A good bible friend of mine and I speak often of our experiences in the churches we attended when first becoming Christian. Mine was the Episcopal; his was the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Both of us left because the teachings and practices did not align with scripture. We share news items about just how fast church is tripping over itself to be culturally relevant. Yesterday, we had yet another example where some might ask, “Is this just a coincidence?” I don’t think so.
My friend forwarded me an article about the ELCA electing the first transgender bishop in a mainline denomination. That’s not surprising because both the ELCA and Episcopalians have long embraced homosexuality and gender fluidity. Through this election, they church celebrated the breaking down of clerical standards established by the First Council of Nicaea, from which we get the Nicene Creed.
According to the article the new bishop, Rev. Megan Rohrer, is quoted as saying, “The first council of Nicaea’s first action was to try limit the leadership rolls of trans pastors and bishops, Rohrer wrote. “I’m grateful the Lutherans of the [Sierra Pacific Synod] are beginning to dismantle this and some of the…other hurdles BIPOC [black, indigenous, and people of color] and LGBTQ pastor’s [sic] encounter.” The article went on to suggest, “Presumably Rohrer was referring to Canon 1 of the Council, which forbids those who have castrated themselves from serving in the clergy.”
After reading this article with my wife, she pointed to the very first verse of the very first chapter of our bible reading plan for the day:
“No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord. Deuteronomy 23:1
Coincidence? I don’t think so!
This reminds me of another time when the Lord spoke loudly when the ELCA voted to allow homosexual clergy. Suddenly and unexpectedly, a tornado appeared and tore apart the downtown Minneapolis church steeple and left the cross hanging upside down. The ELCA convention attendees weren’t to be deterred; they voted homosexuality as legitimate and celebrated. They mocked those who suggested the Lord was sending them a message. John Piper, whose church is almost next door wrote that it was definitely a warning from God.
Coincidence? Judge for yourself. As for me, I pay attention to these things. God is not absent or silent (Psalm 50:3).
No, yesterday was just one more example of God separating the sheep from the goats, his cleansing of the church. It’s time to celebrate, my friends! Our Lord is coming soon.
Father, I thank you that you make yourself know. Some will listen. As with Samuel, we say, “Here I am!” Amen.
Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers
Photo Credit: Desiring God