The Orthodox Lutheran Church on the ELCA

Luther rose

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In my travels around the interweb I stumbled upon this site, so, I decided to check it out.  Now, there’s twenty-some “Lutheran” bodies in North America alone, so it didn’t surprise me that I have never heard of the Orthodox Lutheran Church (OLC).  It also didn’t surprise me that this Lutheran body that I had never heard of has a statement regarding the decisions made at the ELCA‘s 2009 Churchwide Assembly (CWA09).

Here are some of the “high-points” of the OLC’s statement.

It would be more fitting if the ELCA stood for The Evangelical Liberal Church in America and dropped the name Lutheran, which the ELCA is no longer, in the eyes of this Lutheran ecclesiastical body.

That’s almost as good as “ELC-gay”, but not quite.

However, we can no longer consider the ELCA as a Lutheran body, nor do we consider the ELCA as a Christian body which upholds sound Biblical doctrines. Therefore, we rescind our policy of non-proselytizing among ELCA members and congregations so that we may reach out, extending a hand to those true Christians who believe the Scriptures for what they say, and reject false, man- made doctrines and we seek to welcome them into a new Christian home where they may find comfort in a sound Biblically based setting. (Bold mine)

Really, you want to go there…  As if Lutherans proselytize.

But here’s my favorite:

For drifting so far from sound Biblical doctrines, doctrines which have for more than 2000 years kept the church pure and clean in the eyes of The Lord, and for allowing those who openly engage in behavior so blatantly condemned in Holy Scripture, we The Lutheran Orthodox Church, a Church in valid Apostolic Succession do hereby denounce in no uncertain terms the actions of the majority of the voting members of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as anathema and so far deviated from the truths as found in Holy Scripture, and so far removed from the teaching of Martin Luther, that we can no longer consider the ELCA as a Christian body or a Lutheran ecclesiastical body. (Bold mine)

Anathema…that’s a new one.

So, where does this leave us?  Probably in the same place as before I wrote this.  In fact, I have to wonder how many ELCA pastors and leaders know about the Orthodox Lutheran Church.

Anyways, I leave the OLC with this little bit from Luther:

If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner. (Let Your Sins Be Strong: A Letter From Luther to Melanchthon)

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8 thoughts on “The Orthodox Lutheran Church on the ELCA

  1. The OLC declaring that the ELCA is not Lutheran is akin to a mouse declaring that an elephant is not a mammal. The mouse would be wrong and the elephant would be under no obligation to acknowledge it.

  2. Well how nice of them to decide we need reaching out to. I’m sure we in the ELCA are all more than ready to reach right back. 😉

    BTW, thanks for letting us know that there even was such a thing as an Orthodox Lutheran. Clearly, they’ve got a reputation for making huge waves in the Lutheran world!

    OK, snarky time is over.

  3. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.

    But is Luther saying that this poses no problem? Seems like we could question the faith of someone who acts like this. The Apostle Paul addresses this in Romans I would think when he addresses sinning more so grace can abound.

  4. I am suprised those from the elca on this page acknowledge homosexuality is actually a sin? If so it requires repentance. I am not suprised to see people here are quoting Luther rather than Scripture, this shows where your faith lies; NOT in the Living Word. I don’t know about the OLC, but the larger size of the elca does not reflect a stronger “piety” (that would be measuring by pagan standards). Jesus said “enter through the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. For the gate is small and narrow which leads to life, and there are FEW who find it” (Mt 78:13). Those in the ELCA denying Scripture must repent of their sin and accept Christ as Lord. I know I lived in their deception for over 20 years and came to know the Lord after leaving about 6 years ago. (Please read Mt 7:13-23; not all who call Jesus “Lord” will enter heaven”.

    • John,

      Funny how you chose to pick out Matthew 7:13-23…only you didn’t take the text to it’s natural end, which would be vs 29…not 23. (See also Luke 6:46) Not all who call Jesus “Lord” will enter heaven, although it’s not because of the relationship or lack thereof. Read the text and don’t assume to know what the text means.

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