THE ELCA VAULT - ROOM 32
The ELCA Vault is a collection of articles, blogs, and documents related to the ELCA. The purpose of the Vault is to provide this important information to it's readers and at the same time not overload other sections of the website so as they become too convoluted.
Toward a More Embodied Liberation: Theologically Integrating Racial Justice, Size Liberation, and Transgender Liberation
. . .This paper argues that only through integrating racial justice work into the extant work on size or fat liberation and transgender liberation can embodiment theology be liberatory for all of God’s people. . .
. . .Bennett was ordained last year, making history as Nashville's first queer female Evangelical Lutheran pastor. At her ordination, she wore high-top rainbow Converses. There was a gospel choir, along with nuns dressed in drag. . .
. . . during the last nine years – from 2012 to 2021 – receipts from congregations to the synod have dropped from $1.4 million to $800,000. Which amounts to more than a 40 percent decline in nine years. . .
. . .the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) senior director of strategic communications, Jocelyn Fuller, revealed how a rapid growth in her church’s social media presence is reflected by a sharp rise in online hate speech. Divisive and exclusionary language, she noted, reflects a polarized and divided nation in the United States today.
ELCA’s communications team works hard to counter that language, she said by “nurturing respectful dialogue” and by “creating spaces for hope,” . .
. . .So, if conservatism is the problem, why have liberal churches declined so precipitously? . .
. . .the assault on religious freedom will be blessed and enabled by many of our religious leaders themselves. Those in the leadership roles of the established mainline Protestant denominations are already deeply committed to the gospel of woke and they are prepared with their own 21st century version of the Inquisition to seek out the heretics, question them, and burn them at the stake. . .
. . .The New York division of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has won an award for its celebration of LGBTQ, BIPOC and female leadership in the church. . .
. . .Rev. Dustin Wright of the Messiah Lutheran Church in Rotterdam — argue that the Catholic Church’s stance on such issues is turning parishioners away. . .
. . .Since 2021 statistics are not available yet, that means that the ELCA admits to the loss of more than 400,000 members in the four-year period from 2016 through 2020, meaning a hemorrhage of around 80,000 souls per year. . .
. . .In order for progressive ideology to gain a stronger foothold among the masses, Biden and the woke democratic party must do two things: One, they must create animosity toward conservatives and traditionalists who hold to biblical ideas regarding social issues and two, they must create a sense of moral superiority by growing an elite group of people — namely the Christian left. . .
. . .ELCA Presiding Bishop Eaton delivered a lecture and then participated on a forum with some of the folks nearly everyone would describe as the extreme fringe of the ELCA. . .
. . .Indeed, the most woke places in America, apart from university campuses, are mainline Protestant or liberal Catholic churches. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Episcopal Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, the Christian/Disciples of Christ (the one I grew up in), among others, are all strong, official advocates of same-sex marriage, homosexuality, feminism, transgenderism, and abortion. . .
. . .The ELCA with its current leadership reminds me of a family where one generation built up the family business, and then the next generation is driving the family business into the ground. . .
. . . it grieves us to share with you the difficult news of the closure of a key Lutheran partner in ministry. Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, after 101 years of important ministry, has reached the end of its life as a faith-based service organization in our midst. . .
. . .“Added Buckley-Farley: "We've learned there are all kinds of paths to God."”. .
. . .To my disconsolation and consternation, I found that increasingly within the ELCA, one had to say the right things in the right ways or one was really not accepted by many within ELCA leadership. Tribalism was back, and I was outside again. . .
. . .In a room filled with the hymns of a black gospel choir and nuns dressed in drag, Nashville’s first queer female Lutheran pastor united many in January who showed up for her ordination. While sporting rainbow Converse, Vanderbilt Divinity School (VDS) alumna Dawn Bennett celebrated her ordination. . .
. . .We simply pursued our Lord’s path of fitting grace to the flesh, with its drooping hands and weak knees. We looked on our institution as a gift, not a burden—I mean, what else is it, unless you’re a Manichean? — and by pursuing that God-given mission, we pressed ourselves more and more deeply into the local soil and the call of the neighbors and the catholic stink of evangelical ministry, until pretty soon we became something the ELCA simply didn’t want anymore (“inclusive”), and we said, “Ah! There it is. Well, okay, then.” . .
. . .For them it seems that anything goes – you can believe and advocate for anything you want – even the rejection of basic, Biblical moral values and the foundational tenants of the historic Christian faith – as long as you are loyal to the organization. . .
. . .Creating spaces for authenticity - An interview with pastor and author Emily Scott. . . (links to blogs about her here and here)
. . .The message is colorfully displayed in the church windows - Inspire, Encourage, Equip, and Invite – leaving no doubt that Our Saviour Lutheran Church is a welcoming space for students. . .
. . .“Many Christian leaders are reluctant to talk about abortion,” he says, “but it is the number one cause of death in the United States and worldwide.” . .
. . .Mainline Protestant Christians, including Episcopalians, are less likely to have teenagers who share their parents’ faith than Roman Catholics or Evangelicals. . .
. . .The Lutheran Center provides a safe, LGBTQA+-affirming spiritual community for UNL students, something that Campus Pastor Adam White has been focusing on achieving the past couple of years. . .
. . .the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have not directly condemned the UAE-Israel peace agreement, but have expressed concern that Israel’s agreeing to “suspend” annexation of West Bank lands “will not halt Israel’s de facto annexation or ongoing military occupation as Israel continues to build illegal settlements in the West Bank, demolish Palestinian homes and violate Palestinians’ rights.” . .
. . .Replacement theology is found in reformed churches which most would know as Presbyterian. But that few is also held by most Lutherans and really by most main line denominations. . .
. . .Once we turn sexual orientations into civil rights instead of behavioral issues, we have been placed at a significant disadvantage in defending the biblical view of sexuality. And that is exactly what has happened. . .
. . .The complainant, who goes by the name Jesse Hammons, is “married” to Lura Groen, who leads Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in Columbia. . .
. . .This is a concrete example of how mainline decline in the pews has worked its way up to the national church with a significant consequence for denominational governance. . .
Largest Lutheran denomination in U.S. (links to) new guide arguing Bible supports full "LGBTQIA+" inclusion
. . .The new document trains Lutheran church members in how to use the "SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression) spectrum" in order to make people feel more welcome in the church. . .
. . .There may be room as regards “adiaphora” — things neither commanded nor prohibited by God in His Word — but for active, deliberate, unrepentant sin, there is no room in the house of the Lord; for sin cannot abide in the presence of Holy God. . .
. . .But whatever happens in the future, the duty of both Christian individuals and organizations will not change. And that is, in all of life, to obey God rather than men.
. . .Those confessors remaining in the ELCA may therefore wish to pause and question to what extent their denomination’s manifold constitutions remain the gateway to their pulpit and altar—they may wish to review how open is open, and how closed is closed, in their local ministry. . .
. . . It should be clear from a reading of this article that the authors are advocating for something that the Bible consistently does not approve. . .
. . .“We see that there is a definite intersection between climate change and how it disproportionately effects communities of color and people who are poor. We try to work globally on these issues, especially when there is so much intersectionality amongst them, but we still have a lot of progress to make,” Easton stated. “Everything has to be viewed through the lens of race.” . .
. . .Former leaders of the 3.4 million member Protestant denomination say the church has become “radical” in its ideology. . .
. . .Three little letters make a world of difference. Together i, s, and h distinguish Christian from Christianish and mark the difference between right and wrong, life and death, heaven and hell. . .
. . .We find it unfortunate that we should be the ones to raise the alarm that the First Amendment is not absolute...so freedom of religion does not permit us to endanger the lives of others by asserting our right to gather and serve as we wish.
. . .Some Catholics and other religious folk, including some entire denominations, have already taken the path of capitulation and acquiescence. They maintain the visible forms of faith while yielding its moral substance. . .
From ELCA pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber.
. . .The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues to stir up controversy with it's "progressive policies" and are pushing members who want to hold to sound doctrine no choice but to leave the denomination. . .
. . .ELCA believes the work of justice and peace must be done by synod and churchwide office and assemblies, and through congregations led by their pastors. In effect the church has attempted to usurp the offices and callings of its members, by presuming to speak for them and by using their contributions to fund that effort. . .
. . .we are united in our concern regarding Governor Kim Reynolds’ declaration to allow spiritual and religious gatherings in Iowa. . .
The new version of the Lutheran New Testament is not “good news” and should be called out by all Christians as “fake news”
. . .the Danish Bible Society of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, downloaded its new version of the New Testament, to branch churches in over 90 countries. Their new edition had excised over 70 references to ‘Israel’. The Land of Israel has now become “Land of the Jews,” the Children of Israel have become “the Children of the Jews.” . .
. . .Globally, we are dealing with two interconnected crises, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing climate change. Both demonstrate the profound consequences of our disrupted, broken relationship with the natural world. According to scientists, species disruption caused by global warming has combined with human encroachment on the natural world to drive wildlife into greater and deadlier contact with people. The COVID-19 outbreak is an urgent warning that our behavior opens the door to transmission of new diseases, with devastating consequences. . .
Open Lines: Reaction to Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s Comments on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Part 2, 10/25/17
Podcast on Issues, Etc.
. . .Far too many of God’s “churches” are preaching a gospel unrecognizable from that which our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ taught. Even worse, some of those called to preach the word, reach out against the very God they have pledged to serve. . .
. . .Bishop Paul Egensteiner of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Metropolitan New York Synod, said some of the 190 churches in his region were unlikely to survive because of a two-pronged financial hit. Their offerings are dwindling, and they are losing income from tenants such as preschools which can no longer afford to rent church venues. . .
Minnesota: Lutheran pastor says “Listening to and learning Muslim values is one of the ways to get to know our neighbor”
. . .Johnson had visited the mosque before, with confirmation students, and connected with Islamic Center volunteer Bashir Omar to arrange the interfaith meeting Thursday morning. . .
(Steves is a high profile ELCA member who is promoted by the ELCA). . .Steves is still carrying water for the mullahs that he cut a deal with in 2008. During an October 2019 talk at a Lutheran church in Palo Alto, California, Steves joked about the suffering endured by the Baha’is in Iran. . .
. . .I have seen the annual assembly of my synod used as such a political platform. Several years ago, members of St. Paul were shocked when they listened to a report given by our synodical VP. They expected to hear about how the synod planned to proclaim the Gospel. Instead, they heard a laundry list of political tasks the VP insisted the Church must undertake. . .
. . .At an October 2019 lecture given by Steves at the Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto (ELCA), he shared countless antisemitic and anti-Israeli lies and tropes including. . .
(Rev. Emmy Kegler). . .It might even force you to rethink how you read your holy text. That's what happened during her time of wrestling. And much to her surprise, when she embraced the humanness of the Bible. . .
. . .The seminary is in the process of shrinking its 26-acre campus, consolidating its operations within its 10-acre south campus. . .
, , ,ELCA Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber has come out with her own set of Beatitudes. Note that this isn’t a column intended to pick on her for the sake of it. However I believe she typifies the spirit of rebellion against God. . .
. . .Nadia Bolz-Weber (pictured) has become a popular speaker and writer known for her "authentic" obscenity and vulgarity, as seen in her latest tweet. . .
. . .the group became surprisingly queer over the years with about half of its 100 or so annual volunteers identifying as queer and seven as trans or non-binary. . .
. . .The RIC program includes approximately 910 Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual/aromantic, LGBTQIA+, people. . .
(United Lutheran Seminary). . .his decision is a testament to the work our community has devoted to ensuring ULS as a sacred and welcoming place to all LGBTQIA+ people. . .
. . .it had every appearance of being adrift, having lost its prophetic voice, the Word of God, and with nothing to proclaim but tolerance and grace without truth. Every year gets crazier. . .
. . .Shrinking attendance was the reason for the sale of the building. . .
. . . they support equal rights for LGBT people, abortion rights and stronger gun laws. All but one wants to end the death penalty. . .
. . .The UM episcopacy (as well as the leadership of other denominations that have either already split or are going to) has essentially forsaken the doctrine of holiness by disavowing (in practice) the proclamation of hell, repentance, and original sin. . .
. . . Within the last year racism has elevated to an all-time high, the passive-aggressive racism within the faculty, staff & students have become way too familiar. . .
. . .The liberal branch, reinterpreting the Scriptures and apologizing for the Bible and redefining morality, will lose members. . .
. . .whether it was the color pink or items that sparkled, Benjamin “gravitated toward typically feminine things” as early as ages two and three, parents Jamie and Christopher Bruesehoff, an activist writer and a Lutheran pastor respectively. . .