Friday, January 1, 2010

Why Leave the ELCA part II

I have read many opinions as to why it makes sense to stay the course in the ELCA and try to make a difference. Explanations to stay include, being a faithful witness within the ELCA, hoping to be part of a revival of the ELCA, and to reach out to bear the cross for those lost in the ELCA.

Well, here are a host of reasons to consider leaving the ELCA.

1. The ELCA expected to lose as many as 1 million of their 5 million membership when they passed their far reaching social agenda in August. If more congregations than expected remain, they will have given the ELCA confirmation that they are on the right path and will only accelerate their implementation of more social justice agendas.

2. The continuation of the ELCA in its present form will allow more pastors to be trained in the false gospel and allow them to reach more congregations, putting more Christians at risk.

3. If a greater number of congregations prepare to leave, perhaps the ELCA will reconsider their path. If these actions fail to elicit a proper response from the ELCA, then the congregations that leave will not be at risk of the false doctrine that has overtaken the ELCA. Galations 1:9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

4. As more Christians reject the false gospel and prepare to leave the ELCA more will encouraged to do the same. There is strength in numbers and although it is a difficult task to leave the ELCA, a more vibrant reform movement will bring more Lutherans to the true Gospel.

5. More congregations leaving to join reform movements such as Lutheran Core or LCMC will bring more offerings to be used to support missions that may lose the support of the ELCA, due to their strong rebuke of the actions of the ELCA assembly in August.

6. 2 Peter 2:18 "For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error." This verse teaches us that false doctrines may use words that sound impressive, but in reality have nothing to offer and that the purveyors of false doctrine will prey on new converts, who have not yet had a chance to develop spiritual resistance. This is how the ELCA uses their broad ranging social justice agenda to draw people in, but have no desire to lead them to the true Gospel of Christ.

7. Bound conscience is a foot in the door to place man's corrupt opinions and desires above Scripture. Bound conscience is not just a slippery slope toward placing man's law above God's law, it is a full fledged race to make the modern, enlightened man his own god.

8. Making confession of sin and absolution optional and replacing it with a celebration of baptism. 1 John 1:8-10 "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we ask for forgiveness, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive us all our sins. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives." That Jesus took all of our sins to the cross and died so that we may live is not optional in our faith. Without His death and resurrection, we may as well belong to a social club if we intend to remain in the ELCA.

This is how the ELCA is perverting the Lutheran Church. Put the social justice agenda first and foremost with God running a distant third. The ELCA is in the process of eliminating all sin by simply passing resolutions setting aside Scripture. The ELCA is highjacking the Lutheran Church and leading it to ruin. Those that have tried to save the ELCA have been shoved to the side of the road while it is full speed ahead with a liberal, left wing social agenda with no regard to the saving of the souls of its members. We must shun this false doctrine. We must leave the ELCA behind and pray that all true believers follow and form a new synod to teach the true Gospel.

Titus 1:11-14 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorius appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." Even as we leave, we need to keep our brothers and sisters that remain in the ELCA in our prayers. It is imperative that we continue to support them in prayer and that God gives them the strength to cling to the true Gospel.


  1. 1 John 5:20-21

    "We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

    Dear children, keep yourselves from idols."

    "John ends his epistle with a word of warning. Taken in context, the idols of which John writes are not movie stars or sports heroes, fancy homes or opulent lifestyles. No, the idols to which John alludes thoughout his entire epistle are those who embrace and propogate the spirit of Gnosticism.

    Gnosticism can be seen in anyone who worships his own concept of Christ, in anyone who idolizes his own intellectual theology about God. And, it will always manifest itself in a pulling away from the body of Christ." (from John Courson's Application Commentary)

    Courson goes on to tell a story of a man named Micah found in Judges 17-18. Micah and his mother set up his own designer religion that had four attractive elements: (1)Practical convenience, (2)Family involvement, (3)Biblical components and (4)Cultural tolerance. Of course, his custom-made religion toppled.

    Does this sound familiar?

  2. One comments made to us was that some people are more tolerant of being around people that are different than themselves than others are. Please understand that I have worked with multiple gay people including a HR manager and a production manager that I respected, promoted, and enjoyed working with. I am surrounded with a diversity of ethnic backgrounds, some don’t speak fluid English, some are recovering addicts with felony records, and some with different political and religious beliefs. I am not only comfortable and tolerant of being around people that are different than me and have different opinions than I have, I take pleasure in them, care about them and pray for them. This is not about toleration of people, it IS about God’s Word.

    I left 2 high level jobs because of my faith, one because of the ungodly environment and the other I was forced out of the way because of my beliefs and care for the employees. I took a reduction in pay and status in both situations to do the right thing and I trusted God with my future. In 1990, when the Chief of Police stepped over the line, hurting people and breaking the law, Don stood up for what was right even when he was persecuted, threatened, came close to losing his job and it affected his health – but he stood on his principles through the time when the Chief was charged criminally. There is a time when you need to stand up for what you believe even if it is personally painful. What is more important that standing up for God and His Word? Being a Christian is not for Cowards.

    In Pastor’s sermon on the ELCA on Sept 13th, he made the example of a child who does something wrong – you don’t reject that child but turn toward them in love. That is a true statement, except if you don’t have boundaries, limits and discipline that child will continue to do wrong because of no consequences. As a teen, our son dropped out of high school. He made a poor decision and we needed to respond to it. He could no longer live in our house. It was a decision far more painful than leaving Shepherd of the Hills. If we would have coddled him, and accepted his incorrect choices, he may not ever have learned the value of hard work and the understanding he has today of consequences for your actions. We loved him too much to tolerate his bad choices. Today he is a respectable, responsible, loving and content adult, husband and father and our relationship with him is stronger and richer than ever. We never stopped loving him, praying for him and he was always welcome. He knew that. His behavior and choices were not acceptable and we couldn’t ignore them.

    When it comes to the Word of God I am not tolerant of it being considered a book of stories by faithful people. I cannot ignore that people believe that they are more enlightened now and can act according to their individual conscience because they don’t need to follow what is in the Bible. There are boundaries and limits to tolerance. By staying in the ELCA we are coddling the incorrect choices of our brothers and sisters to ignore God’s Word as truth. We are not standing up for the true faith and teaching the consequences of their actions.

    I understand that it is a journey of at least a year before SOTH will feel confident to move. We need to help people who feel comfortable now, feel more uncomfortable with staying than leaving. I believe that to stay with the ELCA long term encourages the ELCA to continue down the wrong path. I believe that we can be a faithful witness to the ELCA by staying faithful to the word of God that we are preaching, teaching and living by making a stand by loving and praying for the people in the ELCA but to not accept their direction. I firmly believe that by not looking to distinguish SOTH from the ELCA by partnering with Lutheran Core and/or the LCMC Augustana District and to ultimately move toward leaving the denomination is a deadly mistake, and yes, one I cannot tolerate.

  3. Quote:
    ”In one fell swoop, the ELCA had voted to allow anyone to pick and chose which parts of Scripture were valid, if only what they truly believed was contrary to what the Bible said”
    2 Timothy 4:3&4
    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
    No justification by something just a personal belief? Not only is that wrong but pretty weak. The idea that “I believe “this” so the inspire word of God must be wrong”, WOW I am almost dumbfounded.
    2 Tim 3:
    1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
    4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
    2 Tim 3:12
    Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
    So you are living testimony of this verse in a small way (no threat of loss of life or other big stuff).
    ”Pastor also said he felt called to be a faithful witness within the ELCA ”
    End quote
    My question for him is how does that work out in his life, is there fruit, does he confront the false doctrine, do people know his opinion? Truly this may be his calling it also may be the self deception looking to retain status quo, keeping pension in line and other things. Does he have an accountability partner or some that would correct him if he is wrong...
    Jesus did not deal with the religious ones (pharisees and Sadducee's) for the most part. They were stubborn not willing to be open to Gods true word and will. Rather holding to traditions of men
    Mark 7 – 8 "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." 9 He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.
    When people did not accept the disciples, Jesus told them to to leave there town and shake off the dust as they left – not stay and see if you can win them over. The shaking off the dust is a fairly pointed statement. Even the dust of the street was not tolerable to have on themselves.

    As for the allowing of homosexuals at he pulpit -
    We are free from the law yet when you look at what Jesus stated in Matthew 5:22 & 28 He calls us to a higher standard not a lower one. (22 But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults a brother will be brought before the council, and whoever says 'Fool' will be sent to fiery hell. 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.)

    Lev 18:22 States - "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."
    Seems pretty clear.
    1 Peter 1:13-16 - "Be Holy, For I Am Holy"
    Does that mean they can have wife beaters, adulterers, ect. on going in the life of there ministers as long as they sin in love?
    1 John 3
    4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
    5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
    6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.
    7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;
    8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
    9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
    It seems nearly unbelievable that they (ELCA) can take a stand like they do but the bible is clear that it will get bad in the end times which I feel we are in.

    God bless you and Stand firm!