Martin Luther penned a letter on August 1st, 1521 to his fellow priest Philip Melanchton. A small portion of the content of this letter is a major emphasis in the ELCA’s foray into apostasy and insistence in proclaiming sin, particularly the sin of homosexuality, as good in the eyes of their church. “Sin boldly” is the rallying cry of the misguided that declare that God could not have possibly understood how enlightened mankind would become, or that His children would pronounce the maker of the universe, mistaken. In August of 2009 as the ELCA churchwide assembly voted to accept practicing homosexuals as righteous, a tornado struck the ELCA church across the street from the convention center hosting the ELCA CWA, breaking the steeple and turning the cross upside down. This sign was declared by advocates of the assembly’s decision as a wind of change and that God approved of the actions of the assembly. Perhaps, God’s chosen that lived when the disobedient 30,000 Israelites were swallowed up by the earth and the perverse residents of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by burning sulfur rained down from heaven believed similarly, since many returned to their disobedience shortly thereafter.
From Luther’s letter; "If you are a preacher of Grace, then preach a true, not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here we have to sin. This life in not the dwelling place of righteousness but, as Peter says, we look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. . . . Pray boldly-you too are a mighty sinner."
“If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God's glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.”
When we pick and choose what we want to believe, while disregarding those passages of Scripture that we disagree with or are troubling to us, we deny God’s authority and behave as petulant children, ungrateful for all the gifts He has bestowed us. The leaders of the ELCA trivialize the tenets of the Lutheran faith, leading their membership away from the Lord and pushing them to worship themselves, their possessions and their identities by adopting the doctrine of bound conscience. So much of the ministry of the ELCA emphasizes social justice while reaching out to save the lost is less than an afterthought. Luther was right. This world is not fair. It is not a place where justice resides. We live in a broken world. We are here to proclaim the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This world is but a stopping place on our journey to eternity, and a short stay at that. Like it or not, we are all sinners, no matter your chosen sexuality or sinful proclivity. Place your trust in the saving grace of our Savior and your sexuality no longer matters, only furthering God’s kingdom and giving Him all your praise. We do not put our trust in an institution that is falling away from the teachings of Jesus.
When Luther reached that epiphany that man cannot earn his way into heaven and is saved by faith in the Risen Christ alone, our understanding of God’s grace and our salvation was changed forever. No one is righteous. Only one human being was ever righteous, and that was and is Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Redeemer and Savior, who took upon himself the sin of all the world, suffered our punishment and rose, defeating death, opening the path to our salvation. Christ alone is the reason for our joy. Christ alone is to be given all the glory. Christ alone has all authority to save us from ourselves. So, this wayward denomination that places human understanding on an even plane with the Creator of all that is and stands accused of promoting heresy, affirming sinfulness, advocating multiple paths to salvation and endorsing the worship of the self, lashes out at those that attempt to lead them back to the path our Lord set out for them.
Truly, if the shoe fits, wear it. 1 Timothy 6:3-5, “Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” Yet, the leaders of the ELCA persist in their declaration that God, through the Holy Spirit inspired authors of Scripture, could not possibly understand how times have changed and then try to justify their apostasy by inferring that God is telling them new things. That is truly reading between the lines and putting words in God’s mouth. Every time I read a passage of Scripture, I am truly amazed how those words written so long ago, are still so pertinent to our lives.
Continue in prayer that our brothers and sisters in Christ have their hearts and minds opened to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and realize the reckless path that the leaders of the ELCA would have them travel.