(Editor’s Note: Pastor Erik Stefanski is in Sri Lanka teaching the faith. He took the time to weigh in on The Alley issue commenting on one of our psots. Apparently it was a point of discussion amongst Sri Lanka Lutherans. After offering clarification on our assertion about the use of Lutheran worship materials in the synod – you can see the full comment here– he offers the following set of questions from the Sri Lankan Lutherans.)
The Lutheran Church in Lanka wants to know why any Confessional Lutheran would fund a ‘mission’ that is not outwardly identifiable as Lutheran and seems–in the midst of some good statements about Man’s relationship to God and peace with God being made only in Christ Jesus–to avoid the cross and the means of that cross being attached to the Christian in Holy Baptism and the fruits thereof being given us again and again in the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper. The LCL website is still in its infancy, but they intend to have a better, clearer, more cross-focused doctrinal statement than what has been posted on the BJS site, [The Alley statement of faith] also avoiding some distinctively Calvinistic terminology and the confusion of whether the victory was won on Good Friday or on Easter.
Why is it, they wonder, that they suffer and starve to be Lutherans amongst the Buddhists (who are pushing a new anti-conversion law through parliament), while those who wish to practice in a way that does not lift up the pure Lutheran doctrine are given the ‘mission offerings’ of faithful Lutherans so that they may do so.
If someone can give me a good answer to that by Sunday at midnight, I’ll check for it during class tomorrow and present Pres. Raja Fernando with the official answer to ‘why this is good and right’. (Note: we are studying Luther’s “Theology of the Cross”–basically, giving them more tools with which to comprehend what all they have suffered and continue to suffer–so they actually already know the answer.)
It’s 3:05 pm on a lovely afternoon in Minuwangoda, where northern Europeans are doing what they do so well in Sri Lanka…i.e., proving that they should wear more clothing when they swim!