To elaborate on President Harrison’s great article on the simultaneity of confession and witness, I would also say that the motive behind each of these is equally important. One cannot have confession without witness, but one cannot have either without love and mercy. In fact, the reason witness and confession exist is for the sake of God’s love and mercy.
If confession is used to separate ourselves over and against others, then it does not have love and causes disunity. If witness is used as a means of human conviction, then this causes us to be separate from those people who belong to us the most, the lost sheep of a dying world. In love and mercy, confession can be seen as a way to include all in a common inheritance of Jesus Christ, and witness can be seen as a means to hand down the message of radical love and its victory over death that is wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ.
Send letters to “Letters,”
c/o The Lutheran Witness,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
or send them via e-mail to Lutheran.Witness@LCMS.org.