The Rev. Benjamin Larzelere III is retiring. He has been a pastor at the ELCA-affiliated Christ Lutheran Church in Santa Fe, NM, for 37 years. According to this news story, (see here) he is passionate about “inclusiveness.” So much so, that Christ Lutheran marched in the Santa Fe 2012 gay pride parade. (see here) Additionally, “The doormat outside the main entrance to Christ Lutheran promises ‘all are welcome.’ A rainbow flag hangs in the common room and on a nearby table are neon orange fliers asking, ‘What did Jesus say about homosexuality?’ — and the answer, ‘That’s right. Nothing!’”
From that statement alone you can see that this pastor has a very unorthodox view of God’s Word. Or to be blunt, a false and warped view of Scripture.
The news article about Rev. Larzelere goes on to tell us, “He sees the Bible not as the literal word of God but as ‘a collection of stories, history and poems. It is not a talking book. It doesn’t tell me what to do.’”
This man, who has been teaching and preaching for 37 years, has a view of Scripture that is in complete opposition to the way Christ viewed Scripture. (see here) Jesus viewed it as God’s Word, inspired and true. It’s quite clear how Rev. Larzelere views Scripture. Much like an astounding number of others in his denomination (ELCA) unfortunately.
Looking around at Christ Lutheran’s website I came across the last sermon given by Rev. Larzelere before his retirement (September 9, 2012). It seems that Rev. Larzelere doesn’t believe Jesus and the writers of Scripture, when they talk about demons. He wrote this when describing a story in the gospel of Mark, “a woman whose daughter was ill (‘had an unclean spirit’ writes Mark in 1st Century understanding of what could be just about anything from depression on up). . .” (read here)
Why is it so hard for ELCA pastors to believe what the Bible says?
9/18/2012 07:50:16 am
What an AWESOME resource!!! This is ultimately where the theology of the ELCA falls apart.. without a firm foundation in the Word, how can a church stand?
9/18/2012 09:51:04 am
Once, many years ago, as a young woman, I stood in front of a magnificent old Lutheran church in downtown Boston. I marveled at the huge cornerstone. Engraved upon it was: "Sola Scriptura." The irony of this leaves me speechless.
9/18/2012 02:18:55 pm
Larzelere, meet Luther.
9/18/2012 03:02:18 pm
40 years ago 2 Lutheran pastors in my hometown ended a Billy Graham movie 3 words into the invitation at the conclusion of the movie stating, "We have no one here to deal with this part of the movie, so have a good night." I asked my brother-in-law, a graduate of Luther Seminary 3 years prior, "Did your seminary teach students how to lead a person to faith in Jesus Christ?" To which he replied, "No".
9/18/2012 11:48:07 pm
It's interesting to see what comes out of the woodwork after a shakeup of theology.
9/19/2012 04:20:49 am
Gene -- "A shake-up of theology?" Are you calling what happened in the ELCA -- the sharp decline caused by walking away from Scripture -- a "shake-up"? I'd say it's a tad more serious than that... and, speaking for myself, I really have no intention of crawling back into the woodwork, but thanks anyway. :-)
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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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