Upcoming 2024 ELCA Lutheran Teen Gathering: 'State your preferred pronouns', 'Disrupt injustice', and stop calling sin 'darkness'
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
This coming summer in New Orleans the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will hold another Youth Gathering. The last time this happened was in 2018 when 31,000 Lutheran teens were told to support transgenderism by an 11 year-old-boy who thinks he is a girl. Also, ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber led the teens in a kind of mock baptismal vow, saying “I renounce the lie that queerness is anything other than beauty.”
For 2024, the Teen Gathering theme will be “Created to Be”. “We are created to be free—to work for justice for all our siblings”. You will notice the ELCA now shies away from calling people “brothers and sisters” because that is too binary and excludes transgender people, so instead we get “siblings”. Teens are told to introduce themselves in this way, “Hi, my name is ________ and I use the pronouns __________.” Teens are told to “honor everyone by calling them by the name and pronouns they feel comfortable with…You might be surprised to learn that someone in your group has been longing to introduce themselves to you in this way!”
Sessions of the Teen Assembly will begin with a “Land acknowledgement”, stating that the Assembly is being held on land stolen from Native Americans.
A big theme of the Youth Gathering will be to teach teens to become “disruptive to injustice”. Teens are told to discuss “what injustices you have experienced” and are told “We are created to be disruptive, to work for justice for all our siblings”. Youth are taught “interrupting phrases” such as “We don’t say things like that here” to “help them disrupt an unjust situation”.
In a nod I believe to the LGBT movement, teens are told to “be authentic and bring our whole selves”. Then comes this strange statement: “Our host city, New Orleans, has always been its true, authentic self…. New Orleans was built to host and be a city where all God’s children come together.” I’m not sure how the ELCA knows this. Teens are asked in small groups “What would it mean for you if your congregation became a Reconciling in Christ congregation?” Reconciling in Christ is the movement that promotes all things LGBT in the ELCA. It is no secret how the ELCA wants to influence teens here.
Lastly, teens will be taught not to think of sin as “darkness” because this is racist. “One particularly harmful part of theology is associating sin with all things dark and black…(this creates) an implicit bias against things that are black…harmful intertwining of white supremacy and God’s love…”. Teens are asked “How does claiming the holiness of darkness reframe who God is for you?” This, of course, is nonsense—most black Christians have no problem at all agreeing with the Scriptures, “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5).
Perhaps the most tragic thing in all of this is there is no mention of evangelism and bringing lost friends to Christ. The head bishop of the ELCA has stated that she believes Hell is empty. So if everyone is going to heaven and we don’t need to instruct in evangelism, what will the ELCA do with its teens at a teen gathering? Teach them liberal politics and how to “interrupt injustice.” And of course, the injustice being done to babies in the womb is nowhere mentioned. The ELCA is a strong supporter of abortion rights and even pays for abortion with offering dollars in the ELCA healthcare plan.
If you know an ELCA Lutheran, please urge them to keep their teens away from the ELCA.
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.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11