Pastor’s Corner

God’s grace be with you.

There’s a lot of “stuff” out there on the Internet, and a lot of informed and uninformed opinions on Facebook. It has taken some doing, but I am trying to skip over much of the political nonsense to get to the fun and wholesome posts.  As a result, I believe my blood pressure has lessened making my doctor very happy.  Nevertheless, there are times when I feel I must speak out a little more, which is usually when Gwen cringes in her pew, and I know that the word may not always be well received.  But such is the nature of sharing God’s Word as it makes comment on daily life.

On July 11th of this year, I felt compelled to write and share the following post on Facebook:

To all my friends who are discussing whether we are a Christian nation or not, and some nonsense over “One nation under God,” let’s be clear: Many of our founding patriots were “Deists” who believed in a creator God, but who, as God, remains away or apart from this creation to let it run on its own.  This Deist understanding of God is not Christian.  Many were skeptical of organized religion, but at the same time, that did not diminish their understanding of a greater power beyond ourselves as humans, or a need to tap into that power to help the affairs of human beings….(here is where I give a short rant toward those who use quotes but don’t cite their sources to back up what they are saying)…

Secondly, America is not a Christian nation…if it were, we would all be treating each other better…I would hope. America is not a Christian nation just because the word “God” is in our Pledge of Allegiance.  It is there to remind us that we did not create this world, this nation, or even ourselves by our own hand.  For the uninformed:  Jews, Christians, AND Muslims claim the Biblical Abraham in Genesis as their common ancestor of faith, even though all three have developed in different understandings of faith and world views.  That does not mean any one is better than or less than the other, even if my belief roots me in one of those faiths…which is Christian by the way.  That which has given rise to hate speech and, unfortunately, pain and suffering between these three faiths is rooted in misinformed and misguided fanaticism, fear, power, and wrongful interpretation of Holy words.  This being said…

 Having “God” present in our Pledge of Allegiance and in our civic or testimonial oaths is a reminder to ALL PEOPLE that no one person, faith, political party, or philosophical teaching (including atheism) owns or can control everyone else. The word “God” in these instances gives rise to hope when all else in humanity, including our frail and faulty religions because of human nature, fails us.  So be careful about making the United States a Christian nation, but also be careful that you do not substitute anything less than perfect in that place occupied by the one many faiths and people and even nonbelievers call “God.”

Why am I sharing this with you here? Because there are many issues and concerns facing our brothers and sisters in our local, national, and world communities right now.  They are issues that will take the strength, courage, and faith of even the best believers to restore or establish for the good of all people.  It does no good when we let it up to other people to take care of because we are tired, or don’t want to take the extra time, or allow the other stuff of life to distract us from our Kingdom’s goals and baptismal promises to grow “in faith, love and obedience to the will of God” as stated in the liturgy of Holy Baptism.  I believe it is God’s call upon each and every one of us whom he has claimed in the waters of Holy Baptism to take up the mantle, the cross, the basin and the towel, the Holy Words of Scripture, and to step outward into our nation and world, and forward in faith, to show and restore what scripture proclaims in Genesis 1: 31 “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good…”

Let us each now go forth in peace to serve the Lord,

Pastor Steiner