Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting one of the leaders of the Word Alone movement within the ELCA. It was a pretty phenomenal conversation, and one that I hope to continue in the near future.
We think we have problems in the LCMS. Well, we do. We’ve got pretty significant problems. In the case of the ELCA, in terms of its public statements of doctrine, it is difficult to consider them to be Christian at all.
I don’t have space or time to go into all their difficulties, for they are many. But consider Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson’s assertion that there are “two irreconcilable, but equally valid interpretations of Scripture.” Basically, one is that Scripture is Law and Gospel and normative; and simultaneously (and irreconcilable with the first) Scripture contains gospel (lower case g intended), and the rest of it is the historical record of how to apply that gospel in a given social context. Hence, homosexual acts (or any other societally sanctioned behaviors) are not condemned by Scripture.
I don’t line up 1:1 theologically with Word Alone, but I applaud and support what they are about. And to be quite frank, if you’re not praying for reform in the ELCA and other sideline denominations who buy into this kind of heresy, then start. There are faithful Christians in the ELCA who have chosen to stick it out and work to combat these false teachings. With the official leadership as it is, they’re fighting an uphill battle and could use your prayers.