"God wants our conscience to be certain and sure that it is pleasing to Him. This cannot be done if the conscience is led by its own feelings, but only if it relies on the Word of God." - Martin Luther. It is the doctrine of bound conscience that drives all other doctrine within the ELCA. It is the tie that binds all the other errant teachings of this misguided denomination together. It is the linchpin that locks out the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, replacing it with secular, not heavenly ideals. For without this bound conscience, one could not lift up their own opinion above the will of our God. Without bound conscience the false gospel of affirmation falls like a house of cards. Without bound conscience the concept of universalism is proven to be a lie, perpetrated by those who simply want to abandon their responsibility to save souls. Without bound conscience sexual relations are a gift, granted by our Lord, consummated by one man and one woman within the confines of the Sacrament of Marriage. Once man has granted himself authority over of the word of God, it is easy to replace it with their modern sensibilities. It becomes effortless to reinterpret Scripture to satisfy the longings of a depraved humanity.
The leadership of the ELCA has replaced reason with the deliberate confusion of the intent of our God in order to appease those who want a God on their own terms. Hebrews 12:22-25, “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?” Those who decide it is incumbent upon themseves to disregard Scripture in order to be more welcoming, tolerant and accepting, turn away from the commands of our Lord and encourage the faithful to follow errant doctrine. Those that accept this bound conscience may well be placing their very salvation at risk.
1 john 2:3-6, “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.” To accept the premise of bound conscience one must necessarily disobey God’s commands, either by deliberately choosing to disregard His will or by acquiescing to or ignoring those that choose to do so. To truly love the Lord we must want to please Him above all else. To truly please our Lord is to walk as He did and follow His teaching, not place our needs before His. We all have our failings and fall into sin all too regularly, but if we deliberately defy our God, how long will His patience last. As a follower of Christ, my conscience compels me to object to the intentional rejection of God’s word by placing man’s opinion above His will. From the Formula of Concord, “when under the title and pretext of external adiaphora (Adiaphora refers to matters not regarded as essential to faith, but nevertheless are permissible or allowed in church.) is such things are proposed as are in principle contrary to God's Word (although painted another color), these are not to be regarded as adiaphora, in which one is free to act as he will, but must be avoided as things prohibited by God.” The doctrine of bound conscience does not fall under the auspices of adiaphora, even though the leaders of the ELCA paint it as such. It must avoided, as are all things that are prohibited by our Lord.
This church, that so prides itself on its great diversity, always falls back on its “official” doctrine when the faithful call out to correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. What does their official doctrine say about allowing those who stray and teach a gospel other than the one our Lord taught? From the Epitome of the Formula of Concord, which is declared by the ELCA as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church, “all doctrines are to be conformed, and what is, contrary thereto is to be rejected and condemned, as opposed to the unanimous declaration of our faith. In this way the distinction between the Holy Scriptures of the Old and of the New Testament and all other writings is preserved, and the Holy Scriptures alone remain the only judge, rule, and standard, according to which, as the only test-stone, all dogmas shall and must be discerned and judged, as to whether they are good or evil, right or wrong.” The doctrine of bound conscience is contrary to Scriptural intent and violates our Lord’s commands. And since one must necessarily invoke this bound conscience to accept other false gospels promoted and/or accepted by the leaders of the ELCA, it must be rejected and condemned.
1 Peter 3:14-16, “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” Continue to proclaim our Lord’s Gospel and to speak out to expose the heresies promoted by the leaders of the ELCA. Wear the slander that they speak against us as a badge of honor and continue to fight the good fight. There are far too many of our brothers and sisters that are too easily accepting these false doctrines.