The world is shocked once again by images of war. How does a Lutheran understand war? What is the place of our country in this conflict? What is the place of the church in this conflict?
The June/July issue of The Lutheran Witness takes up the question of war. The Rev. Dr. Jonathan E. Shaw, retired military chaplain, introduces the just war tradition of thought, noting that, before we begin any discussion of war, we need to fix our eyes firmly on Jesus. Only from this perspective can we begin to understand war and its devastating effects on our lives.
Throughout history, Lutherans have responded to war in different ways. The Rev. Dr. Cameron MacKenzie, professor of history at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, walks through the history of how the church has spoken to the state about matters of war. The state does indeed bear the sword, but God has given His church the Word of God, which is sharper than any two-edged sword.
The June/July issue also discusses the heart and soul of servicemen and women who seek to understand the role of faith in the vocation of military combat. For this, the Rev. Steven Hokana, assistant director of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Ministry to the Armed Forces, uses Martin Luther’s pamphlet “Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved” to help soldiers understand this godly vocation.
There is much more in this issue. Pick up your copy, which will help you understand the relationship of church and state in a time of war. As we live in such times, we turn to the Lord in prayer, asking Him to bring peace and unity to all nations of the earth, that the Gospel might go forth into all the world.
Posted June 8, 2022