The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


First United back in fold

After 22 years of separation, First United Lutheran Church of San Francisco in July voted unanimously to rejoin the ELCA.

It was suspended in 1990 and expelled in 1995 for ordaining an openly gay pastor. At the same time, St. Francis Lutheran Church in San Francisco was suspended and expelled for ordaining an openly lesbian couple.

The Sierra Pacific Synod last year invited both churches to rejoin the synod. St. Francis accepted, but First United spent the year discussing whether to return.

"Opinion in the community was divided," wrote Susan M. Strouse, United's pastor, in her blog. "Some asked, 'Well, why wouldn't you?' Others, 'Why would you?' "


Donald Bohlken

Donald Bohlken

Posted at 10:38 am (U.S. Eastern) 9/10/2012

There is nothing to celebrate in the return of these two congregations, who accepted openly gay pastors, to the ELCA.  It simply highlights the ELCA's willingness to substitute the teachings of men for the word of God. 

"In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'" Matt. 15:9.

The Bible clearly condemns homosexual behavior as sin.  "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination."  Lev 18:22. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Romans 1:26-27.  See also Gen 19: 4-8, 15, 24; Lev 20: 13; Deut 23:17; 1 Cor 6:9, 10; 1 Tim 1: 8-11; Jude 1: 6-7.

It is our duty to lovingly point out to homosexuals that this conduct is sin and that the way out of sin is to seek forgiveness through the blood and sacrifice of Christ. 1 Cor. 6: 11. To follow the path. of denying the scripture's teachings, which the ELCA General Assembly has chosen, is to assist homosexuals on a path to hell.  1 Cor. 6: 9-10.

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