Friday, February 24, 2006

ELCA's Mountainous Sin (It's Nearly Broken-back!)

The Pietist just posted the following:

ELCA's Mountainous Sin (It's Nearly Broken-back!)

It should be slowly dawning on more and more members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore. The ELCA is coming out with a new hymnal in which they are removing most of the masculine language from Scripture and hymns and the usage of the current Lutheran Book of Worship. The question is raised again, "By whose authority do you do this?" The obvious subservience of ELCA leaders to the activists of the GLBT movement (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans-gendered) and their relentless push to normalize homoeroticism, raises the question, "By whose authority do you do this?"

If you write them, they will send you a form letter (probably becasue they get so many objections, yet they keep on going, like the Energizer Bunny). To the first example, they will say, "We studied it carefully." To the second, "We will take a four year journey together and then vote." It becomes more and more obvious that the staff people of the ELCA believe they have so much authority that they can reconfigure the way we are ordered as a society, and will reach even as far as a religious person can and change the words that come out of God's mouth.

Less that two years ago I set forth to see if I could come to understand how the ELCA got to where it is, and it slowly dawned on me that we have become so ill-versed in Scripture, and Lutheran theology (the Confessions) that many no longer can even recognize heresy. Examples abound. Go to and you'll find an ELCA congregation that invites women to go to Crete and pour libations on the altars of pagan gods. You might say that this is but one congregation and they hardly speak for the theology of a denomination? Well, go here
and you can see our top official float one heresy balloon after another, celebrating that since some theologian has written convincingly that God is at work in all religions (!!!) that we can rejoice that all are saved, that since another theologian has written convincingly that the Office of the Keys based on Jewish authorities of the time of Jesus actually means "loosing the current understanding of the law." (Martin Luther placed this traditional teaching of the place of the forgiveness of sins in the life of the Church in the Small Catechism part of our Confessions)

From its Presiding Bishop down through its synods, pastors, seminaries, and colleges, and from coast to coast, it is as though antidisestablishmentarianism (fanaticism, really) is in control. After the hot debate around sexuality at its biennial assembly, at which the pro-GLBT forces suffered defeat on their two resolutions, what Metro NY Bishop Stephen Bouman understood was, "We voted for a marvelously ambiguous opportunity to continue to be pastoral in our congregations [with] gay and lesbian people, including blessings of relationships." (no ambiguity for New England Bishop Margaret Payne went beyond that and told her pastors to go ahead and do it, but that's another story). Its publishing arm, Augsburg Fortress touts books about reclaiming Jezebel as a role model for women (a murderous, idolater!). The Lutheran magazine praises the movie Brokeback Mountain (a movie which one would expect a church magazine, regardless of which side of the gay movement you stand, would recognize as a celebration of a love affair that tears two families apart).

In the same issue one finds the cover story to be "A Celebration of Doubt" in which Martin Luther is used woefully. Luther, as he explained in his own words, experienced Anfechtungen, periods of prayer where his thoughts and words seemed to be informed by both God and the devil. His primary doubts were about predestination, whether he would go to heaven or hell, not the existence of God!

The ELCA's theme for camp ministry this year is "La Frontera" which is a "celebration of ambiguity" for our junior and senior high youth. There we read, "La Frontera is a place. It can mean a “place of transition,” a “place of indecision,” a “place of struggle,” “on the edge of a place,” or a “place of uncertainty.”
(Great! Let's devote all our resources to teach the next generation that ambiguity is real place)

Why? Why do we want to make lack of certainty the new dogma in a tradition named after a man whose whole life was about the truth could be known by everyone by reading the Word though the faith given by the Holy Spirit?

It is as though we want to celebrate that which we should be most troubled about: not knowing what lies behind the phrase, "the authority of Scripture."

It's not all that hard to figure out (and I say this after two years of research). Once a church is unsure of who wrote the Bible, it is a scary prospect, and they get about the business of ordering their lives differently. The problem soon becomes apparent when they begin to do it 180 degrees different. They can't get past the first bit of the Small Catechism, the Ten Commandments, "There shall be no other Gods before Me."

The good news is that many in the ELCA woke up just as I did and are taking an account of what is going on and what can be done about it. We are not bigots or hot heads. We merely want to have good order, a truly "safe place" for our children where they will learn that Scripture does indeed have clarity and an answer to all of life's questions and that the main thing is there is no ambiguity about the God who chose to reveal himself in Jesus Christ, who still send his Spirit to His Church and bestows believers with all His blessings.

Go to the LC3/CORE web site or their blog at and learn about the two newly formed groups for reform (CORE) and renewal (LC3) in the ELCA. Take the Common Confession to your Church Council and listen to the discussion and speak to the situation. If they find a problem with any of the simple seven statements of classic Lutheranism, our understanding may being its slow (or not so slow) dawning.

BTW, the LC3 blog is looking great these days. You should get involved with both LC# and CORE.

Are you working on your resolutions yet? end in any good ones and I'll post them.

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The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...