Lutherans – the OTHER Evangelicals!

We’ve been hearing a lot over the years about the “evangelical bloc” and the “evangelical voters.” Every time I hear that, I am tempted to grind my teeth, because the term “evangelical” is being misused.

We have evangelical in our congregation’s name, Elim Evangelical Lutheran Church. We have evangelical in our denomination’s name, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. When the press talks about evangelical voters, are we included?

Harold Chilstrom, who was the ELCA’s first presiding bishop, wrote about this in his March 14, 2012, Living Lutheran article, “Recapturing ‘Evangelical.’” He wrote

“Ask most anyone on the street to define “evangelical” and they will tell you that it represents someone who is opposed to gun control, abortion and birth control; someone who favors tight immigration restrictions and prayer in the public schools.”

In a Google search, I found this definition of evangelical on Patheos Press: “…a White Protestant who opposes legal abortion and civil rights for LGBT people.”

But those definitions of evangelical are just plain wrong, I find it likely that there are members of Elim and the ELCA who hold some of those views, but I find it equally likely that there are others who do not. Political positions do not make you evangelical.

In March 2006, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hansen wrote this in a letter to the voting members at ELCA’s Synod Assemblies:

Evangelical: We name, proclaim, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ. As people in an evangelizing church we are called to talk about the love of God in Christ Jesus and bear witness to the signs of the inbreaking of God’s reign of justice, mercy, and peace in our world.

Being evangelical is not agreeing to a set of conservative social positions. Being evangelical means, at its simplest, that we believe in Jesus Christ. Being evangelical means that we proclaim Christ to the world.

We are being truly evangelical when we say, “Jesus is Lord!” Have whatever political positions you feel are correct, but it is when you spread the Good News of Jesus Christ that you are being truly evangelical.

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 (NIV)

Note: A slightly different version of this article appeared in the newsletter of Elim Lutheran Church, “The Elim Scribe,” Volume 62, Issue 8, August 2012

References, and for further reading: We Are/Office of the Presiding Bishop/Older Messages Archive/029 m_2006SynodAssemblyLetter.pdf

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8 Responses to Lutherans – the OTHER Evangelicals!

  1. Myth Buster says:

    Martin Luther was a Rosicrucian; a Monk cloistered in a group called the Black Cloister.
    He chose Halloween “All Hallowed Eve” to nail 95 Thesis to the Wittenberg Church Door because on this Celtic New Year, the supposed veil between the living and dead is the thinnest.
    This monster proposed Baptizing Jews by tying a rock around their necks and tossing them in the Jordan River.
    He said the Pope was the Antichrist yet married a Nun. He said Convents were houses of ill repute and birthing rooms for Catholic clergy.
    He said Sin and Sin boldly, for nothing can separate you from your Salvation and the Love of Christ. John Calvin nee Cohen used this in his monstrous TULIP false teaching: Total Depravity, Un-conditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Fixed Pre-destination.
    All are lies straight out of Hell and I pray you will wake up one day Dave.
    I’d be happy to present all this at your Lutheran Church or you can read it at my site

    If Ted Haggard using 3 yrs of Tithing for Cocaine and male prostitutes doesn’t wake you up what will?

  2. Mick Lee says:

    My. My. Somebody crapped in Myth Buster’s corn flakes this morning! Even staunch Catholics don’t say things our brave Myth Buster writes. Someone should tell him to put some ice in his glass and pour himself his favorite beverage—sit down and relax.

    There is not one slender piece of evidence Luther was a Rosicrucian. He was an Augustinian. Furthermore, Luther’s theology is antagonistic toward any notion of an esoteric knowledge.

    The Black Cloister was the monastery of the Augustinian Hermits. There was nothing mysterious about it.

    Martin Luther was a German—not a Celt. To Luther, the day before All Saints Day was precisely that. And Luther had no patience for paganism.

    The Lutheran Church has long rejected Luther’s anti-Jewish attitudes and writings.

    Luther said the Pope was the Antichrist because he perceived that the Papacy of the time was opposed to the true Gospel. It should be noted that the modern nature of the office of the Pope is different from that of Luther’s time. Central to Luther’s objection to the Papacy was the combination the civil and religious authority in the Holy Father’s office. Such combination is not the case these days.

    Katherine Von Bora was put into the convent when she was five years old. She took her vows when she was a young teenager. She, along with several other nuns, escaped from the convent when she was in her mid-twenties. By the time Luther married her, she was no longer a nun.

    “Sin boldly” should be read in its original context:

    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 (sin boldly), 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, say Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign


    Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace.”

    This, as they say, is a horse of a different color from how Myth Buster portrays it. Anyone who has actually read Luther’s Small and Large Catechism know he wrote extensively on the Ten Commandments. The Commandments are important in the life of the Christian; but (and this is important) the Law is not a channel of grace.

    How did Ted Haggard come into this matter? To Lutherans, if you talk about Ted Haggard, you might as well talk about some walrus in the Artic Sea.

    • Myth Buster says:

      Hi Mick,
      Rosicrucianism was associated with Protestantism, Lutheranism in particular, and the manifestos opposed Roman Catholicism and its preference for dogma …
      The name derives from the order’s symbol, a rose on a cross, which is similar to the family coat of arms of Martin Luther. Rosicrucian teachings are a combination …

      Martin Luther was a Rosicrucian, not a Christian. I never said he was a Celt, the word means Warrior; he used the Celtic New Year to create the Catholic-Protestant Dialectic leading to a 100 years war and Inquisition.
      How on earth can a Church based on a man get any better than its origin; it’s similar to Mormonism adding Jesus Christ to the title and somehow that makes it related to Jesus Christ?
      Calvinism is a philosophy of John Calvin, Lutheranism is the philosophy of Martin Luther, Presbyterianism is the philosophy of John Knox, a Calvin disciple; Methodism a philosophy of John Wesley. The list goes on.
      Building a Church on a man like Luther is folly; why not build your faith on Jesus Christ instead? He was certainly not a Rosicrucian, much less an Augustinian Black Cloistered Monk.
      By the way St Augustine was no Saint; his book “City of God” is the Zionist playbook; trained by Phoenician Priests of Baal in Carthage
      Again, if you feel the need to defend Luther; I will debate any of this with you in front of your Congregation beginning with Acts 13:43, the only place Congregation appears in the New Covenant is where Paul told them to leave just before they stoned him.
      Holy and Ekklesia means Separate not Congregate Mick, and Salvation is not a team sport, it’s a 1 on 1 relationship with Jesus Christ

  3. Assange says:

    If wikipedia is a primary reference for mythbuster, then maybe mythbuster also believes that the paraclete is a small type of parrot. “Make haste to help me, O God!”

    • Myth Buster says:

      Hi Julian, here is another to go with the Britannica link
      Jump to Martin Luther‎: ‘Martin Luther yielded to the influence of his Jewish friends unknowingly, and again, by Jewish authority, and with Jewish finance, …
      The Truth is there, but people keep stumbling over it again and again. No Religion, No Church, No Government will ever work unless God is in charge, and He never told anyone to attend Church services. He said never call any man Rabbi, Father or Master and the only time Reverend is used in scripture is in reference to God.

  4. Bob Waters says:

    With all due respect, given what it has done to the sola scriptura and the sola fide (the ELCA is open to salvation for those who do not believe in Christ), it’s debatable whether the ELCA is either evangelical OR Lutheran.

    That said, the “evangelicals” aren’t all that evangelical either. Legalism (as in making sins what Scripture doesn’t make a sin, and adding all kinds of preconditions which amount to good works to faith)
    abounds among them. They seem to think that you’re initially saved by faith, but have to do good works to stay saved. That’s closer to Leo X than to Luther.

  5. Myth Buster says:

    Well said Bob, Leo X was the Black Nobility Pope; Leo X and the Medici family bankrupted the Church and allowed the Jesuits aka “Militia of Zeus and Minerva” to control the Vatican. It’s time to wake up and make Scripture (Authorized Bible) and Jesus Christ the sole head of the Church; Holy means “To Separate” not “Congregate”

    • Myth Buster says:

      Between Henry VIII, Leo X, Martin Luther, and John Calvin true Christianity suffered the most. Leo X “It has served us well, this Christ myth”
      Luther in fact gave Christians the idea Christmas and the Tree had something to do with Jesus; it does not.
      Calvin expounded on Luther’s dogma with TULIP (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Fixed Pre-destination) None of these Calvinist ideas are true in the slightest.
      Calvin’s disciple John Knox even went so far as to institute veneration of the Tartan, known then as “Phoenician Cloth” it is the title used by the Assyrian Army Commander at the time true Israel was taken captive which is why it was outlawed during the Jacobite and Jacobin rebellions in Scotland and France. Americans just doesn’t realize America is a melting pot of religious errors beginning with Puritanism; after all America is actually a combination of Amar the Canaanite god of the west; Amurru the Edomite Shepherd and Serpent god and Can meaning Priest of Cain.
      Time to wake up folks, put your faith in Jesus Christ and His Word and let the Priests of Balaam Congregate with each other

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