As a part of my visit to the Northwest last week I was alerted to an alarming situation in our sister LCMS congregation, Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Renton, Washington. The Music Director is involved in the sinful homosexual and lesbian movement. This fact is openly proclaimed on the church website where it states that he was the former artistic director of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus. The church website also has a link to the Music Director’s personal blog which has a link to something called the “Gay Rag Radio Podcast.” (See below for links.)
The LCMS is sick and needs help. We have been saying that there is a crisis of supervision in the LCMS. This is just absolutely unbelievable! Who would have thought our grandfather’s church would come to this. I cannot believe that 30 years ago, 20 years ago, even 10 years ago anyone would imagine that the LCMS would sink so low as to have a congregation that has not only hired a promoter of the gay/lesbian agenda as a music director but then to openly state this on their website. What has made this pastor and his church so bold and courageous?
Bethlehem is a member of the Northwest District. We contacted President Schumacher of the Northwest District last Thursday morning by phone and e-mail about this situation. Since then the link from the congregation website to the Music Director’s personal website has been taken down but the congregation’s website still proclaims that the Music Director was the former artistic director of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus. To see the current church website click here. To see the way it looked before we contacted the bishop click here (not everything plots correctly, but you can see the link to jamesHing.com in context). Once you get to the personal website of the music director (which actually is located at http://web.mac.com/hinger/iWeb/Site/Welcome.html; we have archived it here), click on the word “blog” and you will see further evidence of promotion of the gay and lesbian movement. If you cannot follow that link we have archived it here as a pdf. Notice the Music Director promotes a gay and lesbian radio program on his blog. The full article about this radio program is archived here.
We are not sure that it was by the bishops urging that the link has been taken down. The bishop has not told us anything other than acknowledging that he got our e-mail and phone message. Putting the best construction on it, it seems as though he is the one who gets credit for this small step in the right direction.
Of course, the problem is not limited to the embarrassment this sort of public statement by our sister congregation and brother pastor brings upon the rest of us in the LCMS who are supposedly walking in concord and unity under the scriptures and confessions. The solution is not limited to taking down the offending links and statements. The solution is to see to it that we do not have open and public sinners serving in our congregations. This sounds a lot like the Kari Jobe matter. We were told that it does not matter if the music director of the youth gathering was a Pentecostal woman pastor. Now are we going to be told that it doesn’t matter if a congregation’s music director is a promoter of homosexuality and lesbianism? Which sin is worse, corrupting the pure Gospel with false teaching (Kari Jobe) or corrupting the pure Gospel with impenitent sin (promoting the gay and lesbian agenda)? The solution not only involves removing the embarrassing links and removing the openly sinful worker. It also involves getting this pastor and all errant pastors to repent of their compromising theology of worship, evangelism, scripture, unionism, and sexuality.
There is much more to this story. We will keep you posted on it. The LCMS is sick and is in need of much more careful supervision from its bishops, pastors, and laity. Please pass this article on to your LCMS friends and relatives, not to embarrass our beloved synod but to use it as a means of alerting them to what has become of their denomination under its leadership in the last several years.