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ELCA Has Biggest Split in American Church History
Steadfast Lutherans ^ | 7/12/13 | Rev. Kevin Vogts

Posted on 07/13/2013 12:19:30 PM PDT by rhema

Since shortly after its formation in 1988 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been fixated on deviant sexual behavior, culminating in the endorsement of homosexual pastors in 2009, homosexual “marriage” in 2011, and the election last month of their first homosexual bishop. Dr. James Nestingen, a highly respected scholar and retired ELCA seminary professor, recently concluded that promoting acceptance of deviant sexual behavior has actually replaced the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the primary mission and message of the ELCA.

Those within the ELCA demanding these radical changes asserted it is necessary for the ELCA’s very survival. Supposedly, they simply must move into the 21st century on these issues, or otherwise they will be so out-of-step with modern society that it would mean the demise of their denomination. By the way, this is the same deceptive reasoning behind similar disturbing changes recently in the Boy Scouts of America.

However, the ELCA has now released some startling statistics that show the exact opposite has actually happened:

** When the ELCA was formed in 1988 they had 5.2 million members, but they are now down to only 4 million members–a staggering loss of over 1.2 million members, or 23% of their membership. They have also lost 1,500, or 13%, of their congregations, from approximately 11,000 to 9,500. As they “celebrate” this year the 25th anniversary of the ELCA, the fact is that during that time they have lost more members and congregations than make up many entire denominations!

** Of these losses, over 500,000 members and 1,000 congregations have left the ELCA in just the last four years, triggered by their endorsement of homosexuality beginning in 2009. This is actually the biggest denominational split in American church history, and is directly attributable to that decision.

** Another measure of the ELCA’s decline is that in 1988, 2.1% of all Americans were members of the ELCA, but by 2011 that figure had fallen to 1.3%. The National Council of Churches reports that the ELCA has “the sharpest rate of membership decline” among all mainline Protestant denominations. Like Avis car rental which used to advertise “We’re Number 2–But We Try Harder!” the LCMS has historically always been the second-largest American Lutheran church body. However, at the ELCA’s current rate of losing members–nearly 6% in 2010–in just a decade the LCMS will surpass the ELCA as the largest American Lutheran church body, and a few decades after that the ELCA will cease to exist.

** Even among those congregations remaining in the ELCA average weekly worship attendance from 2003 to 2011 dropped 26%. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has 2.3 million members and the similarly conservative Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod has 300,000 members, yet even with our smaller combined membership of 2.6 million the LCMS and WELS have more people actually sitting in the pews each Sunday than the ELCA with 4 million members.

** Donations to the ELCA on the national level were $88 million in 2008 but plunged to only $40 million in 2011.

** Luther Seminary, the ELCA’s largest seminary, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, announced that last year they had a $6 million operating deficit on a budget of $27 million. This was due largely to a recent sharp decline in donations to the seminary, reportedlyincluding a couple that for many years had given $1 million a year to the seminary but stopped their donations after the ELCA’s endorsement of homosexuality. The seminary was forced to cancel many of its programs and lay off a third of the faculty and staff.

** Since the ELCA’s endorsement of homosexuality, many other Lutheran church bodies around the world have severed their historic ties with the ELCA, and are instead seeking new relationships with the LCMS. This includes many of the largest and fastest-growing Lutheran church bodies in the world, such as the Lutherans in Ethiopia with over 6 million members–nearly as many as all American Lutheran church bodies combined. The center of world Lutheranism is shifting from Europe and America to Africa, Asia, and South America, and the LCMS is becoming the theological leader of these growing Lutheran church bodies. While the ELCA is becoming increasingly isolated in world Lutheranism, at our national convention this month the LCMS will enter into formal fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia, Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Lutheran Church of Togo.

The Lord warns:

“There will be false teachers among you, who will surreptitiously introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful, licentious ways.” (2 Peter 2:1-2)

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you formerly had when you lived in ignorance. Instead, just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:14-15)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

These passages show how misdirected and sinful it is to accommodate the church’s doctrine and practice to the world’s wicked ways. It is also foolish and futile.

On the one hand, the world will never be satisfied–until Christians completely renounce their faith. More importantly, the Lord will never bless such unfaithfulness to Him and His Word.

We see from the sad example of what’s happened to the ELCA–the biggest split in American church history–that whatever churches and other organizations such as the Boy Scouts imagine they will gain by giving in to the world is dwarfed by what they will surely lose.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: boyscouts; elca; fauxchristians; gaychurch; homosexualagenda; icky; lcms; luciferian; lutheran; lutheranism; lutherans; moralabsolutes; playingchurch; religiousleft; schism; wels
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1 posted on 07/13/2013 12:19:30 PM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema
God's opinion:


2 posted on 07/13/2013 12:26:18 PM PDT by DManA
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To: lightman; SmithL; Honorary Serb
Since the ELCA’s endorsement of homosexuality, many other Lutheran church bodies around the world have severed their historic ties with the ELCA, and are instead seeking new relationships with the LCMS. This includes many of the largest and fastest-growing Lutheran church bodies in the world, such as the Lutherans in Ethiopia with over 6 million members–nearly as many as all American Lutheran church bodies combined. The center of world Lutheranism is shifting from Europe and America to Africa, Asia, and South America, and the LCMS is becoming the theological leader of these growing Lutheran church bodies. While the ELCA is becoming increasingly isolated in world Lutheranism, at our national convention this month the LCMS will enter into formal fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia, Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Lutheran Church of Togo.
3 posted on 07/13/2013 12:28:10 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: DManA

Yup, that Central Lutheran Church steeple had remained unscathed for 90 years before God toppled it on the afternoon of the ELCA’s Bible-rejecting vote and wrote “Ichabod” on the door of the ELCA.


4 posted on 07/13/2013 12:31:12 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema

Announcing a slew of homosexual pastors and youg people group leaders would be a step in the right direction.

The homosexuals would flock to become contributing member.

Just as they did for Gay C Penny stores.


5 posted on 07/13/2013 12:36:11 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (When America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: rhema

It was a cool dry day in Minneapolis. No rough weather had been predicted. The tornado came out of nowhere.


6 posted on 07/13/2013 12:41:48 PM PDT by DManA
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To: rhema
"Even among those congregations remaining in the ELCA average weekly worship attendance from 2003 to 2011 dropped 26%."

What this shows is that the "4 million ELCA members" is a bogus number and certainly includes many, many "members" who are either deceased or no longer attend their (former) ELCA church - they just quit coming and either attend a different church or no church at all. The attendance has dropped because those members either died or left but are still listed on the rolls. Given that the average age of ELCA members is over 60 years these numbers will continue to decline drastically as members die and are not replaced. They aren't attracting young members because they don't need a church to tell them they can do whatever they want, the world preaches that message quite well, thank you.

7 posted on 07/13/2013 12:43:10 PM PDT by circlecity
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To: rhema

Bump


8 posted on 07/13/2013 12:48:07 PM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: rhema

A WELS member myself. The ELCA is self destructing right before the American people. Go against God’s Word to achieve public political correctness the church door is than shut by God.


9 posted on 07/13/2013 12:53:36 PM PDT by hondact200 (Candor dat viribos alas (sincerity gives wings to strength) and Nil desperandum (never despair))
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To: Charles Henrickson

10 posted on 07/13/2013 12:55:38 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema

Abandon God’s word just to placate a handful of homosexuals and be politically correct. Watch for the same thing to happen to the Boy Scouts.


11 posted on 07/13/2013 1:02:59 PM PDT by The Great RJ (construction)
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To: hondact200
The apostate leadership in the ELCA versus the biblical leadership in the LCMS (my church) is really night versus day.
12 posted on 07/13/2013 1:05:58 PM PDT by rhema ("Break the conventions; keep the commandments." -- G. K. Chesterton)
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To: rhema

A rotten tree produces rotten fruitage.


13 posted on 07/13/2013 1:16:33 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: rhema

The ELCA is committing suicide with its embrace of homosexuality. Celebration of perversion is not the way to worship God. Let the ELCA dwindle and die by its own hand. God will not be mocked and the ELCA has made a mockery of Christianity to serve evil designs. Let them be cast out.


14 posted on 07/13/2013 1:21:59 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: rhema
In a July 12, 2013, Issues, Etc. audio interview with the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, when Rev. Todd Wilken asked [31:25], "What are your thoughts on the recent Supreme Court decision on marriage that I deem as hostile to the definition of natural marriage?," President Matthew Harrison responded:
"It's an absolute travesty. I mean it's a pathetic travesty! It shows that, unlike the founding of our country, where at least natural law was believed to be consistent, that any idea of natual law as been given up. And so, society is simply the result of an evolutionary process which has produced certain mores which are set in place as laws from time to time and can happily be changed, even fundamental laws like being male and female and the relationship between the sexes, etc."

15 posted on 07/13/2013 1:22:51 PM PDT by Carl Vehse
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To: rhema; Cletus.D.Yokel

As you probably know, I am a regular writer on Steadfast Lutherans, and I know Pastor Kevin Vogts, who wrote this article.


16 posted on 07/13/2013 1:25:18 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (Lutheran pastor, LCMS)
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To: rhema

Best wishes to you and your church from this old gritty Catholic.


17 posted on 07/13/2013 1:29:11 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: The Great RJ

Amazing to see how so many humans are so much wiser than God and His Word.


18 posted on 07/13/2013 1:29:53 PM PDT by newfreep (Breitbart sent me...)
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To: rhema

We left the American Lutheran Church before the 1988 merger because we had a foreboding of the course the ELCA was going to pursue.

Thank God more are seeing the light and leaving this Apostate denomination.


19 posted on 07/13/2013 1:30:44 PM PDT by willibeaux (de ole Korean War vet age 83)
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To: willibeaux

We are so grateful we swam the Tiber from the ELCA to Rome 19 years ago. We’ve found a beautiful home there, but it’s sad to see our old faith community self-destructing and extinguishing its own lamp.


20 posted on 07/13/2013 2:00:06 PM PDT by Reo (the 4th Estate is a 5th Column)
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