This Blog's purpose is to offer information about congregations voting to leave the ELCA. Pastor Barnhart's other Blog offers information about current news events relating to the Church and the nation. It may be found here:

Sunday, December 18, 2011


St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church, Camp Hill, PA passed first vote to leave the ELCA today, 98-11. Second vote is scheduled for Sunday March 25, 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Dear Catholic Bishops of Minnesota,

I am writing in response to an open letter addressed to you by Bishop Herbert Chilstrom, a former bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), in which he expressed his support for the homosexual lifestyle and for same-sex marriage, and in which he challenged your stand against the same.

As a Lutheran pastor I want to make clear Bishop Chilstrom’s opinions regarding these matters do not reflect the  beliefs of Bible-believing Lutherans, nor does the counsel he gave you reflect the clear teachings of God’s Word. Most of all, I express my profound regret that a former ELCA bishop has advised you under the banner of Lutheranism to set aside the clear teachings of the Scripture and accept, instead, the opinions of men. 

In his letter Bishop Chilstrom challenged you to find time for an extended visit with 15 homosexuals, and afterwards spend a quiet hour reflecting on a single question— “As I understand the heart of my Savior Jesus, how would he treat these sons and daughters of my church?” The former bishop seems to believe that if only you spent more time getting to know homosexuals, your opposition to their agenda will fade away. 

Regrettably, while Bishop Chilstrom asked you to spend time pondering what homosexuals might say, he did not ask you to spend time with God’s Word or read its unequivocal statements that identify homosexual  behavior as sinful. Instead, he asked you to restructure your beliefs according to the misguided reasoning and beliefs of the homosexual community. Extended visits with homosexuals could reap a harvest for God’s kingdom, if both law and gospel were rightly presented to them and if repentance of sin ensued. However, without a true presentation of God’s Word, such visits would be futile.

In his letter Bishop Chilstrom did not offer a single verse of Scripture for your consideration; instead, he asked you to draw conclusions from your own reasoning about “how Jesus would treat these sons and daughters of my church.” The sad fact is this— the ELCA long ago exchanged the authority of Scriptures for the opinions of men. Yet, apart from Scripture it is impossible to  know the heart of Christ or discern His will regarding the issues of life. 

Because Jesus loves homosexuals and all sinners, He directs us to speak His truth in love and bid them to “go, and sin no more,” just as He said to the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:11). According to Jesus, “Scripture can never be  broken” (John 10:35). Thus, we may be certain that the incarnate Son of God would never go against His own divine revelation by accepting the sinful lifestyle of homosexuals or sanctioning same-sex marriages!

God’s Word declares, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His Word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10).  Nowhere in the Scriptures are we instructed to accept the homosexuals’ chosen life of sin and shame. However, the Bible does direct us to witness both law and gospel to them, calling them to repentance and faith in Christ.  Homosexuals, like all of us sinners, must come to Christ, repent, and receive by faith the One who died for them. Those who do so will not only be saved, they will be set free from the bondage of sin and their lives will be forever transformed. 

The good news of Christ’s gospel is this—Our Lord is able to change and transform lives, and the Holy Spirit is able to empower them to walk in true obedience to His Word.  Paul writes, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Finally, I applaud your stand against abortion, homosexual acts, same-sex marriage, as well as the adoption of children by same-sex couples. I especially applaud your support of Minnesota’s proposed “Marriage Amendment.” As bishops, it is your duty to uphold the teachings of the Bible on these matters, which is precisely what you are doing. Such a stand is worthy of commendation, not condemnation. I encourage you to hold the blood-bought ground and lift high God’s Word, that people will hear the truth from bishops whose God-given responsibility it is to uphold truth!

Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor David R. Barnhart,
Director, Abiding Word Ministries

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lutheran leader confronts state's Catholic bishops over gay marriage

To My Brothers -- The Catholic Bishops of Minnesota:
In 1976 I was elected a Lutheran bishop in Minnesota -- one of seven such Lutheran leaders in the state. Over the next years one of the highlights of my time in office was the annual noon-to-noon retreat with our eight Catholic counterparts in the state.
The bond that developed between us was deep and respectful. We shared our differences; we celebrated our likenesses. My friendship with Archbishop John Roach and Bishop Raymond Lucker, in particular, is a blessing I will treasure as long as I live.
May I share a word with all of you who now lead the Roman Catholic community of faith in Minnesota?
First, I would go to the wall to defend your right to work for the adoption of the so-called marriage protection amendment. Having said that, I must tell you that I believe you are making a significant mistake.
Over my 35 years as an active and retired bishop I have come to know hundreds of gay and lesbian persons. I have yet to meet even one who is opposed to the marriage of one man and one woman. After all, they are the daughters and sons of such unions.
What they cannot understand is why church leaders would oppose their fundamental desire and right to be in partnership with someone they love and respect who happens to be of the same gender and sexual orientation. They don't understand why they should not enjoy all the rights and privileges their straight counterparts take for granted.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4200 Carlisle Pike,  Camp Hill, PA, will take its first vote to leave the ELCA, Sunday December 18.

St. John's Lutheran Church, Metropolis, IL passed its first vote to leave the ELCA December 4, 73%.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, OH passed second vote to leave this ELCA, 74%. Voted to join NALC.


Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Grafton, Iowa passed their second vote to leave the ELCA, Sunday Novemberr 27, 95-15. Also voted to affiliate with the NALC.

St. John Lutheran Church, Metropolis, IL will take first vote to leave the ELCA December 4.

Calvary Lutheran Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada passed second vote to leave ELCIC and join the NALC. We believe this is first church in Canada to join NALC after passing 2nd vote.

The following item was posted on Hazel Run Lutheran Church (Minnesota) is in the process of voting to leave the ELCA and join LCMC.. Our congregation is seeking a full time pastor to serve the needs of a rural congregtion. Since the congregation has started the process of leaving the ELCA, our regular Sunday worship attendance has grown from 25 members to 50+ members. Our final vote will be Novembe 13th.


While some Protestant churches deal with divisions within their congregations, one Wisconsin church will be taking its affiliation dispute to court.
About 70 members of Grace Lutheran Church of Eau Claire are asking a judge to declare their church exclusively affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
An initial vote taken by the congregation to disaffiliate from the ELCA and join the more conservative Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ failed, but in April Grace Lutheran’s church council then decided to have their church be affiliated with both groups.
As a result, pro-ELCA members have sued to overturn the council’s decision. Until the matter is resolved, many of them are worshipping at the ELCA-affiliated First Lutheran Church of Eau Claire.
“This is a constitutional issue that requires people to follow the governing documents of the church,” said Pastor Scott Miller of First Lutheran to The Christian Post.
“The vote to disaffiliate from the ELCA failed. However, the church council, refusing to accept that outcome, declared that Grace Lutheran would be both ELCA and LCMC, a clear violation of the constitution. ”