The most recent edition of Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has an article about “Seeking the Spirit Within”. It states “Prayer can include coloring mandalas, using beads, meditating over a piece of Scripture, walking a labyrinth or repeating a name or phrase.” A mandala is a ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe, which is used for the purpose of meditation and trance induction. So why is the ELCA promoting this? Repeating a name or phrase over and over is also part of Buddhist meditation (think “Om”), but where does Jesus ever teach us to say a word over and over in order to meditate?
This is called syncretism, taking non-Christian practices and beliefs and mixing them together with Christianity. It is what got the ancient Jews in trouble when they tried to mix Baal worship with the worship of Jehovah. The ELCA needs to remember the words of the First Commandment regarding syncretism: Thou shalt have no other gods.
June is gay pride month and Living Lutheran devotes a whole article to ways your church can be gay-friendly. Don’t talk in Sunday school materials about mom and dad since we need to “remember your same-gendered-married couples.” Get a gender-neutral bathroom in your church. Celebrate gender identity and transition (changing one's sex) in your fellow Christians. Don’t say Christian “brothers and sisters” since this excludes non-binary and transgender people.
It appears the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has swallowed the GLBT agenda whole. Living Lutheran no longer allows the conservative view on homosexuality to be even heard.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock