On Thursday afternoon there was a clever exchange between the chair and a delegate. They were about to vote for one of the vice presidents on paper ballots. One of the delegates came to a microphone and said “Rev. Chair, What should I do? My ballot has apparently been raptured to heaven.” The chair then quipped “And why have you been left behind dear sister?”
This clever exchange and parody of heterodox millenial theology was both humorous and sad. It was clever and worthy of a chuckle but it also reminded me that these are our cultural brothers and sisters in Lutheranism that have now separated themselves from us with one final and severe blow of false doctrine. As I listen to the ELCA convention I hear a bunch of Lutherans arguing over Roberts Rules of Order, just as we do in the LCMS. I hear a bunch of Lutherans being self-deprecating over their frugality, as we do in the LCMS. I hear a bunch of Lutherans approaching theological issues with much thought and brain power as we do in the LCMS. But sadly, I do not hear much of Scripture. The brain power and thought is not of scripture. It is the theology of man’s glory and not the theology of the cross. This group of “Lutherans” that has voted to deny the clear teaching of scripture on homosexuality is practicing the theology of human idolatry and the worship of human reason.
Of course this is nothing new. It has been going on since the 1970’s when the LCMS broke relations with the ALC (a forerunner of the ELCA) and even years before that. It is sad to see these brothers and sisters of ours in cultural Lutheranism separate themselves from us as brothers and sisters in Scripture. Of course if we are only cultural brothers and sisters we are not brothers and sisters in the faith. Jesus says “if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples” John 8:31. The ELCA has chosen to leave the word of Christ. No amount of clever Lutheran levity about the “rapture” can ultimately brighten the sorrow of these days.