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PASTOR DAVID R. BARNHART RESPONDS TO BISHOP CHILSTROM'S LETTER TO CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF MINNESOTA
DavidBarnhart.com ^ | 12/11/11 | Pastor David Barnhart

Posted on 12/13/2011 3:47:49 PM PST by rhema

Dear Catholic Bishops of Minnesota,

I am writing in response to an open letter addressed to you by Bishop Herbert Chilstrom, a former bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), in which he expressed his support for the homosexual lifestyle and for same-sex marriage, and in which he challenged your stand against the same.

As a Lutheran pastor I want to make clear Bishop Chilstrom’s opinions regarding these matters do not reflect the beliefs of Bible-believing Lutherans, nor does the counsel he gave you reflect the clear teachings of God’s Word. Most of all, I express my profound regret that a former ELCA bishop has advised you under the banner of Lutheranism to set aside the clear teachings of the Scripture and accept, instead, the opinions of men.

In his letter Bishop Chilstrom challenged you to find time for an extended visit with 15 homosexuals, and afterwards spend a quiet hour reflecting on a single question— “As I understand the heart of my Savior Jesus, how would he treat these sons and daughters of my church?” The former bishop seems to believe that if only you spent more time getting to know homosexuals, your opposition to their agenda will fade away.

Regrettably, while Bishop Chilstrom asked you to spend time pondering what homosexuals might say, he did not ask you to spend time with God’s Word or read its unequivocal statements that identify homosexual behavior as sinful. Instead, he asked you to restructure your beliefs according to the misguided reasoning and beliefs of the homosexual community. Extended visits with homosexuals could reap a harvest for God’s kingdom, if both law and gospel were rightly presented to them and if repentance of sin ensued. However, without a true presentation of God’s Word, such visits would be futile.

In his letter Bishop Chilstrom did not offer a single verse of Scripture for your consideration; instead, he asked you to draw conclusions from your own reasoning about “how Jesus would treat these sons and daughters of my church.” The sad fact is this— the ELCA long ago exchanged the authority of Scriptures for the opinions of men. Yet, apart from Scripture it is impossible to know the heart of Christ or discern His will regarding the issues of life.

Because Jesus loves homosexuals and all sinners, He directs us to speak His truth in love and bid them to “go, and sin no more,” just as He said to the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:11). According to Jesus, “Scripture can never be broken” (John 10:35). Thus, we may be certain that the incarnate Son of God would never go against His own divine revelation by accepting the sinful lifestyle of homosexuals or sanctioning same-sex marriages!

God’s Word declares, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10). Nowhere in the Scriptures are we instructed to accept the homosexuals’ chosen life of sin and shame. However, the Bible does direct us to witness both law and gospel to them, calling them to repentance and faith in Christ. Homosexuals, like all of us sinners, must come to Christ, repent, and receive by faith the One who died for them. Those who do so will not only be saved, they will be set free from the bondage of sin and their lives will be forever transformed.

The good news of Christ’s gospel is this—Our Lord is able to change and transform lives, and the Holy Spirit is able to empower them to walk in true obedience to His Word. Paul writes, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Finally, I applaud your stand against abortion, homosexual acts, same-sex marriage, as well as the adoption of children by same-sex couples. I especially applaud your support of Minnesota’s proposed “Marriage Amendment.” As bishops, it is your duty to uphold the teachings of the Bible on these matters, which is precisely what you are doing. Such a stand is worthy of commendation, not condemnation. I encourage you to hold the blood-bought ground and lift high God’s Word, that people will hear the truth from bishops whose God-given responsibility it is to uphold truth!

Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor David R. Barnhart,
Director, Abiding Word Ministries


TOPICS: Apologetics; General Discusssion; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholic; elca; lutheran; prolife

1 posted on 12/13/2011 3:47:55 PM PST by rhema
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To: SmithL; lightman; Salvation
As a Lutheran pastor I want to make clear Bishop Chilstrom’s opinions regarding these matters do not reflect the beliefs of Bible-believing Lutherans, nor does the counsel he gave you reflect the clear teachings of God’s Word. Most of all, I express my profound regret that a former ELCA bishop has advised you under the banner of Lutheranism to set aside the clear teachings of the Scripture and accept, instead, the opinions of men.
2 posted on 12/13/2011 3:49:12 PM PST by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema
Well, it is nice to see sanity in the Lutheran Church.

I thought God's opinion was made pretty clear with that Sodom and Gomorrah thing.

(AFAIK, they are the only two cities mentioned after the Exodus which have not been found by archaeologists. )

3 posted on 12/13/2011 3:52:36 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: rhema

Thanks Mr. Bernhardt!

Your kind words and repudiation of ECLA haven’t gone unnoticed by us Catholics.

“We must all hang together or else we will all hang separately”.


4 posted on 12/13/2011 3:54:05 PM PST by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: rhema

A real Lutheran sets the record straight. Good for him.

Freegards


5 posted on 12/13/2011 3:57:43 PM PST by Ransomed
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To: rhema

May God bless this man and all of his endeavors for the greater glory of God!


6 posted on 12/13/2011 4:19:38 PM PST by Notwithstanding (1998 ACU ratings: Newt=100%, Paul=88%, Santorum=84% [the last year all were in Congress])
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To: rhema

May God richly bless you, Pastor Barnhart. However, you have no need to worry. The Catholic will NEVER change her teaching on this matter.

Thank you, our brother in Christ, for bravely speaking out the truth.

;-)


7 posted on 12/13/2011 4:25:45 PM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: Ransomed
Pr Barnhart in his blog chronicles the hundreds of Lutheran congregations which have elected to leave the ELCA for other, scripturally based, Lutheran communions. Of the thousands of others who as individuals are fleeing the apostate ELCA, many are reuniting with the Mother Church.
8 posted on 12/13/2011 5:24:30 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Smokin' Joe

They may have found Sodom:

http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=9620


9 posted on 12/13/2011 5:50:57 PM PST by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: rhema

Wonderfully written & prayers for Pastor David!


10 posted on 12/13/2011 5:52:49 PM PST by surroundedbyblue (Live the message of Fatima - pray & do penance!)
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To: rhema

And this Catholic says “Thank you, Rev. Barnhart, and have a very Merry Christmas!”


11 posted on 12/13/2011 6:57:12 PM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: hinckley buzzard
Whodda thunk that the "Gay Liberation" of the 1970's would have, over the years, turned into a river of conversions from Protestants to the Catholic Church, thanks to the gradual liberization of some Protestant denominations--artificial birth control, women ministers, homosexual ministers, same-sex homosexual couple-ministers and so on?

All I used to hear about were the abandoning Catholics.
Life is so interesting, innit?
Jesus will win of course, and His Church with Him. Of all the sure things in life, THAT'S a no-brainer given.

12 posted on 12/13/2011 8:02:50 PM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain
"Whodda thunk that the "Gay Liberation" of the 1970's would have, over the years, turned into a river of conversions from Protestants to the Catholic Church,"

Who also would have thought that the accepted Catholic child molesting priest would have turned into millions and millions of conversions from Catholic to independant Protestants.

13 posted on 12/14/2011 5:10:28 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity
"Millions and millions"? Because of the molestation scandal? Doubt it. There were millions and millions who left before that, because they were never taught their faith, a faith which was watered down to nothing in many parishes in the U.S. during the 1960's and 1970's. Thanks be to God that situation is beginning to be fixed.

When those "millions and millions" whom you say left because of the molestation scandal ... when they find out that their Protestant pastors are sinners, too, where will they go?

14 posted on 12/14/2011 5:44:31 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: Campion
"When those "millions and millions" whom you say left because of the molestation scandal ... when they find out that their Protestant pastors are sinners, too, where will they go?"

They stayed right where they were because they knew that now they had the right to fire any Pastor caught in such sin so he could repent, rather than being in a situation where they had no such power and had to watch the Church just send him to a new flock to prey on. Millions and millions.

15 posted on 12/14/2011 5:56:09 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

Well thankfully for you no Protestant minister has ever sexually abused a child. /s


16 posted on 12/14/2011 6:24:05 AM PST by Not gonna take it anymore (Member of the First Church of Christ, I am Catholic)
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To: Not gonna take it anymore

Thankfully /s


17 posted on 12/14/2011 6:47:35 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity
They stayed right where they were because they knew that now they had the right to fire any Pastor caught in such sin so he could repent

Yeah, they can "fire" him by leaving and going to another church ... but they could do that before, so nothing much has changed.

I wasn't born yesterday; there are plenty of "independent" Protestant churches founded and run by one man who has almost dictatorial authority. In fact, I can point you to more than one conversion story written by Catholics who point to exactly that problem as the reason why they left Protestantism.

18 posted on 12/14/2011 8:02:55 AM PST by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: Campion
"In fact, I can point you to more than one conversion story written by Catholics who point to exactly that problem as the reason why they left Protestantism."

So what? I can point to dozens who left the Catholic church for the same reason. What's the point?

19 posted on 12/14/2011 8:05:33 AM PST by circlecity
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To: Not gonna take it anymore; Campion
There is nothing you can say or do that will make a dent in the illogic of a hater of the Catholic Church.
That shows how very deeply his feelings are. If he were indifferent he would be worth talking to. But his hatred is a wall, stone, cold, angry and bitter. The only one to get through to him is God Almighty.

The Catholic Church is the largest institution under which any group of people live--one leader, one faith. No other institution can claim that.
The Catholic Church is also the longest to have this largest community, that is, 2000 years.

Schism, heretics, Reformers, athiests, you name it, Christ will prevail. It's His Church, shepharded by His Rock and His 11 other Apostles. That's all Jesus left us on this earth. Peter called the first council of Jerusalem in 49 A.D. so the definition of Christ's followers could be determined. Popes still call councils. Nothing has changed in the Apostolic tradition or Magesterium.
The New Testament, all 27 documents, survives intact, unchanged, since its collation in 380, 400 and 420 A.D. (Anno Dominum) despite the efforts to delete books of the Old Testament and New Testaments, add words (We are saved by works....ALONE, added by Luther.) or the addition of the golden plates of the Angel Maroni.

Our Catholic Church hater needs prayers. Care to try? :o)

20 posted on 12/14/2011 10:24:05 AM PST by cloudmountain
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To: cloudmountain

Sometimes the ones who hate us the most are the ones who convert.

And as they are drawn by the Holy Spirit to Christ’s church, they are often surprised and finally grateful.

That is how I became a Catholic, though I never had hatred for the Church.


21 posted on 12/14/2011 6:34:16 PM PST by Not gonna take it anymore (Member of the First Church of Christ, I am Catholic)
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To: rhema

Barnhart sounds like a strong man of God. Thanks for posting.


22 posted on 12/21/2011 2:31:50 PM PST by ReformationFan
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