(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
The Evangelical Lutheran Church d in America used to believe that homosexual behavior is contrary to the will of God. That all changed in 2009 when the ELCA voted to ordain practicing homosexuals – at a convention that was literally hit by a tornado.
Today many ELCA congregations celebrate homosexuality and this month ELCA head bishop Elizabeth Eaton appeared in a gay pride video to celebrate gay pride month.
Westwood Lutheran is an ELCA congregation in the Twin Cities area. It is the devil's job to take something ugly and make it look pretty, and the below video is very slick. Listen to Westwood's "amazing welcome that comes from God": "We are called to be ourselves...including sexuality...God gives unconditional welcome to all people...This includes people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and relationship status".
Is this true? I personally have struggled with same sex attraction most of my life and I am grateful that Jesus welcomes people who struggle with all kinds of sin. But what does He welcome us to? To repentance from sin and new life in Christ. But you will hear no mention of repentance from sin in the below video because sin is no longer sin. Now sexual sin is something to be celebrated. And what does it mean that Westwood welcomes people regardless of "relationship status"? It is not spelled out but I am guessing that Westwood has no problem welcoming heterosexual couples who are living in fornication.
Does Jesus radically welcome everyone into His Church? No. He welcomes sinners who come to Him in repentance and faith. On the Last Day Jesus Himself will say "Depart from me" to the unrepentant (Matthew 7:22-23). Jesus taught that we should expel the impenitent person from the Church (Matthew 18:15-17) and the Apostle Paul taught the same (I Corinthians 5:13). And it is not loving to welcome people to continue to live a life of sin since this will eternally separate them from God (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
I hope you attend a good, Biblical church which welcomes all kinds of sinners, but which also welcomes them to repentance from sin and to faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock
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