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First Trans ELCA Bishop Suspended by Lutheran LGBTQ Advocacy Group for ‘Racist Words and Actions’

Rohrer has been a controversial figure in the evangelical world ever since being ordained as a Lutheran minister and elected as a bishop within the ECLA. Rohrer oversees ​​nearly 200 congregations in Northern California and northern Nevada.

“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 upon being elected. “My installation will celebrate all that is possible when we trust God to shepherd us forward.”

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While Rohrer’s election to the role of bishop was seen by many as a positive step forward in evangelicalism, a number of evangelical leaders have strongly disagreed. For example, theologian and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Al Mohler indicated that he believed the move to install Rohrer as bishop constituted “a new religion.” 

“The ELCA isn’t just trying to preach the old gospel with a new bishop. It’s a new religion,” Mohler said. “It’s a new religion that is trying to inhabit the space of traditional Christianity, trying to claim the titles, to claim ownership of the buildings, and to take ownership of the institutions while representing a religion that is at virtually every point contradictory to biblical Christianity. The gospel of Jesus Christ in biblical terms is left far behind.”

Debate over inclusive policies for LGBTQ congregants and clergy have been a central conversation for a number of denominations, including the United Methodist Church and the Reformed Church in America.