In its 2009 Churchwide Assembly in August the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to allow the blessing of gay and lesbian unions. It also agreed to agreed to the ordination of non-celibate gays and lesbians. The ELCA's leadership has measured the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses, the God who led His people out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land, the God who sent His Son to die for our sins - and have found Him wanting.
My wife and I are former ELCA missionaries. In creating its own private god according to political criteria, the ELCA has left no room for Bible-believing Christians such as ourselves. We cannot and will not bow the knee to this new god fashioned and worshiped by the ELCA. Against our will, but bound by the Scriptures, we have become Recovering Lutherans.
The purpose of this blog is not to rehash the issues debated during the Churchwide Assembly. For one thing, the argument in favor of Bible-based Lutheranism has been made elsewhere (see here and here). For another, the ELCA's leadership and the majority who voted for the changes in August have made it perfectly clear that they no longer accept the authority of the Scriptures. Although they profess Jesus as Lord with their lips, they have hardened their hearts against Him.
And where the ELCA would lead us we can no longer follow.
Therefore, the purpose of this blog is to recount our spiritual journey away from the ELCA - where I have been life-long member and my wife joined after we were married - and towards the future. Just what will happen and where we will end up we do not know, but we have chosen to follow where God is leading us.
One thing needs to be made clear. We have chosen to leave the ELCA rather than continue to fight from within. We believe that by its vote in August the ELCA has badly damaged the body of believers who are called Lutherans, and that by continuing to "duke it out" in congregational meetings and synod assemblies we will be providing the ELCA's leadership with what it needs so badly - credibility. We feel that to "agree to disagree" and remain in the ELCA would send a subtle yet strong signal to both Christians and non-Christians that it is o.k. to put the Word of God up for a vote, and that in the end log-rolling and vote-buying are acceptable.
To Lutherans who are reading this blog and who support the ELCA's actions, we urge you to reconsider and repent. Throughout history the Word of God has been laughed at, ridiculed, banned, burned, interpreted, re-interpreted, and re-re-interpreted. Yet it still remains. The Churchwide Assembly's actions will not lead to a new Gospel. On the contrary - it will hasten the decline of the ELCA. Ask the Episcopal Church if their decision to reject the Gospel has brought peace in their denomination.
To Lutherans who are reading this blog and who are horrified by the ELCA's lurch away from the Bible we want you to know that you are not alone. You may agree with us and chose to leave the ELCA, or you may disagree and believe that now is not the time to give up. Just remember that you will have our prayers.
To Christians from other denominations who are watching the growing problems of the ELCA brought on by this vote, we urge you to consider the strange fruits that "inclusiveness" have brought. "Diversity" has turned into divisiveness, which is what will always happen when the words of humans are substituted for the Word of God. Be careful of using the Church to pursue purely political goals (which is what the ELCA has done).