Luther Seminary Holds a Native American "Smudging" Worship Service, Fuses Christian and Sioux Spirituality
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
Luther Seminary of the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently held a chapel worship service based on Native American spirituality. A Native American woman burned a plant and waved a feather over it, explaining that smudging "releases the energies within yourself". She led the congregation to inhale and exhale "which cleanses you" (see minute 4:02 below). Prayers were made in the direction of the four winds, patterned after Native American religion. The preacher explained that her Christianity is an extension of Native American spirituality. She said "I am a hybrid" in that she practices Christianity and holds to native spirituality. She talked of her "natural fusion of Christian and Sioux spirituality". She spoke of "the foundational values of God's original covenant with Native Americans that must never be violated." A version of the Lord's Prayer was made to "the Great Spirit."
Years ago when I was still in the ELCA, our Minneapolis Area Synod convention had participants pray toward the North, South, East and West. At that convention I got to the microphone to complain about the Native American worship. I said "I am German. My ancestors worshipped Thor and Odin. I hope we aren't going to incorporate Thor and Odin worship next." I shared this with my congregation and a Native American woman came up to me after church with tears in her eyes saying "They are trying to get us to return to the things that Jesus saved me from!"
Luther's Christian/Sioux worship service is consistent with where the ELCA is heading. At the recent ELCA church-wide assembly, in the presence of representatives from non-Christian religions, the ELCA overwhelmingly passed an interfaith resolution stating that we don't know what God thinks of non-Christian religions. A delegate said that we indeed know since Jesus said He is the only way of salvation (John 14:6), but the delegate was voted down by 97%.
Some time ago an elderly woman who has donated to Luther Seminary asked me if she should continue to do so. I said "Not a penny." One Luther chapel service brought in a transgender preacher who prayed "Our Mother in heaven". Another Luther chapel service had a feminist/womanist preacher tell the students to hold hands and imagine they were in "the pushy womb of God". Another chapel service observed National Coming Out Day for homosexuals. Another chapel service observed the Transgender Day of Remembrance. And now this smudging service (watch it below). Like I said, "Not a penny."
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
PS Luther Seminary is selling off 15 acres and some of its buildings because of the seminary's financial problems.
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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