Fresh Religious Supremacism from the Rev. Dr. Albert Mohler
The Rev. Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has fired another salvo in the war of attrition
that has been waged by a loose coalition of conservative evangelicals and neoconservative Catholics against the mainline Protestant churches for for more than a generation. This time, Mohler has declared that the the mainline Lutheran church, called the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
, (ELCA) is "not a church."
The reason for this charge is that the Lutherans in Southern California have elected a gay man, a well respected pastor and professor of theology, R. Guy Erwin, as bishop. The ELCA had already accepted gay people as members and as clergy, so it is no surprise that someone was eventually elected as a church leader.
Mohler, according to a report
in the Louisville Courier-Journal
, says ELCA only lives up to a quarter of its name.
"It is by this act and by many prior acts distancing itself by light years from the actual faith and conviction of Martin Luther," Mohler said in a Monday podcast. It has "demonstrated itself to be neither Evangelical nor Lutheran and, as G.K. Chesterton might say, not a church either. That just leaves them in America."
Fortunately for the Lutherans they are able to elect their own leaders and define what it means to be Lutheran without any help from the leadership of the Christian Right.
Mohler's latest expression of religious supremacism is reminiscent of his year 2000 denunciation of his ally in the culture war, the Roman Catholic Church, on CNN's "Larry King Live". Religion New Service reported:
The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has called the Roman Catholic Church "a false church" that "teaches a false gospel."...
Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live," Al Mohler was speaking on Pope John Paul II's pilgrimage to Israel and his recent apologies for the past sins of the Catholic Church. While stopping short of calling the Catholic Church a "cult," Mohler said the Catholic hierarchy is unbiblical.
"As an evangelical, I believe the Roman church is a false church and it teaches a false gospel," Mohler said. "I believe the pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office." ...
Mohler also criticized the pope's efforts to create a dialogue with Jews and Muslims... The pope "has actually embraced all monotheists, both Jews and the followers of Islam, as long as they're sincere within the penumbra of the gospel, within the canopy of the gospel," Mohler said. "And that is just unbiblical, and by the way, not very pleasing to either Jews or to Muslims."
I wonder what other churches Mohler does not consider to be churches.