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What Luther Says

Harrison: 'The Problems This Nation Faces Are Deep And Humanly Unsolvable'

Looking for an appropriate and truly "Christian" response to what's been going on in Ferguson, Missouri this week?

LCMS President, Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, released this official statement that I saw on his Facebook page today.

“From depths of woe I cry to thee.” All of us in St. Louis are in shock and dismay. The President of this great nation called for measured action by protestors. Many in the community responded with mayhem and destruction of businesses and property of people themselves totally committed to the community. We pray for the victims of this mess. We pray for the authorities caught in this struggle. We pray for the peaceful protestors. We condemn the senseless violence and its perpetrators. I feel as Martin Luther once felt in the peasant’s war: Outrage at the marauding thugs creating death and mayhem; and deep frustration with the princes for driving the peasants to such frustration. In the case of Ferguson, on one level it’s about a death and an officer; but it’s much more about what we all have allowed to become of this nation. 
The problems this nation faces are deep and humanly unsolvable. Hundreds of years of institutionalized and then unofficial racial discrimination mean trust is hard to come by, and when found is fleeting. The deterioration of urban families, civil structures and institutions, and lack of personal accountability and responsibility, render us all but hopeless. Our citizens view this matter almost strictly along racial lines. That’s a tragedy in itself. 
The answers to our challenges lay in a two realms: state and church. We have allowed the disintegration of civil society and morality (state), which most deeply affects areas of socio-economic challenge. We have created systems, which have debilitated and destroyed the family, schools, churches, the very institutions, which are the solution to the challenges. Government has discriminated against parochial schools in challenged areas, forcing hundreds of Lutheran schools alone to close, killing the source of good in neighborhood after neighborhood. We have allowed cities to rot. We have allowed whole communities to be plagued by vacant and dilapidated buildings, poor infrastructure, all inviting, multiplying and sustaining negative activity and miss-trust. We have failed to call each other to account. Our nation continues to play racial politics while lives are swallowed into an abyss of hopelessness. We have created systems, which profit from decay and incarceration, treating mere symptoms while spreading disease. Our nation has chosen through court decision and vote, radical unbridled sexual freedom and it has come at the expense of the most vulnerable. Having local police mirror the racial makeup of the communities they serve is good and necessary, but only treats a symptom. 
This nation is sick unto death. The church has the answer: Jesus Christ. Jesus is neither white, or black. Jesus is the eternal answer for Officer Wilson and Michael Brown, and for all of us. What a mess we’ve made in this nation of the greatest national gift of God in the history of the world. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy. 
*- Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison 
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LC-MS)

This statement was even better than the one he issued back in August 2014 when this first gained national attention, IMHO.

Both demonstrate genuine and faithful pastoral leadership in a time of national crisis.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, and as another brother in Christ noted in another forum, it's a very well articulated statement with the very truth that Jesus Christ is the only answer.


NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by common Evangelical concerns/criticisms that aren't that big a deal for us Lutherans. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, please know that any time we engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible unless otherwise noted. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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