Monday, February 18, 2013

Society & Media Should Not Vilify Lutheran Church

Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook. Only they know the pain of losing a child on that terrible day. This touched our church in Newtown, too. Our hearts weigh heavy for every father and mother who grieve the empty seat at the table.

How sad that so much vitriol can be stirred up in the media against the Lutheran Church while the pain of their loss is so fresh ("Newtown vigil bares discord for Lutherans," Feb. 9).

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is just as shocked, just as grieved, just as saddened as anyone. But though our hearts hurt, we do not participate in syncretistic or unionistic events.

The term unionism was coined when the government in Germany wrested control of the land’s churches. Church denominations of differing confessions were forced into a union against their will, creating a state church. Syncretism is simply when different religions get together for religious rites.

To enforce the Union, soldiers broke down the doors, arrested our ministers, defrocked and imprisoned them and confiscated their property. We were forced at bayonet-point to join together with those of differing views. All this was because we wouldn’t worship the way the government dictated.

We came to the United States looking for religious liberty and freedom from oppression.

Shall society and the media dictate our participation in civil religion? Shall they vilify us for not participating in a ceremony contrary to our beliefs?

I’m getting the impression that if you don’t go along with the civil religion, you’re the bad guy. What has happened to freedom? Is the knock of the soldier far away from your door?

Rev. Michael G. Piper • New Melle

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