Evangelical Lutheran Church in America misinterpreting Christ’s teachings yet again
Last month, at their national meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted to become a “sanctuary church” for illegal aliens and migrants. In doing so, the largest organized body of Lutheran-Christians in America continued its descent into radically liberal behavior and Biblical misinterpretation. This is neither a surprise, nor an accidental occurrence.
Long known as the most liberal of the Lutheran church bodies since it was formed in 1988, the ELCA has moved further to the political left, most notably in 2009 when it voted to affirm and allow same-sex relationships. Apparently, the alleged theologians within the organization can’t understand basic scripture where homosexuality is explicitly condemned in no fewer than five Biblical passages. However, their latest stunt in declaring their denomination a sanctuary church is more galling because it violates federal law.
It’s not even a debatable question as to whether the act of ignoring our nation’s immigration process invites criminals, drug dealers, disease-ridden children and adults, and those living in third-world poverty who will automatically land onto our welfare system. This is obvious to anyone who isn’t a leftist ideologue. Welcoming illegal aliens (and that’s what invaders are by definition and law) has become the newest litmus test for fake compassion while ignoring the real consequences, and the ELCA passed that test with flying colors.
After the vote in Milwaukee, Rev. William Gafkjen, the presiding bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, hurriedly issued an explanation in an attempt to do damage control and distance the church from the very obvious call to break the law. Mr. Gafkjen wrote that “The ELCA will also continue to accompany and advocate for immigrants who are seeking asylum and do what we can to see that undocumented immigrants are aware of, understand, and live into their rights under U.S. law.” Obviously, Gafkjen meant to cloud the issue by using the euphemism “undocumented immigrants” instead of the 100% accurate term “illegal aliens” in hopes of convincing ignorant people that any people living here illegally have the right to remain in our country regardless of how they arrived here. Let’s be clear; under the law, if you’re an illegal alien and are in this country, you do not have the same rights of a U.S. citizen. Yes, our Constitution allows some rights for illegal aliens detained here, but those are not citizenship rights, nor are they guaranteed a right to stay in the country. Of course, Gafkjen backed up his assertion with laughably vague scriptural references such as Jeremiah 22:3 “Do no wrong to the resident alien.” I guess that “do no wrong” in Gafkjen’s interpretation means to house foreign law-breakers without fear of deportation. Such Biblical misuse is not only misleading, but contemptible coming from a man who is a regional synodical leader of a Christian denomination.
In his press release, Gafkjen continued about love and whined about the “dysfunctional immigration system,” but claimed (in boldface type) that “The Churchwide Assembly did not call for any illegal action.” No, the Assembly certainly didn’t want to call for any illegal action, as they encouraged their members to ignore the current immigration laws and offer sanctuary to illegal aliens.
When this story broke in various newspapers, it was accompanied with a photo of smiling ELCA protestors who marched to the nearest I.C.E. office in Milwaukee to show their objection to the legally formed and mandated entity that is our first line of defense against illegal aliens invading our country. Take that, evil I.C.E. office! One can correctly assume that flaunting the law is what passes for bravery in the ELCA because it provides a feeling of moral superiority via virtue-signaling. Throw in a couple of out-of-context Bible verses and the ELCA can claim that they’re on the side of Christ and the right side of history, so their smug self-righteousness is complete.
We’ve seen how spectacularly well sanctuary cities have worked for the safety of our citizens by welcoming illegal aliens. Just ask Kate Steinle of San Francisco. Oh wait, she’s dead. Ms. Steinle was shot and killed by José Inez Garcia Zárate, an illegal alien with seven felony convictions on his record who had previously been deported from the U.S. five times. Steinle’s murderer was walking free in the sanctuary city of San Francisco due to the local law that requires police to restrict cooperation with I.C.E., when he gunned down the young woman in front of her parents, so that worked out nicely. Mr. Zárate was acquitted of Steinle’s murder, but is still in a U.S. prison facing charges for possessing the handgun that was used to kill Ms. Steinle, which was stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger. It’s probably just a coincidence that an illegal alien with seven felony convictions had a stolen handgun from a U.S. ranger.
Last week, seven more illegal aliens in Baltimore, Maryland’s Montgomery County, designated a “sanctuary county,” were arrested for various sex crimes since July 25th of this year. Another success story for those who see our immigration laws as antiquated and “dysfunctional.”
The ELCA (now down to 3.4 million members from 5.2 million when they were formed just 31 years ago), wraps itself in the “it’s for the family” defense so that anyone opposed to their stance can be labeled as “anti-family.” On their website, they proudly proclaim that they have “spoken out against family separation.” Hey, here’s a thought; maybe discourage illegal entry into our country and stop welcoming unaccompanied children if you’re truly against “family separation.” Just a suggestion.
What many in the ELCA don’t understand or willfully ignore, is that if a law is wrong, there are legal avenues available to change the law. Instead, they work to short-circuit that route because it’s far easier to pass a resolution among a church body of like-minded liberals than put in the effort into changing a law.
Even so, immigration laws are for our safety, are logical, and need to be enforced if they’re to work. Border security guards do their best to provide humane conditions and compassionate services for illegal aliens while they’re detained here. However, what the ELCA and their fellow liberals want to do is ignore that and open the borders to all who choose to enter the country. This human institution that pretends to live according to God’s laws will, once again, attempt to bamboozle the faithful and not-so-tacitly skirt the laws of this country. We’ll let God deal with them in their self-centered conceit, but in the meantime, we should revoke their tax exemptions and national protections so their “sanctuary churches” can fend for themselves whenever national security or community police action is needed. If we did that, I predict the ELCA would be on the express path to their demise.
I believe that Martin Luther would be ashamed for his name to be connected in any way to this denomination that pretends to follow his Christian teachings. Thankfully, there are other Lutheran denominations that more closely follow the Bible and Christ, and hopefully the ELCA will eventually be on the ash heap of history, along with their decision to make their organization a sanctuary church for anyone whose first act in our country is unlawful entry.