The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America moves closer to apostasy


dangerThe Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has decided to officially disregard the Bible's clear condemnation of homosexuality and instead adopt a politically correct view.  When any Christian denomination puts political correctness above Scripture, cares about its own image instead of biblical truth, and even seeks to "play nice" with those who openly contradict God's mandate of heterosexual marriage, it ceases to be a true representative of Christ.  Instead, it becomes representative of the world and is apostate.  Harsh words?  Yes, they are.  1 Cor. 6:9-10 says, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."  Like it or not, that is what the Bible says.  The ELCA is speaking contrary to God's word.

In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Recommendation on Ministry Policies, April 2009, we find the following in the ELCA Church Council to the 2009 Churchwide Assembly:

  • Resolution 1: "RESOLVED, that the ELCA commit itself to finding ways to allow congregations that choose to do so to recognize, support, and hold publicly accountable life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships."
  • Resolution 2:  "RESOLVED, that the ELCA commit itself to finding a way for people in such publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders of this church."
  • Resolution 3:  "RESOLVED, that, in the implementation of these resolutions, the ELCA commit itself to bear one another’s burdens, love the neighbor, and respect the bound consciences of all."
  • "RESOLVED, that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America make provision in its policies to eliminate the prohibition of rostered service by members who are in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships."

It is good to want to minister to people and support them in the church.  This is what we are supposed to do as Christians, but it does not help people when it involves encouraging them in sinful actions and attitudes as the ELCA is doing.  Homosexuality is a sin according to God's word (Lev. 18:22; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Rom. 1:26-28), and we as Christians who are faithful to that word need to continually tell homosexuals that they need the forgiveness and love of the Lord Jesus and that they need to turn from their sin.

This is not hatred as the "heterophobes"1 like to claim.  Instead, it is informing them of God's will and the future consequences of their actions.  To not warn them is sinful and hateful.  This is why, if the ELCA fails to lovingly warn the homosexual community and instead supports them in their sin, it is not only false in its teaching but it is helping in their ultimate condemnation. Truth is sometimes hard and love is sometimes inconvenient, but they go hand in hand and they don't depend on our feelings, political correctness, or the homosexuals' agenda for their validity.  The ELCA should not look the other way while trying to reshape biblical orthodoxy around homosexual ideologies, whether they be "monogamous," "committed," "life-long relationships," or not.

On the contrary, Christians are supposed to love the homosexual community in a godly way according to scripture, not by caving in to their sinful demands. They need the corrective teaching of Scripture, the forgiveness in the person of Jesus Christ, and the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit.  To this end all Christians should work.

But, when such a denomination as the ELCA adopts a politically correct, unbiblical view, then it is taking deliberate steps towards apostasy.  The ELCA needs to repent.  It needs to adopt biblical truth.  It needs to clean its ecclesiastical ranks of the liberals who are infesting its halls and diluting the gospel.

No.  Practicing homosexuals are not to hold offices in the church--in spite of the resolution mentioned above.  They are to be gently and consistently corrected and encouraged to repent.

No.  Monogamous homosexuals in a same-gender relationship are not walking in fellowship with God, but instead are in open rebellion against Him--no matter how they may feel and no matter what anyone else might say.  Sin is still sin.

No.  Christians are not to advocate any harm of homosexuals even though the Old Testament promoted it.  Why?  Because we are under a New Covenant (New Testament) and the Old Covenant (Old Testament) has become obsolete.  Heb. 8:13 says, "When He said, 'A new covenant,' He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear."  The Old Testament covenantal system with its judicial executions is no longer in effect, but the moral condemnation of homosexual sin still is, i.e., 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Rom. 1:26-28.

We must ask the ELCA that if it supports homosexual unions, then what about pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, and other sexual sins?  Will those who promote them fail to demand their hour in your denomination?  Don't think that when you open the door a crack that the sins of man won't shove it open as much as possible.  It just takes time.

Finally, it is a shame that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America does not have the spiritual discernment nor the dedication to God's inspired word to do what is right.  It needs to clean its own house and only then can it stand for righteousness, love the lost, speak the truth, help the down-trodden, advocate repentance, and properly represent Christ and the doctrine of truth for which His blood was shed.


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  • 1. If the homosexual community can name-call by using the term "homophobe" against anyone who disagrees with homosexuality, then I can use "heterophobe" against those who disagree that marriage must be limited to a man and a woman.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.