sadOne of the sad sides for me of the Sandy Hook tragedy is the response from some “religious” leaders.

One in particular has left me feeling ashamed and embarrassed … and no doubt will not be appreciated by those who have brought about this feeling.

One child who lost her life was a member of an LCMS church in Newtown … and their pastor was invited to share the closing prayer and benediction at the memorial service.  Not only was this a difficult spot to be in … he has only been out of the seminary a short time.  But he chose to share the clear Gospel to comfort not only his own church, but the community as well!

The sadness, the shame and embarrassment I feel comes from a portion of my own denomination that immediately accused him of syncretism and unionism.  Essentially they were critical of his praying and being with people of other faith-walks.  To them this means his acceptance of their heterodox views and doctrinal stances.  This breaks my heart.

As I think about this … a number of activities I have been associated with for my 45+ years of ministry would also place me under such an indictment … teaching and preaching on the mission field … leading pastors conferences for people who were not LCMS … praying weekly with my local Toastmaster’s Club … working at Angola Prison with pastors of many denominations … supporting ministries that are not affiliated with my denomination … my role in Christ for India (even teaching at their seminary) … praying at city council meetings … attending worship and teaching conferences led by so-called heterodox churches … having non-LCMS groups do concerts at churches I have pastored … and the list goes on.

The denomination I grew up in prides itself on being conservative and biblical … and for that I am thankful.  Yet … at the same time … it often seems reluctant to take the opportunity to share what it believes in certain venues.

Personally … I love having the opportunity of sharing the power of the Word … I love sharing the love of Jesus … I relish the opportunities to point people to the Bible … for I am not shamed of the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.  Given the opportunity this young pastor was given … I too would’ve gladly stepped forward … not only to comfort the bereaved in my church … but the community as well with the life-giving power of the Gospel. (I have written him a note of support)

This is my rant for the day … I know some of my friends will know exactly where I am coming from and concur … some will be quick to take me to task for being “less than lutheran”, etc.

See the VISION … Live the MISSION … Feel the PASSION