Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wishful Thinking

Those that hope for an outcome that would be most pleasing to them often use wishful thinking when making decisions, rather than considering real evidence, logic or truth. This pattern of thinking continues to persist throughout human society and now is being embraced by “mainstream” religion. When one decides on a course of action which is deliberately guided by wishful thinking, things may actually go well for a time. But, fantasy can never be reconciled with reality. As things start to go south, the wishful thinker will often make an even more determined effort to keep their dream alive. Then, as reality closes in and everything starts to unravel, the illusion crashes back to earth. For the leadership of the ELCA, their “new things”, such as bound conscience, are in the process of falling apart. As more and more congregations discover the direction that the ELCA is heading, more are taking steps to disassociate. The ELCA’s leadership is currently engaged in a very determined effort to keep their dream of an all welcoming, tolerant, accepting and appeasing religion that does not recognize sin, alive. They have changed the rules for congregations that are in the process of discerning whether or not to continue in their relationship with the ELCA. They have taken a hard line with the faithful, seeking to maintain unity in their wayward church by using threats and subterfuge.
The leadership of the ELCA persists in adhering to two different hermeneutics that are irreconcilable, promoting that man is in authority of Scripture, while also proclaiming to profess the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, or Scripture alone. Unfortunately, because they so foolishly wish that their “bound conscience” will give them license to justify any worldly desire, they have also deliberately led their unwitting membership along the path of unintended consequences. This wishful thinking leads the misguided that long to have their lifestyle affirmed by the church, to ascertain that because Jesus did not specifically comment on homosexuality, one can derive that this indicates that He does not disapprove of that lifestyle. No matter how much one would want this to be true, Jesus over and over cited the Old Testament laws as valid. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-20, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” So, although we are no longer bound by the law in order to gain our salvation, it still is important to not only obey, but to uphold the law by teaching sound doctrine.

Another “new” concept that intrigues the leaders and scholars of the ELCA is that hell somehow no longer exists, or is at least irrelevant, apparently since hell is cited only 53 times in the Bible. This is just one more example of wishful thinking. To encourage teaching that God is a God of love and nothing but love breeds a dangerous assumption. Promoting the idea that God would never punish His children and that since Jesus died for everyone it is not necessary to know or even believe in the Risen Christ to gain salvation, is more than simply wishful thinking. It is a perilous notion that jeopardizes the salvation of those foolish enough to trust a church that promotes or at the very least, acquiesces to this errant doctrine. 

These are nothing more than false doctrines that the leaders and scholars of the ELCA have concocted and illegitimately foisted upon their trusting members. These leaders and “Biblical scholars” claim that God is now telling them a new thing, appealing to the emotions of those who want a God who affirms them within their sinful behavior. Bound conscience is no different than saying, “If only I want something bad enough and truly believe it, then it will come true.” This type of thinking will only lead one to a bitter disappointment. I’m sorry, but being a follower of Christ carries great responsibility. It’s not about us and what we want; it is all about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:8-9, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Expose the heresy of those that seek to redefine Christianity. Reject those that preach a gospel other than the one our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ taught. Pray that those lost or that have fallen from the path of righteousness return to the Lord. Proclaim the true Gospel with all your heart and with all your might, praying that the Holy Spirit gives you the wisdom and strength to persevere.

1 comment:

  1. I am also a recovering semi-liberal. Everything you wrote is so true. I was a member of the ELCA for about 30 years but in the late 90s woke up and left. The embracing of the errant "emergent" church, New Age beliefs is causing many in the Church to fall away from sound teaching. Praying for their awakening.