1 Corinthians 11:19, “No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.” In this verse the Apostle Paul explains that even when believers have differences of opinion that cause division among them, those differing factions do serve a purpose. They will serve to separate those that are faithful and true in God’s light from those that are not. The ELCA promotes a doctrine that causes division and promotes conflict among the faithful. The doctrine of bound conscience fosters the development of varying interpretations of Scripture, giving credibility to those interpretations, even if those opinions are contrary to Scriptural intent. The well intentioned delegates that voted on the various resolutions at the 2009 ELCA assembly, did not consider the unintended consequences of their actions, whereas, the leadership of the ELCA knew full well that these votes would cause a deep schism among the membership. It is very troubling that the leadership of the ELCA would continue to pursue this dangerous agenda, risking the very foundation of this Synod and the salvation of those that fall prey to these false teachings.
Regrettably, the ELCA leadership has been influenced by the clamor of social justice activists and have abdicated their responsibility to defend the Lord’s Word and guard traditional Lutheran doctrine. The temptation to broaden their worldly kingdom has blinded them and compelled the leadership of the ELCA to disregard God’s Word and replace it with progressive secular values in order to ingratiate them with this modern and enlightened society. 2 Peter 2:1-2, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” Bound conscience is a destructive heresy, instigating a deep division among the faithful. This divisive teaching will only result in the moral and spiritual destruction of those who accept it. To properly uphold our Christian faith is to obey and live according to our Lord’s direction and the morals that He has instilled in us, not by our personal opinion or by some earthly authority.
Jude 4, “For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” And there are still those that say the Bible is not pertinent to today’s society. Those that embrace this doctrine of bound conscience will assume that by grace, our Lord will freely forgive them even if they willfully engage in every self indulgent sin they choose. 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If you love the world, love for the Father is not in you. 16 For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful people, the lust of their eyes, and their boasting about what they have and do – come not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” This bound conscience leads us away from God’s Word and causes us to lift up earthly desires. The world is the dominion of the fallen angel and he delights in his ability to control sinful humans with the promise of granting to us those earthly desires that can overcome our self control. This world will, all too soon fade away, but our Lord and Savior will be with us for all eternity. We can try to change God’s Word so it is more pleasing to us, but the truth of the matter is, by doing so, we only drive a wedge between us and our Savior.
Jude 21-23, “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear- hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” The Bible is God’s Word, written for each and every one of us, infallible and valid for all time.