The Wait Is Over

Supreme Court Ruling Emboldens Us to Continue to Carry On

Two years ago, I sat on a panel before Congress, testifying to the importance of religious liberty in America today.

It seems like a long time ago.

Since then, we have seen and heard a steady stream of news, from the church and the culture, about the Health and Human Services’ mandate and the Affordable Care Act, abortifacients and the conscience, religious freedoms and what this means for women.

Thankfully, the wait is over. The Supreme Court has ruled, and the verdict is in: In a landmark case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious liberty, specifically in regard to closely held corporations (those with a small number of shareholders and offering no public stock, such as corporations that are family-owned, not operated by boards).

While we rejoice in this strong upholding of religious freedom, this decision does not signal an end to this discussion. It simply emboldens us carry on, doing what we do best as Christians: praying, confessing the faith and living it out in our daily callings.

We pray that Americans, whose consciences are burdened because they have been forced to violate their religious beliefs, would know God’s comfort and forgiveness.

We confess that life, which begins at conception, is a gift from God and ought to be held in the highest regard in this country.

We live, knowing that the First Amendment guarantees us not only the right to worship, but also to practice our faith as Lutheran citizens of this great nation, serving our neighbor where the Lord has placed us.

We do all of this, even as we rejoice with the Greens of Hobby Lobby, with the Hahns of Conestoga Wood Specialties and with our millions of brothers and sisters in the United States who believe just as strongly in the religious liberties guaranteed in our Constitution.

Today we are thankful for this step toward maintaining the integrity of our religious freedoms inherent in the First Amendment, but we will also remain ever mindful. The issue is and will continue to be purely and simply about religious freedom.

And so we pray. We confess. We live.

“We fought for a free conscience in this country,” I told the committee two years ago, “and we won’t give it up without a fight.”

I meant that, and I pray you do too.

The Rev. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

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21 Responses to The Wait Is Over

  1. John A. Bobbe June 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    As a life-long LCMS member, I find it almost sad how naive President Harrison is. This court ruling is not a long-run win for Christians. As the article in the link below notes, it is not a “win” for religion and the author is not just some secular person.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/06/30/3453598/no-a-win-for-hobby-lobby-is-not-a-win-for-religion/
    Secondly, we have not heard one word from President Harrison about the fact that Hobby Lobby invests in some of the same companies that manufacture products it objects to on so called “religious grounds.”

    Lastly, Congressmen Darrell Issa has a shady criminal past that makes me wonder whether President Harrison should have been witnessing to, to repent rather than being used as a political pawn. I guess my standards and expectations are higher then that as a Christian. John Bobbe

    • michael June 30, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      After reading the link offered by the author of the reply, it is more clear a huge success what happened in the U.S. Supreme Court. People and particularly Christians from all over the world are rejoicing. From Portugal, great victory, America!

  2. tom buuck June 30, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    The prior post article link (thinkprogress.org) reads like a bunch of sour grapes by the author Jack Jenkins…sounds like he is trying to convince himself it was ‘bad’ for the faith-based contingent.

    P.S. President Harrison, keep up the good work.

  3. Bernie Schaeffer June 30, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    I, for one, stand wholeheartedly behind the religious freedom afforded us as citizens of this country. As a result, I can practice my faith as I choose, so when I realized I could no longer abide by many of the narrow minded and un-Christlike positions of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, I was free to resign this past January from the Church and thereafter practice my faith with a much clearer conscience. I know I am not alone. Thank you First Amendment!

  4. Russell Mains July 1, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    This LCMS president has brought politics into our faith more than any president during my 62 years as a member. God is the author and final judge of His Law! Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” No one is being FORCED to take a pill, or disobey any of God’s Laws; but we all do disobey every day, and always will because of original sin. This is why we are in need of the SAVING GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST, and must constantly strive to truly repent, and “turn out lives around”; NO MATTER WHAT THE SIN! President Harrison, either pray and fight just as fervently FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LITTLE OR NO HEALTH INSURANCE, or give up your LCMS position, and run for public office. There are many poor, sick, and destitute people in in this country who are dying. Many of them would already be dead if it were not for Federal government programs; the same government that you insist is taking our freedoms. Churches and charities cannot take care of everyone. DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE HEALTHCARE? ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WELL FED, CLOTHED, AND SHELTERED? You live in a FREE nation, and have the power and opportunity to speak for the unborn; and that is a blessing. Will you also use your position and voice to speak for the “LEAST OF THESE, MY BROTHERS”, as Christ commands; even if it means agreeing with a DEMOCRAT, who supports those in need who have already been born? This focus on political issues, while ignoring the meaning of TRUE FREEDOM, represented by Jesus Christ, is DIVISIVE. Preach, “Christ Crucified.” Jesus said, “Love one another.” We must be bold in out witness, but if we do not “speak the truth in LOVE”; we are “clanging gongs”, who become so divided by POLITICS, that Christ’s Great Commission becomes obscured. We live in a society that is primarily composed of TWO political parties; there are Christians who align themselves with BOTH of these parties, whether or not President Harrison believes that. He will NOT dictate how LCMS members will vote on civil matters, and is NOT the perfect, supreme judge or ruler over individual interpretation of Holy Scripture by faithful Christians; who happen to be LCMS LUTHERANS! Again, I say, if our LCMS President desires to run for Civil, Political Office; he should do so. Perhaps, then the LCMS can elect a leader who will focus on the Kingdom of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as he is CALLED to do; rather than the kingdom of the world, and the political machinations of men!

    • M. Didaskalos July 1, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      Russell, taking a stand against the extermination of unborn babies (whether in abortion clinics or by abortifacient contraceptives mandated by government agencies) is not a political issue for Christians. It’s a biblically defined moral issue to which the Bible speaks clearly and unambiguously: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?”

      Rev. James Lamb, Executive Director of Lutherans for Life, helps to sort out what’s unequivocally biblically mandated and what’s open to discussion in his essay “Is Abortion Just an Election Issue for Christians?” [ http://www.christianliferesources.com/article/is-abortion-just-an-election-issue-for-christians-61 ]

      “. . . God speaks to some of the political issues of our day but in a way that gives the Christian plenty of “wiggle” room. For example, God speaks about taxes. He tells us to give to “Caesar” what is his.

      “However, he does not talk about tax structures or the IRS. Therefore, Christians may debate about how much they think “Caesar” should be taking or about how he should be taking it.

      “God speaks about salvation but not about how to save the Social Security system. Therefore, Christians may debate about the pros and cons of privatization.

      “God speaks about caring for the elderly but not about Medicare. Therefore, Christians may debate about the best way to help the elderly pay for prescriptions.

      “God speaks differently, however, about destroying innocent human life, and there is no “wiggle” room. He says: “You shall not murder.”

      [ . . .]

      “Therefore, a Christian cannot debate the “pros and cons” of abortion any more than he can debate the “pros and cons” of rape or stealing or adultery. Abortion cannot be a fundamental “right” for, in God’s sight, it is a fundamental wrong.”

      • William Chad Newsom July 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

        M. Didaskolos, thanks for your helpful comments, and I agree with most of what you wrote, but I want to challenge a couple of points that were made in the article you quoted. First, this quote: “God speaks to some of the political issues of our day but in a way that gives the Christian plenty of ’’wiggle’ room. For example, God speaks about taxes. He tells us to give to ‘Caesar’ what is his. However, he does not talk about tax structures or the IRS. Therefore, Christians may debate about how much they think ‘Caesar’ should be taking or about how he should be taking it.”

        The “render unto Caesar” passage is (for good reason) usually the first passage quoted when discussing the Bible’s view of taxation. But the Bible has more to say than just this. In I Sam. 8, Samuel is answering the people of Israel who have demanded a king. Samuel’s reply is essentially to say, “if you go through with this, you’ll end up with a big, powerful, centralized government, and that’s bad.” Lots of implications here, but just to stick with the taxation issue, Samuel says that if they have a king, he will even go so far as to take (gasp!) ten percent in taxes!

        “And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them…Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.’ So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, ‘This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you… he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.’

        Why does Samuel set the threshold of tyrannical taxation at ten percent? Obviously because that’s the amount God requires of us. And how dare any human ruler demand even as much as, or more than, God Himself? To claim such is to claim to be God. Implication: taxes, from all levels of government, and in all forms, must never collectively exceed, as an absolute maximum, 9.99 percent.
        There are other Bible passages that bear on taxation, but that should be enough to make the point that, perhaps, there is less “wiggle” room (for Christians who wish to be faithful to the Bible) than is sometimes supposed.

        Second quote: “God speaks about salvation but not about how to save the Social Security system. Therefore, Christians may debate about the pros and cons of privatization. God speaks about caring for the elderly but not about Medicare. Therefore, Christians may debate about the best way to help the elderly pay for prescriptions.”

        Again, Samuel’s comments on taxation are appropriate here: if the government cannot “care for the elderly” (a dubious definition of Medicare) without taxing in excess of 9.99 percent, they should not do it. But also, welfare in the Bible is given, by God, to the institutions of family and church, not the state. If we Christians were in the habit of obeying God in the matter of tithe-paying, our churches would have such an abundance of resources that caring for the poor, sick, and elderly would be no problem.

        God’s ways are wise. Ours are not. We need to learn to listen to Him. He has a lot more to say than most of us guess.

    • William Chad Newsom July 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Mr. Mains, greetings from a North Carolina LCMS Lutheran. With respect, I must say that many of your statements here reveal wrong assumptions concerning the role of the Christian faith in the public square. Satan’s great lie in our day is the notion that the church has no place in politics, for such thinking leaves this important area of human life exclusively to him.

      First, you state that President Harrison “has brought politics into our faith more than any president during my 62 years as a member.”

      Perhaps he has. But you are assuming that this is a bad thing. I say it is not (or at least not necessarily). Christianity is inescapably political, for “the government shall be upon [Christ’s] shoulder” (Is. 9:6) and “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [Christ]” (Matt. 28:18). Christ’s rule is complete, and comprehensive, encompassing all human governments, not just the church (again, “all authority” is His). The early church knew this better than we do: while they always sought to be good, productive, helpful citizens of the Roman Empire, they recognized that their belief that “Jesus is Lord” meant that “Caesar is not.” John the Baptist preached against the immorality of the political leaders of his day. Would John have been better to keep out of politics, as you have suggested that President Harrison should? Or is the Bible clear that John was a faithful preacher?

      You also said this: “Jesus said, ‘My Kingdom is not of this world.’”

      Yes, but in what sense? He tells us in His very next words: “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight” (John 18:36). Jesus is saying here that His Kingdom does not advance by military means, as do worldly kingdoms. He is not saying that His Kingdom has no implications for politics. The politicians of His day understood this better than most Christians today, for those politicians sought, from the time he was born (Herod) to the time He died (Caiaphas) to kill him. Repeatedly, in the book of Acts, Paul gets into trouble with the political authorities. If our unbelieving political leaders do not see us as a similar political threat, what does that say about us?

      You wrote, “President Harrison, either pray and fight just as fervently FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LITTLE OR NO HEALTH INSURANCE, or give up your LCMS position, and run for public office.”

      First false assumption: that the LCMS/President Harrison must choose between political engagement and caring for the poor. But why can’t he do both? On what Scripture, Mr. Mains, do you base this novel idea? Second false assumption: that President Harrison does not care for the poor, or at least that he does not care for them as much as he cares for political involvement. This is slanderous, unless you can prove otherwise. Or perhaps you are saying that he should put as much effort and prayer into caring for the poor as he does preaching the Word to the political issues of our day. But a separate office was set up, as recorded in the Book of Acts (chapter 6), to handle mercy ministry, in order for the Apostles to preach the word—with all its political implications. So again, you are setting up a false dilemma: the Bible itself says that preachers are not to spend as much time caring for the poor as they do in preaching: “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.”

      (Incidentally, by insisting that President Harrison get involved in the health insurance debate, are you not, by your own standards, insisting that he get involved in politics? Or is it only conservative political involvement that you object to?)

      You wrote, “There are many poor, sick, and destitute people in in this country who are dying. Many of them would already be dead if it were not for Federal government programs; the same government that you insist is taking our freedoms. Churches and charities cannot take care of everyone.”

      Mr. Mains, what is your evidence that Federal poverty programs are actually helping people out of poverty rather than keeping them mired in government dependence, and rewarding those who choose not to work (which, by the way, flatly contradicts Scripture: “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat,” II Thess. 3:10)?

      Second, why can’t churches and charities take care of everyone? In God’s Law, it was families and churches who were to provide for the poor—a job we did fairly well until we gave it over to the government, which has no Biblical mandate for doing so. (Side note: if Christians tithed faithfully, our churches would have plenty of money to care for the poor.)

      You wrote, “Will you also use your position and voice to speak for the “LEAST OF THESE, MY BROTHERS”, as Christ commands; even if it means agreeing with a DEMOCRAT, who supports those in need who have already been born?”

      So we can only care for the poor if we do it the way Democratic politicians say to do it? Democrats (and Republicans) have done nothing but hurt the poor through their disastrous poverty programs. Those who truly care for the poor will open their own hearts and wallets, without fear of force and coercion. Coercion, after all, is ultimately what you are arguing for, since you apparently believe the only way to take care of all the poor is by taking money away from productive citizens by force, at the barrel of a gun. But studies have shown that conservative Red Staters are more generous in charitable giving (i.e., giving that is not prompted by government violence and coercion) than their Blue State neighbors (even when they are themselves far poorer than their liberal counterparts). See the article at this address: http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2012/08/charitable-giving-red-states-vs-blue-states-2465268.html

      And note the conclusion of one columnist: “Of course this doesn’t mean that there aren’t generous philanthropists in New England. It doesn’t mean selfishness is unknown on the right. What it does mean is that where people are encouraged to think that solving society’s ills is primarily a job for government, charity tends to evaporate.”

      You wrote, “We live in a society that is primarily composed of TWO political parties; there are Christians who align themselves with BOTH of these parties, whether or not President Harrison believes that.”

      It is true that there are both conservatives and liberals in LCMS churches (more’s the pity), but again, you are assuming that this is a good thing. Is it good that some Christians use their liberty to vote for politicians who have vowed to keep the murder of the unborn legal? Further, would it not be better if we obeyed the Apostle’s command to “be of one mind”? (II Cor. 13:11; Phil. 2:2). Does this not apply to politics, one of the most divisive areas of human life? Further, check out President Harrison’s video on the LCMS “Free to be Faithful” page. In that video, he explicitly states what you suggest he denies about Republicans and Democrats in our churches.

      You wrote, “He will NOT dictate how LCMS members will vote on civil matters, and is NOT the perfect, supreme judge or ruler over individual interpretation of Holy Scripture by faithful Christians…”

      Mr. Mains, I ask you: can you not imagine any political party becoming so evil that a Christian could not in good conscience vote for them? So evil that ministers, for conscience’ sake, would admonish their people to not vote for them? Should Christians consider themselves “free” to vote for Nazis or Communists, or other murderous regimes? Seriously, does the Bible have nothing at all to say to help a Christian understand how to vote? You say we should be willing to agree with Democrats, but you also say that it is a “blessing” to be able to “speak for the unborn.” Can you not “speak for the unborn” in how you vote? How can a Christian, in good conscience, vote for a party committed to the legalized murder of the unborn? Even if you cannot in good conscience vote for Republicans (and I would certainly understand if you cannot), how on earth can a Christian ever vote for politicians who are on record saying that we should continue to keep child murder legal? There are lots of important issues in our day, but can any political issue be more important than the state-sanctioned murder of babies?

      Even if you don’t like the idea of President Harrison telling you how to vote, (something, incidentally, he has said he will not do, so your accusation, again, is false), would it be wrong for him, or for local pastors, to say, on the Sunday before an election, “Unborn children are in grave danger in our society. Go out and vote for the unborn”? What would be wrong or unbiblical about that? I say it is an abdication of duty for any pastor who does not say at least so much. For my part, I would welcome President Harrison, or my pastor, to care enough about me and about our country to “tell me how to vote.” I might disagree with what he says, but I would not fault him for saying it.

      You wrote, “Perhaps, then the LCMS can elect a leader who will focus on the Kingdom of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as he is CALLED to do; rather than the kingdom of the world, and the political machinations of men!”

      Another false assumption: that the Kingdom of God does not include the kingdom of this world. But the Revelation contradicts you here: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15). Note that this is not about what happens at the end of the world, for the Revelation explicitly states to its first century readers that the letter is concerning “the things that must soon take place” (Rev. 1:1). And, as quoted above, Jesus Himself said that He had been given “all authority in heaven and on earth.” That’s why we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Mr. Mains, do you seriously maintain that God’s Word has nothing to say about “the kingdom of the world, and the political machinations of men”? Seriously? Politicians and government entities are off the hook when it comes to obedience to God? Where on earth do you get this odd, unchristian notion? Certainly not from Psalm 2, I’ll bet.

      In conclusion, Mr. Mains, let me say this: I’m sure that you and I would agree that politics is no savior. But I want you to consider that politics does NEED a Savior—and there’s only one of those.

  5. M. Didaskalos July 1, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    Mark Tooley notes perspicaciously in “Religious Freedom & Religious Authoritarians” [ http://juicyecumenism.com/2014/07/01/religious-freedom-religious-authoritarians/ ]:

    “Kudos to the churches and other religious groups that, believing religious liberty and conscience are sacrosanct, oppose the Obamacare HHS mandate compelling religious employers to subsidize contraceptives and abortifacients.

    “More battles are ahead. But yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling would have been impossible without the courage of Hobby Lobby’s Green family, who refused to subsidize abortifacients, and groups who backed them. They include Becket Fund, the Catholic bishops, the Southern Baptists, Orthodox rabbis, Missouri Synod Lutherans, National Association of Evangelicals and National Religious Broadcasters.

    [ . . . ]

    “One United Methodist ethicist urges boycotting Hobby Lobby until it exemplifies “moral consistency.” Other sanctimonious nags have derided Hobby Lobby’s supposed hypocrisy for opposing abortion while failing to have achieved full sanctification. Others dispute the company can claim to be Christian, although it is the owners who are Christian and wish to uphold their convictions. Supposed theological sophisticates claim only individuals can be Christian, not companies or other groups, except possibly churches. These critics are typically hyper individualist liberal Protestants who locate ultimate truth in the solitary, empowered self.

    “Critics of Hobby Lobby are supposedly VERY concerned about access to contraception. But contraception is cheaper and more readily available than ever, often free. The Green family didn’t object to subsidizing contraception per se, only several drugs that kill human embryos, i.e. abortifacients.

    “The HHS mandate and its zealous supporters of course are very well aware of these facts. But their actual agenda is wielding the sword of state power against traditional religionists who dare to defy the ongoing secularist Kulturkampf. They do to just want to insult traditionalists, they want to steal their liberty and break their will.

    “For the moment, the First Amendment still stands against these aspiring authoritarians who dream of a world sanitized of a religious counter narrative to their own power. Not every knee has bent to Baal, and Lord willing, liberty for all will yet survive the ambitions of these wannabe cultural dictators.”

  6. Betty Schallenmuller July 1, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    Let us join our hearts and continue to pray that we get ALL the way back to where the first Americans could live their lives with a freedom to worship, freely without fear. They fought, struggled and died to get this new country it’s freedoms! Our country’s 238th birthday is coming up in 3 days!. Rejoice ! Read the Declaration to your kids and grandkids! Look up the DVD PILGRiM PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. THere is a statue, 3rd highest in theUSA and least visited, built back in the 1800’s if I remember correctly. THe names of every person who came over on the Mayflower is listed on the statue at the Plymouth Rock area in MA.
    http://www.JennyMuseum.org God bless America!

  7. Robert Waters July 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Russell displays a complete misunderstanding of he Two Kingdoms that amounts to the traditional Reformed caricature of the Lutheran position. The Kingdom of the Left is also God’s Kingdom, and membership in a political party is not the same as taking a position contrary to God’s Word!

    The situation of a person having “little or no health insurance” does not arise here, and I’m confused by Russell’s apparent belief that it somehow does. . The question is whether people should or can be compelled to violate their consciences and their religious beliefs in order to provide insurance for a specific purpose which they believe violates God’s Law.

    While I do not share the opposition to birth control which lies at the heart of this issue, I certainly support the right- and, indeed, duty- of Christians “to obey God rather than men.” M. Didaskalos is exactly right. To take a position supporting abortion or same-sex marriage is to take a position in opposition to God’s Word, and no consistent Christian can do so. Moreover, as Luther pointed out again and again, it is the church’s divinely-appointed task to proclaim the Law as well as the Gospel, to government as well as to individuals. President Harrison has faithfully carried out his duties not only as president of the LCMS, but as a pastor, in proclaiming God’s word to a degenerate and apostate generation.

    If the LCMS failed to speak God’s word to the abandonment of the Fifth Commandment as respects the unborn or the abandonment of the institution of marriage as defined by both Testaments and by Jesus Himself, it would be in the same position as the German church during the years of the Third Reich, which by and large remained silent when its duty was to speak precisely on behalf of “the least of these.” Nor does the Supreme Court decision mean that women are deprived of birth control. They can always seek employment at a place whose owners have no scruples against it, or pay for it some other way. Perhaps Russell would start a fund to do precisely that.

    One thing is clear, though: under neither the Constitution nor the Law of God does the government have the right to demand that we defy our own consciences and our understanding of God’s Law.

    • Carl Vehse July 3, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      “The Kingdom of the Left is also God’s Kingdom, and membership in a political party is not the same as taking a position contrary to God’s Word!”

      First, the Kingdom of the Left does not require being a member of a political party.

      Second, being a member of at least one political party in the U.S. today is most certainly supporting a position, which for almost forty years has been contrary to God’s Word.

      • Bernie Schaeffer July 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

        Pro life and pro choice organizations should be working together to continue the decline of abortions in this country. That was President Bush’s recommendation during one of the debates but is it really happening? Sex education is a vital component including insruction on the proper use of contraceptives. That is why Planned Parenthood has perhaps been the most successful group in reducing abortions in this country and organized religion the least effective, especially in the nation’s Bible Belt.

        • Carl Vehse July 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

          “That is why Planned Parenthood has perhaps been the most successful group in reducing abortions in this country.”

          That’s as illogical as saying the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei has perhaps been the most successful group in reducing Jewish discrimination in WWII Germany.

          • Bernie Schaeffer July 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

            While, granted, Planned Parenthood does counsel women regarding their options and refers them for abortions when requested when that is the woman’s decision, one of their their primary missions is to reduce abortions in this country, and they are extremely successful compared to any other organizations I know of. I am pro-life but nevertheless have a great deal of respect for Planned Parenthood and what they are doing, which in my opinion, is God’s work.

  8. Richie July 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    1st Corinthians 5:12

    Spirit-breathed instructions for how to conduct ourselves in the ‘Kingdom of the Left’. On the theological other hand, it’s just so much more fun to compel nonbelievers to ‘live just like we do!’ whenever we have the numbers and power to compel such.

    • Carl Vehse July 3, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      “1st Corinthians 5:12 Spirit-breathed instructions for how to conduct ourselves in the ‘Kingdom of the Left’.”

      Eisegetic confusion. 1 Cor. 5:12 deals with the Kingdom of the Right.

  9. Bill Grose July 13, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    I rejoice with President Harrison in this ruling and thank God we have a President in at least one sector of our lives who cares about liberty!

  10. William Chad Newsom July 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    To those who are critical of President Harrison for getting involved in politics: as Lutherans, we respect the words of Luther, right? Here’s what Luther had to say, in his work, On Secular Authority: “If a preacher in his official capacity says to kings and princes…‘Consider and fear God and keep his commandments,’ he is not meddling in the affairs of secular authority. On the contrary, he is thereby rendering service and obedience to the supreme authority.”

    Luther may be wrong, of course, and I know that agreement with everything Luther wrote is not a requirement for Lutheran laymen or leaders. But his view here seems very consistent with the preaching of the prophets and apostles of Holy Scripture. Where in the Bible does it teach that the Church or its ministers must not speak out against corrupt and evil rulers and laws? And isn’t that what President Harrison is doing, whether in his testimony before Congress, or his Free to be Faithful campaign, or his blog writings?

  11. Matthew Stewart July 17, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    For profit entities are not individuals with liberty. Simple. The Supreme Court is equating for profit entities with individual citizens rights. A huge mistake for the future of religious freedom for the individual. It is unfortunate that leaders in our church body have succumbed to the right wing rhetoric of today.

  12. Lisa Havens July 17, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    Our Founding Fathers were very outspoken in the public square. They did not separate religion and politics. It is the duty of pastors to boldly speak out on moral issues. Ministers were among the men that signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Some served in public office. The country’s government was established as a Republic because of Christianity, not in spite of Christianity. Political meetings were often held in churches. Pastors for many years addressed members of Congress before they voted on legislation. ” Without Religion the Government of a Free People Cannot be Maintained.” 4th Principle of the 28 principles used by the Founders of this great country. I commend Pastor Harrison.

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