Churches in chains: ELCA, PCUSA, United Church of Christ

There are churches in the world that are sound, preaching the Apostolic Traditions— at least those found in the Bible— and rejecting demands to ‘change with the times.’ There are churches that are gladly liberal or super-liberal where the congregation joyfully rejects old-fashioned Bible teachings to support rejection of the Trinity, abortion, homosexual behaviors, and same-sex ‘marriage.’ But there are other churches— the churches in chains.

I grew up in the PCUSA Presbyterian church, which was already beginning to go liberal. But we never noticed it in our Sunday School. Our church had a religious education hour before the worship service with Bible classes for all ages. We studied Bible stories and memorized Bible verses every week. My younger brother Mike and I had to bring Bibles to Sunday School class. Our family wasn’t the sort to buy Bibles for young kids, so one of us brought Dad’s old Bible and one brought Mom’s. We were taught how to find Bible verses if we were given verse references.

But by the time I was in college I knew the PCUSA supported abortion, and I didn’t. We had a local PCUSA congregation and the pastor once told us that he, personally, objected to abortion. That was quite daring then. Most conservatives in the PCUSA didn’t talk about conservative things.

Over the years it got worse. But when my dad retired he and mom joined a local PCUSA church, that local congregation seemed like a normal Christian church most of the time. Though at my father’s funeral, the lady pastor pretty much apologized for the Bible readings that were a part of the funeral service. She said they were part of the history of people’s relationships with God— not the inspired Word of God. I was very offended— and I was a Neopagan at the time!

When the Supreme Court exceeded its authority to legalize same-sex ‘marriage,’ a big part of the congregation wanted to leave the PCUSA. But they can’t. The denomination headquarters had contributed money toward the local church building. And so if they left the PCUSA, they would lose their church building. The congregation, mostly elderly and not accustomed to evangelize since the denomination discourages it, could not replace that building— nor do they want to— they are accustomed to the building they have— they and their ancestors supported it.

There are other bad denominations like ELCA and United Church of Christ which have still-Christian, Bible-based congregations which can’t leave because the denomination will take their building. I personally think that God is calling them out of the faithless denominations no matter the cost. But I understand that after going decades without much in the way of Biblical preaching, most won’t dare.

I know some people will scream ‘hater’ at me for not supporting same-sex fake marriage. But guess what: I am gay (and chaste.) So bullying me in the comments section isn’t politically correct.

Pastor Tom Brock, a faithful Lutheran pastor who left the liberal ELCA Lutheran denomination, is also a gay person who lives a life faithful to the Bible. He has a TV show on the Christian channel CTN, which is also available online. He acts as a watchdog, exposing the unBiblical goings-on in the liberal churches, such as the ELCA congregation in California which worships the Goddess— which is OK in the ELCA. Here is an episode of his show that gives 11 reasons to leave a liberal denomination. (Since I’m now a Catholic, I don’t agree with EVERYTHING Pastor Tom says. But I’m inspired by his witness in our troubled times.)

 


You may have noticed I am dealing with faith-related topics on Sunday. I feel this is a part of the mission of this blog. But I could use some support from Christian and/or Catholic readers of the blog. Would you please pray for me, that I can continue this work weekly and find good and useful topics? It would also be kind if you would share this blog post on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere. Thank you all.

The Lutheran Rosary

Lutheran-Rosary-Step-6

Lutherans pray the rosary? But I thought that was just for Roman Catholics!

Yes, some Lutherans do pray the rosary. Like the Anglicans/Episcopalians, the Lutherans have rejected fewer traditions of Christian worship than groups like the Baptists. And so, there is some tendency for these groups to use forms of devotion that most Protestants say are ‘too Catholic.’

When I was a Lutheran, I prayed the rosary. I modified the Hail Mary prayer to leave off the second part— the part that says ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.’ I felt a little guilty about praying the rosary since I was Lutheran, so I only ever told one other Lutheran. She prayed the rosary too— and she didn’t modify it.

One year the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA (ELCA)— that’s the liberal Lutheran body in the USA— published a little thing about saying the ‘Lutheran rosary’ for Lent.

This Lutheran rosary is much like the traditional rosary, but for the Hail Mary beads one says the Jesus prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.’ You meditate on the mysteries, which are the same as the traditional ones, except for the final two of the Glorious mysteries. In this Lutheran rosary, the Assumption of Mary is replaced by The Communion of Saints, and the Coronation of Mary in Heaven is replaced by The Heavenly Jerusalem. The Luminous mysteries added by Pope Saint John Paul II are not mentioned.

At the end of this Lutheran rosary, where traditionally one would say the ‘Hail, Holy Queen’ prayer, you are given a choice. You may say:

1. The older version of the Hail Mary, which they call the pre-Trent Hail Mary. OR

2. Part of the Magnificat, OR

3. Martin Luther’s Evangelical Praise of the Mother of God.

To read the full instructions, go here: http://www.giftsofaith.com/Files/lutheranrosary.pdf

Note, 3-16-2018: The above link is no longer active. If you can find it on the internet somewhere else, please let me know in a comment. I want to make sure the material stays available to those looking for it.

Another link that IS currently working is this: http://justandsinner.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-lutheran-rosary.html

If you are a conservative Lutheran, perhaps a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, you may wonder if it is only the liberal Lutherans that allow the Lutheran rosary or any other rosary. On a site called ‘Ask the Pastor’ I found an answer to that question: http://xrysostom.blogspot.com/2008/09/do-lutherans-use-rosary.html

The short form of the answer is that the Lutheran rosary and the traditional rosary are not forbidden by the LCMS Lutherans.

My personal opinion is that if one is starting to pray the rosary, it is not a bad idea to stay as close to the traditional rosary (Catholic rosary) as you can. There are many illustrated booklets produced by Catholics that have a picture illustrating the mystery¬† and a brief meditation or appropriate Bible verse. There are also audio and video rosaries and scriptural rosaries— with a Bible verse for every single Hail Mary in the rosary.

While there are probably more Lutherans who pray the traditional rosary than that use the new Lutheran rosary, this rosary is a good tool for Lutherans (and other Protestants) who want to add the rosary to their devotional life without worry that they are doing something that is ‘too Catholic.’

ChemnitzRosary

Lutheran Reformer Martin Chemnitz & rosary

Another post of interest:

Martin Luther and the Lutheran Hail Mary

Do you pray the rosary? Do you know of any non-Catholics who pray the rosary? What do you think about the Lutheran rosary?

I am at work at on a short ebook about the Lutheran rosary, which will be available soon. If you have experience with the Lutheran rosary, please comment below, especially if you have something to say about your own practice of this devotion.