Over the past two years our pastor has chosen a number of people from our congregation to be lifted up as leaders of the church. Teaching laity to be leaders of the church is no small undertaking. I commend our pastor for having the fortitude to work to open the spiritual eyes, hearts and minds of those four leadership groups that he has chosen for this daunting task. Being a leader carries with it a great responsibility, not only to serve the Lord, but to serve their church and church family. Reading, learning and living the Word as God directs us, becoming prayerful, and leading by example are just a few of the responsibilities that a leader is expected to fulfill.
1 John 2:4 “Those who say, “I know him,” but do not do what he commands are liars, and the truth is not in them.” 1 John 4:5 “They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.” The leadership of the ELCA has lost its way and is promoting a false gospel, emphasizing the secular while leading our brothers and sisters on a path away from God. Social justice is the rallying cry while God’s Word is debated, voted on, and disregarded. Many pastors are using the “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach and hoping to avoid any discussion of the matter in order to remain “on the fence.” What does God expect from the leaders of His Church? Scripture is quite explicit in this matter. As leaders, our Lord expects us to make a stand for Him and His people. 1 Peter 5:2 “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve.” Those who are not strong in the Spirit must be lifted up so they do not follow blindly into the abyss.
Whether a congregation chooses to leave or remain within the ELCA church body, we all must work to bring the ELCA back to the true Gospel. It is not good enough to be only a faithful witness; we all must actively fight for our Lord. The Spirit compels us to obey God’s law and to do what is right. Galations 6:1-2 “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Those that remain in the ELCA cannot just sit on the sidelines or be neutral; they must take up the Cross and speak out for the Lord at ELCA functions and assemblies. Those that choose to leave must continue to pray for the people who remain and challenge the false gospel. Let God’s Word be heard. Ephesians 6: 11, 18 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Through prayer, anything can be accomplished. A small minority of those who wish to hijack the church in order to promote their worldly desires cannot prevail against the Word of God if we are strong enough in the Spirit to proclaim His Word, loudly and proudly!