the ways and beliefs of man?
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