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.