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This office was established by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod to represent the church body’s interests and to promote its causes in Washington, D.C. Doing this was somewhat controversial. Lutherans are encouraged to get involved in their societies, including political causes, by virtue of their vocation as citizens. But the church, as such, is NOT supposed to get involved in politics. This is because Lutherans believe in the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, in which God’s spiritual rule (Kingdom of the Right)–as manifested in the church through the Gospel–is distinct from God’s temporal rule (Kingdom of the Left)–His providential presence in the secular realm and His work through vocations, including those of government. Still, while the church operates spiritually, as an earthly institution–with property, by-laws, buildings, and legal obligations–it is also a part of the Kingdom of the Left.
I was pleased to hear Dr. Seltz say that the goal of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty is precisely to apply the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, as well as the related teaching of vocation!
DC - Church - Government - Backs - Church
He said that “I’m not in D.C. to make us a more political church, but to get the government off our backs so that we can be the church.” Indeed, I would add that the issue is not so much the political activism of Christians but the activism of the government in intruding into issues that were traditionally the concern of churches, such as moral questions (legitimizing abortion and homosexuality), the nature of families (instituting same-sex marriage), and tenets of theology and the Christian life (limiting religious liberty). But the Center’s emphasis on religious liberty does not impose the church’s teachings on anyone and does not make the church complicit in the exercise of governmental power. Rather, it is a defensive posture against political power when used...
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