Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monkey See, Monkey Do

This modern world of ours has its’ 24/7 news cycles that flood the airwaves with breaking news events and opinions. We have easy access to streaming videos on Youtube downloaded and ready to view within hours of breaking news events or of anything else you could imagine. Wikileaks has obtained and has downloaded sensitive and confidential government information on the internet. People on Facebook reveal a never ending stream of intimate information about themselves. Any sexual perversion one would want to access is available on the web in pictures, on videos, or in chat rooms. Communication is available to anyone without actually engaging in real one on one conversation through, texting, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. There is so much information available at the click of a button that many have disclaimers to not attempt to perform these acts. Far too many people attempt to emulate the actions of others that they see on the various media outlets available to them. The old adage, monkey see, monkey do, fits right in with our modern and enlightened society.

And here we have the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America falling into the same trap as those juveniles that break their bones imitating the reckless actions of those skateboarders attempting jumps and tricks that are next to impossible. Because the intellectual elite of this enlightened society embrace a “new age” theology, the leadership of the ELCA stumble all over themselves to be accepted by those secular elites and attempts to “re-invent” itself by professing and teaching a new understanding of Scripture. Since modern science would tend to discount the veracity of the account of Jesus’ immaculate conception, the leaders of the ELCA promote a new version of the Virgin Birth that placates those who are far too intelligent to accept such an idea. The Resurrection becomes visions or apparitions of the Risen Christ or that the Apostles just really wanted to believe in a bodily resurrection of Christ, so they embellished their stories. It becomes appropriate to believe that because God loves us, He also affirms us, so there is no need to ask for forgiveness and no need for a Savior, since everyone is going to heaven anyway. Now it is more desirable to have a diversity of opinions about the very foundational beliefs of Christianity than to defend them, and all opinions are considered appropriate. By virtue of the doctrine of bound conscience, any and all Scripture is subject to anyone’s particular interpretation.

Bishop Hanson covers his eyes, ears and mouth and stands by idly, while the church wide assembly votes to disregard God’s law and place man’s opinion, experience and understanding in authority over God’s word. Then, instead of defending the authority of Scripture, he questions God’s word and accuses the authors of Scripture of not having the same understanding of sexuality that we have today. When Hanson accuses the authors of Scripture, he also accuses our Lord. Matthew 19:4-7, Jesus said, “Haven’t you read,” he replied,that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Our Lord created us man and woman, He created us for a purpose. Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Our God makes it abundantly clear as to what He expects of His children.

Whatever it is that is deemed acceptable to our modern society is considered as appropriate doctrine for this misguided denomination. The leadership of the ELCA continues to twist God’s word to be pleasing to society’s appetites, while deliberately ignoring our Lord’s will. The purpose of our God’s church is not to lift up the things of this world. God’s church is to uphold His word, preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, and welcome sinners to God’s house, not disregard sin so those that are slaves to sin continue in that sin. We all fall short of God’s glory. It’s not easy being a Christian. We have to deny ourselves many things that are pleasing to us in order to fulfill and obey God’s law. Anyone can ape the actions of a society run amok, obedient only to the evil one. We must put aside ourselves and our desires in order to place our Lord at the center of our lives. The leaders of the ELCA are truly leading their membership on a path to ruin. There is a reason that so many are leaving this wayward church and affiliating with a synod true to the Lord. It is just unfortunate that so many fail to see and understand. Continue in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ, that their hearts and minds be opened to the truth.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flawed, but Made Perfect

I am a Christian, yet I am terribly flawed.  As a disciple of Christ, I know what my Lord expects of me. Yet, try as I may to be what God wants me to be, I continue to fail miserably. I am indeed fortunate that God is faithful and just and will forgive my sins, because I need to ask for His forgiveness over and over again. I am often a poor example. Many who see my faults, cite those shortcomings as excuses to not accept Christ and not engage in fellowship with the church. I am to be an ambassador for my Lord and people are watching, and they often don’t like what they see. I am judgmental. I criticize what I perceive as the inadequacies of others, but fail to recognize my own shortcomings. I will look down upon those that are different or have opinions that are different than mine. I hold an inflated opinion of myself and will perform my good works in a way that others can see, so that I can take the credit for those good deeds.

I am a Christian, yet I am selfish. I will, more often than not, ignore that little nudge from the Holy Spirit to complete a task for our Lord, and instead, take the easy way out and do what it is that I want to do for myself. This is my biggest failure and my gravest sin against my Lord. For when my wants and desires take precedence over my Lord and Savior, I deny Him and worship myself, my identity and my possessions. I fail to remember that everything that I have, even life itself, is a gift from God. When I fail to welcome others, to share what I have with those in need, and to give of my time to those who are lonely, I also deny my Lord and Savior. Mark 8:34-38, “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

I am a Christian, yet I continue to commit sins against my Lord. My proclivity to feed the desires of the flesh, more often than not, cause me to err and to fall into sin. I take for granted my gifts from my Lord and I am often much too eager to accept the praises of others when I step out and serve the Lord. I fail to acknowledge God for the gifts He has given me and then selfishly keep them to myself. I am called to tithe, to give to my Lord only one tenth of what He has given me, yet I often only place a few dollars in the offering plate. Levitiicus 27:30, “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD”. My world revolves around myself, not God, making me an idol worshipper, lifting myself up as the idol.

I am a Christian and a child of God. Even with all of my faults and failings, my God loves me beyond my understanding. 1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” I am made perfect in Christ. Colossians 1:22-23, “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven..”  Jesus took upon Himself all of my sins, suffered and died on the cross in my place, and defeated death so that I may be granted salvation and eternal life with my Lord.

I am a Christian and I am saved. Hebrews 9:15, “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” The only true universal salvation is that God wants all of His children to believe and be saved, that everyone comes to Him through faith in the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. There is much sacrifice to be made by a disciple of Christ. There is nothing easy about the tasks our Lord sets before us. But, when we obey our Lord and trust in His will, we will be made perfect in His sight. All of us unworthy, sinful human beings are sanctified in God’s eyes by the blood of our Savior. And the cost to us to be able to receive this offer of grace from our God; nothing more than faith in the Risen Christ.  Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Unto You a Savior is Born!

After much prayer asking for the words to write a Christmas message, the Spirit remained quiet. After several less than fruitful attempts at composing the article, I came across this letter from the Augustana District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, LCMC. His Spirit does communicate with us in many ways.

Shepherds Quake at the Sight

Well, yes, of course they did! They trembled and shook, and quivered and convulsed, and they did so with such ferocious terror that they became sore (as the old King James Version put it): “they were sore afraid.”

Nothing frightens us much anymore. Oh, we worry well. And we are well-aquainted with that villain we call dread. Tumbling 401k’s that don’t seem to recover, unpleasant diagnoses, an occasional terrorist threat, or a denomination run a-muck – to be sure, these bring worry and dread. But not fear. Not really. We’re too rational, too confident, too scientific, and too callous to “shake in our boots,” or “quake at the sight” of something rare. We’ve seen it all before!

But not the shepherds. Not that night. Minding their own business, they were, and doing what ne’er-do-well shepherds always do: lounging and lolling their way through yet another night (the scriptures, in their overly-generous and gracious way, credit them with a highly unlikely “tending” of their flocks). Then there appeared to them and above them and around them and in front of them, from out of nowhere, an un-named heavenly being flapping and fluttering, floating and flittering, while something called “the glory of the Lord” with its 1,000-watt halogens (yes, it’s derived from ‘halo’) “shone” – no, blazed! – “around them.” And sore afraid were they that they quaked at the sight!

And they should have! For the God who comes as a quiet, reticent baby to salvage sinners from death requires – somewhere! – an epiphany so entirely grand that a man’s only possible response is to quake at the sight. Quickly, when barely the last “and lying in a manger” words spilled from the angel’s mouth, a whole, holy heavenly host was dispatched not to Paris, Miami, or even Vegas, but to the quiet hillsides of Bethlehem, where the poor, unsuspecting shepherds were invaded by the brilliance of salvation. Such are God’s ways. Your salvation – yes, yours – had arrived… and the ne’er-do-wells were the first to know.

And lucky for us, they hastily quaked and quickened their way to the Baby, to “make known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.”

Whatever worry, dread, or even fear we may find ourselves encountering this Christmas, the brilliance of salvation overshadows it. In the Light of Christ, the villains of darkness, dread, and death have no choice but to scatter and flee into crevices of extinction, like bugs from poison. Such is his salvation.

Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar, Heav’nly hosts sing, Alleluia! Christ, the Savior, is born! Christ, the Savior, is born!

Reprinted with permission from the Augustana District, LCMC

Luke 2:10-11, “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Merry Christmas and Praise the Lord. Our Savior is born!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crimes of Omission

Sometimes the words one uses speak volumes about that person’s true beliefs. Sometimes the words one omits speak louder. In the book, By What Authority? Pastor Mark Chavez penned an interesting article about what was omitted from the Revised Common Lectionary. He concentrated on those verses cut from passages cited in the lectionary. Much of the omitted text left out the apparently troubling aspect that our God is a living God that ought not only be loved, but feared. Entire books of the Bible have been rejected for use in the lectionary by those that chose the Scriptural verses. 1 Chronicles, Ezra, Obadiah, Nahum, 2 and 3 John and Jude have been left out of the lectionary. When a church denomination attempts to water down the word of God to be less intimidating and more loving, welcoming, and accepting, much of God’s intent is disregarded. Sin is all around us. Even the most ardent Christian commits sinful acts every day, intentionally and unintentionally. Even though God loves His children beyond our understanding, God is also to be feared. Will not a child who faces no consequences from his parents for wrong behavior simply choose to be willfully disobedient? By God's grace we are allowed to have a place with Him for eternity in His house, but that does not mean that we can willfully disobey God’s law.

The ELCA, in its’ never ending quest to reinvent our Lutheran faith, has also decided to omit confession and absolution in their worship service. In the latest hymnal, confession and absolution is considered optional, replaced by a celebration of baptism. Now, we should celebrate our baptism, but as sinful human beings it is especially important to confess our sins to God and to hear that He does indeed forgive us. 1 John 1:8-10, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” We recite these verses each Sunday, placing before our God our failings and asking Him to forgive and renew us. The last two Greater Milwaukee Synod Assemblies conducted their worship services without confession and absolution and those services seemed empty and without substance. But, since this misguided denomination has also decided to ignore sin, they teach that there is really no need to ask our Lord to forgive us.

In order to placate the radical feminists that are offended by the audacity of Scripture to use masculine terms when describing God, the leadership of the ELCA has determined that calling God by His revealed name is not always appropriate. It is now acceptable to omit God’s preferred name and to call our God, mother or any other feminine pronoun that one chooses. Her Church, an ELCA congregation in San Francisco, chooses to worship a pagan goddess rather than to be relegated to worshipping such an offensive God who chooses to be referred to in the masculine gender. That an ELCA church, that omits our God from their worship, is accepted as a Lutheran church by the leadership of the ELCA is absolutely blasphemous.

The ELCA promotes the love of neighbor as paramount in their ministries throughout the world. While this is the second most important commandment, they conveniently omit the most important command. Matthew 22:37-38, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.” With the love of the neighbor as the primary goal in the mission of the ELCA, it is easy to disregard the Great Commission. It is also easy to leave our Lord behind and promote the legitimacy of other religions as alternate ways to salvation. Apparently the leadership of the ELCA believes that traditional and orthodox Christianity is out of step with their idea of a new world order. The tail wags the dog when the leaders of a Christian church side with secular values and diminish our Lord’s role in their ministry. We are to be a beacon to the world and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not try to fit in and water down our faith. And these enlightened leaders of the ELCA just don’t understand why their membership continues to dwindle and that congregations faithful to the Lord want to break fellowship to affiliate with a denomination true to the Gospel. Isaiah 33:22, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.”

It is time to turn away from this church that is awash in its’ heretical teachings and begin a new walk with a church that accepts the authority of Scripture and places our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ first in their ministry. Continue to share the Word and to expose the heresy of the ELCA so that those unaware will wake up before it is too late!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fight the Good Fight

The Apostle Paul gave this instruction to Timothy, 1Timothy 6:11-12, “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” In these verses Paul instructs Timothy to act as a soldier for the Lord to fight the good fight of faith. There will be conflict to resist corruption and temptation, and to fight against the powers of darkness. Many of us struggle when dealing with the ELCA’s shift away from the traditional, orthodox Christian message that is such an integral part of our faith lives. We become increasingly frustrated when we try to fight the good fight for our Lord and are met by fear and even worse, complacency. We must continue to speak out for our Lord and by doing so, pray that more brothers and sisters in Christ listen and realize where the ELCA is taking them. Once God’s children learn the truth, the Spirit will lead them.

Our faith journey is just that, a journey, and a journey consists of many steps. We listen to God’s word and try to discern God’s will while endeavoring to travel the path that He has set before us. We act in Christian love when we reach out to our brothers and sisters to try to protect them from false teaching and evil in this world. Those that are true to the Lord and have discovered the truth about the ELCA’s path into apostasy truly want to save their brothers and sisters. We want to lead them to the safe haven of a church that truly walks with the Lord and believes and preaches His word. But, it’s not just about reaching that goal, it is about taking the path of truth that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ traveled before us. We are met with many choices along this road we travel, and we need to discern God’s will so that we can take the proper steps. Making those choices that fulfill our Lord’s teaching is much more important than reaching the desired goal, because that goal, more often than not, is what we want and not necessarily God’s will. After all, we pray that His will be done.

We will meet many stumbling blocks along the way on this journey to reveal the truth. Some of us meet those that refuse to listen. Some will refuse to believe. Some may be too comfortable with a familiar relationship and are resistant to change. Some may feel that we have become too evangelistic. Some don’t care what goes on in the greater church as long as they can attend church whenever and wherever they choose and be able to get home in time to watch the Packer game. We must remember that not everyone is at the same place in their spiritual journeys. 2 Timothy 2:24-26, “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” So many are unaware of the false teachings that have overtaken the ministry of the ELCA. We must gently instruct, realizing just how unbelievable it is that this church has strayed so far from our Savior’s teachings. We must listen to their concerns and understand that it will take time for many to digest the enormity of the heresy promoted by the leadership of the ELCA. And we must pray that the Spirit will open their eyes, minds, and hearts so that they will see, understand and accept what is so difficult to comprehend.

It would be so much simpler if the leadership of the ELCA abandoned their secular ambitions and returned to the Lord. It would be so much simpler if the leadership of the ELCA would actually promote and believe that the Bible is the word of God, instead of proclaiming it a book of faith stories. If they only truly practiced what is proclaimed as "what we believe" and accept the Apostles, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds and the Augsburg Confession as the true declarations of our Lutheran faith, instead of casting doubt upon the very foundation of Christianity. It would be so much simpler to stay and not go through the pain and effort to break fellowship with the church many of us have been members since childhood. The problem is that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the most important aspect of our lives and we cannot remain affiliated with a church that denies our Lord His proper role in its ministry. 2 Thessalonians 3:14, “Take special note of those who do not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard them as enemies, but warn them as fellow believers.” So, we have no choice but to break fellowship, praying that our rejection will cause the leadership of the ELCA to reconsider and return to the Lord.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Good Works or God’s Work?

Many Christians give of their time, talents, and possessions to serve those that are in need. Our Lord instructs us to reach out to the hungry, the lonely, the imprisoned, and anyone else in need as we would provide for our Lord Himself. But, are we truly fulfilling Christ’s mission if we fail to do this to the glory of our Savior’s name. What differentiates those that perform these tasks in Jesus’ name and those that simply do this out of the goodness of their hearts? One does not need to know the Lord to give of oneself much more than many Christians would ever do. Those Christians that fail to nurture the spirit of those that they serve, do them a great disservice. If one fails to fill their heart with the Holy Spirit when doing good works, one can easily fall into the trap of the evil one and become enamored of oneself and those good works that we accomplish. Romans 15:18, "I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me." Something as simple as telling someone that Jesus loves them while serving in a soup kitchen is even more important than providing food for them. We don’t need to proselytize to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our actions can serve as a beacon to those we serve. But, we must do these things in Jesus’ name and be selfless as we serve. Matthew 20:28, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Luke 22:26-27, “But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Just as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ came to serve, so should we be servants of our Lord. It is not our willingness to merely perform these tasks; it should be our willingness to serve the Lord.

Matthew 6:1-4, “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” It is so easy to forget why we reach out to those in need. When we do justice toward our fellow man, we tend to congratulate ourselves for reaching out and expect, to not only impress our neighbor, but to impress our God. When we are so wrapped up in doing good deeds, we often lose sight that our Lord taught us that this is what He expects us to do, in His name. For everything that we have and are is a gift from God. Our good deeds are merely a faint reflection of our Lord’s love for us. Every day the Holy Spirit taps us on the shoulder, offering us opportunities to serve Him by reaching out to our brothers and sisters. We are not to take credit for doing what our Lord taught us. John 7:37-39, On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” When we truly believe, we will be filled with the Spirit so that we become the instruments by which the Holy Spirit uses to minister to the world. All our good works flow from the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we can joyfully reach out in true Christian love to our neighbors, and proclaim the glory of our Lord.

There are many agencies that reach out to the world in need. Some are Christian, some are not. Some Christian missions tend to downplay the Lord’s role in their mission, instead choosing to be politically correct and tolerant with the emphasis on demonstrating their love for their neighbor. There will always be secular agencies that reach out to feed the poor, but as Christians, we are not only called to feed the poor, we are to pronounce our love of our God by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.  When we engage in our good works, we do so to bring the glory to our Lord and to bring those we serve to God. So, we must remember that this life is but a mere whisper of what lies ahead. John 6:32-35, “Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Feeding the body without feeding the soul with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will only lead to spiritual starvation and death. “The first and highest, the most precious of all good works is faith in Christ.” - Martin Luther from Chapter II of the Treatise on Good Works.  So, fill your heart with the love of the Lord and let the Spirit flow like a river while you go out and do God's work.  Praise be to God!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In God We Trust

Trust is something that is difficult to earn, yet easily lost. In order to gain someone’s trust, you must first be proven to be truthful. You must place the needs of others before your own. You must be able to step out of your comfort zone and be there for that someone when times are tough. Losing that trust can happen in an instant. Even a minor indiscretion can break a trust. There is only one trust that can never be broken, our trust in our God. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” When we believe, we have an absolute trust in our Lord that He will fulfill His promise to us. As Christians, we also have an innate trust of the body of Christ, His church. We believe and trust that those that are called by God to preach the Word and lead the church are empowered by the Holy Spirit and, as such, our God is speaking to us, through them. When we are in the pews on Sunday, we believe that we are hearing the Word of God, spoken through one that is indeed inspired by God. The thought that the message from the pulpit or that the leadership of the church is misguided or unsound doctrinally, is just not on our radar screens.

For years many of the more liberal ELCA seminary professors have taken it upon themselves to reinterpret God’s intent through His Holy Word, the Bible. These progressive professors that are so enamored with the secular world have taken to ignoring God’s will and reinterpreting His word to transform the message to incorporate the opinions of society. As the years have progressed, more radical thinking theologians have been elevated to teaching positions in the seminaries and the truly biblically based professors have been phased out and have become a dying breed. Theological discussions among these new, enlightened and progressive professors have led to the teaching of seminarians a diluted form of Christianity. Universalism, affirmation, social justice, and tolerance have replaced faith, forgiveness, sin and making disciples of all nations as the tenets of this new enlightened church. Papers submitted by seminarians that fail to follow these progressive professor’s new interpretations are deemed unacceptable and required to be resubmitted. Our future pastors are being taught a religion that believes that a Savior is pointless, since sin and forgiveness are unimportant and superfluous. These enlightened professors are teaching a new generation of pastors to lead the ELCA into the future, and that future is looking more problematic with each passing year. So, now when we worship or read our Bishop’s statements that he makes on behalf of the 4.6 million ELCA members, we must do so from a different perspective. Our trust in the ELCA’s message has been severely damaged, and as long as the current leadership persists on the path that they have chosen, it will likely remain broken beyond repair.

Those traditional Lutherans that adhere to the truth that is the foundation of our faith are looked upon as trapped in an archaic belief system rooted in a 16th Century understanding of Scripture. The leaders and scholars of the ELCA consider our founding confessions irrelevant to their new and improved interpretation of Scripture. The problem is that these progressive scholars only disapprove of those verses of Scripture that deny them their modern cravings. Those verses that lift up or are ambiguous enough are cited as the rationale to reinvent Scriptural intent. Traditional understanding of Scripture does not fit in with the way our modern society views morality. The leaders of the ELCA long to have their church looked upon favorably by the secular world, so Biblical morality is obsolete, to be replaced with the more politically correct world view.

What of those leaders of the church that are no longer faithful to our Lord and lose the trust of those that they are called to serve and protect? 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, 4-5, “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” Those who pervert the Lord’s church will be exposed for who they truly are. Their motives are known by our Lord and they will have to answer to Him for leading His flock astray. Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” Trust not in man and his wicked schemes, but put your trust in God. While the leadership of the ELCA continues to preach a gospel other than the Gospel our Lord preached, we have no choice but to find a new church, true to God’s word, that we can walk faithfully upon the path that our Lord has set before us.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shock and Awe

The war in Iraq began with a campaign entitled “Shock and Awe”. The attack was to be so swift, so intense, and so decisive that the enemy would be overwhelmed. Communications, supply lines, and military equipment was targeted and destroyed with the goal of eliminating the Iraqi Army’s will to fight. Much of the Iraqi army was scattered without any connection to their battle leaders and this strategy did lead to the surrender of numerous Iraqi battle groups in the field. The Iraqi army was easily defeated, with few Coalition forces lost. The attack on the foundations of our faith has been much more deliberate. The ELCA has been moving toward the creation of a new Lutheranism for decades. Using the hot button issue of homosexuality as a smoke screen, the ELCA has contrived doctrine to allow us to commit sin without remorse. Many were shocked after the 2009 ELCA Church Wide Assembly actions. The leadership of the ELCA stood by and allowed the Assembly to vote to disregard God’s law, knowing full well that all that chose to speak out against these actions would be looked upon as homophobic, intolerant and hateful. The leadership of the ELCA then used this to their advantage. The doctrine of bound conscience, invented to bolster the argument for the Human Sexuality statement, was utilized in a much more insidious way.

Bound conscience is the ELCA's way to justify their argument that we must not break fellowship simply because we have “differing viewpoints.” This false doctrine enables the ELCA to have a "Big Tent" and to draw in a new and diverse membership. You see, the ELCA has been hemorrhaging members almost from the day that it began. The ELCA has lost almost one million members since their inception in 1988. As they have moved further left, pursued a stated goal of social justice, and have left our Lord behind, there is little left to attract new members. Those looking for Jesus need not look to the ELCA to advocate for our Lord when there is so much else that is more important in this world. Filling your heart with the love of Christ is not on the radar screen of these enlightened leaders of the ELCA. It is indeed shocking, that a Lutheran Church would betray the Lord, relegate Him to a place secondary in their ministry, while publicly refuting God’s word, the Holy Bible. This is just beyond our comprehension. This church, in which many of us found the Lord, has fallen away from Him. As shocking as this “fall from grace” that has overtaken the ELCA, know this, God has a plan for us and nothing happens that is not part of that plan, including the troubling times in the ELCA.

Part of that plan is the work that the Holy Spirit is doing with Christians that were complacent in their faith. This includes many of us that attended Sunday services regularly but did not take the time or have the interest to dig into God’s word. I am awestrck as to how, in these troubling times, so many Christians have awakened and have been invigorated in their Spiritual lives. You can count the writer of this blog as one those Christians that has been awakened from his slumber. So many traditional, Bible based congregations have seen a marked increase in congregants reassessing their relationship with the Lord and are now attending Bible studies and getting involved in the church. You see, sometimes it takes a veritable slap in the face to awaken those that take their faith for granted. Indeed, when times are tough, it is difficult to discern why God does the things that He does. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Everything that happens, does so because God intends for it to happen in that way. God’s purpose may not always be evident, but rest assured, He does those things to benefit those that love Him.

The direction that the leadership of the ELCA is taking their membership is contradictory to what faithful Christians have been taught since they were old enough to attend Sunday School. This attempt to transform the ELCA into this welcoming, tolerant, and all accepting social club that denies the very foundation of our faith has fueled the righteous anger of many faithful Christians. Ephesians 3:10-12, “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Now that this church, the ELCA, is ignoring our Lord’s intent and is spreading a gospel other than the Gospel our Lord taught, we must seek out a new church, true to the Lord, in which we can “walk together” in our faith journeys. We must also be diligent in our efforts to expose the heresies being promoted by the leadership of the ELCA so that no more of God’s children will fall prey to these false teachings. Continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ so that they too may see the truth.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Give Them What They Want

“Give them what they want, they’ll get what they deserve” was a moniker local law enforcement adopted in the late 80’s and early 90’s after several “overzealous” police officer actions led to a number of abuse of authority complaints. This slogan was to remind the police officers that justice will be done to the offender and to allow the system to mete out the punishment. This would encourage police officers to treat criminals with more respect and prevent them from engaging in any type of “street justice”. The false gospel of affirmation alludes to the first portion of the above slogan and, in fact, gives those thirsting for acceptance, whatever it is that they want. This false doctrine promotes the idea that God affirms us all because He loves us unconditionally, so that you can have whatever it is that you want. There is no need for forgiveness, since our sinful nature is ignored by God and we are supported in whatever sinful activity we engage in. And we don’t need to feel guilty when engaging in sin, because, again there is no need to ask for forgiveness.

Unfortunately, the second part of the slogan will pertain to those that adopt this false doctrine. Those accepting of this false gospel will “get what they deserve” and be due the just punishment for disobeying the Lord. Deluding oneself to believe that God affirms us all and acquiesces to our sinful acts, will simply be leading toward Gnosticism. Gnosticism was a movement away from Christianity that began in the 1st century A.D. Gnosticism relies upon the individual or experiential knowledge of God and of the spiritual nature within us. (see Our mother, who is within us) Gnostics believe that they have privileged knowledge about God and the universe of which everyone else is unaware. Gnosticism allows and accepts different religious beliefs and incorporates tenets of those beliefs into their own. They promote the concept that salvation is achieved through relational and pragmatic knowledge. In other words, they rely upon human reasoning and experience! Sound familiar?

When one longs to have his or her lifestyle accepted and places demands that in order to be welcoming, the church must ignore Scripture and accept and affirm that lifestyle, that person places self and their identity as paramount, pushing aside our God and worshipping the self. The ELCA’s doctrine of bound conscience enables sinners to “thumb their noses” at the Lord and to engage in sinful behavior, believing that they can do so without consequence. The leadership of the ELCA continues their headlong rush to transform the church into what they consider an all loving and all inclusive social club by embracing all religions as truth and incorporating non-Christian principles to replace the long held foundational truths taught by Jesus and the Apostles. Those that believe there is no need for forgiveness deny our Savior, Jesus Christ. Where there is no need for forgiveness, there is no need for a Savior.

So, where is the leadership of the ELCA leading their membership? It would appear that this new world order of Christian Lutheranism perpetrated by the ELCA is far from the path that serves our Lord. This new and all accepting, all welcoming, church that is tolerant of everything is advocating for the worship of the self instead of our Lord. If this new religion promoted by the ELCA doesn’t need a Savior, doesn’t promote morality, advocates that other religions offer another path to salvation, and that one need not believe in anything at all to be saved, why would one choose to worship at an ELCA church? Why would we remain in fellowship with an organization that does not share the belief system ingrained in all of us since childhood? Those that choose to remain a part of this heretical organization are doing nothing short of supporting the denial of the truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If enough churches remain in fellowship with the ELCA, they will just continue down this path and lead more Christians into the abyss. Proverbs 1:28-33, “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. 29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, 30 since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

We must choose Jesus and deny the ELCA. There is no other way to turn the ELCA back to the Lord and if this fails, continue to pray for the faithful that remain, that they too, will rise up and break fellowship with this errant denomination.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Root of All Evil

Faced with the tidal wave of congregations voting to dissolve their association with the ELCA, the leadership of the ELCA is in the process taking steps to make it more difficult for congregations to leave. Lutheran CORE reported in its November Newsletter that the ELCA church council recommended changes to the model constitution making it more difficult for a congregation to vote to leave the ELCA. This church body, so welcoming and accepting of everyone, passed a far reaching social justice agenda that disregarded God’s law, fully expecting many congregations to leave. But, more are leaving than expected, so they are now scrambling to limit the damage. Loss of revenue from congregations that leave or redirect their benevolence is starting to take a significant toll on the bureaucracy of the ELCA. Money talks, and the God fearing walk away, choosing to give to organizations true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A more reasonable organization would realize that they overreached their authority and would try to make an effort to stem the flow by rescinding some of the more offensive doctrinal shifts. Not the enlightened, all knowing leadership of the ELCA. All of us knuckle dragging traditionalists just don’t understand that the ELCA is trying to lead us to a new world order of Lutheranism, created, not in God’s image, but their own. Many that sit in positions of power, religious or governmental, fail to understand the gravity of their decisions when they choose to adopt errant doctrine that throws our foundational beliefs under the bus. Instead, they place the blame on the unenlightened masses for “misunderstanding their intent”.

Forcing congregations to navigate additional restrictive procedures in order to leave an organization that they have little in common with, makes no sense whatsoever. Would it not be better to just recognize that we differ in our core beliefs and need to go our separate ways? For the ELCA, though, that would mean losing more money. That would mean that the ELCA power structure and establishment would lose their clout in the secular world. Without the ability to misuse our benevolences that are given faithfully so that the ELCA can do God’s work, how would they be able to advocate against Israel and support Palestine, thereby tacitly enabling terrorist groups like Hamas? How would they continue to advance their far reaching progressive social justice agenda? Money is the root of all evil, and make no mistake about it, the ELCA is fighting to keep you because of the money you give.

Some of the new changes that will be submitted to the Church Wide Assembly in 2011 include;

• A congregation must hold a 30-day consultation period with its bishop before taking a first vote to leave the ELCA.

• Congregations will be required to meet any financial obligations to the ELCA before leaving.

• A congregation will be required to vote by a two-thirds majority to join a new Lutheran church body, or else it will be “conclusively presumed” to have become an independent Lutheran congregation, potentially forfeiting its property.

Micah 2:1-3, “Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. 2 They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance. 3 Therefore, the LORD says:“I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves.” A disaster is brewing, and the ELCA has brought it upon itself. Because they miscalculated the fallout from placing their agenda ahead of our Lord’s, they face a catastrophic loss of membership, more than likely ending the ELCA’ s reign as the largest Lutheran denomination in North America. So, the plan is to put as many roadblocks up as possible to stem the flow of congregations leaving. The leadership of the ELCA plots ways to seize the property of congregations that vote to leave. They plan to require congregations to meet any financial obligations before leaving. Will this include any budgeted benevolences for the remainder of the year that they disassociate with the ELCA?

Isaiah 5:20-21, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” These clever leaders and scholars of the ELCA have made a major misstep by overreaching their authority and underestimating the resolve of those who remain true to the Lord.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

God's Law IS Important

The adoption of the doctrine of bound conscience has caused many people to accuse the ELCA of disregarding God’s Law and replacing it with a version more acceptable to modern society. Others believe it to be a way that people with differing opinions can still remain in Christian fellowship without conflict by respecting the opinions of others. "The world maintains, as do many people who do not understand, that we should not fight so hard about an article and thus trample on Christian love; rather, although we disagree on one small point, if we agree on everything else, we should give in and overlook the difference in order to preserve brotherly and Christian unity and fellowship. No, my dear man, do not commend peace and unity to me when thereby God's Word is lost...The Word was given unto us for eternal life and not to further outward peace and harmony... Therefore, do not talk to me about love and friendship if that means breaking with the Word or the faith, for the Gospel does not say love brings eternal life, God's grace, and all heavenly treasures, but instead 'the Word" - Martin Luther. Apparently the ELCA scholars considered only the first part of this statement. Keeping harmony in the church at the expense of disregarding God's Word should be an anathema to the church. As Scripture is challenged by these ELCA Biblical scholars as the infallible Word of God, they cite Bible verses in order to support this new doctrine. On one hand the argument is made that the Bible is a “Book of Faith” and not always relevant to our society, but Scripture is always cited when it appears convenient to prop up secular ideals.

Bound conscience is obviously viewed quite differently by the opposing camps. The ELCA believes that bound conscience is primarily directed at those that feel that Scripture prohibits same sex relationships. They believe that those that adhere to Scripture and believe that homosexuality is sinful are to be allowed to have that opinion, even if the church doctrine determines otherwise. The traditional Lutheran is convinced that this doctrine places man in authority over Scripture and allows man to interpret Scripture in any way they so choose. Those traditional Lutherans believe that bound conscience falsely allows the church to legitimize those engaging in same sex relationships, a practice that is specifically prohibited by Scripture.

When Scripture was written, mortal men were inspired by the Holy Spirit to chronicle God’s own words for us. Some Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, can be somewhat troubling to this society that believes that it has reached the pinnacle of enlightenment. Some of the passages that seem to cause the most consternation are those involving the role of women in the church, human sexuality and slavery. The argument is made that these few passages, that are disconcerting to our more modern sensibilities, prove that the Bible is out of touch with our society. On the contrary, a church that embraces secular and progressive values is disconnected from and denies our Lord the proper role in their ministry.

It is very troubling that such a few in the vocal minority can have so much influence over not only the values embraced by our society, but on churches that have adopted doctrine to mirror this enlightened philosophy. In addition, our own ELCA has taken many of these secular causes and lifted them up as central to their ministry, prioritizing the J of (social) Justice instead of Jesus. With the adoption of the bound conscience doctrine, those that interpret Scripture are to have their opinions respected, even if that opinion is in error! Although this bound conscience doctrine is not meant to be applied in matters that affect salvation, it is already is being used to question the foundation of our faith. The ELCA already recognizes alternate ways to salvation, in other words, Jesus is not the only way. ELCA scholars cast doubt upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Birth in text explaining their disagreements over the "proper" interpretation of Scripture. Nothing in Scripture gives this doctrine of bound conscience any credibility. This bound conscience is of man and not of the Spirit.

Romans 6:15-18, “Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed you allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and become slaves to righteousness.” Since we are saved by our faith alone, it appears that some believe that the law is no longer relevant. This attitude, though, will lead to a lack of moral restraint. We need look no further than the actions taken at the 2009 ELCA assembly to see what happens when we lift up our earthy desires and disregard God’s law. We need to substitute our disobedience and sinful ways by placing our Lord first in our lives, which will lead to the path of righteousness. With our Lord as the central purpose in our lives, we will have no need for the sinful ways of this world.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Discretionary Matters?

Police officers have a wide range of discretion when dealing with minor matters of the law. Simple forfeiture offenses, such as traffic and municipal ordinance violations, can be dealt with as much as a citation or as little as a verbal warning. Misdemeanors require that the officer refer the matter to the District Attorney to determine further prosecution, but the officer may order the suspect to appear without making a formal arrest. Felonies are the most serious and as such, there is no gray area, and the police officer must make a custodial arrest, incarcerate the offender and even discretion by the District Attorney is minimized. A bishop in the Lutheran Church has the responsibility to teach Scripture and guard traditional and orthodox doctrine in order to ensure the preservation of the historic teachings of the Christian religion. A bishop is to act as the church’s primary enforcement officer and to discipline those that teach false doctrine. While there may be some discretion allowed in the enforcement of certain minor morality and ethics issues, matters of salvation are set in stone. The foundation of our faith, Jesus Christ, that he was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was truly human, yet truly God, born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, was resurrected, and sits at the right hand of God and that Scripture is indeed the inspired word of God are the truths that bind our faith. These truths are self evident and are not subject to debate.

The head enforcement officer for the ELCA is Bishop Mark Hanson. Bp. Hanson said at a town hall meeting in December of 2009, “The understanding we have of homosexuality today does not seem to be reflected at all in the context of the biblical writers. Therefore, Lutherans should consider more modern views on sexual orientation.” In 2005 he declared, “Two "hermeneutics" or paradigms are at work among the members of the ELCA that make agreement difficult on scriptural and theological matters. There is a "traditional approach" and a "contextual approach" in interpreting Scripture, both of which are valid and irreconcilable”, Hanson told the bishops. “There are two irreconcilable "paradigms" in which Christians differ in their understandings of the Christian tradition and their interpretation of Scripture, creeds and the confessions”, he said. "Do we expect a resolution to provide a bridge between two extremes?" Hanson asked the bishops. "We Lutherans have come to say that when something is 'paradoxical' that we're going to live in the paradox at the foot of the cross and not force ourselves to decide it with a vote." Yet, this officer of the body of Christ, did not adopt this stand and did, in fact, stand by and allow this “paradox” to be decided with a vote.

This bishop, charged to protect and uphold the authority of Scripture, places himself in authority over God’s Word. By advocating that a “contextual approach” is a valid method to use in the interpretation of Scripture violates his oath to protect the orthodox doctrine of Christianity. This “contextual approach” allows for alternate interpretations of Scripture and thereby, elevates human reasoning and experience above our Lord’s intent. It is clear that God said “No” but, Bp. Hanson apparently believes that God really didn’t understand the future ramifications when He inspired those uneducated, biased, unenlightened authors of Scripture. And of course, when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said in Mark 10:6-9, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’ 7 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. 9 Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” According to the rationalization of Bp. Hanson, Jesus just did not understand as much as we do today. This is not only false doctrine, this is genuine heresy. Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God. These commands have no need of man’s interpretation. They come right from the mouth of our Lord. How can one with the highest office of the church, responsible to protect proper doctrine and the historic teaching of Christianity, advocate for the complete disregard our Lord’s command, while recommending replacing it with a more modern, humanistic view?

In 2 Peter 1:20-21 the Apostle Paul tells a different story, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” From the TNIV study Bible, “In the production of Scripture, both God and humans were active participants. God was the source of the content of Scripture, so that what it says is what God has said. But, the human authors also spoke actively; they were more than recorders, yet what they said came from God. Although actively speaking, “they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Why do the leaders and scholars of the ELCA persist in doubting the veracity of the authors of Scripture? What do they expect to accomplish by lifting up human reasoning and experience above the word of God?

The ELCA is likely to collapse upon its own weight as more and more of the faithful congregations choose to leave this misguided denomination. The promotion of universalism, the gospel of affirmation, social justice and tolerance are leading the ELCA and its membership down a slippery slope heading toward the spiritual destruction of its membership. If Bp. Hanson were a police officer, he would be subject to charges of dereliction of duty. Bp. Hanson shamelessly pleads that we must maintain our unity, falsely proclaiming that the sensible thing is to not forsake one another and that the church, the ELCA, is the body of Christ and therefore, not ours to dismember. Unfortunately, the ELCA has drifted so far away from the Christian faith that it can no longer be considered part of the body of Christ. It is altogether something different. Colossians 2:22-23, “These rules are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” The doctrinal shifts promoted by the ELCA are simply earthly rules, conceived by false teachers, are certainly not of divine origin and do nothing to control our sinful nature, but instead encourage it. We follow Christ, not the heretical leaders of a wayward denomination. It’s time to turn our backs on this wayward denomination, praying that our rejection causes them to return to the Lord.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The False gospel of Affirmation

In today’s progressive new church tolerance has become a substitute for adhering to God’s law. Our love for our neighbor takes precedence over the love of our Lord, sin is minimized and forgiveness doesn’t matter. Many look upon themselves as victims, pointing their fingers derisively at those that choose to obey the law and have the audacity to call attention to their disregard of morality. Many members of this progressive new church consider themselves oppressed and demand compassion and understanding. They chide those that have the courage to claim that faith requires sacrifice, calling them judgmental while they themselves lash out in anger and act as judge and jury. Those thirsting for acceptance willfully ignore God’s will and deliberately reinterpret Scripture to support their desires, all the while invoking a God that affirms any and all persons, regardless of faith or belief. This culture of victimization focuses, not on the atonement that took place on the cross, but on demanding justice and righting their perceived wrongs in this world. This new religion that affirms all is centered on self fulfillment, self esteem, self acceptance, and the love of self.

Much of the new doctrine promoted by the ELCA hinges upon the false gospel of affirmation. The false gospel of affirmation declares that God loves and affirms everyone, regardless of their faith. Sin matters not, since God loves us unconditionally, is never angry with us, and always affirms us. The need for forgiveness presumes that we have done wrongs, and the false gospel of affirmation and acceptance eliminates sin and opens a path to salvation to all, regardless of one’s actions or inactions. It is no longer necessary for God to judge, because God is love and only love. This reckless ambition to be all inclusive declares that there is no wrong, only a new and different, nonjudgmental and accepted norm. Where there is no need for forgiveness everything and anything is permissible. Nothing is subject to judgment, so the law is no longer necessary. When the law is no longer necessary, steps can be taken to eliminate the law. This often takes place gradually. We need look no further than the actions of the 2009 ELCA Church Wide Assembly to see how this is happening. Eventually, one believes that they are free from all moral laws by God’s grace. Then they are free to act in a way that pleases the self while rejecting our Lord’s directives. Where there are no limits or boundaries, there is chaos, and eventually a total disregard of the law, replaced by whatever it is that pleases us. This false gospel of affirmation does not need a Savior, since there are no sins to be forgiven. Since Jesus in no longer Savior, He becomes a martyr or perhaps just a nice guy that was misunderstood.

Romans 5:15-17, “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” When Adam sinned, he brought sin upon all mankind. Grace was given to us by God as a gift and that gift was His Son, Jesus Christ. Our Savior took upon Himself the sin of the entire world, yesterday, today and tomorrow, took the punishment that was meant for us, died in our place and defeated death so that we may live, eternally with our Father in Heaven. No, we are not affirmed simply by our Father’s love for us. He loves us so much He sent His only begotten Son to die for us so that if only we believe, we may have eternal life. Our grace is not without cost. Our grace came with a cost that was so precious and with a love that was so profound, it is beyond our human understanding. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God and that He came to take away the sin of the world. Our faith is not about ourselves, it is all about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This false gospel of affirmation does nothing but dishonor everything our Lord did for each and every one of us. This false doctrine is apostasy, plain and simple.

Since the heretical essays were removed from the "Digging Deeper" page on the ELCA website on 11-09-10, perhaps the leadership of the ELCA is reassessing their foray into apostasy. Let us pray that the leadership of the ELCA comes back to the Lord, since many will fall if they continue to travel this path away from God. Continue to proclaim the Gospel, everywhere and to everyone. Expose the false teachings of the ELCA and pray that the faithful that remain do not fall into the trap woven by the leadership and scholars of the ELCA.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

After much debate, Congress eventually passed the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” bill that allowed gays to enlist in the military. Recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, allowing gays to serve openly. Far too many ELCA pastors also evoke the, “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy. These pastors don't tell their congregants about the doctrinal shifts in the ELCA and they don’t respond when asked about it. They will ignore your concerns, and will stand mute if confronted with the false gospel that the ELCA is peddling, instead complementing the ELCA for promoting a "big tent" and a "diversity of opinions". Unfortunately for them, our Lord has not altered His ruling on the responsibilities of pastors to lead their flocks. 1 Peter 5:2-3, “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." What kind of example is a pastor that refuses to challenge false doctrine? When we confess our sins, we pray, “We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone”. When the shepherd of his or her flock fails to lead by example, what does this say to those that God has entrusted them with?

What of those pastors and bishops who are very well aware of the ELCA’s descent into apostasy? Why do these frightened pastors and bishops fail to trust the Lord and worry more about their “job” status than their promise to the Lord? If their pastoral responsibility and obligation to serve the Lord is just a job to them, then they are in the wrong profession. What else does the Lord command those who have a responsibility to their flocks? Ezekiel 34:2-4, 8-10, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.” The clergy who fail to trust in the Lord and cite that they answer to their bishop and not their congregations, are not serving the Lord. When someone declares an oath to the Lord to dedicate their lives to serving Him and instead chooses to serve the ELCA, they will be held accountable by our Lord and will be due the just punishment for their selfishness.

Pastors that uphold their responsibilities to serve the Lord and protect their congregations from false doctrine are being persecuted by the leadership of the ELCA. Any pastor with the temerity to challenge the ELCA’s shift away from the traditional Lutheran doctrines are being called before their respective bishops and face being charged with conduct unbecoming a pastor. Matthew 5: 10-12, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."  It should be a badge of honor to be persecuted for proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, but precious few of our pastors will stand up for the Lord. What of those leaders of the Lord’s Church, the ELCA bishops that are charged to safeguard our church’s doctrine and enforce discipline against false doctrine? How can those that advocate the disregard of Scripture and elevation of secular values above God’s word, enforce discipline? Luke 17:2, “Jesus said to his disciples: "Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come.”

The leaders of the ELCA are causing their membership to fall into sin by disregarding God’s law and elevating an earthly authority that they call “bound conscience”. The leaders of the ELCA are intimidating their clergy into denying our Lord and Savior and acquiescing to this doctrinal shift that diminishes the Lord’s role in our faith. The buck stops here! If one has to choose between an earthly establishment that is the ELCA or proclaiming the Lord’s Word, there is no choice, especially for those who have accepted the call to dedicate their lives to serving the Lord. It is time to turn away from the ELCA and lead your flocks to the safety of a denomination that is true to the Lord. It is time to challenge this false gospel that the leaders of the ELCA are perpetrating upon their membership. Galations 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Lead your flock, proclaim His word, and serve the Lord.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Follow the Truth

When investigating crimes, the police detective searches for evidence and clues. If the detective focuses on one particular suspect before compiling all the evidence, he may overlook facts that may implicate someone else that actually committed the crime. So, the detective must follow a pattern to search for the truth in order to point to the proper suspect. If that detective has any preconceived notions, the guilty party may never be discovered. The trail of evidence will always lead the detective to the truth and to the perpetrator of the crime. The leaders and scholars of the ELCA have a specific goal to reach in their modernization of Christian Lutheranism. Their objective is to promote a God made in their own image, one that is all welcoming, tolerant of everything, and has an unconditional love for man that guarantees salvation for all, with no strings attached, no matter what one believes or doesn’t believe. While in this headlong rush to promote this new enlightened religion, the ELCA has run into a problem. God’s Word contradicts the basis for their reinterpretation of this new religion. So, the ELCA has Biblical scholars that debate Scripture and determine that now God is telling us something new. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

While most people in the real world would find it difficult to deny the very foundations of their beliefs and still maintain their faith, this apparently is not a dilemma for the ELCA. On one hand they can pick and choose Scripture verses from the “Book of Faith”, known to most of us as the Bible, that are twisted to bolster their arguments, while conveniently omitting those verses that specifically discredit their new religion. Sin is also problematic for this new religion, so the ELCA has decided to marginalize sin. The doctrine of bound conscience allows one to reinterpret God’s intent and to believe that their sinful actions are right in God’s eyes, in order to make certain that no one will need to feel guilty. Low self esteem is never an issue for this new enlightened ELCA. Anything and everything goes. Except those that adhere to traditional and orthodox Christianity. This is problematic for the ELCA. All of us knuckle dragging traditionalists that cling to Scripture are looked upon as outcasts, homophobes, and obsolete, because of course, God is now telling the ELCA something new.

The ELCA’s Biblical scholars question the very foundation of Christianity and manipulate Scripture to bolster arguments that violate our Lord’s commands. They invent doctrine to place man’s authority above our God. The false doctrine of bound conscience allows the ELCA to accept any behavior, including homosexuality, pagan goddess worship, and radical feminism, as right with God. Bishop Mark Hanson stated in his most recent town hall meeting that he has dedicated more time to the Palestinian issue than anything else during his term as Bishop. Has he not heard of Jesus Christ and His call to all Christians in the Great Commission to go and make disciples of the world? As the ELCA blindly travels the wide road in a steady path away from the Lord, they drag their membership along with them into the abyss. All the while the leaders of the ELCA fail to recognize the truth, placing their agenda ahead of our Lord’s design.

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Unfortunately, God’s grace is not unconditional. We must believe and have faith in the Risen Christ, that he took upon himself all our sins, suffered, and died in our place. That He defeated death and through His resurrection we are granted eternal life, if only we believe. We must follow the truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. John 14:6, “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is the only way we will earn God’s grace that grants us our salvation.

Breaking News

Yesterday the ELCA removed the content from the heretical  Digging Deeper  section of their web-site.  Let us pray that it is the Holy Spirit opening the hearts and minds of the leaders of the ELCA and not just damage control.  1 Timothy 6:12, "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."  Continue to speak out for the Lord.  Let Him use you as a vessel to proclaim His glory to all nations. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Serve the Lord with all your heart. For whatever happens in your life, it is all part of God’s plan for you. It may not be apparent in what direction He is leading, but suffice it to say, for every season there is a reason. We tend to fret over things that are not within our control, but when we place our lives in His hands, we will never be led astray. Psalm 37: 7-8, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil.” If we learn that every event, every person placed in worldly authority, every condition, right down to how much rain falls is a direct result of God’s plan, our every day worries will soon fade away. Every situation we are faced with, every trial or tribulation, the good things and bad times are often the tools our Lord uses to mold us for the tasks He has planned for us. There may be times that we may feel that some ordeals are too much for us to bear, but the Lord will never encumber us with a burden that is beyond what we can tolerate. Out of the worst of times come revelations that may completely change our frame of reference and make us all the better for it. We may never understand why those things happen, but when we trust in our Lord, we will be able to overcome any of the difficulties of this world.

When we depend upon our own selfish understandings and position ourselves and our desires ahead of our Lord, in fact rejecting Him, our problems will become magnified and start to spiral out of control. But, when we serve our Lord and gladly obey His law, our lives will come under His control. When we abide by God’s will and behave in the manner that He intended for us to conduct our lives, we will be filled with the joy of His Spirit. When we accept and believe that the risen Christ suffered and died in our place to redeem us of our sin and defeated death, our salvation is granted freely by God’s grace. If we compare life’s problems with an eternity in paradise with our Lord, we will come to realize what the really important things are. Fill your heart with the love of our Lord. Increase your faith and block out the things that are of this world. Romans 6: 11-14, In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Paul teaches that we are no longer under that law as those who were under the law in the Old Testament era. During that time, those who sinned were condemned by the law, but the grace of God, through Christ, enables believers to reject ungodliness and joyfully accept God’s commands.

Titus 2: 11-12, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,” By placing Christ first in our hearts, we will be able to joyfully conduct ourselves with our Lord’s ethics and morals. Even though we do not deserve it, God freely grants us His grace, not because of our good works or deeds, but because of our faith in the Risen Christ. But, our salvation comes with responsibilities. By His grace, we are released from guilt and judgment, but we are directed to conduct ourselves according to God’s moral compass. We are also called to reach out to our brothers and sisters in helpful service, in our Lord’s name. Our faith is the cornerstone for everything we do in this world. Without our faith, anything we accomplish is worthless. Once our faith becomes the most important aspect of our lives, our purpose becomes clear and our consciences will be bound to the truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hope and Change

Hope and change was the rallying cry for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. His administration has begun the process of changing the very fabric of our nation, and many now hope and pray that our nation will survive as the founders intended. A kindred spirit, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, looks to change Lutheranism with the hope of drawing in a new and dynamic audience. Obama pledged to fundamentally transform America. The leadership of the ELCA has been on a course to fundamentally transform Christian Lutheranism even before its inception in 1988. This new administration of the United States is attempting to abandon the core principles of a nation established on Judeo-Christian beliefs and values. The ELCA is rewriting Scripture and tearing down the core beliefs of our faith. Patriots that respect this nation are welling up in a grassroots effort to bring it back to its foundational principals. Lutherans strong in their faith are boldly speaking out for the Lord and challenging the doctrinal shifts advanced by the leaders and scholars of the ELCA. Strong parallels exist between a President that professes that the United States is no longer a Christian nation and a Lutheran denomination that questions the very foundations of our Christian faith.

Our hope is in the Lord. Psalms 42:5, “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Those true to the Lord rest their hope and prayers with the Lord and trust in Him. The leadership of the ELCA has always been in the forefront of doctrinal change for the Lutheran Church. Progressive scholars and leaders look to modernize God’s Word to make it more appealing to the secular world. The authors of Scripture, inspired by the Holy Spirit, are accused of being uneducated, biased, and influenced by their own experiences and history. Their scholars cast doubt upon the truths of Jesus’ Resurrection, the Virgin Birth, promote universalism and categorize the Bible, not as God’s Word, but as a book of faith stories, indelibly connected to the time that it was written and not always pertinent to today. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” They question the validity of the Lutheran Confessions simply because they were written 500 years ago and, as such, their scholars consider them outdated and obsolete. What will be left if these learned “Biblical” scholars continue to cast doubt upon the very foundation of Christianity?

These self proclaimed “enlightened” ELCA scholars and leaders look at Scripture and determine that, for centuries, we have either misconstrued God’s intent or that, somehow, God is now telling us something new and different. They use Scripture to bolster their secular arguments, but deliberately fail to cite verses that would discredit these new doctrinal shifts. The leadership of the ELCA calls for respect from those that challenge this false gospel, and then accuse them of incivility, willful misunderstanding and forming hurtful caricatures of those with whom they disagree. The Bible is God’s Word, plain and simple, now and for all time. It is our Lord’s instruction manual for us, His children. When children stand up and are willfully disobedient, they are subject to discipline from their parents. Our Father loves us beyond human understanding, but how long will He tolerate those that discredit and disregard His Word. Our path to salvation has been sealed by our Savior’s suffering, death and resurrection. God’s grace is freely offered if only we believe. If we are to truly believe and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, why then would we wish to remain in fellowship with a church that denies Him? We must continue in prayer for all who remain trapped within the ELCA. Remember, there are still those that are unaware of this false gospel and we need to continue to proclaim God’s Word and expose these misguided doctrinal shifts so that all will hear and make themselves right with God.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Liberation Theology? Collective Salvation?

President Obama has remarked on his belief that his fate remains tied to the fates of others, that his personal salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for this country and that an individual’s salvation depends upon collective salvation. Collective salvation is a belief that unless everyone is saved, no one will be saved. In a greater sense, collective salvation means that one cannot be saved unless you cooperate with everyone, even sacrificing, to ensure everyone else’s salvation. Once that task is complete, all are saved together. This is not a Christian theology. Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.” One must come to accept and believe the truth that is Jesus Christ of one’s own volition. Our individual salvation is guaranteed by our God when we truly believe and have faith in the Risen Christ.

Collective salvation is a concept contrived by the originators of liberation theology. This way of thinking was introduced in Latin America Catholic churches in the late 1950’s and adopted by many predominantly Black churches in the 1960’s. Liberation theology interprets the teachings of Jesus to mean that we must fight for those trapped in unjust economic, political, or social conditions or to engage in political activism to advance the cause of social justice. Check out the ELCA social issues webpage. In liberation theology, there are only two classes, the oppressors and the oppressed, those with power and those that are powerless. The concepts of collective salvation and liberation theology are the driving forces of the ELCA’s ministry. This fact will not be found on the home page of their website, but the ELCA Bishop, Mark Hanson, spoke about how important social justice is to him, when he referred to what he called the gospel of radical inclusiveness in his most recent town hall meeting. Most troubling is that while he was speaking about this social justice issue, was that he believed that it was as important to a Christian as is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing is more important than our relationship with our Savior! 

The ELCA continues to welcome anyone and everyone that they can use to assist them in their effort to achieve their ideals of social justice, which more often than not, conflict with our Lord's will. The ELCA declares, God’s work, our hands when a more proper response should be God’s love, flowing through us. Yes, we must embrace our fellow man while we love our neighbors as ourselves. But, elevating that ideal over and above the love of our Lord will only lead us away from Him and act as an obstacle to our fulfilling our Lord’s command in the Great Commission. For without the bread of life that is our Savior, the bread of this life will do nothing to feed the spiritual needs of the hungry and only will act as a barrier to their salvation. John 6:35, “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Those that adhere to this collective salvation theory and liberation theology believe that they can win the war against evil in societies by eliminating the discriminatory practices of those in power, also known as the oppressors. (See ELCA Reconciled in Christ, European American Lutheran Association, Anti-racism task force, and on and on) If everyone cooperates and sacrifices for the common good, all of society’s ills will be eradicated and only then can salvation and harmony exist. Leaders of the ELCA claim that the oppressors include those that interfere with, or disagree with their social justice agenda. Many who choose to adhere to traditional Biblical teachings are now looked upon as the oppressors of those who choose to lift up their bound conscience over God’s law. The ELCA uses this concept of collective salvation to fight a cultural war, using the base of power obtained through the benevolence of its membership to try to influence governments, by lobbying, and creating institutions that can defend and endorse their social justice agenda.

As the ELCA propels itself upon this path of secular ideals, they complain that we must maintain our unity in the church. The 17th Chapter of John is often cited as the reason to not quarrel with one another and to remain in fellowship despite our differences. John 17: 20-23, Jesus said, “My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be as one as we are one – 23 I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Although Jesus prayed for his disciples, all future believers are also included in His prayer. While it is important as Christians that we maintain unity, our unity must remain in Christ. When a church abandons its teachings to promote secular principles instead of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, we have a responsibility to correct the error of their ways. The leadership of the ELCA has ignored all efforts to return them to the path of righteousness. It is now the task of those that remain true to the Lord to turn away from this errant denomination and pray that those that remain in the ELCA and are faithful to the Lord recognize that they also need to leave this denomination behind. Our Lord’s mandate is not about collective salvation or liberation theology. We must obey our Lord’s command of the Great Commission, to call everyone in the world to individual salvation through belief and faith in the living Christ.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Suppression of the Truth

The truth that is our Savior, Jesus Christ is under attack. While the secular world openly maligns Christians and their faith, this attack is much more insidious. This attack comes from the very institution charged to uphold the truths of the Christian faith, one of our Lord’s own churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The front page of the ELCA website proclaims that the ELCA accepts the following creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church: the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, and the Augsburg Confessions. Chapter III — The Son of God, confesses: …..Our churches also teach that the Word – that is, the Son of God – took on man’s nature in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary. So there are two natures, divine and human, inseparably conjoined in the unity of his person, one Christ, true God and true man....  

But on the ELCA web-site they proclaim that: This statement, ......has not closed the doctrinal debate over Jesus’ conception for many Lutherans, and by inference that includes ELCA members. So for the ELCA the debate still rages as to the validity of the divine birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary. Luke 1:26-38, “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to a virgin...named Mary. ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you...You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus... Mary asked the angel, ‘How will this be since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God’.” Matthew 1:18-25, “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit... An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said, Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit...Joseph did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. He gave him the name Jesus.”  These verses make it clear that Mary, who was a virgin, conceived through the Holy Spirit, and declares that Jesus is truly human and divine Son of God.

Luther’s explanation of Second Article of the Apostle’s Creed states; "I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won [delivered] me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, in order that I may be [wholly] His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true." The ELCA is skeptical of the very truths that it is charged to uphold and preach to the world. Furthermore, those that would reject this false teaching and stand true to God’s Word are persecuted and admonished by the leadership of the ELCA. The Holy Spirit inspired the authors of Scripture to make known what our Lord expects of us. Scripture is unmistakably clear in emphasizing the moral and ethical behavior that our God expects his children to follow. Why is it so difficult for the leaders of the ELCA to understand that there is a reason that our God wants us to behave in a certain manner? Yet, this progressive denomination continues to cast doubt upon our Lord’s intent by challenging the veracity of the Biblical authors that were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Mark Hanson said that this is a time for reconciling and calls for restraint and civility. He cites the Small Catechism, Luther’s explanation of the Eighth Commandment, We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything. This is an admonition to those that embrace our Lord’s Word and choose to keep Him at the center of our lives. Bishop Hanson accuses those who stand up for God’s Word and challenge this false gospel that the ELCA is perpetrating upon those susceptible to these false teachings, as liars. And now, the leadership of the ELCA punishes pastors that remain true to Scripture and have the audacity to challenge these heretical teachings.

Romans 1:18-19, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” What is problematic for the leaders and scholars of the ELCA is that by their very status with the church, God’s will has been made very clear to them. The membership of the ELCA trusts the leadership to uphold proper doctrine and teaching. Those who lead God’s church are willfully straying from the path that God has set before them, putting their membership at risk. In this secular world, Christians deal with enough derision and persecution without our own ELCA scholars rejecting the very tenets of our faith. These learned Biblical scholars of the ELCA discredit Scripture in order to advance their secular desires and hide the truth from those thirsting to hear God’s Word. They alter doctrine to feed the desires of those that long to hear that their behavior is acceptable in God’s eyes. These leaders and scholars of the ELCA reject the validity of Scripture and uphold their secular aspirations, defiantly declaring God’s Word a book of faith stories that are not always pertinent to this time and place. They twist the words of Scripture to justify their false teachings and declare that God is telling us something new. This truth is self evident; that God sent His only Son, in human form, to take upon Himself all our sins, to suffer and die in our place and to defeat death so that we may live. Yet, the leadership and Biblical scholars of the ELCA seek to suppress the truth of our Lord’s victory and supplant it with their more enlightened and modern sensibilities.

How very sad this must make our God. Those that are charged to uphold the doctrine of our Christian faith are leading the faithful on a path away from Him. Will these enlightened leaders and scholars of the ELCA have their names written in the Book of Life at the final day of judgment? Will our Lord welcome them as good and faithful servants, or will He separate them from the wheat and throw them into the burning fire? Our path to salvation has been paid for with the blood of our Savior. Do not place your gift of grace at risk by following the false gospel promoted by the ELCA. Do proclaim His Word everywhere and to everyone!