“ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”
“The Bible and Biscuit Bible Study”
(A pastor sent the following letter to a man he met at a gun show. While visiting at his booth, a friendly discussion was held regarding the serious doctrinal and soul-destroying errors of the ELCA, of which he is a member. Less than a week later the man wrote to ask whether the pastor “still” regarded him “as a friend,” and invited him to a weekly “Bible and Biscuit” Bible study at his church.)
I enjoyed the Gun Show and our brief visit. Are we “friends”? We only just met. On what basis shall we declare our friendship? You seem like a nice fellow. If you think the same of me, then we can say that we are pleased to be acquainted. We are at least “acquaintances.”
Friendship goes a bit deeper than what we shared for a few moments. The fact that you wonder whether you are still my “friend after our conversation” begs the question: “Can two people be friends if they disagree on important matters relating to God, morality, and country?” Without a doubt! But a true friend is not one who agrees with everything you say, even when you are wrong. A true friend will tell you where you are straying from what is right and good for you. That’s the friend I was trying to be in our brief conversation about the many and serious errors of the ELCA.
You see, the most important “friend” I have is Christ my Savior. What does He say about friendship? “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). With these words our Lord was encouraging His true disciples of all times to show their love for Him and for one another by doing what He says in His Word.
This is where the ELCA has failed so long ago. This church body has given up much of the teachings of Christ and His apostles as clearly revealed in the New Testament Scriptures and as confessed by the Christian Church and the Lutheran Church for centuries. In so far as the ELCA or any church–in order to make friends with the world–no longer does whatever Christ commands in His Word, that church body is no friend of Christ.
I didn’t make that up. That’s what the Lord says in His Word! But if the ELCA and those who defend her errors are not friends of my Savior, but fight against His Word by their false teachings–destroying precious, blood-bought souls in the process–then they are not my friends either. I do not choose to be a traitor to Christ or to those for whom He died and who desperately need to hear His Word in its truth and purity.
You are very kind to invite me to your “Bible and Biscuit Bible Study” at your church “any Thursday morning.” I shall have to decline your invitation, however. I cannot in good conscience attend a gathering of people who belong to a church that trivializes the Bible, speaking of it as though it were the fallible work of men (like a biscuit?!) rather than the infallible, verbally-inspired revelation from God the Holy Spirit.
No doubt I would want to stand up in defense of my Savior’s Word at these “studies.” Soon any “friendship” you and I may feel for one another would fade, as the majority of the group emphasized a fellowship of the “biscuit,” and I spoke of a fellowship of the Bible–the true fellowship that exists only between those friends of Jesus who obey whatever He commands in His Word. (Study these passages at your Bible study: 1 Corinthians 1:10, John 8:31-32, Romans 16:17-18).
I am enclosing some materials that reveal some of the serious errors of the ELCA. I do this as a friendly testimony to you because of Jesus, Who loves us all and gave Himself for the sins of the whole world, saying to those who “believed on Him” and sought His friendship: “If you continue in my word, then are you truly my disciples; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
I would be pleased if some day we could honestly say of one another: “He is my friend because we are friends of Jesus.” Until then our friendship must remain on a lower level.
Wishing you the very best because of Jesus,
/s/Pastor Vance Fossum