LCMS President Matthew Harrison has sent out an appeal asking pastors and other members of the LCMS to call members of Congress about legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” as well as speak with members of the congregation and community.
Here’s the text of his note:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In a surprising turn of events in the waning days of the current Congress, the effort to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has gained new momentum with the announcement today of support from Republican senators Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Olympia Snowe (Maine). The repeal may be voted on in the Senate as early as tomorrow. For a number of reasons, we encourage you to let your elected leaders know that The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has a clear biblical position on this important issue.
In terms of our spirituality, we are all alike sinners (Rom. 3:9ff.) in need of repentance and forgiveness. For 2,000 years the church has welcomed sinners, but refused to affirm sin. The saving grace of Jesus Christ and His Gospel are for all people (2 Cor. 5:19), and the only thing that separates us from this forgiveness is a lack of repentance or sorrow over our sin. We believe the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will sorely inhibit our military chaplains’ ability to call all sinners to repentance.
If the government normalizes homosexual behavior in our military branches—a behavior that we believe God’s Word identifies as intrinsically sinful (Rom. 1:26ff)—the implications are profound. Military chaplains striving to carry out their responsibilities for preaching, counseling, and consoling will find themselves under the strain of having to question whether to obey God or men (Acts 5:29).
Lastly, we express our concern as citizens that a move by the government to essentially affirm homosexual behavior within the armed forces will endanger the morale or esprit de corps—the unit cohesion and the primary mission of the military, namely, to prosecute and win the war—of the men and women who serve and willingly place themselves in harm’s way on our behalf.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we urge you to share this message today with your colleagues, congregational members, and any others whom you believe would benefit from it and be moved to contact their government representatives.
You may find the contacts for your senators and representatives here: http://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/
For more information on this issue, see The Lutheran Study Bible, Page 1911, on Romans 1.
God bless you.
Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Dr. Mark J. Schreiber,
CAPT, CHC, USN, (Ret.)
Director, LCMS World Mission’s Ministry to the Armed Forces
Over at GetReligion, the conflict between church and state issues has been discussed regularly. Here’s a recent post, if you’re interested.
I’m also looking for the letter signed by many chaplains, including LCMS chaplains, about their concerns over replacing DADT with a different policy. I’ll post it when I find it.