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 -
- Neither the gospels of Mark nor John mention Jesus' birth.
- the manner of Jesus’ birth is not prominent in the letters of St. Paul.
- These (verses) seem to imply that St. Paul viewed Jesus' conception as a very normal human conception.
- not all early theologians espoused the doctrine (of the Virgin Birth).
- Matthew 1:23 follows the Greek (LXX) translation of Hebrew Scripture. That version erroneously translates the Isaiah 7:14 Hebrew word almah to read virgin.
- scholars generally agree that Isaiah’s prophecy . . . seems to have been fulfilled 700 years before.
- Late First Century Mediterranean history tells us that many mythological figures were said to have been born of human virgin mothers impregnated by gods. A number of these stories mirror other elements of the Matthew and Luke birth stories: heavenly music and celestial displays at the birth, attempts on the heroes’ lives as infants, visitations by "wise men," their violent deaths, etc. Virgin birth stories (without the mythological god impregnations) are also attributed to the founders of major religions Buddha and Zoroaster. Thus, say the doctrine’s critics, a virgin conception was an important claim to establish Jesus’ divinity to gain adherents to Christianity.
- The doctrine may have been inspired by Old Testament accounts of the unusual births of such heroes as Ishmael, Isaac, Samson and Samuel, thus establishing Jesus' uniqueness "above and beyond" these heroic figures as Christians sought Jewish converts.
- When we confess in the Apostles’ Creed that Jesus was "conceived by the power of the Holy Spirt and born of the virgin Mary ...," and in the Nicene Creed that Jesus is "the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father ..." we are not making a gynecological assertion.
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?