Holiness

Earlier today I was forwarded the following e-mail, which was sent out by Matthew Harrison, president of the The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It was sent to me by one of the church’s officials, who thought it stated the no-gays-in-the-military case very well.

I find it utterly pathetic, and consider these people to be as holy as a brothel. Where, I ask again, is the outrage against adulterers in the military? How about soldiers who take God’s name? How about those who covet the wives of others?

On and on it goes …

Thoughts?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In a surprising turn of events in the waning days of the current Congress, the effort to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell†policy has gained new momentum with the announcement today of support from Republican senators Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Olympia Snowe (Maine).  The repeal may be voted on in the Senate as early as tomorrow.  For a number of reasons, we encourage you to let your elected leaders know that The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a clear biblical position on this important issue.

In terms of our spirituality, we are all alike sinners (Rom. 3:9ff.) in need of repentance and forgiveness.  For 2,000 years the church has welcomed sinners, but refused to affirm sin.  The saving grace of Jesus Christ and His Gospel are for all people (2 Cor. 5:19), and the only thing that separates us from this forgiveness is a lack of repentance or sorrow over our sin. We believe the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell†policy will sorely inhibit our military chaplains’ ability to call all sinners to repentance.

If the government normalizes homosexual behavior in our military branches—a behavior that we believe God’s Word identifies as intrinsically sinful (Rom. 1:26ff)—the implications are profound.  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).

Lastly, we express our concern as citizens that a move by the government to essentially affirm homosexual behavior within the armed forces will endanger the morale or esprit de corps—the unit cohesion and the primary mission of the military, namely, to prosecute and win the war—of the men and women who serve and willingly place themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we urge you to share this message today with your colleagues, congregational members, and any others whom you believe would benefit from it and be moved to contact their government representatives.

You may find the contacts for your senators and representatives here:  http://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/

For more information on this issue, see The Lutheran Study Bible, Page 1911, on Romans 1.

God bless you.

Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Dr. Mark J. Schreiber,

CAPT, CHC, USN, (Ret.)

Director, LCMS World Mission’s Ministry to the Armed Forces

7 thoughts on “Holiness”

  1. It is frustrating that there are so many that hold so tight to the literal words of the Bible, which was not written by God or Jesus by people that are more than willing to treat the Constitution as malleable if it serves their desires.

    That the Christian religion seems so easily co-opted by the desires of the extreme right is, to me, very suggestive, if not downright proof, that it is something like a drowning being looking for a branch to grasp.

    The death of modern Christianity is as gradual as global warming. One can deny both if you narrow your scope, but the continued generational erosion to a relgion that remains steadfastly hinged to their literal interpretations of a book, holy as it may be, is a loss to non-believers and the faithful alike.

    If the leaders of it cannot find a persuasive voice, the following will dwindle, and we will all lose. The faithful will lose faith, and those that take the Bible in more allegorical terms, will share in the resulting despondency of those that have lost something that, ideally, should be a good way to live. The belief in God shouldn’t hinge on such age old interpretations.

    It misses the mark- what is at the heart of Jesus’s relatively few words. The Bible has something akin to politicians within its chapters.

    It is sad.

    I hope that believers apply critical thought to sort out the seeming inconsistencies and contradictions of the Bible.

    I, for one, am going to take a page out of their book, so to speak, and ask myself ‘what would Jesus do?’ and hope that they ask themselves the same.

    I think he would preach tolerance. I’m going to tolerate the Christians that are having a tough time coming to terms with what must be a very tough era for them. I’d like them to keep the faith, but grow to aspire to being more tolerant.

  2. i hope the pastor is nearly as passionate for banning the military from eating pork since the bible says swine is bad and not to be eaten. do you think i can find this letter somewhere online? what about all the other archaic things that the bible lists as anti-god and deserving of his wrath and eternal damnation?

    how much sleep does he/she lose every night praying for those with tattoos and earring and other piercings, because the body is a temple of god, afterall and shouldnt be desecrated.

  3. Aside from the fact that the arguments against repealing DADT are hypocritical and ignore facts established through the Pentagon studies, this church may just have jeopardized its tax-exempt status by engaging in out-and-out political speech. Good work, guys!

  4. “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

  5. Bobby

    Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

    Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
    Mark 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

    I guess that pretty much eliminates about 95% of the Military.
    The other 5% is Gay.

  6. It is frustrating that so many do not hold tight to the literal words of the bible – which was written by God.
    Or perhaps written by a super intelligent time traveler or maybe a single 1,000+ year old human.
    There are no inconsistencies or contradictions, that I am aware of, in the bible. When I have found what I thought was one, careful study clarifies. Sometimes it can take a great deal of time to sort out those issues.

    The real problem is few of those claiming they take the bible literally, actually do.
    They take it selectively. They pick and choose those parts of the bible that appeal to them and develop doctrines and religions based on those particular beliefs.
    Few of those claiming to take a literal stance follow the biblical commands concerning marriage.

    Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
    Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
    Plus many more verses.

    I checked the Missouri Synod website and waded through a large study on marriage and they seemed to jump through hoops to try to explain these, and similar verses, away to justify divorced people remarrying. One thing they didn’t do is take the verses literally.
    I used marriage because that is a concern usually raised when talking homosexuality.

    Christianity has been declining. It began a long time ago and has picked up speed during the 20th century.
    The earth has been slowly warming since the ice age. It is the industrial revolution that sent it into overdrive.
    The earth is dying. Since time has an end, it is no coincidence the bible teaches we are at the end of time.
    Great analogy Chris.

    The bible speaks clearly about the circumstances of the end time.
    If it wasn’t God, it must have been a time traveler.
    The bible has said that at the end of time certain things will happen.

    Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

    The signs and wonders movement took off in the 20th century. The Pentecostal movement began in 1901.
    While I suppose the Catholic church has always had signs and wonders going on, today it seems 2-700 times a year some picture of Mary is crying or some pizza turns out looking like Jesus.

    Then there is the Benny Hinn “slaying in the spirit” phenomenon. The bible predicted it.

    Revelation 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

    I realize this may not seem to fit but I can show – with scripture – why this is what these verses is about. Ask and I will explain.
    Reference verses:
    Genesis 49:16-17
    1 Kings 18
    2 Kings 1:10
    Luke 9:54
    John 18:3-6

    I am not denying homosexuality is a sin. It is one of many.
    I don’t believe there is one direct cause of homosexuality. When my daughter was a little girl one of her best friends was a boy that was obviously born with the wrong body parts. Even at 8 years old he was clearly gay.
    If you’re literal the bible covers this.

    Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

    Every person, before they are saved, is considered wicked.

    Others choose to be gay. I suppose you might say they are somewhat bisexual, but they make a choice.
    There are other reasons too.
    I know of a woman that was very much into boys. Then she was raped. We adapt. She tried marriage, but the pain and disgust was too deeply imbedded. A person needs companionship. If you haven’t walked in someones shoes you have no right to criticize.

    For those that do take the bible literally:

    Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

    Even the smallest sin separates us from God. Sin demands payment – the second death. The only way to avoid that judgment is to find someone willing and capable of making the payment for you. That is what Jesus did.
    Making lots of noise telling people to stop certain sins saves no one. That is not the gospel message.

    The only people Christians are asked to judge over are the members of their church.

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