Aesop’s Fables contain the story of the ant and the grasshopper. If you can recall from your childhood, the ant toiled to prepare for the coming winter, saving his food and building shelter for the anticipated storm. The ant chided the grasshopper for not planning for the future, while the grasshopper ridiculed the ant for not living for today. The grasshopper fiddled away the summer, partying, binging, eating all of his food and failed prepare at all for the future. When the harsh winter arrived, the ant was warm and cozy while the grasshopper starved to death in the cold. Our Lord and Savior would call on us to open our homes and feed and clothe the grasshopper, even though he did nothing to deserve our compassion. So it is with our brothers and sisters of the ELCA. The doctrine of bound conscience and the gospel of radical inclusiveness allow those that choose to do so, to create a god on their own terms and believe as they wish, simply disregarding any and all Scripture deemed to be troublesome. Those true to the authority of Scripture plan for a future with our Lord by reading and listening to the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, believing through the Holy Spirit, and endeavoring to obey our Father’s rules for us.
The long hard winter will eventually arrive and our brothers and sisters in the ELCA that accept and believe these false gospels are very much at risk of falling away from God. When one chooses to interpret Scripture to placate their personal desires, they risk being charged and convicted of placing themselves above our God. When one chooses to raise up the gospel of radical inclusiveness over the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or as Bishop Hanson proclaims that one cannot exist without the other, they risk rejecting the grace of God and losing the very salvation that our Lord offers them. Those that have left behind the heresy of the ELCA and decided to “walk together” with a church that upholds the authority of Scripture have planned for and secured their salvation. What of those that continue to trust a church that preaches a gospel other than the one our Lord preached? Will those who have attended to their own spiritual safety sit back and allow our brothers and sisters in Christ to starve?
James 5:19-20, “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” Christians are called to proclaim the Truth to the world so that they too may be saved. What of those who fall away, chasing the pleasing words of affirmation, welcoming, and tolerance? What are we if we sit by, safe and secure, and do nothing to save our brothers and sisters? It is all well and good to save yourself, but once saved, do we not burn to share our joy? We cannot simply stand by and watch fellow Christians be led down the path that the leadership of the ELCA would have them travel.
This fight is for the souls of those that belong to Jesus Christ. We are the Lord’s soldiers and we are charged to love our neighbor as ourselves, and that means sharing the Gospel with everyone, especially those who are being led astray. Bishop Mark Hanson leads his merry band of grasshoppers, choosing to advocate for those wanting the affirmation of their sinful lives rather than the daunting task of denying themselves and turning their lives over to the Lord. His two-step dance of the gospel of radical inclusiveness and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, omits the need for self-denial. This leaves his flock simply hopping around on one foot, not dancing to the Gospel that our Lord taught. It is time that Christians take the lead in this dance and lead them back to the Lord. Most that choose to accept and believe these false teachings, still have the love of Jesus burned in their hearts. It is our responsibility to make sure that flame continues to burn, overwhelming those false gospels so that the love of our Lord brings them back to path our Lord wants them to follow.