Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber is a troubled Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor who has grown in popularity within the ELCA ranks. She is highly sought after by ELCA leadership to speak at conferences and gatherings, and to preach to their leaders, members and youth. (see here) Just last week an ELCA website published a letter she had written praising Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson for his leadership.
But there are problems with Rev. Bolz-Weber, big problems. The problems I'm referring to rest in two areas, her teaching/theology, which is non-Biblical in many important areas, and moral issues that she seems to take pride in and actively flaunts.
God tells us what an appointed church leader should look like; He says the leader “must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Tell me if that sounds like Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber as we examine an interview she recently gave -
- Host Krista Tippett: “Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founder and pastor for the downtown Denver 'House for all Sinners and Saints.' Is it 'House for all Sinners and Saints?'”
Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber: “House for all Sinners and Saints. Or you know, we call it Half Ass.” (HFASS)
- Talking about the Apostles' Creed, Rev. Bolz-Weber, who is revered by denominational leadership states, “oh my god, nobody believes every line of the creed.”
- Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber enlightened us with this during the interview, “. . . I think that there is a really insipid message to girls when you use the exclusive male pronoun for God . . . So whenever you sort of attribute a human characteristic to God, that some people have and some people don't, it becomes problematic.”
I guess Rev. Bolz-Weber can blame Jesus for that.
- Rev. Bolz-Weber talked about an Easter service and liturgy she uses where her church members “invite the dead to witness the resurrection.”
- Within her interview, Bolz-Weber spoke of what clearly sounds like universalism, at one point saying, “That's God saying, 'I would rather die than be in the sin accounting business that you've put me in.' That from the cross, you know there is all this stuff about the final judgment, you know what the final judgment is to me? It's God dying on the cross and saying, 'forgive them they know not what they're doing.' That is an eternally valid statement to me. That is God's judgment upon us.”
Let's be clear, this stance is not Biblical, but it is espousing universalism, the very dangerous belief that all people will be saved. The Bible says there will be judgment for those who deny Christ or do not have faith in Christ. John 3:36 says, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.”
- Rev. Bolz-Weber was asked about her Mary Magdalene tattoo and she described it saying, “She is standing there with a finger in the air saying 'Shut the hell up and listen to me for a minute.'”
- Talking about her children Rev. Bolz-Weber says, “We are not the kind of family that does a lot of like family devotionals. We don't pray together as a family. We don't do this faith stuff in our home. You know why? My kids are around it all the time. And so I just feel they need a break at home, you know. So I know it's a big deal to like build faith in home; we don't do that."
- The interviewer quoted a blogger's description of Rev. Bolz-Weber, “'Her sleeved tattoos and sailor's mouth are an immediate tip-off that this woman ain't your mama's minister.'”
As you can read from this interview, Bolz-Weber's “sailor's mouth” is on full display; and I'm not listing all of what she said. (see video here)
Rev. Bolz-Weber is dangerously wrong regarding very important Biblical doctrine and Biblical Truth. (see here, here and here for some more examples) Additionally, this ELCA pastor has a toxic tongue. There is no repentance or evident desire to tame her month. Paul tells us in the truth of scripture, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” - Ephesians 5:4
Here are two snipits from Rev. Bolz-Weber's Facebook page that show her worldly and bankrupt spiritual state:
- Rev. Bolz-Weber writes, “Just so I don't portray the National Youth Gathering as overly-controlling, a point of clarification: my contract is the same as everyone else's contract. I was just asked specifically by some of the leadership to not swear so that they don't get even more flack then they are already getting from people about me being a main stage speaker.
One person replied to her Facebook post, “Well sh*t. How are you gonna be authentically Nadia then?”
Another said, “Church people make me laugh! Simultaneously saints and douchebags . . .”
- Another time Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber wrote “A trucker just blew me a kiss. #Thingsthathappenwhenyou'reaheavilttattooedlady”
One person asked, “Did you flash your b**bs back?”
Rev. Bolz-Weber replied, “Cynthia, I don't do that anymore. My Bishop insists. : )”
What is really telling, with this exposition on Nadia Bolt-Weber, is that this is someone the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has elevated to a place of leadership and authority.