I heard this interview with self-proclaimed “Pastrix” Nadia Bolz-Weber on NPR earlier today. This is lengthy but worth watching for numerous reasons. It would be too easy to simply mock this as the inevitable and logical (or illogical) fruit of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, even though this is indeed what it is. And it would also be too easy to simply point to this as an example of the absurdity of the “emerging church” movement, although that is quite evident here as well. But what’s more interesting to me is some of the quite Orthodox concepts this woman manages to articulate along with her blatant heresies. For example, she rightly condemns the Evangelical concept of the atonement which essentially portrays God the Father as “a divine child abuser” who punishes His innocent Son in order to “get His pound of flesh.” I couldn’t agree more with her on that point. She also interestingly highlights the importance of a Bishop, stating, “people like me are why we need Bishops.” Quite an Orthodox concept right there. I must also admit that I was moved by the revelations of her personal encounters with the mystical and profound grace of God that she has experienced at different times in her life. I also agree with some of her interpretations of salvation, which she describes as a continual process of death and resurrection, not a onetime “you’re saved and then you’re good.” I also think her passion to minister to the broken, hurting, and outcasts of society is very admirable.
But tragically, and not surprisingly, this is simply one more manifestation (among thousands) of the erroneous heterodox theology that ultimately stems from a rebellion against the apostolic Orthodox Faith. This sincere but misguided woman is perpetuating numerous errors and heresies that are built upon the typical Protestant foundation of interpreting the scriptures and the Faith according to one’s own subjective understanding and individual will. So I am posting this as an example of the severe spiritual dangers and religious perversions that arise from incorporating certain Orthodox ideas and liturgical trappings into the creation of a false, heretical “Christianity” of one’s own vain imagination.
I have many conservative Protestant friends who would be repulsed by this woman’s church and her teachings, and yet they somehow cannot understand that their own churches are built upon the same flawed foundation. Martin Luther may not have intended to unleash such a beast, but this is nevertheless his fruit. This woman’s church is rightly called “Lutheran.”