Last week, Holy Week, the Metropolitan New York Synod embarked on an effort to encourage people on social media (see April 18th post here) to visit an exhibit called “Stations Of The Cross: The Struggle For LGBT Equality.” The exhibit was held at St. John's Lutheran Church (ELCA) in New York City.
This exhibit, that ties Christ's arrest and crucifixion to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights (LGBT), was promoted last year by Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (WELCA) In a blog I wrote last year (see here) I describe some of the artwork and the artist's descriptions -
The artist's last painting is called “Station 15: Resurrection of Christ.” Here she paints our resurrected Lord and Savior along with two homosexuals, passionately kissing. (see exhibit here)
Why is this acceptable?
The San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches, ELCA has a disturbing blog detailing their involvement and participation in non-Christian religious activities.
This conference of ten ELCA parishes along with three affiliated outreach ministries celebrated “Pluralism Summer” last year. Here is how they describe it.
“As we approach the final third of our 'Pluralism Summer,' I’m reminded of how much I still have to learn. Our guests have fed us with such a rich banquet of information, personal stories and experiences: from chanted Baha’i prayers to a Wiccan guided meditation to a Sufi’s reflections on Ramadan – and more.
And there’s still good stuff to come: Sufism Reoriented, Hindu, Secular Humanism, Sikh, as well as a woman extraordinarily ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. At the end of the summer, we’ll go off on a congregational retreat to Mercy Center, where one of their specialties is a program of East/West meditation. We’ll get to spend some time with Fr. Greg Mayers, who is both priest and Zen master.
Some people may see this venture as a slippery slope into relativism, but I would heartily disagree.” (see here)
One of the churches involved also hosted a “goddess craft sale” and "goddess Harvest Festival” last fall. Among the many activities was a workshop conducted by Mz Dionne Kohler, Drumming Priestess. Mz Kohler writes -
“I am guided by Gaia and the rhythms of Our Mother Earth. As the Spirit Moves
you...please join us, Nov. 16th & 17th.”
Another workshop was titled, “Energize, Renew and Uncoil Your Divine-ness with Kundalini Yoga” (see here)
Below are the 10 parishes that are part of the The San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches, ELCA
Christ Church Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Steven P. Sabin
Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Stacy Boorn
First United Lutheran, ELCA
Pastor Susan M. Strouse
(Dean, San Francisco Conference of Lutheran Churches)
Pastor Susan’s Blog at http://progressivechurch.wordpress.com/
Grace Lutheran Church, ELCA
Lutheran Church of Our Savior, ELCA
Interim Pastor David Rohrer
St. Francis Lutheran Church, ELCA
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Elizabeth Ekdale
St. Mary and St. Martha Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor: Stacey Siebrasse
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of San Francisco, ELCA
Saint Paulus Lutheran Church, ELCA
Pastor Dan Solberg
ELCA 'Star,' Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, Believes and Teaches Wiccan Goddess is Another 'Aspect' of Christian God
ELCA pastor and author Nadia Bolz-Weber is held in high esteem among the leadership of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is asked to speak at many large denominational gatherings and high-profile ELCA services indicating how she is revered in the denomination. The ELCA's Metropolitan New York Synod posted on Facebook that “Pastor Nadia is the closest thing the ELCA has to a rock star.”
Rev. Bolz-Weber was involved in Wicca before going to an ELCA seminary to become a pastor.
On a Bolz-Weber book publicity tour, Nadia read to the audience from her memoir about this time of her life saying, “I had never stopped believing in God, not really. But I did have to go hang out with His aunt for awhile. She is called the goddess. My first experience with Wicca . . .”
The ELCA 'rock star' goes on -
“The goddess we spoke of never felt to me like a substitute for God but simply another aspect of the divine, like God's aunt or something. When I tell other Christians of my time with the goddess I think they expect me to characterize it as a period in my life when I was misguided and that now thankfully I have come back to both Jesus and my senses. But it's not like that. I can't imagine that the God of the universe is limited to our ideas of God. I can't image that God doesn't reveal Godself in countless ways outside of the simple system of Christianity. And in a way I need a god who is bigger and more nimble and more mysterious than what I could understand or contrive.”
“In fact, I felt guided by god the whole time I sojourned outside of the church. The divine source of my life and my identity perhaps knew that I needed to bask in the female face of god for a good long while outside the church before I could ever return to it whole and able to see the divine feminine in my own traditional.” (see here)
Wicca is a religion of witches, witchcraft and pentagrams. The Christian Bible is not God's Word, according to this idolatrous religion, and they do not worship the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Wiccan deity is completely different from the God of the Bible. Yet the ELCA's “rock star” believes that the goddess worshipped by witches is just another dimension or persona of the God of the Bible. The female side of Him. Christians know Jesus as God's Son, but according to Bolz-Weber, the Wiccan goddess is his close relative. Another aspect of God. Like the fourth member of the Trinity?
This is heresy.
Bolz-Weber is a heretic. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lifts up this pastor as a leading teacher in the denomination. How could they do this? It's easy really; this is an acceptable teaching in the ELCA. The current issue of the official magazine of the ELCA, The Lutheran, states this clearly:
“And sometimes we’d wonder just what God was up to in this religiously plural world. Perhaps — here’s a specifically Christian way of putting it — our learning from our neighbors of other faiths might just be giving us glimpses into dimensions of Christ’s lordship, and the saving activity of God the Trinity, that we hadn’t been expecting.” (read here)
Read more about the life and teachings of ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber (click here and scroll down).
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.
New video by Exposing the ELCA
Please share this with those you know.
It seems witches like the ELCA's practice of praying to a goddess. Check out this Wiccan's blog and the following comments. Note: you will be taken to a Wiccan website (read blog here).
Our denomination as moved so far away from true Christianity that neopagans who practice witchcraft find us appealing.
Is this a denomination that God wants you to stay in and support?
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