Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If someone pulls one over on us, we can chalk this up to our naivety, learn from it, and not be fooled again. When that person attempts to deceive us in this manner again, that person should know better than to try to mislead one who has already experienced this same deception. If you fall prey once again, there is no one to blame but yourself. This old saying fits in well with the false teachings of the ELCA. They use the doctrine of bound conscience to fool their membership into believing that they can reinterpret Scripture in order to empower themselves within their chosen sin. This doctrine contradicts the very foundation of Lutheranism, that the Bible is the written word of God, our sole authority in matters of faith and theology. This errant doctrine is used to not only justify sinful activity, but serves to question the reality that we are by nature sinful and unclean. So, those that choose to engage in sinful activity and don’t want to give up that behavior, are fooled into believing that they can continue in that sin because the false gospel of affirmation teaches that God loves and affirms you within that sin. The leaders of the ELCA promote that bound conscience allows one to believe just about anything. They deliberately deceive their members into believing that since God created them, they are inherently good and any and all proclivities that feed the flesh are acceptable. This "new thing" promotes that there is nothing that is unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord, since He loves and affirms us unconditionally..
One of the verses excluded from the Revised Common Lectionary is the last verse of the story of the paralytic that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. John 5:14, “Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” Our God does not affirm us in our sin, but He will forgive us of our sins if we only ask for His forgiveness. For if we fail to confess our sins to our Father, believing that we are without sin, or that somehow, it doesn't matter what we do, will only allow our sinful acts to lead us away from Him. Over and over again, those that believe that they are acting in true Christian love, are fooled by the deceitful leaders and scholars that foist these errant teachings upon the faithful. It is terribly wrong for a church to lead its people astray by pursuing doctrine that is contradictory to God’s law. It is the responsibility of the church to preach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ and that through the Holy Spirit, those that hear may understand and accept.
Even though our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ died on that cross, suffering the punishment that was meant for us, we must not engage in the willful disregard of God’s laws with an unrepentant heart. We all fall short of God’s glory and our feeble attempts at righteousness are met with abject failure. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, so we fall into a myriad of sinful activity, intentionally and unintentionally. 1 John 2:1-6, “But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” There is no truth in the false gospel of affirmation. We cannot turn to our modern sensibilities and reject our Lord's teachings and still remain a good Christian. Although we try to walk as Jesus did, we all continue to fall into sin. But, we know that we have our Savior to intercede on our behalf, to plead our case, who aids and defends us, and who represents our interests before the Father. It is when we decide that our Father is not the authority in our lives and place ourselves and our own opinion and experience above the Lord that brings us all kinds of trouble.
When the leaders and scholars of the ELCA concocted the doctrine of bound conscience, confessional Lutherans disagreed. This doctrine, explained as a way to welcome more of God’s children who view themselves as on the fringe of society, who felt it was necessary for them to be truly loved by the church, their lifestyle choices needed to be accepted. It has become nothing of the sort. This doctrine calls upon the faithful to recognize differences of opinion in spiritual matters and to respect the opinions of others, even if that opinion is contrary to Scripture. In the matter of human sexuality the ELCA went even further. Now those that uphold the authority of Scripture and accept God’s word that marriage is between one man and one woman, and that sexual relations are acceptable only within this relationship, actually hold beliefs contrary to official ELCA doctrine. A synod bishop of the ELCA tried to explain that Scripture is not clear on the matter of homosexuality and questioned whether it is actually sinful. He also said that since God loves us all and because we all fall short, God accepts us as we are, no matter what our sexual preference may be. He further explained that this doctrine was never intended to pertain to matters affecting the salvation of one’s soul. But, since the leaders of the ELCA have already fooled so many of their members, it is being cited to bolster arguments that deny the existence of hell, promote universal salvation, questions the truth of the Resurrection, casts doubt upon the Scriptural account of the Virgin Birth, and even the deity of Christ was debated in the featured Easter essay in the Lutheran in April of 2008.
The definition of synod is to “walk together”. Shame on those that continue to walk together with a synod that denies the very truths of Christianity. Shame on those that accept bound conscience in order to place their own opinion over the will of our Lord. Shame on those that continue to lead the faithful astray with false doctrine. Ecclesiastes 10:2, “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.” We won't be fooled again! Choose to walk the right path with our Lord and expose the heresies promoted by the leaders of the ELCA. Pray unceasingly for the ELCA to return to the Lord.