Friday, June 14, 2013

Albert Mohler: ELCA ‘not a church’ | Faith & Works

But they love working with ELCA,
and they support Mark Jeske on the Thrivent board,
where all the pan-Lutheran projects are funded.
"Let us prey."


Albert Mohler: Lutheran body ‘not a church’ | Faith & Works:

Albert Mohler: Lutheran body ‘not a church’

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AlbertMohler

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler says the nation’s largest Lutheran body is “not a church.”
He says the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America only lives up to a quarter of its name, citing the Southwest California Synod’s election of the first openly gay bishop in the denomination.
“It is by this act and by many prior acts distancing itself by light years from the actual faith and conviction of Martin Luther,” Mohler said in a Monday podcast. It has “demonstrated itself to be neither Evangelical nor Lutheran and, as G.K. Chesterton might say, not a church either. That just leaves them in America.”
Mohler contrasted the ELCA with the nation’s second largest Lutheran body, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and citing its strict enforcement of historic confessional statements.
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While taking shots at liberal mainline denominations, Mohler also criticized the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), for his statement in the wake of historic losses in the denomination’s membership in 2012. Parsons called for the denomination to make greater efforts to connect with the growing population of religiously unaffiliated but spiritually minded Americans. Mohler said:
“Here you have in the face of such incredible membership losses and unprecedented loss of congregations the stated clerk is saying what the church needs to do is to connect with people whose spirituality, whatever that is, isn’t even so significant that they’re members of any church or even have the slightest religious affiliation. In other words, he appears to be calling for his denomination to define its theology down so far that the religiously unaffiliated feel absolutely at home.”
Parsons said in an interview that’s “not what we’re trying to do.” He said the church needs to “learn how to engage people in the 21st century,” a time when people are less willing to join organizations of any type, while being “faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” That includes efforts to revitalize and launch new worshiping communities, Parsons said:
“We’re not trying to water down the soup. We’re just trying to find new ways to deliver the soup.”
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The ELCA’s 4.3 million members make it the seventh-largest religious body in the United States, but like Presbyterians and several other historic denominations, it has been losing members for years. It lost nearly 6 percent from 2011 to 2012. The LCMS ranks 13th with 2.3 million and lost nearly 1.5 percent from 2011 to 2012. Southern Baptists, the second-largest American religious group, have seen membership decline slightly in recent years.
Mohler has made similar comments on the ELCA before, saying in 2009 about earlier gay-friendly votes: “Woe unto those who cloak such decisions with the disguise of faithfulness.”
I sent a query to the ELCA presiding bishop asking if he wanted to respond; no immediate response yet.




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GJ - ELCA calls itself a 4.3 million member church. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, ELCA began with 5.3 million members.

ELCA sent many of its leaders to Fuller Seminary, too. In fact, WELS Missions guy Norm Berg knew ELCA's Mac Minnick quite well.

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Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has left a new comment on your post "Albert Mohler: ELCA ‘not a church’ | Faith & Works...":

Ichabod -

That condemnation statement by Albert Mohler is spot on. Mohler has always appeared to me to be a sensible and faithful Christian disciple who is able to understand the cultural times!

Nathan M. Bickel
www.thechristianmessage.org
www.moralmatters.org
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