Tag Archives: LCRL

“Religious liberty”, the LCMS, and the dear holy cross

Hermann Sasse offers his opinion on the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty, some sixty-sixty years before its creation:

lutherantheology.sasse_“The Lutheran Churches are sunning themselves right now under the illusion that they have something other to expect from the world than the dear holy cross, which all those have to bear who proclaim to mankind the Law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But this illusion will soon be over. Our American brothers in the faith will also learn this in the setting of painful experience. Instead of establishing a church office in Washington, they would have done better to establish a place somewhere in the loneliness of their vast land, where prayer is offered day and night for their public authorities and for the peace of the world.”

Hermann Sasse, Ecclesia Orans,” April 1949; In Statu Confessionis II:57 (emphasis mine; HT lyletwain)

Wow. That is uncomfortably specific.

So that’s Hermann’s opinion. What is your opinion?

For my part, I tend to agree with what the Pseudepigraphus guy said four years ago, even though he seems not quite fully convinced that the vaunted “American Experiment”, as a liberal project, was doomed from the beginning. Still, I do concur with this:

Instead of a “stand up for religious liberty” day, how about a “stand up for Christian conviction even in the face of imminent martyrdom” day?

The context: Praeses Harrison had just testified before the House Committee on Religious Liberty along with a couple of Baptist pastors, a papist bishop, and a Rabbi. They were all demanding that Caesar Robespierre not violate their inalienable right to freedom of religion by forcing them to buy contraceptives for employees at their official church-run institutions. Dr. Harrison made it very clear, however, that the only contraceptives the LCMS officially opposes are abortifacients… so who knows? Perhaps the LCMS would have no qualms with an injunction demanding that churches buy condoms for their employees.

The whole thing was an eloquent and passionate stand and a great display of classical liberal rhetoric. I do not mean to sound at all slighting by putting it that way– from a classical liberal standpoint, it was admirably done. If, however, you don’t put much stock in classical liberalism– late dicta: republicanism, constitutionalism, liberal democracy, whatever America was/is, and the rest of the Enlightenment cousins– then it was mostly sad and distressing to watch.

Anyhow, that’s enough from me. What do you think about the Missouri Synod’s itch to get inside the Beltway, rub shoulders with Russell Moore, and get retweeted by enthusiastic ROFTers?