Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Devil is in the Details

Often big plans are derailed by those small things that are routinely overlooked but frequently cause serious problems later on, or leading to what can be called unintended consequences. President Obama has found this out with the myriad of failures brought about by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Again, it is the small things that disrupt these new and grand experiments. The ELCA birthed the doctrine of bound conscience in 2009. It was to be the vehicle by which behavior strictly prohibited by God, could be overturned by man and eased into mainstream Lutheranism. As with the problems associated with socializing medicine for a nation with a population of over 300 million, the grand design of this new way of interpreting Scripture is rife with false assumptions and contradictions. The Devil truly has his fingerprints all over the underlying opinions that are cited in order to prop up this misguided doctrine.

The entire premise behind the doctrine of bound conscience is to elevate man’s experience when interpreting Scripture. Societal evolution becomes a determining factor when inferring that the author apparently misunderstood the intent of the Holy Spirit because they were unaware that this generation would become so enlightened as to transcend the authority of God Himself. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America disregards the very articles of the Lutheran faith by accepting the flawed logic of bound conscience. The new and apparently improved official ELCA website no longer contains the “what we believe” section, instead it is replaced by a new faith section where it explains what is taught by ELCA churches. It states that the ELCA confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that they proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That in their preaching and teaching the ELCA trusts the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. It further states that ELCA teaching or theology serves the proclamation and ministry of this faith. Teaching or theology prepares members to be witnesses in speech and in action of God’s rich mercy in Jesus Christ. Apparently, no longer does the ELCA proclaim that the Bible was inspired by God's Spirit and that God spoke through their authors, who recorded and announced God's revelation centered in Jesus Christ.

The ELCA’s official Confession of Faith identifies the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (commonly called the Bible); the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds; and the Lutheran confessional writings in the Book of Concord as the BASIS (emphasis mine) for their teaching. ELCA congregations make the same affirmation in their governing documents, and ELCA pastors promise to preach and teach in accordance with these teaching sources. Just wondering out loud here, but does not “Her Church” teach outside of those boundaries? Promises apparently are meant to be broken by some ELCA pastors. I would guess that their guidelines on human sexuality and bound conscience are found within those teaching sources. They’re not either??? Well, never mind then, they must just be some of those “new things” that the Holy Spirit is revealing to a select few of the more enlightened among us. Since the Father of Lies uses all kinds of wordplay to appeal to our innate selfishness, it would appear that the Devil is surely in these details.

With the ELCA further watering down their statement of faith, one needs to ask, why would they do this? As the leaders of the ELCA become more and more enamored of the world, they conform more and more to what they believe the world expects of them. The more they seek the approval of the world, the further away they drive themselves and their members away from God. Rather than submit to God and understand and teach that all human beings are sinful and cannot free ourselves from the burden of that sin without the saving grace of our Redeemer, ELCA members are called to enable their bound conscience and do what they believe is right. Rather than knowing that human beings are enslaved to sin and continue to engage in evil and immoral conduct, the leaders of the ELCA proclaim that God made you as you are and God does not make evil and immoral beings. I guess Satan was a spontaneous combustion or something like that according to the logic of some ELCA leaders. Rather than denying oneself and pleasing the Lord, the leaders of the ELCA promote that you should please yourself and deny the Lord.

Romans 3:28, 31, “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” The doctrine of bound conscience serves to nullify the law, replacing it with human sensibility. The Apostle Paul was called by Christ Himself to serve to proclaim His Gospel throughout the world. I think he nails it right on the head, exposing all of us as frauds. Without first submitting to our Lord and Savior, we remain on the outside looking in. While the righteousness bestowed upon believers in the Risen Christ grants them salvation, the law serves to remind us of our sin and teaches us what is wrong in the sight of God. The leaders of the ELCA would have you temper your acceptance of the authority of Scripture and replace it with what they determine is a more sensible approach. This church has fallen so far it is unlikely to ever regain footing on the solid ground that is our Lord and Savior. And unfortunately, there are over 4 million of our brothers and sisters in Christ that are subjected to these false teachings. Pray unceasingly for their eyes to be opened to the Truth.