John 3:21

John 3:21
"It is the nature of all hypocrites and false prophets to create a conscience where there is none, and to cause conscience to disappear where it does exist." Martin Luther

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ELCA's Time Bombs

I wrote about all this 23 years ago and published it, quoting people and citing all the evidence. A PhD in chemistry said, "I wouldn't have believed it, but you provided all the evidence."

Very few pastors left because of the 1987 merger, but gay quotas were already instituted then and were bound to create the results of the 2009 ELCA CWA.

Here are some of the ELCA time bombs, which Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson and others are trying to laugh away.
  1. Over 200 parishes have already taken the first vote to leave, and they are the largest, most prosperous congregations in ELCA. The giant Community of Joy in Phoenix left with a 100% vote.
  2. Almost all the income flows from the very congregations leaving ELCA, leaving the denomination with the low producers, as they say in sales.
  3. Many unsuccessful votes, either on the first or second vote, are splitting the congregation, effectively turning a larger congregation into a zombie. The breakaway congregations will probably thrive.
  4. No one knows exactly how many congregations will clamp down on giving, even though they are staying for the time being.
  5. ELCA is being sued by ELCA, a messy kettle of fish. The publishing house pension fund went bust, so they are suing ELCA. I like it. My rejoinder in court would be, "Hey, start publishing some decent books and you won't go broke."
  6. Thanks to the management skills of PB Hanson, ELCA has grown considerably light in their lavender liturgical robes. Even his liberal allies are enraged at his tactics and abandonment of theology. The former liberal leaders are downright caustic in their remarks, some approaching the polemical style of this blog, though lacking its substance.

Jerry Kieschnick's morganatic union with ELCA seems to be floundering, as people see how slick, cool, and utterly incompetent their SP is. Color him gone.

Pope John the Malefactor, capo of the Little Sect on the Prairie, is being discussed as a goner, too. He may stay because the ELS does not have the nerve to fire him by voting him out, as they should. They may fear him going back to teaching. Instead of being gone but not forgotten, he will be forgotten but not gone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Not gone yet!

I was fully intending on letting this blog stagnate as it served its purpose but now after I received another "Anonymous" post from one of the "Saving Faith" stating how much this blog irked them
 "Glad that this hateful, damaging blog site is now gone. May it rest in peace! Its emphasis on angered, emotional opinion rather than God's grace and Christian love, was the prime reason I chose to turn in my request for transfer today." 
And since during the opening pre-vote statements, one of the members of "Saving Faith"let it slip that the ELCA and our late Bish Gary W had organized "Saving Faith" , I decided to keep it active to see if we need to shed more light on things...

And to be fair, this is the rest of the "Anonymous" posting " wish Faith well in rebuilding and growing the congregation, and hope you will heed Pastor John Nelson's thoughtful suggestion that Pastor Gehrke be given a long sabbatical, offering time for recovery from the stresses of the past months. "

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No longer active but a resource and historic documentation

After today, this blog will no longer be active, it will be left as is for historic record (unless the ELCA wants to try to pull further shenanigans) and to show others that with God anything can be accomplished.


It's Done!

Our 2'nd, 2n'd vote passed to day to finalize our split from the ELCA.... PRAISE BE TO GOD!  195 for, and 51 against! 2'nd vote to adopt our changed constitution to strike any ELCA reference among other changes  192 for, 47 against! It did not go without problems though,  as those who favor the ELCA came out in full force, but percentage wise they had  lost a few supporters? At issue was this blog as those from the opposition do not care for the contents or the light that has been shown on the ELCA and Gary Wollershime.It was brought up again that until the ELCA accepts our decision to split, we are in fact aren't fully recognized as being officially split? We revised our constitution in 05' and submitted those changes to the ELCA spelling out our choices and they failed to respond within 100 days and our constitution is now in full effect. Our constitution trumps theirs period. We're following the Bible now not politics and the ELCA.
An earlier posting  here about the "Saving Faith's"  60'th anniversary celebration, out of respect has been revised and edited and apologize if things were taken out of context as emotions ran high during this time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

ELCA Church Council adopts significant revisions to ministry policies

ELCA Church Council adopts significant revisions to ministry policies

The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America adopted a series of historic and sweeping revisions to ministry policy documents April 10, the result of months of extensive writing, comment and review by hundreds of leaders and members following the 2009Churchwide Assembly.
The Church Council is the ELCA's board of directors and serves as the interim legislative authority of the church between churchwide assemblies. The council met in Chicago April 9-12. The next churchwide assembly is in Orlando, Fla., in August 2011. The changes were called for by the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, which directed that policy documents be revised to make it possible for eligible Lutherans in committed, publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships to serve as ELCA clergy and professional lay leaders. The assembly directed that revised policies recognize the convictions of those who believe the ELCA should not allow such service. The assembly also adopted a social statement on human sexuality.
The council adopted revisions to two documents that spell out the church's behavioral expectations of ELCA professional leaders — "Vision and Expectations: Ordained Ministers in the ELCA" and "Vision and Expectations: Associates in Ministry, Deaconesses and Diaconal Ministers in the ELCA." The council also adopted revisions to a document that specifies grounds for discipline of professional leaders, "Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline," and it adopted revisions to the "ELCA Candidacy Manual," used by regional committees to help guide candidates seeking to become professional leaders in the ELCA.
Council members asked few questions and commented briefly on each proposed document before approving them. Only minor editorial changes were proposed and adopted by the council. Each revised document was adopted overwhelmingly.
Keith A. Hunsinger, council member, Oak Harbor, Ohio, who said he does not agree with the sexuality decisions made in August 2009, announced April 11 that he had abstained on each vote on the documents. He explained that he didn't believe that the first drafts of the documents released last fall embodied the full range of decisions made at the 2009 assembly. "My conscience won't allow me to vote for any of these documents, but as a member of the board of directors, I can't vote against the will of the churchwide assembly," he told the ELCA News Service.
However, Hunsinger told the council that the final forms of each document reflected "the breadth and depth" of the decisions, including the fact that "we agreed to live under a big tent," and that multiple voices would be heard. "Because those documents now said that, I feel my ideas and I are still welcome in the ELCA," he said.
The revised policies are effective immediately, said David D. Swartling,ELCA secretary. Final revised text of each document will be posted to the ELCA Web site by the end of April, he said.
Following council approval of the policies, Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, expressed his appreciation to many, including the council and the Conference of Bishops for leading the revision process over the past few months. He also thanked Stanley N. Olson, executive director, ELCA Vocation and Education, the lead staff person working with church leaders and various constituencies through the revision process. Olson thanked many others who have worked for changes in ministry policies through more than two decades of effort. "This is the work of many — hundreds, thousands of people who have reflected, thought and prayed. We are still a church that is tense over this, but we are Easter people, and I think we have done an Easter thing today," he told the council. Prior to voting, Donald Main, Lancaster, Pa., chair of the ELCA Committee on Appeals, which led the effort to revise Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline, told the council that the document had not been revised since 1993. New sections address matters such as integrity, and substance abuse and addiction, he said. The Committee on Appeals also "considered each and every word, constantly testing different language so as to be clear and concise as possible, and remain faithful to our charge and to the social statement and ministry policies recommended and adopted by our assembly," Main added. The two Vision and Expectations documents and the Candidacy Manualare "tools in the service of God's mission through the ELCA, primarily to assist us in that work of calling forth and supporting faithful, wise and courageous leaders," Olson said. The Vision and Expectations documents were most recently revised in the early 1990s, and the Candidacy Manualwas revised in the past few years, he said.

"We have not attempted to spell out every possible situation and to give definitive direction for every possible situation," he told the council. "There are broad principles in these documents, and there are guidelines with some details." Olson added the documents call for the ELCA to trust established processes and its leaders who have responsibility for oversight and decision-making."Our next step is to orient our staff and the candidacy committees," Olson said. A memo summarizing key policy revisions will be sent this week to help guide synod bishops, staff working with candidates for professional leadership, candidacy committee chairs, seminary presidents and selected staff, and applicants and candidates. Olson added that the ELCA Vocation and Education program unit, theELCA Office of the Secretary and others are responsible for monitoring the new policies, and suggesting further revisions and guidelines if necessary.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reminder To Vote!

We mailed this out to everyone last week

Friday, April 9, 2010

ELCA Head Affirms Commitment to Centrality of Scripture

The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America plans to affirm to an overseas bishop that the U.S. church is committed to the centrality of the Word of God.
Thu, Apr. 08, 2010 Posted: 08:01 PM EDT

The head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America plans to affirm to an overseas bishop that the U.S. church is committed to the centrality of the Word of God.
The Rev. Mark S. Hanson will share the statement when he meets with presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, the Rev. Alex G. Malasusa, in May, according to the ELCA News Service.
Malasusa had recently rebuked the ELCA for its liberal direction on homosexuality.
"I will share with Bishop Malasusa the ELCA's strong commitment to the centrality of the Word of God in our faith and witness. We join all Lutherans who affirm that the central message of the Scriptures as the good news of God's love and saving work in Jesus Christ," said Hanson.
In an Easter sermon, Malasusa said Lutheran churches in the U.S. and Sweden have strayed from the Scriptures. And he stressed that same-sex marriage is "in direct contravention of God's word," as reported by The Citizen, a newspaper based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
"It's time Africa preached to the rest of the world and remind them of God's word because it seems they have forgotten what the Bible says," he stated, according to the local newspaper.
The sermon was in response to the Lutheran Church of Sweden's support for same-sex marriage and the ELCA's decision in August to approve the ordination of noncelibate gays and lesbians. The U.S. church had also adopted a social statement on human sexuality that recommended the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to recognize lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships.
Malasusa urged Lutherans in Tanzania to strive to become financially independent so that the U.S. and European Lutheran churches "don’t use their money and wealth to threaten us."
"We should leave them with their money and stick to the word of God," he said, according to The Citizen.
Hanson rejected the claim that the ELCA uses financial resources to "coerce global companions."
"Rather," he said, "we share a commitment to proclaim to the whole world the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, to serve our neighbor, and to build a world of justice and peace."
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania is one of the largest Lutheran bodies in the world with 5.3 million members. Membership has continued to grow over the past several years. The Church of Sweden has 6.75 million members and membership in the ELCA is currently at 4.6 million.
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Albert Lea Tribune | Revisionist theologies are one in the same

Albert Lea Tribune | Revisionist theologies are one in the same

Revisionist theologies are one in the same

Published Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I was born and raised in Waseca County. My ancestral roots are in Freeborn and Waseca counties. I request that you print the following letter in your newspaper. It addresses some of the “fairy tales” coming from some Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Synod pastors and from many of the ELCA Synod bishops. The laity needs to wake up and challenge the false teachings coming from some of these church leaders!
“A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” This quotation came from “The Kingdom of God in America,” published in 1937. The author was professor Dr. Helmut Richard Niebuhr, of Yale Divinity School. In his book, he criticized the “liberal social gospel”; he tried to warn America about this movement. In the 2009 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis, this revisionist theology took over the ELCA Synod.
Dr. Niebuhr’s quotation describes completely the “theology of divine acceptance” that the Rev. Scott Grorud of Hutchinson, and others, have been telling us about for the past three or four years. These revisionist theologies are one and the same.
The huge, overwhelming issue here is that this revisionist theology is not Christian! There is no “original sin”; there is no “Law”; there is no need for “repentance” and “redemption”; therefore, there is no need for a Savior (i.e. Christ) to die on the cross. The deception by most of the leaders of the ELCA and many of its pastors in keeping these facts submerged from view is absolutely unbelievable to me! How can ELCA pastors and bishops, who carry the title, “Christian,” participate in this deception, in good conscience?”
Stephen L. Langlie
Chisago City

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Breakaway Lutheran church forms in Geneva

Breakaway Lutheran church forms in Geneva
By Susan Sarkauskas | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 4/4/201 12:01 AM
A new Lutheran Christian church is starting in Geneva, following a disagreement with the nation's largest Lutheran organization.
New Hope Lutheran Church's 24 members had their first worship service March 15 in an organizer's house. The congregation now meets at 9 a.m. Sundays at Sunset Community Center, 710 Western Ave., Geneva.
"We were unhappy with the direction the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) is going," said Burt Andrews, a volunteer for the new church.
Andrews and several other leaders are former members of Geneva Lutheran Church. That congregation remains affiliated with the ELCA, after a February resolution to leave failed to garner a needed two-thirds majority vote by congregation members. The pastor at Geneva Lutheran Church was not available for comment.
The ELCA's national conference last summer adopted several controversial stances on doctrinal issues, including the acceptance of gay clergy.
Andrews said that wasn't the issue that caused New Hope to form; "having a homosexual clergy would not bother us," he said.
Instead, the leaders are displeased with ELCA's preaching on the doctrine of "bound conscience," he said.
"We're unhappy they changed their theology in order to get a certain answer they wanted," on issues including gay clergy, Andrews said.
According to a document on the ELCA Web site, "conscience is the power to make moral judgments about action," and conscientious convictions can be wrong. But compelling a person to act against their conscience attacks a person's "integrity as a moral agent" and could hurt his or her faith; so, ELCA decided, all members should respect decisions made by other members who feel bound by their conscience to believe a particular thing.
That encourages people to believe, "I don't need to confess this (action) because I know it is OK," Andrews said. He said that conflicts with the Bible and historical Lutheran belief that only God can determine what is, and is not, sin. "It encourages people to exclude part of their life" from confession, Andrews said.
Bishop Wayne Miller of the Metro Chicago Synod of the ELCA, to which Geneva Lutheran belongs, said he thinks "in our society, there is little distinction between conscience and personal opinion," and that people are confusing the two.
"While I certainly completely respect people's need to follow their conscience ... that is not the same as quitting an organization because you have a difference of opinion," he said. Miller had not heard about the new Geneva congregation until being informed by a reporter Friday.
The doctrine was cited to support a change in ELCA's rules to allow gay people who are in committed, monogamous relationships to become clergy (before that, only celibate gay people could be clergy). Some Christians believe the Bible indicates homosexuality is a sin.
New Hope is affiliated with Lutheran Congregations in Missions for Christ, which has 324 congregations. More than 160 joined since the August 2009 ELCA conference.
The LCMC and the ELCA differ on the ordination of noncelibate gay pastors, Scriptural authority, and ecclesiastical authority.
Hosanna! Lutheran Church in St. Charles, which has more than 2,000 baptized members, left the ELCA in November 2009 over those issues. However, Miller disputes that, saying the congregation did not follow proper procedure and so still belongs to the denomination.
New Hope's first service was led by the Rev. Martha Uecker Nelson, a guest pastor from Hosanna! More than $1,400 was collected in offerings, of which $140 was given to Lazarus House shelter ministry in St. Charles.
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