Christian leaders have condemned the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America after the denomination installed its first openly transgender bishop in a service at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral this past week.
The Associated Press reported that Rev. Meghan Rohrer will lead one of the church's 65 synods and oversee nearly 200 congregations in Northern California and northern Nevada. The AP reported that Rohrer had identified as lesbian previously, "now reportedly identifies as non-binary and prefers to go by 'they/them' pronouns."
David Closson, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at the Family Research Counsel, told Fox News that the ELCA's "embrace of transgenderism is completely at odds with scripture."
"God did not create androgynous beings; He created two complementary, biologically and genetically sexed individuals," Closson says. "God built the complementarity of the sexes into the very fabric of creation. Encouraging, promoting and celebrating transgenderism through the promotion of a transgender clergy represents just the latest step away from biblical orthodoxy for a denomination that long ago stopped caring what the Bible teaches on moral and ethical matters."
Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, warned that the transgender movement represents an "intentional subversion of the creation order. And that the ELCA had embraced a "new religion, different from Christianity."
"The ELCA isn't just trying to preach the old gospel with a new bishop. It's a new religion," he says.
Rohrer, obviously, sees her installation in a much different way.
"I step into this role because a diverse community of Lutherans in Northern California and Nevada prayerfully and thoughtfully voted to do a historic thing," Rohrer said in a statement. "My installation will celebrate all that is possible when we trust God to shepherd us forward."
But Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, dismissed the idea that the ELCA had made history.
"This new ELCA bishop apparently has a new historic identity within one of America's historic denominations by virtue of merely changing pronouns," Tooley told Fox News. "The idea that gender can be manipulated so flippantly clearly contravenes biblical teaching that male and female are divine gifts and physical realities, not emotions, desires, or transitional identities that are self-willed."
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