By Stacey Egger
TAMPA, Fla. — On July 25, the last day of the 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison called Floor Committee 11 on Church and Culture to the stage to present their remaining resolutions on physician-assisted suicide and the persecuted church. Both passed unanimously.
The committee first presented Res. 11-06A, “To Emphasize the Sanctity of Life and the Dangers of Physician-Assisted Suicide,” which passed with a unanimous vocal affirmation.
- Declared the Synod’s “opposition to physician-assisted suicide and legislative efforts on state and federal levels to legalize it”;
- Resolved to encourage the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty to address this issue in discussions about public policy; and
- Resolved to encourage LCMS members and congregations “to have a voice in the public square opposing physician-assisted suicide.”
Committee Chairman Rev. Terry Forke, president of the LCMS Montana District, noted that this resolution was important and timely “because the seventh and eighth states in our Union have recently passed physician-assisted suicide legislation, and because we recognize that physician-assisted suicide is a gateway drug to euthanasia.”
The persecuted church
The committee also brought Res. 11-07A, “To Remember the Persecuted Church,” to the floor.
This resolution is important and timely, Forke said, “because there are people around the world, our brothers and sisters, who are under persecution, and who are losing their life for Jesus Christ, and because there is an event horizon for that persecution to come to our nation as well.”
- Mentioned a study by Open Doors USA, which indicates that “worldwide every month, on average, 345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons, 105 churches and properties are damaged or destroyed, and 219 Christians are detained and imprisoned”;
- Recommended the use of the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations’ Bible study “Why Are You Persecuting Me? A Christian Response to Hostility and Persecution”;
- Encouraged LCMS members to pray for persecuted Christians around the world by using the LCMS “Pray for Us Calendar” and other resources; and
- Resolved that the LCMS in convention pray for the persecuted church.
Upon the adoption of the resolution, Harrison led the convention in prayer:
Dear Lord Jesus,
You are the Great Physician. You know every one of our hairs on our head and number them. You know when a sparrow falls out of the sky. Look with favor upon all Your dear Christians the world over, in every dark and difficult prison, in every torturous situation, in every situation of mental fatigue and anguish and attack by states and other powers and false religions. We pray that You would grant justice and liberty in the world so all peoples may have the freedom of religion, the freedom of conscience. And we pray that You may open doors even through the blood of Your martyrs for the witness so that more and more may believe in You until the Last Day. We plead it for Your sake, Amen.
Posted July 29, 2019
The 67th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod met July 20–25 in Tampa, Fla., at the Tampa Convention Center under the theme “Joy:fully Lutheran.” For more convention news: