President Harrison has just posted on the Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog (WMLT) the great news that Pastor Rob Morris, from the local LCMS parish in Newtown, Connecticut, has apologized for his participation in the unionistic and syncretistic prayer vigil in the aftermath of the brutal murders of the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Pastor Morris’ apology leaves much to be desired but President Harrison has committed to further work on this matter in this case and for the broader issue for the LCMS. We concur with President Harrison and support his approach to this delicate issue.
BJS writer Charlie Henrickson broke this story back in December but then your editor decided to stop comments on the post in order to let things cool off so that synod procedures of admonishment and spiritual care be given room and time to work and now, even though the conversation will go on, we are at a calmer point where we can return this issue to front and center in the LCMS and work toward greater unity on what the Scriptures teach about syncretism and unionism.
Pastor Morris is a participant in the local clergy association in Newtown and when they planned this ecumenical vigil Pastor Morris was invited to give the benediction at the service and decided that doing so was an appropriate way to minister to his members and respond to the tragedy with the Gospel.
It was a well-intentioned thought but it also had extreme consequences. Standing on the same stage/chancel as heterodox and pagans and joining with them in a worship service diminishes the Gospel, proclaims that we are in fellowship with the heterodox and pagans and is the spiritual prostitution spoken of by the prophets and by St. Paul.
The service included religious leaders from Judaism, Islam, Baha’i, and liberal Protestantism. It was clearly a worship service. President Obama gave the address which CNN called a sermon and said he was a pastor’s pastor. His “sermon” even began with a Scripture text. Obama and almost all the participants preached universal salvation when they exclaimed that all the little children were in heaven and had now become angels. Pagan and heretical teaching was at every turn and bowing of the heads in the auditorium. The Baha’i representatives taught some weird doctrine that our sorrow over death agitates god because these deaths are a part of some sort of neo-platonic re-entry into the spiritual realm. One of the liberal protestants offered a prayer to god the father, god the mother, or whatever other name by which he/she is called. Of course the king of heresies – works righteousness – was omnipresent.
The liturgical elements included chanting of a psalm by the rabbi, chanting of liturgical pieces by the Moslems, Scripture readings, prayer and of course the benediction given by Pastor Morris.
We thank and commend President Harrison and District President Timothy Yeadon (Morris’ bishop) for their tireless work on this situation. Even more so, we commend Pastor Morris for recognizing the harm that unionism and syncretism bring to the pure Gospel and admitting his error in judgment and pray that he will come to a greater understanding of how wrong unionism and syncretism are.
BJS has produced this video on the service to help our readers understand the depth of error in unionism and syncretism. May God have mercy on the LCMS. You can see the video here: http://youtu.be/OgygwfTGcJ0