... the fine folks in the Evangelical Lutheran Church today. Their denominational leadership is heretical and apostate, their spiritual life must be maintained without much Holy Spirit, and their local and academic leadership are fleeing to the Roman Catholic Church by the dozens.
Carl E. Braaten, one of the nation's leading Lutheran theologians has been lamenting the exodus of Lutheran scholars and ministers from the mainline Lutheran denomination to the Roman Catholic Church.His dismay over the ELCA's continued decline was voiced using such wordsas "heresy," "pious piffle," and "empty body."
He warned that the denomination was on a "trajectory that leads to rank antinomianism." Braattan said his departed colleagues were "convinced that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has become just another liberal protestant denomination.An example of the exodus is the Rev. Tom McMichael of Hope Lutheran Church in Lynden, Washington. He has decided to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
Hence, they have decided that they can no longer be a part of that. Especially, they say, they are not willing to raise their children in a church that they believe has lost its moorings in the great tradition of evangelical (small e) and catholic (small c) orthodoxy (small o), which was at the heart of Luther's reformatory teaching and the Lutheran Confessional Writings. They are saying that the Roman Catholic Church is now more hospitable to confessional Lutheran teaching than the church in which they were baptized and confirmed.
"It is no secret that I, and confessional pastors like me, have become increasingly alarmed and dismayed at the direction of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America," McMichael said.How sad, how sad! The once great Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists, American Baptists, and the other mainlines bodies are rotting from the inside out.
"On issues as fundamental as ethics, sacramental practice, liturgical life, and ecclesial self-understanding, we as the ELCA are moving farther and farther from our biblical and confessional moorings, and from the consensus of the 'one holy catholic and apostolic church' that we confess. [...]
"I am not alone among pastors when I say that sitting through synod assemblies, participating in task forces, and reading the official pronouncements of our leaders has left me with a heavy heart and convinced me that these differences are irreconcilable. Despite my life-long commitment to and thankfulness for the Lutheran expression of the church catholic, I cannot in good conscience remain a public face to this institution. I do not want to leave the impression that my motivations lay simply in dissatisfaction with trends in the ELCA. No faith community this side of the Kingdom has a monopoly on silly and sinful members."
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