Important Articles Related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
by theologian Robert Benne, a former ELCA seminary professor. Written October, 2018.
. . .Whatever doubts I had were extinguished by recent events in the ELCA. The glaring departure from classic Christian teaching is so stunning it is scarcely believable. . .
. . .in addition to violating Christian theology established at the first council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 by approving a transgender bishop, the ELCA is also forsaking the writings of German theologian and church reformer Martin Luther, in which the denomination claims to find its "roots." . .
. . ."The ELCA isn’t just trying to preach the old gospel with a new bishop. It’s a new religion...It’s a new religion that is trying to inhabit the space of traditional Christianity, trying to claim the titles, to claim ownership of the buildings, and to take ownership of the institutions while representing a religion that is at virtually every point contradictory to biblical Christianity,...The gospel of Jesus Christ in biblical terms is left far behind."
"When I speak of the gospel, I’m speaking of the good news that God saves sinners through the atonement accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ, this comes to those who repent. That’s a very different message than what is being preached by the ELCA," By redefining sin the denomination "redefines the saving work of Christ." . .
. . .If the real issue is that there are ELCA pastors and seminarians who do not want to have to be married in order to be sexually active and/or do not want to be limited, bound, or confined by the expectation that they will be monogamous, then the ELCA Church Council and Conference of Bishops should just admit it and state it rather than use all of this other language to make it sound better than and/or different from what it really is. . .
. . .The ELCA is guilty of a massive breach of trust. The ELCA cannot be trusted. We realize that those are very strong statements, but they are confirmed by the presentation given by one of the keynote speakers at the recent ELCA Youth Gathering. . .
What Will It Be Next? (2019)
. . .“Does ‘Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust’ need updating too? The Northwest Washington Synod Assembly has submitted a memorial to revise the social statement on sexuality, and the proposal to reopen this social statement will come before the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.” . .
What Will It Be Next? (2021)
. . .Idolatry. . .
. . .I am deeply disturbed by the actions taken, the resolutions approved, and the memorials adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. I am even more concerned when I consider the percentages of the votes. . .
. . .We must frankly conclude that each of these aspects of the lie finds its way into HSGT. Most pertinent for our response is the fact that what Sasse called the dogmatic lie—the notion that our age has greater understanding than our ancestors and so we have reached a “doctrinal maturity” that enables us to modify dogma—has now been made concrete in the ELCA by means of “the institutional lie” as that church bodyhas officially adopted a heretical position on human sexuality. This is not merely a case of misapplied ethics but a dogmatic decision that is, in fact, schismatic. The evaluation of Wolfhart Pannenberg rings true: “If a church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm, and recognized homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical ground but against the unequivocal witness of Scripture. A church that took this step would cease to be the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” The ELCA has now taken this step, embodying apostasy from the faith once delivered to the saints. . .It is with profound grief that the LCMS can do nothing other than conclude that HSGT represents a “different gospel” (Gal. 1:6). . .
. . .Theological liberalism is parasitic. It survives and thrives by attaching itself to a healthy orthodox Christian denomination or communion, and subverting its weakest members—namely, those who are insufficiently grounded in scripture, those nursing past hurts and resentments, those who want desperately to be seen as “smart”, and those looking to make a name for themselves by playing the maverick.
The pattern usually plays out as follows. . .
Christianity, Homosexuality, and the E. L. C. A. (important part of the article is on the right hand side of the page)
. . .And that's the problem with the homosexual argument that they have feelings so it must be natural. Feelings are easily misdirected. Fetishists, necrophiles, pedophiles, beastialists, and homosexuals have come to associate sexual pleasure with something other than heterosexual sex, largely because they have trained their own minds to perceive it that way, and reinforced it through fantasy and perhaps practice. . .
(An overview of what happened to the ELCA by Robert Benne)
. . .At roughly the same time came the refusal to engage in “pioneer evangelism,” i.e., bringing the Gospel to those who had never heard it. This direct denial of the Great Commission in favor of “accompaniment” was driven by anticolonial and anti-imperialist ideologies that claimed that pioneer evangelism would inevitably be tainted by cultural imperialism. The number of missionaries who actually preached the Gospel plummeted. . .
A Response to the ELCA’s “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A Policy Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America"
. . .The following three-part response is an attempt to identify and expose at least some of the flawed and unsupportable assumptions, specious reasoning and illogical conclusions upon which the statement depends. . .
. . .AFA makes several resources available to aid your church pastor, leadership and ministry in protecting itself against the coming storm. . .
. . .I began to notice that a lot of the practices in modern Anglicanism and teaching of modern Anglicanism, and actually, we could say more of Western Christianity as well, seemed to be getting more in common with what was known as pagan religion than what the Bible calls the faith. . .
. . .even more worrisome than the episode with those teenagers is the distorted theology that is being spread widely through her public preaching and teaching. It rejects God’s law, it offers God’s grace without mention of Christ’s atoning work, it promises grace without repentance and amendment of life, and it exhibits contempt for the Great Tradition. . .
(touches on a wide range of ELCA issues including political policies in this blog). . . Every dollar you give to the ELCA, goes to support these beliefs. Not a single one of these beliefs is aligned with HOLY SCRIPTURE and THE WORD OF GOD!!!!
. . . “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.” . .
"Official" ELCA Membership Numbers for 2020 (see Page 326)
The ELCA claims to have 3,142,777 members in 2020, a drop of 122,804 from the previous year.
. . .Over time, some denominations unabashedly began to subordinate the Bible to political views, as liberal mainstream seminaries taught false doctrines such as replacement and liberation theologies. . .
. . .Today theologians and church organizations are rushing to embrace an ecumenical movement that equates other religions with Christianity. Universal salvation for all who believe in anything has become the “politically correct” message of these apostate churches. Ecumenical services that include Christians, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus and host of other religions are all too common, even in small communities. . .
. . .The world today is relentlessly attacking the faith on three particular fronts: the Christian teaching on marriage and sexual ethics, the Christian commitment to the sanctity of life, and the Christian duty to evangelize the nations. . .
. . .you'll find trusted resources on how churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries should navigate and prepare themselves for the changing culture and the attendant legal challenges that come with it. . .
. . .Those who run this liberal old line seminary are confounded why no one comes to their seminary anymore. They also lament that that they have few candidates for ordination. There is no way I would ever attend any of these alumni workshops or send a candidate there. . .
. . .Guidance to Pastors and Congregations in the United States from the NALC. . .
"All churches who condemn us will be closed." That was what Michael Swift, a "gay revolutionary," declared in a February 1987 issue of the Gay Community News. . .
. . .The entire book of Hebrews explains that the Old Testament ceremonial laws were not so much abolished as fulfilled by Christ. Whenever we pray ‘in Jesus name’, we ‘have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus’ (Hebrews 10:19). It would, therefore, be deeply inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible as a whole if we were to continue to follow the ceremonial laws. . .
. . .but it doesn’t mean consumption of pornography should be shamed. There is ethically sourced porn." . .
. . .If the Reformers were alive today, neither they nor their biblically grounded teachings would be accepted by liberal theologians. More to the point, were the Reformers alive today, they would totally reject the humanistic doctrines that the false teachers are now promoting. . .
. . .When Christ appeared, he declared all foods ‘clean’ (Mark 7:19) and he ignored the Old Testament clean laws in other ways, touching lepers and dead bodies. . .
. . .when positions at the churchwide office in Chicago or in college theology departments and seminaries have became available, theological conservatives have been and continue to be overlooked, if not outright shunned. Those who won the jobs have tended to redirect the message of the church to this-worldly matters at the expense of the life to come; to adopt Bonhoeffer’s terminology, they have pursued penultimate matters at the expense of ultimate matters, advocating for justice but not proclaiming the one way to eternal life. . .
. . .Even more troubling from the leader of the ELCA, Hanson triumphantly touted the ecumenical posture of his denomination by recounting how he had Muslim activist Sayyid Sayeed come to speak at the ELCA’s 2011 Churchwide Assembly. . .
. . .Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. “No-one is born gay,” he notes. “The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.”. .
Recent events in the ELCA blatantly reveal that ELCA leaders have no intent to honor the commitments that were made and the boundaries that were set as part of the decisions on human sexuality at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. . .
. . .Of further problem with liberal Christianity and Bible interpretation is that the liberal church seeks to spiritualize and take away the literal aspect of the Bible. They love to try to reinterpret things to try to fit with modern culture. This goes not only for the creation, Adam n Eve, the flood, and Jonah, but it is applied to Jesus as well. They will strip Jesus of his unique deity, explain away his miracles in a naturalistic bias, and deny his literal resurrection. You cannot deny these things about Jesus and be a saved Christian. “Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24) “If Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe.” (1 Cor. 15:14). . .
. . .(ELCA) Mission Support is the portion of offerings that congregations share with synods and the churchwide organization for God’s mission beyond the congregations. These dollars are put to work on your behalf in the following ways. . .
. . .Dr. Del Jacobson, retired professor from Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, MN long ago outlined what the evolution of ideas or movements look like in Church and State. The following is what the timeline of change, or if you will the timeline of heresy, looks like. . .
Pastor's discuss the issue on Table Talk Radio.
. . .The ELCA has assembled the most appalling speakers to preach to more than 30,000 teenagers. . .
(This is happening in ELCA seminaries too). . .Multiple times I have heard professors and graduate assistants, with a wink and a nod, telling seminarians that they don’t have to share everything they have learned when they sit for the ordination board and hiring committee, only what those boards and committees need to hear. . .
. . .intense religion—strong affiliation, very frequent practice, literalism, and evangelicalism—is persistent and, in fact, only moderate religion is on the decline in the United States. . .
. . .a simple table that compares and contrasts eight different Lutheran Denominations on ten different subjects. . .
ELCA related articles library which were written over a couple decades.