Home > Evangelical Lutheran Church in America > Gay Lutheran Pastors to Be Placed on ELCA Clergy Roster

Gay Lutheran Pastors to Be Placed on ELCA Clergy Roster

July 26th, 2010
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No big surprises here, but it is still sad and tragic that this is happening. In light of the decisions by the ELCA at their last Churchwide Assembly, a number of pastors who had been kept off their clergy roster, are now being placed back on it, including one who describes herself as a “transgendered lesbian.” Here is a link to the Associated Press story. Here is a snippet from the story:

Rohrer, who is transgender and a lesbian, was ordained by four congregations in San Francisco in 2006, but could not join the ELCA roster until the denomination’s national assembly approved the new policy in August.

“I didn’t really believe the policy was going to change as quickly as it did,” she said.

Rohrer said she is hopeful Sunday’s service will be a “symbol” to young people that the Lutheran church is working toward becoming more welcoming of people of all different backgrounds.

Jeff Johnson, another one of the pastors who will be added to the roster, said the ELCA’s position for years of not accepting the choice of some congregations to ordain gay clergy was painful and disappointing.

“The actions the church is taking on Sunday affirms the decisions of those congregations,” Johnson, pastor of the University Lutheran Chapel in Berkeley, said. “The church is respecting our family, our partners, the choices we’re making.”

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  1. July 26th, 2010 at 19:24 | #1

    At one point does a group stop calling itself a Church (never mind “Lutheran”) and start calling itself a social club?

    Instead of God’s word, they lust after a lost and sinful “humanity.” To be culturally relevant, we have to depart from Divine Truth? Since when did Christ’s Church decide we should let the outsiders tell us how to be?

    How will these pastors and bishops give an answer to the King of Glory for the deceived, who’s blood shall stain their hands?

  2. July 26th, 2010 at 19:24 | #2

    Sorry, that should be “At what point”…

  3. July 26th, 2010 at 23:17 | #3

    The ELCA has become SO inclusive that it’s not only installing a transgender lesbian in one of its congregations, but it’s allowing its pastors/congregations to pray to the “God-dess”– a feminine Christ- Sophia. Hard to believe? Check it out for yourself at: http://www.herchurch.org For a photo of Ebebezer’s associate Rohrer, go to: http://www.herchurch.org/id6.html The tolerance and official endorsement of such abberations isn’t Lutheran or evangelical. It’s sin.

  4. Steve
    July 27th, 2010 at 06:10 | #4

    So what happens to those parishes in the ELCA that refuse to consider these new “pastors”?

  5. Mike Mapus
    July 27th, 2010 at 07:09 | #5

    Prior to the Seminex Walkout, convention after convention passed resolutions affirming our synod’s position on scripture and other doctrines, while falsh doctrine and heresy was gaining momentum at our St. Louis Seminary. Why? Resolutions are just pieces of paper, that have no “teeth” to it. Or you can say “all bark and no bite”. Then when it was finally directly dealt with, it was very painfull.

    I wonder how many “toothless” resolutions will we pass concerning the actions in the ELCA? I’ve been reading alot of chruch histoy lately, the one thing that sticks out, is when false doctrine and outright heresy is not dealt with quickly. The chruch being full of sinners as we are, just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over. When error is tolarated and not dealt with, error then grows up and becomes VERY INTOLERATE OF YOU!!

    2Jo 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
    2Jo 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,
    2Jo 1:11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

    Rom 16:17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
    Rom 16:18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

    Pray for those who are still faithful to the Word of God, that they to would come out from among them.

  6. Jeff
    July 27th, 2010 at 10:19 | #6

    This is a mess. Here on the east coast, what are confessional ELCA pastors and congregations to do? Everyone seems to say, “oh you gotta leave.” But wait a minute: this is my church too. This is where I heard faithful confessional Lutheran pastors preach the pure Gospel. Is the ELCA still a church? Here is what I know, at my parish, the Word both Law and Gospel is preached. The Sacrament of our Lord’s Body and Blood was administered. Was i at church on Sunday. You bet I was. It was ELCA too. If we look at our Confessions, particulary CA, we know that church is the gathering of God’s people around Word and Sacrament. Don’t tell me to leave. That’s the easy way. How about this: pick up your cross. Instead of ripping the confessional Lutherans who stay in the ELCA, how about some prayer and encouragement. To leave is the easy way. Our Lord does not call us to the easy way, He calls us to faithfulness. Its a mess, yes. There are thousands of faithful ELCA Lutherans out there. Pray for them. Pray for their Confessional pastors to not leave them.

  7. Mike Mapus
    July 27th, 2010 at 14:30 | #7

    @Jeff

    Growing up in my old ALC congregation, I to also heard the Gospel and the Sacraments were administered. My pastor seemed to be a faithful servant of Christ, but in my SS classes growing up, I heard that Adam and Eve were myths, God used evolution to create the universe and Jonah wasn’t really swallowed by a fish. I remember in my catechism classes, I would asked my faithful pastor about some of these things. He would allways say, “I believe in the traditional interpretations, but we must allow for differences of opinion on some of these things”. By my high school years, it didn’t take long for my sinful nature to start connecting the dots, if none of this is true, then Jesus problably didn’t rise from the grave either. I turned and walked away from Christ and I didn’t step foot into that church, until I got married.

    Once I was married and we had children, we thought it would be good to go to church for the kids. Then a remarkable thing happened, I discovered the chruch library! I discovered Luther’s Works, the Book of Concord, books on creation and the reliability of the scriptures, most of them never opened. I devoured them up. After a couple years of that, I slowly found my “diverse” congregation not so “tolerate” of me. I also realized what spiritual danger I placed my wife and daughters in. It wasn’t hard at that point to leave the church where I was baptized and married in, my parents were married in, my grandparents were married in, and where my great grandparents attended. I also didn’t want to associate myself or my funds with a church body that was in a full apostate avalanch and didn’t want there heresies to wreck my childrens faith as it did mine. I now drive 40 miles to my LCMS congregation in which I been apart of for 8 years and don’t regret in one bit.

  8. July 28th, 2010 at 00:55 | #8

    Jeff. Institutional loyalty is not confessional loyalty. In doctrine and practice the ELCA is Lutheran in name only. The greatest confession your confessional congregation can make is to acknowledge that reality and to seek eucharistic fellowship with those with whom you are in confessional agreement. Bearing the cross never requires the compromise of truth. Neither does love. So, “speak the truth in love…” even when it hurts to do so. That’s doctrine [truth] in practice [love.] As you rightly say, “Our Lord does not call us to the easy way, He calls us to faithfulness.”

  9. July 28th, 2010 at 22:34 | #9

    Jeff:

    I am painfully aware of the choice that you are faced with. My wife and I are former ELCA missionaries who left shortly after the ELCA made its decision last August. We left because under no circumstances whatsoever did we want to be seen as lending support to the decision.

    During the debate leading up to the decision to bless gay/lesbian unions, several in the leadership of the ELCA pointed to the strong record of overseas missionary support ELCA congregations had shown. They argued against any opposition to their actions since dissent (they claimed) would harm that support.

    My wife and I had been out of the missionary field since early 2005. But the message from the ELCA was that the ELCA missionaries (past and present) were in support of this decision. No dissent was mentioned.

    We refused to be used in this fashion. We made it clear that we did not agree with the decision to reject the Gospel, and that any division in the ELCA was 100% their responsibility. We had tolerated quite a bit (perhaps too much) because of our concern for divisions within the body of Christ. But the ELCA’s actions was the unambiguous rejection of God for a trendy new god of secular politics.

    Jeff, this is the important thing to remember: any Lutherans who are appalled at the decision last August and who choose to remain in the ELCA should expect to be used in a similar fashion. The ELCA will trumpet your presence as “proof” that what they did was not so bad, because otherwise you would have left. Your dissent will be swallowed up without a trace. They do not care what you think – they are interested only in what they can use you for.

  10. Rachel
    August 3rd, 2010 at 21:59 | #10

    I am reading these comments and I am disheartened to read that so many Lutheran Christians have clearly abandoned Jesus’s message and teachings. Was it not Jesus who said that there are two commandments, Love you neighbor and Love God? Was it not Jesus who said that one’s neighbor is the Samaritan (i.e. those despised by everyone)?

  11. robert buechler
    August 5th, 2010 at 07:13 | #11

    Rachel,

    Consider the following two things: First the two great commandments are Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and Second Love your neighbor as yourself. The order is important, for Love of God comes first. That Love means viewing life and living life as He sees it, not as culture sees things. That love also means desiring what He desires, which is the redemption of souls not the destruction of souls.

    With that in mind loving neighbor as ourselves means that just as we would want our own souls delivered from sin and not reinforced in it, so we reach out to others seeking redemption for them. Remember, love does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in the truth. So that is the paradigm that should be used in these issues.

    As for Jesus saying our neighbor is the Samaritan, look at that parable again. You will find that Jesus made it clear that the Samaritan was the one who acted as neighbor. It was the response to a Pharisee who wanted to know who his neighbor was. Jesus is making it clear to the Pharisee that his question is rediculous, since even a Samaritan knows who is neighbor is. It is the one lying half dead on the side of the road. The neighbor is the one who is in need of salvation. Look at how Jesus finishes the parable: “Who acted as neighbor?”

    So consider these things.

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