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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

On Worship with non-Lutherans and non-Christians

President Harrison has issued his response to the "ecumenical service/vigil" in Newtown, CT, in which a MO Synod pastor participated. I think he did a fine job of responding to this: he forthrightly said that participation in such a service was unBiblical and secured the repentance and apology of the participating pastor in a gentle and humble manner.

It should also be noted that there is an election this summer and that it would have been very easy for President Harrison to wait until July 26th to release this letter, which will certainly be used against him by the usual suspects. So I am doubly thankful for and appreciative of President Harrison's work here: he has done his job, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. This is just the kind of leadership our Synod has needed in high places for a long time - and Fr. Harrison should be commended for it. Furthermore his last paragraph is completely correct: this individual matter concerning this individual service is now closed.

The broader issue of "ecumenical services" is, of course, still open. And that is what makes the second half of Fr. Harrison's response (the paragraph beginning "To his credit" and following) so very interesting as it is clearly written to "the other side" - those in the Synod who will be angered that the President of Synod called a pastor to repentance and dared to say that his participation in this service was unBiblical and against our Confessions. Can President Harrison find a way to communicate with and convince these elements in the Synod? I hope so.

Pr. H. R.61 Comments