Sunday, July 15, 2012

See No Evil

See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil is a phrase typically meant to describe someone who wants to avoid being embroiled in an uncomfortable or difficult situation. The three monkeys in a row covering their eyes, ears and mouth are universally recognized as the symbol of those that try to deal with misconduct or wrongdoing by refusing to acknowledge it, or by simply feigning ignorance. There are others, like the ELCA, do not simply feign ignorance. The leaders of the ELCA acquiesce to the cravings of a corrupted humanity, ignoring God’s word and create their own interpretation of Scripture, one that is deliberately contrary to God’s intent. Apparently it is easier to affirm sinful behavior than acknowledging that there is, indeed, evil in this world. Confession and absolution, once a mainstay of Lutheran doctrine, has become a casualty of the goal of affirming their members within their sin. What was once so very important in the Lutheran worship service to emphasize that humankind is by nature sinful and needs to acknowledge that fact, is made optional in ELCA churches, to be replaced with a celebration of baptism. Apparently, the leadership of the ELCA believes that to acknowledge that anyone can possibly fall short of the glory of God is much too harmful to the self-esteem of their membership. Proverbs 28:13, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

For those in the ELCA, it is no longer necessary to admit one is sinful. The doctrine of bound conscience allows ELCA members to hold to their own interpretation of Scripture, and even if it is in obvious error, all are called to respect that opinion. So those that wish to uphold their selfish nature are allowed to lift themselves up and over the authority of Scripture. As Christians, we are ever indebted to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, because He took upon Himself the punishment meant for us. When we want to prove our love to the One who gave His life for us, we should want to please Him in all we do. Jesus said in John 14:15, 21, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” We are called to obedience. Even though we are no longer under the law, Jesus commands us to obey. So, where does that leave the leadership of the ELCA that decides that God’s law is no longer relevant in this enlightened age? It is becoming increasingly clear that the ELCA has denied that any authority rests with Scripture, unless it fits with their misguided aspirations to place man’s worldly desires before the will of God.

The leaders of the ELCA see no evil when they disregard Scripture to affirm homosexual behavior. They hear no evil when bound conscience allows their members to disregard the word of God. But, they DO speak evil when they brazenly question the very tenets of our faith; the Virgin Birth, Jesus’ Resurrection, the deity of Christ, the existence of hell and promoting the concept of universalism. Of course, these are not the official teachings of the ELCA, but ELCA biblical scholars pen essays that are not only tolerated, but are published in official ELCA publications and on their websites. (see The Lutheran, Digging Deeper on the ELCA website) Furthermore, these heretical essays are given theological approval, indicating that many biblical scholars believe this way. The false gods of tolerance, diversity, and welcoming are paramount in the ministry of the ELCA. Members accept decisions made by the leadership of the ELCA because Jesus called all Christians to love your neighbor as yourself, and accepting and affirming those within their sin sounds so loving. It is nothing of the sort. Allowing fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to go on believing that their church affirms what God rejects, drives them away from Him and into the arms of the evil one.

The leaders of the ELCA blind their membership with the promise of acceptance without regard to repentance. Once we come to know God and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become a new creation. What we once were is no more. Whatever sin we engaged in, whatever wrongs we committed are forgiven and we endeavor to leave our life of sin behind, living to give Him all the glory. Worldly desires please no one but the evil one. Activists for the LGTBQ community place conditions upon our God, which is nothing more than selfishly refusing to leave their life of sin behind. They refuse to give up engaging in behavior prohibited by God. “Full inclusion” in the church is selfishly requiring God to change to meet their expectations. Excuse me, but that is a little like having the tail wag the dog. God loves His children beyond measure, but we are called to obedience, not the other way around. God is our Father and He has the authority to require His children to meet His expectations. Now, none of us is without sin and no one is righteous, but;

Romans 3:21-26, “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.”

I love my brothers and sisters in Christ in spite of their sin and I hope they would love me in spite of mine. No one knows what is truly in our hearts except our God, and He does love us unconditionally. Will humankind’s preponderance to commit sinful acts jeopardize the grace extended to those with faith in the Risen Christ? No, but when we obey, our Father will be pleased. But, sin is disobedience and disobedience leads to lawlessness, which in turn feeds our selfishness, which ultimately leads us to deny our God the proper place in our lives. Our brothers and sisters in Christ that remain trapped within the progressive churches of the ELCA , Episcopal, and United Church of Christ need our prayers more than ever. As the leaders of these wayward churches advocate for the things of this world and lead their membership away from Christ, so many are at risk of losing their salvation. Pray unceasingly for their deliverance, continue to uphold the authority of Scripture and proclaim the Gospel, so that those that have not heard will come to Him and those who have become lost will return.

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