A gaggle of geese. A parliament of owls. A coven of ELCA Bishops?
That’s certainly the impression I get from a recent interview for Religion News Service. In it, the ELCA’s newest batch of six female “bishops” discuss their goddess, whom they apparently keep locked up in the basement:
Bishop Susan Briner of Southwestern Texas Synod declared: “Because I’m telling you what, the Spirit is up to something …”
And the other bishops responded: “Amen. Yes, she is.”
And Briner said: “… if we would just let her out.”
The bishops then responded: “Let her out. Get out of her way.”
Then Briner said: “Open the doors and let her out.”
And her fellow bishops concluded: “She’s out! She is loose!”
Oh no! She’s loose! Call the authorities! Well, if their goddess is so weak that a handful of usurpers in vestments can restrain her from action, color me unimpressed.
Mark Tooley, in his solid commentary on the interview at Juicy Ecumenism, makes the following “personal prophecy:”
“In about 15-20 years, when these bishops and other current Mainline elites are retired, and their denominations have further shrunk to a fraction of their current size, a new generation of leadership will recognize the disaster and embrace orthodoxy as the only hope for rejuvenation. They will seek to resurrect great ecclesial traditions by which time evangelical nondenominationalism may have run its course.
I hope and pray so.”
Certainly, we should always hope and pray for repentance. Nevertheless, the prospect that closer proximity to the ELCA’s imminent death will cause them to change direction makes a questionable assumption: that death isn’t exactly what they’re looking for. Satan has always sought the destruction of God’s Church, and that’s what his minions pursue whether they realize it or not. Theological Liberalism is a parasite, but the fact that it kills its host is a feature, not a bug.
Neither can I think too much of the prospects for these women’s successors turning the tide. After all, what kind of leaders are going to willingly submit themselves to these heretics for the next 15-20 years while there exist “great ecclesial traditions” in denominations that don’t worship pagan goddesses? Orthodox Christians would never submit to that in the first place, and its unlikely that a steady diet of heresy will somehow convert their future leaders to orthodoxy. (And if you’re among those who believe that the importance of submission to your bishops exceeds the gravity of ubiquitous false teaching and heresy, then why haven’t you already crossed the Tiber or the Bosporus? Rome and the East both have far weightier ecclesial traditions than any mainline denomination.)
Here’s my own personal prophecy: In about 15-20 years when the bulk of these organizations shut down, the leftovers will disperse like spores to join other denominations with similar ceremonies and ecclesial trappings. And when they root themselves in their new hosts, they will start whispering the same poison that ravaged their dead congregations.
So yes: hope and pray for them. But also be vigilant when they move on to us–prepared to shut them down the moment they start trying to gain influence in our congregations. Be wary when those small innocuous changes first start being proposed–when they really love your congregation but wish it was just a little bit more like their old one that euthanized itself. God has blessed us with the opportunity to learn from history. Let’s not squander it.
(Classical reference in headline, as they say on Instapundit)