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Protecting Your Ministry

Dear Friends in Christ,

We’re providing something for which you’ve been asking and waiting.

In recent months we have seen the Supreme Court make decisions that have changed our country and the future for generations to come. Despite seeing cultural changes that are contrary to God’s Word, numerous legal challenges, and shocking Supreme Court decisions, we need not fear. We are people of hope and joy. Jesus said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). It is our joyous task to proclaim the Gospel of free forgiveness in Christ to all (Matt. 28:19). We are a people of joy (Eph. 4:4). We are not angry people. And we are people of hope (Rom. 5:3ff.). We know the end of the story. That’s the bottom line as we deal with the intense challenges of our day. We will be compassionate (Luke 6:36). We uphold the basic human rights of all people (no matter their sexual orientation). All are God’s creation. We are all sinners under the Law, and Christ invites all to repentance and faith (Matt. 9:13).

What shall we do? Continue to pray. Learn. Educate others. Speak up. Defend. Participate. Raise up our youth to speak out. Our Lutheran Confessions say public redress is a good work of God. St. Paul appealed to Caesar. We, too, will make our legal appeals for religious freedom, referring to the Bill of Rights. We must also act very wisely to protect the church from attack.

Over the past several years, we’ve forged a valued friendship with Alliance Defending Freedom and are proud to collaborate with them in the publication of this booklet. It provides detailed information on the legal issues impacting our churches, schools, universities, seminaries, and organizations. Read through this entire booklet carefully to understand the full scope of the issues and how you can protect various ministries.

Now is not a time for compromise. It’s time once again for a Reformation “Here I stand.” By holding to our core biblical convictions, fighting for our God-given rights of conscience, and fighting against government intrusion into the church and the lives of Christians, we stand firm not only for our church and those who shall follow us; we take a stand for the First Amendment religious liberty for all people.

Dr. Walther put it well:

The Lutheran church believes, teaches and confesses, in accordance with God’s Word, that the secular government does not have the power to command its subjects to do anything that God has prohibited, nor does it have the power to prohibit anything that God has commanded, nor does the government have the power to force its subjects to do anything that violates their conscience (All Glory to God, CPH, p. 467).

Luther once said:

Therefore we, too, should learn to wait for the Lord if we have His promise no matter what else happens, whether persecution instead of the presence of God befalls us or we feel His wrath instead of His grace. In spite of all, we should say: “I believe. I have been baptized. I have been absolved. I have God’s promise of grace and mercy. I have enough. Whether night, day, tribulation, or joy befalls me, I shall nevertheless not forfeit His mercy or lose courage” (Luther’s Works, volume 5, on Genesis 26:16). “Take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chron. 15:7).

Pastor Matthew C. Harrison

President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

protecting your ministry
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