Will President Kieschnick Put His Strong Stance Against Homosexuality Into Practice In Our Own Synodical Backyard? by Pr. Rossow

President Kieschnick has spent a lot of time and energy in the last few months fighting against the passage of gay marriage initiatives around the country. Even though we wish that he would spend more time fighting within the synod for things like traditional Lutheran worship, the traditional teaching on the office of the ministry and other articles of faith, none the less we commend him for his stand against homosexuality. The president’s page of the synod’s website details these efforts. (See particularly the archives of the December 2008 Reporter and his November letter to pastors.)


The situation in Renton, Washington where there is a gay activist directing the music program at one of our sister LCMS congregations gives President Kieschnick a chance to bring this firm and Biblical position to good effect within our own synodical family. As we stated in yesterday’s post it is shocking and unnerving that this would happen within the LCMS (although many of you noted in your comments that you were not so shocked based on things going on in the LCMS around your neck of the woods). We call upon President Kieschnick to work with Northwest District President Schumacher and with the pastor of the church to remove from the congregation’s website the sinful references to homosexual and lesbian activity and even more so, to ask the music director in question to disavow his support for the homosexual and lesbian agenda and if he will not, to see to it that he is not allowed to direct the music program for the good folks of Bethlehem Lutheran.


We have contacted President Kieschnick’s office and asked him to check into this  situation. The word from his office is that in situations like this it is the district president that is the direct supervisor. Understandably the president of the synod does not want to get in the way of any local supervision. We hope that if the situation is not properly taken care of  on the district level, that President Kieschnick will step in as he has done in other situations as the district president’s ecclesiastical supervisor (see paragraph 12 of the linked story).


As a side note, the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran is a registered supporter of Jesus First, a group that endorses President Kieschnick.

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.


Will President Kieschnick Put His Strong Stance Against Homosexuality Into Practice In Our Own Synodical Backyard? by Pr. Rossow — 11 Comments

  1. FYI, the bio is still on the web site and it still mentions the association with the gay choir. Apparently the district president isn’t in any hurry in this matter.

  2. Wouldn’t it be interesting if in Kieschnick’s world “ecclesiastical supervisor” turns out to mean giving Behnke a pass at Yankee Staudium but then not “interfering” with DP Schoemaker’s administration of his district! That’d be deconstructing “ecclesiastical leadership” into what I’d call “ecclesiastical enabler”. (Is this what they mean by “servant leadership”?!) This would be consistent with post-modern ideas of liberal leadership (working to enable everyone to freedom of their wills, w/o consequence), but would certainly not be churchly nor would it be real supervision.

    We have a struggle over supervision in the LCMS. One side (Kieschnick, Jesus First) defines supervision as control over the corporate functions of LCMS, Inc. while allowing liberty in doctrine & practice. Confessionals want to continue traditional Missourian freedom in external arragnements, while maintaining synodical supervision over doctrine & practice. In other words, one side looks at administration in a business sense, the other understands administration in a spiritual sense. No wonder the Kieschnick/JF side looks to new measuers, marketing, business and sociology. That is their currency!

    May the Lord grant the LCMS new leaders who understand that we need a synod for the sake of spiritual leadership: the supervision of doctrine & practice for the sake of the Gospel.

    Any other kind of “leadership” is just going the way of the world!

  3. Endorsement of homosexuality by an LCMS pastor is nothing new. I heard the Rev. Dr. John Huber state in 2000 that all churches were struggling with the issue of homosexuality, but that the Holy Spirit would lead them all to accept it within 30 years. This was done publicly at a Pacific Southwest District “Equipping Conference.” This was held immediately before the district convention, where outgoing District President Loren Kramer (who later was one of those promoting the women can be elders idea) was replaced by Larry Stoterau (who has been re-elected twice). Before he retired, Huber was the pastor of University Lutheran Church in La Jolla (right next to the UCSD campus). At the same occasion, Huber complained about the LCMS not being part of the World Council of Churches and the fact that Dr. Barry wouldn’t pay his way to a WCC convention in Brazil. He said he had to pay his own way and be accredited by the Polish Catholic Church of North America (which was headed by a Dane) as a journalist in order to attend.

    Pr. James Hallerberg of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Coronado stood up at the 2006 district convention to oppose the resolution to allow congregations to use the words infallible and inerrant in their constitutions when referring to Holy Scripture, because he didn’t believe it is. Even in this ultra-liberal Pacific Southwest District the resolution passed with about 65% of the vote, though the district president got the Commission on Constitutional Matters to overturn it, saying it went beyond the confessions. The 2007 Synodical Convention overturned the CCM. In 2003, his congregation submitted over a dozen overtures to the district convention including one to ask the synod study how (NOT whether) to ordain women and one to ask that the LCMS declare fellowship with the ELCA immediately.

    The district president is a pleasant man, who regularly refers to himself as our bishop, but he has done nothing that I can see to counteract the false teaching of these two men.

  4. In answer to your question, no.

    Convictions are one thing, the courage of them is another.

    The little bully lacks the latter.


  5. Wow!! Some strong words against the residing president of LCMS- that takes some real backbone and courage. Obviously Pastor Wilken must have some backing for his convictions. Little bullies can turn fierce when they do not get their way.

  6. I’ve said it before Phillip, but if you’re convinced that the JF Schwärmer allow “liberty in doctrine & practice,” try closing God’s altar, and restoring the historic Western liturgy in a parish in one of their districts. You’re likely to find that the “liberty” is only for the American neo-Evangelical “doctrine and practice” they are pushing today.
    -Matt Mills

  7. John Y wrote” “Wow!! Some strong words against the residing president of LCMS – that takes some real backbone and courage.”

    Not really. It only takes having nothing to lose.

    I’m sure you would agree that fear and intimidation are no way to govern a church body.


  8. Double Wow!- I got a response from one of my present day heroes of the faith. Along with all of the folks at the White Horse Inn and those leaders who are leading this Modern Day Reformation. It may turn more ugly as the days go by and the lines in the sand become more pronounced and clear. Of course, clarity is something that the antagonist’s cannot stand. I am just digging my roots right now and hope I can withstand the onslaught. May God be gracious to us all. I too have nothing to lose so bring it on.

  9. By digging my roots I mean becoming more clear about critical doctrinal matters and regularly partaking of the Lord’s Supper in the little confessional Lutheran Church that I attend. If we do that regularly I think we will be ready. Although, I suppose, God only knows what the future will bring.

  10. John Y,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? The answer is still the same: nothing.


  11. There has been a lot of talk on various message boards about being born gay or just choosing to be gay and their ability to marry. My point about gay marriage is…

    I think anytime two people are loving, caring, supporting, and sharing a life together, it is a GOOD thing. Whether they be male/female, male/male, or female/female. In Gods eyes, they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and he smiles down on this, afterall doesn’t God merely see our souls and not our gender? Isn’t his message that of love? When couples (no matter the gender arrangement) abuse each other and not live up to the love God intended, I think he is saddened by this. That behavior carries much more weight in a godly relationship than gender. Besides, it’s not like hetero couples have got it mastered either. Surely the literalists of the bible would agree that divorce is also called out as a violation of God’s law and we all know statistically that 50% of marriage in the US ends in divorce – phew God has allot on his hands with that issue alone! Hey why not end and remove the ability to divorce – right – because then we’d all be holding up to God’s law.

    It’s rather simple – if you believe God is omnipotent – which truly all Christians believe, right? Then I do not see how being gay cannot possibly be by his creation and a gift from God – as all life truly is. What is stronger or more powerful than God? What makes us as humans think we can understand everything about what is in God’s thinking or his creation enough so to discriminate or withhold inequalities from anyone? Just because of one ancient book that has endured thousands of translations? Who has read every translation and knows the inherent word of God where he did not desire two people in love to share their life together?

    Discrimination and withholding equality is our own way & coping mechanism for dealing with our fear and self intolerance of humanity’s difference even our own inadequacies. If you don’t believe that then take one look at the haulicost or in today’s world Darfur!

    I cannot grasp why Christians everywhere are insanely scared of the subject of gay marriage. Marriage is a celebration of love – why be afraid of love? The social experiment of gay marriage started a long time ago already. The Netherlands has had it for a while now and what has it done tangible to negatively effect their society? NOTHING! The nay sayers in the US claim it destroys family values but if you have actually taken the time to talk with gays who wish to marry – their whole purpose is to create and strengthen their own family, to take benefit of the freedom this country professes to hold true and have a mechanism legally and socially to recognize their commitment to each other and the love they share.
    If my marriage depends on keeping gays form getting married then my marriage has bigger problems than the obvious facts as does everyone’s marriage.

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