A Clever Exchange on the ELCA Convention Floor, by Pr. Rossow

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.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


A Clever Exchange on the ELCA Convention Floor, by Pr. Rossow — 4 Comments

  1. Did you catch the Pastor who talked about the mission efforts in Newark, NJ and said something like “The Holy Spirit SHE is a moving”. This is so hard to listen to having been raised in the ELCA (and previously the LCA). I’ve been in the LCMS for about 10 years and at times I shake my head at things.

  2. Tim,

    I just watched the E*CA assembly vote overwhelmingly to enter into full communion fellowship with the United Methodist Church (like 950-50 or something). What was interesting to me was that there was not one – not ONE! – person who went to a mic to speak against this. There’s not one Lutheran there who recognizes the differences in doctrine between Lutherans and Methodists? Huh? One lady “bishop” spoke about how nice it was for the Methodists in her area to use wine in communion when she and her group joined them for a joint communion service earlier this year. All I could think of was Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, saying, “Well, isn’t that special!” What an absolute travesty it is to have such a large group masquerading as Lutherans in our country. You are right, these are some pretty sorrowful days we’re witnessing. Kyrie, eleison!

  3. Just when you think things can’t get worse, do they ever. What a series of unfortunate events. It’s heartbreaking to watch those who’ve just chosen to walk away from the Lord for the things of this earth. “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do JUSTLY, to love MERCY, and walk HUMBLY WITH THY GOD. (Micah 6:8)
    True justice, mercy, and humility, are not defined in worldly terms (can we say popular, social or $$$ fueled agendas?) they are given & defined by God Himself. And this…ain’t it folks.
    They chose….poorly.

  4. As I argue at bioethike.com, this issue goes beyond Bible texts condemning same-sex attitudes and behaviors. The ELCA’s passage of Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust has shown that it is possible to reject not only God’s Word, the Bible, but also God’s Word in Creation.
    We in the LCMS need to go deeper than merely condemning disordered sexual proclivities and practices. We need to understand and to teach that there is a purpose behind God’s prohibitions spelled out in His Word: to protect the one-flesh union of man and wife, the procreation and education of children, and the creation of human community.
    And here, perhaps, some self-reflection is in order. What are we doing to support marriage in society, the teaching of Christian marriage in the Church, and the procreation and education of children?

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