Inspiring contemporary praise music, worship and communion inaugurated the convention as attendees considered Bible reflection by Virgil "Bud" Thompson, a Lutheran pastor from Spokane, WA, and managing editor of the Lutheran Quarterly journal.Thompson
compared the present situation in the Lutheran church to the people of Israel being kept as slaves in Egypt before the time of Moses.Thompson
said, "There have been 1,000 different faces through the ages, but always the same voice of Pharaoh, 'You don't have to believe it, you just have to do it' ... Pharaoh has confused himself with God."
After noting that the ELCA
has been pursuing "one ideology after another," he
said it was most disturbing that the ELCA
has confused law and gospel, seeking from the law what cannot be accomplished except by what the gospel proclaims.
"You can't make faith by imposing law," said Thompson
."The law makes us aware of sin.You can't use the law to accomplish only what God can accomplish."Thompson
also noted that when Martin Luther's opponents could not to back up their position with scripture, like the ELCA
they would also argue, "The church, the church, the church ... "
But referring back to the Exodus story, he
said, "The more the people of God resisted, the more they multiplied and spread ... Truth conquers.