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To change or not to change, that was the question

by Pastor Jaynan L. Clark (WordAlone Network president)

August 23, 2009

photo of Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, after surprise tornado during ELCA CWA 2009

To all believers, not just Lutherans, and to all not-yet believers in Jesus Christ: Have ears to hear!

It is very important for you to hear today that Jesus died for you to save you from your sin through repentance, forgiveness and new life, which are true freedom in Him.

That is the message and the calling for the church. That is not up for a vote.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America cannot change the need for repentance and forgiveness by a vote to accept homosexual behavior as it did during its assembly this week.

Only the arrogant, the ignorant and those led astray would believe such.

Luther never wanted a church named after him. I’m doubtful he would want these actions connected to his name. The ELCA has put a stain on the fabric of all churches that carry Luther’s name.

Instead of questioning the Bible from their perspective, churches should let the Bible question them, their perspectives, experiences and actions.

Hear also, Lutherans, and all other, Christians, how important it is to distinguish the human institution from the true church of God. Lutherans from the time of the Reformation have believed that the organization exists “for good order.”

Luther’s last stand was based on the Word of God and on sound reason. He was not convinced otherwise then, we in WordAlone are not convinced now.

When God said, “I am who I am.” He meant it, not “I am who you want me to be” or “who you want to remake me to be.” God and His Word are the authority over all of faith and life.

God’s Word is not up for a vote and, remember, He always gets the last word because He alone is eternal.

The ELCA assembly has now voted against the authoritative Word of God. The assembly has swapped His Word for human words that are neither based on sound reason or good order. In fact, the assembly voted against the Word of God, sound reason and the good order of creation.

That is not only not Lutheran, it is not Christian and it is not the work of the church but of a misguided , shrinking, sideline denomination whose leadership’s ears cannot hear and can no longer even discern or recognize, let alone revere, God’s direct warning and intervention.

God will not be mocked.

Steeples fall, the cross hangs upside down, the tables are overturned and the ELCA leadership pushes forward a human agenda and dismisses God’s clear directive and the churches’ long history of teachings. So, is what was passed now to be taught to our children?

Is this what Jesus’ love that “knows no bounds” really means? So what is it the ELCA will say “no” to? Are there any boundaries? That type of faulty parenting should bring to our door the Christian equivalent of child protective services. We are leading Jesus’ children astray.

Is the ELCA saying “no” to Jesus, to the Bible, to the historical teaching of the church, to those who stand only on the Word of God and to the Confessions of the Lutheran Church but not to desires, and experiences of homosexual behavior?

This is really an old, old story . . . as old as the debate over the apple itself. As it was then, it shall always be that when humans are faced with doing either what they want to do or what God tells them to do, we “fall.” It is the same old sin—self over God and His Word.

Swapping Jesus’ story for its own will have consequences for the ELCA.

But the end of this story is the beginning of another that witnesses to the One who is eternally to be known as the Crucified One because, as we have witnessed, even this church continues pounding the spikes into His scarred hands.

As the eternally Risen One, bearing the scars of our sin, He promises not to abandon but to abide and to raise up a faithful remnant to join with the vast majority of the faithful Lutherans worldwide.

We are not Lutheran orphans, because we stand with all the other Lutheran bodies who still believe in the authority of God’s Word and with the whole Holy Christian Church.

Be changed by God’s Word. Don’t let the Word be changed.