By the time most of you read this, Elizabeth Eaton will be installed as the new presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is getting a good amount of press these days because she will be the first woman to hold the position in the denomination. With all the press coverage, we are provided a great opportunity to learn more about the bishop, her beliefs and theology, as well as the ELCA at large.
During an interview on Chicago's ABC7, Eaton was asked, “But what do you say to your critics who say biblically, homosexuality is a sin and it's not of God. What do you say to those critics that say that should not be accepted in the church?” Eaton responded, “Well, Lutherans have a specific way of reading the Bible. We're not biblical literalists. I mean, there are different lists of disciples. The mustard seed isn't the smallest seed. That doesn't mean that our Lord didn't know what He was talking about. But whatever shows forth God's love as it was revealed in Jesus Christ, that's what's key. And there's a lot of stuff that really is not as important.” (see here)
Did you catch that? "There's a lot of stuff (in the Bible) that really is not as important."
Everything in the Bible comes from the God of the universe. How can a godly Christian leader say that much of what God says isn't really important? How arrogant and ignorant! This view of God's Word allows ELCA leaders, and their members, to ignore things they do not like in Scripture. That is exactly what she is trying to say here. She lists a of couple instances in Scripture that she believes the Bible got wrong, to make her point, that the ELCA rejects and discounts many parts of the Bible. Sadly, this is a commonly-held understanding of many in the leadership of the ELCA.
Notice also that she says Lutherans are not biblical literalists –another familiar saying among ELCA leaders.
Wikipedia defines biblical literalism as “the interpretation or translation of the explicit and primary sense of words in the Bible . . . The essence of this approach focuses upon the author's intent as the primary meaning of the text. Literal interpretation does place emphasis upon the referential aspect of the words or terms in the text. It does not, however, mean a complete denial of literary aspects, genre, or figures of speech within the text (e.g., parable, allegory, simile, or metaphor). Also literalism does not necessarily lead to total and complete agreement upon one single interpretation for any given passage.” (see here)
Presiding Bishop-elect Eaton is communicating to all, that if the ELCA doesn't like what the Bible clearly says, they will reject it or say “God's love” overrides whatever that part of Scripture says.
This is clearly shown in a second interview Presiding Bishop-elect Eaton gave this week with WTTW11 in Chicago. She is asked, “If you believe that God is at work in the world, do you believe that Satan is at work in the world?” Eaton answered “Do I believe there is evil in the world? Yes, absolutely. And maybe Satan could be personified as an individual being, but yes, there is evil in the world. The world is a dangerous place.” (see here)
Now the Bible, plain as day, tells us that Satan is a real individual being. He is mentioned 47 times in Scripture (see here), yet Presiding Bishop-elect Eaton can not even definitively say so. In fact, she simply leaves room for those who understand evil personified. If she believed God's Word, she would have answered, “Yes, Satan is absolutely at work in the world.” This is a major problem, people.
The ELCA questions or denies biblical facts such as the virgin birth, hell, how God created all that there is, that unborn babies are made in the image of God and deserve to live, that homosexuality is a sin of which repentance is necessary. (see here) The list goes on. ELCA missionaries do not seek to win people to faith in Jesus, many leaders preach universalism against the testimony of Scripture that 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 (John 3:36). An understanding that “receiving” Jesus is not necessary is widely held in the ELCA, but God tells us, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).
The ELCA is a denomination that does not stand on the truth in the Bible. Sadly, this is modeled from the top on down through the leadership of the ELCA. Were you hoping for a brighter day in the future of the ELCA?
10/5/2013 10:16:57 pm
New ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (responding to the question “But what do you say to your critics who say biblically, homosexuality is a sin and it's not of God? What do you say to those critics that say that should not be accepted in the church?”): “Well, Lutherans [she means ELCA 'Lutherans'] have a specific way of reading the Bible. We're not biblical literalists. I mean, there are different lists of disciples, the mustard seed isn't the smallest seed, that doesn't mean that our Lord didn't know what He was talking about. But whatever shows forth God's love as it was revealed in Jesus Christ, that's what's key. And there's a lot of stuff that really is not as important.”
10/7/2013 09:12:09 am
Same letters, different year, new patient.
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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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