With so much emphasis on the negative impact of bullying in our society, the leaders of the ELCA have decided to ratchet up the supposed plight of the LGTBQ community. The secular world has all but normalized alternate lifestyles, but that is simply insufficient for the leaders of the ELCA. Those that choose the homosexual lifestyle are now lifted up as more saint than sinner by the enlightened leaders of the ELCA. Luther said that each person is at once a saint and a sinner, righteous and reprobate, saved and lost, but apparently those that choose alternate lifestyles are only saints, righteous and saved. Not only are the misguided leaders of the ELCA determined to approve behavior explicitly prohibited by God, they have decided to go all in. Their program, It Gets Better, designed as an anti-bullying program, is primarily focused to acknowledge, accept and celebrate the LGTBQ lifestyle. Openly gay speakers were featured throughout the ELCA youth gathering in New Orleans this year in an effort to indoctrinate those youth attending, teaching them that homosexuality gets the ELCA good housekeeping seal of approval.
Before everyone gets all worked up and points the finger at all of us hateful, homophobic Bible thumpers, think about this for a minute. The sin of engaging in homosexual behavior will not, in and of itself, lead one to damnation nor is a greater sin than any supposedly good Christian engages in daily. Sin is selfishly refusing to obey God’s will. But, when one decides to tell God that He is wrong and they are right, they are not pleasing the Lord. When one decides that their wants and desires are more important than obedience to the teachings of our Lord and Savior, they make themselves and their desires more important than loving God. When I decide that it is all right for me to engage in behavior that is displeasing to God, I fail to follow the Spirit and choose to listen to the lies of the evil one and please myself. When one fills their heart and soul with the love of Jesus, our wants and desires become secondary. And even though we constantly fail to meet our Lord’s expectations, we truly recognize when we decide to disobey and follow our own desires. Romans 2:14-16, “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” We truly do know right from wrong and no matter how much this errant denomination wants to minimize or eliminate sin; they simply are doing exactly what the evil one wants.
Love your neighbor as yourself is the rallying cry of the progressive leaders of the ELCA. Problem is, loving one’s neighbor is not enough if they happen to be gay. One must ignore the fact that they are sinners, accepting their sin as no longer sinful, respecting their choice to remain in their selfishness, allowing them to placate their sinful human nature. We are taught over and over in Scripture that to follow Jesus requires great sacrifice. Once we believe and allow the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts, we are made new creatures. Our old sinful selves die and we are no longer subject to the punishment we so rightfully deserve. We go on to a new life in Christ, wanting to please Him in all we do by our obedience and through our lives to give Him all the glory. In a prayer for a new Christian, we pray, “Father, I know that I am broken and my sinful nature has separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life and toward you. Please forgive me, and lead me on the path you have set before me.” We admit our brokenness and sinful nature is a wedge we have driven between us and our Lord. We do not tell our God that He must accept us as we are, with no need of repentance or transformation.
But, the leaders of the ELCA use a different strategy. That which our Lord and Savior expects of us is much too difficult a pill to swallow for this errant denomination. Denial is such a negative word and obedience conjures up images of parental discipline. So, sin is declared good and those that accept this as God’s will place themselves at the top rung of the ladder. The enlightened leaders of the ELCA may believe that they have all the answers, but no one is amazed at their understanding except those wishing to hear what their itching ears long to hear. We are part of a selfish, sinful humanity who, if left to our own devices would sink ourselves to the lowest common denominator, ultimately leading to our destruction. When we finally allow Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, into our hearts and turn our lives over to His will, our wants and desires become secondary. The leaders of the ELCA wish to advocate that humankind place their desires before God’s will and somehow this shows the world our love, tolerance and acceptance. Jesus said in Luke 9:23-24, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Jesus has the words of eternal life; the leaders of the ELCA are preaching a gospel other than the one our Lord has taught.