LCMS Roped Into Deportation Evasion Scheme

Source: Cato Institute

There would be Twitter-worthy convulsions if a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) affiliated agency was giving aid and comfort to Planned Parenthood. By contrast, there is almost total indifference to a Synod partner helping illegal aliens to evade deportation.

As a profiteer from the industrialization of refugee resettlement and illegal immigration, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) has updated its “Be Not Afraid” campaign for the Trump era. It encourages “immigrant parishioners and neighbors” and churches to frustrate immigration law enforcement in the name of “not being afraid”; whatever that means.

LIRS has an ignoble history of corrupting the Fourth Commandment, confounding the Three Estates, and confusing the Two Kingdoms, all in the name of a supposedly most virtuous civil disobedience and social justice. It long ago renounced its founding Lutheran identity, exchanging what it once cherished for the nondescript liberation theology that emasculated and depopulated the mainline churches.

Adept at Newspeak, LIRS’s “immigrants” are actually the citizens of other countries who have entered the United States without permission and are, by legal definition, illegal aliens. According to LIRS and the migration lobby, anybody who wishes to live in America has an unlimited right to do so.

When illegal aliens are confronted with the consequences of their decisions, LIRS goes into hyperbolic overdrive with statements such as, “Many of our immigrant neighbors across the country are currently living in deep fear of raids that would rip families apart and devastate communities.”

As a legal immigrant and knowing many other legal immigrants, I can attest that we do not “live in deep fear of raids”. We are sometimes required to prove our residency status, and we co-operate without ginning up offense and outrage. We immigrants are not entitled to superior rights than the natural-born citizens we live alongside.

In collaboration with its leftist fellow travelers, LIRS is enforcing a substitute lexicon that obfuscates or disappears once common terms. “Illegal alien” has been suppressed on pain of public shaming. “Refugee” used to be reserved for innocents fleeing war. Now it is routinely used for illegal alien migrants from basket case countries. More insidiously, everyone is lumped under the umbrella of “newcomers”. The term has a focus group calibrated tension between illegal alien entitlement and the guilt and compassion of host citizens.

LCMS higher-ups privately acknowledge that LIRS has no Lutheran identity beyond its misleading name. Yet the LCMS sustains the very public “partnership” based on the shibboleth of “cooperation in externals”. LIRS, however, clearly violates the conditions for “cooperation in externals” set forth in Principles for Cooperation in Externals with Theological Integrity (2010 Res. 3-03).

  1. No compromise of the teachings of Holy Scripture as explicated in the Confessions”. Since LIRS feeds at the public trough, it must vow never to proselytize any “newcomers”. This is a federal edict LIRS fastidiously abides by – I defy anyone to preach Christ and Him crucified to a LIRS intake… That’s more than a compromise. It’s a sellout. Aside from burying the Gospel, a good deal of what LIRS does and causes is immoral and unethical (e.g. stimulating the market in human trafficking; enticing parents to send their children on dangerous journeys alone; undermining the rule-of-law; soft-selling consequent criminal activity such as identity theft; increasing taxpayer burdens; and so on).
  2. …the cooperative effort [must not be] an act of fellowship in the Word and Sacraments (unionism)”. The ‘Be Not Afraid’ campaign literature has abominable and cynically manipulative theological resources that are intended for use in Worship and Sunday School. LIRS states unequivocally that the LCMS will be assisting with the propaganda project, not for Gospel reasons, but to “affirm community and abate fear”. In other words, the LCMS is the Ivanov to ELCA’s Gletkin. It is unionism even if the LCMS Synodocrats insist that no jot or tittle has been displaced in their beloved bylaws.
  3. …where, for the sake of that [doctrinal] integrity, [cooperative work] must cease”. The LCMS lays itself open to charges of hypocrisy when it walks the public square with two faces. As the Synod continues to ramp up its public engagement, especially in asserting its religious liberty rights, LIRS is a millstone that mocks our doctrinal integrity. It shows that the LCMS is vulnerable to the lure of public virtue signaling, which will be endlessly exploited.

The LCMS has the means and capacity to provide refugee and immigration services in close proximity to Word and Sacrament Ministry, which is the standard for human care programs of the Synod. The great mystery is why it declines to do so.

We long ago asked Synod a series of questions about the relationship with LIRS, and were promised a full response. Nearly a year-and-a-half later, the questions remain unanswered, and LIRS continues to defenestrate LCMS doctrine and practice.


LCMS Roped Into Deportation Evasion Scheme — 133 Comments

  1. Jane – You are also amazing! Able to read the hearts of so many commenters almost at will, able to detect thinly veiled discrimination in a heartbeat, and hate underneath, apparently having already judged many of us here . . .

    Hmmm . . . ya know Mike – while you’re on your white steed of righteousness in your Crusade to chase down 8th Commandment violations on behalf of others with whom you have no affiliation, perhaps you ought to shine your detector on Jane, instead of accepting her praises.

    Consistency, my man!

  2. @jb #100

    All I am pointing out is that this is not journalism. I really can’t help if you think it is. But that is the issue. It is certainly not Jane or myself. But you apparently want to make it about that vs. the issue at hand – terrible journalism.

  3. Michael –

    As far as things go with me, you “stepped in it” not correcting Jane, but instead, accepting her praise. Tells me your pursuit on the 8th is pretty shallow, period.

    And – it is clear to everyone you either want, or need, the last word. For my part, anyway, you got it, Bubba. Pax

  4. @jb #103

    Again your not addressing the issue but instead attacking me. It is pretty clear to me that these false accusations against LIRS are perfectly acceptable to Steadfast Lutherans. If anyone wants to question this statement all they need to do is look at the response on this very blog. If Steadfast Lutherans insists on marginalizing themselves than so be it. Sad state of affairs when a Christian group reduces itself to a the status of just another internet gossip column.

  5. Mr. Baun, with all due respect, you are confusing apples and oranges. This site is a Blog — not a News Corp.

    Blog: a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

    News Corp. Journalism: is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities.

    Journalism can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. These elements not only separate journalism from other forms of communication, they are what make it indispensable to democratic societies. History reveals that the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have.

    I dare say that the honesty and integrity found at this blog is higher than that found on most news media sites. That what is presented here differs from your opinion is not the point. You want to denigrate the research that Tim has done with LIRS directly. The research that he did, I dare say, exceeds that of most reporters working in the field. You seem to have a proclivity towards LIRS. That is your right. It is also Tim’s right to disagree with their mode of operation and to expose their discrepancies/fallacies especially with regard to our connection with them in the work of the church.

    I read Tim presenting the facts. You have not presented any for your side to go with your differing view. You repeat the same talking point over and over. You toss out ‘gossip.’ That doesn’t cut it. Have you ever read how Jesus answered the trick questions put to Him by the Pharisees? He answered, and He even called them names occasionally. Jesus was not shy. The truth is hard sometimes.

    Questions that Tim asked but you did not answer …

    Tim: “Michael, should Lutherans who hold to Scripture and the Confessions shield illegal aliens from deportation, and help them to evade and avoid law enforcement?” …

    “What does “in general” mean? In what situations are you going to help an illegal alien evade or avoid law enforcement?”

    Can you answer this? What are the specific false accusations that you are referring to?

    Michael: “It is pretty clear to me that these false accusations against LIRS are perfectly acceptable to Steadfast Lutherans.”

    Michael: “All I am pointing out is that this is not journalism.”

    You are correct. This site is a Blog. As such it is open to casual discussion.

    There is no one here lacking in compassion for refugees. There are good and proper ways to help people and deal with this horrific situation. When illegality or abuse is seen it is right to speak up and call it out, whether it involves the church or the state because we are citizens in both realms.

    It seems to me, from reading all your responses, that you are comfortable with shielding and protecting illegal immigrants no matter how that is accomplished — or through whom. I will reiterate Tim’s statement to you:

    “You have allowed your emotion to cloud your reason – just stick with the facts.”

    Among other things, this should be of concern to us as a church, and I think is the main thrust of this article. Our limited resources could be used to help refugees in much better and more productive ways.

    Tim: “Simply put, the LCMS has knelt to Caesar and accepted that it may not provide Word and Sacrament Ministry to “immigrants” and refugees who are resettled by its partner.”

    Yes we will do Social Justice work to include, not exclude, this main command, and work, Jesus left for us to do …

    And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28

  6. Whenever anyone deals the eight commandment card from the bottom of the deck you know their argument is bankrupt. That was the favorite tool of the Seminex crowd and is still a favorite tool today of those that have some complaint against true Lutheranism.

  7. @GaiusKurios #106

    A worthwhile read on Steadfast Lutherans concerning this. My intent in pointing this out is that I am hopeful that journalistic standards vs. the standards of secular blogs would be followed by Steadfast Lutherans. It does no good to criticize LIRS with false testimony that they violate the law of the land. This was implied with absolutely no evidence given.

    Based on this I should have sent private emails to the author. My apologies to the author.
    Given this it was hard for me to remain silent when the reputation of the entire LCMS was called into question as aiding LIRS in engaging in evasion of immigration authorities.
    There was no commending LIRS and thier many dedicated volunteers for rendering aid to tens of thousands of immigrants. They were blasted with the label law breakers instead. Absolutely disgraceful.

  8. Michael Baun @108 Bring Jesus to them through your service.

    That is the whole problem with LIRS in a nutshell. The only way that Jesus is brought to anybody is through the means of grace: Word and Sacrament. Service does not bring anyone to to Jesus. If LIRS was boldly proclaiming the Gospel to these people that would be one thing. But they have bowed to the Caesar’s decree to be silent about the Gospel.

  9. @GaiusKurios #109

    “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

  10. I looked briefly through the LIRS website and couldn’t find a single mention about bringing Jesus to immigrants.  In fact, I have heard it’s forbidden for LIRS volunteers to share the Gospel.  I don’t know much about this so please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to just work through our local congregations without any such restrictions as Tim suggests?  That’s what we do around here.


  11. This is what is verboten with LIRS …

    “Meanwhile, as other churches across Germany struggle with dwindling numbers of believers, Martens has seen his congregation swell from 150 just two years to more than 600 parishioners now — with a seemingly unending flow of new refugees finding the way to his congregation. Some come from cities as far away as Rostock on the Baltic Sea, having found out by word-of-mouth that Martens not only baptizes Muslims after a three-month “crash course” in Christianity, but also helps them with asylum pleas.”

  12. Norm –

    Favor? Please??

    Could you terminate this thread and shut down the SJW Snowflake that has yet to answer a question from the BJS crowd?


  13. @jb #113

    Not one shred of evidence has been presented that LIRS renders aid for the specific purpose of helping illegals evade deportation. Only the insinuation that handing out a rights card does so. Grasping at straws. No one from Stead Fast Lutherans has come forward to actually support the false witness against both LIRS and the LCMS. Just admit it. The author is wrong on this point. Perhaps a different tone could have been used, and without the false accusations. Perhaps the thread should be shut down with an admission that the article presented accusations that, at this point, clearly appear to be false. I don’t know why the author did this and won’t pretend to.

    Kind Regards,

    Michael Baun

  14. @jb #115

    You seem a tad sensitive about discussing the issues. This is not about Social Justice issues this is about presenting evidence to support allegations. Something apparently you can’t do either. Perhaps you have a video of LIRS helping someone evade deportation by telling them to lie to immigration authorities or provide a safe house.

    Or perhaps you will give me a rights card and say here is the smoking gun. This is the internet surely you can do better than this!

    Kind Regards,

    Michael Baun

  15. No Michael –

    I find you to be an extremely contentious person who-who girly-girl argues just like the precious SJW Snowfkakes. Does LIRS do Word and Sacrament? No. So yes, it is social justice. You have yet to answer any of Tim’s original questions, and you do a song-and-dance routine with other readers who have addressed your words.

    Frankly – if you think you have advanced the LIRS cause at this thread, you are sadly mistaken, Now go create your own blog and talk to your groupies there. Or if you click on my name, I have plenty of bandwidth, but tread cautiously.

    As Will Brennan once said: “No brag, jes’ fact.”

  16. @jb #117
    Let me guess, you find me contentious because I want allegations supported by evidence,when you have none.

    “Does LIRS do Word and Sacrament? No.”

    Entirely different subject. Do they help illegal aliens evade deportation? That is the question here. Clearly they do not.

    “Coersion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him. ” Ronald Reagan

  17. @Michael Baun #118

    Michael –

    You are now trying (!) to play headgames.

    I have already set up one post at which you can carry this as illogically far as you can.

    A. Click on the little blue “jb.”
    B. Go there.

  18. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #121

    Can we be consistent and deal with JB as well? It seems to me that allowing an individual who has repeatedly threatened personal harm to those who disagree with him presents a far worse threat toward the integrity of this site than an individual who is arguing for evidence of the claims made in the article. And this is coming from someone who disagrees with Michael Braun.

  19. @Jason #122

    Yeah. haven’t noticed a threat to personal harm… I saw an invite to his own personal blog that I guess could be characterized that way if we weren’t on a blog and he didn’t explain to click on his name to follow the link to his blog and have bandwidth there to carry on the conversation. If I am mistaken, please point out the comment where jb threatened personal harm.

  20. “Legal immigrants have no need to be reminded of their rights. They won’t be deported. The only reason to remind illegal immigrants of their rights is to evade and avoid law enforcement to shield them from deportation.” –John Rixe

    That should be “rights”;when you start by breaking the laws and are not a citizen, it’s rather arrogant to assume more “rights” than you have in your country of origin.
    [In Mexico’s case, just try moving in there without papers!]

    [Rixe should be recovering by now from being accused of being “alt-right”; whatever that is, it isn’t Rixe!] 🙂 If even Rixe can see the fallacies in Baun’s statements, they are OBVIOUS!

  21. Okay, Jason –

    Let me school you here just a bit.

    #83 – clearly hypothetical, so you need to read a little closer.

    #117 – the whole blessed thread has been nothing but Michael Baun’s ad hominems.

    Do you understand what “tread lightly” in one’s writing even means? My invitation to Baun to come to my site was a means for getting him away from an audience here, where he can manage to find a few converts, and play the martyr at the same time.

    He won’t be able to schwaffle one-on-one, but it seems he has declined, as I surmised he would, to take me up on my offer. I am offended, as several others have shown themselves to be, with his baseless charges when it is he who has refused to answer critical questions. So I took the proper route for my gripe, and will “chat” with him personally.

  22. @jb #127

    There is no schooling necessary on my part. Obviously you cannot step out from behind the keyboard to back up threats from an internet blog. That goes without saying and is beside the point. The point is that your behavior in doing so is inappropriate for a site that portrays itself as a Christian forum for discussion. Secondly, I saw no ad hominem attacks from your opponent. He addressed what he felt was an issue citing examples from the website which he felt did not support the claims by the article’s author. That discussion point, whether we agree or not, is actually on topic and is not a personal attack. Resorting to name calling such as “special snowflake” and “who who girly girl” is the definition of an ad hominem attack and is also inappropriate. School yourself in common courtesy sir.

  23. Jason –

    If you gotta a “personal,” do what I advised Michael to do.

    Bring it to my joint and we’ll do it, sans audience.

  24. @jb #130

    I don’t have to get personal, nor did I choose to do so. I simply raised the issue of inappropriate behavior. Your behavior was publicly manifested here, so I addressed it publicly here. The initiative for doing so was predicated by your action. I’ve said all that needs to be said on the topic.

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