Not Locking the Barn Door at All

It’s considered foolish to lock a barn door after the horse has gotten out, but it’s more foolish still not to lock it even after the horse has fled.  There may be other animals still in the barn, other important things that need to be protected.  Failing to lock the barn door even after the horse has escaped is what the NALC is doing.

The NALC is a group of pastors and churches attempting to flee from the fast sinking Evangelical Lutheran Church in America being scuttled by its own theology.  NALC stands for North American Lutheran Church.  (Please note how the liberal Lutherans have always felt bold to make unqualified claims to the title “Lutheran Church” – think Lutheran Church in America, American Lutheran Church, Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and the granddaddy of them all THE Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  The conservative Lutherans have not dared to make the unqualified claim witness Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America.  You might also note that the one closest to the liberals (the LCMS) is the only one tiptoeing around the fringes of the word church.  As theology is found in words, concentrated theology is found in names.)

In any event, the following is from an ELCA church that is contemplating leaving that organization over their acceptance of homosexuality. In a FAQ section on their church website, question 11 explains why they should join the NALC.  “Additionally, the NALC is desired over the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod in that it will ordain women and practice open Holy Communion” (

How do you think all the aberrations that afflict the ELCA got into her in the first place?  Through the door of open Communion.  Why do you think while it took over 450 years to ordain women it took less than 40 years to ordain homosexuals after that? Once you lose the God-ordained distinction between stallions and mares you have no defense against homosexuality in your barn.

I saw this same sort of idiocy, and I can think of no more charitable term, with the Episcopalians in the 90s.  That was when they ordained homosexuals, and for many lay people that was the straw that brought the hayloft down.  But when they talked to me about joining the LCMS they were defensive about open Communion, abortion, and women priestesses.  They could accept having no doctrinal stance, killing babies, and changing the divinely instituted office of the holy ministry, but homosexuality was a bridge too far.

I have had visitors from NALC churches and other ELCA breakaway groups.  They know they aren’t ELCA; they know they are closer to LCMS, so they see no reason they should not be communed by me.  They are quite offended when I won’t.  And in deference to all you promoters of winsomeness I begin with, “Yes, I would like to commune you, but there are some things we have to talk about first.”  But there is no more talking for them. They don’t even stay for Divine Service. So entitled are they to the choice of communing they act as if I have violated their civil rights.

Here’s my prediction.  As the LCMS has entered into fellowship with national church bodies who practice open Communion, who have ordained women, and who are members of the Lutheran World Federation under the rubric that we have to reach out and rescue them because they are moving in the right direction, so we are going to be counseled to meet the NALC where they are that.  And thus our barn door will be wide open not so a horse can get out but so a Trojan Horse can get it.  Beware of Greeks bearing gifts especially when they are horses loaded with thousands of perspective members.  Perspective being the operative word.


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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