In 1948 Walt Kelly created a comic strip entitled “Pogo”. Pogo was an opossum living in the Okefenokee Swamp with his numerous friends, including Albert the Alligator, Howland Owl, and Churchy LaFemme the turtle. This comic strip was seeped in social and political satire making many of the politicians and organizations of that day targets of the clever wit of Mr. Kelley, as told through his characters. Pogo coined one particular philosophical phrase that still resonates today, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The ELCA has met and actually embraced the enemy. The enemy is the sin of lifting up the self over our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This love of the self is how Satan leads us to sin, by inferring that we are equal or more important than our God. In the garden of Eden, Satan as the snake, led Eve to partake of the fruit of the tree of life. How? Genesis 3:4-5, “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Satan tempts Eve with the implication God lied to her and that she will become like God if she simply eats the fruit. How often do we also eat of that fruit?
The deepest and darkest sin that man can commit is placing possessions, identity, and the self above the love of our Lord. When we come first, necessarily our Lord comes in second. When we truly love our Lord, our greatest goal should be to please Him. The leaders of the ELCA seek the things of this world instead of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seeking the souls of the lost. When they reach out with their imperfect human love to the LGTBQ community in order to be more welcoming, tolerant and diverse, they fail those that need to come to the Lord, repent of their sin and make themselves right with Him. Affirming those who choose to please themselves, not God, and lead a sinful life, only bestows upon them the errant blessing of the church to continue to love themselves, their possessions and their identities above the love of the Lord.
The Lutheran rite of confession and forgiveness, that has now become optional in the ELCA, comes from 1 John 1:8-10, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” Then we continue, “Most merciful God, we further confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.”
We are all sinners, no better or no worse than any other. When we fail to acknowledge our sinful nature, we make it even easier to partake of the forbidden fruit, fooling ourselves into believing that we are, somehow, like God. Even though these words and this prayer is spoken each worship service by confessing Lutherans, it now in the process of being eliminated by the enlightened leadership of the ELCA. Apparently, God is lower in the pecking order according to the enlightened elites of the ELCA. Of course, those backward Bible thumping churches are still allowed to use these obsolete rites, but those elightened churches that choose to be more diverse and incorporate other religion's rites are lifted up by this wayward denomination. God has become an afterthought as it is grace for all, believe as you want, just make sure to come to our church and lay your money down. How sad it is for those thirsting for His word to fall into the trap that the leaders of the ELCA have laid.
The ELCA has been faced with the reality of falling membership because the leaders have decided to make social justice, intrinsically wedded to the love of self, the overriding emphasis of their ministry. Problem is, that this social activism that the ELCA continues to engage in, does little to lift up our Lord’s ministry on this earth. This far left agenda has placed the ELCA at odds with those that cling to traditional or classic Lutheranism. As more and more Lutherans that adhere to the authority of Scripture leave the pews of ELCA churches, someone needs to replace them and the financial support that has left with them. So, the leaders, ever aware that their left leaning doctrine pushes the traditional Lutheran away, decide to move even further left and court those that want to be affirmed within their sin, rather than to seek Him. Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” The ELCA continues to lift up the love of self, citing that their diversity of beliefs somehow adds to the strength of their church. This does nothing but trick those who place their trust in this misguided church, just like the serpent tricked Eve. Continue in prayer that more deny themselves and seek the Lord with all their hearts, that they open their hearts and minds to the Truth and return to Him.