Thursday, September 11, 2008

Should Clergy Dabble in Politics?


Lutheran pastors and laypeople should never feel ashamed or guilt stricken for being vocal about politics in regards to the confession of life and its origin. We live in a society that increasingly evaluates life from a Marxist world view, confessing human life as being actualized through means of production or economic value. Rigid individualism, post-modern liberalism, and the adverse secularism of public and private institutions renders the human consciousness at a disadvantage to discern even basic natural knowledge of God the creator and our “creatureliness.”

The imputed knowledge coming from nearly all educational institutions is that human life is indeed a freak accident of millions of years of evolutionary development. This necessarily makes one hateful of human life and profoundly embarrassed about its very existence. Environmentalists, “animal rights,” and your average dim-witted university student all lament the very existence of the human race. They are embarrassed of “out of control birthrates” (though America’s is quite static), and exploitation of the world’s resources. Despite any real proof, it is held that humans are warming the planet, melting ice caps and killing polar bears. That God makes man in His very image, blesses them, commanding them to be fruitful, multiply – to fill the earth and subdue it is the most heinous heresy to the modern progressive. It is this kind of psychosis that lends itself to blaspheming God’s holy creation and destroying the unborn.

It just so happens that one political party’s platform is to protect life in the womb while the other party remains dedicated to a “right to privacy” which finds expression in snuffing out children in the womb. At 3,287 abortions every day, Pastors ought to come to terms with the fact that this is not a peripheral political issue but a central theological issue of our time. The abortions in this country keep pace with the rate that Nazi Germany exterminated Jews, gypsies, dissenting Christians, and the handicapped.

Yet, “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Ps. 127:3). Most important is that our Lord comes to us by a woman, fed and nurtured in a mother’s womb. It would be an irreconcilable conflict to confess any of the three ecumenical Creeds while simultaneously holding to abortion or supporting a political platform that celebrates it. The relationship between God and man is in the flesh, of a womb - the living Christ born of the Virgin Mother. Rejection of the fruit of the womb is a rejection of Christ and His incarnation, and the Father who sent him. Furthermore, it’s a rejection of Creation itself – a rejection of heaven and earth.

Two kingdom theology provides many with the erroneous excuse to avoid debate altogether and thus avoid controversy in the parish. Yet Christ’s kingdom certainly seeks to preserve the unborn and curb evil. Christ calls us to respond to the contemporary situation, faithfully in our vocations. Our callings are as citizens of a country with a supposedly participatory democracy, where the masses structurally find complicity in the operation of temporal authority. Pastors are not interrupting the Spirit’s work by speaking honestly about abortion and where a given candidate stands on it.

What remains constant is that the pulpit is given for the preaching of Christ and the forgiveness of sins. Needless to say, it is certainly not for campaign ads. Yet, preaching Christ, the incarnation, and the Blessed Virgin Mary (Theotokos) will naturally arouse in parishioners an acute awareness of communion with God in His very body which defines how we look at and see ourselves and others, from womb to grave.

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