Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Here is a little history:
The Augsburg Confession is, by its catholic nature (meaning "universal" in its application to Lutheran churches), normative to all Lutheran Churches everywhere and in all times. It is also one of the most important documents of the Lutheran reformation. The Augsburg Confession was written in both German and Latin, and was presented by a number of German rulers and free-cities at the Diet of Augsburg on June 25, 1530. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V had called on the Princes and Free Territories in Germany to explain their religious convictions in an attempt to restore religious and political unity in the Holy Roman Empire, and rally support against the Turkish invasion. It is the fourth document contained in the Lutheran Book of Concord.
To Read the Augsburg Confession in full please click this link.
Monday, June 23, 2008
By ERIC GORSKI (Associated Press) – 1 hour ago
America remains a deeply religious nation, but a new survey finds most Americans don't believe their tradition is the only way to eternal life — even if the denomination's teachings say otherwise.
The findings, revealed Monday in a survey of 35,000 adults, can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don't know fundamental teachings of their own faiths.
Among the more startling numbers in the survey, conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching.
In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion.
"The survey shows religion in America is, indeed, 3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep," said D. Michael Lindsay, a Rice University sociologist of religion.
"There's a growing pluralistic impulse toward tolerance and that is having theological consequences," he said.
Earlier data from the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, released in February, highlighted how often Americans switch religious affiliation. The newly released material looks at religious belief and practice as well as the impact of religion on society, including how faith shapes political views.
The report argues that while relatively few people — 14 percent — cite religious beliefs as the main influence on their political thinking, religion still plays a powerful indirect role.
The study confirmed some well-known political dynamics, including stark divisions over abortion and gay marriage, with the more religiously committed taking conservative views on the issues.
But it also showed support across religious lines for greater governmental aid for the poor, even if it means more debt and stricter environmental laws and regulations.
By many measures, Americans are strongly religious: 92 percent believe in God, 74 percent believe in life after death and 63 percent say their respective scriptures are the word of God.
But deeper investigation found that more than one in four Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants and Orthodox Christians expressed some doubts about God's existence, as did six in ten Jews.
Another finding almost defies explanation: 21 percent of self-identified atheists said they believe in God or a universal spirit, with 8 percent "absolutely certain" of it.
"Look, this shows the limits of a survey approach to religion," said Peter Berger, a theology and sociology professor at Boston University. "What do people really mean when they say that many religions lead to eternal life? It might mean they don't believe their particular truth at all. Others might be saying, 'We believe a truth but respect other people, and they are not necessarily going to hell.'"
Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum, said that more research is planned to answer those kinds of questions, but that earlier, smaller surveys found similar results.
Nearly across the board, the majority of religious Americans believe many religions can lead to eternal life: mainline Protestants (83 percent), members of historic black Protestant churches (59 percent), Roman Catholics (79 percent), Jews (82 percent) and Muslims (56 percent).
By similar margins, people in those faith groups believe in multiple interpretations of their own traditions' teachings. Yet 44 percent of the religiously affiliated also said their religion should preserve its traditional beliefs and practices.
"What most people are saying is, 'Hey, we don't have a hammer-lock on God or salvation, and God's bigger than us and we should respect that and respect other people,'" said the Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.
"Some people are like butterflies that go from flower to flower, going from religion to religion — and frankly they don't get that deep into any of them," he said.
Beliefs about eternal life vary greatly, even within a religious tradition.
Some Christians hold strongly to Jesus' words as described in John 14:6: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Others emphasize the wideness of God's grace.
The Catholic church teaches that the "one church of Christ ... subsists in the Catholic Church" alone and that Protestant churches, while defective, can be "instruments of salvation."
Roger Oldham, a vice president with the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, bristled at using the word "tolerance" in the analysis.
"If by tolerance we mean we're willing to engage or embrace a multitude of ways to salvation, that's no longer evangelical belief," he said. "The word 'evangelical' has been stretched so broadly, it's almost an elastic term."
Others welcomed the findings.
"It shows increased religious security. People are comfortable with other traditions even if they're different," said the Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance. "It indicates a level of humility about religion that would be of great benefit to everyone."
More than most groups, Catholics break with their church, and not just on issues like abortion and homosexuality. Only six in 10 Catholics described God as "a person with whom people can have a relationship" — which the church teaches — while three in 10 described God as an "impersonal force."
"The statistics show, more than anything else, that many who describe themselves as Catholics do not know or understand the teachings of their church," said Denver Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput. "Being Catholic means believing what the Catholic church teaches. It is a communion of faith, not simply of ancestry and family tradition. It also means that the church ought to work harder at evangelizing its own members."
On the Net:
* Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: http://pewforum.org
Study finds a wide range of attitudes on same-sex unions from tolerance and support to strong opposition.
By Steve Padilla, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 21, 2008
So what do the country's leading religious denominations have to say about gay marriage?
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life compiled a report on the question last year and updated it in May, the same month the California Supreme Court cleared the way for gay weddings, which began this week.
Although attitudes toward same-sex marriage will vary among individuals, the Pew Forum assessed the positions of various denominations and religious groups.
The following, which includes just some of the entities the Pew Forum surveyed, is based on the forum’s research with additional Times reporting.
In 1982, the American Baptist Churches in the USA's governing body, the General Board, declared that "homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching."
Some individual churches, however, have welcomed openly gay members. American Baptist churches in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona broke away from the national church in 2006, saying the General Board failed to penalize churches that had welcomed gays.
Although some Buddhists call for tolerance, there is no official Buddhist position on same-sex marriage.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes gay marriage, saying that "marriage is a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman." The bishops also have condemned violence and bigotry against gays and lesbians and said that they "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity."
The Episcopal Church has not explicitly endorsed gay marriage, but in 2006 the church stated its "support of gay and lesbian persons and [opposition to] any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex marriages or unions."
Some Episcopal congregations have split from the national church over gay issues and interpretations of Scripture.
At least one Episcopal congregation in California, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, has already hosted same-sex weddings.
The legislative body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is expected to consider gay marriage and the ordination of openly gay ministers in 2009. A church task force in March recommended that the church continue to define marriage as a union between a woman and a man.
Although cultural attitudes may vary regarding gays and lesbians, there is no official Hindu position on same-sex marriage.
Homosexuality is considered a violation of Islamic law. The Islamic Shura Council, an umbrella organization for mosques and Muslim groups in Southern California, denounced the ruling allowing gay marriage, but the group also condemned "all forms" of discrimination.
The Reform and Reconstructionist movements support gay and lesbian rights, including same-sex weddings.
The Conservative movement does not sanctify gay marriage but does grant rabbis the autonomy to choose whether to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Leaders in Orthodox Judaism have defined marriage as a union between man and woman.
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
In 2006, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod reaffirmed its position that same-sex marriage is "contrary to the will of the Creator."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God."
The General Assembly, the governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA), has not explicitly addressed the issue, but in 1997 it prohibited the ordination of gays.
Issues concerning homosexuality and the church are expected to arise next week, when the General Assembly holds its biennial meeting in San Jose.
In 2003, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a statement opposing gay marriage. It also called on "Southern Baptists not only to stand against same-sex unions but to demonstrate our love for those practicing homosexuality by sharing with them the forgiving and transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)."
In 1996, the Unitarian Universalist Assn. of Congregations passed a resolution supporting same-sex marriage.
United Church of Christ
In 2005, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ voted to recognize and advocate for same-sex marriage.
United Methodist Church
In 2004, the church's top policymaking body reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.
source: LA Times
Thursday, June 19, 2008
On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Bill asked his guests on Tuesday on why most of America is against gay marriage. The lady guest said that this country follows Christian ideals. The man said that the country always gives way for change, it may take time, but change eventually happens, as was the case in California.
I thought Lutherans didn't like change? Apparently not. Well, the "Lutherans" in California do.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
[P] In the name of the Father (or Mother) and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
[P] Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and before this church to witness the union of this man and this man (or, woman and this woman) in holy matrimony. This is an honorable instituted and blessed by God in Paradise, before humanities fall into sin.
In marriage we see a picture of the communion between Christ and His bride (or bridegroom), the church. Our Lord (or Lordess) blessed and honored marriage with His presence and first miracle at Cana in Galilee. This estate is also commended to us by the apostle Paul as sinful and unclean, but we'll do it anyway. Therefore, marriage is not to be entered into inadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God, but we don't care about this, we'll do it anyway.
The union of a husband and a husband (or, wife and a wife) in heart, body and mind is intended by God for the mutual companionship, help and support that each person ought to receive from the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Marriage was ordained so that man and man (or, woman and woman) may find delight in one another. Therefore, all persons who marry shall take a spouse in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust, for God has not called us to impurity but in holiness, but we'll do it anyway. God also established marriage for the procreation of children who are to be brought up in the fear and instruction of the Lord so that they may offer Him their praise, but it's ok, you can adopt instead.
For these reasons God has established the holy estate that _(name)_ and _(name)_ wish to enter. They desire our prayers as they begin their marriage in the Lord's name and with His (or, Her) blessing.
[P] _(name of bridegroom or bride)_, will you have this woman (or, man) to be your wedded wife (or husband), to live together in the holy estate of matrimony as God ordained it? Will you nourish and cherish her (or, him) as Christ loved His body, the Church, giving Himself up for her? Will you love, honor, and keep her (or, him) and in health and, forsaking all others, remain united with her (or, him) alone, so long as you both shall live? Then say: I will.
YOU SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING? THIS IS TRUE NOW! WHAT CAN BE DONE? Every homosexual who is to be "married" will spend the rest of their life in sin as well as the pastor who marries them. For it is he (or her, in the case of the ELCA) who says it is to be fit for the two to marry. I would even say the hierarchy of the ELCA as well as in sin for allowing this to happen by turning their backs on this situation.
How can the ELCA allow so may people to not have the chance to go to Heaven? Where is Bishop Hanson? Hanson doesn't care, all he cares about is power, by power, it is numbers. All he wants is for the ELCA to be larger than the LCMS and to be the "Lutheran pope" by being the man in charge of the Lutheran World Federation. That is all he cares about, he can care less about what being a Lutheran really is. He, and the rest of the ELCA hierarchy, has forgotten about the Book of Concord and what the Holy Bible says. He and the hierarchy is more worried about interpreting the Bible for what it is not, than for what it Truly is.
This is the TRUTH.
Here is a list of "Lutheran" church to allow gay marriage:
|Trinity Lutheran Church, 1323 Central Ave, Alameda, CA 94501|
|Christ the Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, 185 W Altadena Dr, Altadena, CA 91001-4750|
|Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 401 Grizzly Peak Blvd, Berkeley, CA 94708-1210|
|University Lutheran Chapel, 2425 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704-2427|
|Peace Lutheran Church, 3201 Camino Tassajara, Danville, CA 94506-4643|
|Christ Lutheran Church, 780 Ashbury Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530-3298|
|St Matthew's Lutheran Church, 1920 W Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale, CA 91201|
|Resurrection Lutheran Church, 1900 E Carson St, Long Beach, CA 90807-3038|
|Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 759 Linden Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813-4501|
|Bethel Lutheran Church, 5750 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036-4710|
|Hollywood Lutheran Church, 1733 N New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027-4207|
|Hope Lutheran Church, 6720 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038-3441|
|Lutheran Church of the Master, 10931 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025-4537|
|Epiphany Lutheran and Episcopal Church, 425 Carmel Ave, Marina, CA 93933|
|Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, 35660 Cedar Blvd, Newark, CA 94560-1323|
|St Matthew Lutheran Church, 11031 Camarillo St, North Hollywood, CA 91602-1210|
|First Lutheran Church, 4100 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619-3099|
|St Paul Lutheran Church, 1658 Excelsior Ave, Oakland, CA 94602-1698|
|First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 600 Homer Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301-2827|
|University Lutheran Church, Stanford University, 1611 Stanford Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306-1255|
|Grace Lutheran Church, 2369 Barrett Ave, Richmond, CA 94804-1698|
|Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, 4641 Marconi Ave, Sacramento, CA 95821-4390|
|Central City Lutheran Mission, 1345 N G St, San Bernardino, CA 92405-5012|
|Peace Lutheran Church, 850 Glenview Dr, San Bruno, CA 94066-2722|
|First Lutheran Church, 1420 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101-3193|
|Christ Church Lutheran, 1090 Quintara St, San Francisco, CA 94116-1268|
|Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 678 Portola Dr, San Francisco, CA 94127-1208|
|First United Lutheran Church, 6555 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121-1716|
|Golden Gate Lutheran Church, 601 Dolores St, San Francisco, CA 94110-1526|
|St Francis Lutheran Church, 152 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114-1111|
|St Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109-6601|
|St Paulus Lutheran Church, 930 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102-3193|
|Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1550 Meridian Ave, San Jose, CA 95125-5319|
|Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1948 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126-1427|
|Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1710 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95128|
|New Creation Church, 7275 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose, CA 95119|
|The Church of All Saints, 362 Mulberry Dr, Ste 3, San Marcos, CA 92069-1949|
|St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 958 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403-2807|
|Thanksgiving Lutheran Church, 1225 Fulton Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95401|
|St John's Lutheran Church, 581 E Fremont Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087-2743|
|Faith Lutheran Church, 12449 California St, Yucaipa, CA 92399-4405|
In other news, First United Lutheran Church of San Francisco has merged with First Unitarian Universalist Chapel. That must be a great combination. How much more liberal in theology can you get? They might as well worship many gods.
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
Go in peace.
ELCA NEWS SERVICE
June 12, 2008
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was among more than 30 national Christian leaders who met here June 10 with U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. Hanson was invited by Obama's staff to meet privately with the Senator in a meeting in which Darfur, the Iraq war, gay rights, abortion and faith issues were discussed, the Associated Press reported.
Hanson said the meeting's purpose seemed to be an effort by Obama "to begin a process of being engaged with a diverse group of religious leaders." Attendees included leaders of Evangelical, Protestant and Roman Catholic churches and organizations, he said.
Among other things, Hanson said he explained to Obama that Lutherans "are on the ground" throughout the world, providing ministries that include disaster relief, response to HIV and AIDS and other diseases, alleviation of poverty and community development. Churches and other non-governmental agencies need a strong U.S. government partner to provide effective global healing ministries, Hanson said he told Obama.
Hanson also told Obama that next week he will visit churches and church leaders in Kenya and Tanzania. In Tanzania Hanson will chair a regular meeting of the Lutheran World Federation Council (LWF), in his role as LWF president. Obama has family roots in that region of Africa.
"Reaching out to the faith community is a priority for Barack Obama and will be a priority under an Obama administration," Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters. Psaki added that Obama is expected to meet again with religious leaders in the coming months.
Hanson said he hopes to get similar invitations from the presumed Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and other presidential nominees.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Here is a print screen of Ebenezer/herchurch "Lutheran" in San Francisco:
What does the Bible say about this? What does Jesus say? What does Paul say? What does Luther say? They say all the same thing: this is sin.
Jesus, Paul and Martin Luther all say homosexuals will go to hell. If you don't believe me, read the Bible and read the Book of Concord.
Ebenezer (HerChurch) Lutheran Church- San Francisco, Calif. (website)
It is obvious on what type of "Lutheran" this church is. (Hint: not LCMS, not WELS....what's left, it's the "big one") This "Lutheran" "church" will allow gay marriage. What is even better is that this church does not read the Lord's Prayer, it says this instead--
Here is what is posted on the "church"'s website--
celebrating the CA Supreme Court
decision we are offering YOU
sacred space/clergy for your
Here is Paul's letter to the Romans about sinful humanity:
Romans 1:18-32 (New International Version)
God's Wrath Against Mankind18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.