Campbell on marriage: Pastors ‘shouldn’t abandon the field’

Comments (10)
  1. John J Flanagan says:

    I have been following the abortion issue and the gay marriage issue closely over the past decade, and although I am just an obscure observer and no erudite historian, I have felt it would eventually lead us to where we are today. What is especially troubling is how many liberal churches are fine supporting gay marriage, and even use a distorted interpretation of scripture to support it. Still….in the political arena…millions of professing Christians throughout the nation have willfully supported and voted into office the most egregious pro-abortion candidates and those who promoted gay marriage. In the process, they have often ignored and passed by conservative Christian candidates who were or are pro-life, and support traditional marriage. Those Christians who support the policies of the Democratic Party and hold to the values represented by this party as just as culpable as the leaders they have kept in power. So we arrive at this point in our history, where we live in pagan Babylon, not Christian America, and the days ahead will bring persecution, loss of tax exempt status, the dissolving of some churches, and severe assaults against religious speech and expression. The churches will be purged, and the compromisers will continue to vote Democrat as they did before, while the remnant of faithful believers will bear the brunt of the dark years ahead.

    1. Russell Mains says:

      Wow! Am I mistaken, or did John Flanagan just comment that if you vote for a Democrat, you are not a true Christian; on the LCMS website? Really? So much for “FREE to be faithful!”

  2. Rev. Matthew Lorfeld says:

    It seems as though the distinction between the pastor officiating the Rite of Holy Matrimony and the pastor voluntarily acting as an agent of the state who solemnizes a “civil marriage contract” is not being maintained.

    Luther rightly made this distinction when he acted as an agent of the state and pronounced the couple as husband and wife on the steps outside the church and then proceeded to conduct the Rite of Holy Matrimony, blessing the marriage, which God created, with the Word of God and Prayer from within the Church.

    When acting as an agent of the state, pastors must follow the rules of the particular state. As Lutherans we certainly recognize the validity of a civil marriage contract that is solemnized by a court official. Furthermore, Scripture ultimately teaches that it is not the state, nor even the pastor, but God who joins husband and wife together in this union. The state may register and recognize it, the Church may bless it, God establishes it.

    1. Patti Rosenthal says:

      Rev. Lorfeld, I am confused. Does “must follow the rules of the particular state” mean that LCMS ministers are to obey the controversial – but apparently settled – Supreme Court ruling rather than God’s clear word…or are they to offer some sort of a civil union instead of traditional marriage?

  3. Thomas Dean says:

    Rev. Lorfeld,
    Can you give the source of the information about Lutheran acting as an agent of the state on the steps and then conducting the Rite of Holy Matrimony within the church? I’d like to read more about that.


  4. Jon says:

    How will military chaplains be affected?

  5. Russell Mains says:

    The LCMS should clearly state our opposition to same-sex marriage, and refuse to marry same-sex sex partners as our religious right under the Constitution of the United States. However, the Church should NEVER proclaim that those who vote for a particular political party are not true Christians! Both political parties support issues that can be construed as supporting God’s laws, or opposing them. We must be careful to protect our religious rights without trampling in the civil rights of others. Voting in Civil society is our Constitutional right, and there are a MYRIAD of issues to be considered, aside from just same-sex marriage and abortion; such as social and economic justice, racism, poverty, corporate greed, and the environment…. just to name a few.

  6. LuNell Eriksen says:

    Why is this a question? We obey scripture alone and remain faithful to our Lord.

  7. Cindy Merry says:

    Actually one of the best articles I’ve read on this comes from Matt Ward and I think he is right. This is a direct assault on Christians and our pastors need to be very careful not to compromise. It would be better not to act as an agent of the state at all, then to participate in defying God. This certainly puts me in mind of Matthew 10
    Here is the link to the article:

  8. William says:

    This is an article about a priest in Chicago who performs the marriage ceremony for couples, but does not sign the marriage license. I think this is a workable solution.