Mar. 26, 2018

April/May 2018 The Pastor’s Study Newsletter

God gives some over to a depraved mind (Romans 1)...

Dear Friends of The Pastor’s Study,

Does God ever give up on a person? I think, since He saved the thief on the cross, we can say that God is willing to save people right up to their last moment. But the Bible also teaches that God does “give people over”. Romans 1:24, 26, and 28 says three times that God gives people over to “impurity, degrading passions, and a depraved mind”. This God does only after they have rejected Him for themselves. Perhaps you know people who have so rejected God that they have become lost in bizarre thinking and behavior.

Does God ever “give over” a denomination? I have a sad example to share. The liberal branch of Lutheranism is called the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (other Lutheran denominations like the Missouri Synod are much more Biblical). Back in 2009 the ELCA decided to violate Scripture and ordain practicing homosexual pastors. Things have gotten stranger and stranger ever since. Recently a Chicago newspaper asked head ELCA bishop Elizabeth Eaton if Hell exists. Her reply “It may exist, but I think it is empty.” In its most recent edition, the ELCA’s national magazine has a whole article promoting the acceptance of transgenderism and the ELCA now has transgender pastors. The ELCA continues to pay for abortion for any reason in its healthcare plan, which is funded by offering dollars. The ELCA is a tragic example of God giving a denomination which has rejected Him over to a depraved mind (Romans 1:28). And sadly, the same is true for the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church USA. Many years ago these were good, Christian denominations, but step by step they have rejected the authority of Scripture and have entered the world of the bizarre.

The main purpose of The Pastor’s Study is to preach salvation from sin, death and Hell through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (and, yes, Jesus did teach repeatedly that Hell exists). But a second purpose of The Pastor’s Study is to alert people to the false teachings in today’s denominations so that people will take their money, time and talents and join a more Biblical church. Just yesterday a more conservative ELCA pastor called me needing support for his Biblical views and in a gentle way I tried to encourage him to consider leading his congregation out of the ELCA into a more Biblical branch of Lutheranism.

You have helped The Pastor’s Study spread the Gospel of salvation through Christ. And you have helped us alert people to false teachings in today’s Church. Because of your prayers and giving, we are reaching a wider and wider TV audience. Again I want to say a big “Thank you” for your prayers and giving! We will be honest stewards of your contributions.

Have a great Spring,

In Jesus our Savior,

Pastor Tom Brock

PS You can give online at pastorsstudy.org or by mail at:
The Pastor’s Study
PO 41294
Minneapolis, Mn 55441

Mar. 26, 2018

ELCA national magazine: Offering tobacco and food to ancestors, Mother God and embracing a Native American creation story

This month's Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, highlights women in ministry. One such person is Prairie Rose Seminole, American Indian Alaska Native program director for the ELCA. She writes: "...As the sun rises, I also rise. I put out water, tobacco or food for my ancestors. I offer gratitude...for being able to witness to that which moves all things--God, Great Mystery, Chief Who Sits Above, Mother, Creator, the blood in my veins, the hurricane crashing to shore, earth moving--that power of which we are all a part...I come from the Sahnish/Arikiara tribe...Our creation story is different from what is in the Bible. Is it our place to say that is wrong? No....My faith is influenced by millennia upon millennia of indigenous roots in this land, 2,000 years of Christianity, 500 years of the Lutheran church, and more than 500 years of genocide and policies to wipe out the first people of our country."

Sadly, what we have here is a program director for the ELCA who is trying to combine pagan, non-Christian religion with Christianity. Pantheism teaches that God is everything and everything is God (the mountains, the hurricanes, everything is God). But Christians reject pantheism and teach that God is separate from His creation, God is the Creator, not the created. Christians believe in God the Father, nowhere did Jesus teach us to pray to God as "Mother." And the Biblical account of creation is the one Christians believe, not stories from other religions.

I am German. My ancestors worshipped Thor and Odin. I am not at all offended that I cannot worship these old gods along with the Holy Trinity, nor do I want to. We are all called upon, regardless of our heritage, to reject the false gods of our ancestors and worship the Trinity alone. Sadly, this article from the national magazine of the ELCA appears to teach otherwise.

In Jesus the only Savior,

Pastor Tom Brock

PS. Another highlighted woman pastor in the article mentions her “loving spouse Jennifer, and Taal, our beautiful 4-year-old son. I am a proud member of...a community for Lutheran rostered ministers, candidates, and seminarians who publicly identify as LGBTQIA+”.

Mar. 26, 2018

Another shrinking, radical seminary sold

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is a seminary of the United Church of Christ, the most liberal of Protestant denominations. The seminary also trains Unitarian pastors, which I believe is to say "The Trinity doesn't matter here". The seminary is not far from my house and when I want to get good and upset, I take a slow walk through United Seminary. In the parking lot are lots of radical bumper stickers with sayings like "God is coming back and is She ever p-ssed". Gay/lesbian rainbow bumper stickers are abundant, as well as stickers espousing various social justice issues--though you won't find a pro-life bumper sticker. Inside the building is United's meditation room with New Age literature. Hanging on the walls around the seminary are about seven large paintings of the Divine Feminine to help students connect with the Mother God (paintings like "White Buffalo Woman" of Native American spirituality). Downstairs in the seminary bookstore one finds the required reading for various classes, books like "A Lesbian Perspective of the New Testament."

The seminary president listed some reasons for selling the seminary and moving elsewhere, and noted "United has so much more space than the students utilize; the large empty spaces can often make one feel alone in the buildings."

The shrinking, closing or merging of seminaries has been happening for some time now among liberal denominations like the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church. If the heresy of universalism that is taught at some of these seminaries is true (universalism teaches that everyone will be saved and faith in Christ is not required), then why not indeed close down the seminaries?

This is yet another example of the Bible's teaching "You reap what you sow." For years now these denominations have departed from historic, Biblical Christianity and many of their pastors and professors embrace universalism, feminist theology, de-sexed God language, homosexuality and transgenderism. Now, people don't want to attend their seminaries.

A prayer that I pray regularly is "Lord, may these erring denominations repent, but if they won't repent, may they shrink and may the people in them be moved to better denominations where they will find Christ." I believe God is answering that prayer.

In Jesus our Savior,

Pastor Tom Brock
pastorsstudy.org

PS The good news is that the seminary has been sold to an evangelical mission group!

Mar. 26, 2018

ELCA seminary fires president after pro-gay activists discover she used to believe homosexual behavior is wrong

This is a follow-up to my previous post about United Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its President Latini used to be involved with OneByOne, a group of which I am a board member and which believes homosexual behavior is contrary to God's will. Latini says she has "evolved" with the help of the Holy Spirit and now no longer holds to the conservative view. She now fully embraces the LGBTQ community. Still, she was fired. It has been said that the LGBTQ community of the seminary was traumatized by the discovery of Latini's past. The board's complete letter (see below) states the seminary board has taken this action: "The hiring of a specialist in communal trauma to assist with healing, justice and reconciliation".

The letter also states "We affirm that all points of view are valid and meaningful" which I believe is an attempt to pacify conservatives over her firing. Since when are all points of view valid? Lutherans believe in "sola scripture", Latin for "the Scripture alone" is our highest authority and that which contradicts it is not "valid and meaningful" but wrong and evil. The 2009 ELCA decision to ordain practicing homosexuals has now led to the ELCA also ordaining transgender pastors--and now to the firing of someone who years ago once believed such things were wrong.
As the ELCA departs more and more from "sola scriptura", its story becomes more bizarre and God-dishonoring.

In Jesus our Savior,

Pastor Tom Brock

ULS Board Letter – March 14th

MARCH 14, 2018
Dear United Lutheran Seminary Family and Supporters:
On March 6, the United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) Board of Trustees underwent a daylong series of listening sessions. These meetings had a profound effect on the Board of Trustees. We wish to once again thank all of those who took the time, effort and courage to share with us during these events, as well as those who have called or written. You have made a significant difference in this process.
After last week’s sessions, the Board made a number of commitments that are integral to moving forward. First, we vowed to take a stronger leadership role while making the necessary changes to secure the long-term interests of our Seminary. That commitment to leadership played an important role during our discussions this week. In addition, as an initial first step, we would like to report on the following updates:

In 2018, we have received resignations from several Board members. Robert King and Nancy Dering Mock stepped down earlier this year due to personal reasons. Lisa Leber, Audrey Moody, Phillip Harrington and Elise Brown tendered their resignations in advance of today’s board meeting. Cheryl Meinschein, Charles Miller, Emma Porter and Janet Montelaro resigned immediately following the meeting. The Board will begin work immediately with the ELCA and relevant Synods to identify new members, with an eye toward finding those with skill sets that can best assist us going forward.

The Board has hired La Torre Communications to guide and assist in improving our long-term communication processes. We must do a better job of communicating to our Seminary family and supporters.

The Board has approved the Administration’s requests for the funding of:
An increase in access to Pastoral and Behavioral Health services.

The hiring of a specialist in communal trauma to assist with healing, justice and reconciliation.

A full outside audit focused on diversity, equity and inclusion audit within the ULS.
Understanding that there is much more to be done, we hope these initial steps will help, in some small way, to exemplify our resolve in meeting our responsibilities and commitments to the ULS. The primary obligation of the Board is to our Seminary and the perpetuation of its critical mission in training leaders for the church.

The United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) Board of Trustees held a formal Board meeting on Wednesday, March 14, to address Seminary and Board leadership issues. Guided by our wish to act decisively and seeking God’s blessed guidance, the Board voted to end Dr. Theresa F. Latini’s position as President of the United Lutheran Seminary. This decision was made based on the Board’s concern that the ongoing controversy surrounding her naming as President made it extremely difficult to overcome the issues related to trust as the President of this institution. With the understanding that there is much work to be done in healing, and recognizing her significant value and gifts, the Board recognized that her ongoing tenure would present a significant obstacle to moving forward.

We recognize that this decision will not satisfy many of our constituencies, but our responsibility as a Board is to make decisions that we believe will best strengthen and sustain ULS. Through prayer, thoughtful discussion and active listening, we have reached the conclusion that ending our relationship with Dr. Latini will be the most positive approach to our process of healing and to the health and well-being of ULS.

The Board’s struggle during this voting process was reflective of the ULS community’s struggle. The Board is a diverse group in ways, much like the Seminary community. As leaders with fiduciary responsibilities, this result accurately reflects the will of the Board and, as such, we are moving forward as a united body.

Bishop James Dunlop has been named as Acting President. His responsibilities as the Bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod will be adjusted and shared with staff in order for him to take on this role. We pray for his strength to lead us during this difficult time. A search for an Interim President will begin in earnest, and we commit to as transparent as process as is possible while still meeting legal requirements for privacy.

These were very tough decisions to make, and we can assure you, they were not made lightly. We are aware that many of you will applaud our choices, while many others will be bitterly disappointed. We ask you all to be mindful that these issues are complicated and multi-faceted and, as such, there can be no “one right or true answer.” We affirm that all points of view are valid and meaningful, and we ask that you recognize on good faith that we did our best to take all into full account as we endeavored to find the best answer for ULS. We humbly ask our Lord to guide us in resolving these differences of opinion and direction so that we may all move forward united in our shared calling.

We thank you for your ongoing commitment and ask for your continued prayers for our church, the world, and the United Lutheran Seminary.

In the Unity of Christ, we are your
United Lutheran Seminary Board of Trustees

 

WARNING:  FOUL LANGUAGE AHEAD---BY PASTOR AND UPCOMING ELCA YOUTH ASSEMBLY SPEAKER

If the below doesn't make a parent want to protect their teen from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, what will? Another speaker at the same upcoming youth assembly will be heretic and also foul-mouthed Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. Approximately 30,000 teenagers were in attendance at the last assembly. 

If you are still an ELCA member, I again urge you to take your money, time, and talents and join a more biblical Lutheran body. Yes, it can be hard to leave a church in which you have been a member for years, but our ultimate loyalty is to Jesus Christ, not to this offensive, God-dishonoring denomination.

Sincerely in Christ,

Pastor Tom Brock

Click below for story:

The ELCA can not be trusted with the hearts and minds of your children.
EXPOSINGTHEELCA.COM
 
 
 
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