Monday, September 14, 2009

Reasons Why I Will Not Use ELW

1. The altering of the historic creeds of the Church Catholic to appease feminists: no longer can we say "and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord," but now we must say "God's only Son our Lord." The worst sin one can commit in the ELCA is using a male pronoun for God. The altering of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds is sectarian and obscures the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

2. The removal of God the Father from the proper prefaces.

3. The altering of the Psalms: for example, changing he to "you" in the 23rd Psalm which now reads "you make me lie down in green pastures," etc. Even the Bible has to be "corrected" in accordance with feminist 'inclusive' language principles.

4. The deliberate omission of the Athanasian Creed.

5. The many 'options' in ELW which allow for alternatives to "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
Now we may simply say "in the name of the Trinity."

6. The altering of many hymn texts removing words like Lord, King, etc. which are viewed by the revisionists as patriarchal and exclusive.

7. There is a thinly veiled agenda behind the ELW, the agenda of feminist revisionists. The many alterations of Biblical and historical liturgical texts and hymns leads to an erosion of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.

I have listed only a handful of problems with ELW; there are many more. All faithful Lutheran pastors and the people they serve should simply reject this awful heterodox book and continue to use the Lutheran Book of Worship, the Service Book and Hymnal, and other orthodox Lutheran worship books. ELW is a departure from our confessional evangelical catholic faith. It is a sectarian book by and for sectarians.


Erik said...


I have just started reading your blog. I am so glad I'm not alone in thinking ELW is flawed.

The text changes are plain stupid. In an effort to remove gender from the psalms and the creeds, it instead SCREAMS gender. Instead of "His only Son, our Lord" we now trip over the edited text, calling attention to the editting rather than confessing a belief.

I also agree that the hymnal is meant to dilute Lutheranism in its beliefs and its practices. We are offered "options" so we can worship "however it pleases us." Even the wording of the rubrics uses words that attempt, for lack of a better word, to sound "hip."

I knew I would avoid ELW as soon as I read through setting 8 - what an abomination!

Thank you again and I will continue to read your blog.

The Society for the Preservation of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy said...

Erik-- I am glad you discovered my blog. The ELW is a disaster. Avoiding male pronouns for God not only makes for awkward speech (i.e. "Glory to God in the highest and peace to God's people on earth"), but it leads to outright heresy. The changing of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds are a perfect example. Jesus is no longer "His [the Father's] only Son our Lord," but God's only Son our Lord. Thus the direct relationship between Father and Son has been severed, and that means the distinction between the two persons, Father and Son, is no longer clear. This leads to Arianism and/or Modalism. The omission of the Athanasian Creed, the removal of the Father from the proper prefaces, and the altering of the Biblical Psalms is totally unacceptable. No faithful Lutheran Christian should be using this terrible book! And yes, Setting 8 is just plain silly.

Keep reading and commenting--Pastor Jack

Nick said...

Liturgy, inspired by the Holy Spirit over centuries, is something that God gives us to bring us to Him. It is not primarily (in my opinion) something that we create. Liturgy = corporate worship. In it, we collectively give in to its "demands" and it acts as a vehicle that transports us.

By observing traditions, we connect to God, to one another, and to all those in faith who came before. We worship in some sense, as our ancestors did and as the saints did. The Church doesn't just exist in the here and now. It extends into the past and to heaven, and good liturgy reflects all of this.

The word "religion" itself comes from the Latin word "religio" (hard G) meaning to "bind again", to "reconnect". It is inexplicably tied to the concept of tradition and to what was done before, not to notions of breaking with tradition or severing.

The Society for the Preservation of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy said...

Nick, you are absolutely correct. The Church's sacred liturgy is not our play thing--a wax nose that we may mold and shape to suit our whims and fancies. We are part of a great tradition, much greater than ourselves and our present generation. We will make our own contribution in terms of hymnody and prayers (as every generation has done), but we must not enslave the liturgy to the idol of the present. If we do, we cut ourselves off from the Church Catholic and become a sect. The ELCA has been traveling down a sectarian road for several years now. The new worship book is marks yet another milestone on that road. The deliberate altering of the ancient Creeds (with the exception of the Athanasian Creed which was omitted altogether!), the altering of Biblical texts, and the rewording of liturgical formularies--all these are capitulations to agendas that are alien to the Catholic faith upheld by our Confessions. Any parish which uses this terrible book will not long remain Lutheran or even Christian for that matter.

Matt Burnett said...

I haver been the music director for an ELCA church in Portland Oregon for many years now. My only comment is that if you don't like it, don't use it, but it is a waste of time and energy to blog about it and tell people why you "think" it's wrong. It seems to me your time would be better served sharing the Good News, not pontificating on what's wrong with the ELW. I am not angry, nor am I attempting to cause a riot. If the liturgy is not to your liking, then don't use it. Compose your own, whatever, but don't waste your precious time berating something that a great number of ELCA churches accross the world find helpfull to grow their church and reach the largest number of people that they can. Rather than making you look smart, faithful, and loyal to the church, this just makes you look petty and foolish and I cannot imagine that this is a place where God would like you to be, considering your position in the church. Please let this one go. The Green book is great too. I love it. Bless you and the work that you do.

PS said...

I echo what Matt said and add that your comments are no better than the fundamentalist Catholics who state that all Lutherans are "not Christian". Don't like the ELW? Don't use it. Don't presume to tell the rest of us that we are "Less Christian" if you do. Perhaps you should remove the log in your own eye before helping others with their splinters.