(The following article was written a few days ago by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
A student named Madeline opened the worship service by saying she uses "she/her" pronouns. Lace (who uses "they" as a pronoun) assisted during the service, as did Luther Seminary professor Amy Marga who is interested in "queer theologies and feminist theologies". The preacher was Austen Hartke, a "transgender person of faith" who is the author of "Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians".
Instead of opening the service in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the service invoked the "Creator, Christ and Holy Breath" (some believe it is sexist to refer to God in exclusively masculine terms such as "Father" and "Son").
During the sermon, the transgender preacher talked about the persecution of transgender people because they often cannot use the bathrooms they prefer and "because those of us who are sex workers aren't legally protected." The preacher talked about transgender suicide caused by "religious intolerance and exposure to conversion therapy." The preacher bemoaned the "churches who teach that the white, Western gender binary is God-ordained...(and) the parents who believe that their child's soul is at risk if they transition..." Transgender people "are acting in Jesus' name by embracing the identity that God gave them." The preacher encouraged the seminarians to "correct the nurse who uses the wrong pronouns for a patient". He encouraged the seminarians to "begin the conversation about becoming LGBTQ+ affirming in your church." By "allowing LGBTQIA people...the opportunity to testify... you will find that God's new heaven and new earth are already breaking in."
During the strange closing prayers (which sounded very New Age), it was stated that God "delights in every flourishing twirl...of gender expression...".
When I attended Luther Seminary many years ago, I remember being taught that the Church is not to follow the "Zeitgeist" ("spirit of the Age") but the Holy Spirit since Christians are to be "in the world, not of the world." Today, Luther's namesake seminary shows itself to be both in the world and of the world as it follows the Zeitgeist wherever it leads.
Since the ELCA claims to be open to both conservative and liberal voices on transgenderism, it would now be appropriate to balance the above worship by bringing in a chapel speaker like Walt Heyer who went through gender transition and regrets it (see his video at https://youtu.be/k9jC34sk_3I). But don't expect that to happen, the Zeitgeist at Luther Seminary will not permit any voice but its own.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
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