Skip to comments.ELCA Has Biggest Split in American Church History
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 ELCAs 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 membersa 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 ELCAs 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 Were Number 2But We Try Harder! the LCMS has historically always been the second-largest American Lutheran church body. However, at the ELCAs current rate of losing membersnearly 6% in 2010in 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 ChurchMissouri 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 ELCAs 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 ELCAs 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 ELCAs 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 membersnearly 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 churchs doctrine and practice to the worlds wicked ways. It is also foolish and futile.
On the one hand, the world will never be satisfieduntil 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 whats happened to the ELCAthe biggest split in American church historythat 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.
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.
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.
It was a cool dry day in Minneapolis. No rough weather had been predicted. The tornado came out of nowhere.
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.
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.
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.
A rotten tree produces rotten fruitage.
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.
"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."
As you probably know, I am a regular writer on Steadfast Lutherans, and I know Pastor Kevin Vogts, who wrote this article.
Best wishes to you and your church from this old gritty Catholic.
Amazing to see how so many humans are so much wiser than God and His Word.
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.
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.
I am a Sinner
Sin is NOT Good, Wise, or to be Commended
I am an Alcoholic
I DO NOT teach Alcoholism as
Good, Wise, or to be Commended
It is to be Repented, Confessed, and Penance done
The Apostle Paul in Romans 1, under the New Law,
is Blunt on the Subject of Perversion
One May engage in Homosexual Acts
But is is Sin, like any other
One DOES NOT teach Homosexual Acts as
Good, Wise, or to be Commended
They are to be Repented, Confessed, and Penance done
Like All Sins
Public Acts of Alcoholism are, to a varying degree, discouraged
Not Codified in Law as Good, Wise, or to be Commended
Alcoholism where there is harm to others, is a
Misdemeanor or Felony
The Church MUST NOT Teach Homosexuality as
Good, Wise, or to be Commended
Just like any other Sin
Of Course Sinners are welcomed to Church
That is what it is there for
And I am very grateful for this
But it MUST NOT Honor Sin, in any form, for any reason
they happily slid down that slippery slope
It is absolutely weird how 3% of the population suddenly has everyone else’s lives totally focused on THEM. Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay - 24/7.
How on earth do folks come to believe that they must trash their main principles and cater to max 5% of the population in order to survive?
ELCA thinks it must compete for members with the Metropolitan churches.
It is a manifestation of the paganization of the culture.
Welcome home sir!
Great article, rhema, thanks. Ping, lightman.
The LCMS isn’t far behind.
A hierarchy of wolves who fail to take responsibility for “The Jews and their Lies”.
I’ll bet if you go into the ELCA bylaws that it takes an act of congress to remove a name from the membership rolls.
“Membership” should never be used to evaluate a church’s size and reach. It should always be attendance (average weekly, monthly, annually...take your pick)
There is a group within the LCMS having some success in trying to make the LCMS like WELS, they call themselves steadfast lutherans. Each year LCMS has less members, perhaps the steadfast lutherans will succeed and its membership will be just like WELS. In the meantime there is a growing and new church growing out of the ashes of the ELCA, that of LCMC(Lutherans in MIssion for Christ).
The National Council of Churches reports that the ELCA has the sharpest rate of membership decline among all mainline Protestant denominationsThere is NOTHING mainline about this Satan worshiping heretical cult from HELL!
I wise person once told me that without law, there is no sin.
I keep thinking that no one believes in the law - with secular or religious. Both areas of human activity are suffering as a result.
It is not enough to focus on forgiveness, the law still exists.
Neither the President of the US nor the Bishops recognize any law but what equates to their own personal desires.
We are still in freefall. We will not hit bottom for some time. That is why it is best to keep your powder dry, and await the right time to build society up again.
Same thing happened to the Protestant Episcopal Church USA, which is now mainly an openly homosexual ministry. This started in the late 60’s, slowly but steadily pro-homosexual policies and clergy.
Christianity is being attacked on every side. Now, we have the Lutherans have defected from the faith. and their membership is falling like a rock. Another group that is being attacked are the Catholics. The majority of the Catholic faith has been penetrated by the “BLACK LIBERATION MOVEMENT” and their adherance to “SOCIAL EQUALITY”, whatever that means. I forsee the time when there will be a split in that religion also. Up to now, the church in Rome has been very quiet on where they stand on the “BLACK LIBERATION MOVEMENT” and where they stand on “SOCIAL EQUALITY”. As with the Lutherans, the split is irreparable, but the problem is all that property that the Lutherans own, in the USA. ELCA will never give that up without a fight.
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Be rooted in Christ!
Apparently all Christian denominations in the U.S. are suffering declines in ASA/marriages/baptisms. Some have predicted that as the trust funds begin to go dry, we will see the day come when a group of the most apostate old mainline Protestant denominations merge, i.e., ELCA, PCUSA, TEC, UCC, Disciples of Christ, and the left-wing of the UMC.
Think a sort of non-doctrinal Anglican, which is a very big theological tent indeed. Of course, the problem, as in any organization, “spritual” or otherwise, is “Who gets the plums?”
ELCA has three categories of membership:
Baptized = self explanatory. Includes all ages.
Confirmed = Baptized members who have received Confirmation.
Voting = Confirmed members who have made a Communion of record and a contribution of record within the current or past calendar year.
The “voting member” definition is entirely too minimalistic. One could Commune (filling out a record card) on Christmas Eve on alternate years and drop a check for $0.01 in the offering plate and be considered a “Voting Member”.
If that is true, ELCA and the Metro churches are doing a joint suicide pact. What morons.
The greatest trick the Devil managed to pull off was to convince gullible humans that evil did not exist. ELCA and the Metro churches are useful idiots.
I’m afraid that I’m completely out of the loop, but what exactly happened to that steeple, and how close was it to that abominable decision?
Why are there still 4 million souls in the elca? Praying for you in wels, lcmc rtcto save these folks
As a Catholic, i want to thank you for bringing your conservatism to The Church. You have seen the evil of secularism first hand and will help us prevent it getting afoothold in orthodoxy
20. Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous
21. that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
4. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
5. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
6. Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
7. and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.
Isaiah 3:9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.
2 Peter 2:13b Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
49. "`Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
50. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
1. But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
3. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
5. if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6. if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7. and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
8. (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--
9. if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
10. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
11. yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
12. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
13. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
But there IS hope!!!
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:
Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10. nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
If you could NOT change, you would be in most pitiful shape...
However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? ....
Pound your own sand.
LCMS’ has failed to post a position paper on the subject:
What does this mean?
I’m an LCMS seminarian, and the seminary has never denied that Luther wrote that, and even include it in the volumes of his work. We also acknowledge that Luther was pro-Semite in his early life and only wrote that work when he’d heard that the Jews of the time were trying to stop the spread of the Gospel. And that’s what Luther did; if something impeded the Gospel in his eyes, he let his potty mouth loose. It doesn’t mean that we take it as doctrine.
Not that you’ll pay attention to anything I say; it feels so GOOD to hate the LCMS that you won’t ever want to change your mind.
Perhaps you’d like me to start poking holes in YOUR faith?
8/17-23/2009 - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) held its (biennial) 11th Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, MN. The major item on its docket was the Social Statement of "Human Sexuality, Gift and Trust." Human sexuality pertaining to homosexuality had been an active topic for the past 20 years. On 8/19/2009 a tornado struck and damaged the Central Lutheran Church building in downtown Minneapolis as well as the Minneapolis Convention Center - the ELCA was holding its convention in both places that day. A vote on the Social Statement was scheduled to take place promptly at 2 PM. Because of a tornado warning, the vote was delayed but passed later that day as amended by a vote of 676-338: precisely the two-thirds majority needed for passage. The Statement was in essence a Solomonic decision which permitted individual congregations to either bless homosexual unions or reject them.
On 8/21/2009, church delegates voted to allow congregations to call and ordain gays and lesbians in committed monogamous relationships to serve as clergy by a vote of 559 to 451. Congregations were granted the choice whether to call homosexuals or not. The ELCA became the 3rd mainline American Protestant denomination, after TEC and the UCC, to approve homosexual ordination.
[and the seminary has never denied that Luther wrote that, and even include it in the volumes of his work.]
There are several translations of that work floating around — Including those associated with the anti-semitic thinking in Mein Kampf; and the translation date being 10 years earlier than the one published by Concordia Publishing.
There are significant differences for which a clarifying LCMS position paper would be appropriate.
There is none.
So go get bent yourself, ya fallible and uninspiring jackwagon.
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.