"Trust not in princes, they are but mortal"
Well, I got the e-mail from the LCMS President (whose name I will not publicly misspell this morning) encouraging us pastors to promote amendments which define marriage as between one man and one wife.
Okay - first off. Gay marriage, unions, what have you is wrong. That being said. . . yes, I know we are a democracy, and we ought to vote our conscious as citizens - and that is fine. But will a law or amendment "save marriage"? Will it save the family.
We have this idea that things like this are crumbling from above. . . that it's all these external pressures and that if we elect the right person or pass the right law, things will be better.
So let me ask a theological question. Do people sin because they don't know or don't have good law? Or more specifically - do the folks in our parish, who are taught scripture, fall into sin because of what the government does? No. People sin because people sin - and the Law doesn't solve that.
Or let me organize my (surely unpopular) thoughts in a different way. At Sem we would talk about the hammer of the law - law in preaching which directly applies to the hearer. We would also talk about the "mirror of existence" - the fact that the world is evil and that this makes it harder for Christian. Which one more directly impacts the hearer - the hammer. Primarily I must struggle against my own sin, my own wicked desires.
We spend so much time trying to polish up the mirror of existence that we can end up ignoring preaching the Law in it's firmness to ourselves. If only we pass a law. . . what. . . people will stop being gay. . .and stop you from destroying your family by your sin? Um. . . we have a huge divorce rate. . . would defining marriage fix that? Come to think of it. . . there are laws against adultery - has that gotten under control?
Here is my advice. Vote your conscious. Try to pass good laws. But don't pretend that politics is the epic struggle to save Christianity. We are not American "Evangelicals" - we don't believe that Christians are made by decisions, and certainly not decisions in a booth in November. It's simply laws, they are simply politicians. They come and go - the Word endures.
Remember this, if you become fearful of where the country is headed. The Church survived, even thrived under Nero - if this country falls into a moral morass. . . Built on the Rock, the Church doth Stand!