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ELCA Disintegrating Under Pressure
Kairos_News list | 21 September 2003 | The Rev. Dr. Christopher Hershman

Posted on 09/22/2003 7:30:33 PM PDT by ahadams2

ELCA Disintegrating Under Pressure

The ELCA does not need to wait until 2005. It is already beginning to disintegrate. In many ELCA synods, some pastors already live openly in same sex relationships. Seminarians are under fire for holding to universally held Christian doctrines. Congregations are being torn apart because pastors wish to pursue a false teaching but lay people desire to remain faithful to Jesus. ELCA membership statistics slide lower and lower every year as the ELCA leadership continues its death march obsession with sexual abandon. Apparently, many ELCA bishops lack the integrity to even wait until 2005 before they have their way with the church of Jesus Christ!

My synod is even sponsoring a GAY PRIDE EVENT featuring the Lehigh Valley Gay Men's Chorus. One pastor wrote me to say that this upset him so much that he tossed his GAY PRIDE flyer right in the trash. But just how many of those very same flyers have already been dutifully posted on church bulletin boards so that the laity can reserve their tickets for the synod's GAY PRIDE program?

There is a vacuum in the ELCA where there should be solid Christian leadership. It may be that pastors are either themselves utterly confused, or are too obsessed with titles, advancement and pension plans.

Certainly, the ELCA goes out of its way to issue documents and study guides--such as those released by the sexuality study task force--which are meant to confuse people by muddling the issues and presenting serious errors as the truth.

But does anybody really care that so few see anything wrong with a synod even sponsoring a GAY PRIDE FESTIVAL?

The fact that so many clergy are so silent in the face of clear apostasy and sin should really scare us.

Those few who took up the cross and faithfully followed Jesus--sometimes to suffering and death--had a higher vision about the meaning of the Christian faith. As Christ's followers, we are also to take up the cross and follow HIM. We are not to simply give into the fads and whims of the moment. We are not to exchange the truth for a lie. We are not to follow or proclaim a different gospel than the one presented in scripture.

Unfortunately, ignorance is the greatest weapon in the hand of apostate ELCA leaders. AND IGNORANCE IS A BIG PROBLEM. Even many of my own parishioners--despite my efforts to teach them--are ignorant about the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions. People nowadays are so busy that Bible study and reading are low priorities for most people. Consequently, they tend to believe whatever they are told, especially when it come from church leaders they think they should be able to trust.

Yesterday, my wife was reading the recent mailing from the ELCA sexuality study task force. She is not a trained theologian. But she is an intelligent layperson. She may not have gone to seminary, but she knows when things just don't make sense. She came to me and expressed shock and dismay that the ELCA would distribute such shoddy scholarship to Christian people. It made her very sad.

Unfortunately, most laity will never read them to even be able to figure out how this crisis is being forced upon the church. Conversely, my wife also read my copy of the most recent issue of Lutheran Forum, which has a wonderful article about human sexuality by the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Sorum, entitled *Why we can't talk: The homosexual rights movement in the church*.

This article is wonderful and I would love to be able to send it to all Kairos-News subscribers. Sorum clearly points out how the present crisis is a brazen attack on the very core of Christian belief and teaching.

Now why can't the ELCA Sexuality Study Task Force distribute documents consisting of solid scholarship like Sorum's article, Merton Strommen's *The Church and Homosexuality: Searching for a Middle ground* and Robert Gagnon's *The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics*, as well as a legion of others?

We need not ask. We know the reason. We are supposed to be just like stupid sheep and allow the apostate leaders of our church to snatch us away from Jesus and teach us a false gospel. That is apparently what they want to happen.

But not everybody in the ELCA is blind or deaf or stupid. Faithful laity are beginning to vote with their wallets. Giving to the ELCA benevolence is eroding dramatically, forcing a major *restructuring* or elimination of staff positions.

This is why I received a frantic communication from an ELCA official the other day in response to the ELCA's forced restructuring due to the massive financial shortfalls cause by the apostate waltz. The official asked that I write the ELCA and request that the staff shifts be made a bit less radical. This is what I wrote in response:

In a message dated 9/20/03 1:41:14 PM, CNHERSHMAN writes:

<< Confessional Lutherans are becoming increasingly outraged by the apostate drift of the ELCA. It only makes sense that benevolence shortfalls are being experienced by the ELCA, and that *restructuring* would be the inevitable outcome.

While I can appreciate your laments, the sad reality is that most so-called *church-related* colleges, like Muhlenburg College here in Allentown, no longer have a Christian religious identity. In a few years when my children are ready for college, I doubt that we would consider any Lutheran college, except for those affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

It is alarming that this is also becoming increasingly true about the ELCA's eight seminaries. At present, it is almost impossible for an orthodox believer to get a decent theological education from one of the institutions of the ELCA.

The ELCA has become so corrupted by the sexual revisionist obsession, that faithful pastors need to dissuade young people from attending ELCA programs, not supporting them.

As a founder and board member of a Lutheran school, I must say that the best we can hope for is to keep ELCA leaders from trying to impose a non-Christian agenda on our school. At this point, the resources we need are only available through the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and places other than the ELCA. Consequently, the functioning of our school will not suffer through the elimination of ELCA positions related to schools.

If I were to expend any energy on this issue, it would be entirely to point out to the ELCA hierarchy that the redirection of benevolence dollars has just begun, and that it will continue to grow in dramatic ways over the next two years. The staff cuts you are now experiencing are but a foretaste of the famine to come as long as the ELCA continues to reject Jesus Christ in order to pursue a false gospel. Sadly, trying to save positions and fight particular proposals related to the ELCA restructuring would pretty much only amount to repositioning deck chairs on the Titanic.

The ELCA is now much like the Titanic. And it is only a matter of time before the ELCA sinks below the depths of chaos. Consequently, it is also entirely certain that even the most valiant of efforts would only be rewarded by another fiscally mandated *restructuring* in a relatively short amount of time. It would be far better to spend your time and energy in trying to turn ELCA revisionist leaders, like Mark Hanson, from their wicked wicked ways.

Let us pray that God will bring back the ELCA and its revisionist leaders back from the brink of destruction with a new zeal for the scriptures and truth of Jesus Christ.>>

We all do need to engage in such prayers. We also need to get all our friends and family members across the ELCA to subscribe to Kairos-News so that folks can become aware just how serious the present crisis has become, and just how close the ELCA has come to officially abandoning the universal church of Jesus Christ!

The only way we can win this battle and resolve this crisis is to get people informed and well read about the issues. Neither the ELCA leadership, nor the sexuality task force will be able to contend with a well-informed and faithful laity refusing to abandon Jesus for the whims of modern culture--no matter how enticing such temptations may seem. May we pray and read and study and organize to withstand all the forces which assail us!

The Rev. Dr. Christopher Hershman Allentown, Pennsylvania

TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Theology
KEYWORDS: activist; disintegration; elca; homosexual; lutheran
Sometimes I get so caught up in things Anglican, I forget that we're not the only group fighting for survival.
1 posted on 09/22/2003 7:30:33 PM PDT by ahadams2
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To: ahadams2
Take courage. During the reign of Christ (embodied by his church), the dragon which is Satan has been bound and cast into a pit. He has not been killed; in ages where men outwardly acted piously, sinful impulses have raged in their hearts. But the dragon shall be released (how can this happen if not permitted by God?) into the open where he shall be slaughtered. (Rev. 20:1-3,7 )

Why would God release the dragon (or, allow it to be released)? I believe evil must be brought into the open to be destroyed. The ECLA has long put is faith elsewhere than Christ. These issues have merely exposed this. Now the Christians may fight openly to rescue the church from the Satan which has dwelt within.

As the Episcoplians who must sieze their faith from the Homophiles.

As the Catholics whose perverted elders have been exposed and now turn towards the orthodox, clinging to Christ in the Eucharist.

The century of the release of Satan is over. The battle has been joined. The victory approaches.

(Wow, you didn't know a Catholic could sound like that, did you? Neither did I. 0:^)>+ )
2 posted on 09/22/2003 10:53:38 PM PDT by dangus
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To: ahadams2
"The ELCA is now much like the Titanic. And it is only a matter of time before the ELCA sinks below the depths of chaos."

I have sensing this for some time now, and now that I no longer live with my parents I have decided to make the shift from the ELCA to an LCMS church. You know things are getting bad when your mother tells you she understands why you want to make the switch, and agrees with you doing it.

The ELCA is simply heading in a direction that I disagree with, and my fiance and I don't want to be dragged down with it. So, we're abandoning ship, in a manner of speaking.

3 posted on 09/23/2003 5:30:11 AM PDT by Rubber_Duckie_27
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To: ahadams2
The ELCA has tried to become all things to all people, and is heading to becoming nothing to no one. There are a number of good, sound ELCA congregations, but the numbers are dwindling.

I have a friend that just entered seminary in St Paul. I think he will not finish, ether be forced out or quit. The rot infecting all the churches in America is getting worse.
4 posted on 09/23/2003 6:19:27 AM PDT by redgolum
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To: ahadams2
This is the same group the ECUSA has signed a concordance with, isn't it? I would like to read the article he mentioned, by Dr. Sorum. Is there a link?
5 posted on 09/23/2003 6:46:19 AM PDT by secret garden (Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it. - Mark Twain)
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To: ahadams2
6 posted on 09/23/2003 7:20:33 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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