Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How the ELCA Left the Great Tradition for Liberal Protestantism
Christianity Today ^ | 9/02/2009 | Robert Benne

Posted on 09/04/2009 6:14:42 PM PDT by rhema

There is no authoritative biblical or theological guidance in the church. There are only many voices.

During last week's biennial Church Wide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the church affirmed major policy recommendations to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions (which practice will soon inflate to same-sex marriage) and the rostering of gay and lesbian pastors in partnered relationships.

Earlier in the week it also passed by one vote—out of over 1,000 total votes cast—a Social Statement on Sexuality that admitted there was no consensus on the moral evaluation of homosexual conduct, and offered no compelling biblical or theological reasons to support the policies it later in fact adopted. The Statement was firm and bold on issues that everyone agreed upon—the moral condemnation of promiscuity, pornography, sexual exploitation, etc.—but indecisive and vague about contested issues—co-habitation, premarital sex, the importance of the nuclear family, and, of course, homosexual conduct.

Right before the vote on the Social Statement a totally unexpected tornado hit the Minneapolis Conference Center where we were meeting as well as the huge Central Lutheran Church next door, knocking the cross off one of its towers. Orthodox voting members saw the work of God in the tornado's cross-toppling effects and in the vote that passed with a .666 majority. Revisionists noted that the sun came out after the vote. In response the orthodox quipped that the sun comes out almost every day, but rogue tornados are pretty rare!

Those in the orthodox camp warned the assembly not to vote on binding church doctrine, especially if it had no convincing biblical or theological arguments to overturn the moral consensus of the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church held throughout the ages and by 99 percent of the world's Christians.

(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: apostasy; cult; elca; fauxchristians; gaychurch; homosexualcult; liberals; lutheran; nonchristiancult; protestants; religiousleft; schism; sickpuppies

1 posted on 09/04/2009 6:14:42 PM PDT by rhema
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Caleb1411
On the other hand, the decision was not at all unexpected by those of us who have fought against the underlying currents operating in the ELCA from its very inception. The fight has been long yet predictable. Liberal Protestantism was the ELCA's destination. Indeed, its presiding Bishop, Mark Hanson, is fast becoming the charismatic leader of liberal Protestantism.
2 posted on 09/04/2009 6:15:52 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lightman

Yo.


3 posted on 09/04/2009 6:16:15 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema

What’s the Missouri Synod’s take on all this? Are they allowing homosexual pastors and weddings, etc.?


4 posted on 09/04/2009 6:16:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $1 million for Sarah Palin if she runs; What will you do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema
Whatever happened to obeying God? Too risky these days for the ELCA?
5 posted on 09/04/2009 6:16:57 PM PDT by pray4liberty (satisfied customer of http://www.skyangel.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

no


6 posted on 09/04/2009 6:31:54 PM PDT by xone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: pray4liberty
Whatever happened to obeying God? Too risky these days for the ELCA?

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:43

7 posted on 09/04/2009 6:36:21 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
No. The Missouri Synod believes that all forms of homosexuality are contrary to the clear teachings of Holy Scripture. The President of the LCMS has issued a statement condemning this decision of the ELCA.

As the article noted, this action was not a big surprise when the ELCA endorsed homosexual behavior. It was the inevitable result of women's ordination. People tried to warn the ALC and LCA long before the ELCA was established that if they chose to ignore Scripture and adopt the secular agenda, it would come to this. They didn't listen then, and they are not listening now. The ELCA has adopted liberal cultural relativism as the norm for interpreting Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

8 posted on 09/04/2009 6:39:09 PM PDT by Nosterrex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rhema

The battle cry of Martin Luther was SOLA SCRIPTURA. The ECLA have now done away with SCRIPTURA. This is simply the consequence of what they’ve done.

I wonder why they still use the name of “Luther” for their organization.


9 posted on 09/04/2009 6:42:11 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I say HOW DARE THEY use the name Luther.


10 posted on 09/04/2009 6:53:18 PM PDT by nkycincinnatikid
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Nosterrex

My family worshipped at both LCA and ALC churches as I grew up (we moved a lot) and I attended a LCMS school for 8th grade. Very sad.


11 posted on 09/04/2009 7:01:15 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $1 million for Sarah Palin if she runs; What will you do?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: aberaussie; Aeronaut; aliquando; AlternateViewpoint; AnalogReigns; Archie Bunker on steroids; ...
Thanks to Charles Henrickson (faithful LC-MS Pastor) for the ping.



Lutheran (EL C S*A) Ping!

* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.

12 posted on 09/04/2009 7:14:17 PM PDT by lightman (Adjutorium nostrum (+) in nomine Domini.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rhema
So, ELCA, making excuses for man's sin takes precedent over the glory of God and teaching His Commandments.

Some churches are even teaching that, really, there is no such thing as sin. It's all relative...imagine that!

13 posted on 09/04/2009 7:25:51 PM PDT by pray4liberty (satisfied customer of http://www.skyangel.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: rhema

I hope the Missouri Synod churches are ready for the influx.


15 posted on 09/04/2009 8:58:45 PM PDT by cookcounty ("Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire." ---Yeats)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

Definitely no...LCMS is not like the ELCA...


16 posted on 09/04/2009 9:12:08 PM PDT by Valentine_W
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: pray4liberty

I hope they all enjoy their reward here on earth.


17 posted on 09/04/2009 10:44:55 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: cookcounty
I'm LCMS. I don't really expect an influx. There may be a few quiet, unassuming souls who just tip-toe out the back door and join the LCMS.

Seems to me, though, that not many people will leave. There's an organization of liberal Lutherans who want to remain true to their heritage (Lutheran CORE) but, at the end of the day, I don't think they identify with LCMS. Those folks are more likely to form their own associations.

It's just as well. If there were a great influx, they'd just "re-invent" the LCMS and spoil it within a generation.

18 posted on 09/04/2009 11:11:12 PM PDT by TPartyType
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: TPartyType
I was former ELCA. We left seventeen years and ago for the LCMS and I agree with every word you said. I, also do not expect a big influx. We will barely feel it. Pride gets in the way of doing the right thing. They absolutely will be going to the LCMC, or whatever other group.

The LCMC is a step in the right direction but they will eventually be right back to where they are now as one of the reasons they don't want to take a complete step away from the ELCA is because they still believe in women in the clergy.

19 posted on 09/05/2009 4:36:31 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma (Al Franken--the face of the third-party voters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
I wonder why they still use the name of “Luther” for their organization.

The people who made the Yugo would have used the name "Cadillac" if they could have.

20 posted on 09/05/2009 8:00:32 AM PDT by RobinOfKingston (Democrats, the party of evil. Republicans, the party of stupid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: rhema

Am I the only one to notice an enourmous amount of irony in one protestant group chastising another protestant group for rejecting tradition ?


21 posted on 09/05/2009 8:10:52 AM PDT by lucias_clay (All We Weed Up !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Conservativegreatgrandma
Greetings, sister!

Pride . . . yes. Other stumbling blocks that will likely keep many souls from leaving the ELCA are:

Sorry to be a downer . . . I'm truly happy to meet other LCMS Christians on FR!! One thing we can all celebrate: Our common heritage ROCKS and is substantive, and rich, and constitutes a solid foundation in the faith! What our Reformation forebears did for us is absolutely analogous to what the Founding Fathers did for America's polity.

Blessings,

TPartyType

22 posted on 09/05/2009 9:21:10 AM PDT by TPartyType
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Conservativegreatgrandma
. . . and I need to add, I would lovingly, gladly, receive any ELCA members who are fed up. But I would hope they would refrain from fanning the flames of liberalism in the LCMS. Lord knows we don't need any help in that department!

I pray they'd realize that the LCMS is precariously positioned on the same slippery slope that got the ELCA where it is today, but that the faithful traditionalists are trying to hit the brakes, so to speak. (But I would wager most who leave the ELCA for the LCMS, unlike you and ConservativeGreatGrandpa just couldn't help themselves, because they're "hardwired" to drift toward liberalism; to reject traditional, conservative theology.

23 posted on 09/05/2009 9:30:45 AM PDT by TPartyType
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: TPartyType
Well, actually, I grew up in the former Lutheran church before they became the American Lutheran Church.

I look back and not only did we have close communion, you had to go to the church on Sat. afternoon before communion to "announce" that you desired to take communion the next day.

I remember that all church members kneeled at their seats during confession of sins.

If anything, I recall they were more strict than our current LCMS.

Then it became the ALC and things were still alright as far as I could tell at the time. BUT after 1988 and the merger that brought them to the ELCA was a total game changer.

I think we left in about 1992 for the LCMS.

I believe I am right where I started. Women in the clergy? My former church would not have thought of it. See what 30 years of liberalism can do?

24 posted on 09/05/2009 9:34:04 AM PDT by Conservativegreatgrandma (Al Franken--the face of the third-party voters)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: lucias_clay
Am I the only one to notice an enourmous amount of irony in one protestant group chastising another protestant group for rejecting tradition ?

Tradition ain't all it's cracked up to be, notably where it diverges from the Bible. Jesus chastised the Pharisees, telling them, "By your traditions you make the Word of God to no effect."

The authority of God's Word is what counts, not any denomination's tradition. Where the ELCA has wrought its latest apostasy is by thumbing its collective nose at the clear Biblical proscriptions against homosexual behavior.

25 posted on 09/05/2009 2:39:55 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: rhema

Jesus also told the people to obey what the scribes and pharisees told them.

The question though of violating clear proscriptions in the word of God is a fascinating one. Whether it is clear or not depends, increasingly, on which translation you use. Many modern translations blur that line more and more, leaving one free to determine for instance that it wasn’t homosexuality it was doing it in the context of shrine prostitution for instance. ( I refer to various passages that have been retranslated that way ).

Just a couple days ago the International Bible Society or as its now called Biblica announced plans to produce a more correct NIV version. Particularly “more inclusive” They have tried this before resellign the NIV Inclusive version in the US as the Readers version. The TNIV crashed and burned as well. So they will try again.

Whats fascinating for me in all this is the NIV is the most popular ( sales wise ) version out there today. Just for fun I did some research and found out Zondervan went public on the NASDAQ a few decades ago, then was bought by Harper Collins which itself is a subsidary of Newscorp Rupert Murdochs company. As in Fox News parent company I think.

This is all just interesting trivia I found today and thought I’d pass on.

Cheers.


26 posted on 09/05/2009 4:15:51 PM PDT by lucias_clay (All We Weed Up !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: lucias_clay
Jesus also told the people to obey what the scribes and pharisees told them.

Not exactly.

"Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." Matthew 23:2-3

Jesus meant for them to follow the Commandments of God, which God gave Moses. It was mistranslated from "he" (Moses) to "they".

27 posted on 09/05/2009 7:21:25 PM PDT by pray4liberty (satisfied customer of http://www.skyangel.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: lightman; Charles Henrickson
Former ELCA pastor Tom Brock (Hope Lutheran AFLC in Minneapolis) chronicles more of the ELCA's recent apostasies and heresies, universalism among them.
28 posted on 09/06/2009 11:06:37 AM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: TPartyType

I am one who has left the ELCA and joining the LCMS. Some friends and I are not tiptoeing, some have, some may. NOt tiptoeing has cost us relationships. This has been very hard. Some of us have been very vocal to a pastor with an agenda that does not match ours.

I caution you that your post reflected an attitude that was not very welcoming to those who are hurt and seeking. This is the time for LCMS to shine. It is the judgmentalism we have heard and experienced by LCMS in the past that makes many reluctant to come. I’m glad I had the choice of an LCMS church and that the church and members have been very welcoming in embracing us.


29 posted on 10/31/2009 5:26:50 AM PDT by skandi (OUT OF ELCA AND HAPPY!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: skandi
Thank you, Skandi.

Just a note of clarification: I meant to voice more skepticism than judgmentalism. I understand how it came across as judgmental, but I was trying to observe what I take to be some of the factors that keep people from taking radical steps; making radical moves.

Leaving one's lifelong church is a difficult thing to do, and I've looked for people to leave the ELCA every time there is a new step away from the authority of scripture, but it hasn't happened, so I wasn't expecting it to happen this time, to any significant extent . . . boy was I wrong! HA!

We've got about a dozen people coming to our church right now who've left a local ELCA church! Hallelujah! And, believe me, we are doing everything we can to make them feel welcome.

However, as an elder, I have to say, I'm still concerned that they understand that we want them to assimilate to the LCMS. We cannot handle any more pressure to become more liberal. It's already too difficult to fight those battles within the synod. I can imagine how it would be that some (many?) would have a sentimental/emotional attachment to tradition, given the battles in the ELCA the past decades, but, in practice, will feel compelled to "enlighten" their new congregation. I think this is a matter of "temperament," so to speak, and therefor, I would suspect, they won't be able to help themselves. (Again, not to be judgmental; just an observation and/or hypothesis. I obviously could be wrong here . . .)

So I ask you, as one who's left: Do the people who are leaving the ELCA understand that, if they start trying to get the LCMS to accommodate them in terms of opening up and being less traditional, in a few years they may likely be right back in the same situation?

Blessings,

T

30 posted on 11/03/2009 6:09:10 AM PST by TPartyType
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson