(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
The liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has just concluded its national assembly. At the assembly, smoke was dispersed to cleanse from evil spirits and negative energy according to the Native American ceremony called smudging. No, ELCA, evil spirits are not driven out by smoke but only by the name of Jesus Christ. If you tap on the second link below, you can watch pagan smudging going on during an ELCA worship service.
Also, the ELCA took up the issue of "bound conscience". Back in 2009 when the ELCA voted to ordain practicing homosexuals, conservatives were assured that their "bound conscience" against homosexual behavior would be allowed in the ELCA. But now, some want that reconsidered so that LGBT people will feel more welcomed in the ELCA. The ELCA already has two practicing homosexual bishops and a while ago elected the world's first transgender bishop. But that is not welcoming enough, some say, and they want the "bound conscience" language to be reconsidered.
Kevin Strickland, an ELCA homosexual bishop with a "husband", took to the microphone to share his angst that someone refused to receive holy communion from him because the person objected to the bishop's homosexual behavior. The bishop said that he is tired of having his "personhood" challenged. He wants the church to "reconsider the church's current concept of bound conscience" because the ELCA should be a place where all are welcomed and loved, not condemned.
I personally have struggled with homosexual temptation most of my life but for the sake or Christ and my soul, I abstain from this behavior (see "My struggle with same sex attraction" at pastorsstudy.org). I would say to the ELCA's homosexual bishops that no one is challenging their personhood. People are challenging homosexual behavior which the Bible condemns and in which the bishops engage. It is out of love that we tell people to turn from sin since sin dishonors God and hurts us. Indeed, it is very unloving to condone a sin which can eternally separate people from the Kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9-11).
So now the ELCA has reached the point where it will examine whether to even allow the traditional, biblical view of homosexuality in its ranks. Indeed, the ELCA's national magazine already bans the conservative viewpoint in its pages.
Given the ECLA's syncretism with pagan practices and its affirmation of homosexuality and transgenderism, it is long past time for Bible-believing Christians to leave this denomination.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
(To see Bishop Strickland's convention remarks, tap on second link below).
Smudging at the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly
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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