Saturday 18 December 2010

Misery Synod Meddling

The president of the fundamentalist Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod has made an urgent appeal to the membership of that body.

The Rev. Matthew Harrison is concerned about the morale and esprit de corps of the US armed services. Why? The "don't ask, don't tell" policy affecting gay people in the military is under threat. Quick as a flash Harrison is rallying his own troops to petition senators and representatives in Washington. Verily, saith Harrison, "The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a clear biblical position on this important issue."

Yup, in the LCMS discrimination is considered God's way.

Moreover: "Military chaplains striving to carry out their responsibilities for preaching, counseling, and consoling will find themselves under the strain of having to question whether to obey God or men (Acts 5:29)."

Since when did military chaplains "find themselves under the strain of having to question whether to obey God or men"? Military chaplains are there to salve the consciences of those who carry out orders that often conflict with the moral and ethical imperatives of Christianity; that's their function. What does Harrison think the military chaplains of the Third Reich did? Or the military chaplains of Her Britannic Majesty when the General Belgrano was sunk off the Falkland Islands? Is the man completely naive?

One of the enduring issues in Lutheranism - historically conditioned by the need to seek the protection of the German princes in its early years - is its willingness to hop into bed with any despot, excusing itself with nonsense about "the two kingdoms" (an adaptation of Augustine's mindless "two cities" doctrine) and the "left hand of God." There are not many advantages Anglo Protestantism has over the Lutheran tradition in my opinion, but one certainly is an identifiable backbone when it comes to speaking truth to those in power.

Harrison would be well advised to deal with the beam before he attempts to poke around with splinters. Hopefully those legislators who will address the issue of "don't ask, don't tell" will tell Harrison - and I'm choosing my words carefully - to bugger off.


  1. Again, thanks for promoting my blog site.

  2. Hey Paul, no problems. I'll take that as a ringing endorsement for continuing to point out that the LCMS is a luddite community out of touch with reality!