The LCMS is Sick: Music Director at Bethlehem – Renton, Washington is a Homosexual/Lesbian Promoter, by Pr. Rossow

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 in context). Once you get to the personal website of the music director (which actually is located at; 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.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


The LCMS is Sick: Music Director at Bethlehem – Renton, Washington is a Homosexual/Lesbian Promoter, by Pr. Rossow — 109 Comments

  1. James -this is the EXACT reason I left the Lutheran Church LCMS. The LCMS speaks about loving kindness but in reality it is a church of arrogance and hate. No wonder why it is a dwindling and disconnected church.

  2. @David #101
    Yes, for the most part we are a church which caters to the enormous male ego. Unfortunately, this sometimes appears hateful. And yes it is true that we are dwindling and disconnected ~ however, I am sure you agree that our doctrine is 100% correct and is the envy of all other Christian denominations.

  3. My very Christian friends who are posting here are quite right–Christianity does not judge. You banjo-playing ignorants who still believe homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity should not be allowed to wrap yourselves in the cloak of either reason or the Lord. You are bigots and homophobes who fancy yourselves intelligent and cultured. You sad little people. I am here because someone I love–who is as committed to Christ and his message as I am (and far more than any of you) highlighted it for me. I cannot and will not stay silent when people who call themselves Christian speak hate. So go sit silent with the Lord and see if the true God is really as homophobic, scared, and unfaithful as you.

  4. John,

    I wrote the post. I am not homophobic. I have several aquaintances that are homosexuals and I get along just fine with them.

    Why are you so bigotted as to judge me as homophobic?

    I can however, look my homosexual aquaintances in the eyes and tell them that if they practice homosexuality they are sinning against God. His word is very clear on that.

    Do you accept that the Bible is God’s innerant word? That is the real difference between us and I wish you would focus on that real issue rather than issuing bigoted statements about me and others on this site. It is ironic that you accuse me of bigotry but you are indeed the one that is making personal judgments. My judgments are not personal but are born out of the objectively true Word of God.


  5. @ commenter 103
    “You banjo-playing ignorants who still believe homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity should not be allowed to wrap yourselves in the cloak of either reason or the Lord. You are bigots and homophobes who fancy yourselves intelligent and cultured.

    That’s what happens when your set yourself up as your own authority. Never mind 2,000 years of biblical history that you never bothered to learn. Cue up the Lutheran Satire engine.

  6. Pastor Rossow – I was born and raised a Lutheran (lcms). I served at a deacon in the Lutheran Church for 5 years and guess what – I am a gay male. I am disheartened by the bigotry, hate, and arrogance in the LCMS. I defended an organist at my own church who was also gay. Because of his sexual orientation, he never received any pay increases and in the end, was terminated because of it.

    So Pastor Rossow, how would YOU minister to the gay community?

  7. David,

    I would minister with God’s word just like I minister to thieves, liars, fornicators, doctors, lawyers, bus-drivers, etc.

    If someone came into my study and confessed to me that they were a practicing homosexual here is how I would apply God’s word.

    1. I would commend him for his honest confession.
    2. I would share with him, that I too struggle with sin.
    3. I would point out from scripture that homosexuality is a sin. (I Cor. 6:9, I Tim 1:10, Rom. 1:27, Lev. 18:22)
    4. I would point out that Christians fall into sin but do not live in intentional continual sin. (I John 3:4-10) Therefore his willingness to practice homosexuality is slowly destroying his faith.
    5. I would ask him to confess this sin and if he does, immediately give him Holy Absolution. (I would probably suggest we go through the Lutheran Service Book rite of private confession and absolution.)
    6. I would offer my pastoral care to him as often as he would like, daily if needed for a while, to build him up in the Good News that through the forgiveness of sin God has conquered our sinful flesh. (John 8:32 ff., Rom. 6:1 ff., etc.)
    7. If I discovered that anyone in my congregation hated homosexuals, I would work with them to learn to hate the sin but love the sinner and be willing to help them overcome their sin.

    I hope that answers your question.


  8. Homosexuality is a sin and it’s clearly stated in the bible if you truly read and understand it

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