We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Leave the ELCA!

On June 12th I wrote that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was apostate. Since that time the church hierarchy has proven my point.

Last week the ELCA held a conference and on Wednesday voted on a “social statement on human sexuality,” which said the ELCA, according to an AP article, “could accommodated diverging views on homosexuality.” Two thirds of the 1,045 delegates voted to pass this statement.

Question for the ELCA: Where do you find biblical authority for diverging views on what God has called an abomination?

Not to be outdone, on Friday they voted to let sexually active gays and lesbians serve as clergy, as long as they are in committed relationships. Previously they could serve only if they remained celibate. The vote passed with 68% approval.

Question for the ELCA: Do any of you who voted for this stuff ever read your Bible? If homosexuality is abhorrent to God, and if God calls homosexual behavior a sin, how can you justify such behavior to the point where those who are practitioners are permitted to be leaders in the Church?!?!?!

Question for the ELCA: Will you next sanction adultery? What about fornication? What about pedophilia? Or perhaps prostitution is acceptable? What sexual immorality do you not condone, and why?

As I have asked about the Episcopal Church, if you are a true Christian can you explain why you would remain a member of this denomination?


4simpsons said...

Great questions, but don't hold your breath waiting for answers. These God-mockers make it up as they go

Anonymous said...

It's as if sin no longer exists. We were born into a fallen world as sinful creatures. It is through faith and hope and God's grace that we can battle back against temptation. To not recognize our sinfulness is to say we have no need for God. I will leave the ELCA, I just hope a Lutheran Church emerges that will use the Bible, not society, for its backbone.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Might I suggest LCMS Lutheran? I was with LCMS for 8 years, my wife grew up in that church. They are fundamental still.

My separation from LCMS was do mostly to the stress of tradition over Scripture (catechism is all about learning what Luther said vs learning about Scripture), consubstantiation, and baptismal regeneration. Except for those points, I have no problem worshiping at a LCMS church.

Jonathan said...

Say what? What do you mean about what Luther teachings/tradition said over what Scripture says? Um, maybe you missed the point that Luther's Catechism is not just a "tradition" but is a faithful exposition of Scripture. OK, it's true his little catechism is not "Scripture," but Lutherans (at least the real ones) confess that the Lutheran writings in the Book of Concord, which includes the big and small catechisms of Luther, are a faithful exposition of the Scriptures. That is, the Confessions and Scripture don't contradict each other. Yet it's also true that the confessions don't replace or trump scripture either. Sorry you had that impression of us in the LCMS, but we do tend to use the historic Lutheran writings to remind us what the Scriptures say and what we believe, teach, and confess about the Scriptures. That said, I agree that if you are looking for a church body that is faithful to the Scriptures and to the administration of the sacraments as Jesus Christ instituted them, and are not beholden to the appeal of human reason or emotion, then look no further than LC-MS.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Jonathan,

What I meant by my comment was that in the catechism class the teens were required to memorized Luther’s words explaining the scripture, but never told to memorize the scripture. I found that in 3 different LCMS bodies we attended. In the one assembly the pastor took ill and was hospitalized for a period and I then taught the catechism class. I had the kids memorize the Scripture and explain in their own words what the passage meant, had them explain in their own words what the Lord’s Prayer meant, etc.

Additionally, there was the final adherence to tradition that left to our leaving the Lutheran church. We were about to move across country and my son had only completed the first year of his catechism class. A previous student who was already older than those who were in the class, was given only one year class instead of the traditional two because her family was new to the church and she was past the age for the first year class. Using that as an example that one year is okay, I requested my son be confirmed so he could take communion before we moved. We had taught him from childhood about the Faith and he confessed his faith in Christ at the age of 8 and asked for and received baptism. At 13 we just wanted him confirmed, and I even asked the pastor to examine in him in his catechism since he was ready. The pastor refused, saying two years in the class was tradition except in certain circumstances, and that we could finish his second year wherever we moved to. This meeting took place with the board of elders and they were okay with the confirmation and suggested to the pastor that it be done, but the pastor stood his ground. I then read Mark 7:6-8, stated that as the priest of my home I would consider my son confirmed, and then got up and left and never came back. We now attend a fundamental Bible church.

After leaving the LDS church in 1972, I remained an unbeliever until January 1974. Being in the Army at the time, I didn’t have a lot of chance to find a church for worship. When I got out of the Army in February 1975, my work schedule for the next several years had me working on Sundays. My wife, who was raised LCMS, and I would have personal studies together but we didn’t attend church. As our children grew up she would walk them down the street to the local Baptist church for Sunday School. When I had my shift changed in 1987 to being off on Sundays, I began a thorough study of all denominations to see which one I thought followed the N.T. more closely. (At that time I was unaware of independent bodies, having believed all were part of some denomination.) When my research led me to choose LCMS it was with some reservations because I didn’t agree with consubstantiation (which I see as no more than transubstantiation slightly weakened) nor did I agree with baptismal regeneration. However, we elected to go to a local LCMS body and my wife had her membership transferred from her home town, and I asked to be allowed to partake of communion and to be baptized. Even though I had told the pastor of my substantial biblical studies, my beginnings in apologetics and my thorough study and understanding of the Book of Concord (which I still possess), he required me to attend six months of class to teach me the LCMS way before I could be baptized, although he permitted me communion immediately (I was amused that a belief in baptismal regeneration still kept me waiting for 6 months!). This was my first taste of tradition over scripture and common sense.

(Another amusing incident is that my class was with a couple who were leaving the RCC, and I ended up being an assistant teacher because I knew more about RCC than did the pastor and was able to explain a lot more to them, comparing Luther’s teaching with RCC!)

Nevertheless, except for the unbiblical ideas of baptismal regeneration and consubstantiation, the LCMS is a very fundamental Christian body.