The Tale of Two ELCA Pastors
ELCA Pastor number one:
A few days ago, Liliana Stahlberg, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America decided to comment on Exposing the ELCA’s facebook page. Her comments came in response to a linked article entitled, “UCC Minister Enlists Help of Anti-Semitic Publication to Get Message Out.” Rev. Stahlberg said “Good for him!” Just after her praise for this UCC minister’s partnering with a Jew-hating publication she said, “Why do you guys waste your time hating people?”
On another section of our facebook page Rev. Stahlberg commented, "Exposing the ELCA is the true apostate church along with word alone, lutheran core and the likes...you are truly sad people!”
Liliana Stahlberg is the pastor of Highlands Lutheran Church in Denver, Colorado. (see here) Looking around on Highlands Lutheran Church’s facebook page (see here), I found a great deal of praise for many theologically questionable emergent church leaders. One post said “Highlanders, join me and others for this outstanding event where Brian McLaren a present day prophet speaks on how to turn hostility into hospitality! HE IS AMAZING!” and another post said “Bolz-Weber is preaching this Sunday at HLC! Come one, come all!”(read about Rev. Bolz-Weber here) Rev. Stahlberg’s church also shared articles on their facebook page by Jim Wallis and Shane Claiborne.
Just today Rev. Stahlberg returned to Exposing the ELCA’s facebook page to share more of her anger saying, “How arrognat of Dan Skogen to think he knows what God's word really is? he has never heard of Christ obviously!” and “Why are you guys sooooo homophobic? What are you afraid of? Why do you let your reptilian part of the brain take over the cortex that makes you human?”
Surely this woman is destined for greatness within the apostate Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
ELCA pastor number two:
Retired ELCA pastor, John-Otto Liljenstolpe, recently sent a comment to Exposing the ELCA in support of ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, when he came across a blog of mine entitled, “What is Bishop Hanson's Motivation?” I decided to do a little research on Rev. Liljenstolpe and found out he is a 9/11 truther. Rev. Liljenstolpe signed a petition on a website called, Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth and he penned this statement found on the same website: “I agree that the official conspiracy theory offered us by the Bush Administration appointed committee is not credible. I therefore demand that a panel be appointed involving physicists, engineers, architects, pilots, former intelligence officials, and military officers, historians, journalists - some of these being from other nations to evaluate the 9/11 WTC incident in the light of the available facts.” (see here)
I also came across a video of Pastor Liljenstolpe leading a prayer for protesters at Occupy Seattle.
I’m beginning to think the only requirement for being an ELCA pastor is to deny Biblical Truth. Anything else is fine.
Over the past couple of years there has sprung some excellent ELCA-related, orthodox Lutheran organizations, associations, and blogs which spoke to the troubling things happening in the ELCA. But lately, it seems many are disappearing or at least disengaging from confronting the ELCA of its heretical and non-Biblical ways. Many of these organizations had websites addressing the issues with the ELCA, but the websites have been taken down or abandoned.
This saddens me, because the mission field I am called to and passionate about is the ELCA membership (which is being deceived by our wayward denomination), as well as people who the ELCA is trying to draw into its body, and the ELCA leadership themselves. However, with each orthodox organization, blog and association which disbands because of lack of funding or loss of interest due to those involved having escaped the chains of the ELCA, this mission is weakened. I want to cry out, “This is an important mission field, even if you have left the denomination!”
Let’s take a look at what I am talking about:
- WordAlone Ministries is no longer in operation. Thankfully their website is still online, which is a tremendous resource that I pray remains. (http://wordalone.org)
- Reform From Within - their website, http://reformfromwithin.com, is no longer operational. I do not know if their organization is still running, but their opportunity to witness is greatly reduced by the removal of their website.
- Faithfulness Gathering - they closed their website down. I don’t know if they are still “gathering.”
- Call to Faithfulness - this organization’s website is still up, but it has not been updated for over 16 months. (http://calltofaithfulness.wordpress.com)
- Association of Confessing Lutherans of Ohio - has not updated their website in over one year. (http://southernohiocore.wordpress.com)
- Augsburg Lutheran Churches - it has been over one year since they posted a newsletter. (http://www.augsburgchurches.org/newsletters.shtm)
- Evangelical Lutheran Society of Texas - has not updated their website since May 4, 2010. (http://www.evangelicallutheransynodoftexas.org/index.html)
- EMN - Evangelical Mission Network (Southwest California) - the last action on their blog was April 30, 2008. (http://www.evangelicalmissionnetwork.blogspot.com)
- Lutheran’s Persisting - their last blog entry was March 2011. (http://lutheranspersisting.wordpress.com)
- Solid Ground - a Canadian orthodox Lutheran group has just announced their intention to disband. (this is not an ELCA-related entity, but it is an orthodox Lutheran organization concerned with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) (http://www.solid-ground.ca)
- The Lighthouse Covenant - this movement seems to have lost its momentum. Their website hardly works and there is great silence on their facebook page. (http://thelighthousecovenant.com and http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=102832969360)
- Shellfish - this blog has had one entry since March 2011. (http://saveelca.blogspot.com)
It has gotten a little more “lonely” out here on the frontlines. Thank you to those people who support Exposing the ELCA’s mission. Pray that God will send more workers into this mission field._
Faithful Ministry Comes to an End
WordAlone Ministries, a stalwart in calling the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America back to its Biblical and Confessional roots, has decided to halt its ministry due to financial reasons. For twelve-plus years WordAlone has faithfully carried out God’s calling. Undoubtedly, their work lives on, as WordAlone has been instrumental in the forming of the LCMC, LutheranCORE and Sola Publishing.
Exposing the ELCA is saddened to see WordAlone Ministries close its doors, but we praise God for the work He has done through this faithful organization. Please keep the WordAlone leadership and staff in your prayers as they seek His direction for what is next in their lives.
Read WordAlone Ministries Announcement here.
I received this update from a friend.
Much is happening with the confessional Lutheran movement in Wisconsin. Here are some highlights - please pray God's guidance and glory be demonstrated in each of these circumstances:
The Real Jesus
Is the ELCA following the Real Jesus?
I Thank God For You
I thank God for those of you that are willing to be on the front line of a battle for God’s Truth. The ELCA has continually defied God and His Holy Word, yet many are not willing to take a stand. Sadly, many more do not want to be part of publicly confronting a wayward denomination.
Exposing the ELCA is a ministry that is passionate with directly confronting the heresy and apostasy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Scripture tells us to, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” - Ephesians 5:11.
John the Baptist called out King Herod. Jesus called out the Pharisees. David called out Goliath. Exposing the ELCA ministry is calling out the ELCA. (It is this ministry's prayer that the ELCA would return to the Truth) Unfortunately, there are some who do not like and will not support a ministry that does this.
Earlier this winter I spoke to a pastor whose congregation had conducted a study of the ELCA. This pastor’s church had produced some documents that I thought would be helpful to other individuals and churches who were looking into leaving the ELCA. These documents were posted on their website, but were going to be removed. I emailed the church asking if there was some way to make them available, by linking to them or uploading them onto Exposing the ELCA’s website, so that they might be helpful to others. The pastor was not interested in keeping the documents online or making them available on Exposing the ELCA, saying, “I choose to not live in an adversarial posture towards the ELCA.”
This pastor’s decision and comment do not make much sense to me. Why are we content with only “saving ourselves” when so many lost, unknowing or complacent members need to be saved from the false teaching that is becoming so prevalent in the ELCA?
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to dialog with a pastor of a large church, which was, until recently, an ELCA congregation. Concerning the Exposing the ELCA ministry he said, “A ministry called ‘Exposing the ELCA’ is not one I would support. It sounds too divisive and condemning. I would rather continue to pray for the leadership of the ELCA and that there would be more unity in the Lord's Church.”
Exposing the ELCA ministry makes no apologies for its name or the call to confront these false teachings in our denomination. Our ministry’s name makes it very clear; we believe there are major theological problems in the ELCA. We are going to share those concerns and facts; this is the place to find information on the ELCA.
Here is how I responded to the second pastor’s comments:
I respect your opinion. For me, I agree with many, including WordAlone Ministries President Clark, who states that the ELCA is teaching a false gospel and a new religion. (Read here) I think it is ‘worth’ exposing these things so that people will not be ignorant as to what the ELCA is doing and so the ELCA will not, God willing, lead more people away from Christ and His truth. God bless you.”
This world needs more people, like you, our loyal readers, who will stand up and expose what the ELCA is doing. Sometimes we need to do what is unpopular. Exposing the ELCA does what it does because we love God and want to save people from the “flames” of deception preached by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Thank you to all who stand by Exposing the ELCA.
Help for those leaving the ELCA
I receive a number of emails every week from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America members who are concerned about the direction of our denomination. Some have questions and are wondering what they should do. Some people need advice as their churches investigate the ELCA or consider leaving the ELCA. For those members who are in similar circumstances, I recommend that you check out WordAlone Ministries. This ministry has been helping people and churches for years; assisting those who have been facing these same issues. Here is a link to WordAlone’s “Leaving the ELCA” series on their website. (see here)
The WordAlone site offers lots of information and useful materials regarding 1) how to approach the issue of leaving the ELCA based on where your congregation is at the moment, 2) the process for leaving the ELCA, 3) study resources helpful for churches interested in leaving the ELCA, 4) frequently asked questions about leaving the ELCA, as well as 5) stories from churches that have left.
They also have a Chaplain Corps available for people who want to speak to a knowledgeable pastor, someone willing to answer your questions and provide personalized support and direction. (read more about it here)
Letter to ELCA Presiding Bishop from the President of WordAlone Ministries, Jaynan Clark
Please read this article -
Excerpts from an Email to ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson from Jaynan Clark, President, WordAlone Ministries
I read this article minutes ago and feel it is something all ELCA members need to read. We, the members of this denomination should have the same passion and courage to stand against the enemy who desires to lead the elect astray. I call on all to ELCA members to not back down to the false gospel the leadership of the ELCA is endorsing and weaving into a once Christ centered, scripture following denomination. As the young shepherd David boldly proclaimed victory over the giant and ran swiftly at him in battle, knowing God was on his side, we need to be a strong voice of truth, leading our churches away for the false gospel the devil has brought into the ELCA.
Please send this article on to all you know who would be interested.
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.
If you have been helped and blessed by Exposing the ELCA's ministry, please help us continue to proclaim the truth of God's Word to ELCA members who need to hear it.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11