Interesting Development ““ Bethlehem Renton Website is Down, by Pr. Rossow

This is a followup to our previous post on this topic.

Yesterday afternoon I started to dial the phone number of the Northwest district in order to check in with President Schumacher to see if there was any action being taken at Bethlehem Lutheran Church (LCMS) – Renton, Washington where the bio of the music director touted his work as the artistic director of the gay and lesbian choir of Seattle. The church website also linked to the music director’s personal blog which promoted more gay and lesbian activities.

Just before I finished dialing I realized that it had been a few days since I had checked the website. I hung up the phone and checked the internet and much to my surprise, the website was down. I waited until today to see if this may be a fluke but sure enough it is still down. What are we to make of this? There are several things that could be at play here.

(We did save the pertinent webpages in pdf’s. If you are new to this story you can click here to see the original biography page of the church’s website and if you click here or here you can see what one finds when you click the link to the music director’s personal webpage, then click here or here to see his personal blog.)

First, it may just be a coincidental technical situation that has the site down. That is unlikely but possible. Secondly, it could be that President Schumacher has exerted ecclesiastical supervision and pressure to see to it that this disgrace to the LCMS is taken down. We will continue to seek information from President Schumacher but as of yet, all we have heard from him is a verification that he got both our phone message and our e-mail last week asking that this situation be handled. He has chosen not to discuss this situation with us even though it is a public matter. Thirdly, it may be that President Kieschnick asserted some ecclesiastical authority in the matter although the response from his office to our call and e-mail was that these things are best left to the local supervisor. (As we noted last week that seemed like an ironic response given his jack-rabbit like willingness to involve himself in the unionistic and syncretistic worship service at Yankee stadium a few years ago.)

The right thing to do at this point is to put the best construction on things and assume some good supervision has been practiced. If this is the case, we are pleased that the Brothers of John the Steadfast could have a positive impact on this situation. We will also continue our contact with both supervisor’s offices to see if they will provide an explanation. Of course they will protest that this is a private matter.

This is not a private matter. It is a public, world-wide internet sort of thing. The congregation arrogantly allowed these sinful things on their website, it was discovered publicly and now the manner in which it is addressed needs to be made public. You and I and all other LCMS members have been publicly shamed by this and we deserve an explanation as to what is being done about it.

Beyond that, taking down the website or taking off the references to homosexuality and lesbianism is not the end of the story. This music director is clearly a homosexual and lesbian activist and ought not to be leading the Divine Service. If he is to continue as music director in this confessional church of ours, he must renounce his association with such a sinful cause. We will keep you posted on any updates and any progress we make on this matter. We also encourage members of the Northwest District to contact their bishop and hold him accountable for an explanation.

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