The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continues to stir up controversy with it's "progressive policies" and are pushing members who want to hold to sound doctrine no choice but to leave the denomination.
Several weeks ago the Danish Bible Society, which is run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church, came under heavy fire for the Danish "translation" of the Bible that virtually wipes out "Israel" from the New Testament.
In the Greek New Testament, the word "Israel" occurs more than 60 times, however it is found only once in the new Danish version called Bibelen 2020. That's right, just once. And that one occurrence is a direct quote from an Old Testament verse. Otherwise, "Israel" is gone.
The reason for this the society argues is that Christian readers must not connect "Israel" in the New Testament with the nation of Israel today. The ELCA has long promoted the idea of "replacement theology", also called supersessionism, which essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God's plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God's chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.
This is not the first time Lutheran leadership had promoted such views.
In 2018, Robert O. Smith, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and a stalwart in the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation, addressed a conference at St. Olaf Institute for Freedom and Community.
Smith was seated before a Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) banner and made these declarations: "The ancient Israelites are not linked in any substantive or material way to the contemporary, modern state of Israel. . . . The biblical narrative of Israel has almost nothing to do with contemporary Israel other than the intentional manipulation of sacred texts to justify a political project."
There are other significant problems with this translation, including the removal of words like "sin," which becomes watered down to a mere "mistake."
Now the church is raising red flags with it's promotion of praying by addressing God as "Mother" instead of Father on it's official Facebook page as well as via Twitter:
"Mother God, you have fed us with the nourishment of your spiritual food. Raise us up into salvation and rid us of our bitterness, so that we may share the sweetness of your holy word with all the world," the ELCA tweeted on Tuesday as part of their #Bread4theday series of Twitter posts.
The tweet has gotten a fair amount of negative attention. Hans Fiene, a conservative pastor who oversees the popular Lutheran Satire YouTube channel, responded with a simple message to people who still value Biblical literacy:
"Leave the ELCA," he succinctly replied when retweeting the ELCA post.
For those who choose to remain in this apostate denomination they will find themselves treated to more of the same in their churches as the leadership continues to steer them in the wrong direction.
The presiding "bishop" of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, has expressed her belief that although Hell may exist, it is entirely empty because "God doesn't give up on those who reject Him." The statement came from a recent interview for the podcast "Face to Faith".
She said in the interview, "if we take a look at salvation history, ever since we got booted out of the garden, it has been God's relentless pursuit to bring His people to God," and that given eternity, God will continue working on everyone until eventually all will be saved.
The bishop dismisses Biblical evidence against her position simply by saying that Lutherans aren't "literalists" as she confuses parables with clear theological statements such as Matthew 25 which tells us that the wicked "shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal."
How disconcertingly comforting to believe that no matter what we believe, no matter how evil our actions on Earth and no matter how strong our rejection of God, that there will always be a paradise waiting for us in Heaven.
Last year, Westview Lutheran Church in Boulder, Colorado ordained the nations first transgender Latina pastor while The Park Church, a Lutheran ministry in Greenpoint, Brooklyn held it's first Drag Queen Story hour with Drag Queen "The Rev. Yolanda" who is known for her "Church With A 2 Drink Minimum" slogan.