Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Counterfeit Truth

A teenage runaway is alone in the city, out of money, with nowhere to sleep but the street. She meets a man, who asks about her, but does not understand that he has ulterior motives. He offers her food and shelter. Once he gains her trust, he leads her into the world of prostitution. All she wanted was to be loved and accepted by the very person that has led her into a life without hope. The inner city youth that does not fit in at school or in society, falls for the lie that he can belong to something important and find companionship by joining a street gang. He then becomes involved in criminal activity, losing any hope to live a normal life. The outcast who is not accepted by the “in crowd” is befriended by someone who offers drugs to help him feel better about himself and escape from the reality of this cruel world. He accepts this gift, but as he becomes dependant, the drugs are no longer complementary. He becomes a drug addict, steals to pay for his habit, and is lost in hopelessness. When one hungers to be accepted and loved, they will often grasp at anything or anyone that welcomes them, even those that only want to use them.

The false hope that arises from the counterfeit truth of bound conscience draws those that want their sinful lifestyle accepted in order to feel welcome and loved by the church. They do not want to give up their selfish desires and refuse to seek God’s forgiveness. The ELCA entices them with the false offer that their lifestyle choice will be no longer be sinful to God and His church if only they accept this “truth”. We know that this doctrine is not of our Lord because it circumvents the authority of Scripture. The ELCA uses this false doctrine as an excuse to pass resolutions and to adopt doctrine to affirm homosexual behavior as normative and acceptable to this denomination. In doing so, they disregard Scripture in the name of being more welcoming, tolerant, and loving of our neighbor. We surely can love our neighbor as our Lord commanded without disregarding His word. This doctrine that attempts to legitimize aberrant behavior only serves to distance this church from God’s will.

Unfortunately, this doctrine will allow those engaging in homosexual behavior to continue in their sin, with no need to repent before the Lord. This doctrine will also lift up the self while diminishing our Lord. If we truly love the Lord, we will sacrifice for Him. We will place our own needs and desires secondary in order to please our Lord. If one's desire for their lifestyle to be accepted and affirmed is more important than their love of the Lord, then they love themselves more than they love Him. Is it so difficult to understand that as Christians, as Disciples of Christ, we are to place Him foremost in our lives? Any doctrine that relegates our Lord to a secondary role is, plain and simple, promoting a false gospel. For God’s church to lead their membership astray in this way is unconscionable.

This misguided denomination takes a cue from the George Orwell novel, Animal Farm, in their interaction with the LGTB community. In the novel, when the pigs took command of the barnyard, they also took more for themselves, while other animals had to do with less. When some of the other animals protested, the pigs contrived a doctrine that stated that although all animals were equal, some of them were more equal than others. In the June 2010 edition of the Lutheran Magazine, an article entitled, Rite and Bound conscience appeared in the news section on page 8. This news article stated that “The ELCA church council authorized a rite that synod bishops can use to receive 17 pastors from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries onto the ELCA roster. ELM credentials candidates of all sexual orientations and gender identities for ordained ministry. The rite, “Reception to the Roster of Ordained Ministers with Prayer and the Laying on of Hands,” was recommended to the council by the ELCA Conference of Bishops and is authorized for “no other use,” the council said.” It would appear that some pastoral candidates are more equal than others in having their own exclusive ordination rite.

Additionally, a working group was convened to study the concept of bound conscience, especially relating to same-gender relationships. It also has a goal to engage people across the denomination in conversation about the theological foundation of the ELCA decision making and respect for people whose consciences are bound to different understandings of Scripture. 1 Timothy 1:5-11, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. 8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God” While there is still much good to be found in the ELCA, it is obviously rotting away from the top down. Those that choose to remain and accept these destructive doctrinal changes will eventually be swept into the abyss with the enlightened elites that lead this misguided denomination. Continue in prayer, that more will be saved from the false teachings of the ELCA.

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