Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Wages of Sin

Those that choose to accept the gospel of affirmation that the ELCA is peddling need to look to Scripture to understand just how our God will deal with those that choose to willfully disregard His law. The ill advised belief that our God is simply all loving and not to be feared, is a very dangerous assumption to make. Yes, we are justified by grace when we truly believe in the Risen Christ, but we are still subject to God’s law. Romans 7:7-12, “What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.”

Evil remains as part of our human nature. It is much easier for us to disregard God’s law and do what we think is best for ourselves. Without God’s law we, as sinful human beings that continually fall short of God’s glory, would be like a rudderless ship at sea, lost and floundering upon the waves. While the law does open our eyes as to what behavior is prohibited by God, it is our evil nature that chooses to disobey. Without God’s law one may covet someone else’s possessions., steal, lie, or commit adultery, but not understand that those behaviors are wrong. God’s law creates boundaries to help us rein in our desires, and teaches us what is right and what is wrong. It teaches where mere overindulgence ends, and where sin begins. Without God’s law, we are left without a moral compass and will only attempt to justify our wickedness as good in our sight.

So, when a church decides that God’s law is not applicable because it does not fit in with this new and modern society, they choose to willfully disobey and declare that God is now telling them something new. This is as if God, who created the very universe with a word, could not envision what was to come in this age. Our God is all knowing and all powerful throughout all time, and for the leaders and scholars of the ELCA to infer that He did not realize what our society would become today, is demeaning our God and is promoting heresy. When the leaders of Gods’ church decide that God is wrong and that the church should acquiesce to a society that accepts aberrant behavior, they lose their standing as one who speaks for the Lord. We need to be examples for the world, not put down our God in order to lift up the desires of the world.

So many have fallen prey to this misguided doctrine promoted by these self proclaimed enlightened leaders of what will soon no longer be the largest Lutheran Church Denomination in North America. Those that promote the disregard of God’s law and proclaim that all are saved, no matter what you believe, are leading those that accept this new religion away from God. The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Those teaching that God’s law is no longer valid teach a false gospel. Those accepting this teaching stand to lose their very salvation. Romans 6:15-16, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" When one fully gives their life to Christ, obedience replaces our sinful desires. When one continues to be estranged from the Lord, it is much easier to remain selfish and disobedient because it comes so naturally to the imperfect human being that God created. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9, “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” God sets rules and boundaries for His children. He also administers the just punishment for those that choose to willfully disobey.

The leaders of the ELCA encourage those that defy God’s law to continue in their sin and enact doctrine to vindicate their behavior, while they admonish those that remain true to the Lord. How unfortunate for those that place their own sinful conduct ahead of God’s commands. Romans 2:6-7. “God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Continue in prayer for those that mistakenly accept these false teachings, that they may find and accept the truth. Pray that the leadership of the ELCA abandons this love affair with the things of this world, returns to the Lord and once again proclaims the true Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Evolution of Theology

For years the great divide between science and religion has been the theory of evolution. Christianity professes that God created the universe and all that is in it. Science believes that random events caused universe to come into being and that life originated as a single cell organism, created by a chance comingling of amino acids. The theory of evolution further states that over the millennia natural selection caused this single cell organism to evolve into the varying plant and animal life we have in this world. Christianity believes that God created the earth and filled it with plants, animals, and human beings, created in His own image. For the ELCA theologian, much discussion and argument ensues about, not only the interpretation of Scripture, but the very theology of Lutheranism. Theology is defined as the study of the nature of God and religious truth, or the rational inquiry into religious questions. The primary doctrine of Lutheranism is simply justification by grace alone through faith alone because of Jesus Christ alone. Lutheran Theology teaches that the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but that every word has been inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore, is the divine command of God. When ELCA theologians challenge the authenticity and authority of Scripture, they indict our Lord. In fact, they are insinuating that God is a liar.

In the December 2009 edition of the Lutheran Magazine, the featured article, written by Heidi Ernst, and entltled “Our Worldwide Church, Global contexts challenge Lutheran Theology”, she cited Karen L. Bloomquist, an ELCA pastor and director of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Department for Theology and Studies since 1999. Bloomquist addressed the LWF Theological Conference, in Augsburg, Germany, March of 2009, in what Ernst described as, one of its’ largest and most diverse gathering of Lutheran Theologians. Ernst wrote, “In her welcome at the event, Bloomquist made a case for continual theological evolution: “A Lutheran identity cannot be based only on coded Lutheran formulas, or historical legacies brought by missions, or on the basis of ethnic or tribal identities, or historical accidents. Instead, sifting through, reconceiving and transfiguring Lutheran theology is a dynamic movement.” Sadly, we are all experiencing this transfiguring of our Lutheran faith into something that no longer resembles the faith that has been handed down for centuries. Theologians are charged to raise rational questions about religious questions, not to promote a paradigm shift away from the foundations of our faith. Yes, we need to temper and adjust our proclamation of the Gospel to different cultures and other parts of the world, but the central truths remain intact, as we have believed through the word of God and has been reinforced through the Creeds and Augsburg Confessions.

Those of us that remain traditional and orthodox in our theology are accused of lagging behind in this enlightened movement to redefine Lutheranism in the 21st Century. Those of us that cling to our Bibles and truly believe that we are justified by faith in Christ alone are looked upon as obsolete. Those that dare to speak out for our Lord are jeered at, mocked, called hateful and accused of spreading malicious gossip. We are chastised and accused of breaking the unity of God’s church. Our unity is in Christ, not a church that places their own selfish understanding in authority of Scripture. We must choose to expose the heresy that these enlightened leaders of the ELCA are promoting. We must choose to stand up and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ until we can speak no more. The intellectual elites of the ELCA are chipping away at the very core of the Lutheran faith. It would appear that the primary goal is to eliminate God from His church and replace Him with themselves and the things of this world.

For what reason would the leaders of the ELCA talk about the love of the Lord when all the while they promote these heretical assumptions? Why would they choose to serve a master that leads to sin and death? Understand that the great majority of ELCA members are true to the Lord and have no idea how these elitists are plotting to weaken their faith. Most are filled with the Spirit and love of the Lord. Most pray the Lord’s Prayer and recite the Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, truly believing every word. Most accept the Augsburg Confessions as a true testament of their faith. Why are so many blind to what is happening to their church? Why are so many defending the actions of the misguided leadership of the ELCA?

Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Let us be eager to do God’s will and to proclaim His word. Continue in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ, that they too, will awaken from their slumber and realize that the leaders of the ELCA are preaching a false gospel.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Straight and Narrow

In our youth we were cautioned to walk the straight and narrow path. We were called to make decisions using the morals and values instilled in us by our parents and by our Father in Heaven. In other words we were counseled to conduct ourselves with integrity and to choose our actions wisely. It is when we make poor choices and fall from that path that trouble befalls us. Our Lord, Jesus Christ taught in the parable of the “Narrow and Wide Gates” in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Following our sinful nature is easy for us. It comes naturally, because human beings are inherently self centered and inconsiderate toward others. This is why it is so easy for so many to accept the ELCA’s teaching of the “gospel of affirmation”. Having one’s weaknesses and imperfections affirmed as good and correct, allows that person to feel good about himself. Having no one to criticize or condemn your transgressions, allows you to continue in your sin without remorse or the need to repent. Feeling guilty about one’s behavior and having to confess that they fall short of expectations is difficult in this society that is so concerned about maintaining positive self esteem.

The ELCA has adopted doctrine to make sinful behavior acceptable in their church, directing those that accept this doctrine to the wide road of destruction. Their Biblical scholars challenge the authority of Scripture and accuse the Spirit inspired authors of bias, misunderstanding God’s true intent and conclude that they often offer conflicting and contradictory views. Why does the leadership of this misguided denomination persist in casting doubt upon the very truths they are charged to uphold? Our Lord calls us to deny ourselves and to take up His cross. These progressive leaders of the ELCA lift up the self and deny our Savior. Why is it so important to lift up the sexual identities of the LGTB community if our call is place our Lord above all else and deny our very selves. Matthew 10:37-39, Jesus said, “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” If we insist upon lifting up the self, we will be unworthy in the sight of our Lord. When one’s life becomes more important than our Savior, they will lose their life and their salvation.

The leaders of the ELCA are deliberately leading their membership to ruin. Emphasizing the self while minimizing our Lord in their ministry, puts their membership at risk when they accept this false doctrine. The leadership of the ELCA preaches love and unity, while they debase and chastise those that reveal the truth of their apostasy. So it is obvious that the ELCA has chosen a path that is in conflict with the path that our Lord has directed us to take. Now what? Should we stay with an organization that does not uphold our Lutheran values? As difficult as it may be, we need to break fellowship with the ELCA and find that synod that embraces the Lutheran core beliefs, not one that only gives lip service to God’s word while challenging the authority of Scripture. We need to find a partner that shares the values that our Lord has instilled in us and upholds the authority of Scripture. We need to find a synod that proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ and embraces the Great Commission. We need to find an organization that doesn’t look to offer a “big Tent” in order to maintain fellowship despite a variety of opinions, but one that embraces Jesus Christ, while striving for justice, not placing justice ahead of our Lord and Savior.

If you considered joining an organization, would it not be important to you that the organization shares the same values and beliefs that you do? Would you become a member of an organization that believed and behaved contrary to the values and beliefs that you espouse? While many would argue that it doesn’t matter what the greater church believes; that it only matters what one believes in their own hearts, it does matter greatly. Being a member of any organization carries with it the assumption that you, as a member of that organization, accept and practice what that organization preaches. So, to say that we belong to an organization, but don’t believe as they do, is nothing short of being hypocritical. John 5:22-23, Jesus said, “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” The false doctrines promoted by the leaders of the ELCA dishonor our Lord. Those that accept these false doctrines place their very salvation at risk. Those that choose to remain in fellowship with the ELCA take the very real risk that they too, will be overtaken by these false gospels.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This comment on the post "Spare the Rod" was received from a person troubled by the content of the article. My first impulse was to simply delete the comment as inappropriate. But, after much prayer and contemplation, I felt it was better to respond to this comment point by point since it appears that the writer is searching for something. I believe that she may be searching for the Lord, but does not know how to find Him. This post is made to reach out in Christian love to my fellow sister in Christ.

“The bible was written in a time of self mutilating, murder and incest. It is a book of laws to instill fear so we can basically behave.”

The Bible was indeed written long ago by uneducated men. In the first book of the Bible, Cain murders his brother Abel. Lot’s daughters had children by their father. The Bible contains the Ten Commandments and many other laws pertaining to the Israelites. So some of the assumptions above are valid. But, we are free to disobey God’s law, without consequence in this life, and to live our lives as we choose. God came to us as human being, took the burden of our sins to the cross, suffered horribly and died in our place, so that we may live. We rightly deserved that punishment, but God took that punishment upon Himself and forgave us all our sins. And all we have to do is believe and He offers us salvation, eternal life with Him in Heaven. When one accepts the truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we obey God’s law because we love God and truly want to please Him.

“The law of nature is that we evolve as a society and since such is so, the bible's meaning must also be evaluated and adjusted to fit today's life.”

Many of the laws of today's society mirror those handed to Moses on Mt. Sinai, so many years ago. Many of the laws that society consistently ridicules from the early books of the Old Testament were given to the Israelites to protect them from pestilence and disease. As modern society looks upon the Bible as archaic and tries to amend God’s word we fall further away from the Truth. Much of the great works of art and literature are hundreds of years old and are still considered masterpieces. The Bible is no different. Pattern your life along the path that Jesus walked and you will find much joy in this life.

“Organized religion is violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children. The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals and it is time that we admitted that faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail. It is terrible that we all die and lose everything we love; it is doubly terrible that so many human beings suffer needlessly while alive. That so much of this suffering can be directly attributed to religion—to religious hatreds, religious wars, religious delusions and religious diversions of scarce resources—is what makes atheism a moral and intellectual necessity.”

It is true that many wars were fought in the name of religion. We are affected to this day by Muslim extremists that use religion as a justification to murder innocents. It is indeed unfortunate that it is man, yes man, that twists God’s word and lashes out against his fellow man in the name of religion. Those that hold fast to the truth that is Jesus Christ have no need for the evil ways of this world. Man is inherently evil. That is our nature. Without the morals and values instilled in us through God’s word, we would be uncultured human mammals. With God’s word to guide us, we can have a society that can coexist. Unfortunately, the evil in this world is not caused by God, it is caused by man. Man, when left to his own devices will inevitably turn the world upside down. If we would choose follow God’s word and obey His law, the world would live in harmony. It is when we choose to not believe and consider ourselves too enlightened to believe a book written thousands of years ago, that we will fall into sin and cannot free ourselves. So if anyone is to blame for societies ills, we need look no further than the mirror. We have met the enemy, and it is us, not the God who created everything that is good.

“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”

Without the laws given to us by our Lord, we would become the uncultured human mammals described by the commenter. Love your neighbor as yourself, feed the hungry and thirsty, welcome strangers, clothe those in need, visit those who are sick or in prison. If someone slaps you, do not strike them, turn the other cheek. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. These are not society’s laws, these are the commands of Jesus Christ. It is when we choose to disregard our Lord's commands that cause us trials and tribulations.

“Beat your children and you only teach them to beat their children. Please read your post again maybe then you will see that your form of "equal" punishment is not only barbaric but steeped in ignorance.”

The posting “Spare the Rod” was not intended to advocate that parents beat their children. Children that receive no guidance or boundaries from their parents typically do not grow to become responsible adults. Without structure and discipline a child will have difficulty determining the proper way to behave in society. As parents we want the best for our children, so we try to teach them the proper values and behaviors that will help them be successful as they grow into adults. So, yes, it is imperative that our children are taught the proper behaviors and sometimes we need to punish inappropriate behavior so that the child will not repeat those actions.  But, these actions of discipline are not done out of anger, they are done out of our love for our children.  Our Lord also taught us to reach out to others in Christian love. Many of the questions raised above are answered much more eloquently in the writings and insights into Scripture by Timothy Keller. I would recommend his book “The Reason for God, Belief in an Age of Skepticism” to anyone searching. I would also request prayer for this person that she does find the Lord and with that find the peace that she is searching for.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All Things Made New

When the leaders and biblical scholars of the ELCA try to justify their radical agenda, such as the Human Sexuality-Gift and Trust statement, they typically cite 2 Corinthians 5:17, saying that God has made all things new. Again, this is only part of the truth, since the leadership of this wayward denomination revels in half truths. Just as the evil one uses only the parts of truth that are pleasing in order to tempt us into sinful acts, the leaders of the ELCA use the same tactic. Taken out of context, this verse would lead one to believe that everything is new and maybe the old things, such as God’s law, written so long ago, must be updated and made new to better relate to our modern society. But, when one delves into the word and discerns the truth of God’s will, one will have a different idea of “new”. 2 Corinthians 5:15-21, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Once we take the entire portion of this passage and listen to the word, we have a much better understanding of God’s will. While the leadership of the ELCA would have you believe that God is now telling us something new and that we should disregard portions of God’s law because we are now more enlightened, this is a false message. We are a new creation because we have set aside those things of the world that came between us and the Lord. We now deny ourselves and place His will before our own. Jesus said that we must be willing to take up His cross and love Him above all else, our families and especially ourselves. The doctrines promoted by the leaders of the ELCA lift up the self above our Lord and place human reasoning and experience in authority of Scripture. This is worse than heresy. This is a clear violation of the First Commandment, because to accept these doctrines is to worship yourself, your identities, and your worldly desires.

Revelations 21:1-5, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” The time to make all things new in this world is when our Lord and Savior comes in glory to begin His new kingdom. For the leadership of the ELCA to lead their flock astray with the false promises that their sin is somehow now acceptable to God is beyond reprehensible.

The evil one uses deception in order to convince us that our sinful behavior is justified. The leaders of the ELCA do no differently. For if we continue as slaves to sin, we will die in that sin. We need to become slaves of Christ, for only then will we be truly alive in Him. Romans 6:19-23, “Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If we follow the false gospel promoted by the leaders of the ELCA, we will become slaves to ourselves and wallow in our own sinful behavior. If we reject this false gospel and follow the Truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we will be set free from sin and truly be able to accept the gift of God’s grace. There will come a time when we will all be made new and sin will be no more, and that is when our Savior returns in glory, not when the misguided leaders of a church proclaim that certain sins are no longer sinful because they believe that now God is telling them something new!.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Spare the Rod

The old adage, spare the rod and spoil the child, is no longer acceptable in our modern society. Corporal punishment is frowned upon since it may negatively affect the child’s self esteem. The more modern and enlightened parent will simply try to reason with their child, sometimes treating them as if they were equals. As we can see from our dysfunctional society, this weak handed approach is seldom successful. When there are no consequences for inappropriate behavior, there is no deterrent to prevent the child from continuing to misbehave. Our responsibility as parents is to make certain that when our children engage in behavior that is dangerous or inappropriate, that we reinforce that those types of conduct are unacceptable. The punishment meted out must be equivalent to the severity of the objectionable actions of the child. Any punishment must serve as a deterrence, so that the improper behavior will not be repeated. We must also explain why those acts are considered improper and reinforce that we love the child.

Our God has provided us His rules of conduct, delivered to us in His word, the Bible. As disciples of Christ, we are obligated to obey these rules of conduct. Although these laws were written thousands of years ago, they remain authoritative to this day. Many laws adopted by society mirror those laws that our God gave to the Israelites long ago. So, why would a church adopt doctrine to ignore those rules of conduct that are so plainly set out by our God? The leadership of the ELCA wants to preside over a truly enlightened church, complete with a variety of opinions, thereby allowing a “Big Tent” where many people that have a wide variety of beliefs can have fellowship. They feel that the similarities among them are larger than their differences, and that somehow a diversity of opinion can make them grow stronger. Well, the first foray into the diversity pool has left the ELCA in the deep end, realizing that they don’t know how to swim and are without a life preserver. What’s worse though, is that those trusting members of the ELCA that accept this false gospel are dragged under by the leadership’s plunge away from the Lord.

Lifting up the identities of the LGTB community, thereby placing the emphasis on the self, not on our God, the leaders of the ELCA have rejected Scriptural intent and have reinterpreted God’s word to feed worldly desires. By invoking the doctrine of bound conscience they have opened the door to sin freely and have placed human reasoning, experience and understanding in authority over Scripture. By accepting the validity of other religions and agreeing that there are alternate ways to Salvation, they encourage those who do believe in the Risen Christ to look elsewhere. By promoting the false gospel of affirmation, they advance the opinion that there truly is no sin, no need for repentance or forgiveness and that a Savior is unnecessary.

It would appear that this experiment into “diving into the pool of heresy with both feet” isn’t working out so well for the misguided leaders of the ELCA. Congregations are leaving at a rate that may cause this enlightened new world order of Lutheranism to fall by the wayside before the end of this decade. Pensions to retired ELCA pastors are being reduced, the operational budget of the synod has been reduced 40%, synod staff have been let go, and losses from congregations that have left or have redirected benevolence has cost the ELCA well over 14 million dollars this year alone. When will they realize that those that are searching are not looking for a social club to gather with those that they have little in common with? Those that are searching are looking for the only thing that can truly fill their longing hearts, the love of Jesus Christ. Only He can fill that empty place in our hearts. Only when we come to accept the truth that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ will we truly be fulfilled. As the petulant child that receives no guidance or discipline from their parents continues to misbehave, the leaders of the ELCA promote this new religion that has no consequence for sinful behavior and leads their membership away from the Lord. Romans 2:12-13, “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Without the rod that is God’s law, we shall truly be like a spoiled child and be disobedient to the Lord. While we have God’s grace through our faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, we must also adhere to the law that our God provided for us. Continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will open the hearts and minds of all to the truth that our unity is in Christ, not to a church that surely denies Him.