Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Two Questions:

Passing on questions from friends. The first is for the folks at "Why are you saying it is a new day?" That is, what new bit of resistance are you doing? the second is for Robert Goldstein. "You are on the roster but your congregation is not?" second part of that question is "So, then, you maintain celibacy?" If Robert and soomeone from good soil could respond in comments? Thank you.

"New Day at St. Francis
-- 2006-03-27

"On Sunday, March 26, Pr. Robert Goldstein was formally installed as the Lead Pastor of St. Francis Church. The Rev. Paul R. Landahl, bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America preached; the Rev. Dr. Susan Strouse of First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco was presiding minister. The rite of installation was performed by the Rev. Daniel Solberg of St. Paulus Lutheran Church and dean of the Conference of San Francisco Lutheran Churches.

Pastor Robert Goldstein is on the ELCA clergy roster and has been a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessor, the Lutheran Church in America, since 1975. He formerly served congregations in New Jersey and Chicago.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Pr. Goldstein received his B.A. in biblical languages and literature from Abilene Christian University, and a B.D. and S.T.M. at Yale, where he specialized in the philosophical writings of Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard. He received a Ph.D. in philosophical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.

An openly gay man, Pastor Goldstein has been a proponent of equal rights for women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

St. Francis Lutheran Church was one of two congregations expelled from the ELCA at the end of 1995 because it called and ordained a gay man and a lesbian couple as pastors in 1990 in violation of a rule requiring congregations to call only clergy approved by the ELCA. The three candidates were ELCA seminary graduates, and were denied approval for call solely because they would not commit to lifelong abstention from homosexual sexual relationships as required by ELCA policy. St. Francis is an independent Lutheran congregation. It continues to participate in activities of the ELCA's local San Francisco Conference and regional Sierra Pacific Synod. The congregation has been granted voice but not vote at synod assemblies." The rest is at


Good Soil said...

I work with good soil... though I do not claim to speak for them at this time. I will send your question to them.

I imagine that when they say that it is a new day that they mean that the Bishops from Chicago's participation makes this a new thing happening in our midst. Also, it is possible that the support of the San Francisco conference is part of it too. Though historically, the San Francisco conference has always supported St. Francisco and First United.


Vicar Megan Rohrer

Good Soil said...

To the second question I would answer that it is very clear in our Lutheran confessions and history that celibacy is contrary to the gospel. Luther even goes as far to say that a vow of celibacy is so inappropriate for pastors that it can be broken at anytime because it is not a legitimate vow.

Blessings. Vicar Megan Rohrer

Shrimp said...

Thanks, Megan!

Anonymous said...


Celebacy is not contrary to the gospel, since our Lord endorses it in Matthew 19 in particular, as does Saint Paul.

Forced celebacy of clergy was what Luther spoke against. However, since he also believed that homosexual sex was an abomination that could not be endorsed by Christians, it is clear that he was speaking of forcing celebacy with regards to heterosexual sex. It was assumed by him that no true Christian would engage in same-sex intercouse. (See his view in his commentary on Romans, as well as his views on sex and marriage in LWs).

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler

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