By Adriane Heins
Seventeen LCMS officials — the entire leadership of the Office of National Mission as well as the Synod’s chief mission officer — issued a statement Aug. 20 denouncing Planned Parenthood’s actions, recently showcased in another Center for Medical Progress video.
The video, which features an ex-procurement technician who worked in a Planned Parenthood clinic, tells the story of a Planned Parenthood doctor who dissects a baby boy born alive. “She has one of her instruments and she just taps the heart and it starts beating. I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating,” the technician recounts.
In response, the 14 men and three women from the LCMS issued a statement that reads in part, “The infanticide that is occurring at Planned Parenthood must end. It is not simply time to defund that organization; it is time to end abortion in the United States altogether.”
“As for us, we can no longer claim that we didn’t know Planned Parenthood doctors killed children so ruthlessly or that we weren’t aware human bodies were cannibalized for their organs. We can’t just say it’s a woman’s choice or shrug our shoulders and mumble, ‘Who are we to judge?’ ” the statement notes. “We can’t hide behind the half-truths that women have no other place to find health care or that Planned Parenthood provides millions of mammograms per year. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters.”
The signers of the statement also urged LCMS members to action in a variety of forms — participating in a nationwide Aug. 22 Planned Parenthood protest, contacting elected officials, supporting LCMS Life Ministries and taking to social media to defend life, amid other options — noting, “The only option is for each one of us to act.”
Although the series of videos, and the most recent in particular, “lay evil bare,” the statement offered hope and forgiveness as well, noting, “Our heavenly Father, it turns out, knows a thing or two about hearts. We are the reason He allowed His own Son’s heart to stop beating for a time, so that ours may thrive for all eternity. In so doing, He shows us His own heart, full of grace, mercy and compassion.”
Signers of the statement include the following: LCMS Chief Mission Officer Rev. Kevin Robson; Rev. Bart Day, executive director, Office of National Mission; Rev. Heath Curtis, coordinator, Stewardship Ministry; Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray, director, Black Ministry; Rev. Joel Hempel, interim director, Specialized Pastoral Ministry; Rev. Dr. Carlos Hernandez, director, Church and Community Engagement; Rev. Ross Johnson, director, Disaster Response; Rev. Mark Kiessling, interim director, Youth Ministry; Rev. Todd Kollbaum, director, Rural & Small Town Mission; Deaconess Dorothy Krans, director, Recognized Service Organizations; Tracy Quaethem, project coordinator, Life and Health Ministries; Deaconess Grace Rao, director, Deaconess Ministry; Rev. Steve Schave, director, Urban & Inner-City Mission; Terry Schmidt, director, School Ministry; Rev. William Weedon, director, Worship; Rev. Mark Wood, director, Witness & Outreach Ministry; Rev. Marcus Zill, director, Campus Ministry and LCMS U.Read LCMS statement
Adriane Heins (firstname.lastname@example.org) is managing editor of The Lutheran Witness and editor of Catechetical Information for LCMS Communications.
Posted Aug. 20, 2015
Thank you. This needs to be said!
Sure wish we had been given more time, the nearest clinic is 100 miles from us. We don’t have the gas to go that far on such short notice. How can people know what time to go? Etc.
Apparently the protest is at every clinic on Saturday from 9-11 am.
Wondering: Did any national leaders at the LCMS International Center decline the sign the document?
That list looks to be the full battery of the leadership within the Office of National Mission, who operate under the supervision of Rev. Day as executive director. the Chief Mission Officer, Rev. Robson, has senior oversight over National Mission as well as the Office of International Mission, Pastoral Education, LCMS Communications and Mission Advancement. I don’t know of anyone who would decline to sign the document.
If by ‘national leaders’ you mean additional persons outside of the Office of National Mission, some were not asked to sign – including me. And others are out of the country, namely the new executive director for International Mission. The absence of a name does not imply a reluctance to endorse this important position statement.
I gladly and vigorously endorse it.
Mark Hofman, Executive Director
Thanks for finally making a statement and a call to action. We have the blood of 3,000 sons and daughters each day on our hands. In addition to calling for this murder to stop… Let us fund immediately centers for mothers of unwanted pregnancies. We must provide alternatives for the hard of heart to stop the slaughter. Even making abortion illegal will not stop the slaughter. Acting means more than protesting and denouncing, (the easy part). Lead us to action… Please.
So with your statement does this mean you all will be available to stand in front of PPH as the Lutheran Church and protest on August 22 with the rest of the pro-life community? We can sign and make statements but until our leaders take a stand, our church won’t. We will continue to sit around and talk about it.
I am pastor at St. Timothy in Houston. My wife and I are going with a number of our members to protest at the the Planned Parenthood clinic in South Houston. We are praying for our pastors, leaders, and members of the LCMS to take a stand with the pro-life community at PP clinics all over the country.
You’ll have to admit an online news release on the twentieth encouraging participation in an event scheduled for the twenty-second is not very encouraging or helpful! We are 140 miles from our Planned Parenthood facility.
Thank you for your stand against evil. It’s not popular with the world, but it does honor our Lord, teaching God’s truth in love, mercy and His amazing grace.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 18:10 NIV
Note: Fetus is a Latin word for “little one”
As the local organizer for Winston-Salem, NC I would point out that the protests on Saturday were intended as the beginning of this new “fire” started by the Holy Spirit and that we now must get out there and fan the flames. prayercampaign.org is another part of this “protest” even thought you may not be able to get to the nearest BUTHCER SHOP please join us in prayer.
In addition, 40 Days for Life, (www.40daysforlife.com) and others, have been “on the sidewalk” across the country & around the globe for many years. The fall campaign begins September 23rd and runs thru November 1; we can always use help filling the time slots (some locations go 24/7) with prayer warriors.
It is unfortunate that it has taken over 57 MILLION abortions for the LCMS to finally begin to officially fight against abortion in an intentionally aggressive and verifiable way. What is missing is an admission to the many years the LCMS has been almost entirely indifferent towards the holocaust of the innocents. Writing a CTCR document and/or just talking about the atrocities will not solve ANYTHING. True activism starts from the top and in with inter-denominational alliances who join in the endeavor. I cynically applaud the LCMS for finally yawning its way out of its irresponsible slumber.
Perhaps now the LCMS will also be ready to lead the way in defense of the Martyrs and Confessors… Talk is cheap. Mobilize the people.
So, should we contact Lutherans For Life Ministies, to help us organize sidewalk counseloring in front of PPH?
I also noticed someone mentioned http://www.40daysforlife.com ?
Dear LORD, please guide us and lead Your people the courage to protect those who can not protect themselves. And in Your Mercy, deliver us from evil. Amen