Well, write down this date. You thought it would never happen. But for once, I find myself in agreement with the leader of the increasingly troubled ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).
(surprised "Preachrblog" reader)
Bishop Hanson has commented on Senator Frist's recent telecast to churches regarding the Bush judicial nominees and the Democratcic filibusters. You can read the full text of his letter here.
But the highlights, IMHO, are italicized, and commented on:
As Lutherans, we share a common faith in Jesus Christ, a love of the gospel and, in the tradition of Martin Luther, a healthy respect for the separation of church and state
Ok, Rev. Hanson. Though we don't use that language to express the idea, preferring Luther's terminology of the "Right and Left Hand Kingdom", "separation of church and state" is the nearest reasonable facsimile in non-theological terms.
And I too, have a problem with politicians pushing political issues in churches.
NOT that I don't have STRONG political beliefs... I do. I just don't feel it's my place as a preacher of God's Word to mingle my own personal beliefs and politics with the preaching of the truth of the Gospel.
Hanson goes on: ...respectfully ask that you cease judging whether or not people have faith by how they choose to express that faith on political issues.
Yes. Faith in God doesn't mean voting Republican or Democrat.
My approach to political issues, as a preacher, is this: Teach what the Bible says on the "issues": Homosexuality, Gay Marriage, Abortion, Love for Neighbor, etc... And where the Bible stops - STOP!
The people of God can "connect the dots" on these issues - figuring out how to apply best what the Bible teaches in terms of public policy.
Oh, and on "issues" to which the Bible doesn't speak, REMAIN SILET. I would argue that "rules about filibusters for judicial nominees" falls into this category.