(The following is a letter written by a married couple to their ELCA church council. I have made a few edits to remove names and places)
On January 8, 2021, ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was one of several religious leaders who signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and the Cabinet calling for the removal of President Donald Trump from office following the events of January 6 in the Capitol. This letter was written two days following the events at the Capitol while causes of the events of January 6 were in the early stages of investigation.
The letter signed by Bishop Eaton stated, "In addition, we recognize the need to hold responsible not only those who invaded the Capitol, but also those who supported and/or promoted the President’s false claims about the election or made their own false accusations." We read this to state that the leader of the ELCA is now calling for repercussions for those with thoughts and beliefs that are not her own.
Our world is currently so very divided, and one place we want to feel at peace, loved, appreciated is in our church home. When we read this letter from Bishop Eaton, we immediately felt that due to our political beliefs we were no longer welcome in the church we called home. We must admit that since the covid pandemic started, our involvement with (our church) has waned. Some of it was due to covid, but much of our lack of involvement was due to our research beginning in January 2021 on the beliefs of the ELCA and our realization that our beliefs differed greatly from ELCA leadership.
Polls show that 75 to 80 percent of Republicans believe there was some fraud involved with the 2020 presidential elections. We fall within that group that questions whether fraud occurred in the election process in some states. While we accepted the results of the election, we do believe that there was some questionable election activity in multiple states that should be explored. We are not saying the fraud was absolute, but there was cause for investigation. According to the leader of the ELCA, we are outright wrong in our beliefs and there is no room for discussion.
Considering that at least 50 percent of (our state) are registered Republicans, and according to polls 75 percent of Republicans believe there was some fraudulent activity in the 2020 election, that would equate to a rough estimate of 40 percent of the church membership of the ELCA in (our state) that needs to be held responsible for the events of January 6 at the Capitol according to Bishop Eaton. We disagree.
This was the start of not feeling welcome by the ELCA, and the beginning of our research on what the ELCA currently stands for.
We moved to (this city) in 2012 and joined (this ELCA church) because it was the church at which (my wife's) father was a member and that her paternal ancestors had belonged to, though (my wife) had been raised as a Catholic and (I) as an American Baptist. We knew that (this church) was a member of the ELCA, but we didn’t do our research as to what the ELCA believed. We just believed that all Lutherans were essentially the same. The January 8, 2021 letter signed by Bishop Eaton led us to do further research.
Our research found a multitude of issues to which we disagree with ELCA leadership. Below we will highlight just a few of the issues with which we disagree.
These are just a few of the reasons we started questioning whether membership in an ELCA church was right for us. Then on November 19, 2021, Bishop Eaton released a pastoral message on the Rittenhouse acquittal stating, “When a child is allowed to become a vigilante without recourse, we are forced to confront the idols of our society: guns, violence and white supremacy.” She also stated, “Today’s acquittal is an injustice.”
Following much research, prayer and discussion, we have decided to withdraw our membership in the ELCA which means we need to withdraw our membership at (this church) and seek a local church that more closely fits our beliefs. We wanted you to know that our withdrawal of membership is not based on our local church family, but rather the work and beliefs of the leadership at the highest levels of the ELCA. We love and support our friends and neighbors who are members of the ELCA and will continue to support the work of (this church) at the local level through prayer.
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.
If you have been helped and blessed by Exposing the ELCA's ministry, please help us continue to proclaim the truth of God's Word to ELCA members who need to hear it.
Give online by clicking the "donate" button below:
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11