The installation of the Reverend Megan Rohrer, who formerly identified as a lesbian but now identifies as both “they/them” and “transgender,” as a bishop over nearly 200 congregations affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is much more than liberal drift, says one of the nation’s leading theologians.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, made the comment after being asked about it by a Fox News reporter.
Earlier, the new bishop had told worshippers, according to the Associated Press, “My call is … to be up to the same messy, loving things I was up to before. But mostly, if you’ll let me, and I think you will, my hope is to love you and beyond that, to love what you love.”
But Mohler opined that redefining sin and God’s creative order redefines the Gospel message.
“The ELCA isn’t just trying to preach the old Gospel with a new bishop. It’s a new religion … that is trying to inhabit the space of traditional Christianity, trying to claim the titles, to claim ownership of the buildings, and to take ownership of the institutions while representing a religion that is at virtually every point contradictory to Biblical Christianity,” Mohler told the network.
“When I speak of the Gospel,” Mohler continued, “I’m speaking of the good news that God saves sinners through the atonement accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. This comes to those who repent. That’s a very different message than what is being preached by the ELCA.”
Mohler stressed that while he sympathizes with those who are “struggling with sexual identity or gender identity,” the Gospel revealed in Scripture is the only hope for any of us to find redemption.
Franklin Graham noted on Facebook that “it grieves me to see any church taking steps that are against the teachings of the Word of God.”
“The bishop was one of seven LGBTQ pastors accepted by the progressive Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2010 after it first allowed ordination of pastors in same-sex relationships,” Franklin wrote. “I would say there are many Lutherans who are greatly disappointed in this direction. This is rebellion against God and His Word and His standards—it is sin. God created us and loves us and defines what sin is, not us. The Bible says, ‘He created them male and female. …’ (Genesis 5:2). Pray that this denomination will turn back to faithfulness to God’s Word.”
Rohrer was one of seven pastors ordained by the denomination in 2010 after it voted to allow ministers involved in homosexual relationships. AP reported that Rohrer is married with two children.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has historically been at odds with the doctrine of Scriptural inerrancy, a core evangelical tenet. The ELCA was formed in 1988 through a merger of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, the Lutheran Church in America and the American Lutheran Church.
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