We started LutheranPundit to quickly distribute news directly from the sources to Lutherans. It has been a success so far and has gained a good following. In the process we have discovered some interesting things about Lutherans in the news. Here are some thoughts in no particular order:
Liberal Lutherans get most of the press
The ELCA is still larger than the LCMS. Besides this, the ELCA does far more of the things the world and its media pay attention to. They are social activists. This is largely because the church for them is no longer about preaching the Gospel and saving souls, but instead about helping to change the world. This should serve as a warning – if we want to be noticed by the world, that our theological focus would have to shift first. The world still hates the Gospel. It always will. We would be best served by getting used to it and not giving into the temptation for more attention by social programs and such.
Martin Luther is not as well-known as Martin Luther King Jr. in the press
Again this goes right along with the first point and anyone who has tried to google search for things about Dr. Martin Luther will soon find the web is filled with things related to the baptist pastor. For Luther, the gospel is central. For King, there was much more about changing the world. The warning would be to not compromise here either – although seeing the LCMS version of the Martin Luther documentary last year only showed what kind of compromise this could be (no doubt also some virtue signaling as well).
The Concordia System gets most news for its sports programs
The news doesn’t take note of educational things so much, or speaking engagements, or the instruction in the Christian faith that should be central to the mission of the Concordia University System. Instead, the world puts most attention on the Concordias’ sports programs. Again, if we like this attention it will mean a continued focus and increase in the sports programs themselves.
LCMS Communications is not given attention by major aggregates
Google News and Apple New both do not comb the LCMS Communications department for news. This is too bad as LCMS Communications tries to do a decent job of publishing all kinds of news for the LCMS. I have let LCMS Communications know about this and they are looking into things to do to correct this.
Comfort Dogs are waning in getting attention from the world
There are many other organizations that are using dogs now to provide comfort/therapy/etc. This means that the comfort dogs of Lutheran Church Charities don’t have a corner on that media attention any longer. It also means that fundraising may be hurt by it. Again, the comfort dogs have demonstrated a pattern of focusing on earthly things and loving the attention it brings from the world, only to be outdone by the pagans. Perhaps a different focus and a higher comfort ought to be on our minds and on our lips as Christians.
Following the way the world reports on things has been an interesting experience. I would chiefly warn confessional Lutherans against seeking fame or notoriety in the news, as it appears that extra attention is earned by adopting more liberal practices in order to please the world. This applies to the LCMS as well as it seeks to always have a bigger name among the pagans. Let’s not drift away from our center, the confession of Christ and His doctrine to all who will hear (but maybe not publish).