If it’s not the Gospel Coalition teaching sacramentalism aka “means of grace” theology and ecumenicism, … if it’s not the Sovereign Grace Ministries (who was founded by Catholics) teaching neo-charismatic doctrine and ecumenicism, then it is the Ellerlslie Mission Society and their ecumenical ties trying to pull more dedicated Christians into confessional booths, social justice, the exaltation of improper role models, and weak theology. When will it end?
Who is Ellerslie?
The name “Ellerslie”, according to the following quote extracted from their own website, has multiple meanings:
1) the birthplace of heroes; 2) the sound of a multitude of swords being drawn simultaneously from their sheaths; 3) a fertile ideological soil for the concepts of nobility and honor to return to the stage of time; 4) in Scottish antiquity, understood to be the birthplace of Sir William Wallace; 5) a humble little training program in Windsor, Colorado.
Note the “Crusader-speak” in the above definition. William Wallace was a Catholic Knight who killed for the Catholic Church as did most of their Knights who mercilessly killed millions of people, including women and children. William Wallace was the Irish hero of the Roman Catholic empire who was featured in the movie “Braveheart”. Ellerslie Mission Society has an entire video entitled “Bravehearted Thot“.
Furthermore, they utilize the same exact type font used by the movie “Braveheart”, a movie that is R-rated with scenes of nudity, attempted rape, implied adultery, and immorality according to the Parent’s Guide on IMDB. The many associations with the movie “Braveheart” and William Wallace are multiple and obvious throughout Ellerslie’s website. This organization’s leader, Eric Ludy, serves as an orphan advocate and also shares the blog bravehearted.blog.com with Steve Gallagher who runs another organization like Ellerslie which purportedly helps men and women suffering with sexual addiction.
Ellerslie teaches confessing your sins to a leader (why does a confessional booth come to mind?) on “confession day”. They have a doctrinal statement that is less about theology and more about appealing to everyone via a general belief in the Gospel and Jesus. Notice no other details are given at this link which is the long version of their doctrinal statement. I also have a real problem with those who only speak of the Gospel at the exclusion of the rest of Scripture. We must know all of Scripture. Otherwise, the Gospel that we preach will become a false gospel and worthless. GOD requires more than a cool-looking website and some emotionally charged, professionally produced videos. He requires that we know His Word.
Eric Ludy, who heads the Ellerslie Missions Society, seems like he is imitating Paul Washer in both his website’s videos which are similar to Paul Washer’s message in this video (a video uploaded by Ludy’s organization to YouTube) and also in what Ludy says are his theological influences which are similar to Paul Washer’s. Is it that Ludy is really this similar to Paul Washer or is he just imitating what he sees as a successful model for his own purposes?
It appears that I’m not the only one who had some concerns about Ellerslie as you can read in this article at Sharper Iron’s forum.
The leaders at Ellerslie believe that Jesus died on the cross and that then everyone was forgiven. Everyone? Where’s repentance involved? According to Ellerslie, we need to run and tell others the good news. I agree that we do need to tell the world the Gospel, but the Gospel of repentance, not the Gospel of universal forgiveness. Ellerslie’s long doctrinal statement and explanation of the Gospel says nothing about repentance. Jesus in the Bible teaches us we must count the cost and repent.
Here’s a quote from Ellerslie’s hyped-up promotional video:
“If you try and imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica. If you allow the impartation of Jesus Christ to overtake you, suddenly it all works because it’s Him imitating Himself and He’s very good at being GOD”.
Those familiar with the “spark of divinity” belief system, might notice the spark that follows this quote in the video; however, even if they are not teaching “spark of divinity” theology, why would GOD need to imitate Himself inside of you? Perhaps this video was made more with excitement in mind instead of theology?
When you first watch some of their videos, you’ll think “Wow! How spiritual!”, but let’s look closer. Emotion does not replace beliefs. Experience is no substitute for Truth.
I have read more than one student’s testimony of the monastic-like atmosphere at the Ellerslie campus. Jesus prayed:
“I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil“.
While Ellerslie may claim they are not completely monastic-like due to some “outreach programs”, one thing is quite clear. They teach confession of sins. Confession of sins to men is wrong. Ellerslie advocates confessing your sins to other men in this official curriculum from their program. I John 1:9 and Romans 14:11-12 are great examples showing that we confess our sins only to GOD. Making “spiritual leaders” as “confessors” to young people is not only theologically incorrect, but also very, very dangerous. Those who have read “The Priest, the Woman, and the Confessional” realize what type of dangerous path these people at Ellerslie are treading if they persist in confessing their dirty thoughts and deeds to each other.
Some use James 5:16 as an argument for a confessional time in our churches; however, James 5:16 in the original Greek language is a public acknowledgement of failures. This passage in the Greek implies believers should be willing to admit their faults, especally any offenses to any offended party to bring around reconciliation, and does not apply to some secret confessional booth where blackmail, manipulation or immoral relations can be formed. Those in the earlier mentioned Sharper Iron forum stated the same thing.
Like the Grace Coalition speaker David Platt, who authored the book Radical which promotes “social justice”, a doctrine rooted in the Jesuit’s liberation theology, the Ellerslie Mission Society also emphasizes the message of social justice. Keep in mind the apostles helped those faithful to the LORD. We see in I Corinthians and Romans that Paul the apostle worked at gathering funds for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Some take the words of Christ to the rich young ruler out of context and try to make it a proof text for liberation theology. Others take the New Testament church’s gathering money for distribution to those in need (i.e. full-time evangelists, widows, orphans, etc) as a justification for socialism or liberation theology. Keep in mind that these men were in one accord and not being forced. They were distributing financial aid to the saints according to Scripture (i.e. evangelists, widows, orphans, etc). Some fail to remember that Paul also said that if a man did not work, neither should he eat. Funds were distributed to the saints who were unable to work due to age or disability, but never do we see an example of funds being given out to those outside the people of GOD unless it was a clear-cut means of sharing the Gospel. James, in his epistle, speaks to helping the saints as well (“be warmed and filled”). Whenever you read of charity in the New Testament, it usually follows the pattern of the Old Testament in helping out the people of GOD and their needs, as well as helping out the work of the ministry. Never do you see Israel feeding the pagan nations around them. You only see Jesus feeding people other than saints for the sake of the Gospel (multiplying fishes and loaves). In such a context, where the ministry is involved and a clear-cut Gospel witness is taking place, then charity is extolled; otherwise, it becomes liberation theology or a “socialistic gospel” or “social justice”. It becomes a way of teaching people to leech rather than work. John, in one of his letters, also prescribed helping the saints. Paul never commanded the early church to sell all they had to feed the world. It was always focused on helping the saints in need. While Paul said that those who labored in the Word were worthy of payment, he never demanded money for his teaching of the Gospel or for mentoring others. Also, keep in mind that while these men demand you feed the world, as Obama is also now attempting to do at the expense of other Americans, they are running multi-million dollar mega-ministries and living far more comfortably than most of you who are reading this article. Also, keep in mind that the “Costly Gospel“ (a message that Eric Ludy preached) is more costly for some, particularly Ellerslie clients whose one $6,750 cup of Ellerslie theological “Kool-Aid” only lasts for 10 months.
They also seem to have a proclivity for using incorrect theological comparisons and personifying “the Gospel” as a substitute for Christ. For example, their video says “the Gospel trounces on all the powers of earth and hell”. Watch their videos yourself, and if you watch with the Word of GOD in your heart and the Spirit of GOD filling you, I’m sure you will use your mind and your understanding of theology, instead of allowing your emotions to run wild with the exciting knights fighting the powers of hell in these well-produced, adrenalin-pumping videos. Some men just seem so “right” when the Word of GOD teaches they are wrong. The video producers make full use of emotional speaking skills to sell the audience on their product, but little theology. However, if you do wish to drink their Kool-Aid, keep in mind that one $6,750 cup of Ellerslie theological “Kool-Aid” only lasts for 10 months, so that’s almost $7K that won’t go to social justice efforts to feed the world.