On the ELCA’s official Facebook page, this statement was published:
Dear siblings in Christ,
We have been paying very close attention to the conversation created by this post. Thank you all who have voiced your experiences and concerns regarding the language used.
The verse shared here comes from last week’s lectionary readings. As themes of darkness and light will appear again in lectionary readings later in Lent, we have chosen to leave this post and its discussion here so that it can inspire deeper conversation and reflection as we prepare for the season ahead.
We apologize that the language in this post has caused harm, and we recognize that this image can be a painful reminder of the harmful power dynamics, racism and inequity that exist in this church. It is our responsibility to be intentional in our use of images and language. We are committed to this work, and we are committed to learning from our mistakes.
The politically-minded modern is offended at everything, because he is not truly offended by God’s justice—and labeled as a sinner—one who rebellious against God and under His wrath. God’s law, properly taught, puts us in our place. It humbles us. His supreme Word rules with might over all. Only in unbelief, does sinner not want to be under God’s rule, obedient to His Word.
If God’s Word and truth offends, so be it. The offense is at the author of that Word—Christ Himself! –ed.