Would Luther Vote With the ELCA on Homosexual Clergy? Nope, by Chris Rosebrough

We found this piece written by Chris Rosebrough on his Extreme Theology blog.

Would Luther Vote With the ELCA on Homosexual Clergy? Nope. It’s clear that Luther held to the Biblical view that Homosexuality is a sin. In fact, Luther made it clear that the perversity of homosexuality comes from Satan.

Luther identifies the sin of Sodom with homosexuality. Commenting on Genesis 19:4-5, he writes
“I for my part do not enjoy dealing with this passage, because so far the ears of the Germans are innocent of and uncontaminated by this monstrous depravity; for even though disgrace, like other sins, has crept in through an ungodly soldier and a lewd merchant, still the rest of the people are unaware of what is being done in secret. The Carthusian monks deserve to be hated because they were the first to bring this terrible pollution into Germany from the monasteries of Italy”. (Luther’s Works Vol. 3 p. 251-252)

In the same section of the Genesis lecturers, Luther refers to “the heinous conduct of the people of Sodom ” as “extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature.” (Luther’s Works Vol. 3 p. 255)

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.


Would Luther Vote With the ELCA on Homosexual Clergy? Nope, by Chris Rosebrough — 6 Comments

  1. Yes, the ELCA violated the clear Word. But the problem is much deeper than this. Luther would not have limited his condemnation of the ELCA just to their low view of Scripture, as the second quote you give above shows. There is a deeper problem that many “conservative” Lutherans also suffer from, even if they hold to a “high” view of Scripture. For more on this, see here:

    Why Luther wouldn’t agree with the current “conservative” Lutheran response to the ELCA

    And here:

    The “Strong Divine Command Theory Ethic”

  2. I guess I don’t really see your point. “Conservatives” did not say that what happened with the ELCA was from Satan, so they did not go far enough in their condemnation? Is that what you are stating. As for the second, I read it and what I got was two guys who disagree on what is procreation but not necessarily how that applies to the ELCA and homosexuality. Maybe I just did not read the second correctly.

  3. Rev. Sterle,

    I’m sorry my short post wasn’t more clear.

    The point is that this is an epistemological problem extending way beyond (and prior to) the ELCA’s adoption of the historical-critical method. Barth’s “strong divine command theory ethic,” the rejection of natural law, and other insidious aspects of what Rev. Robert C. Baker has termed the “Twentieth Century Project” have played essential foundational roles in bringing about this change in doctrine. And, these broader influences are present yet ignored in our own “conservative” ranks to the degree that only their hermeneutic is being criticized.

    The LCMS is headed down the very same path as the ELCA. We just haven’t gotten as far along the track yet. In fact, opening our eyes to this broader perspective, it becomes obvious that every synod and denomination of Christianity can be seen as a railroad car connected at various points along this modern/postmodern train that is headed straight into the abyss of apostasy.

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