The Toledo Blade newspaper wrote an article about Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (see here) To quote the article:
"The work of the Church, Bishop Eaton said, is not so much saving souls. 'That's God's work, and if God loves God's creation, you're part of God's creation; you're going to be loved.' But there is work to do with others, missional work."
Two things strike me. First, the Bible teaches the Church is ALL about saving souls. Yes, God alone can ultimately convert anyone, but He has given that saving work into the hands of the Church. Jesus’ last words on earth were “Go ye therefore and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). The Apostle Paul wrote “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (I Corinthians 9:22). The Apostle Paul knew that he, and all Christians, are all about saving souls.
Sadly, when we read the news coming out of the ELCA (see elca.org news items), it seems ELCA leadership is often speaking out on climate change, immigration reform, defending Muslims, Palestine, etc. Meanwhile, the number of missionaries in the ELCA has gone down dramatically. Such is the result of replacing “saving souls” with politics, however well meaning those politics might be. And sadly, when it comes to the politics of protecting the unborn, one never hears a word from an ELCA leader on issues like the horrors happening at Planned Parenthood. Just once it would be nice to read an ELCA news article that an ELCA bishop wants to see Planned Parenthood defunded, or partial birth abortion outlawed or Roe vs. Wade overturned.
The second thing that struck me (see the quote in the first paragraph above) is how tortured the language is which Bishop Eaton uses to refer to God. Its all “God…God…God” in order to avoid the masculine pronoun “He” for the Almighty. This is also true in the ELCA hymnal which has de-sexed all of the Psalms to get rid of masculine references for God.
May you and I be busy this day doing the work of God, HE has called us to join in HIS work of SAVING SOULS,
In Jesus our Savior,
Pastor Tom Brock