Saturday, February 9, 2013

Without A Prayer

Having shunned ritualized religion years ago, I need someone with more knowledge of the inner workings of them to explain to me why I shouldn’t think the Lutherans are just hateful for pulling off crap like this:

A Lutheran pastor in Newtown, Conn., has apologized after being reprimanded for participating in an interfaith vigil following the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Rev. Rob Morris, pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church, prayed at the vigil the Sunday following the Dec. 14 shootings alongside other Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Baha’i clergy.

Morris’ church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the denomination’s constitution prohibits ministers from participating in services with members of different faiths.

It’s not the first time a Missouri Synod pastor has been reprimanded for joining an interfaith prayer service; a New York pastor also was suspended for participating in an interfaith service after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

LCMS president Matthew Harrison wrote in a letter to the Synod that “the presence of prayers and religious readings” made the Newtown vigil joint worship, and therefore off-limits to Missouri Synod ministers. Harrison said Morris’ participation also offended members of the denomination.

Lutherans aren’t allowed to pray with other faiths?  What, he was going to get infected with Catholic, Jewish, or Islamic cooties?

Seriously; I want someone to explain this to me.

HT to David at C&L.

5 barks and woofs on “Without A Prayer

  1. I think the root cause, as is the case with so many “ritualized” religions, is that they’re identity is grounded in belief rather than faith. The Buddhists liken it to grasping on a rock in a moving stream and fighting the current (belief) rather than letting go and letting the current carry you along (faith). They realize deep down that their belief is weak and can’t really hold against the current forever and this weakness is just reinforced when exposed to other beliefs, whether they are valid in the harsh light of reality or not. Some resemblance to the hear no evil, see no evil thing.

  2. FWIW, I read somewhere yesterday that this decision does not reflect the policy of the mainline Lutheran church, but that of a small extreme faction (Missouri Synod).

    • That’s correct. He’s LCMS (Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod). The main Lutheran denomination is ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), which is in full communion with the Episcopal Church and works ecumenically with many other churches as well.

  3. >Seriously; I want someone to explain this to me.

    Sorry. I wish I could.

    I always figured that every faith had to believe that they alone got God’s plan right and that everyone else had to be wrong (and were therefore going straight to hell). I actually have some small amount of respect for “true believers” who are logically and internally consistent in their beliefs, however disgusting those beliefs may be.

    On the other hand, it is certainly much more pleasant to live in a community where people of differing faiths and no faith can come together in mutual support, as in the Newtown vigil. Although I must admit that as an atheist, even such inter-faith events leave me cold. I don’t believe in ANY of the God-talk and I cringe every time someone speaks of God’s plan or little Johnny now being one of God’s angels. In that regard, I can identify with the LCMS folks’ desire to stay apart and remain “pure” in their faith.

    But, apparently unlike the LCMS, I know I do not have all the answers or the inside line to the TRUTH, so I don’t mind getting “dirty” with my neighbors and their faith as long as they don’t try to make me conform to their beliefs.

    So, to answer your original query, no. I cannot explain it either.

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