(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Bishop Herbert Chilstrom, first head bishop of the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has died. For many years, he was my bishop, and it was a difficult relationship. I believe in the infallibility of Scripture, and Chilstrom wanted no one to teach at the seminary who held such a view. I am pro-life and opposed to the ELCA paying for abortion for any reason with offering dollars, Chilstrom publicly defended abortion. I have struggled with same sex attraction most of my life but for the sake of Christ and my soul, I abstain. Chilstrom promoted the acceptance of homosexual relationships and the ordination of homosexually active pastors, which the ELCA approved in 2009.
Someone asked me "Do you think he is in heaven?" I replied "Only God can sort that one out."
Many years ago a wonderful pastor by the name of Maynard Force died, who had been Chilstrom's professor and who grieved over how liberal Chilstrom had become. At his death, Chilstrom wrote a letter to pastors informing that Maynard had died and that, though we don't believe in the Bible the way Maynard did, we still stand at the foot of the same cross of Christ. A conservative pastor wrote back stating that, yes, Bishop Chilstrom, some of us still do believe in the infallible authority of Scripture.
Back in the 1980's a controversy erupted when Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota started showing hard-core pornographic films to teen sexual offenders and their families as part of "therapy" (including in one case a 10-year-old sister). At a large public hearing Chilstrom was asked if he could bring these films before the Judgement Seat of Christ. Chilstrom responded "Yes, I think I could." A huge groan went through the crowd. I remember a farmer saying of the controversy "When I go to clean something, I don't use a dirty cloth."
Bishop Chilstrom treated people graciously, including myself. But I am sad that he was instrumental in helping the ELCA become the unbiblical, radical denomination that it is today.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
PS The below article shows how Chilstrom "evolved" on homosexuality
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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